Why do these heavy, cloud laden skies call out to onions fried with batter? Why?! Blame it on nature or nurture, it felt like a must this morning. Onion bhajias would have been the natural thing to do, but I went another way with Pajeon or the Korean Scallion Pancake with a lovely savoury, sweet and spicy dipping sauce. It hit the spot. If you want your onion fried with batter fix, read on.
I wonder why has oil in everyday cooking been reduced to just being a medium of cooking vs. it being that essential ingredient that adds its own subtle taste and flavour!? I know there is EVOO, and much has been spoken about it. But what about mustard oil or til ka tel (sesame) or unrefined groundnut oil or coconut oil. These aren’t just ‘better for you oils’, they make food taste better. Like the mustard oil in today’s breakfast of Nepali Aloo Ko Achaar with parathas. It gives this potato salad a beautifully rounded taste as it mellows the heat of all the spices that go into it. BTW, this Aloo Ko Achaar takes 15 minutes to assemble (if you don’t count the boiling of the potatoes) and just 15 seconds to polish off. Don’t take my word for it. Try it.
In a week I tend to some how collect a lot of ones – one baby aubergine that rolled off the bag that it was in, one green onion that was forgotten behind the tomatoes, one baby carrot that fell into a bag of methi and wasn’t discovered till methi aloo happened, one slice of cheese that slipped under the chocolates in the chiller post the nightly chocolate binge, one paratha that was forgotten in the dubba at the back of the fridge and one tablespoon of tomato or any gravy that was left for a little pre dinner snack and bowl mopping that never happened. Does it happen to you guys? It happens to me all the time. This mini roti pizza turns those ones into a delicious breakfast. Below what I’ve put down is more an idea rather than a recipe. There are very few thing you can do to get it wrong.
I’ve never got the craze around energy and granola bars. They all tend to feel so heavy and always sooo unsatisfying. Yesterday I had one that was especially bad. And that got me thinking about the energy bar, rather energy ball from my childhood, the murmura ladoo or puffed rice ladoo. Intensely caramelised and crisp, these always felt light and 100% satisfying. I loved the one’s my nani’s guy in Jamshedpur used to make. Hot off the pan in one corner of Bistupur Market I would devour a couple of them in one go (read 5). This morning I took inspiration from those classic energy balls from my childhood and gave it a little swag with pecan, cacao nibs and butter roasted puffed rice. It goes brilliantly with a cup of hot black coffee. And just as the classic, always light, but these are 110% more satisfying. Give these make ahead balls, bars and cookies a go. They take not more than 25 minutes to make.
Dal ka Dulha or the groom of lentils. Its such a beautiful name. It conjures up images of lentils decked up in their finest at their wedding. hahaha! I think its probably called that because of the crown shaped whole wheat dumplings swimming in it. Whatever the reason behind its name, what I love even more about this Chhattisgarhi, Bihari and UP speciality is how comforting it feels before you get started with a long busy day. Give this a good. It wont disappoint.