And right on my first and only cup of tea for the day.
But as soon as I was about to write the first word, the day stepped in.
Breakfast needed to be done ... which was the favourite Aloo paratha. I had prepared the filling last night and the atta was done too.
But they needed to be taken out, brought to room temperature, rolled out and fried.
And just after b'fast was done, I came back and had just sat down when the bell rang.
I knew it right then .... this post will not have today's date.
But I can be very thick headed when I want to.
And I decided that I will make this post before lunch. That's it.
Easier said than done .... especially when the day is 'make lunch for two days' day.
Besides, it is Puja too.
So evenings will be spent at the puja mandap.
Which will mean eating out for me. But not for B.
Since the food stalls have too much of non vegetarian stuff all over, B does not feel comfortable eating from them. There are a few vegetarian stalls too ... but too few and far between.
And they too have only singara / samosas or sweets.
One cannot spend five days or evenings only on them.
So I prepare food for B at home. Either he eats and goes, or packs and eats later with me.
And hence the flurry in the kitchen.
Not to mention the darned weather outside. It has been pouring like there is no tomorrow, for days at a stretch. On Mahalaya, I had played Mahisasurmardnini on Youtube and willed myself to feel that Durga Puja is just around the corner.
But it was so dark and gloomy and wet outside, with the rain dripping down the window panes and a persistent fog hung all around that I stopped at the first song.
But today, the sun has finally emerged and the clouds are passing by a little hesitantly. There is a crispness in the air and it is very, very cold suddenly.
I pray that the weather holds and decide to play the Mahisasur mardini after all. But just as I started to hum, I knew I may not be able to listen to it for a long time now.
Not without my throat constricting and my eyes filling up. Not without thinking of Bapi.
And my home .... that will no longer be the same again.
So, I immerse myself into this load of cooking.
And while I type this, I keep one eye on the pan of rajma simmering away, while the okra is frying in another kadahi for a kadhi.
The third burner holds a deep kadahi full of vegetables and white matar / vatana boiling vigourously.
I am making the very favourite Santula ... bit this time I am adding some matar too. The rest of the boiled matar will go into the making a spicy ghugni that I will pair with Luchis on Shaptami day.
I have just removed a pressure cooker full of spicy Punjabi chole too.
So I am all sorted for the coming days.
Both for lunch and dinner.
(It is 4:00 now!)
I have been occasionally posting daily food from my kitchen in an album on my facebook page ... so if you are following me there, maybe you will get a glimpse of all these food in the coming days of Durga Puja.
And yes, I plan to make some good b'fasts too ... so will try to post them as well.
I have a beautiful recipe of chicken mince stuffed flat breads today.
Inspite of posting a non vegetarian recipe on my last post, I thought I will put this up for you.
I have used chicken mince here for two reasons .... one, I eat it more often than the mutton kheema; and two ... well ... I get it more easily than the mutton kheema.
And more importantly, it cooks faster and is a breeze to make.
You can follow the recipe here.
Do cook the kheema very dry ... otherwise, the moisture will make it very difficult to stuff the paratha.
Do not add the curd or onion paste ... they will only release water.
Do use chopped onions and green chillies though.
If you find it still moist, do add a spoonful of corn flour to it.
Typically, Bengalis make parathas, especially stuffed ones, with maida or refined flour.
But I make them with atta.
For the dough:
Atta or wheat flour
A little oil
For the stuffing :
Chicken keema .... cooked very dry
How to :
Knead the atta into a soft, pliable dough.
Cover and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
Break off medium sized balls from it.
Use some dry flour and flatten the ball. Stuff it with some filling.
Roll out into a paratha.
Do use dry flour when rolling, so that the paratha does not break open.
You can refer to any of the stuffed parathas recipe here for the procedure, step by step.
Heat a flat pan or a tawa.
Put in a paratha and dry roast on both sides first.
Apply oil and fry till brown and crisp on both sides.
Vegetarians can make this Soya kheema for stuffing.
You can make some raita on the side.
Or enjoy it with just plain ketchup ... like I do.
Wishing you all a very happy Durga puja and a beautiful Navaratri too!!
There! I did it finally!