It was about 3yrs back, I was entering a new territory, a new job with new surroundings, new colleagues, new targets and pressures. I used to feel lost at times and my best friend in that hostile situation used to be the library, where I could spend a decent time reading various books, either work related or even others too.
Apart from the personal time that I used to spend in the library, I had to compulsorily use three quarters of an hour on records in the reference section. The reference section had books of all kinds, from literature and history to modern technology. And amongst all these books were a few cookbooks too which I could not touch during my officially allotted time but on other days, I could use them.
There were books on Cooking as a science and few cookbooks in the reference section. Amongst, all these books related to cooking, my favorite book was Nita Mehta’s Vegetarian Curries. This book has very nice collection of veg curries made using day to day spices. These are regular veggies cooked with a difference but no elaborate steps to follow. I started noting down recipes from the book into my diary and thought that I would try them one by one. But my job became very hectic, the day to day cooking itself had become very difficult for me but I managed somehow..and then one fine day we got our transfer orders and I had to quit my job and move..
Till recently, the recipes and my diary took a back seat for one or the other reason, one can see that from the number of blog posts per month. But about a few weeks back when I was cleaning book shelves, I landed on my old diaries and I started flipping through the pages, that’s when I landed on the recipes I had copied from Nita Mehta’s cookbook.
I was too tempted to try them at once and this particular recipe using the Pointed Gourd (Parwal) had taken preference as it used a pressure cooker for the ‘Dum Cooking’ making it a faster cooking method. Moreover, this particular recipe didn’t ask for any grinding or any exotic methods to try. The only thing required was chopping and thanks to my decent knife skills, I manage that well.
To go with the curry, which I realized might turn out a semi thick curry, I wanted to make a healthy flatbread. Recently, during a discussion on FB, a blogger friend asked what she could do with flax seeds and I had suggested that she could add it in the regular chapatis/ phulka. After mentioning her that I castigated myself as I also had a packet of the flax seeds which I had been postponing to use. I decided to use it immediately and it so happened that I also knew exactly what to cook with it..This was a recipe which had made a mark in my brain with it’s sheer simplicity and health benefits. It’s a recipe that I had read in Madhu Gadia’s The Indian Vegan Kitchen.
I must tell my readers here that the curry is not a vegan preparation but the flatbread is. The combination of the curry and flatbread turned out simply superb. My family enjoyed the lunch and S was simply happy with the preparations and the combo. The flatbread is good with the health benefits of flax seeds. What more do I need, a smile from the family after eating a hearty meal, that’s my bonus, that’s my increment.
Preparation Time: 15mins | Cooking Time: 20mins | Serves: 3-4 | Difficulty Level: Easy
Ingredients For Dum Parwal ( adapted from Nita Mehta’s cookbook)
5-6 Pointed gourd ( parwal) tippped, lightly peeled and cut into halves
4-5 baby potatoes, peeled or 1 potato, cubed
2tsp freshly made ginger garlic paste
2tomatoes, chopped finely
1large or 2medium onions, sliced
1/2 cup yogurt, smoothened
2tbsp oil + 2tbsp clarified butter (ghee)
1/2tsp cumin seeds
1mace leaf (javitri) powdered
1tbsp coriander powder
1-1/2tsp chili powder
1/2tsp turmeric powder
1/2tsp garam masala powder
2-3 black cardamom
2-3 small pieces of cinnamon
Heat the oil and ghee together in a pressure pan and fry the pointed gourd and potatoes lightly, to a golden color.
To the remaining oil, which would be around 3table spoons, tip in the cumin seeds. Once the seeds crackle, add the whole spices. Do this process on a medium flame else the hot oil burns the spices.
Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté to remove the raw smell. Add the sliced onions and sauté till golden in color.
Add the tomatoes and salt to taste. Cook till tomatoes are done. Add the dry spices and cook for a minute.
Remove from the fire and add the beaten yogurt and mix. Put back on fire and cook on low heat till the oil separates.
Tip in the garam masala and mace powder.
Add the fried veggies and a cup of water.
Pressure cook up to a whistle.
Let the pressure drop and then check for the consistency of the curry.
Preparation Time: 5mins | Standing Time: 10mins | Cooking Time Per Roti: 1min | Makes:8-10 | Serves: 3-4 | Difficulty Level: Needs Skill
Ingredients For Flax Seed Flat Bread ( adapted from Madhu Gadia’s Cookbook)1-1/2cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup besan (Bengal gram flour) or Soya Flour
2-3tsp flax seed meal
water to knead
2-3 drops oil
wheat flour for rolling
MethodMake a soft dough using the ingredients, apply oil and let the dough rest for 10mins.
Divide the dough into 8-10 portions. Make balls and flatten them.
Using dry wheat flour, roll the roti into a thin disc.
Cook it like a regular roti on a griddle and puff it directly on the flame.
Apply clarified butter on the flatbread/rotis (optional) else apply oil lightly. This keeps rotis soft for a longer time.
Serve hot as these flatbread/ rotis might become dry after sometime.
Sending it to my event ‘Only’- Cooking From Cookbooks guest hosted by Gauri.