Spouse Grouse

LettersUnset

My Dearest KG

They say the way to a man’s heart is through is through his stomach. And right from our courtship days you left no opportunity to drive this point home. A girl who was busy with her lab work and books all her life till then and with parents who believed that education was more important than acquiring culinary skills, this passion of yours, for food, scared me a bit. Mom tried to put me at ease and taught me some basic recipes in a jiffy. But you took the reins in your able hands soon after our marriage. I found an enthusiastic teacher in you and you, an eager to learn student. Every other day, after we returned back from our respective offices, we worked together in the kitchen as you showed how to make various dishes with your step-by-step instructions. In no time, I mastered the art of cooking and you beamed with pride and showered compliments every now and then.

With passage of time, my interest in cooking got stuck at making good tasty 3 regular meals, while your passion for cooking soared to learn and experiment newer and exotic dishes. Some 50 cookbooks in our home library along with Kylie, Jamie, Nigella through their TV shows, inspired you to cook newer recipes with élan. I have told you this a million times but let me tell you this again that you have this awesome ability of putting seemingly incongruent ingredients together in such a way that they work amazingly well, always.

While I love the way you cook such fabulous meals on weekends, surprise us with newer dishes every now and then and that entertaining friends at home is always a pleasure because of you. But what I am not liking is the feeling that I get every time… the feeling that I am picked up by a tornado and released abruptly amidst a shower of debris and rubble, once you leave the kitchen after creating magic with food.

While your favorite chefs are cooking for a TV show, so it is ok for them to leave a part of the grounded paste in the mixer jar or use only part of the soaked rice. But following your ‘Gurus’ habits in our kitchen translates into wastage of food resources!

While you are so fair and square in everything else in life, I can’t understand your biasness towards the food cooked by you! You can’t stop gloating about the dishes you cook, yes, even the ones which have no salt or the ones which have a tinge of burnt food aroma!

While you know it very well that I am perfectly happy with my level of daily cooking and I have no desire, whatsoever to don your chef’s hat. Then, why is it that you are so competitive with me about cooking, so much so that you’ll not tell me the ingredients you used for the new curry.

While you believe that food is all about creativity and experimentation with flavors and ingredients. Why do you frown when I try to experiment a bit in our regular food. Given my interest in cooking, my experiments with food only goes up to adding coriander powder in some dish or dry mango powder somewhere. I know some of your experiments are really crazy, for instance the day I was coming back home with Aaryan, you had made rice kheer among other things. We all oohed and aahed at the wonderful sweet dish till you asked us with a mischievous and a proud look, the secret ingredient in it. As you vetoed all the regular ingredients that could have been added in a kheer, we ‘begged’ you to shed light on the mysterious ingredient. Proudly, you said, “Egg yolk”. Mom who is a vegetarian and who relished the kheer so much, moments ago,  nearly puked. Egg yolk in a rice kheer? who adds that??  Well, YOU!!

As I write this I realize that the benefits of having a husband as a chef certainly outweigh the rants I have just  shared.

So, dear husband, continue to create magical flavors and may the fragrant aromas waft from our kitchen, always.

Happy cooking and looking forward to see you cook your signature dish soon, tomorrow.

Love You

SG

This is written for Write Tribe – Letters Unsent #4  : Your current love/ spouse/ crush

Linking this post to the Ultimate Blog Challenge and October’s NaBloPoMo.

May Photo A Day : Day 26 : Fave Thing To Do On Sunday…

When you have a husband whose passion for cooking and eating good food runs very high, who loves to explore new dishes and enjoys eating them with equal gusto…… the best thing you can do is to leave the kitchen in his able hands. No, it is certainly not possible on all days. No, it is not because he has work to do. But that’s because, my kitchen and my maids would not be able to handle the daily aftermath of a hurricane hit kitchen.

The kitchen is all his on Sundays. Right from breakfast to lunch or sometimes brunch and then dinner… he decides the menu and cooks too.

As for me, I either assist him by handing him the pots and pans, ingredients or books or simply sit and enjoy television or play games on laptop or read. Yes, I am lucky that way.

I get respite from thinking about the most irksome and perennial question, “What should I cook?” and also remain stress-free, for the food that is served is not under scanner. For a passionate chef like KG the food has to awesome and amazing, delicious and delectable ALL the time!

So, my fave thing to do on Sunday is to give the reins of the kitchen to KG and sit back and enjoy the dishes he dishes out…

This is clicked on one Sunday of 2011…

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This post is a part of May Photo A Day.

May Day A Photo : Day 9 : A Snack

It was December of 2010.We had a late night party one Friday.

The after effect of that was I woke up at 8 am with a start, the next day, as it suddenly dawned that it was the Parent Teacher Meet at the Aaryan’s school.

Got ready in a jiffy and then woke the kid and pestered him to get ready too. In the meanwhile, lined up the work for the maids and a glass of milk for the kid and by 8.45 am, the kid and I were out of the home.

Fortunately we were very early at the school, so could meet the teacher and discuss/share all the queries and progress at length.

After finishing the meeting at school, as soon as I sat in the car in peace, my tummy gave a big loud growl. It was its way of telling that I had not even had my ‘bed’ tea and was starving!

Immediately, I called up hubby who was enjoying the highlights of some very old cricket match at home and told him to prepare something to eat for us. Now, these are the perks of having a partner who is passionate about cooking, who can create magic in the kitchen at a moment’s notice, any time. Of course, you need to excuse the mess that’s created along with the magic!

When we reached home, the first sight that hit my eyes was the beautifully laid plates for us on the dining table.

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This is the Double Decker 3C Sandwich Pakora!

It is innovated by hubby!

And here’s the secret recipe for that…

Ingredients:
For Batter
· Gram Flour (Besan) : 1 cup
· Aniseed (Ajwain) : 1/2 tsp
· Cumin Seeds (Jeera) : 1/2 tsp
· Fennel Seeds (Saunf) : 1/2 tsp
· Turmeric Powder : 1/4th tsp
· Red Chilli Powder to taste
· Salt to taste
· Water

For Filling
· Cheese Spread : 3 Tbsp
· Chive (onion) : 1 finely chopped
· Chilli (green) : 2 finely chopped.

Other Ingredients
· Bread : 6 slices cut into triangles
· Oil for frying

Preparation

  1. Mix all the ingredients of the batter to form a batter of thick consistency.
  2. Whisk all the 3 Cs of the filling too.
  3. Apply a layer of the filling in between the 2 bread slices.
  4. Heat oil in a pan.
  5. Dip bread sandwich in the batter and fry till crisp on medium flame.
  6. Serve the Double Decker 3C Sandwich Pakora hot with green chutney or tomato sauce.

No points for guessing, the Double Decker 3C Sandwich Pakora tasted YUM which we gobbled up in minutes!

When The Husband Cooks…

On a Wednesday…cooltext468162920
When the master of the home has a passion for cooking, this is what happens…

    1. Gourmet Meal : Yes, this is what is being cooked all the time, when he is in the kitchen! Trying out newer recipes with new ingredients is the order of the day. Even a simple dal would be cooked differently and would be served with a wonderful presentation. ‘You first eat with your eyes’, that’s his mantra. Right from starters to main course, veg and non-veg, and even the desserts, are cooked with élan and ease!
    2. The Compliments: You bask in the glory of the compliments from everyone. The most common ones being, “Ah! You are so lucky!”, “I am jealous of you”, “You have to share this recipe with me”…Needless to say that these come from the women friends.
    3. Then the Censure Followed by Suggestions: Once they are done with oohing and aahing at the look and taste of the food, the women turn to their husbands, “Seekho, kuchh tum bhi, KG se”, (Learn something from KG!). Unlike women who would be ‘inspired’ if they learn that a friend is going for that aerobic class, the men simply smile and move to get another helping or say, “So, what are you cooking next?” They have no aspirations to even learn how to boil water!  And then they come up with suggestions like “You must open a restaurant or start a dhabha!” Why don’t you go for Master Chef contest!!
    4. No Worry, No Tension : While many husbands have to check with their wives in case they decide to have friends over for lunch or dinner. But at our place having friends for lunch or dinner even without any notice is NEVER a problem. Reason, the husband cooks and he can cook with passion even after a hard day at work. Cooking is therapeutic for him and he loves having friends at our place. Do I have any reason to complain?!
    5. “Your Wish is My Command” : The child says, he wants to have chicken and chicken shall be cooked even if the meal is ready. You think out aloud, “Feel like having something sweet”, off he goes into the kitchen to make a shahi tukda or the halwa or the sewanyiaan in a jiffy. It does not stop here… I had to go out for a few hours for some work and KG took the responsibility of cooking. Nothing new here… the newness was he made a chicken dish, which the child likes, a mutton dish which he loves and a vegetable which I relish… 3 dishes for the 3 of us!! How would a woman react on seeing this??

  • Katrina, Sandy, Olga… in the Kitchen: Ok, while the magic is created with food and spices in the cooking vessel, rest of the kitchen looks like it has been hit by Katrina and her friends, I mean the hurricane and not what you thought. The spice jars would be lying all around the place and never at their original shelf and some would lie at precarious places and most of the times spill ‘themselves’ too, the kitchen sink (which is pretty large) would be overflowing with vessels, the floor would have its share of food too, all the kitchen napkins would be used and would have stains that would not vanish even with Vanish!….
  • Take a Deep Breath?? This sight of the kitchen can leave any cleanliness freak woman teeth gritting hair tugging raving mad. You think, I am exaggerating… You have to read this to believe this. A month ago, I was out of home for 3 days for my workshops. When I returned back, the maid who cleans the dishes told me that she had scolded the cook in my absence. She said she asked the cook in not a pleasant tone, “Why did you take leave when Madam is not at home? Sir cooked the food and what a mess he had created in the kitchen… it took me 2 hours to clean the kitchen!” Know what I mean, now?!
  • Zen is the Way… And after doing this for a long time, that is sharpening of the teeth and self inflicted alopecia, you realize that doing the above is not the solution. Like everything else in life, you learn after a while…. you learn to Let Go and find solace in the words of Emma Goldman. She said, the motto should not be : forgive one another; rather, understand one another! So, you understand, why the husband can’t cook in small vessels, why he can’t keep the jars at their place, why he can’t cook small quantities…. and when you understand that peace enters your mind and body and you learn to smile even at the sight of a hurricane hit kitchen.
  • What is on Our Mind… All the Time?: When you are out for shopping, what is it that you eye the most… clothes, footwear, books, home decor items…. Nah! that’s not us! What we  shop with glee is spices and ingredients, pots and pans, cookery books and CDs …   so much so that a few months ago, while I was returning back from a workshop with the team and we spotted a small outlet in a village near Nanital. We enterd the shop and found to our utter amazement that this shop sold goods to Fab India. The team went crazy shopping for kurtis and tops which were at throwaway prices when compared to Fab India. I love shopping clothes from Fab India, so this was a god sent opportunity to shop what I loved at such unbelievable prices!  And guess what I shopped… Spices and herbs for the husband!
  • Excellence is a Habit… Since the husband is a fine chef, every dish that you cook has to be great all the times and this can be quite daunting at times. He is quick to point out if the turmeric is too much or the dish should not have had powdered coriander or the tomatoes should have been pureed and not cut into small pieces or the onions should be sautéed till they were light pink and not light brown… During times like these I envy the women who say that their husbands eat everything that is served to them and would not complain even if the food is a bit bland!

 

What is your take… love or hate… when the husband cooks??

Mackarel in Tomato Sauce

Today, KG made Mackarel in Tomato Sauce. Mackarel is one of his favourite fish. It belongs to same family as tuna. A firm-fleshed, oil-rich fish with a torpedo-like shape and iridescent silver and blue striped skin. Mackerel is a delicious nutritious fish, with intense creamy meat packed with omega-3 fatty acids.

Mackarel in Tomato Sauce is a very simple and easy to make recipe.

In a pan, add some Fortune Rice Bran Oil.DSC_0196
Add chopped onions, garlic to it and saute it for a few minutes. Add a few dry basil leaves.DSC_0201
Add the canned Mackarel along with Barilla tomato sauce with basil and a pinch of paprika and salt to tasteDSC_0203
Let it simmer for a while.DSC_0207
Garnish it with ginger julienne and coriander and serve hot with rice or chapati.DSC_0213

This post is a part of Healthy & Tasty Recipe Contest with Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil & BlogAdda.com

The New Oil in Our Kitchen

KG, my best half has a passion for cooking. He creates amazing magic in the kitchen, never mind the mess he creates though. His free time is spent either in kitchen cooking something or watching the cookery shows. Rice Bran Oil is frequently used by international cookery show chefs. This was something that has still not made its entry in our kitchen.When I read about the‘Fortune Rice Bran Health’ review at Blogadda. I immediately jumped at the opportunity to experiment with it in our kitchen and see how it turns out to be.Last Sunday, KG prepared Fried Pork Frankfurters and Prawns for breakfast.

In a pan, add a tiny drizzle of Fortune Rice Bran Oil.
DSC_0750Add the pork sausages cut into small pieces along with chopped garlic and cook, turning every minute or two, until nice and brown on all sides
DSC_0753Add some dried sage and parsley and toss it for a few more minutes. Take them out of the pan.
DSC_0758Add a few prawns to the oil and stir fry them for a few minutes.
DSC_0764Serve them with mustard or chilli sauce.
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In the evening, KG also made, Chicken Curry with Rice Bran Oil which looked like this…
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I have used Rice Bran Oil in cooking vegetables and even made paranthas with it. We use Fortune Refined Soyabean Oil for our regular cooking. And KG uses Ghee or Mustard Oil for the non-veg cooking. After cooking food with Fortune Rice Bran Oil, there was not any noticeable difference in taste and smell when compared with our regular oil. In fact, KG who is very particular about the tastes and flavours and is quick to note any difference, said that food cooked in Rice Bran Oil tastes no different than our regular oil. It has no virtually no smell.

Also the health benefits associated with Rice Bran Oil, chiefly in decreasing cholesterol, protecting from heart diseases, cleaning blood vessels, enhancing immune system and nervous system and it being good for skin, are convincing enough to switch from our regular oil to Rice Bran Oil.

Cost wise also it is similar to our regular oil. Soybean Oil costs Rs 110 for a litre while Rice Bran Oil costs Rs 115 per litre.

So for cooking for frying, Fortune Rice Bran Oil is the new oil in our kitchen.

‘I am reviewing healthy heart oil as a part of the BlogAdda’s Product Review Program for Indian Bloggers.’

Monday’s Microwave Magic : Aam Ka Paana

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Starting today, will be sharing my experiences with Microwave Cooking. It will have tips and tricks and recipes, simplified for creating that Magic with Microwave!
It’s the Mango season and it’s so very hot too. Aam ka Paana, made from raw mangoes, is a cool refreshing drink to beat the heat.
Ingredients

  • Raw mangoes : 4-6
  • Sugar : 1.5 cups
  • Roasted cumin powder : 2 tsp
  • Rock Salt : 1 tsp
  • Water : 3 cups
  • Mint leaves : 1/2 cup

Method

  • Peel the raw mangoes and chop them in small pieces. Put these in a microwave safe bowl with 3 cups of water at 100% power for 5-7 minutes.Aam ka Paana
  • Add sugar, salt, roasted cumin powder to the above and microwave covered at 80% power for 8-10 minutes.
  • Let this mixture be cooled for a while.
  • In a blender, blend it along with mint leaves and make it a puree.
  • Filter it and store it in bottles and refrigerate.
  • Add 1/4 part of Aam ka Paana to 3/4 glass of cold water.

Enjoy the cool refreshing drink.
PS : You can make your Aam ka Paana sweet or salty as per your personal preference, so likewise adjust the quantity of sugar and salt!
Image Courtesy : Google Images

Egg Pizza by KG

Whenever we are in a hurry and there isn’t much time to make a vegetable or dal for lunch/dinner, we rush to make this dish! This was taught to me by KG.
And he calls it an Egg Pizza!


Ingredients

  • Eggs : 3-6
  • 1-2 Onions cut into slices/wedges
  • 1-2 Tomatoes cut into slices
  • 1-2 Green Chilli
  • Spices : Salt, Red Chilli Powder, Turmeric Powder, Cumin Seeds, Black Pepper

Recipe

  • In a non-stick pan, take some oil.
  • Add cumin seeds, when they crackle, add onions, tomatoes, green chilli.
  • Sauté it for a few seconds and then add all the spices except the black pepper.
  • Break eggs one by one and spread them over the spicy masala as shown in the picture below :

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  • Cover it with a lid and let the eggs cook on a slow flame. After a few minutes the egg pizza will look like this…

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  • Once the eggs are cooked, garnish with black pepper and coriander!

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  • Serve hot with chapati or parantha. Or you can eat it like a pizza too!!

Simple and easy and also a healthy dish in a jiffy! Try it!!

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