Konkan cuisine – weddings and family get togethers

In the Konkan region, weddings spell hope, joy and permanence of relationships. Agarbattis and silver lamps are all around the dining area and with devotional chants the meal begins. The meal is usually vegetarian and is served after the wedding ceremony is over. It is a common custom to draw a colourful pattern rangoli with white flowers around the taat (plate). The wedding feast is generally served in a taator on a banana leaf in a specific order.
There are chutneys, salads, dry vegetables, gravies, plain rice, puris, and a sweet dish like jalebi, creamy basundi or saffron flavoured shrikhand. Mattha or coriander-leaf-flavoured-salted-buttermilk complements the meal which ends with a sweet paan called beeda.
Pregnancy
The arrival of a baby is awaited with bated breath and lot of expectations. The Gods’ blessings are invoked for the health and safety of both the mother and child through almost the entire period of pregnancy. In the seventh month of the first pregnancy, a function called oti bharane is held when several married ladies gather together to bless the mother-to-be with coconut, whose auspiciousness is well known.
Child birth
On the 6th day after the birth of a child, khichdi is made of moong dal and rice along with jaggery and cashew nuts. It is believed that on this day God comes to bless the newborn. Small children are invited and served with kheer and khichdi.
On the 12th day, the naming ceremony of the newborn – the barsa – is celebrated with a lot of joy and festivities. Some people have a havan followed with a festive meal followed by the cradle ceremony, when the newborn is put into a decorated cradle and given a name. The cradle ceremony is held in every family.
Death
On the 12th day after death, a meal is served to the Brahmins when relatives are also invited to partake in it. It is believed that on this day the departed soul moves away from the material world into the heavenly folds. There are some specific dishes, which are made only on this occasion, and otherwise considered a taboo.

Wonderchef show in Gurgaon on April 15

Am in Delhi today and tomorrow at Gurgaon – for a Wonderchef Demo. The time is 11.30 am and venue: Vipul Green Club, Sohna Road, Opp South City 2, Gurgaon.

What will be I demonstrating? Some chicken, some dessert, some pizza…I will let the suspense remain! Right now, feeling that the moist air of so-hot Mumbai is better than the dry atmosphere of Delhi! Delhi thrives in a little world of its own. When it comes to food, the cuisine is fit for royalty as delicacies are served to prime ministers, presidents and dignitaries. Drop in at any Indian restaurant and a mind boggling array of Mughlai rich sauces, butter-based curries, ginger-flavoured succulently roasted meats will be available. Not to forgo is the rose petal strewn kulfi, which is creamy and melt-in-the-mouth. Old Delhi is a wandering gourmet’s delight as snacks like chana bhatura, stuffed kulchas and fruit chaats not only tingle the palate but also satisfy hunger pangs admirably well.

I do not know if I will have the time to go and have these in this trip but as the mouth waters thinking about the Dilli delights I will share some recipes with the same flavour.

Dilli Aloo Chaat, Chole ,Baked Bhature .

Meantime, I have to get back to the wedding functions that we are here to attend.

Happy Cooking
Sanjeev Kapoor

Make a plan and go for it!

It is a simple principle that always gives me great joy in life. Make a plan and go for it! It could be a planned day or a planned week, month or a year….like yesterday, was a planned Sunday for us. Did the shopping that was planned, cooked a lunch of Thai Green Curry and Jasmine Rice, saw two movies at home back to back, and then again feasted on some marvellous prawn curry sent over by our dear friend Nirmala aunty. Totally relaxed and so did Alyona as she got a good break from cooking!

Leaving for Delhi tomorrow to meet up family and attend a wedding. Then following on to Gurgaon for a Wonderchef show. It could be on the 15th or the 16th.Will post details as soon as I get confirmed info.

Which is the food that is in high demand in this season? Some will say mangoes and some will say ice cream! We now have so many brands to choose from with the Italian gelato also gaining favour. There are some classic ice cream desserts that are famous around the world, but I would like to mention the Arctic Roll which is a British dessert made of ice cream wrapped in sponge cake to form a roll, often with jam between the sponge and the ice cream. Another is Baked Alaska, a dessert made of ice cream straight from the freezer placed in a pie dish lined with slices of sponge cake and topped with meringue. The entire dessert if then placed in an extremely hot oven just long enough to for the meringue to set. The meringue is an effective insulator, and in the short cooking time needed, it prevents the heat from getting through to the ice cream. Ice-creams now come in a mind-boggling variety of flavours. Many people also like ice cream sundaes, with ice cream, hot fudge, nuts, whipped cream, cherries and other toppings of their choice. Here I will help you make ice creams with decidedly different flavours! Enjoy!

Chilli Ice cream

Gulab Jamun Ice cream

Mango and Coconut Ice cream


Till I write again

Sanjeev Kapoor.