I had a pretty nice birthday weekend: a quiet night in on Friday with the B/F and a rented movie. I made mirchi ka bajis (stuffed with cream cheese, a dab of garlic paste and Shilpa’s shenga chatni pitto– sort of like a Desi-Tex fusion- do try this, extremely good!), cabbage ka pakoras :-D, and alu ka bajis, and after all that deep-frying, popped a frozen pizza into the oven for the main course. Healthy meal, yeah… and, oh… ranch-style salad dressing and ketchup! (The B/F is not as fond of my usual hari chatni as I am, so I let my little green ice-cubes rest for the night)
The pizza was a great one- for frozen that is. For those of you here in the states, I recommend you seek out this brand: Home Run Inn. Out of Chicago. Been in business a long time, and for good reason! Good crust, great sauce, quality cheese… and for vegans, their “plum tomato pizza”- a sort of “reverse” pizza with the cheese as the first layer- is worth every penny. Total yum.
On Saturday night, my good friend Leon and I visited a local haunt for a few celebratory drinks and playful parley with mutual friends. It’s been hot in Green Bay these last few days- 87 F- and that tends to pull folks out of their homes and into the bars (“out of the wood-work”, as we say here)…I may have had 1 or 2 drinks too many, but I’m staying silent, and hey, they were birthday presents! [rubs his slightly-dull-feeling head] I think I’m still recovering…
And today I sat and looked at all the leftover alu ka bajis from Friday night. I made way too many. Kind of intentionally, as they turned out pretty well. I had cut them into lengthwise wedges (instead of rounds) before dipping them in the besan batter. Sort of to convince the B/F that they were very much like the local fare. I also had a plan in mind…
You see, the first frost arrives in Wisconsin at about this time. And there is a dish that I’ve been wanting to make with these:
Yep! Around here, growing these myself from taro-corms purchased from a Thai grocer is the only way to get them. The nearest Indian grocer doesn’t stock the frozen leaves. So, today I ventured outside with sunglasses and a scissors, snipped off 9 beautiful leaves, and proceeded to follow Roopa’s interesting patrode recipe… complete with the casually-fried onions in the the tadke/tempering. Delicious, people! and then I really needed a yoghurt dish to have along with it. Yes, a raitha is probably more traditional, but remember those leftover potato bajis that needed to be used up? And let me tell you: I’ve been having ferocious cravings for a particular little recipe of Anita’s ever since the first time I prepared it. The battered-and-deep-fried potato part was already done… no, not exactly like the usual kind with the finely-diced potato pakoras, but I can’t be the only one who uses up left-over pakoras and bajis in kadhi!
Some freshly-steamed rice, this and my pretty little rolls made for a nice, quiet treat. Just what I needed. And then my equally-quiet friend, James, stopped over for some coffee, likely with hopes of having a piece of now-nonexistant birthday cake. He is recently quite taken with a songstress popular a century ago: Sophie Tucker… We sat and sipped and explored her posted works on Youtube.com… and then I felt a sudden urge to dig out my collection of old 78-speed records. Bing, Mr. Jolson, Big Maybelle, Dinah and Rosemary. We were all together; good food, good friends, what more could I wish for?