Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Lonely Valentine's and Myriad Reminisces of Experiments Past

Sushi's away visiting (the) King of Prussia. It's Valentine's with a 12 hour time zone difference. I'm sharing a kitchen with dad. He does a lot of back seat driving, or more appropriately, "over the shoulder ladle stirring", even as he pretends he's letting me cook. We have frequent ingredient impasses and this puts me in a nostalgic mood. Just last week, I was sowing my own wild oats in my own kitchen. Here then, in chronological order are reminisces of my experiments in the past month -

1) The beans that might have softened Sushi's stand on Veggies.
Remember Tiger Prawn Malai Curry? Here. I thought, what works for the prawns might possibly work for the beans too. Steamed french beans, some roasted peanuts, coconut milk, even a dash of garlic n ginger and onion paste all went in to the pan. I might add at this point that I had the full blessings of Tarla Dalal, whose idea this was in the first place. What's not to like? Apparently not, for Sushi nearly bursts into tears and says I am never ever to do this to him again. Oh well.

2) Fresh Fruit - but add some calories first.

Picture this (though the picture ain't nearly so great), succulent, ripe, in all their pink-ness strawberries. Little green leaves left in to add some colour contrast and the fruit chopped into quarters. Whipped cream in a bowl with generous quantities of sugar. Then the pink and green co-mingles with the fluffy white. Ummmmmmm..."droolicious"!

3) The health conscious risotto.

You leave the cheese out and make the risotto. What's that? I haven't yet spoken about the art and craft of risotto making on these pages? Uh-oh... Easy really. Boneless chicken pieces, stir fried along with onions and chopped garlic and anything else which sounds Italian. Olives, for instance, belong with risotto, being most definitely Italian and to be discovered at great bargains in the kirana shop below my apartment. (Which is not to say, that they can't be had elsewhere.). Mushrooms, which for some reason remind me of gondolas in Venice can be thrown in too. The most exotic part is the rice - it's cooked in chicken broth instead of water. The twain are then mixed and if you are feeling reckless, or not breaking the weighing machine, go ahead, throw in a cup or two of grated cheese. Stir everything around until it's creamy enough..and watch Sushi's eyes sparkle behind his glasses.

You might not be able to do that last bit, the eye sparkling behind glasses bit, becos after all he's my valentine, not yours. Despair not though, because you might still have a great risotto to share with..someone, anyone.

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