Monday, September 24, 2012

The Celebration :)

Its really been ages since I put on my writer's cap and mama has finally stopped asking me why. I have no reasons for the block that affects my writing and coming out of the trance seems so difficult all the time. I have cooked a lot these past months. much to my amusement I have experimented a lot and learnt much more. I have recently discovered that surprises don't really surprise me, a stupid thing for a girl to say.

This post is about one of those special days I wait for the whole year. This September 15th mama turned 30, yes a big number and I was so excited even before the start of September. Of course mama was a little upset about leaving the twenties behind and embracing the thirties. Guess no one loves to grow old but it just keeps happening. I wanted to do something really big this year not just because of the number but the mama guy himself needed some pampering.

Taken with the maximum lighting possible at 12am

Baking a cake for any birthday in the family has become tradition and hence I was not going to stop at it. I cooked a 3 course meal for my birthday this year and it was all in the hurry that I somehow managed to bring out the highly ambitious meal on the table. But this time I had more time to plan, shop and execute. I must say I was completely satisfied with the execution as in for mama he is this always-the-same-smug-smile person, so no use asking him. LOL

I planned for an elaborate five course meal this time and it was perfect for me, the menu was kept secret all along which is again a feat for me. I tell him every damn thing. This is exclusive of the cake and the payasam I made for his star birthday. It is a general procedure for a 5 course meal to contain

A salad course
A soup course
An appetiser
A main course and
A dessert course

Salad : Arabian delight

Perfect start??

I warn any one who is going to read this particular passage, beware. If you are a pure vegetarian then you might even hate me for putting this up.

But the show must go on.

On the first week of September when we went shopping I asked mama what meat he wanted me to cook for his birthday (knowing that chicken will be his most preffered choice, i was of course bragging about the 5 course meal i was going to make ). At first he said anything was fine with him, like every other man in this world. I pressed him and he pointed right on to the meat hanging above the beef section. GULP, it was horse, he asked me to cook HORSE for his birthday and voila I DID. Ok, first of all I was not comfortable with the meat and secondly I did not have any idea how I was going to cook or have it as a main course. But it looked as if the swiss people enjoy eating horse or cheval in french, its quiet a delicasy here. I found pre cooked take away in the  supermarket, seasonal specialty. It is a very soft meat that needs taking care of.  

 I made up my mind to make a simple salad. In a bed of ice berg lettuce and french dressing tweaked with extra mayo, I dropped pieces of horse meat, slightly salted and cooked throughout.

It was a cold salad and it tasted really NOT BAD, mostly because I already knew it was going to taste like beef. Mama was.... the usual but with a little hint of fascination on his eyes. Gotcha!!

Soup : Sweet corn vegetable soup

Full and filling

I have to say it was super easy to pull this thing out but the recipe asked for some creme style sweet corn, which probably is so easy to get in the US or India, but in Geneva it is a no-no so I made it two days before and froze it. The blogger (Sailu) had also given the recipe to make it too, very helpful I must say. The color looks so dull and that's the soy sauce, black as night. Mama loved it, he said its the second best out of the five and he wanted more servings too. The link to the soup recipe is here and the blog is a good collection of traditional and fusion recipes.  

Appetizer : Chicken momos

Love the pleats

Ok, this one is quiet a bone bending job, atleast for me with a toddler who herself is trouble but anything. The recipie is from Ria's blog (in case you click on this link I am assured you are never gonna come back, I dont blame you , it happened to me a lot of time.). I tweaked her recipe by adding some veggies and I used chicken mince (traditionally pork is used). The pleating part was quiet difficult for me and the filling tasted real good. I made them a week before and froze it, which is really not a good idea (defrosting was a mess).  I served them with some green chilli sauce and a sweet red chilli sauce. (mama was like "you made even this" I had to give him a stone glance and said "store brought" and then there was a satisfying grin, kalaichutaram enna)

Main : Portuguese chicken

All set for the attack, too bad you can't smell ;)

No extravagant meal is complete without chicken in our household, now that Babbi also shares our liking its more glee to us. It is such an obvious choice and a very filling option too. The highlight was the marinate which was simple and mostly lemony all the way. The spice level was high in this case, the Indian spice level in Portuguese style. I did not add the potatoes or the onions as suggested. I served them with some raitha and a vegetable salad. I might have made some mashed potatoes or pasta but it would have been way too heavy and we were already feeling full. The chicken was cooked to perfection in the oven and the aroma was awesome. I wish to make it again and mama will never complain if I do so. As in for the recipe I got it from here

Dessert: Ras-Malai

Such a cutie PIE :P

It is a kings dessert if you ask me. I really felt royal making it and eating it. No shortcuts used, I promise. Everything was made from the scratch the night before and chilled to make it a perfect dessert and it did wow mama. I dumped in extra servings of fine cut nuts to make super royal. He was blown with the taste and gave it the first rank. Mama has 'golden' sweet tooth and I wanted to make something that would really impress his taste buds. He is not much of a cake lover I gather much to my disappointment. But this one was unbeatable he ate like ten of them, Babbi loved it too. I made myself proud and thanks to pooja ( another blogger like Ria and she is a fab too. Her pics make me go crazy hungry all the time) for the recipe, it is a keeper. As in for the coloring saffron costs like gold here and may be I should have added some yellow coloring but that's cheating!! I have already added saffron to my list of things I got to buy the next time i go to India which is not any where near :(.  My mom will love this so will my grandmom.

Ah!! what a long post. I hope its not so boring or lame. But I really enjoyed writing and giving away the world my love for food and food bloggers who really exploit me with their drool worthy pictures.

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