The past few posts have been serious and too much of anything has its repercussions. So, today we talk happy and sweet mixed with loads of humour. Happy, because Shubham’s landed his first international assignment to work as senior programmer for a first person shooter game. Sweet, for I share a recipe with you all to celebrate Shubham’s entry into the real world of game making. And humour, for it is the spice of life.
Being a foodie, interest in cooking came early and easily to me. I’ve grown up in a big big family, means it’s really big and I’ve had many great teachers who taught me to cook. My mom never tried to curb my zeal for cooking and never forced me to stick to a strict regime of cuts, measures and recipes. My dad gave me two things, one the lesson that one is a good cook if she can serve a decent meal from what she has and not what she can get and the second his willingness to be my guinea pig. Then there was my uncle who couldn’t even boil an egg for many years but gave me a very valuable lesson early in life, “Keep the same ‘cup’ for all measurements.”
I remember the first time I had made chickpeas (chhole). I told my father that the taste was really good but something was missing, it was not how mom made them. He nodded and mentally prepared himself to taste it. One spoonful and he asked, “Did you boil them?” Lesson learnt, soak Chana in warm water, boil before cooking and even after you’ve added them to the curry.
I also remember the first time I made rawa laddoos after marriage. The sugar syrup is a tricky thing and one must get it right which I obviously didn’t. Result they were good enough to play cricket with and would have crossed the boundary every time. I immediately got to do what I did best then, cry! Abhay soaked them all in milk and then we put them through the grinder and finished them by having spoonfuls of a laddoo at a time. It was then that I understood my Nanisa’s advice that there’s a lot of difference between theory and practical.
I very well remember our rickshaw rides from school to station when my friend Julie would tell me all that was there in her refrigerator, from leftovers to fresh veggies and we would plan a meal around it since she was a newly married, inexperienced wife anxious to impress her husband.
The article would be incomplete without the trials my friend and I went through to perfect the ‘Chocoladoos’ ( read ‘shokola’, French for chocolate and ‘doos’ from the very Indian laddoos) a fusion recipe for a cookery competition judged by Sanjeev Kapoor. I had never played with chocolate before and had to make a fusion recipe. I called Rachana who immediately came over. Oh! The number of flavours we tried for the laddoo, with raisins, without raisins, with nuts, without nuts, centre filling, no filling, with and without cocoa powder and Abhay tasting each of them patiently and telling which of those worked and which did not. It was worth all the efforts since it ended up awarding us with the fourth prize out of 35 entries.
The many prizes that I won or have given away as a judge at various cookery competitions have taught me one thing. Cooking is very much like life, keep it simple and uncomplicated let each ingredient unravel its flavour and you’ve got an awesome outcome to experience.
Today, I share the recipe of ‘Sone laddoos’ with you for two reasons. One, because it too won me a prize and go with the name because of their colour. Two, because this was one recipe which I did not get correct but the outcome was great. So, this is a different version of the original recipe which I could not understand and did not get right. Yeah, at times a cut above the rest can also come out of chaos.
Mawa – 250gm
Agre ka petha – 250gm
Dessicated coconut – 1cup
Lemon yellow food colour, dry – 1 to 2 pinches
Few strands of saffron.
Grate mawa and petha separately.Mix together and roll into laddus.Add the food colour in dessicated coconut and roll the laddus in it till you get a nice yellow colour. Garnish with strands of saffron.
These look beautiful yellow on the outside and are white inside.
It would be great if you too share your chaotic kitchen story in the comments section!