Photo walking into 맛있는 한국 점심 식사 *

Last Friday, we took up Grace on her offer of a Korean cooking demo, and combined our photography session with a Korean lunch. We learnt to make kim-bap Korean rolls, customised to our individual preferences. What you need is a sheet of seaweed, layered with cooked rice, some pickled, sautéed, nicely chopped veggies, eggs, sausages, all rolled expertly together with a mat, and voilà!

And then you cut them up neatly with a sharp knife and not too much pressure.

That wasn’t all we had. While Grace put out a few more delicious dishes, we practised some food photography.

She served Dwenjang Chigae (forgive me if I spell everything wrong) – a stew with rice, and some side dishes, by which time we were too hungry to take pictures, plus the most delicious sweet potato laddoos (I have no idea what is the Korean word for that) to top a fine morning of hard work 😉 and indulgence.

* A Delicious Korean Lunch

The Pumpkin Chronicles #7: Marathi-style Raita/Bharit

Not the best of pictures, but hey, it's delicious

Not the best of pictures, but hey, it’s delicious

You can eat all over the world and the taste that appeals the most is the one back home. I took a little trip to my Marathi roots to make this dish that I’ve tasted only at my grandmom’s. And shame on me, I had to look up the recipe on the internet. Bhoplyacha bharit/ raita is an easy, quick cook dish that tastes mmm…yummy.

Modified the recipe to use the ingredients at home:

Red pumpkin, peeled, cut into cubes (2 cups). Zapped in the microwave for 4 minutes, without water, cooked covered, until they were soft but not squishy. I needed to check after every minute. Once they are done, mash them a little, leaving them lumpy, then let cool.

½ cup yoghurt, mixed with a couple of chopped green chilies, salt, 2 tsp coarse peanut powder (danyacha kuut), ½ tsp ginger paste.

To the cooled pumpkin, I added a simple tadka of mustard, asafoetida, curry leaves, and dried red chilli, then mixed the yoghurt, and voila! It’s ready to eat. I enjoyed it for lunch, dinner and breakfast!



The Pumpkin Chronicles #6: Roll Cake with Cream Cheese Filling

I think I enjoy all the savoury pumpkin dishes much more than the sweet ones. However, every once in a while comes along a temptation that I just can’t resist.

Pumpkin roll cake 001I’ve ruined a roll cake once before, but that wasn’t a good enough reason to give up. They always sound easy. Apparently learning nothing from the failure, I messed up all over again. Now I want to document this learning: let the filling and the cake cool in the fridge before combining, otherwise you end up with the creamy stuff squirting out of the ends, leaving you a lot of cleaning to do. Fortunately, I had the entire cake rolled in some cling film, and all the cream cheese stayed within.

Finally I had a pumpkin roll cake with cream cheese filling, except that the best way to present it was like Stonehenge. Bite into it though, and with the burst of cinnamon flavour, all is forgiven!

The Pumpkin Chronicles #5: Pumpkin & Chickpea Fritters

Pumpkin tikkis 001

That pumpkin in going into everything, so why not some tikkis too? Inspired by a recipe online, I mixed pumpkin purée and grated pumpkin with cooked & drained chickpeas (mashed) and a boiled potato. Some freshly grated ginger, finely chopped green chilies for a little kick, and a roll around in some breadcrumbs to hold it all together. Shallow fried, and served hot with a green coriander & mint chutney. Very satisfying!

I did figure later that just the grated pumpkin (minus the purée) would probably be better to keep the mixture from getting too soft.

The Pumpkin Chronicles #4: Bhoplyacha cake with tup-sakhar icing*

Pumpkin cakeI’ve made this pumpkin cake (*recipe by Martha Stewart: Pumpkin cake with brown butter icing) enough of times that Souvik associates pumpkins only with cake. The brown butter is almost like ghee, and I like to think it is such a Marathi recipe. It looks a bit crazy with the caramelised walnuts, and I went mad with all the extra caramel that stretched out in thin long golden strands. Not just a little mad.

Martha’s cake looks neat and yummy. Mine just had a bad hair day. Thankfully most of the caramel strands melted down at room temperature and simply smeared all over the cake by the time we got down to eating it.

Over the years, all those doubting Thomases who can’t imagine what pumpkin would do to a cake have eaten a slice of humble pie with every bite!

The Pumpkin Chronicles #3: Kaddu ki Roti

Indian recipes for cooking pumpkin (kaddu = pumpkin) are better than anything else I’ve seen on the internet! Last night we had this rustic roti recommended by a friend, teamed with a mild cucumber and mint raita. Tasty it was, and healthy was a bonus. I was lucky to find bajra flour in the Indian store, and wasted no time in attempting this new dish. Thanks, Bhavna!

It’s started snowing on my blog :-). I love that!


The Pumpkin Chronicles #2: Spicy Red Patio

Don’t ask my why this dish is called patio. Whatever the reason, if you like spicy, this one is addictive!

Spicy red bhaji 001

Reva emailed the recipe a while back, and I’ve made it a couple of times. Here’s how:

Red pumpkin patio (4 servings)

Ingredients: ½ kg red pumpkin, 1 large onion finely sliced, 2 tsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp oil, 1 tsp sugar, salt to taste, grind into a paste the following: 6 cloves garlic (¾ tsp), 2 tsp cumin seeds, 3 dried red Kashmiri chillies, 1 medium onion

Method: Peel the pumpkin and remove the seeds. Cut into 2 cm cubes. In a pan, heat oil, fry the sliced onion until soft but not brown. Add the masala paste and cook for 5 minutes. Add pumpkin, salt, ⅓ cup water (I end up adding some more), bring to a boil, then cover and cook on low heat till the pumpkin is tender (about an hour). Mash the pumpkin in the pan. Add lemon juice and sugar (I skip the sugar, as the pumpkin is sweet already) and simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot with rice.

Finger-licking good!