Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lamb and Me :)

This blog is almost full with animals now :P. If I can eat the mighty horse why not the tiny little lamb?? LOL that sounds evil-y carnivorous. I am nothing but a chicken lover who does not MIND trying new meat, not just meat any new food in that case. I have never shut myself from the mysterious asparagus or Brussels sprouts or the onion look-alike fennel. These vegetables are tried and tested and accepted in my kitchen and they some how find a way into mama's tummy too. I am still on my way trying every lettuce variety possible since Geneva is full of it.

Lamb/agneu is a very famous meat here, next to beef. This particular meat is something we kept avoiding for a very long time. That is mainly due to our hatred for the goat meat, its always linked together if I am not wrong. Mutton as in is a bit more chewy for our taste and hence we never brought it even in Chennai. I love mutton biriyani without the pieces, yes I am a no-mutton-pieces-mutton biriyani person, the KUSKA person back home. Mama is ok with the mutton paya for his appam at Midnight masala restaurent right there in kodambakkam, no other paya impressed him like that one did. Other than these two dishes mutton is no way our favorite.

The rack looked much elegant :(

When mama lived in Geneva all alone and happy he had the chance of eating out a lot, which he thinks were not successful  Of course he has no idea what to order HERE, I do with all the TLC experience. :D. He once told me that he ate Lamb at cafe des sources and loved it( one of time HIT). He also told me that he would take me there once I come to Geneva. Which you all know NEVER happened. I only half blame mama here, with Babbi awake eating outside is a nightmare especially in restaurants. She will never sit in her stroller( wigging, crying, biting the belt)  and let us enjoy food for starters and then she will want to get down, pull the table cloth, hold the fork, play with the knife and mess with the interior decorations. We are always left with take away and that sucks, the outside feel is always missed.

My first taste of lamb happened to be the Doner kabab from Istanbul and I will kill to have some more. I am that crazy about doner kababs and Istanbul is the BEST of them all. I have to tell here that I had no clue about the taste of lamb, I was more than excited to eat than to distinguish anything inside the wrap. I mostly stick to chicken kabab wrap if possible, so does mama. We did not find any difference between the two meats though.

Since I am much more spirited in terms of food, I had my eyes on the lamb section for my own cooking experiment someday. It looked like I had to make one for myself to see how it tastes and feels like. The rack of lamb being the most expensive cut is the most enjoyed form of lamb here.

Fortunately a sale was on few months back and I got a small rack of lamb and proudly brought it home. It was the first time I tried cooking fennel and both turned out pretty good. I prefer cooking vegetables along with any protein and some times even with fish.

The veggies!!

I play a lot with the marinate but I strictly stick to making spicier versions because mama hates sweet meat. With a simple marinate I cooked lamb for the first time. I had to read numerous blogs to really understand what I wanted out of it and how it will taste. I had to slightly cook it before I placed it inside the oven to grill. It is a general fact that the color of the cooked meat must be pink (really have no idea what PINK) but I felt it was under cooked in that color and let it sit for some more time. I really don't mind over cooking meat sometimes rather than killing myself with some bacteria.

Since I had no idea how these things actually taste in restaurants what I made tasted great to me. Mama  too liked it and Babbi was much too small to know what was going on.

Months later a day popped up in my life that really brought back so many memories. Amma was on skype as usual and all of a sudden she asked me if I need my microwave anymore. I am so pathetic sometimes, when I got married I was very stubborn about buying a new microwave for my baking and usual heating. Mama had to buy me a huge glossy black Samsung microwave which costed around 12k in 2010. Along with it came a small recipe book which was something to me. It was officially my first recipe book other then the one I was writing. I had bookmarked some of the recipes to try and was quiet successful with them. There was one recipe that I wanted to try so badly but I  hesitated a lot considering the meat used : mutton. But it stayed in my mind all the time and when amma kindled the memory back I felt the need to make it. Now that I am more of an experimental cook I need to know how it tastes like.

The sambar look :)

The famous Hyderabadi Dal ghost is the dish in question. I remember buying my first packet of masoor dal after reading the recipe assuming that I would cook it back in Chennai. I have never seen my amma buying a packet of it and I did not know what to do with it. Seems like it has its own set of dishes that really amused me with taste. Then it became a regular in my kitchen cabinet and now Babbi also eats it as one of her 'dal' of the day. 

Split red lentil aka Masoor dal

The meat which never happened two years back had to happen now. I had to tell mama my plans since we were shopping together that weekend. He is well know to select the best meat from the lot. Even though we liked the lamb rack we did want to have more of it quiet often so when I told mama about dal ghost he was really not interested. He asked me if I really wanted it. Suddenly out of curiosity he asked me what it is. I just told him it is "mutton sambar". 

Just minutes later I lost mama and the stroller he was pushing. I waited for some time and really felt lost, maybe I went out of radius. I started looking for mama and there he was standing right in front of the lamb section looking for the best pack.

The juicy lamb pieces need limelight

That is when it struck me, SAMBAR has jinxed him for life. He was very serious about the search and finally I get to decide which cut I wanted. I got 450 grams of boneless meat, juicy and fresh back home with a proud face. Mama with a much happier face gladly allowed me to make Sambar, it was not even Friday and he knew I will make some on Friday too. The joy is in-explainable. 

I divided the meat into two. One for dal ghost and one for some mutton cutlets to go with the gravy. I cut the meat for dal ghost into tiny pieces so that it will look more appetizing. 

Cutlets : no deep fried, no guilty

I followed Sanjeev kapoor's recipe like bible except for the half teaspoon sugar which I felt was not necessary and the dish was not very spicy actually. If there was one ingredient I felt made the dish for me was the lemon juice. I also pressure cooked the meat to make it more soft. 

The fresh taste of the dish will remain in my heart forever. Since mama and I were in a not-talking-post- fight mood it was impossible to ask him if he liked it. I had to let it pass to my dismay.

As in for the cutlets, it is a piece of cake. The recipe is written everywhere in my head and pulling it out was nothing but easy. I liked the combination , it worked well for me. Ofcourse I had no idea what mama thought. His frowny-big-face did not give up any information and that made me very sad. He did take more than two servings of dal ghost and at least five of those cutlets which means he liked it but still :(

It was crispy :)
Next day after the patch-up phase things were looking good in terms of talking for the both of us. All of a sudden mama said " I loved the dal ghost, it was very nice"

There you go I felt like jumping here and there. He has never commented about the food until I asked him  for and  remembering it the next day was a one time life experience. Having had two jackpots in one single day I celebrated with some dal tadka ( he hates it!!! LOL) on Friday. You cant expect me to eat sambar two times a week :P

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Runaway it's the ......BEETROOT :)

Mama has a phobia for vegetables, yes you read it right VEGETABLES. He has this huge list of I-don't-like-them vegetables which is like "all" of them. 

When I got married and came home to cook for my brand new husband he threw a shocker at me. He hated almost all the vegetables I had brought to cook for the week Carrots :nay!! cabbage :yuk !!, Snake gourd : are you kidding?, radish : hmmm not a bad idea, cabbage: is it even eatable? cauliflower: only deep fry and Beetroot  POISON!!Aaaaaaaa (scream).

 Imagine my state, I really thought he was ILL ;) . It was tough, very tough to survive with his fondness to vegetables. I believed pleasing him with food is like IMPOSSIBLE.

I am really not exaggerating here and mama will agree to this whole heatedly  He was so disturbing at first, nothing will fall into his "I-love-this" slot except for the stupidest POTATOES. We had nothing in common except for the non vegetarian dishes at first. We had trouble even with the egg scramble method, lol its still going on. 

 It was so much torture for him to eat carrot poriyal , not that it tasted bad. If it had tasted bad he would even skip lunch. He accepted nothing subtle  If I make kootu I know he will cry to get past it, its that serious. Dal tadka was the killer of them all, I have to eat it all by myself and he will go ahead with curd and pickle.

I have to talk about my side here. I adore vegetables better than so many vegetarians, so many of my veggie friends have a small list of vegetables that they 'mind' eating. But I never had such list and I am very proud of it. I never eliminate vegetables from my diet. I was made to respect them since childhood hence I never forget to incorporate them into my non vegetarian cooking too. I am that close and mama was that far.

Nothing could stop me when I found my love for cooking, he was all the "Guinea pig" I had and I cant let him have his way. It was very tragic for mama at first. he had to eat all of them so that I wont get hurt. LOL I had to blackmail him into doing so. Slowly I started cooking all those he hated and altered the recipe every time so that something would make him say yes. Kootu was weekly special and he still hates it. He does not understand how good it is for his health. I made sambar every week to let him know that I still was ready to cook what he wants. Slowly things changed. Now mama is more of a real person who can digest the fact that vegetables will be a part of every meal we eat. Not that he loves them he just wont show faces which is much more better. 

Probably GENEVA is the reason for this change in mind, here there is no comfort of getting okra, drumstick, Indian spinach or bitter gourd. We have to live with beans, carrot, cauliflower, cabbage, Italian tomato, white onion, only fall time pumpkins, occasional radish and bio beetroot  That is it the list is over. Can you believe it? I was really stressed over this problem when I moved here. There are 20 varieties of salad lettuce and greens which is of no use when it comes to Indian cooking.

 I watched mama eat carrots with love cuz he had no choice but he still wouldn budge, beetroots are his enemy. In Geneva beetroots are very special and uncommon so it is only available in the BIO / ORGANIC section and sometimes we cant find them. So when ever I get a chance I grab a packet for me much to mama's disappointment. You can even see the worry in his eyes, I always feel glad about it. Today after so many days I decided to make some poriyal with beetroot and I felt responsible to forewarn mama.  I gave a wide smile and said I was going to make"beetroot" while he got ready to work. Quiet taken back he left with out telling anything. 

When he came home for lunch he first checked what I had 'actually' made assuming that I lied. NO I NEVER LIE when it comes to beetroot. It was fun to watch his reaction, he said "really you made them. I thought you were kidding" LOL

Come on mama will I ever make food your way unless and until I want to eat it "that" way? and you hardly have a 'that' way :P

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The new culinarian :)

My Hero :) 
The first question I asked mama when we were sitting for a real life 'bride-seeing-traditional- interview' was "Do you know to cook?" mind you, I asked him that. He was completely taken back and shocked. His eyes grew wide with horror and he gave a big confident NO. LOL, wasn't that funny? I wanted my husband to love food like me, I wanted him to cook on the weekends and enjoy eating. 

Phew!! guess what actually happened?

 True to his NO till date I have never seen the man cook with love or even love the food that I cook(except for his 'specials'). how sick is that? I just love to cook and food is something I dream about everyday and I live with this guy who is never hungry for any kinda food except for SAMBAR, THEEYAL and PULICURRY (go to hell you three, I hate you with all my life).

Pulicurry : Mama made

Enough of this, mama will read the post for sure and he might end up cutting my experiment money in the name of my big mouth which by the way I have. He is still in a state of shock since I got 12 little sambar onions for 3.50 francs. Geneva is expensive and I cant help the fact.

Even though mama hates cooking he somehow can manage without me around(that's bad). He is fond of all the different masala packets and tries to make tiramisu with it. NO KIDDING. He recently made fish fry with chicken pepper masala plus the other pantry ingredients which was quiet a hit with us (please don't try it at home). Some of his famous cooking experiments include bread poori (first ever food he cooked for me), tomato rice aka biriyani using shakthi biriyani masala, tomato thookku and red cabbage poriyal. When I am not around mama goes really experimental with food, he made crab thokku, salmon fry and turkey oven roast which he says tasted like heaven. I was miles away to tell how heaven it was. PS: he still has no idea how to operate the oven, my other baby. Of-course the regular sambar, theeyal and pullicurry : his SPECIALS will find place in his cooking list every damn week. I still cant tolerate watching him gobble them with glee on skype.

Unusual combination: fish kolambu &cabbage poriyal

I still agree to one thing he makes very good fish kolambu. I am not trying to save my skin here but truly agree that nothing can beat his fish kolambu. I have asked for second servings, its that good.  The next best thing will be his "chutneys". I can never make a decent chutney in a million years and mama can make one so we compliment each other well :P. he came home few months back with a recipe in his mind (from a food blog, a one time happening) and cooked Khova. Ah it tasted too good to be mama made but still I cant make one like that. I ate most of it and it was just like the shop brought, that is a breakthrough from someone who hates cooking. I know I inspire him, he never says so but I can READ him can't I?

Bread upma and ice coffee: Saturday delights

He can make real good bread upma too, they taste especially lovely on Saturday mornings. The final killer with be the team work: our quick rava dosa. This is a simple and easy recipe we (yes, the both of us) learnt together from the vah reh vah chef. Mama is an expert in this sprinkling technique and I make the mix for the dosa. It is really impossible for me to put the picture because once the dosa comes out of the tava it goes directly into my stomach, yes it just like that vanishes. Mama will also make the ac-compliment, his famous coconut chutney.

The winner :)

The last week was a sick week for me. I fell ill and I hate it. I have this little baby to take care and falling sick means torture to me. My routine is at stake and this time it was bad sickness. I was down with pain and I was swooning cuz of the pills. On weekdays such things means nightmare. I cannot ask my almost workaholic husband to stay home to take care of things and it is not fair. I know his job and the BOSS, who is a real pain. For the past two months I had to give up mama even on weekends. Seven days a week and 16 hours a day, that's worst for anyone is in't it? I am not exaggerating here.

Of-course they were BLAND :D

 Mama was getting ready and he promised to come early to take care fo Babbi the day I got sick. All of a sudden he took off and said he will take care right from that point. I know its nothing for most for you but for me, I am still in the state of shock that he actually decided to stay home for me and took care of babbi.  He cooked all the three meals for three big days in a row which is again a feat. I did enjoy the pampering, he did not let me do any work ( that was life!!). Lets talk about food shall we? it was the fish fry the other day and a simple vegetarian meal the next day. I had the pleasure of eating his rasam, tomato thokku and beans stir fry, bliss( this is purely exaggeration, LOL). His extravagant cooking marathon finished with his infamous pulicurry, papadam and some masala vada. It had its effects on me. I will not talk about the taste here, it does not matter anymore (does it??). What actually matters is the feel I got from the experience, I still wish to not fall sick again. :p . 

Busy mixing for Vada

None of these photographs were taken to be on the blog. They are one time happenings and I wish to keep the memories alive. Most of these are mama's clicks. As for his photo HE suggested it (quite a show off) and was very particular I post one with his ray ban glasses on . Sure I did MAMA, hope you like it :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Yeast spotting :)

I am a baker and I am really proud of it. Baking helps me relax so does blogging. But I get no time to blog which is a pity, the moment Babbi falls asleep in the afternoon I just run back to my computer to blog. Today was actually a good day for my baking and I have finally made some perfect stuffed buns for lunch. 

Beauties :)
I am more of a savory baker than the cake one. Basically because mama has no love for cakes and I like cakes but can't over stuff them( I have no sweet tooth). Lets see : 1 piece a day and I am done. It is just the baking and frosting part I like about it. My baking pans are so big that I end up making cakes that are big and boring, they take around four long days to get over and I will constantly beg mama to finish them. Mama has a sweet tooth but a selective sweet tooth, yes he eats chocolate like crazy, a bar at a time. Switzerland is famous for chocolates and so is mama's chocolate appetite(yes, we made our dentist rich). But he cannot show the same love for my chocolate cakes which is bad. So cakes are only for celebrations and I strictly never touch my cake stuffs unless and until there is a birthday or anniversary coming up. 

But baking does not stop just with cakes, it offers savory options too. That is the most wonderful news to me. If baking powder is for cake, yeast is for savory. My first experience with yeast will be the Indian naan bread I made ages ago back in Chennai.  The next scene as usual begins in Geneva.  Many of  my friends who live abroad say they bake a lot. I think its a very healthy news and the main reason being the lovely ovens that come along with the stove. You are tempted to see how it works and you end up baking every week. In India we don't find them together but everywhere else we do.

Ready to get hot and sexy.....

When my search for a wonderful cake recipe ended with a stuffed bun recipe in Ria's blog, everything changed. I was hooked forever for savory baking since. The first and foremost element that goes in will be the stinky yeast. Since its french, German and Italian here finding yeast is indeed a big a task. But I was sure to find them because people here bake a lot and this is a bread country. It was a task to even identify the correct flour used for baking. They have like 10 varieties for flour and even people who live here find it hard to explain me how they differ. It is a close call but I somehow found the white flour by trial and error method, it is that bad. Yeast did not pose much problem to me because the it was very easily accessible in the fridge section and costs 25cents. That's a surprise, you never get anything for that price no where in Geneva. There is a small drawback here, the yeast for fresh. 

I have never worked with fresh yeast before and I have never seen any bloggers suggesting it too. Its shelf life is to be blamed, it lives good for a month. The dried once live for months together. Since it was impossible to find the dry yeast in the baking section I was happy with my catch. Fresh yeast worked really well for me and I was very happy with the result. Buns and pizzas rose to glory and I was extremely thrilled with the outcome. But I still longed for the dry yeast because I was wasting almost half of the fresh yeast I got all the time. So it fell first into my India shopping list. 

The Brutus :( French and Indian yeast 

When I went home I brought two different packets of yeast just in case. I was very happy actually with the two big packs of yeast I was stocked up for almost a year. I also know I was saving (lol, 25 cents is no saving but still). With lots of baking dreams I came here and opened my first packet of yeast just a week later. My yeast was dead, yes it was never alive no matter what I did. The whole packet was a loss and my heart was heavy with sadness. I still had high hopes and opened my second packet a week later. This too was dead, meaning the yeast did not froth nor the dough raised even after 3 hours of waiting. It was a devastating moment especially after bragging to mama about how much I was saving. I was desperate to have a break, it was sick to watch the dough sitting just like that for hours together. Having failed miserably with the Indian yeast I ran back to my faithful fresh yeast. 

Will you raise? plz plz plz

Mama knew I was very upset, he was even comforting me. He said I can buy the fresh yeast and bake anything I want. He wanted me to forget the dry yeast idea and stick to the always-been-with-me fresh yeast. To make things hard the fresh yeast failed too. It was a nightmare. I felt suppressed,  oppressed and extremely depressed with the yeast and decided I will never make buns or pizzas again. I still could not come out of this problem. I watched videos, read blogs, more blogs even downloaded a book to see what when wrong. I even tried changing the flour, water temperature, sugar level, milk quantity and the place for no improvement. I wanted to try some thing else, a new packet of yeast then. This is when I found the dried yeast in one of the stores silently sitting on the baking aisle. I literally jumped in joy. My problems are finally over my yeast curse is broken I thought and brought the packet home.

The spell BREAKER , ummmma :)
Signs of victory was all over my face and mama was happy for me. He was packing for his trip to London and was a little taken back by my suggestion of buns for dinner. But I was not giving up it was like a exam for me and I have to pass. I broke the first packet and dumped it into the warm water and waited for it to froth, it did not. I broke the next packet and dumped the contents in the flour and mixed them and let it stand for 2 hours. It did not raise. I totally had wasted 1 kg of white flour and I felt extremely miserable  I wanted to throw away the remaining dry yeast packets. I was crazy angry. I had no one to talk to or who will really help me with this. 

Mama had no idea how to cheer me up, he really thought this was nothing. He had no idea how this affected me. I was yeast cursed and I wanted a spell to break it. To cheer me up he promised to get me something really nice from London and I asked him to get me YEAST instead. Yes, I asked him to buy me a packet of yeast from London  I was that crazy. He understood I guess. The first thing he got after a long busy day was a packet of yeast for me. Wasn't that sweet of him? 

Yes, we rose to glory :)

He came to a very-dull-me and gave a green packet that looked nothing like a spell breaker. I had nothing to lose and attempted one last try.
TADA....... It was the curse breaker, my yeast curse broke like forever with the green beauty. The joy was immense when I saw my dough raise after two long months. Finally I got peace and my heart was fluttering like a butterfly. Its been a month since the spell broke and here I am with my latest healthy wheat flavored buns stuffed with yummy left-over-chicken stuffing. 

All set for the magic to happen
I loved the fact that the dough rose and the buns looked sexy and soft. Tasted like hell and heaven. Wow, I can never make anything so perfect like those. Don't ask about mama we are  not-in-talking-terms for a while, so he never opened his mouth to say how wonderful the buns were. Maybe he was speechless with the taste, never mind  Babbi felt it was too hot for her tongue, yes it is. But she was happy with biting the outer shell that tasted good too.

Priceless victory!!
The recipe was not stolen, my own. not enough white flour and hence used the wheat flour. Chicken was again a last minute addition, it is very handy to make things look super sexy. How can I even forget the Parmesan which I drizzled over the mix before stuffing? See I can't give you the recipe, cuz there is no precise quantity I used, I even forget the ingredients I use. I dumped some flour, added some water and yeast made the dough and baked. So like I always say GOOGLE is Google  go ahead and look for it you will find tons and tons of recipes.  HAPPY BAKING !!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The lasagna story

My love for pasta is something I keep proclaiming now and then. I can be still more precise I love the dried ones better than the fresh ones, which is a surprise. I have seen so many videos where people talk about how we will hug the fresh ones if we try them. Well all of you have someone here to contradict. I find the dried ones more usable and extremely taste accommodating. I hate pasta made out of eggs both dry and wet.I still have to make my own pasta to complete the pasta research though.  Now that it is open that my post is about pasta lets go ahead. Shall we??

Lasagna, huh? first things first, it is a pasta dish. Yes, the cheese gooey  you will become fat for sure dish is a pasta dish. Unlike other pastas this particular pasta can be used to make ONLY lasagna. TLC introduced this dish to me but long before I got pregnant and mama had every opportunity to buy me one, but he DID NOT. I kept begging him to take me to an Italian restaurant and he never did until a few months back for pizza and not for PASTA. The only reason being Geneva is crowded with Italian restaurants. We have an average of two restaurants per street. But none of these restaurants sell lasagna or polenta both traditional Italian which is a shame. Don't ask me about the Pizza it sucks too that is why I make my own pizza if I really want one.

That's how you must look....ummma

My carving for this particular dish made me go crazy at times and I wanted to eat it before my delivery (yes, for more than a year). My mother was feeling bad too for not being able to fulfill my pregnancy carvings. She had no idea how to make it or how the hell it looked like. Pity her, the mama guy is the culprit here who was happy in Geneva. Then I spotted the lasagna in the frozen section of nilgiris and I wanted it so badly. Amma was so generous  she told me I can buy one but can eat only a spoonful.  I agreed whole heartily and I tasted my first ever lasagna. It was not nice though but I has very happy having ended my lookout for this dish. I made my brother much more happier by giving him the almost full box of lasagna.


The next time I had the lasagna it was in Geneva and again it was frozen. But this one was much better than the first one AND mama liked it. I still scold him for ditching me back in India and he will give me his usual smug smile. Determined that the next time I eat lasagna it will be my version I got into the ingredients collection. Lasagna sheets are pretty expensive here and barilla is the only brand available so I was waiting for a sale. The sale did show up but it was stupid, if we buy 1Kg of barilla products we will get 20 % off. But mama thought I could pick my lasagna sheets and the wheat pasta which I have been eyeing for a while. He was probably feeling BAD for ruining my Italian dreams back home. LOL.  I grabbed this opportunity and embraced the two packets with all of my heart. Now that I have got the sheets I have to make some lasagna   FINALLY.


I have this idea about GREEN, I think green is good for your health. The pasta sheets had two flavors one the normal and the other will be spinach. I took the spinach of course, but thinking of the cheese, butter and beef mince that will go in this is just so lame. For anyone who wants to eat a piece of lasagna I warn you, IT IS NOT HEALTHY, but still u can afford to eat it if you happen to be starving for quiet a while. I know  what you are thinking but lets face it I have been dreaming about making this for at least a year so its not wrong.

The flop show :( sigh!!

The lasagna is a layered dish consisting of a red sauce and a white sauce. Traditionally the red sauce is made out of beef mince and tomato puree. The white sauce is a mix of flour, milk and lots of butter, I know u feel heavy when u read this. Last but not least the final layer is just, plain Cheese. Mozzarella or Parmesan. I use both :P. The first time I made lasagna, it was a big flop. Both the sauces did not turn out well and I hated the beef mince. It was the first and the last time I ever brought beef in my life. I am soo not a red meat person and I will never ever put my money on it. The white sauce, it was the DEATH of the dish. I do  not have a whisk and I have no idea how to make the sauce without it. I made a thick unruly dough and I hated the sight of it. I had to omit this sauce in the layering part. It was a 2 layer lasagna and I did not like it, had to throw away half of it. 

Not this  :(

That was quiet a disaster and I felt so so so bad. I never even bothered to make another lasagna until last night, which is like 5 months after the failure. This time it was not me but mama, suddenly he had an urge to check my pantry. He thought it was loaded and overflowing, maybe he got some dream I guess. He was in for a shock of course, there was nothing overflowing and every thing neatly stacked up. The only items unused were some biriyani masala packets which mama had brought for him ( I will never use them, I have my mom's best ever biriyani recipe) and the lasagna sheets. He asked me what I was going to do with them and I said I need to buy more cheese to make some lasagna and he readily agreed. Did I ever mention that mama loves anything that is deep fried or cheese filled??. Oh ya he loves my pizza better than the shop brought for the same reason, I am pretty generous with the cheese. :)

Complete with the rosemary.....

So it happened again my lasagna making  for the second time and it was awesome. Should I even tell you that? This time every damn thing was planned, the recipe checked 10 times. My red sauce was a simple marinara sauce with some shredded carrots and left over chicken chunks (last minute addition). The white sauce was not exactly the butter, flour and milk mix. I added some mushroom, onion and spinach to make it more filling and less intimidating. Just a dollop of butter and that is all.  It came out super good and the texture was perfect and it was WHITE. The layering was all done in minutes, everything was falling into its place and I baked them covered for 30 mins and uncovered for the cheese to brown for another 15 minutes. Voila we were done. 

The last piece, we are full :)

My baking tray is really big, I can cook it for a family of four and I still have not thought about buying a small one. Hence we had the same lasagna for two meals, we had no choice but no one was complaining. No one will want to waste the cheesy evil goodness. This time Babbi wanted to eat some and mama gave her a small piece. She wanted some more and mama was telling "she is enjoying and eating this, just like you" . He is jealous that Babbi likes my kinda food and not HIS :). Did I ever mention she is not much of a rice lover? GLEE ...