Tuesday, May 30, 2006

It is the perfect end to a not-so-perfect day. My dal rocks. My mother always feels a little sorry that I have to cook for myself, I always try and assure her that for me it is not a chore but a decompressing, therapeutic act. I have inherited some of my father's meticulousness and a lot of my mother's intuition in that regard and all in all, I am an involved cook. And most of the stuff that emerges from my swanky white stove (electric albeit) is almost always edible.

Some of my favourite projects:
1.Pesto: By far, the easiest condiment and I hyperbolate in calling this a project. All it requires is a good parmigiano reggiano and fresh basil leaves (and no, the tulsi in my amma's backyard, I doubt, will work). Works beautifully with spaghetti and even better as a dip or on sandwiches with mozzarella.
2. Rajma: Second on my list of comfort foods. Mine never turns out near as well as my mom's, but adding pomegranate seeds I figured, adds a little kick.
3. Pasta: Farfalle mainly and spaghetti these days; some squash, some roasted peppers, no sauce (marinara or alfredo or otherwise), lots of coriander and oregano and of course, parmesan to top it all
4. My friend R also showed me how to make some rather simple and delicious Turkish dishes (she's an elaborate and fantastic cook, so I can barely imitate the simpler ones in her repertoire), one of these just being green beans with tomatoes and olive oil or Zeytinyagli Taze Fasülye
5. Tomato and avocado soup: Precisely what the title says; easy, healthy and perfect for a hot summer day (tastes like a cross between guacamole and tomato soup)
6. Dal in myriad forms (moong, toor, chana, et al) and multiple regionalities
7. Pongal gothsu: I tried my hand at this recently and it came out perfect. Really esy and the tamarind in the gothsu is so so so good!
8. Penang curry: Alright, I cheat a little on this one and buy the chilly paste, but butternut squash is the perfect veggie addition -- totally melts in your mouth
9. And last, but not the least, the queen of comfort food, the ludicruously easy to make and wonderful to eat, thayir saadam, or in other words, plain curd rice (lots of ginger, curry leaves and mustard added of course - with onion sambar)

Alas, alack, I cannot however, make rotis. And as I type and salivate over my keyboard and as my dal boils in the background, I wish I could...my ghetto blaster meanwhile plays the food song from "Duplicate"...yes, the one that goes like this.