Sharmi on the Trot

Travelling, Exploring, Eating…

Archive for the tag “tomato”

Decadent Weekend Breakfast on a Weekday!

So what if it’s a weekday? It doesn’t stop me from creating weekend breakfasts. In fact, I feel all the more happy because as I dig into delicious food, I feel a spring in my step. The day starts well and generally it ends on a rather happy note.
There are many variations of this North African dish – Eggs with bell
peppers or Shakshuka. Mexico celebrates eggs with tomatoes as Huevos Rancheros. I try to walk on an unconventional path and often make a mixture of the two. And I often eat it on Sundays with a large mug of coffee — it’s heaven in the pan!

Ingredients
2 Eggs
1 small bell pepper (chopped)
1 small carrot (chopped)
1 small onion (chopped)
4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1 small tomato (chopped)
2 button mushrooms (chopped)
2 tbs tomato puree
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp chilly flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
Salt to taste
Coriander to garnish

Method
– Heat the oil in a pan.
– Saute the onion, garlic and chilly flakes till the mixture is soft and has a lovely reddish tinge.
– Add the bell pepper, carrot and smoked paprika. Cook till soft.
– Add the mushrooms, tomato and salt to season.
– Add the tomato puree and oregano. Cook till everything is nice and squidgy.
– Make a small parting in the middle of the vegetable mixture and crack the eggs.
– If you like your eggs to be runny, cover the pan with a lid for about
a minute till it cooks. I cover it for about 3 minutes till the yolks
cook through. Garnish with coriander.
– Enjoy either with bread or as it is, straight off the pan!

Yes, that's what breakfast looks like!

Yes, that’s what breakfast looks like!

A close up! Enjoying the hot eggs!

A close up! Enjoying the hot eggs!

PS: I love making this for family or friends. It tastes much better if
you make it for about 4-5 people.

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Of Comfort Food and Nostalgia

What is comfort food? The phrase means different things to different people but to me it simply means the aroma of home cooked food. Simple and delicious, food I’ve grown up eating and crave from time to time. After a bad or good day, its the longing for something familiar, craving for something nostalgic.

I left home a while ago and though I go back at least twice in a year, the days I crave for comfort food most are when I’m ill. When I’m lying in bed sipping warm tea with honey, my mind searches for childhood memories, tastes I imbibed during my younger days, the tastes I long for…

The past week I had a long phone conversation with my mother. We discussed everything under the sun. From films to posters, music to theater, Bengali food to Kerala’s famous beef curry. I kept telling her how much I was missing home food. I guess it was one of those days when I wasn’t well and things weren’t going the way I had planned. So she told me, “Make something you like.” That’s when the idea struck.

So for the past few days I’ve been cooking my comfort food. I was surprised to find that though I love experimenting with every cuisine I can lay my hands on, what I end up cooking when I’m low is Indian food from various parts of the country but with a twist conceptualised by my mother.

————

Bread Upma from school
A very close friend used to bring this concoction to school almost thrice a week for tiffin. The aroma of the spices mixed with bread pieces left us wanting more every time. I remember I asked my mother to ask T’s mother how to make it. And since that day in class 3, my mother makes it when I’m home and hungry! The flavour combination is so delicious that when its being cooked, you can smell it from the other room. Tangy and crisp, spicy and yet subtle the textures just leaves you wanting more. It’s so simple to recreate that the whole process barely takes 15 minutes!

Bread, spices and a whole lot of flavour

Bread, spices and a whole lot of flavour

A closer view!

A closer view!

—-

Chirer pulao, Bong style
In English we would call it fried flaked rice stirred in with vegetables and spices. Chire (poha) is eaten all over India but every region uses it differently. My mom makes it the way her mother used to. It has little pieces of potato and onion and tomato softened to perfection with whole spices (cinnamon, cloves and cardamom). It’s slightly sweet and you serve it hot with a good scattering of chopped coriander. I love this. It gives me a feeling of home every time I make it. It light, delicate and filling, a perfect breakfast dish.

Perfect with morning tea

Perfect with morning tea

Chire, potatoes, onions and tomatoes - delicious!

Chire, potatoes, onions and tomatoes – delicious!

The quintessential Bengali lunch
I’ve said before that we didn’t eat a lot of Bengali food on a regular basis growing up but on occasions just some fluffy rice, potato fry and yellow dal is all you needed to have a great day. I just added my version of an egg curry along with it made with tomatoes and yoghurt. On occasions when I really crave comfort food, I turn to this simple home-style lunch to get me through the day.

Yummy lunch! Lentils, potato fry and egg curry!

Yummy lunch! Lentils, potato fry and egg curry!

A plate of homemade Bengali food

A plate of homemade Bengali food


What do you eat when you crave something comforting?

Baked sausages on a rainy day

Hot from the oven!

Hot from the oven!

There’s something warm and comforting about sausages. There are various kinds to choose from in the supermarkets or at specialised shops. (Oh Viktualienmarkt, how I miss thee!) But on a rainy day, the way any type of sausage uplifts your mood is beyond comparisons. In fact, a friend texted saying how much he was enjoying cocktail sausages cooked in butter watching the rain pitter-patter down the window pane today!

I enjoy the rains but not on a winter day when you should be out exploring. With rains playing spoilsport for over two days now, Delhi is cold and drab to the point that hot coffee with nutmeg is not helping.

So, how did I cheer myself up? Making a sausage and tomato bake of course! Vegetarians don’t worry. You can substitute the chicken/pork sausages with the soy ones you get in the market.

Sausage bake with herbs and tomatoes 

Ingredients 

8-10 pork/chicken sausages
3 big ripe tomatoes (chopped)
Handful of cherry tomatoes
7-8 button mushrooms (chopped)
2 sprigs rosemary
2 tbs dried oregano
2 tbs dried thyme
5 cloves of garlic (chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil

The method

Preheat the over to 200°C. Then toss in all the ingredients, coat well with the olive oil and put into bake for 40 minutes. Remember to keep the sausages on top. After the first 20 minutes, turn the sausages. And 40 minutes later, voila! Serve with bread, rice or boiled vegetables. Enjoy!

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