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 #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 #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!

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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!

 

The Pumpkin Chronicles #1: Spicy Soup

Driving to Tangkuban Perahu near Bandung, you can’t miss these fresh vegetable and fruit stalls.

Farm fresh veggies

Therefore, stopping on the way back to buy a few is a given. This week Souvik went to Bandung on work, and I asked him and the driver to get me a couple of pumpkins. They came back with 9.

NINE? Yeah.

Pumpkins

After laughing my head off, I was rather taken up with the idea of cooking them in as many different ways as possible. Friends are sending me suggestions and recipes, and I’m gonna try as many as I can until we get sick of eating pumpkin. Oh we’ll invite people to share too. Until they get sick of us.

Started off the challenge with puréeing 3 of them. Dinner tonight was pumpkin soup with cheesy toasts. The soup recipe came out of my head, with some inspiration from different recipes I saw on the internet. In typical Indian style, my measures are inexact, so you’ll just have to keep tasting and adjusting flavours.

Savoury Pumpkin Soup for two:

Pumpkins 002

Ingredients: 1 tbsp butter, 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped, 3-4 garlic cloves chopped, 1 cup pumpkin purée, 1″ cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, 4-5 black peppercorns, ½ tsp garam masala, 1 stalk of lemongrass, 1-2 tbsp coconut milk, salt to taste, sun-dried tomatoes, jalapeños (thinly sliced)

Method: Heat butter in a pot and sauté the onions and garlic for about 2 minutes. Add the spices and lemongrass, and the pumpkin purée. Add 3-4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, jalapeños, then the coconut milk and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes and serve hot.

The soup was a great blend of creamy and spicy, and the lemongrass added that x-factor to the flavours. We polished it off.

Baking update: Red Velvet Cake

Reva can’t stand the thought of all that food colour, but I was inspired to back a red velvet cake this Christmas, after having some made by my friend, Sara. Plus Souvik and Ma were arriving on Christmas eve, so why not make a party of it and celebrate Mia’s first birthday?

I picked the recipe from www.joyofbaking.com, only halved the quantity. And a babybel cheese ‘cake’ for the birthday girl.

Mia bday2

 

Took a little while to ‘bow’ the cat, but was so worth the effort.

 

Mia bday1

 

We all loved our treats! Yumm!!