Saturday, February 21, 2009

Me and cooking!

Regarding this topic, let me tell you that those people who know me, know that kitchen is one of my least frequented places- not because cooking is one of the things I don't have interest in but because I am not a foodie whatsoever. It will be difficult to find a person who is as indifferent (if I can say that) to food as I am!

If you have read my other posts, you will know that I weigh 50 kgs and I clearly fall in the underweight category. As regards food, I have always seen people around me having strong likes and dislikes about food to the extent that they have so much aversion to some foods that they will just not touch it and other food items that they like, they can have any amount of it! ..............

For me, there are only 2 categories for me- Foods that I prefer and foods that my body doesn't tolerate. I don't have likes and dislikes about food. I am a vegeterian by my own choice and I am proud of that because it is not out of belief or any other reason but because it is my own decision coming out of my nature or understanding or tendencies whatever you can call it.

There are some people who are born in a vegeterian family and because of their family belief or religion are vegeterians and they have never tasted or eaten non-vegeterian food. And this I don't find good because it is just based on their beliefs or fear and that is not a very good thing to base upon and certainly in their sub conscious this thing will remain- the curiosity of tasting non-vegeterian food, about wondering what it is like, about why people all over the world who eat it praise it so much for its taste. They can never be free from it this way.

There was no particular thing about food in our family and so this was never a question for me so I must have had nonvegeterian food 2 or 3 times in my life and I remember vividly the last time I had it mainly because I was thinking about the proteins but I just couldn't get it down my throat. It was so apparent to me all the time I was trying to have it that this was a living thing which was killed, something that had life and now I am consuming what is actually a dead body. The main thing was I was having food at the cost of taking a life and that cannot be acceptable to me. So that was the day I stopped...for good.

Now in this post, I will put up a couple of pictures of the food items I have made.

1) Sabudana Khichdi
As I have already said, I don't have much likes or dislikes about food. I prefer any form of sweet food and avoid too hot or spicy food because I just cannot have it. My body doesn't tolerate it. I am among the rare people who eat every vegetable. But throughout my life, whenever I was asked to name the food that was my favourite, the answer throughout the 24 years has been the same- Sabudana Khichdi

This picture is after I made it just the second time in my life. Now I stay alone with my friends and I made this for myself so I didn't have to do anything fancy and do any decorations or garnishing etc but of course when you make it, you can. By all means go ahead and do it.

I had gone home for a few days and at that time my mother told me about how to make it and I observed it and after coming here made it. If you want to know the recipe, it is quite simple. Here is one way to make it:

-Wash sabudana and soak it for 15 minutes, then drain the water and let it remain for a few hours.
-Chop the potatoes into small cubes.
-Mix crushed groundnuts,sugar and salt and keep aside.
-Heat the oil/ghee in a pan and add mustard seeds. When the mustard seed crackle add cumin seeds, green chillies and curry leaves.
-Add potatoes and stir well. Mix sabudana mixture and mix gently.
-Mix the grated coconut and garnish with coriander leaves.
-Sprinkle some lemon juice over it and serve hot or it can also be taken with curd as it is usually done.

2) Poha :

For the recipe to this-

-Put the poha in a sieve and wash under running water for 2 minutes. Keep aside to drain.
-Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chillies. Fry till the spluttering stops and then add the onion. Fry till soft and translucent.
-Add the peanuts and potatoes and stirring frequently, cook for 2-3 minutes.
-Drain the poha completely to remove all water and add it to the above mix. Add the turmeric powder and stir well to blend all ingredients.
-Cook for another minute. Turn off the fire. Pour lime juice over the poha and mix well.

Poha is a dish that I hadn't given a lot of thought to up to this time but after coming to Mumbai, where it is a standard breakfast dish along with Upma and others, I started having it in college and started liking it a lot and that was the first thing I started having at my room too in the evening. It too is quite simple to make and good to have.

Now I never showed much interest in cooking from the beginning but I did like it to some extent because to me it is also an Art. And somehow I always knew and felt that this was something if and when I got into it, I would like it and do it well too. It is interesting indeed and you can innovate and experiment and someone who does it well is my sister whose blog covers it extensively. You can see it here- Nikita's Blog.

In fact in my family, all are great cooks! Definitely my mother and even my father! I feel that if there is a competition of all the fathers in a society or any other place for cooking, my father will win it unless some one's father is a chef by profession! But if that is the case, chefs wouldn't be allowed in the competition then..would they? So yes, my father would win!

Interesting Fact - When the famous explorer Marco Polo returned to his homeland of Italy, from China in 1295, he brought back a recipe (among other things). The recipe, was a Chinese recipe for a desert called "Milk Ice." However, Europeans substituted cream for the milk, and voila..."Ice Cream." Ice cream has been a hit ever since!

Madeleines on Foodista
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