Friday, March 30, 2007

Experiments in Cooking and Me..

I am writing this post because I am happy I concealed the lauki (bottle gourd as they say in English) in a dal and had my husband eat it with relish. But mainly because I knew all of you are missing me. I can get quite self-praising (is that the word?) at times, as you can see.
Is your husband a fussy eater? Husband species are meant to be fussy, I believe. I had chanced upon a wonderful methi matar malai recipe on the net and also had methi at home. But I didn’t have enough time to prepare it, starting with separating the methi leaves. I saw a nice, small and tender lauki at Nilgiris’ newly started vegetable section and I knew I had to buy it. I was looking for some vegetable which will be fast to cut and this lauki fit the bill and making it tempting was the fact that it was so tender and without seeds. I don’t like lauki seeds. That is not being fussy. Ok?
But the problem was making my husband eat lauki. I thought of mixing it in dal. He really likes dal. I went home. Took out a cup of toor dal, then I thought let me mix in a bit of masoor, then a bit of chana dal and then yellow moong dal. The dals look lovely and specially the masoor adding orange to yellow. Washed them and kept it soaking in water. Ok, now I am telling you the recipe so that you can get your husbands to eat lauki ;)
See, now I consider myself a recipe guru. Yes, the continuation of the self-praising phase.
I cut the lauki into small pieces and added to the dal(s) and cooked it in pressure cooker along with salt till it gets mushy. You can see the lauki pieces among the dal if you look hard. Till then I put rice to cook and went about tackling the methi which needed immediate attention. Till the dal cooked, I got all the methi leaves in Ziploc bag and hoped they will stay till I get time to cook them. I also got 2 small onions, 3 garlic cloves, 2 green chillies and 3 small tomatoes cut into small pieces. Now take a kadhai and put some oil, add mustard seeds and jeera and hing. Add the onions, garlic and chillies.
When onions are done, add tomatoes and haldi and let it cook till tomatoes are almost mashed. Add this to the cooker. I did this coz adding the dal to kadhai was more difficult :)
Add everest garam masala, little bit of sugar and chopped coriander. Let it boil. This is quite thick in consistency. We had it with paratha and curd and rice. If you are wondering, where did the parathas came from, well, I had the dough ready in the fridge and my experience says old dough makes better roti/paratha. Maybe its just one of my weird beliefs.
For once, I got a good result from my cooking experiments.

Similar thing can be done to brinjal, karela. But this will be more of sambar style with tamarind, jaggery and maybe sambar masala instead of garam masala. I am yet to try it with my husband. This will be more challenging than the lauki.

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