Yoo! Hoo! My 50th post. I have done it, I have done it, I have done it.
I had set myself a target of 50 posts before the year ended and here I am with my 50th.
Blogging is therapeutic( I am sure all my fellow bloggers agree) and food blogs are way beyond recipes, cooking and eating. They capture food memories, reminiscence about old times, connect up with friends, help you relax, inspire you to cook more, make you feel more confident to experiment etc. etc. etc. In short a happier me.
My focus when I started writing the blog were the recipes. Today I enjoy writing the food stories that accompany these recipes. The drama I create lets me relive a part of my childhood/youth or capture my present.
My post 'Yan can cook', 'Julie and Julia' were about my initiation into cooking. A few good laughs among family/friends about those initial disasters followed. A big Thank you to all those who patiently put up with my cooking and encouraged me to try harder. I am at it.
Comfort Food was all about comforting childhood memories( through food of course). Memories that invoke a sense of nostalgia and security even years later. They also remind me about my early exposure to cuisines beyond that of my own region.
I particularly enjoyed writing the post Quick Gun Murugan. It was different from my other posts not just by the conspicuous absence of a recipe but also( and more importantly so) it is a post that unites two different generations through food. My Dad and his fondness for Idlis AND my son and his love for the same. Dad passed away four years ago but it almost feels that a little bit of Dad's love for Idlis lives through my son.
For my Golden Jubilee post I shall write about yet another family favorite, Moussaka. I first sampled Moussaka at my friend K's place. K is a good friend and a wonderful cook. Someone who serves Patishapta (a traditional Bengali sweet) with a rich plum sauce and layers her cheese cakes with notun guder(jaggery) mishti doi( sweet curd). Over the years K and I have exchanges recipes, indulged in a lot of food talk but the one recipe that I instantly associate with K is Moussaka.
Moussaka is a three layered main course Greek Dish. Yes, the name does make you feel curious to know a little more but it is the taste, the combination of all those various flavors that tips the scales.
You could also make this with regular leftover keema cooked the Indian way.
Keema or mince: 500 grams
Onions: 2 finely chopped
Tomato puree: 3/4 tbsp
Garlic: chopped fine
Brinjals: 1 large( Buy the bharta baigan which does not have seeds).
Oil: 1 tbsp( I use Olive oil)
Curd: 200 grams
Oregano: 1 tsp
Boil the potatoes and cut them into thick roundels. Cut the Brinjal into thick roundels and shallow fry them with a little bit of salt.
Heat some oil, add the finely chopped onion, fry till the onion turns glassy. Next add the garlic and fry for a few minutes. Add the keema and saute for 4/5 minutes. Next add the tomato puree, salt and oregano and continue to cook. Cover and cook till done. With very fine mince this should not take more than ten minutes. Please note that the mince would also get cooked after you have assembled the dish and put it in the oven to bake.
Once the mince is done start layering the dish. Use a deep bottom dish as there would be six layers in all. Use potato as the bottom layer, top with brinjal and then the cooked mince. Repeat. Do not press the layers down. There should be some gap for the egg and curd mixture to seep through.
Next beat the curd and egg with some salt and pepper. Pour over the potato, brinjal and mince layers. Allow it to settle down.
Bake at 200 degree centigrade for 30/45 minutes with both upper and lower coils on. The dish should brown lightly.
Serve it with a clear soup and some garlic bread/bread sticks.
Note: It definitely tastes better than it looks in the picture. I am working on my plating and photography skills. Please bear with me
If making it as part of your entertainment menu, I would recommend making the mince/boiling the potatoes and shallow frying the brinjals a day earlier. You could assemble and set the dish to bake about an hour before your guests are scheduled to arrive.
Like I mentioned earlier my family loves Moussaka. Come to think of it most of my other blog posts are also family favorites. That makes us quite a foodie family, doesn't it? They are my constant inspiration to try out new dishes. This week, it has been a hattrick. My new finds include Pinacorn salad( even a variation with some french beans, boiled pasta and cubed paneer), Mushroom soup and Tom Yam Soup(made from scratch and with lemon grass from my kitchen garden).
Bon Apetit and Happy Cooking!
P.S: Hope to upload 100 posts over the next one year. So wish me good luck. Cheers!