I’ve been wanting to bake a ratatouille for a while now, and an opportunity presented itself last weekend. I’d decided to throw a small banquet on the occasion of my birthday, and had called a few friends over. Ratatouille was to be the first item on the menu— a super simple vegetarian starter.
I’m always on the lookout for easy recipes that are quick to put together and cook up, while also being nutritious— a perfect workday meal. This recipe was a product of things I found in my fridge and pantry that I realised would work beautifully in a roast.
The average and sometime sub-par canteen and mess food of my college years often saw us venturing out to restaurants for a culinary break of sorts, where the dish that nearly everyone would most easily agree on ordering was Palak Paneer. When in doubt, order Palak Paneer.
Delhi carrots have been in season for a while, and one of the best things to do with them is to turn them into delicious Gajar halwa— a light (if prepared this way) and relatively healthy preparation for the winters. This is something I cook up more than twice a year, and have been working on a recipe that maximises its nutritive value (in providing adequate fibre, beta carotene and potassium).
I’ve been contemplating buying a deep fryer for the longest time, with a list of recipes to try out (samosas and super crisp French fries top this list). While I was researching samosas the other day I realised that one of the qualities that makes a samosa delicious is its explosively crunchy and super flaky crust, with the flavour of salt and ajwain within it.
Today is Onam. Though I’m not cooking up a hardcore Onam lunch, designed to knock the persons experiencing it into a food coma, I decided to make something that to me is symbolic of Kerala, and home (even though it might not be necessarily part of an Onam lunch). Coconut chutney is the ubiquitous component of almost every south Indian breakfast, whether it be served with idlis, dosas or even poha (they used to do this at the college canteen at CEPT, it was an oddly fantastic combination).
This is a strange transition month. Circumstances have rendered me homeless for exactly the month of August, and I’ve been relegated to a sort of frontier living. I have at my disposal one knife, one skillet and once saucepan, so everything I cook for the days ahead have to be worked out with this limited set of implements and utensils.
Spaghetti aglio e olio is one of my lazy day staples. If you’re quick and careful, you can easily put this together in just around 13 minutes. Traditionally, spaghetti aglio e olio is meant to be a celebration of the quality of the best olive oil money can buy, but when I make it (with my imported brand of olive oil of questionable repute), I also throw in some mushrooms to up the nutritive value of the dish.
Mulberries are amongst the most underrated fruits that are available quite freely here in Bombay. Their simple mild sweetness possibly doesn’t compete with the strength of other fruit flavours like mango and strawberries, but they do contribute beautifully to pies and tarts.
I love pizzas because they’re such a breeze to prepare and there’s really no limit to the flavour you can pile onto it. The one in the picture above is a lamb pepperoni pizza laid out on a base of caramelised onions (sliced onions, sautéed in olive oil with a teaspoon of honey), mozzarella cheese (I tucked a few globs of mozzarella under each little lip of pepperoni, and over it too, which is why it’s so gooey and melty in the picture).