GUEST NO.3 ON THE BLOG
My 3rd guest on the blog is my middle foi (fupi, paternal aunt) Manjulaben. I was really surprised when her daughter in law Heni said 'mum's going to send a recipe for your blog.' When I heard that I was surprised because I thought the old generation would not really bother to measure the ingredients and do all the writing. Ok she got her daughter in law to write down the recipe as she narrated it to her. After the surprised moment, I was grinning from ear to ear because my foi or Manju aunty as we all call her is such a sport.
My memories about her...well when she was living in Mombasa, every school holiday she would come down to Nairobi with my cousins. I remember she had this mustard sweater with black design on it. The moment she would arrive into Nairobi (back then people travelled by train), she would put on her famous sweater. She claimed that she was feeling cold. Whether it was raining or shining she had her sweater on. December holidays is when we would go down to Mombasa. It would be really hot and we would find it difficult to sleep at night. Back then who had heard of air conditioners. She would leave the windows open and ask me to sleep near the window so the cool breeze and the fan breeze would do its trick. Those were the days my friends when people could sleep peacefully with their windows open and there were no grills on them too.
My aunt is a fantastic cook, I love the sweet parathas that she makes. During our visits to Mombasa, she would make this really tangy chutney everyday to go with our meal. She would grate onions and raw mango finely, add salt, a bit of sugar and red chilli powder. I use to love that chutney and I use to think that she was so clever, making chutney with onions. Back home my mum made the usual dhania, mango, mint chutney. In the afternoons she would allow us to sit on the window ledge in her room and we could watch the world pass by. Its during does trips that I first got introduced to kachri bateta, more famously known as the tin tin or babu kachri. I guess it was called that because an old man would come with his tiny cart ringing his small bell and serve the thick potato stew with potato crisps, mango coconut chutney and thick savory sticks called ganthia. My aunt would order that for all of us, back then it was not served in fancy plates but the good old newspaper. That was a treat we all would wait for, usually as a tea snack and served with cold coke.
She was an active member of the Kala Kendra, Patel Samaj when she was living in Mombasa. Any new recipes she would have learnt from the ladies she would prepare it for us during her visit to Nairobi. She loves baking and had won quite a few cooking competitions in Mombasa. She's not afraid to try any new recipes which she comes across in the newspaper or magazines.
When I went to London 3 years ago to prepare for my son's wedding,I remember she told me 'Don't feel sad because your mum is no longer with us, just call me I will help you just as your mum would have'. Those kind words were enough for me. Always eager to help and energetic (will I be like that at her age?). Manju aunty has lived in London for 30 years now. She loves doing yoga which she does religiously every morning for nearly 45 minutes(I should be ashamed as I can't stick to any exercise routine). She attends yoga classes twice a week, goes there by bus, loves reading and travelling. After her yoga sessions she would come home to spend time with my mum. She's 76 and enjoys life. I'm not surprised that she loves visiting family and friends. We're a huge family and she got married into a huge family. Cooking for large families therefore comes very easily to her.
So her contribution for my blog is a tangy potato curry but before you go down to the recipe, here's what she had to say about me.
What can I say about Mayuri, I’ve known her since her birth… She is my niece (Brother’s daughter –Bhatiji…) and has always been a very clever and calm girl.
One thing that we always laugh about is Mayuri as a child was very scared of her dad.Whenever her dad wanted to speak to her, he would call her over but as soon as she heard her dad’s voice she would start crying. She would be frightened that her dad will tell her off – her dad would see her crying and would not be able tell her off.
Mayuri and I spent quite a longtime together in Nairobi and later in Mombasa after she got married. From a young age, she always had a passion for cooking always helping her mum and the many aunts in the kitchen.
Tangy Creamy Potato and Peas Curry
Serves 4 people
2 Cups peas (frozen are also ok)
5 Cloves of Garlic (finely Grind/Paste)
1 Medium size Onion (Finely Grind/paste)
3 Tbsp Oil
1 Pinch of Asafoetida
1 Teaspoon Cumin seeds
1/2 Cup freshly Chopped Coriander
1 Cup Double Cream
5 Medium size potatoes
2 Cups Yogurt/Curd (Not too Sour)
2 Tablespoon Ginger paste
2 Tablespoon Chilli paste
1 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
2 Tablespoon Coriander Powder
2 Tablespoon Cumin Powder
1/2 Cup freshly Chopped Coriander
2 Tablespoon Jaggery/Gud (might need more if yogurt is sour)
1. Peel and cut the potatoes in quarters (if you prefer you can cut it smaller) and pierce them repeatedly with a fork to allow the marinade to soak in.
2. Add all the other marinade ingredients in to potatoes and leave it for 4-5hrs for the potatoes absorb all the flavours.
3. Heat some oil in a sauce pan and then add the asafoetida and cumin seeds.
4. Add the onion paste, garlic paste and freshly chopped coriander and let it cook until golden brown in colour.
5. Add the marinated potatoes in to the sauce pan and let it cook until potatoes are almost cooked (It will take longer for potatoes to cook because of the Yogurt in the marinade).
6. Add the peas to the sauce pan with the cooked potatoes (if you are using fresh peas then you might need to add them in when the potatoes are half cooked).
7. Once potatoes and peas are cooked your curry is ready.
8. Add cream just before you are ready to serve and garnish it with fresh coriander leaves for decoration.
You can eat this curry with Naan, Chappati, Paratha or Rice and it can make nice satisfying meal.
You may want to check out the recipes from my other guests:
|baked bread pudding|
|gluten free pizza crust|