101 tried tested and appreciated recipes

It has been nearly a year since my last post.  Lot of changes since the last post.

  •  I finished my PhD coursework and I am ashamed to say I made a C in one of the courses
  • Gau has finished all the Raold Dahl books he could get in his library.
  • We cracked open the picocricket set I had ordered and he got his first taste of programming :)  On to lego mindstorms now!
  • Gau has been making great strides in learning music, finishing his grade 1 trinity exams and he is now able to play by ear! he can actually listen to any harris jayraj number a few times and play it commendably well on his keyboard.
  • And lastly and grandly I have a beautiful new baby boy!  He weighed in at a substantial 3.6kg on 28th December 2008.  

In light of new baby and increasing workload, the time I have to dawdle and come up with new recipes in the kitchen has drastically reduced.  I have been forced to come up with a new resolution - bookmark 101 recipes ;  recipes which can be recreated with ingredients available locally, tested on everyone and obtained their approval and lastly tweaked to my satisfaction.

Why 101 you ask?  Well for some strange reason we Indians never do even numbers on auspicious occasions, we give the newborn 101 Rs, 501Rs for housewarming and 1001 Rs for the newly married couple.  I decided to stick to the tradition.  It might just be the reverse of bata shoes psychology, 599Rs sandals don't cost 600 Rs they are still in the 500 range for the mathematical moron. 

What can this list not include?  Traditional recipes.  No idli - tomato chutney, sambhar, garlic rasam, puri - potato subji, rice - plain daal.  These have not changed since my grandmother's times and we are genetically programmed to love these dishes especially if it is a couple of days since the last time we had them.  They are also common across communities in Tamil Nadu.

The first success in this light is a coconut lentil soup from 101 cookbooks.  Gau wants me to go light on the ginger and I used Sambhar powder instead of Curry powder.  Being an Indian, I have absolutely no Idea what curry powder means in Western Parlance!  Here are my changes to this excellent recipe:

  • Pre-soaked chana daal instead of yellow split peas
  • Sambhar powder instead of curry powder and I don't toast it.
  • 1 tbspoon ginger instead of 2 as Gau requested.

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