March 11, 2009 – A Holi Cooking Lesson and a New Dessert
Today is Holi, a holiday I’ve written about before in my previous 2 blogs, and where you can see pictures and get more information if you want to. You can read more about Holi if you follow the link to the post from 2 years ago…my first Holi experience.
In order to avoid the hassle this year, my neighbor downstairs in the next guesthouse, Seema, who I’ve written about, invited me to come really early, before the “playing” begins, and have breakfast with them and then spend the worst part of the day at their house where I would be “safe”. So I did.
I was at their house before 8 in the morning, and had a wonderful cooking lesson from a really really good Indian cook. She not only knows about recipes etc., but I learnt a few really clever techniques from her as well which I will put into practice when I get home. I finally saw how to stuff paranthas without the stuffing oozing out while rolling them out and also how to seal holes, if they do occur, and ALSO how to cleverly absorb excess oil so that they final results are not greasy.
If anyone is interested, I’ll be glad to demonstrate after I’ve gone home and practiced the techniques myself. I also received a list of spices which are used which I would never think of combining and using like this myself, and the ones which are not available at home I will go and purchase in the market this week and bring home with me.
I had a lovely morning and couldn’t stop laughing watching the people “playing holi” all around me while remaining “untouchable” myself. It is now 1 in the afternoon, most people are by now either too tired or too drunk, or both, to continue bombarding each other with colored powder, water etc., and so it was finally safe to come back up to my room, where I will now cook a light lunch and then rest.
But before I finish, I mush tell you about a lovely new dessert I discovered yesterday with my friend Ilsa. (I think I’ve already described the paneer [cheese] bread roll which I ate at my favorite restaurant last week…paneer, which is sort of like a cross between cottage cheese and haloumi is mashed, seasoned and thena sliced of bread is moistened and wrapped abround it and shaped in an elipse form with points at both ends and full round middle, coated with bread crumbs and deep fried…scrumptious)…well yesterday we explored further and found right downstairs here a dessert called “apple fritter custard”. We had no idea what it was, but it finally arrived, enough for at least 3 people. A dinner plate cover with delicious custard and dried fruits and then deep batter fried pieces of apple placed on top. It was light, not greasy, even though deep fried, and so delicious that the two of us couldn’t even speak while eating other than various forms of “oooooooh”, “hmmmmmmmmmmm”, and “wow”, while stuffing our mouths.
These are two things I will definitely try to make at home and see if I can figure out how it is done etc.
And that’s about it for today.