To all of you who wrote in with good wishes - thank you. And yes, everything at the wedding was just great and so much fun. Didn't I promise to be back in a week? That's because I had no idea how tiring a wedding in the family could be. Even when, technically, I wasn't doing a thing. We had so many people around the house to help with the guests - extra maids and guards and cooks and what not.
Still, I would need some time to get over the fatigue. So while I am not cooking anything new just yet, I thought you might want to hear about the chef I just mentioned. Yes, to help with the cooking for the guests, we had the chef from one of the clubs in the town work at our home for a week. And wow, what a cook! After every meal, he would have someone trooping into the kitchen to ask for the recipes. Not something he terribly enjoyed. But once I'd shown him this blog and told him that he'd feature here, he was happily parting with his best kept secrets. So, I present to you my favorite recipes from the food cooking at our home during the wedding days. No pictures because, well, how do you explain to a house full of relatives why their lunch is delayed!
Instead, let's talk about paneer pakoras. Not the regular ones, mind you, but this very special variety made only in Amritsar.
First you cut 200 grams of paneer into cubes. Grind 4 cloves of garlic into a paste, adding a little water and drizzle on the paneer cubes. Also sprinkle salt, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, a pinch of turmeric and a tsp of ajwain. Now add a handful of besan, just enough to coat the paneer cubes in a thin layer and mix it well. You need to take care not to break the paneer pieces so handle it lightly. Now add juice of half a lemon and a tbsp of chopped cilantro.
Heat oil in a pan. Mix the paneer cubes with the lemon juice et al, and drop into the oil. Cook on a medium heat until golden. The pakoras will be a lot crispy than your usual variety since they have just a thin coating of besan and spices.
To go with the pakoras, he made the green chutney I've been dying to get the recipe for. Here it is, for you as well. Start with a large bunch of mint. Tear off the leaves and discard the stems. Wash the leaves thoroughly to clean. Also peel and chop a 1 inch piece of ginger and a medium sized onion. Grind the mint leaves, onion and ginger alongwith salt, 1/2 tsp of chilli powder, a tbsp of toasted cumin seeds, 2 tbsp anardana (dried pomegranate seeds) and a tsp of sugar. Make sure you make it into a fine paste; you can store this in the fridge for upto a week. When about to eat, mix up equal quantities of mint paste and yogurt until well blended. And that's your perfect chutney to go with the pakoras.