A recipe, along with irrelevant pictures

Back home in India, summer vacations were for cooking experiments. Every evening, my sister and I would make something new, usually from a Tarla Dalal cookbook. Ms. Dalal made cookbooks popular when there were few cookbooks in India. Italian, Chinese,Thai, she tackled them all and made them easy. Thus a fifteen year old dared to make fresh pasta. (It was undercooked, but I've learned to be patient since then.)

When I came to the US, I re-discovered her in my sister's monster collection of cookbooks. The pattern repeated itself; I would cook a new recipe every day, only now I was using her books for traditional Indian recipes, having found more authentic recipes for Eggplant Parmesan and Thai Green curry.

We moved again. I vowed not to buy too many cookbooks. For the past few years, I have cooked only from my six cookbooks and countless internet recipes. It is a relief, then, that my favorite internet cooks continue to use her cookbooks. Where else would I find authentic Gujarati recipes?

 

Valor muthia nu shaak (Hyacinth beans and dumpling curry) makes for an excellent brunch. We had it with fresh fenugreek-radish paranthas. I bought both the beans and the fenugreek frozen at the Indian store. The original recipe is here. I used this version.

And here's a view of Las Vegas from the 23rd floor of MGM Signature, taken last year, for you, the person formerly known as somebody else. πŸ™‚

 

Have a wonderful new year.

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About purplesque

Psychiatrist, cook, bookworm, photographer. Not necessarily in that order.
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21 Responses to A recipe, along with irrelevant pictures

  1. Awww, that's good about the cookbooks! And what nice memories about your sister and the cooking.It's too bad thing like cookbooks aren't on CDs, so that you could store them in smaller areas…access as needed.

  2. Emjay says:

    I love buying cookbooks. Most of the time I have no intention of cooking anything out of it! I have quite a collection and it provides endless fun for the manservant to tell stories about. Lovely photo. I had two unbelievably good Indian meals in London! πŸ™‚

  3. jaklumen says:

    Cimmy and I also fell into a trap of "too many cookbooks" recently. I found that the ones I use most often are Joy of Cooking (2nd ed.), the Better Homes and Gardens bread machine cookbook I mentioned before, the instruction manual for our bread machine, and a 3-ring binder full of collected recipes. There are a few others that have recipes I consult regularly, but just about everything else I've never really utilized– even the "America's Test Kitchen" ones! (I had to cancel the subscription because it was becoming money wasted.)

  4. bee says:

    wish you a wonderful new year too. that is a very appetising pic.

  5. Waterbaby says:

    I looooove to cook! But if you move as often as I do (every year, sometimes 3 or 4 times in a year) you learn to keep the books at a minimum and rely on the Net for recipes. Great ones out there too!

  6. hahaha, until i saw the other reader's comment on your vegas picture, i was operating under the delusion that you were speaking to me!! after all, i am someone whose screenname has changed, but then i thought, how did she know that i got married in vegas, and that i fell in love with vegas and want to move there? she didn't know, did she? =)

  7. Purplesque says:

    Its a great idea, but if cookbooks were on CDs, I probably wouldn't use them. My problem is not so much with lack of space as much it is with having too many options. It confuses me and gets me off track. ( That sounds weird, but its true. I get terribly confused in shopping malls.)

  8. Purplesque says:

    Oh, yes..I've bought a lot of cookbooks and gifted them to other collectors..they are certainly a delight, whether you cook or not.Indian food in London is an institution. I hope there is a blog post about this.

  9. Purplesque says:

    Wow. My favorite cookbook to date has to be Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons. It has absolutely amazing recipes and a great approach to ingredients. My sister has one of those binders as well. πŸ™‚ I've started a recipe collection on delicious; its already become an organizer's nightmare.

  10. Purplesque says:

    Oh yes, thank God for the internet! I can buy something I've never cooked with before and find a recipe or variation thereof that I can use. Its like having a world library of cookbooks at your disposal.

  11. Purplesque says:

    Lol..I certainly did not know. But since you did, this picture is for you as well. Vegas is an intriguing city.

  12. Ah…..I thought it was storage.too many options Ha……..yes, I understand that. I avoid malls, too.

  13. We have a Tarla Dalal here in Australia called Margaret Fulton. I think a lot of Australian women learnt to cook from her.
    I used to buy lots of cookbooks but now I mostly just use the two favourite ones or look up recipes on-line.

  14. chingching says:

    what wonderful memories!! my childhood cooking memories consist of cooking with my mom, standing on a step stool by the kitchen counter… or digging recipes from whichever recipe I can lay my hands on and follow it to a T..I have become bolder now. Great pictures…

  15. Purplesque says:

    Margaret Fulton..I must look her up! Was she a Master of all trades as well?

  16. Purplesque says:

    Your memories sound wonderful. My mom would never allow a stool in the kitchen as I was bound to fall off it. I was an extremely impatient, disaster prone cook. Its better now, but I still get impatient at times and end up chopping a finger..lol

  17. Yes, very similar. Here is a link to the Wikipedia entry on her:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Fulton
    I don't have any of her cookbooks myself but remember my mum relying on her pretty heavily. She is still alive and somewhat of a national treasure.

  18. Purplesque says:

    πŸ™‚ All these famous cooks remind me of what I read recently on a blog..about how rubicund, cheerful, happy looking cooks are more likely to have better recipes. The author used Mario Batali as an example.

  19. Very true. My best friend who is a fantastic cook is a bit like that.

  20. Lyxbar says:

    Wow. My favorite cookbook to date has to be Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons. It has absolutely amazing recipes and a great approach to ingredients. My sister has one of those binders as well. πŸ™‚ I've started a recipe collection on delicious; its already become an organizer's nightmare.

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