Friday, 12 April 2013

Christine & Christian - Episode 2: Mind the Ghee

Since the book arrived on Wednesday, I had a bit of time to check it out. Not too much, though. I don't want to rush anything. Too often in life we have to rush and so we miss some good parts.
Therefore, I decided to take it easy on that cooking business. There are over 250 recipes in the book and when I say I want to cook them in over 250 days, that could mean ... hm ... 500 days ... or ... 444 days ... or even ... 250 days. Due to that, it might mean nothing at all.
Now, Tasting India is divided in 10 regions food wise. So far I had a glimpse at the first section: Kalkata & Darjeeling. First thought? 
Mine was tea. I appreciate a good cup of Darjeeling tea once in a while. In this section of the book are 35 recipes. So, if you would like to take on a mathematical approach and would assume that there are equally numbers of recipes in each section, you would get 350 recipes. I don't want to confirm anything and I don't want to take a mathematical approach either. Just in case, you want to do anyway, you can tick 2 off, because I already had a go at two of those. I went for something simple, where I don't have to spent a lot of money on ingredients. I simply got a few potatoes. The rest I have at home.
As to that, I consider myself to be well equipped, also for taking on a lot of Indian cooking. At least that is what I thought. Some weeks ago I was in need of some cardamom pods. I knew they had to be somewhere, but I couldn't find them.
This time, when I needed them, it was just opening the cupboard, quick glance and here we are. I don't know what it was back then.
To the two selected recipes ... the first is Alur Dom and the other Luchi, in other words Curried Potatoes and Puffed Puri Bread. Both recipes were in need of ghee, the bread recipe even heavily.
There was still ghee in the house, but by far not the amount mentioned.
To put it simple, ghee is clarified butter, that can stand more heat and adds more flavour to your meals. I have to check again some shops for ghee. I guess I need to have some in the house at all times, unless I want to make my own, which has to be possible somehow.
In the meantime, I have to select a few recipes without ghee until I get chance to stock up some more of it.
I guess, at the essential points this time I used sufficient ghee, as things tasted fine.
For the curried potatoes I had to do my own spice mix with turmeric, cumin, salt, pepper, coriander seeds and sugar.
While the preparation for the curried potato wasn't in need of any attention, I went for the puffed puri bread.

You can already see, where this is heading ... a lot of food. Well, they are not all evenly sized on the picture, but hey, enjoy! There was enough dough for 36, but I decided to put half of the balls to the fridge to make some fresh puffed puri breads tomorrow. Fresh is better.
The balls were flattened, rolled out and then, normally in ghee, deep fried. 

Simply try to imagine the smoke in the house. I opened each and every window afterwards. The luchis (puffed puri breads) will only puff properly, if the ghee (or oil) has the right temperature. I must have done everything right, for there was a lovely puffing going on.
After all the luchis had been fried, the potatoes were ready, too.

Time to enjoy an Indian meal. To create some atmosphere, I switched my newly acquired Internet radio to an Indian radio station and went for it ...

I for sure will have some more of it. The recipe for the Alur Dom stated it would serve 8 people. Maybe it holds true, if you have some fish with the potatoes as was suggested in the recipe or ... alternatively it stated to have the puri bread along with it. Hm! I thought it would last at most for 4 people ... Oh! I hope I'm not that greedy. I was supposed to use 1 kg of potatoes. So, judge for yourself.
Anyway, if I want to go through the whole book, I need some time to eat up all the food in a reasonable way or I need some guests. Any volunteers?

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