Yes, I know what you’re thinking. A recipe for Masala Fried Fish?? I mean, how basic right?! You chuck some chili and turmeric paste and deep fry the fish and it’s done. Fini. Like honestly, why even bother listing it here. But I have, because we make this at home very often and it’s used as a bait to eat the rasam rice. It’s part of the family repertoire of quick fix meals when all we want to do is put our legs up and chill or in most cases, order in some greasy Chinese.
On cold rainy days like these, my mother-in-law, (whom I prosaically call Aunty) would suggest a warming Mutton Curry for dinner. As a child, mutton was never on my wish list for special Sunday lunches. I found the meat chewy and stringy and never got accustomed to the strong flavor of an older sheep. Whenever my mother made mutton at home, there would be a general consensus that I would not be partaking of any. My mother herself never bothered to expand her repertoire of mutton dishes (save the Mutton Chops recipe and an occasionally Curry) because excluding herself and my grandmother, no one really cared for it. My vegetarian father was happy with his Buss Saaru (Greens and lentil curry) and I was happy with my chicken kabab and that was that.
Give me a recipe for Chingri Malaikari and I’m going to make it. The idea of pink prawns floating around in a fiery-sweet silky curry is too much for me to resist. This Bengali preparation is always on my order list whenever I go to Oh! Calcutta, Bhojohori Manna or Esplanade. I can’t really say which one is my favorite because each time I eat it, I am lost in the delicate flavours of this exquisite curry.
I’m not certain we can call this Biryani in the purest sense of the word. But the debate on what constitutes Biryani has been raging for decades and I don’t have the time or the inclination to delve into its subtleties. For me, Biryani will always be a one-pot meal of rice and meat cooked together with spices, served with aplomb on a Sunday afternoon. Sundays would be incomplete without Biryani in our house, though logically it had no place in Andhra-Karnataka cuisine.
It’s an oxymoron, Salad Pizza. But seemingly disparate things do seem to find a place in my heart and my kitchen. I can’t really take credit for this pizza idea. I chanced across this in a darling little pizza joint that’s opened close to my house. (Review soon enough…). Tomatoes and Arugula on a Crisp Pizza base! With the recent bumper luck of arugula availability at my door step – it’s also super easy to make.
Bisi Bele Bath – the Kanndigas answer to dal kichidi, but with so much more pizzaz! As a Bangalorean, you can’t escape this dish – every Udupi restaurant or darshni worth its salt, will inevitably list it on its menu. There is nothing more satisfying or comforting that digging into a plate of steaming hot (bisi) lentil rice (bele bath). The accompanying chips, mixture or boondi just adds to the heavenly experience. And to top it all off is Ghee…the mother of all flavour enhancers and my personal favourite fatty item 🙂
I always have a Goa Hangover. Every time I visit the place I get back little pieces of Goa to cling to, till I can actually visit again. People will get back souvenirs, but for me it’s always been about the food. The Goa Pao, the Balchao, the Xacuti masala, the Rum Balls, the Bebinca and the Chourico.
‘Let’s meet for dinner’ during my college days, almost always meant ‘Let’s go out for Chinese food’. The décor in all Chinese restaurants was the same – dimly lit with red lanterns and tables covered with a red cotton tablecloth where a single red rose stood proud in a small white ceramic vase. Old timers will remember Continental on Residency Road being one of the upmarket Chinese restaurants. For me it was synonymous with fine dining because (ahem) it had a small waterfall in the entrance!