Wednesday 18 April 2012

Mistress of Spices

"What is your favourite spice, Aunty?"
We were at a friends place for dinner & Namrata posed this question.
"Kasoori Methi", pat came the reply.
"Mine is zeera," said Namrata. 
I was intrigued by the conversation. Never had I thought in terms of a favourite spice. Each one had its own role in recipes, but a favourite spice? I didn't think I could answer that with such alacrity. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But then that was Sunita, our Mistress of Spices. She aspires to start a chutney line some day & take the mundane to international heights. If there's anyone who knows her kala zeera from her zeera, it is Sunita. While the ordinary cook to tickle the taste buds, Sunita does it with an eye on nutrition. And she makes it palatable. From wheatgrass to aloe vera, from papaya to pomegranate, this connoisseur knows the benefits of all. Apart from teaching new employees to bite their Vs & kiss their Ws, here is a trainer who advises them on matters of health & heart. Hailed as the most approachable person in the team, Sunita exemplifies humaneness.

Incidentally, it was Sunita who gave me my first kasoori methi here. She had brought it from India & it was almost a legacy she passed on to someone starting a new journey. It is only fitting, therefore, to make her a dish with her favourite spice on her birthday today. Kasoori Alu Gobi for you Sunita on your special day. Just like you, elegant, under-stated. You'll love the subtle taste & appreciate the low-cal quality about this dish :) Try this friends, the dry fenugreek gives the veggie an authentic flavour that will goad you to a second helping.
1. 2 medium potatoes[serves 4]
2. 1 small cauliflower - florets
3. 1/4 onion- grated
4. 1 tsp ginger paste/grated
5. 1 cup milk
6. 1 tbsp kasoori methi(dry fenugreek leaves)
7. 1/4 tsp turmeric(optional)
8. 1 tbsp oil/butter to cook
9. Red chilli powder as preferred
10. Salt to taste
1. Saute potatoes, onion & ginger for 5-7 mins.
2. Add the gobi florets & salt and saute for 5 mins. Add turmeric now if using.
3. Cover the pan/wok & let the vegetables cook on low flame  till tender.

 Add the milk & bring to simmer.
5. Add red chilli powder & kasoori methi, simmer for 2-3 minutes & remove from flame.

1.Add the salt while frying the vegetables.This ensures that the milk does not curdle.
2. Boil the aloo gobi for 10 minutes, strain the water & fry the boiled veggies if you are cooking for the elderly who have a restricted diet.

Sunita, can I please chuck the sookhi roti & try this with pooris today? It's your b'day! Forget the calories. I'll run an extra round tomorrow, promise:)
Many Happy Returns of the Day, Lady!

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