06 December, 2012

Cooking & Me - Part I

This post has been on my mind for a while. Remember my New Year post where I had written about starting a food blog? Well I did start a blog i.e. made a basic structure of it but never made it live. With barely 25 days left for this year to end, I have all the reasons to be shameful about it and yes I ashamed. May be next year I will kick off the blog, as is I have been taking loads of pictures of whatever I am cooking. Though my photographs are nowhere near the kind of pictures that are available on Indian Food blogs but I am learning. Have you seen any Indian Food Blogs? Amazing stuff they have as far as recipes, pictures & details are concerned. Now a days whenever I think of cooking something different I just scoot off to Google, choose two three recipes and shell out my version.
Cooking is something which is very close to my heart, I love to cut & chop vegetables, I love trying new Indian Dishes and in simple words I love cooking. I remember that even as a kid I was fond of the thought that I can cook. I used to read recipes, watch TV shows and if by chance Mom would ask me to make tea for her I would play act as if I am in a cookery show. However I was not allowed to do much near the gas for the fear of accidents.
I remember that one day my Mom had gone out and I decided to venture into the kitchen. I had planned well and was ready with a simple recipe from a magazine. I don’t remember what exactly I was cooking but as per the instructions in there I had to make a tadka and drain it through a strainer. You know what I did? I took of the tadka off the flame and immediately poured it out of a plastic strainer and next I was gaping at a big hole. I still laugh at my silliness!
I did some basic cooking when I was 15-16? We have this signature family dish called “Picninc waali Sabji”. Once we had gone for a picnic and this cook had made a dish which was simply awesome. My mom had later called that guy to learn the recipe which has been duly taught to me as well. Besides that the only cooking I did was making bhel/ pulao/ subji once in a while during my 6 years in college.
In Ahmedabad though I had been staying alone I didn’t have an opportunity to cook for myself as I was staying in a Paying Guest. When I moved into an independent apartment I was very excited with the fact that I would be cooking for myself and I would get to eat what all I loved & Mom made. My Mom was in for a tough time. Ya my Mom because I would get vegetables cut n chop everything and would call my Mom to know the recipe. See, I loved the thought of cooking but had practically no experience to cook because while I was studying my Mom would never let me cook for two reasons. Firstly, she used to feel my girl has come on a vacation she should rest & most importantly she was scared of the mess I would create in her kitchen. Mothers I tell you.
I have an interesting anecdote from my cooking experience in Ahmedabad. The same time I started staying alone my BFF ‘S’ had also shifted to her company accommodation and was settling house. As far as cooking was concerned we both were mostly on the same page i.e. zilch experience. We both used the same method of learning i.e. calling up respective moms.
As far as I was concerned by the time I would call in my vegetables would have been chopped and the onion would already be in the pan cooking away to glory.  My mom would however start the recipe with, ‘cut the veggies finely, put in the jeera and the onion’ by then I would halt her telling that I have already done all that tell me the next step.
Scene at her place would always be different. She would call her Mom before starting up and her Mom would say, “put this this masala” she would then have to interrupt with, “how much finely should the onion be cut?”
We used to share these stories and had decided that we should exchange Mom’s for cooking instructions.
As I write this piece I have realised that I have so much to say as far as cooking is concerned that one post cannot do justice to it. So I have decided to break it into a series and will leave you here with a recipe of Gobhi (cauliflower) Paratha.
I am basically a north Indian and you can take out so many things from me but Paratha? Nah! And with the advent of winter season there are so many options to cook from Gobhi/ Mooli/ Matar/ Methi/ aloo/ bathua (Cauliflower, Radish, Peas, fenugreek) etc. so, I have decided that once in a week I will be making stuffed paratha for dinner.
Don’t ask what I am eating while I serve this to family. You insist on knowing? Well a salt free fruit salad!!! Now go laugh while I share the recipe
For Stuffing
Gobhi:                                 1 Small (250 gms), grated
Onion:                                 1 Medium size, finely chopped
Oil:                                      2 Tsp
Jeera (cumin seeds):             1 tsp
Red Chilli powder:                  To taste
Salt:                                     To taste
Turmeric Powder:                   1 tsp
Amchoor Powder:                   2 Tsp
Pudina Powder:                      2 Tsp
Garam Masala Powder:           1 tsp
Cilantro leaves:                      1 tbsp
In a pan add oil, once it heats up add the jeera. As it splutters add the onion. While it gets cooked take the cauliflower and grate it. Once the onion turn transparent add the Gobhi followed by all the spices, barring the last two ingredients. Cook this stuffing till the water evaporates and the Gobhi looks cooked (it will take approx. 10 mins to cook at medium flame). Add the Garam Masala Powde & Cilantro leaves, cook for 2-3 more mins and turn off the gas.
Take it out in broad vessel so that it cools of quickly.
Now prepare the atta dough as you usually do, just add a little salt in it. Take out a small ball of the dough (we call It loi), make a small katori of it and put the stuffing in it. Now I will let the pictures do the talking.
Ignore how my hands look. What! I can't cook & look glamorous as well ;)

 Once the ball is ready roll it like you usually make a roti and then put it on a hot tawa. Once one side is cooked turn it around, put approx. 1 tbsp oil it, spread it across and turn the paratha. Repeat the same process and with a ladel press the thing till it is cooked from all sides and serve it hot with green chutney.
I am really sorry that I have no after picture because once I started making them I forgot to click photos. By the time I remembered there was only one paratha left and here is the photo.

Happy Eating!!


  1. You bet...the pictures in the food blogs are wonderful, you can instantly fall in love with the dish ;)

    I have tried only aloo parathas till date, this gobi paratha sounds delicious..what with aamchur and pudina powder, it has to be tasty na ;) :D

    Go, go get the food blog ready...dont worry about the pictures..in the end, the recipe measurements and method is what is important :)

  2. I make gobhi parathas very similar to your version :)
    Start your food blog soon... looking forward to reading some interesting recipes :)
    Food photography! I am sure you will perfect that with time :)

  3. I see Aarav holding plate of Paratha.

    helping his mom? :)

  4. I usually stuff my paranthas with kachchi gobi. It cooks when you are making the parantha.

    When I visited Shimla years ago, I ate a jumbo paranatha that had aloo, gobi, mooli stuffed into the parantha! It was heavenly.

    Keep aloo, gobi and mooli mixed with salt/mirchi/amchur/dhania separately.

    Roll out two thin parantha sized rotis to 3/4 their size. Keep one roti on the chakla, spread aloo mixture, gobi mixture and mooli mixture in three parts over it. Place the other roti on top of this one and press lightly all around. Spread a bit of sookha atta on top of the parantha and roll lightly so the two rotis get glued together.

    Place on tawa and roast/fry.

  5. Enjoy ur cooking.. and treat us with your paratha recipes..
    I am surely going to try this one

  6. The pic on food blogs are simply awesome. I am looking forward to some practical tips from a professional on this!! Reading about photography tips is something I dont like! :P
    Wow... some fascination you have had for cooking since childhood. Same here, mom would not allow to do heavy-duty cooking before marriage. So did small things like chopping, rolling chapatis and making a few dry vegetables. Imagine, I had never made a dal or a gravy dish before marriage! Learnt everything post marriage courtesy the foodie husband!
    Paranthas are seen regularly in our breakfast menu and now that we have winters so more varieties of stuffing are available. Today we had Mooli ke Paranthe! :P
    We make the Gobhi Paranthas exactly like your recipe! :)

  7. This would have been the perfect introductory post to your cookery blog!!

  8. Gobi ka paratha is a rgular thing in our household too. We make it in a similar way. Wow! food blog. Hmm look forward to it, and I must say, I have not forgotten your rainbow cake that you made for Arnav's birthday. I am going to try that. I am not into cooking. I mean I can cook, but I don't love it. I am more fixated on cleanliness and keeping things in order at home. My kitchen has to be absolutely clean before, during and after cooking :-) and the tables have been reversed in my case. When mom visits, I tell her that she needs to keep the kitchen clean while cooking. And she just ignores me or rolls her eyes inwardly :-) I cringe at others using my kitchen but not cleaning it later.

  9. Paranthas!!! Yum!! I need to try these out...! Never made one myself.

  10. Paranthas look yum. They taste even better when it's really really cold. Here in Pune where the weather is mostly middle-of-the-road the thrill of winters is quite lost. I miss that sometimes.

  11. I share your love for cooking and the belief that good pictures actually do wonders to even an ordinary recipe.
    I too love making all sorts of paranthas and like many other recipes, I have to admit I too make it quite similarly, except that I don't add pudina to the gobhi paranthas.
    Go ahead with the food blog Smita, you've got a subscriber ready in me :)

  12. wow..looks delicious. I am not a fan of cooking so I will just enjoy the description and the recipe and drool all over my keyboard :P

  13. My parantha making skills are still work in progress. The stuffing keeps oozing out when I try to roll it out.

  14. Ooooh yum, gobhi-parathas are my favorite! I make them whenever I'm short on ideas to cook..they are so easy and time-saving! Now I'm so tempted to make them! :D

    And you know what, you must start a food blog of your own!

  15. Nice post....but honestly gobhi paratha sounds too complicated;-o...I make methi parathas once a fornight tho bcoz its pretty straight forward.
    I dont really fancy cooking but whtever I make is okay I suppose....well most of the time there are no left-overs;-D
    Even when I was young I'll be willing to do all the outside jobs..pay electricty bills, etc, etc but hated to enter the kitchen. My mum used to predict a dark future for my family;-D.
    I like making a good meal for the family but don't really like cooking...make sense???

    But I have to give credit for ur self-control...eating saltless fruit salad while others gorge on GPs';-o. Kudos!!!!

  16. Ah! paranthas.. my all time favorites too.. :) I am punjabi so you know the extent :)

    btw, I am more interested in your picnic wali sabji :)

  17. hey thanks thanks.. i have 2 gobi's at home, didnt know wat to do other than regular sabji.. will try this out..

  18. Hi Smita!! i got to taste ur Aloo ka paratha and it was awesome!!!! I got ur Pineapple upside down cake recipe. Just wanted to know which butter u used - salted/unsalted as unsalted is a little difficult to get near my place.

  19. Yummy....The parathas look heavenly. You eat fruit salad when you cook such stuff for your family???

    Loved your cooking tales...I can cook, not a fan of cooking though!

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