Sunday, February 19, 2012

The challenge meal :)

The challenge : Winning smile

Initially when I started cooking (2 years back) , I was dead slow. A whole 2 hours was spent in making a simple curry and a poriyal. No matter how fast I was I ended up taking/wasting more time to cook. That's probably because I had all the time on earth. I worked as a technical writer but quit too early before i fell in love with the job. The main reason being 'less-time-spending' with mama. We eat all the three meals together which seldom happens in families, its very special to the both of us. Mama's office was close to our house and that is how he likes it to be.

When I got pregnant I moved in with my parents and did not cook even a single day. Sometimes I will so badly want to cook and I would make a curry for the roti. 

 I came to Geneva ( when babbi was 4 months old)  and started my second innings in cooking. Two factors affect my cooking in this part of the world: Time and Space. A crawling baby means you have a 'mobile-trouble'. Babies always love the wrong things ( mine loves to lick shoes) and you have to be vigilant all the time. Cutting vegetables and running behind the baby happens side by side and is an everyday thing. Compared to my first kitchen now the place ( I wont call it kitchen) where I cook is too (only 2 'o's are allowed) small. 

Cutlets without ketchup is MI

Hence my cooking adventures ALWAYS take place only when mama is at home. He( god bless him) takes full care of my first problem. Now tackling the second one looks so easy. Finding time to cook is a dear these days so I never let go of the slightest opportunity. Weekends are the gateway to my adventure cooking. Every week starts with a new dish :)

This week my plans were to make a full meal. I decided to make some chicken cutlets, peas pulav and shrimp fry . The Sunday started with a small fight and i decided not to cook lunch, i do this every time we fight. Soon we patched up ( the usual) and I got back to the cooking mood. When i started to cook mama got a mail, he had work and will leave to office in two hours. so i had just one and a half hour to cook and I am never used to fast cooking. 

Chicken Cutlets:  
  Chicken is one food that I adore since I turned 8. I never used to like non veg till then. It was introduced to me by Lovy aunty, my neighbor who is a master chef. My first mutton cutlets were made by her for Christmas. I used to hide under the table when mom made chicken chops, I still dunno why. Mama will laugh when he reads this. He blames for the raise in chicken prices. It took me some time to realize that my mom's chicken chops were yummier and worth all praise. The fish cutlets that mom makes have no substitute. I have tried them in so many restaurants and nothing won over mom's cutlets. I eat like 20 at a time. 

It is a surprise that I have never tasted a chicken cutlet in my life. The first ones I had was made by me, yay!!. Since I hate white bread I used brown bread crumbs for the coating. I do cutlets in my mom's style, I never deep fry them but shallow fry and mama the crazy guy found out the difference. He just loveeesss fried stuff. 


Peas Pulav: 
 Frozen peas is inexpensive here and hence my freezer has a permanent occupant now. It is the 'X' ingredient and goes into almost all of my dishes. Peas pulav is so simple to make and it tastes damn good. The aroma from the bay leaves, cloves and cardamom will make your tummy growl. Priceless feeling!!

Shrimps : Full of spice

The Shrimps:
    We never get fresh shrimps here which is a sad thing. People here eat half cooked shrimps and use them for salads.After a 3 day research i finally got some frozen raw shrimps. Since everything is in french and most of the time they don't even specify if the prawns are cooked it was a big deal to find some, especially when you got bad weather and a stroller with a sleeping baby to push around.  I don't fry them in a lot of oil just cook them with little water and make them dry so they are mostly crisp. It was too good and spicy, secret lies with the marinade I made the day before when I was free.

I won the challenge hands down not just because i cooked the food on time and took care of babbi  in-between. PROUD WIN!!!