Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Little Chef who packs a Punch ~ By my Guest Shuchi Mehta

This is the beginning of my celebrations for reaching 200 blog posts.... A lot of you will wonder, this is not your 200th post, so why the excitement.... Nope it's not... But getting to the 200th post has been a journey full of wonderful people who walked with me in life and some joined me thru the blog world.

So I thought of having an event called 'Celebrations' where I would open out my blog to some of my friends who would share some parts of their journey with me as Guest Posts......

Today's guest is Shuchi Mehta..... my very dear friend from college..... How we met is in the post below.
Last year I surprised her by cooking for her and making a 'Chocolate Orange Cake'[tasted awesome] and 'Marshmellow Chocolate Mouse"[Was terrible]for her and the other surprise was Surbhi, another friend from college who stays in Hyderabad. We had a blast together along with Radhika n missed Kanika.

Shuchi has this 'Never-Say-Never' spirit and is a very very dedicated and loyal friend who'll show me the mirror, pamper me, spoil me, set-me-straight, inspire me whenever I need whichever. She just Knows... I don't need to tell her, 1 phone call n she knows.... perceptive little jerry mouse she is.
This birthday she got Chocolate Espresso Brownies and Lemon Cake.

A small something for the indian readers of Shuchi... She will select 1 lucky commenter to win complimentary meal vouchers from FIRE, an Indian restaurant at The Park, Parliment Street, New Delhi. The interpretation of Indian food on offer is a mix of the old with new. So be sure to leave a note at the end of this post with your location. Readers in other countries can share the same with anyone in proximity of the bar.

Shuchi writes.....

I don’t blog or write much either. When Nachi asked me to be a guest blogger for her 200th Post, I had all sorts of stories cooked up for not writing at all……anyhow but Nachi being NACHI compelled me to pen down something!!!

Humm….Where do I start from…I am reminded of June 2001….ohh my lord!!! That’s 9 years back…Yes, our friendship is approaching a DECADE!!!! We met at Amity Business School, 9 years back!!! I distinctively remember Ms. Nachiketa Chandra, a confident young management student bubbling with enthusiasm and ready with a series of why’s, hows and why not’s at every occasion. My first impression of Nachi was: “This girl seems to have some amount of attitude”…… a few months passed with the same kind of feeling from my side but it was the college GOA Trip where the ice broke between us….we both realized that we had similar interests in academics and outside of it….and the rest is history. (Loads of cold wars have been a part of this 9 year journey) However, Cheers to Amity for making us best of the buddies!!!

I run far away from cooking n baking. Infact a magnet on our refrigerator reads, “A Princess never cooks.” Lolz…The magnet surely defines me sooooooo well!!

A few weeks back I played a trick with my friends for not travelling all the way from GURGAON to NOIDA after work for a getogether. Little did I realize then that the trick would back fire at me and in such a fashion…..GOD!!! I was roped into cooking for my friends at my place a week later. The date and time was decided along with strict warning from Nachi and my cousin, Gauri that they would come to my place only and only if I was cooking else I'd have to travle to Noida. Phone calls and messages from both suggested that I would be in serious trouble if I was planning to order something from outside for the evening. Dining out as an option was completely ruled out. It was only Radhika (our common friend) who empathized with me did not threaten me at all….Thanks Rads, you are the bestest.

The whole scene baffled me but I took it as a challenge and determined to succeed…. No matter what, I would succeed (even if I had to serve bread and butter and jam…I will do it all by myself!!!).
Yes! You heard me right…I decided to cook and do some experiments in the kitchen and have my best critics to sample my tenny menny simple creations……The week started with me searching recipes’ on the net and I must give full credit to Nachi who introduced me to the vast world of food blogs. Talk about insanely creative and outrageously delicious looking food...aaahhh…Eternally grateful, I was getting inspired…….My Oh My... I was changing!!!

It was July 30th, my day for the real test. I completed most of my work at office a day before inorder that I take a day off to prepare for the evening. But as things never turn the way you want them to, there was last minute fire at work. Taking a full day leave was out of question….The day was passing by. Panic calls from mom were adding fuel to my hyperventilating self. And thanks to rains, I left office after lunch time….Ahh finally home, and without thinking too much, I plunged in the kitchen!!!

Starters were a mix of easy arrangements. Chana Kebabs were a hit with all. That’s an age old recipe from my mum which came handy at the time of crisis. Cheese and olive are my fav, so obviously was a part of the starters. Cold cuts and seekh kebab were enjoyed too….What surprised me was the Pizza, which looked really awesome!!

Main Course was not a lavish spread. Cottage cheese with coriander and herbs, chicken cooked in thick tomato gravy, baked Vegetables. And yeah, mom prepared a bowl of red-beans which she knew would surely be edible, if nothing else!!
Dessert was a surprise! It was a chocolate pudding which I named as ‘Chocolate Indulgence’….yeah indulge in it wholeheartedly, without any guilt….It was absolutely low-fat !!!

I must admit that my guests were too kind and modest to simply like what was on the table!!
The evening came to an end with more food for thought…an amazing book on Pastas as a gift from Nachi!! I will surely try …. SOON!!!

Sharing the recipe...
Black Channa Kebab

(Enough for 10-15 kebabs)

250 gms black channa
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 Carrot, finely chopped
Chopped coriander
Finely chopped Ginger
Dash of garlic
Finely chopped Green chillies
salt/ pepper to taste
2 spoons of vegetable oil
Bread crumbs
Oil for cooking

1. Soak channa in enough water overnight.
2. Pressure cook channa until soft. Drain excess water if any.
3. After cooling, mash channa in a mixer to maintain thick consistency.
4. Add vegetable oil to the mixture.
5. Add all other ingredients.
6. Add bread crumbs and mix well until dough is perfectly blended.
7. Add salt, pepper, chillies to taste
8. Shape dough into round patties.
9. Cook on slow fire with very little oil on a non-stick pan until brown.

Serve hot with ketchup/ Mustard/ Mint chutney.

I must say... I loved the entire experience... Shuchi did really well for herself, everything was scrumptious....We were stuffed like turkeys.... The kababs were really yummy, as you can see, I really enjoyed them :)

The next day when I was transferring the pictures on my laptop, Daksayani was watching with me. After seeing them all she says... 'Will you make me this pizza and pl load it with Olives n Cheese just like Shuchi Didi's pizza, looks yummy.'

That's your testimonial Shuchi.... :)


Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Hehehe this is a great story. For your first time cooking, you did an awesome job!!! Great post :)

Anonymous said...

Shuchi Mehta you are a chhupa rustom !!!!
I've now known for a bit that u CAN cook....and cook well !!!
But i also love the way you write.....simple and sweet and straight from the heart !!!!

Radhika said...

Shuch-ur a Princess who doesnt just sit on her throne and look pretty but get ur lil' hands dirty as well! that dinner was the best proof that Princess Can Cook! U inspired me to make the pudding twice..thou i made some additions on my own as u know i dont follow instructions well:-p
Waiting for the next surprise from ur side! maybe just soups n salads this time..after all i am ur best critic..i never critise u:))) love ya!

Shuchi said...

Thanks Avanika!!
Your blog too has opened an interesting world of things to try on :)
Thanks Anonymous (though I know very well who this is) and Radhika and ofcourse Nachi...all of you are my source of inspiration!!

surbhi said...

loved this blog. Shi Chi u did a great job.I am so glad to have friends like you all. How come I never saw ur bday pictures before(the one at Nachi's place).