Many of the books I read as a child were by the British author Enid Blyton - Famous Five and Secret Seven series. I loved them! These kids were having so much fun and solving mysteries to boot! I lived vicariously through their fictitious adventures. But, sprinkled liberally in these books were mentions of British foods! Pies, jams, puddings, teas .. so much more. I fell in love with these delights, without an inkling of what they were or ever having sighted most of them!
Since then, I have developed a lifelong reverence of pies - sweet at first. But, as I grew older and got into more classics and Victorian/Edwardian fiction, the savory kinds. Bakewell tarts, Spotted dicks, cherry pies, steak and kidney pies, stout pies … Read More
What condiments are staples in your fridge? I always have mayonnaise(atleast 2 types, original and some spicy version) and mustard. Three kinds of mustard, grainy, some fancy local version and Dijon mustard. ALWAYS Dijon Mustard! I love the smoothness of it and spice kick in the nose that is beautifully balanced.
Mustard and Mayo - together, and just the two of them, they make the best spreads for sandwiches! Read More
Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu and dedicated to the Sun God. Intrinsically pagan, it is a four day festival that marks the celebration of everything related to agriculture. The day celebrating the harvest itself is celebrated throughout the country but the other days are unique to the Tamils. The word ‘pongal’ means boiling over and many of the offerings of this festival involve just that - from milk to new rice.
We typically make sweet and savory offerings to our Gods and on this day, it is typically two different rice dishes, akin to sweet and savory puddings/porridge - chakkarai pongal (jaggery-rice pudding) and ven pongal (white pongal or rice-lentil porridge. The savory version, I love! Read More
Cream of broccoli soup has a particular special place in my heart. I did not grow up eating soups and my first soup like dish was a ramen, which, is not the same as the creamy soups of the Western half of the world. The first time I had ‘soup’ soup was when I moved to NYC, in the company cafeteria, on a cold Winter day - Cream of Broccoli. It was cream of broccoli. It was delicious. Mass-made and self-served with packet oyster crackers, yet delicious! And, I distinctly remember wondering how they creamed broccoli! LOL. Read More
The thing in this dish is really the garlicky harissa sauce that gives it the warmth that otherwise is the domain of a cheese sauce. Smashed garlic and generous teaspoon of harissa slowly infuses the oil in which the shrimp is cooked and then add pasta and arugula blanched in the pasta water and you are gold! Read More