Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Memories for future

I am not sure if I mentioned this earlier on my blog; mostly not! In the early weeks of my son’s birth, my husband came up with a cool idea – creating an email account for him; and mailing him from now on, anything. It could be updates about him.

I liked the idea and I created a gmail account for him. And since then I have mailed him...quite a few times! In the early weeks of course it was difficult to find time really, and later there were so many developments, I moved back to my home in Bangalore, then to the US…etc. So while adjusting to these changes, I lost track of mailing him.

After 5 months I today mailed him. Subject – Some updates J. I mentioned all the transitions and milestones he has been accomplishing since my last mail. One of his recent behaviors is that he is kinda scared of the mixer and vacuum noises! He wasn’t like this when we moved here. I use the mixer everyday to puree his food to feed him. So it’s unavoidable! And the times when I have to blend for dosa/idli batter; it’s crazy!

He is not a crying baby, he very rarely cries..but for the mixer and vacuum he cries terribly. Yesterday, my husband was with him and I warned him that I need to blend the tomato chutney so he is going cry now when I turn on the mixer! And as expected he burst into tears and loud cry..even with my husband being right next to him.

He was seeing me across the kitchen counter and still cried. So my husband and I both got a thought-that he might not be scared of the sound really; somewhere in his tiny mind he might be thinking that mommy is getting hurt L. May be that is why he breaks into a loud burst of cry! Like any 9 month baby he is very attached to me.

I have tried holding him and turning on the mixer to show him what it is and where does the noise come from. It’s my way to get him familiar with things; like I used to hold him and stand in front of the Indian pressure cooker to show him where does the whistle noise and white mist comes from. Somehow the fear of mixer noise is not going away.

Very often we think what he could be thinking! Since he was little my husband has been fascinated by this – what do babies think? If there was some device to find it out! 

So hopefully these mails will be fun for him and us in future to read!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sunday “Shudh Desi” Brunch

Yes, as planned yesterday today’s Sunday brunch was ever comforting pure Indian delicacy – Pav Bhaji. The bunch of Pav (dinner rolls) were waiting all night. I woke up at 8am and started off prepping all vegetables. Also got to use the complimentary food processor I got in my Oster kitchen mixer/blender package for the vegetables. Made my vegetable chopping so quick, with my husband’s help we quickly finished cleaning and chopping all the vegetables and set up the cooker! Aarav was busy crawling all over the kitchen floor around our legs. He also got his share of vegetable mix for lunch!

11 am and Sunday brunch was ready. Buttery pan-roasted Pav with spicy yummy steaming hot bhaji with a garnish of crispy onion and green cilantro and a dash of lemon juice! What a hearty warm meal for cold Sunday! That’s a good end to the long weekend of Thanksgiving!

My Father’s perfect recipe for the Bhaji, for those interested!
Pav-Bhaji: for 10 persons.
Ingredients: Vegetables– Capsicum, Carrot, Green Peas, Green Beans, Cauliflower, Tomatoes, potatoes 250 gram each and one onion.
Spices – Ginger- 10gm, Garlic – 10 gm (10 –15 pieces), four green Chilies, Tamarind - 2–3 gm, pav-Bhaji masala, Sambar masala.
Wash nicely all these vegetables before cutting and cooking.
Preparation: Fine chop capsicum, carrot, green beans, cauliflower and potatoes. Except capsicum cook all other vegetables in cooker till it whistles 6-8 times. Make paste of ginger, garlic, Green chilies and tamarind in mixer. Chop tomatoes in small pieces. Cut the onion in thin slices.
Making Bhaji: Heat a big pan/vessel. Put in100 gm edible oil. Once oil is warm add one small spoon mustard seeds in the oil. Add thin chopped onion and fry it till it turns little brown. Add chopped capsicum and fry it till half cooked (10-12 minutes). Then add above paste and fry for 2 minutes.  Add chopped tomatoes and fry it well for 5-6 minutes. Press this capsicum & Tomatoes well by some pressing tool like a masher. Then add vegetables cooked in cooker and mash it well with above tool. Add 25 gm pav bhaji masala and 25 gm sambar masala. Add salt as per your taste. Cook the whole stew for another 10-15 minutes. Serve with chopped coriander leaves and fine chopped onion, as you like.  
You can use other vegetables as per your choice and availability. If green chillies are big then use 2 or 3 only. Nicely mash all the vegetables till it turns in paste form or homogeneous mixture.

Bon App├ętit!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

French Croissants and Indian Pav!

Step by step - from left anticlockwise
I am late by a fortnight in posting about my croissants! I had been mentioning it for so long …and finally I took up what seemed like a herculean baking task. I kind of kept it as a mark of achievement; if I can make croissants then I am here to stay in the world of baking.

Final product - Croissants
Started off on the 2 day process from Friday morning, planning to have croissants for Saturday breakfast. Coming straight to the point, the final result of croissants were good.. I wouldn’t say excellent. As they were not flaky like I wanted them to be; the store bought croissants are flaky like puffs. My croissants were soft and buttery and yummy but not the exact texture I was aiming at. I have learnt a bunch of things that can be done differently next time, which can get me closer to the flaky croissants. For now, these are good to move on! I am proud to have reached this milestone on my baking journey!

Home made Pav bread - dinner rolls
The long weekend of Thanksgiving is on here and we are at home for 4 days. The weather here in Nashville is very very cold; as cold as -6 degC. And having an 8 month old makes it even more difficult to step out of the house! The second day was bright and sunny so we stepped out for some lunch and Indian grocery shopping. It’s been a while since I made Pav Bhaji and have been craving to eat it. But every time I want to make it, one of the vegetable is missing in my refrigerator! But this weekend I have all the ingredients to make my Father’s special Pav Bhaji! To make it more exciting, I decided to make homemade Pav, another first time baking experience. They are so so simple to make!
Shiny butter glaze top
So Sunday special menu is fixed – Can’t wait to get up tomorrow morning and cook up some yummy Bhaji to go with the Pav ready on the kitchen counter!