It's good to be back after my literal winter + now (spring+half of summer )hibernation!I can't believe it has been that long! I went silent around halloween didnt I? Watch out guys!!Just kidding..
A lot has been up lately. Have been busy aplenty and was traveling for a while too!
In the months that I was in 'active hibernation', I also got bitten by what i tell people is a 'cooking or food bug'. Yep, that happens to me once a while in tandem with phases of the moon ;) Gotcha again..No no..it's just that I get this whole kick to try new recipes every once in a while and this time I've been bitten after ages! I'm still 'infected' and so excited that I am, I thought why not share my food journeys along with you all and have fun in the process. So I'll be dressing up and cooking!! Sounds cool eh?:) If you've been following my instagrams, you also know i have been learning a bit of cake decorating too!..will come to that!
I learnt to cook 3 years back and pretty much learnt to cook myself learning through trial and error. Of course things seemed to come back to me as I remember my mom's cooking, a class in home science I had taken in school and some cool food shows I used to keep watching on and off.
I am so excited to share with you all of my new wardrobe additions as well as all the new recipes I have been trying!
I have been trying recipes from everywhere. I do tend to get bored with everyday cooking and I love to experiment with the unknown or unfamiliar I should say. Everyday cooking for me usually includes Manipuri/Indian dishes, my go-to recipes you could call them but everyday i add in that little twist factor.
A disclaimer here however: My husband (don't mind Andy!) has a pretty limited palette. He disagrees but I keep saying it anyway. For one he hates cheese!Can you imagine!My heart broke, imagining all the ruined food odysseys and adventures we were supposed to have, when I heard about this the first time!Having lived years on his own here he survived only on burgers, sandwiches, fast food and the likes. So he's pretty much done with them. Poor me! The aroma of a freshly baked baguette that I could get home to savor with yummy Tuscan tomato and basil bisque was a dream I had to throw out the door!No breads..Period!
No don't get me wrong..Andy never complains about food nor does he stop me from eating anything I love but you know how it is. I don't enjoy something I cook or prepare for myself if I could rather share it with someone. Did I mention though that he is a much better cook than me? Am serious! So yes, he did occasionally cook for himself and his friends but his diet largely consisted of hardcore American fast food. So I am dealing with a no-bread, no-cheese eating boy here, Italian food being largely limited too. :(
I am discussing Andy's food palette because that's where my food journey takes on a twist. You see, Andy loves/needs rice at every meal ideally. I tried to 'weane' him away from it by substituting with orzo/quinoa/wild rice but nope..didnt work! So a meal is often not a one dish meal though fried rice and the likes work!;)
Anyway!So none of this deterred me from experimenting with food none the less. I will dedicate this section of hauteinterpreter to interpreting food my way! :)
I'll share links to recipes I took off the internet and keep adding the little twists I made with ingredient substitutes etc.
Yet another disclaimer her:(Huh?! I know :)) : I may have already posted pictures of a lot of foods i have experimented with on instagram so the surprise element may be missing but hey there's the recipes and stories around them too that you can look forward to isn't it!
Shall we start with an authentic Manipuri dish?
The humble Kangsoi
The Kangsoi is one of the simplest, healthiest broths i know to be around. My go to when i'm wanting for time and a healthy dose after a string of binge eating sessions.
Though a very simple dish, households in Manipur have their own style of cooking it.
Here's my recipe:
1. Bring a pot of water to boil(I used my pressure cooker). In the meanwhile, add grated ginger. Sometime I do add in 2-3 cloves of garlic depending on my mood ;)
2. Add fermented Manipuri fish-now this is tricky-authentic fermented Manipuri fish is only available in Manipur. It's rarely sold outside of Manipur(you could acquire some from some cool Manipuri friends like me ;) ) but I have found some cool alternatives in Asian grocery stores. You can use a fermented herring that is sold in packets-This might be a task. :( . The fermented fish is actually the essence of the Kangsoi but don't worry, adding any kind of dried fish works just fine too.
3. Add chopped onions, green chillies-sliced and sliced potatoes. After about 5-7 minutes, add the green beans and green peas(I use frozen ones-so convenient!). This is where you can work with stuff in your refrigerator. You can add bok choy/mustard greens/edamame/broad beans/mint/snap peas/dried prawns etc according to your liking and tastes. I keep alternating between these though my favorite after a long tiring day is the green beans, peas, mint and tomatoes version.
Add the bok choy.
4. Add salt to taste. Just as the bok choy is done, turn off the heat. And that's it! No oil no drama!And yum! The flavor could be overwhelming at first if you're using authentic fermented fish.
5. Serve with steaming hot rice
Tip: If you're using a pressure cooker, add all ingredients at once and boil for 4-5 whistles!That's it!
Here's the broth just as it is about to be done!
There is an oil-version to this which i'll share if you're interested!