Vin Chaud – Hot French Mulled Wine with Red Wine from Waitrose Cellar

Last week Sunday was mostly grey and rainy , but I wasn’t feeling blue about the weather, I spent the day mostly curled up with a good book watching Netflix with the hubster around. We also decided that since it was the day the lights went on at Regent’s street it was the perfect day to get out the ladder and reach for the large brown carton which contains amongst other odds and ends our plastic Christmas tree neatly folded and wrapped, all our precious baubles and ….the neatly wrapped bundle of lights…..

As the crowds gathered around to watch the lights go on at Regents Street around 3pm, as hubster was gently snoring away after a rather delicious (if I may say so myself) meal of fried king fish, red lentil curry and rice, I decided that it was perfect time to take stock of what was in my store cupboard and check on my dried fruits which are now steeping in a rather rich alcohol base – ready for the day I will make the Christmas pudding. It was then that I found a beautiful tin with 2 packets of gorgeous spices to make Mulled wine, which was part of my goody bag given during July at the Christmas Show by waitrose.

There is something absolutely magical and heartwarming about opening a packet of spices , it is like flipping through an old album, happy memories of holidays spent with family , turkey carved, gifts unwrapped on Christmas morning….. all seem to come tumbling out of my blue tin spice jar which has a picture of Santa pulling his sleigh along the snow. The light brown tightly curled cinnamon sticks and hard dried orange sitting amongst deep red dried berries and fragrant cardamom… like a bouquet of aromas…

Waitrose Cellar had sent me a case of carefully picked red wines to let me experiment and come up with a recipe for mulled wine, from a country of my choice and taking inspiration from their Mulled wine page .They have a beautiful collection of recipes for mulled wines from around the world.  They also sent as part of the case a bottle of wine that was mulled by their team of wine experts.

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I remembered reading a recipe for Vin Chaud  or Hot French Mulled Wine on  David Lebovitz’s blog long ago and I knew I wanted to pick this French version of mulled wine and create it using the red wine – Marqués de Calatrava Organic Selecci´on Reservada Tempranillo from my wine case sent by Waitrose. Priced at £8.99 it is described as having notes of juicy strawberry with subtle spices and vanilla. This  fruity red made from Tempranillo grapes grown in the La Mancha region. It is a medium to full-bodied wine with a rich palate. It sounded apt for making Vin Chaud as it would marry well with the ginger and pepper required in the recipe used by David Lebovitz, which was inspired by a recipe Food52 cookbook. He has very rightly mentioned that adding cinnamon into the Vin Chaud which is actually made with white wine, overpowers the taste of the other warming spices in the hot French mulled wine.

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I also found another recipe for Vin Chaud by Rebecca Franklin a French food expert on about.com and it recommends the addition of cinnamon and cognac –  now Cognac –  I am a huge fan of. Friends who know me well, tire of my boring old way of almost always ordering a large peg of cognac with hot water when we go out during winter season. It’s just something to do with the rich, strong ,smooth and warm drink sipped slowly that warms my blood ,like a mini warm toasty log-fire inside my body, an internal thermostat of sorts…  🙂

So I decided to use combine both the recipes and both hubster and me are really satisfied with the end result. So much so that we ended up greedily pouring ourselves a more than generous portion of the Vin Chaud to perilous after effects which involved both us falling fast asleep while the tv played a few episodes of Breaking Bad to no one in particular – humm

Note to self – do not guzzle wine on an empty stomach especially Vin Chaud made with a large ‘splash’ of Cognac added in….

This warm festive mulled wine infused with hot spices and spiked with Cognac, honey and pepper is a great choice for serving at Christmas Parties and for sipping on co during cold, winter evenings – imagine drinking this fab French mulled wine in the dead of winter when you have just stepped in after braving the wretched winter winds , as the heating and warm socks work their effect on the outside, the hot wine induces a sense of warmth and festivity within – no one will judge you if you do go a bit overboard…

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Vin Chaud – Hot French Mulled Wine

Serves:6

Ingredients:

  •  1 bottle of Marqués de Calatrava Organic Selecci´on Reservada Tempranillo
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1/4 cup i.e 60ml Cognac
  • 1 dried orange slice
  • a generous sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper

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Method:

  • Pour the red wine into a saucepan add in all the ingredients and simmer over the lowest setting on your hob.
  • Keep stirring and do not allow the wine to boil
  • Heat until the wine begins to bring up steam
  • Strain using a sieve or a cheesecloth lined funnel
  • Pour into glasses and enjoy the warm, spicy mulled wine.

I do hope this festive Hot French mulled wine warms the cockles of your heart this winter. Cheers!

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*With thanks to Waitrose Cellar . No monetary compensation was offered for a positive review. As always all opinions expressed here are entirely my own. Thanks to David Lebovitz for his inspiring post on Vin Chaud.

Tomato and Lentil Soupy Broth

Sometimes the guilt of eating too many wrong things just gets to me and I need to balance the scales internally. This calls for a comforting and filling soupy treat with a pinch of something yum thrown in. Also all those gorgeous cherry tomatoes and vine tomatoes sitting in my fridge were begging to used -asap or risk being dumped into my green food recycle bag. Thrifty that I am ,I will not allow that to happen in my kitchen!And I always turn to my stored lentils for something comforting and homely.

This recipe is perfect for making ahead in a larger batch and freeze some for later.

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Preparation Time:15 minutes

Cooking Time:40 minutes

Serves: 2 (2 generous portions each)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4th cup Red Lentils/Masoor split and without skin
  • 1/4th cup Yellow Lentil/Moong – split and without skin
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 2 red onions
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 2 tsp Cumin Powder
  • Knob of ginger -about as tall as half your thumb
  • 2-3 Cloves
  • 1 tsp pepper powder
  • Red chilli flakes -optional
  • 4-5 juicy medium sized tomatoes – actually use up any type of tomatoes lying around like I did!
  • 3 large tbsp Oil for frying
  • 1 tbsp oil for the tadka
  • Salt to taste

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Method:

  • Wash the lentil through a sieve and pressure cook – 3 whistles, lets the steam escape and loosen cooker lid, remove  allow to cool completely. If you are not a pressure cooker lover then cook the lentils in a big saucepan with exactly two times the water than the quantity of the lentils.
  • In a kadhai or wok heat the 3 tbsp oil and deep fry the garlic chopped into fine strips and red onions finely chopped lengthwise till they are absolutely crisp and smell delicious.
  • Spritz the washed tomatoes with the deep fried red onion and garlic (leave some for garnishing) in the food processor after chopping them in half.
  • Use a potato masher and roughly squash the cooked and cooled lentils and mix them with the tomatoes and red onions and garlic which have been spritzed.
  • In another saucepan heat about 1 to 1.5 tsp oil , add the asafoetida,a pinch of cumin, coriander powder, cumin powder,red chilli powder,cloves, slightly fry all these the spices in the oil and now add the cooked lentils and tomato puree.
  • Add water if the mixture is too thick, cook with lid on a low flame for 5 -8 minutes.When almost ready add salt to taste.
  • Serve hot garnished with the fried onion and garlic bits,pepper powder.
  • A hot buttered toast of wholemeal bread, a crusty baguette or a soft cheesy loaf – all marry excellently with this soupy morish broth ummm

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I was looking for a different take on all the cute free images for International Womens Day and then I stumbled on this beauty below. It is 2 years old but it is such a powerful image and I really identify with it as Goddess Kali is a Hindu Goddess and symbol of empowerment and strength.She is the fierce aspect of the goddess Durga (Parvati). I love how Wiki has a beautiful explanation about the symbolism of the Goddess Kali.

Seeking Kali Womens Day poster 8th marcg 2014

Found this brilliant, colourful and powerful poster as a free download on the Seeking Kali Blog, I love it!

Incidentally the theme for the event ‘‘In my Veg Box” event hosted by Nayna for March’14 is Tomatoes 🙂 so linking up for her event and the following – ”No Croutons Required” hosted this month by Lisas Kitchen on her blog Food and Spice .Jac from Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa  have been hosting this challenge together for a long time.

Also as ginger and lentil go really well together and ”Cooking with Ginger” is the theme of the month for Vanesther’s event called ‘‘The Spice Trail” ,she blogs at Bangers and Mash and there is a very pretty gift for the this month’s winner inspired by the Dotcomgiftshop too – whoopie and fingers crossed only on my right hand for now, left hand is still healing from the surgery boooo.

As usual I have been thrifty and saved those gorgeous tomatoes from the food waste bin so this post definitely qualifies for the No Food Waste Challenge hosted for this month by Chris from Cooking around the world and started by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary and last but certainly not the least to the ”Vegetarian Recipe Challenge” a monthly challenge hosted by The Bouncing Tigger blog where a feminine theme is required – what could be more apt than the symbol of empowerment – Goddess Kali and a post written on International Womens Day!

PicMonkey Collage for Tomato & Lentil Broth

Chai Concentrate

Its been a very hectic year and I was really looking forward to a festive break. In the run up to Christmas I was gifted some really tempting edible gifts. I then took to Pintrest to find something that called out to me and ask me to make go make it ! I found a beautiful photograph of Chai Concentrate here . It was an easy to prepare recipe and so I started to get all the ingredients together and wasn’t able to get my hands on orange pekoe tea bags so I decided to make a few modifications of my own.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups water
  • 5 English breakfast tea – tea bags
  • 5 mulled wine spice  bags
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 9 cardamom pods split open and the seeds powdered
  • 8 coriander seeds or 1/4th tbsp of ground coriander powder
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 vanilla bean sliced in half
  • 1.5 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 inch piece of ginger,skinned n cut into thin strips
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns

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Method:

  • In a large sauce pan bring the water to boil and reduce the heat to a minimum
  • Add the spices, tea bags,orange zest and ginger and cover with lid and let it simmer for 25 minutes.
  • After 25 minutes take the saucepan off the flame and let it stand for 10 -15 minutes.
  • Then add the honey and stir it in along with all the beautiful spices which have steeped in well into the mixture.
  • Let this cool completely , the  strain the chai concentrate through a large sieve lined with a fresh cheesecloth. The spices are to be discarded.
  • Add the strained chai concentrate into clean glass bottles.
  • Decorate the glass bottles with pretty tape and add a small name tag with a bit of coil.
  • This mixture stays for 2 weeks in the fridge and can be had as hot winter drink with 1/3rd parts concentrate and top it off with hot milk, it also is good with a glass of cold milk and ice with a dollop of honey stirred in!
  • I loved the idea that the chai concentrate can be added into cookie dough for an extra zing – I am going to try that soon!

After making this gift I feel so good inside that I have taken an extra effort to actually create something unique, I think am going to make a habit out it and make delicious little treats for birthdays and anniversaries too! 

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Egg Curry/Anda Curry/अण्डा कारी from my college days

Egg curry and soft paav or square buns are the most common hostel food that one can make with a saucepan,some eggs and a few basic ingredients.It is hugely popular as a filling,tasty curry and there are as many variations as the imagination, ones budget and availability of ingredients on a particular day will allow 🙂

This version is what I always make and is sort of derivative of what would be made in the North of India.I sometimes like to make it into a coastal flavoured one by adding fresh grated coconut but that’s only if I want to make it posh but that’s very, very rare. After all this is a quick ,save the evening sort of curry!

It’s National Curry Week and it’s wonderful to see how Britain has embraced an Indian food habit and made it, its own over the years, spinning off British Indian versions of popular Indian home cooked curries.

I wanted to start of my posts for National Curry week with this one because of how easy it is to make and a great recipe for students everywhere 🙂

Serves:2

Total Preparation Time :20 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs and use the same proportion of 2 eggs per person to scale up (for very hungry fells the more the merrier 😉
  • 2 medium-sized red onion finely chopped
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 heaped tsp garam masala
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin powder
  • 1 heaped tsp coriander powder
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • fresh coriander to garnish
  • 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil – it’s easier on my conscience , use any oil or butter or ghee in dire straits!

Method:

  1. Boil the eggs in an open saucepan and leave aside to cool
  2. Roast the chopped red onion on a saucepan and spritz it in the mixer with the chopped tomatoes and green chillies.(If you want a coastal touch add 2 tbsp of fresh grated coconut in this mixture and puree it together,ensure to use atleast 3 finely chopped garlic in the pan as they set of the taste of fresh coconut beautifully)
  3. In a saucepan heat the oil and add a pinch of asafoetida,then add the chopped garlic and roast till it’s a light brown ,then add the ginger paste,turmeric,red chilli powder,garam masala,coriander and cumin powders.
  4.  Stir in the onion and tomato puree.
  5. Cook on a low flame for 2 minutes.
  6. Then add some water to make a gravy like consistency and ad the boiled, peeled eggs after cutting them in half, add salt and cook for a further 5 – 6 minutes.
  7. Serve with hot chapartis/naan bread,paav,soft fresh wholemeal bread or with steaming hot boiled white rice – to make the rice taste heavenly drop a blob of butter, the steam trapped in the grains of rice will melt the butter into a golden pool of gooey goodness – pour the egg curry into this and enjoy the best and simple pleasures of curry!

Anda Curry

Looking for a Curry Recipe? You might also like:

Shahi Khichadi

I have decided to finally upload some of the recipes which received a lot of comments on my Facebook food album and I ended up sending out the recipe by email to many of contacts . Here is one of the easier and more popular ones . When I was a kid when my mother said ”khaichadi” in response to what’s for dinner ? it usually meant that one of us feverish and needed something gentle on the tummy or one of us was trying to recover from an upset tummy .Of course the taste of the boiled rice and green gram halved and with skin on or the yellow version without skin , is ultimately satisfying a great comfort food when served piping hot with a dollop of ghee and some warm milk ,a good night’s sleep guaranteed !

But my version is spicy ,with a tasty twist and a lot of fun to cook and even more fun to eat .

I adopted this recipe from the way my mother makes khichadi and also from how my pal S of http://www.jainfoodie.com makes Jain Dal Khichadi . I choose to call it Shahi meaning Regal or Royal here because it is rather a posh version of the humble boiled version. Khichadi meaning an Indian for a slurpalicious RICE and lentil dish cooked like a pulav /pulao/pilau /pilaf.

Ingredients (enough to serve 2 with second and maybe a third helping !)

  • Rice 1 cup
  • A Mix of the following in equalish parts in the same cup used to measure the rice – Massor Dal also called Red Lentils-split and skinless, Moong Dal also called Green Gram yellow we will use the  spilt skinless variety and the split green moong dal with green skin on , Urid Dal also called Black Gram halved with skin ,some Toor Dal also called pigeon peas – yellow spilt and skinless .
  • 1 large red Onion
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 2-3 Bay leaves
  •  Bits of Cinnamon bark
  • 2 cloves of garlic smashed with skin on
  •  2 green chillies
  •  Jeera / Cumin
  •  Hing / Asafoetida
  • Salt to taste
  • Red Chilli Powder
  • Turmeric Powder
  •  2 small potatoes
  •  Few Curry leaves
  •  Few Cloves
  •  Few black whole peppercorns
  • 18. Oil for sauteing
  • Some Ghee – maybe 2 spoons – Clarified Butter

Method :

  • Wash the rice and lentils and place them in a pressure cooker ,add 4 cups (use same cup as the one used to measure the rice and the dals) of water and another to make it a little softer than regular rice ,pressure cook till 4 whistles are done.
  • Once the steam slowly releases from the cooker , you can open the lid and it will look like the picture below but a bit different in colour because when I made this I was short on red lentils so didn’t add them . Actually even you make this dish with rice and only yellow moong dal it will taste just as good 🙂

  • While the cooker is cooling down ,chop the potatoes into longish strips and stir fry them in hot oil till they turn brown, add some salt, sprinkled over them just as they get done, these potato fries are our garnishing to add that REAL REGAL or SHAHI touch to the dish . Once done keep them aside and STOP yourself from munching on them before your dish is ready , my husband managed to gobble quite a few ,pretending he was helping me ”stir” the onions while I clicked pictures ..grrrrr

  • Now Lets prepare the tadka /tarka or the tempering. First slice the onion and the tomato vertically into thinish slices .
  • Add oil about 2 large tablespoons into a pan and one teaspoon of ghee just for flavour and aroma , when this mix is hot add some hing , then add the jeera and the crushed garlic and the 2 green chillies spilt along the middle lengthwise as it opens them up and allows the pungent seeds to spread through the tempering , one kick ass way to add that hotttt KICK to the dish ,trust me this one is explosive spicy HOTT as it has all the ingredients to help the taste explode in your mouth, saute till the garlic is brown and the garlic’s skin starts to crackle , then add the cloves, the whole black peppercorns , bits of the barks of Cinnamon ,curry leaves, bay leaves and keep stiring this mixture to prevent charring or over heating ,it will look like in the picture below :

  • Then add the chopped onion, It should look like the picture below:

  • Then after a while when the onion has begun to turn a lovely pinkish ,brownish colour and looks the picture below it’s time to add the tomato .

  • Now add the vertically sliced tomato slices , I can assure you that now the potent aroma of all those lovely spices and the onion are stirring up quite an appetite inside you and making you hungrier every passing minute .

  • I dislike chunky bits of tomato floating in my mouth while I gobble up the khichadi so I jus a flat wooden spatula and gently ensure that the tomatoes are totally mashed  in a way that allows the mixture to become one entity, it should look like in the picture below :

  • Add just a bit of red chilli powder and some turmeric powder to the mixture above and add salt to taste ,Now add the cooked rice and lentil mixture to the above tempered mix of spices ,onions and tomatoes ,mix well stirring well, add salt again enough to flavour the rice and lentil mix .

  • It’s almost done , just keep this on a low flame for about a minute or two to allow the flavours of the spices to penetrate deep inside the rice and lentils .

  • The SHAHI KHICHADI is now ready to be garnished! Yay 🙂

  • WOW now doesn’t that look awesome ? I am quite proud about this creative production from my kitchen , hope you relish it as much as I did errr we did , hubby had to agree 🙂
  • If you fear that all the spices may be a bit too much for your sensitive palate prepare a quick cooling cucumber and curd accompaniment . Beat 2 spoons of set yogurt or thick flowing yogurt and add tiny square bits of fresh cucumber , season with a bit of salt ,some sugar and some jeera powder to taste .

Enjoy !

Masoorachi Aamti or Red Lentil Curry

Masoorachi Aamti or Red Lentil Curry – Recipe adaptation from Mother, Mother in Law and a close CKP friend – Saai who loves to stir up some spicy CKP fare and generally succeeds at it 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 measures of Masoor Dal (Red Lentil) with their brown covers intact and whole
  • Mustard Seeds
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves
  • Green chillies 2- 3
  • Curry leaves about 5-6
  • Jeera (Cumin Seeds) – tiny spoonful
  • Freshly grated soft white coconut
  • Goda Masala – mommy made is so much better than the one from the shops but well

(**This is a mix of various spices readily available in Asian Grocery stores it’s basically a mixture of dry coconut roasted with a mixture of atleast 10 different spices, best of all it’s avaialble to buy online at itadka.com ,it’s so EASY PEASY grin grin grin  heres the link ,refrigerate this pack to increase shelf life ,yayay so many tips from me , don’t YOU just LOVE me , if u better dont just READ this make n slurp it all ALONE, drop me A LINE and thank meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee)

  • Coriander Powder
  • Ginger Garlic Paste

(Coriander and Chilli paste – 2 small sized bunches of coriander pureed with 2-3 green chillies – freeze and use on demand, handy and 1 of my 5 “save your face” purees for unwanted guests popping in at odd hours – the other 4 are listed at the end of this recipe)

  • 3 medium sized onion red – chopped fine
  • Asafoetida(Hing or Heeng)
  • Turmeric
  • Red Chilli Powder
  • Dhania Powder
  • Jaggery

Aamsul 2-3 soaked in lukewarm water to release it’s juices trapped inside the gorgeous maroon folds – Amsul – also called kokum or Garcinia indica, a plant in the mangosteen family (Clusiaceae)

  • Fresh leaves of Coriander chopped fine for dressing

 Process ( Once a Chemistry student and a retail employee stay that way forever , instead of “PREPARTION” I choose the word ”Process” which is drilled into a Retail Managers brain like young parents making their kids rote learn alphabets)

The masoor dal can be done 2 ways for stage 1 of this process, 1st is the short cut which I love as I suddenly get an urge mid evening to cook this typical CKP recipe to appease my urges to run to Heathrow n take the next flight to my parents home in Pune ,hummmmm, so we soak the masoor dal 2 measures feeds 2 adults with a ravenous appetite and leaves some to spare.

Then soak it in water for about 20 minutes , the traditional route is to soak the masoor for about 10 minutes and pressure cook with 1 or 2 whistles so that it doesn’t go too soft as it will not absorb the marvellous flavours of all the spices we are to add in the kadhai.

Heat 2 large generous tablespoons of oil in a wok, no weight watchers tip this huh? Indeed!

Add mustard seeds and wait for them to pop but please be carefull not to burn them, one classic error here is that there are 2 types of mustard seeds, one variety is slightly big and the other one is smaller n more packed with flavour according to my mother , I dare not disagree , the only reason I use the smaller variety is that it gives me an ego boost each time I do a phodni and don’t burn them.

Then add Asafoetida, crushed garlic cloves in their skin as the skin turns a tasty caramelised brown adding to the visual delight of the process of tempering a curry or dal! then when the garlic is starting to brown add the curry leaves , green chillies , jeera and then  a generous spoonful of the fresh grated coconut (fresh from froizen is fine by me too) then , stir in the goda masala – 2 generous teaspoons, coriander powder ,turmeric , a big blob of ginger garlic paste and coriander chilli paste and stir this wonderfully aromatic mixture till it starts to brown , then add the chopped onion  and stir it now n then , let the oil work its magic in the onion allowing it to brown so that it secrets it juices and adds the typical flavour that a powerfull pungent red onion has pack3ed inside each leaf ,umm , mouth salivating isn’t it by now reading this , it should that’s the whole point my friend .

Now when this mixture is nice and ready, drain the water from the soaked or boiled par-masoor dal and toss it into the kadhai, stir in enough water to cover the lentil n then some and cook it till it almost done, when your almost done pour in the water of the soaked amsool and the dunk the amsool in along with salt to taste and bring to boil.

Season with finely chopped fresh as ever coriander and serve piping hot with phulkas dripping with ghee (clarified butter) or the plain old boiled white rice.

As you lick your fingers n the plate don’t forget to thank your daddy for giving you an internet connection which allowed you to see my divine blog n stir up this delightfull dish !aww come on now did u really buy your laptop and your internet connection on your own ! Atta girl!

Key (reminds me of my Chemistry textbook in school years)

*C.K.P stands for Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu a sub section of the Maharashtrian community in India and they generally hail from the coastal regions and hence are rather partial to freshly grated coconut and amsool in their food, not to mention their love for fresh fish and mutton, oh yeah!

*Dal used loosely to refer to the uncooked Lentil and AMTI a Marathi word meaning cooked curry.

*Coriander = Cilantro

*Jeera – Cumin (what were you thinking?)

*Aamsul – this is typical to the Konkan region, a divine coastal region the state of Maharashtra State which gave the world the gorgeous Madhuri Dixit Nene, a Bollywoood actress par excellence better known for her elastic waist and dance moves that can drive hordes of men wild and in their make the women of these bubble green with jealousy and is now to be honoured and hence waxed err , have her wax statue placed at the one and only Madame Tussads at London, hence I shall visit the wax museum ONLY after her wax replica is unveiled, yes sir! On a serious note it is also called Kokum or Garcinia Indica (Fruit indigenous to the west coast of Maharashtra State in India- i.e. Konkan, Ratnagiri etc .Incidentally apart from the Wiki link for more info on Aamsul , I came across another food blog with a very good explanation about the fruit and have pasted the para from the blog below with the links the blogger has inserted intact and alink too in case anyone wants to visit the blog,it’s got some really good recipes , get clicking

!)

कोकम/अमसुल” (wild/red mangosteen-available in powdered forms too,but its better to use the fruit) are one of the very popular ingredients in Indian food.The outer rind of the fruit is a very popular culinary ingredient in all Maharashtra and in particular Konkan. The fruits are beaten with sticks to separate the rind from seeds. The rind is repeatedly sun dried after soaking in the pulp juice.

People in the Kokan region (Maharashtra) and Southern India often add it in various delicacies (from cold-drinks to soups to vegetables & dips).Dried/Wet Kokum or Amsul is available at most Indian stores in the bay area.Sour in taste,it has medicinal qualities and is used as an anti-allergic.

Raw Mangosteen is called Murgala (Karnataka), Punampuli (Kerala), Murgal (Tamil Nadu) ,Kokum(Gujarat),Kokum/amsul/ratamba/birund (Maharashtra) & Tintali (Orissa).It is called Atyamala, Raktapurak, Vrikshamla,chukra or tintidika in Sanskrit.

Blog credit : http://cookwithmoi.blogspot.com/2009/10/wild-red-mangosteen-soup.html

*Phodni – Marathi for tempering

*Kadhai – Hindi and Marathi for Wok, easy or what?!

*Phulkas – Also called chapattis or the delightful Indian Bread soft and fluffy and fresh off the pan has ghee smeared on it to pack some punch a many many calories 🙂

The other 4 SAVE ME NOW pastes are:

* a garlic ginger coarse paste,

* Finely grated fresh white coconut paste,

* Tomato red onion puree -1:3,

*And the best one for last aye? – few onion chopped lengthwise n lightly roasted in a kadhai (wok) with fresh white coconut finely grated till they turn slightly brown , then churned into a paste in the mixer )

Pic 1 :The saucepan contains oil heated and then the asafoetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, then the garlic , chopped green chillies and curry leaves and last but the best one GODA masala

Pic 2 :Chopped red onion added to the mix

Pic 3: That’s the dal cooking

Pic 4 & 5: All done , the AROMA is filling my senses and transporting me into my MIL’s kitchen , I want to HUG her nowwwwwwwwwww

P.S: Will post pictures to compare the 2 sizes of Mustard seeds at a later date , I am now going to be too busy slurping my amti (dal) off the plate 🙂

An Omlette with a twist

What’s life without a bit of a twist I say !

So here’s one of my “different” omelette recipes, I love eating eggs in all shapes and forms and am more so obsessed with omelettes and scrambled eggs.

This recipe is for hungry morning times when you have a rumbling tummy and need time to hold the tummy quiet and prepare for rest of the day .It’s a filling , satisfying yummy start to the day , I serve this with 2 slices of toast generously buttered and a large glass of freshly squeezed orange juice to wash it down 🙂

Ok so you will need the following ingredients:

2 eggs

1 medium size of half or a large sized red onion chopped lengthwise

half a garlic cloves sliced very fine lengthwise again, will tell u why soon..

1 large chicken sausage roughly cut up

1-2 green chillies chopped into pieces which are visible n too fine

Salt and red chilli powder to taste

Preparation: time 15 minutes

Chop the red onion lengthwise and so also the garlic clove, why? Because in a omelette the tiny square bits will loose themselves and vanish I like to chimp on and feel the taste of all the ingredients as I eat the omelette and appreciate each and every ingredient, it’s just so much more fulfilling and creates a immense feeling of happiness as a creator of a true mouth-watering masterpiece.

Sauté the red onion n garlic slices in a generous blob of butter on a pan until the onion starts to reduce turns a mild brown n stays a bit soft so that when you bite into in it releases a sweet burst of onion taste on your palate.

Toss the above mix into 2 eggs in a bowl and add the sausage ,chopped green chillies and salt and with a  fork mix thoroughly till the eggs begin to froth  and the sausage is all mashed up and mixed into the whole set of ingredients.

Next take your favourite omelette pan , again add a generous blob of butter on a slightly heated pan , to reduce your guilt use a low fat option , I do – either Lurpack’s latest or any one that you fancy.

Pour onto this pan the omelette mix and cover for sometime as this helps the omelette fluff up and it looks chubby almost and you start to salivate at the every sight if it 😉

Turn it when the sides are done n there is just a bit of centre that needs cooking

I like mine slightly brown if you prefer it to be less well done just flip it sooner n don’t cook it for as long.

Enjoy it with hot buttered toast and as you bit in enjoy the bits of buttery toasted garlic as they hit your tongue and finely balanced by the yummy red onion caramelised to perfection almost.

AAAHHH pure omelette pleasure.

If you do make and enjoy eating this share your partners or husband or children’s reactions, it will surely make me smile.