Tuesday 17 April 2012


Kuch rishte kitne ajeeb hotey hain. Unka koi naam nahi hota has been a favourite Bollywood sentiment. Never has it rung so true for me like it does now. With a dear angel who I've never met. Sheetal. I know her parents, I know her brother & have even met her adorable bundle of a nephew. But not Sheetal. I enjoy her other brother's films that are the Cannes league; I've mentioned her husband Sameer in one of my posts cz I like the name so much but my rishta with Sheetal remains an enigma. Like the girl herself.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sheetal & Sameer live in Chicago, Illinois. She's specializing in Child Psychology while Sameer is a doctor. Whichever chauvinist made beauty with no brains a catchphrase hasn't met our girl. Not only is she a stunner, she is meticulous like few people her age; she runs a Book Club & advises people on good reading ; enjoys Yo Yo Ma, Ustad Zakir Hussain & all who touch the soul; plants her own garden- some day the cherry blossom will happen too-keep the faith, I say; paints in her spare time; has the profundity to watch I Am Kalaam & the patience required for Agent Vinod; and, if all this was not enough, cooks! That she has conferred the Kitchen Angel epithet on me only makes me expand wider than my clothes can hold but I am not complaining :)

Seeing the alu ki subzi with the Sattu Parantha, Sheetal had almost thought that subzi recipe is included in the post. While doing the Daal Poori , I'd suggested a masaledar subzi with it & I thought of Sheetal. This is what I'd served it with that day, Gurl. An Alu Gobi Tamatar chatpata delite. This one's for you. And for all you beautiful, multi-talented people out there who find cooking therapeutic. And all others, who aspire to be there! 

Very less oil, very yummy, try this today!
                                                                                                       You need:
1. 1 large potato- cubed[serves 3-4]
2. 10-12 gobi florets 
3. 1 large tomato- cubed
4. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
5. 1/2 tsp turmeric
6. 1/2 tsp chilli powder 
7.  1/2 tsp garam masala
8. 1 tbsp chopped coriander
9. 1 tbsp oil
10. 1/2 - 3/4 cup water
1. Heat oil. Let cumin seeds crackle. 
2. Add the turmeric & chilli powder and saute the diced potato.
3. Add the tomato and stir for 4-5 mins on medium flame till tomato softens.

4. Add the gobi florets and fry on high flame for 5 minutes.                           5. Add the chopped coriander & garam masala and stir for 2 mins. 
6. Add water & salt and pressure cook till one whistle.
                                                                                                                                          Modify amount of water according to how much gravy you want. Bengalis have a fascination for jhol, thin gravy, with their kachori/stuffed parantha. Suit your palate.
Chef Speaks:
1. For home cooking, leave the skin of the potato on. Makes for great fibre. Most of the nutrients are just beneath the skin, if you peel off, they are all lost.
2. Use minimal oil. Unless you are deep frying. Remember, oil is a medium of cooking. It is like words. Just like you may not write a good essay by using too many words, you need not produce a tasty dish by using excess oil. The taste comes from the judicious use of spices, not the oil. 

The fresh coriander, that dash of garam masala, the tangy tomato give this simple subzi its lip-smacking chatak. Serve it hot with roti/parantha and see the glow on your family's face.

As you begin a new chapter of your life, here's wishing you & Sameer, Happiness Always, Sheetal! God Bless!

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