May 21, 2010

Our Kitchen Rules - 1

Of late, my hubby and I have been a lot into cooking new recipes, thanks to Masterchef Australia. Unlike the reality show, we are neither time bound nor bothered about any elimination. Come on ya..we are cooking for our own fun! I have found cooking lot more fun with a company and music played in background.

2 weeks back, on saturday morning we both decided upon the dishes we were planning to try our hands on and shopped the necessary things. A lot of planning goes into preparing not-so-common dishes. Believe me or not, if the fridge had eyes, it would have burst into tears!

We first split the dishes into 2 each. I was to prepare Kofta Noor Jahani (Courtesy:,Vegetable Pulao and Tomato-Parsley-Celery soup. My hubby is more enthusiatic in trying challenging recipes (I know it should be other way round but..have you heard of exceptions?), hence his share was to cook Lasagne and Capsicum stuffed Mexican rice with mint+yoghurt sauce. By this time it was 5 PM, so we planned to carry over the preparation to the next day if we didn't finish everything that evening.

We, the chefs sprang into action! My first job was to prepare the koftas. It's bit more elaborate compared to the ordinary koftas involving boiling potatos, carrots and onions and shredding the same on cooling. The stuffing consisted of shredded carrot+ raisins, the sauce onion + cashewnut paste and fresh cream. I know you are pointing to your waistline, but you can indulge once in a while ;-)

Meanwhile hubby was busy preparing the various layers for lasagne. He used zucchini and eggplant as main veggies. He made the tomato-onion pasta sauce from scratch!

OMG he has so much of patience when it comes to complexities (exception no. 2). Thanks to little distractions in between, my preparation got delayed by when the betterhalf had put the lasagne into the oven.

My first attempt of frying the kofta balls were an utter disaster..;( The balls got stuck to the frying pan and started crumbling into pieces. I was this close to tears and hardly had anytime to think of alternatives. That is when I remembered that Amma used to roll these balls in flour before frying. That tip proved handy and I did the same.The remaining balls came out into perfect golden brown koftas! effort didn't go wasted. 

I set the koftas aside and made the sauce which was my cup of tea. By the time I finished my recipe 1, the buzzer in the oven went on and lasagne was ready! Hubby's ordeal was a great success except for one layer bit uncooked. We decided to feed our tired bodies some delicious lasagne. Oops we we so much into eating that we forgot to take photos of lasagne..;)

With this ended our mission for day 1.

I started my cooking for Day 2 (Sunday) making Vegetable Pulao. It's nothing fancy but traditional using carrot, potato, cauliflower, beans, capsicum and required spices. So we had Vegetable Pulao and Kofta Noor Jahani for Sunday brunch. It was a good effort except for a bit strong garlic smell from the kofta sauce. Otherwise we enjoyed it.

                                                        Above is the pulao with koftas and stuffed celery sticks around them.

After rested for a while, we started our final lap of cooking for the weekend. It was hubby's turn to prepare Capsicum stuffed mexican rice with mint+yoghurt sauce. I made the celery+parsley+tomato soup which was quite simple. Hubby meticolously followed the recipe and we enjoyed the mexican dinner thoroughly.

Capsicum stuffed with Mexican rice and soup

We enjoyed every bit of cooking. We are planning to have more such weekends dedicated for cooking innovative recipes leisurely. Here are some findings I learnt from this cooking spree:

Cooking is like any other art and needs to be performed with all due respect. Its not something magical, on the other hand depends on our sincerity and dedication.
Cultinary skills are governed by simple rules -
  • Proper ingredients/if not suitable substitutes
  • Follow recipe closely
  • Correct measurement
  • Sensible shortcuts
  • Stick to timing
  • Most importantly "Cook happily and serve with all love!"
Bon appetit

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