-- My late Nani ji
She was the first one who instilled in me the desire to enter the kitchen and cook up delicacies in a jiffy with local stuff, food that enticed all the senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and feel.
We talk about plating dishes now, but she had taught her daughter and grand-daughter about presentation a long time ago. You would want to eat all that she dished out.
Malaai ki Subz.
I don’t know how many of you out there, collect the malaai (cream) of milk; like my mom I have been in the habit of collecting the milk’s cream/malaai.
It serves two purposes…
1) this makes the milk you drink comparatively less in fats.
2) also, you don’t have to but tetra packs of fresh cream , when you have it in your fridge at all times.
Like most of my dishes this one too has a story. It was when I was in standard eleventh (I guess), when in my ever varying tween moods I had given impromptu invitations to two of my buddies for lunch, without even informing my mum( read designated chef).
Anyways I did surprise my mum with my two friends. I didn’t have to tell her that they would be staying for lunch, for in my home it was a given that guests would be fed as if there was a gala party. So while mum had made lunch only for me, she had to check the pantry and the fridge to come up with something quick for all of us hungry souls.
It was then that this subzi was born. It was made with malaai/ milk cream and some aromatic Indian spices. And with a few veggies thrown in, the malaai was well disguised (urrgghh ! how we hated malaai back then), and the dish lip smackingly good.
I made this dish today, for lunch, as I wanted something tasty yet simple with no elaborate preparations. After which I called mom to tell her that she has taught me so much while not actually saying a word. Thanks Maa!!
Malaai ki Subz
4 tbsp malaai/milk cream
a pinch of cumin
2 tbsp chopped onion
1 medium sized potato, boiled and cubed
2 tbsp chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp carrot, diced
2 tbsp frozen peas
1 tbsp green bell-pepper/capsicum, diced
½ tsp ginger-garlic paste
a pinch of garam masala ( an indian spice mix)
½ tsp chopped green chillies
1 tsp cooking oil
salt to taste
In a wok, heat oil, and add cumin seeds. Once they splutter add the chopped onions and sweat them a little.
Now add the tomatoes, carrots, capsicum, peas and chillies . Add the ginger-garlic paste and garam masala. Add salt as desired. Cook covered for half a minute, stirring occasionally.
Finally add the boiled potatoes and milk cream. Stir well.
Serve hot with parathas/ chapattis.