Am sure each one of us has great memories of the time we spend in the kitchen. Sometimes we churn out a master dish while sometimes there is a great kitchen mess. What memory is still fresh in your head. Do share with me…
I am not a great cook and I have always kept a maid for cooking. But I made an effort to learn cooking when my daughter turned six months old. The day she turned six, I tried to make kheer, my first honest attempt towards cooking other than tossing up eggs, coffee and of course Maggi.
Just because I wanted to stay away from the packaged foods for babies, I tried my best to come up with something new for her. Some days were good while some days were bad with major disasters in the kitchen. But this did not stop me and with each passing day, both my cooking skills and confidence improved.
Soon her school started and with that started her ‘dabba’. With this, started my search for new tiffin ideas every day. When she was in the smaller classes, it was easier as she only had to take a small tiffin that too with a snack since she was served lunch at school. Serving meals in school was a great idea as this allowed the children to eat with a group and also encouraged them to try new things which otherwise they will never do at home. I remember, she came up to me once and said she is very fond of Idlis. Till then I had never made idlis for her and soon after learnt to make them at home as well.
Lately, I have been experimenting with parathas. Sometimes, its palak paratha or beetroot paratha, dal paratha and yes the more common ones … aloo, paneer and ghobi paratha. Can you believe that I have even made dhaniya chutney parathas? I have so religiously been serving parathas, that to break the monotony I am always on a lookout for interesting, easy and not to forget nutritious recipes (since my daughter does not eat all the veggies I try to sneak in a lot of them in her food)
A week back I found a new recipe … pumpkin cutlets … found it very interesting and tried it out. It turned out to be pretty good. My daughter loved them and gave her divine approval as a new snack for her tiffin.
Yesterday when I went to the vegetable shop I saw a bright yellow fresh pumpkin. I remembered the lip-smacking cutlets I had made the other day. I bought it along with some other vegetables.
I could not wait to make the cutlets. Usually, I do all the cutting and preparations at night so it is easier for me in the morning. I carefully peeled the pumpkin, cut it into small pieces and put them in the cooker and waited patiently for two whistles.
Now, this is where I made my first mistake. After cooling the boiled pumpkin, instead of mashing the pieces through a sieve in order to get a pulp I put them in the grinder as I was feeling a little lazy. This resulted in a puree. A lovely yellow-orange puree … had my daughter been at an age where she just started eating, I would have fed it right away to her.
Though I was disappointed with the puree I still continued with the other steps. I pulled out the saucepan, added some oil along with cumin seeds. When there was an aroma of the seeds I poured in the puree followed by salt and ragi flour. I was a little sceptical whether the ragi flour would be able to bind the mixture. I continued to stir the mixture until it thickened a little and also the colour changed to a deep brown.
I waited for the mixture to cool down … enough so that I could handle it without burning my hands. Quietly I was boosting myself that it is going to be a great day and a great recipe. I smeared oil on my hands to make cutlets of the mixture. I did manage to make cutlets, but only 2. On top of that, the mixture was very sticky. Thinking of how to save the day, I added ‘sooji’ (semolina) but this was a vain attempt and the batter was still sticky. I was literally boxing with the batter and it seemed that it had won round 1 as I had it all over my hand. I could feel it is screaming, “give up I am the winner”.
Still trying to be positive I added ‘atta’ (wheat flour) to it. I added 1 spoon, 2 spoons and finally 1 Katori full atta to the batter. Finally, it became less sticky, but I had a new worry now. The consistency which was required for cutlets was not achieved but instead the mixture, the batter turned into a dough, and it was still runny.
Still, I did.t give up, I smeared some oil on my palms and made 6-7 medium sized cutlets. Since I was not sure whether the atta would cook, or the runny cutlets would be successful, I put one of them on the pan. The outcome was fine, I was neither sad, nor happy, and quietly kept the rest in the fridge for the morning. However, today morning when I took out the cutlets, they seemed to be a little runny. Since I have had enough boxing rounds yesterday, I simply picked up the rolling pin and rolled the cutlets into mini parathas. So much for the pumpkin cutlets!
However, if you wish to make some pumpkin cutlets, you can find the recipe here. Do try them. They are not only yummy but nutritious also.
Linking this post to #Monday Musings
Also, linking it with #TwinklyTuesday