For the Doristas the final countdown has begun. Just four recipes to go before they complete their journey through "Around My French Table". I had joined the group late and owing to grid-shift and unavailability of the ingredients in this part of the world, left the group early. Nevertheless I hope to catch-up with the others in the years to come and cook my way through all of Dorie's books as and when I find the ingredients and the time...
This week I did a bit of catching up. I tried Dorie's version of Eggplant Caviar....
My mother is a great cook and like all good cooks she guards her recipes well. Request her for her signature dishes and she happily cook them for you... Ask her for the recipe and she'll give you a list of ingredients to play with. And sometimes, that list is so short and simple that it makes you wonder if that is all that went into that lip smacking curry or the cutlet you just finished....
Growing up I wasn't ever allowed to snub off any curry or veggie that was served. The house rule was you eat whatever is given, no excuses and no special meals for anyone. That forced my dad to try the dishes that mom grew up eating, mom learnt to cook the dishes dad grew up eating and I in turn got a peep of whatever both my grandma's cooked for my parents and their siblings.
We aren't Irish but just because it was fun, until last year, we would unfailingly don our tricolor tees and drive down to the nearest Irish locality to watch the St Patrick's day parade. Not that our tees were ever seen.. since there were layers of sweaters and coats to cover.. but we wore them nevertheless...
You know there was a time when I hated anything that was deep-fried. My favorite meal used to be "sheddho -baat," steamed rice and boiled vegetables with a generous helping of butter and that I could eat even for breakfast. Back then, before leaving for parties, Maa would always remind me, "Ja deoya hobe khabe" that is 'try what ever is served,' and me being the sweet obedient girl that I was, would begrudgingly try the samosas, pakoras and puris which the kakimas would prepare with care and diligence... until one fine day I began to like what I was eating and was doomed for life... :)
Banana bread is probably one those things which everyone bakes all the time. Each one following a time-tested recipe of her own which yields a lovely loaf every time. My favorite recipe is an adaption of Tarla Dalal's Banana Pecan Walnut Muffin Cake, an eggless whole wheat banana muffin recipe with layers of flavors added by the addition of nuts and raisins. Adding cocoa powder and chocolate chips to the basic batter always takes the bread up a notch so I unfailingly do it every time.