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Saturday, March 1, 2014

‘A Pinch Of This, A Handful of That’ by Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal

Rushina, being a food blogger, she takes you through her passion of cooking with variety of anecdotes about the people closer to her. It is interesting to read about her first attempt of making tea with the help of her mother, about the charm of her Moti Mummy, who pickled tomatoes and lemon when they were bountiful in season, you understand her sense of culinary adventures that she inherited from her Nani who inspired her to recognize the ingredients by its taste.

Every section begins with an emotive story as you walk with her into her kitchen, meet different people in her life and read about her food adventures.

Every recipe gives a brief description about the dish, followed by step-by-step-easy-to-follow method of preparation.

On page 112, she writes:

“Kheema Pasta was a wicked combination of pasta and dense, grainy spicy kheema that was an occasional feature of the Friday ‘Conte food night’ at Maya. And this kheema pasta- the unholy result of spaghetti bolognaise corrupted with spices and silky Bombinos’ macaroni (not healthy durum wheat pasta touted as proper these days, but the maida version that reduces us to a stodgy mess if overcooked)- is the reason why the finest spaghetti bolognaise pales in comparison for me even today”

The book is the mixture of international and national dishes, there are Mexican, Chinese, Italian, Vietnamese recipes and then, there are traditional Indian recipes learnt in informal set up with house members and close friends

The ‘Index of Recipes’ is bit tricky to follow initially if you are searching for a particular recipe, and one needs to go through line-by-line to see the list, however, there is a surprise element when you suddenly stumble about a recipe that you would like to try on. 

Rushina has her own style of animated writing that actually transports you into her kitchen, you can feel her presence as you follow her method of cooking while churning out your favorite dish..

The book did inspire me to cook and here is my ‘Kheema Pasta’ lifted from the page 112 of this book. 

The recipe of Kheema Pasta appears in Rushina’s book at page 112

Time 1hour/ Serves 6-8

1/2cup ghee
2-3 cloves
1’ cinnamon stick
5-6 whole black peppercorn
2 green chilies, chopped
500 gams onions, finely chopped
1kg mutton minced
1tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2tsp red chili powder
1/2tsp turmeric powder
1tsp garam masala powder
500gms tomatoes, finely chopped
salt to taste
500gms Pasta

1cup coriander leaves

Put the ghee in a large heavy-bottomed pan on medium heat. When hot, add the whole spices, green chilies and onions. Stir fry till the onions have lost all their moisture and are well-browned.

Add the mince and stir to break up the lumps as it cooks

Add garlic-ginger paste and stir-fry till it has released its juices. Keep cooking till dried out. At this point, your mince will be crumbly and well on its way to browning.

Mix in the spice powder, reduce the heat and stir-fry till fragrant.

Add tomatoes, mix well and cook, stirring occasionally, till the tomatoes disappear and the ghee rises to the surface.

Add salt to taste. Your kheema should be slightly saltier than you would like because the pasta will come in.

Add the previously cooked pasta and mix well. (This is where a big pan comes in handy because things begin to fall out otherwise)

Cover and cook for few minutes, open and a fragrant cloud of steam, laden with aromas will rise up-awesome!

Wash the coriander leaves thoroughly in several changes of water. Drain well and chop fine.

Spoon the pasta in a serving dish, top with the coriander leaves and serve. You can serve it with bread and a salad on the side, but I never bother, because nobody touches anything else once the pasta is served.
Like it???

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice review. I do want to buy this book for its unique recipes

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