One person’s comfort food…

A friend recently put up a post on FB (where else?) asking everyone about their comfort food…

Now, comfort food in that string of comments was decribed as:  “foods that make you go uuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….. and make you tingle!!”; “things that remind one of childhood” and “lift-me-up foods”. So now you all have an idea of what’s coming up…

I think it’s a fantastic topic… and the list of foods made me really think of some very basic stuff that we‘ve all grown up on, that now gives us the emotional comfort. A hark back on our carefree days when eating and playing was mostly what we did! And makes us think of our Moms and Dads, siblings, good times, picnics, falling sick and getting well again…. And also a reminder that we needn’t fuss with our kids too much… they should also have some simple home-made foods and some junk to be a part of what they look back on.

(Disclaimer: None of the following list is my thought … except my comments somewhere in the list… all credit goes to my friend, and her friends and their fond memories. And of course FB!)

This is a list of verbatim – comments and food items that makes you go ummmmmmmmmm:

  • Idli sambhar, chicken curry and rice, wheatabix+milk
  • Cheesy pizza, chicken soup, nirula’s burger, filet o fish at McD, pasta, masala dosa
  • Maggi
  • Dominos thin crust pizza loaded with chicken toppings and mexican herbs, a chocolate filled donut glazed with sugar and cinnamon, the brownie soft serve at mcdonalds, chicken nuggets
  • Butterscotch Sundae at Nirula’s – which is discontinued, Goey Choc cake/ brownie, grilled/ glazed/ full roasted chicken – aromatic , chhena murkhi
  • Toasted bread soaked in yummy butter is my fav too… i rem being sick, this is all i could eat! a nice veg soup, with butter swimming on the top and fried bread! aloo gobhi with lots of dhania with a crunchy paratha… yumm! non toasted white bread with butter… reminds me of childhood… crispy aloo chat – delhi style!
  • Small round kinda hard but juicy rasgullas! and a DIIIIIGGGG on those haldirams ka tinned rasgullas
  • Chicken soup with those yummy butter drenched breadsticks, Gobhi paratha with white makhan, Steaming momos with the hot red sauce they give, Maggie (ditto Dev) made with loads of butter and Goan suusages with white bread
  • Chocolates and more chocolates
  • Maggi, cheesy pasta
  • Chocolates and coffee
  • Maggi and cakes and fried food
  • Poha,uttapam,mutton ka achaar with cheese bread
  • BBT (bread butter toast), Bagel & cream cheese, toasted bread sandwich with onions & tomatoes, aaloo parathas with ghar ka bana white makhan & aam ka acchar, matar pulao, missi roti & lassi,sarson ka saag, mom made sweet churma & laddoos, garlic bread with loads of garlic, cheesy white sauce pasta, britannia cake, golguppas, freshly BBQed chicken, muffins
  • Dal-chawal with ghee-zeera-mirchi tadka on a winter night, and Nirula’s ka hot chocolate fudge with double nuts in summer. Also love pasta in cream sauce, fruit cake with coffee. aloo-tamatar with pooris
  • Chocolate hot caramel coffee
  • Chocolates anyday! Followed closely by stir fry chicken and paratha
  • Plain toor dal rice with ghee and home made aachar……have to have it after every day or two
  • Dry chilli paneer …fried rice…n sumtimes bread pakoras with chutney and beans aloo
  • Bread pakoda with chutney… i like a specific kind of khichdi (not the ‘you’re sick’ kinds)with dahi and chutney…. home-made plain chicken soup
  • Homemade rajma chawal anyday,hot batata wadas from pune streets, aloo gobhi with lots of green dhaniya and fluffy phulkas, dal-tadka rice
  • Desi chowmein! Pakoda and chai! Arhar ki daal and chawal!
  • Cheese omelette with buttered toast!

Does this make your mouth water or what? How many times were butter toast, dal and Maggi mentioned! 🙂  Well, think about your own list, and don’t forget to add to the comments below 🙂

Easy on the starters..

So I always had this funda about starters… should be nice, bite sized, mostly non-veg (since I am one, and many of our friends and family too), must be interesting looking…. Hors d’oeuvre … such a fancy name, conjuring fancy images in my head….. As a result everything depended on me being creative, spending hours shopping for thr right thing, looking at many recipes…

I used to slog over recipes (so difficult to find easy, starters that looked and tasted exotic etc, right?), preparing them when I called people over for dinner. And of course, since I had learnt from my mom, I used to slog over the rest of the meal also. As you can guess, such parties were the death of me… no fun, only slogging and then wondering about how everyone is liking it, will hate me… and so on.

Well, older wiser, more mature… and more easy going (something my husband is trying hard to inculcate). I whip up starers in no time now. The secret? Loosen up the definition of starters… and loosen up my perceptions of the perfect starter. Perfect starter = what people enjoy + what I can prepare with less effort!! So I grate a little cheese over Monacos (a very old trick, but in my earlier books it was too easy and hence not happening) and garnish with a wee bit of mint, fresh cut vegetables (called crudites) like spring onion, carrots, radish, cucumber and with that prepare dips by mixing up sauces and other market available dips, serve our good ol Indian chaat options (sev puri is my favourite now), cut up chicken cubes and throw them in a wok with some oil, salt and chilly flakes (how easy is that!!)…

Bruschetta is actually a really easy thing to make, and you can make your own easy versions with Jamie Oliver’s ready to use fantastic spread, dips and mixes (another blog on this later)… Its more about imagination. Imaging a dish, imagining an easy dish, imaginging cooking easy dishes … be creative, but also relaxed… that’s my mantra now…. 🙂