When Christianna had taken me into the Recipe Swap group (read more about the group here), one of the things she said in our initial correspondence was that she was excited to get an Indian perspective for the swap recipes. While all my swaps have not been with an Indian twist, I thought with the Indian festival season here, I would give this time’s recipe swap an Indian twist.
When I saw the swap recipe (for a carrot pie), my initial plan was to make this carrot souffle I saw in a magazine I had just bought. But then I am not much of a fan of pureed carrots. It reminds me of baby food, and even though the recipe sounded interesting, I wasn’t sure I would truly enjoy it.
So I thought of making something Indian. Now, I am not a big fan of Indian sweets. I like them but most of them I find too sweet. If I want something sweet I generally prefer a baked good over the traditional sweets. Though I don’t mind a piece of gulab jamun, or hot atte ka halwa now and then. And sometimes gajar ka halwa too makes the privileged list.
Gajar ka halwa (or Indian carrot pudding) is a dessert of creamy, thickened milk with softened carrots contrasting with the added crunch of nuts. Milk and grated carrots are cooked until they become a dryish homogeneous mass, and then cooked with a little clarified butter (or ghee) and sugar and subtly flavored with cardamom powder and sometimes saffron strands to make absolute deliciousness.
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A new month and with it comes a new recipe swap.
This time Christianna of Burwell General Store asked us to give our take on Oregon style coleslaw.
We have had a coleslaw recipe swap earlier as well. That time I had given an indo-chinese take on the recipe. This time too I am doing an Indo-chinese take on the recipe.
I don’t know why, but there is something about cabbage that always makes me think of chinese food. Maybe because of its use in chow mein noodles. Or in manchurian. Or in spring rolls.
Growing up I loved spring rolls. My mom would hardly make them at home, but we would get them at the Air Force Mess parties and I would always feast on them. The filling always comprised of cooked chow mein noodles mixed with finely chopped veggies like carrots, cabbage and bell peppers that were sauteed in soy sauce, vinegar and ginger garlic paste. The wrappers always made from scratch.
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As I started writing this post, I could hear the sounds of fighter planes (going about their routine sorties) in the background. And that was enough for nostalgia to sink in.
My dad is a fighter pilot for the Indian Air Force. My childhood has been spent in air force stations (or air force base as they are called in the US). And growing up, the sound of MiGs up in the sky was a common affair.
Sometimes our dads would have night flying. Those were much anticipated events for the wives and the children as well. For us kids, it meant meeting our friends past the regular day time hours and seeing air crafts take off on the runway at night. A truly incredible sight. Our moms would also pack a little snack or something for their kids and to share with everyone and it used to be a mini picnic of sorts. Those were fun days.
The recipe today has nothing to do with those days. In fact all this nostalgia started after I made this dish and made me reminisce the old days. I thought I would quickly share some of it with you.
Coming to this month’s recipe swap. I was supposed to post this recipe yesterday, as we always do for the monthly recipe swap. But somehow couldn’t.
This time Christianna had given us a vintage Ham snails recipe to play with.
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For the month of February, Christianna of the Burwell General Store chose a wild rice dressing as the recipe to be swapped.
The rules of the swap are simple. Each month Christianna sends us a recipe from a vintage cookbook, to which we have to give our own twist by changing at least three things either in the recipe’s ingredients, or technique or both.
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