Pav Bhaji/Buns with mix vegetable in tomato gravy
Pav bhaji is one of the favorite street foods across all age groups. It is a quick yet healthful blend of vegetables which tickles the taste buds from the youngest to the oldest member of my family. Pav bhaji also comes as rescue for people who generally do not always relish the usual taste of mix vegetable and look for zesty options. It serves deliciously as a snack or side dish for a party or as a part of main course for the kid’s menu. In fact, my kids revere it as “THE WOW BHAJI”
Few days back, we went out for my daughter’s annual day function at her school and on the way back, I was looking for an answer to my hubby’s favorite question…what’s for dinner? Since, it was a special day so the menu had to be special. So, we decided to pick up some buns, some veggies and enjoy yummy pav bhaji. Pav bhaji in the dinner that evening gave a scrumptious ending to a wonderful day.
It’s amazing how one basic ingredient is prepared in so many different ways across India. One can actually write a book on just rice dishes in India and I’m sure there are many. From humble steamed rice to the pretentious biryani; rice finds its way onto everyone’s plate here. I first saw Lemon Rice on the menu in a Bangalore cafe. And I wondered “Lemon Rice”? What you put lemon in rice? Somehow it didn’t quite make sense to me but my friend, who was surprised that after living in South India for almost a year I’m yet to try lemon rice, ordered one for me. And if I wasn’t pleasantly surprised!
The waiter comes and even before he kept the dish on the table I could smell the aroma of rice and lemon. Ever since lemon rice has become somewhat a regular as an evening snack dish.
Tomato Basil Pasta
When it comes to Basil, the first dish that comes to my mind is the Italian’s ubiquitous Tomato-Basil Pasta. No Italian menu is complete without a tomato-basil-cheese pizza and pasta.
It’s very recent that I have started growing a few herbs in my balcony – coriander, mint, curry leaves and basil – and every new leaf in them is such a pleasure! And there is no better feeling than being able to go into your own garden and pluck the herb that you want! And today my basil plant has inspired me to bring Italian restaurant home.
Everyday Cooking: Okra Fry/ Bhindi Fry
Bhindi, also known as ladies-finger and Okra is one vegetable which is liked by kids and adults alike. Everyone loves bhindi! And it features at least once a week in my dinner menu so how to make it different ways?
An interesting thing about vegetables (as with meats) is that the taste changes with the way you cut it. My mother used to make a simple fry recipe cutting them width-wise into circle. Length wise cuts were reserved for the stuffed bhindi recipe.
So I have sort of mixed the two versions for another everyday variety. Here it goes:
Cooking for One: The humble Veg Pulao
Cooking for one can be both fun as well as boring. Cooking for one means I have all the space for experimenting; even if the food goes wrong I don’t have too many consequences in terms of not having anything to feed the family :). It’s just me; I can do with hot milk with bread for a meal. But cooking for one also means that if the experiment turns out good, there is no one to appreciate it. Most of the times my motivation to try a new recipe comes from the fact that I want to put something different on the table.
So very often, at least for me, meals for one are quick and simple and wholesome. At LSE I survived on khichdi and pulao. Not more than 20 minutes and not lacking in taste either J.Pulao is a very versatile dish. Not only it is prepared in different ways across India, it also has it’s versions in other cuisines. The name itself has many variants – pilaf; pilav; plov and many more. I usually make a very simple and basic version following my mother’s recipe!
Brinjal and Tomato Grill
It was one of those regular days when I wanted to cook something different, something new. I wanted to experiment but the inspiration of what that ‘something new’ should be was lacking. I mean I can’t search for recipe for ‘something new’ on the internet. I generally glanced across a few food blogs that I follow but nothing seemed too interesting. So I went to my refrigerator to check what ingredients did I have and I saw these deep purple eggplants that I had bought a couple of days back.