Monday, October 19, 2015

King of Fall...reminiscence contd...

                This is the time that I miss Boston winter the most, the time of thanks giving, the time of the beautiful winter fare. When the best local blue cheese floods the market along with the amazing winter squashes and lovely game. The time to see what other chefs have thought of as their winter style statement.



               The white winter would perfectly complement the musky woody feel outside and the hearty soul warming feel in the food. In India the beauty of winter transition has its own charm, starting from the seasonal fare like the black carrot kanji and the sarson ka saag in the north to the warm Gajar ka halwa that makes you wait every year for the supple and pink Delhi carrots, not to forget the shalgam gosht and Shab Deg of my city Lucknow. 

                 Lucknow is the city of Unani medicine, the city of taseer. Old Lucknow residents still swear by the seasonality of cuisine. There'd be a sudden change in the food atmosphere and the aromas in the Chowk area, also known as the 'lungs' of lucknow in the old literary circle of Awadh, where the food smells or rather the transition of these smells indicates the change of seasons. The fluffy and flavorsome Nimish or Makkhan Malaai becomes a popular breakfast along with the warming Nihari and Black carrot halwa. Not to forget the Kashmiri chai which is no way related to kahwa but it's essentially, milk cooked in copper and craftingly poured and re-poured from heights to get a light pink hue, a color which the commoner would relate to the Kashmiris traveling to Awadh. It is served with a crumbled filo-like kagazi samosa making it a soul warming experience of a lifetime. 
                  Coming back to the US I realized that the sense of seasonal diet while diminishing in a globalized India is still held high in the west which might be out of the sheer necessity to stay warm in extreme winters. While I'm proud to be a part of the new breed of Indian chefs who believe that India does not need to look west for culinary inspiration, food and lifestyle integration is something that we can take from them this time of the year so wishing you a winter full of local and seasonal flavors and aromas....

Here's a winter recipe for you to try :-
 
PUMPKIN SOUP

Ingredients
Olive Oil : 1 tsp
Chopped Garlic : 1 tsp
Chopped Ginger :1 tsp
Chopped Onion :1 tbsp
Red Chili Powder : 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1 tsp
Coriander Powder : 1 tsp
Salt : to taste
Crushed Black Pepper : to taste
Chopped Apple : ½ cup
Chopped Pumpkin :1 cup
Oatmeal : 1-2 tbsp

For Garnish :

Chopped Celery :2 tbsp
Parmesan Cheese : as per taste
Crushed Black Pepper : to taste
Gorgonzola Cheese : to taste
Honey : few drops
Degi Mirch : a pinch
Garlic Bread : as per taste

Method :

1. In a pan heat olive oil, add chopped garlic, chopped ginger, chopped onion, red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt, crushed black pepper, chopped apple, chopped pumpkin, water and cover the pan and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Remove the pan lid and keep aside some mixture for the garnish.
3. Add water to the pan mixture and blend it. Then sieve it further.
4. Boil the sieved soup and add oatmeal to it and let it cook further.
5. Add chopped celery and parmesan cheese. Transfer the soup to a bowl.
6. Add gorgonzola cheese at the centre. Sprinkle degi mirch and drizzle few drops of honey on cheese. Serve the soup immediately with garlic bread.

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