I hope everybody had a relaxing and delicious Mother’s Day, not often we celebrate the person who is responsible for us being in this world. I am the exact opposite of who my mum is in my thinking and living, but I have been inherited her love of cooking and reading. I was a bit hesitant in writing this post, wasn’t sure if it was going to be “pretty” enough to be blogged about. The initial idea of this started with a cousin and a friend to test out a few Tacos for our first Dine with Me dinner. We are planning on hosting our first dinner (of course once we find the venue for it) end of this Month or first of next, so we thought Mother’s Day was perfect to call the family and test out the recipes on them. The only problem here was that we decided on this idea rather late, and by the time we were done planning, thinking and prepping we were exhausted. When we discussed it initially we thought beautiful plates, flowers, colorful table setting, drinks, and beautifully presented food. It was anything but that, I couldn’t find my plates because most of the ones are in the boxes. Knowing I am about to move soon, I didn’t have it in me to open the boxes to find the plates for decorating. We were running behind on the food and so tired that none of us had time to think about the pretty flowers. In the end I just thought, oh forget it I am not going to blog about it because I don’t have pretty plates to present my food. When I started this blog I had no clue how hard it is to make the pictures look beautiful, the thought process that goes in the background, garnish, color combinations, and to make sure the food tastes good. It is not easy folks, but then I thought well why not? What if I don’t have pretty plates for this occasion, the food is still great. The people who it is meant for are pretty, in the end what really matters is not the plate you eat in but the people you eat with.
So nothing of the beautiful table setting happened, neither I looked like a million dollar (rather exhausted and droopy eyes from all the cooking) but the overall lunch was delicious and blissful. Tacos are always easy to me and one that you can get really creative with. It is entirely up to you what you want to put between those tortillas, it can be Nutella/banana or it could be siracha and cheese. You can dress up your Tacos whichever way you like. A brief history of Taco from what I have read (though come to think of it nobody has mentioned Tacos in culinary history as much), they were invented of course in Mexico by the miners. Taco is a term used by the miners to exhume gunpowder in the mine and insert it in the rock holes. Basically like a paper you wrap around the gunpowder, if you think of what Taco shell looks like now. Also I think most of the food eaten with hands mostly originates from the working class and hard laborers, for example sushi, sandwiches and Tacos. Some of us in India have the same idea but putting potato in a puri and folding it and eating it on the run. This is also a great idea, because people are involved and they get to choose what they want in their food and how much of it. Taco bars are best for any party, so even though my moment of being Ina Garten or Martha Stewart was short-lived, we were able to deliver a rather delicious lunch diner style.
The menu included paneer, potato, chicken and fish tacos. We had radish raita, dill sauce, poblano sauce, masala corn salsa, and chutney crema. To finish it off a delicious desert of Tres Leches, of course we put a little Indian touch to it as well. So here are just a few recipes of the dishes we made, if I started to write them all this post would get rather long.
- 1 bunch of red radishes
- 1 cup non-fat yogurt
- 1 cup light sour cream
- 1 tbsp. of jeera (cumin seeds)
- 1 ½ tbsp. of fennel seeds
- 3 long chilies chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
Shred the radishes, add salt to them and let it sit for a few minutes. Drain the water in the radish; add the rest of the ingredients. Taste for salt and pepper, you can always add more chilies or cumin if you prefer. If it stays overnight the flavor will develop more.
Masala Corn Salsa
- 1 bag of frozen corn
- 1 medium white onion – diced
- 2 medium size tomatoes (4 if you are using plum) – diced
- 2 tsp black mustard seeds
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- 6-8 curry leaves (dry or fresh)
- 2 tbsp. desiccated coconut powder
- 1 tbsp. Kashmiri chili powder
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tbsp. Chat masala (you will find this in an Indian store easily)
- Salt to taste
Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let them pop (this is important as it removes the bitter taste of the seeds), add curry leaves and corn to the pan. Cook it for about 5-7 minutes and add the chili powder, garlic powder and coconut powder. Add salt towards the end and let it cool.
Take the chopped onion and tomatoes and add it to the cooled corn. Add the chat masala to the mix and stir; I added cilantro with it as I like it you can too if you like. Mix it all up and serve.
I will come back and post the recipe for the potatoes and paneer with better pictures and steps. For now these two are a must and very easy to make, something that you can add on your burgers or wrap up in a tortilla with other things. Will stay in the fridge for up to 4 days so make a little more and enjoy it throughout your week.
Tres Leches recipe is available on this blog, the only thing I did different to make it Indian was to boil the evaporated milk with black tea leaves and chai masala (you can find this in the Indian store as well, but if you would like to make your own here is a good link). Drain the liquid and cool, add it with the condensed milk and heavy cream. This will give it a nice taste to it, made me feel like I was eating kulfi cake.
Lastly, how can we forget about our pet Lily, she had to come out and join us for some shredded lettuce. After all it is all in the family. Enjoy the rest of your week. I will be back (totally Arnold style ) with more recipes this week.