And now, with being ill with a bad throat, fever and all the other accessories that come along with, I was craving some non vegetarian food.
I longed for spicy, throat tingling food that would rattle my taste buds back to their senses.
Everything seems to taste bland and smell of nothing right now.
But cooking non vegetarian food, especially when you are ill, is no mean feat.
The very thought of washing the stuff under running water made me cringe and I would bundle myself up even more. Not to mention the lack of strength to actually stand and cook.
B was handling the cooking part initially and was doing pretty well when it came to putting some soft, steaming hot khichuri on my plate both times.
But then just one week into my illness, he came down with the same too.
And then, it was milk, bread, biscuits and some bread again ... all the way.
We had to cancel our trip home twice .... and now have given up trying booking tickets again.
Right now, we are focusing on getting well first .... even before we start to think of making a trip to the cold, cold North India right now.
I have started to cook and have fallen back on my cooking in bulk plans ... which is helping hugely and ensuring that we are getting home cooked meals at least.
When the paracetamol is working, I make dal in bulk and knead atta too.
Also cook rice in bulk and make some vegetable bhaja.So all we have to do during mealtimes is load the plate and warm it in the microwave for a minute.
And we have a plateful of hot, homecooked food in a jiffy.
Now that winter is here in full swing, I am getting desperate to go out and buy fresh vegetables.
This is the time for hot, fresh vegetable parathas ... be it the methi paratha, aloo paratha, gobhi paratha or mooli paratha. Winter dinners have to have the parathas on the plate. Along with home made fresh achars.
But I will wait for a few more days.
Last evening, B said "Let's go out for a small drive. "
It was indeed getting suffocating at home ... staying put all these days while the outside rejoiced in the beautiful weather.
So we went out.
It was early evening and the sun was mellow. The trees were turning dark against the orange sun.
The air was crisp when I rolled own the windows for a while.
But the traffic was bad and we decided to turn back. Both of us mentioned at the same time that we ahve seen Pune in the best of times .... when there was almost no four wheeler traffic and zero pollution.
And especially when the outskirts of the city still had those rolling jowar fields and we could see a sunset just by standing on the banks of a river.
All of these are a dream these days .... the way the city has grown into a jungle in just 7 to 10 years.
We turned back and were heading home when B said "Would you like to buy some fish?" I was about to say yes then did not feel like eating fish. So we drove on.
And then, just around the corner, I spied the old mutton shop and immediately felt like eating some hot, soupy mutton jhol and bhaat.
I felt like eating something in a long time, given my taste buds have gone for a long vacation.
So, I went in and bought some good mutton.
And then, visions of the very soothing, warming and soft Mutton Pishpash swam before my eyes.
And I knew that was what I want.
The jhol can wait.
So today I will be having some steaming hot mutton Pish pash for lunch.
And I have this beautiful, spicy Mutton kheema recipe for you.
Beautifully cooked, creamy and spicy, this mutton kheema is the perfect dish for a winter dinner.
Or a lunch too.
I have made it the traditional Bengali way ... with lots of garlic, ginger and whole garam masala.
If you want to make it slightly dryish and pair it with Luchis, you can follow the recipe here.
Mutton kheema or minced mutton - 250 gms
Curd - 1 teacup
Onion - 1 medium, chopped
Onion paste - 1 tbsp
Ginger + Garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Turmeric / Haldi powder - 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Whole garam masala - 2 cloves, 1 small piece cinnamon, 1 black cardamom, 1 bay leaf
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Coriander / Dhania powder - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Cooking oil - 2 tbsp ( I use mustard oil )
Water - for gravy
How to :
Wash the minced mutton and marinate it with the curd for at least half an hour.
( You can marinate it and then go about preparing the masalas and other things in that time. )
Heat oil in a heavy pan or kadahi.
I use a well seasoned iron kadahi / wok.
Add the sugar and wait till it changes colour to brown, on low heat.
Add the haldi powder + red chilli powder + the whole garam masalas very quickly.
Add the chopped onion and fry till it turns brown.
Now add the pastes and fry well till dry and oil starts to leave the sides.
Now add the minced mutton and stir and mix well.
Keep stirring and mixing on low heat till everything comes together.
Add salt and a little water and cover.
Cook on low heat till mutton is cooked.
Do check for water in between.
Once the mutton is done, remove cover and cook till all water evaporates.
Add the garam masala powder and cover for around 5 minutes.
Remove cover and serve hot.
This goes best with rotis or parathas.
But you can pair it with some crisp, toasted bread too.
A sprinkle of fresh lemon juice and some chopped onions on it, and you are good to go.