Cooking off You Tube

Cooking off You Tube
Have never enjoyed cooking simply because I prefer to write and I had a sister while growing up, who was an ace cook. She and Mum dominated the kitchen, so why bother? My writing talents were always stronger and in anycase too many cooks spoil the broth right?

But then marriage changes it all and visiting sons in places English and American, the urge for desi surfaces with a vengeance. Standing on the deck in the freezing cold of Omaha swirling a mattar paneer or ball curry. Making chappaties or egg bhujia in a slap up cordon bleu level kitchen in the UK, I learned to shrug off my indifference and take to a few signature dishes to appease sons who never fail to remind me of my deficiency.

Then, the lockdown happened and my school classmate from New Delhi decided to retire in Bangalore after 40 plus years in Dubai. She’s virtuoso to the relief of my family I live with and they too look forward to our meetings in one another's homes, sharing a potluck meal. So, instead of backing off to her amazing prowess, I take it head on and add a dish or two of my making, which have become my specialities.

Blame it on the internet and YouTube too, in making everything so easy to do.Cooking off friends YouTube videos too has become a hobby for me now, during this time of lock down. And the family have stopped grumbling that the cooks' dishes have no soul.

Jason DSouza, a cordon bleu cook came into my life when I was selling off Mum's furniture after her passing. He has a fabulous YouTube presence and that's amazing for us peasants to learn to cook dishes which he was taught in the best culinary schools in the world. He's a doyen at all sorts of cuisine and it’s such a relief for me to be able to make outstanding desserts without the fear of collapse of the recipe.

Have always wanted to make a coconut souffle and though the getting together of ingredients took a bit of time, I could attend the party with a dessert that everyone wanted seconds and thirds and licked-the-platter-clean. It was a superlative feeling to make a dessert different from my regular -- sponge cake smothered with custard and smothered yet again with fruit. Ofcourse it can be camouflaged with peaches and glace cherries to look very professional but there is no comparison with a coconut souffle.

When we visit Goa, I cannot stay away from a little bakery in Candolim, my husband's village. It has the most divine coconut baath, a goan cake made with semolina and not flour. Here again it was a fellow goan and journalist -- Veena Patwardhan who sent me her YouTube Baath recipe and I was gungho to try it. The only down side of YouTube recipes is that one has to copy the ingredients and recipe by hand to be able to follow the required steps. But it's pointless grumbling if one has to make it perfectly.

The coconut from Hoskote, our farm, needed to be scraped, and not knowing where my scraper had gone with the move from Castle St, I went to borrow one from the GF tenant. She gave me a stylish electric one which I had never seen before. I normally leave it to the help to scrape and grate the coconut, but this time I was done in 10 minutes flat. You need to get the hang of the machine, but it works like a charm and I got the men to immediately get onto Amazon and buy me one for Christmas.

The baath needless to say came out perfectly well and I had all my friends ask for the recipe which was easily shared. I baked mine in the cake tin given to me by our Danish tenant Johnny Lauridsen. He baked tons of Danish bread while he lived with us besides soaking in the sun on the terrace. He had formidable cooking skills and ever so often my bell would ring and there he stood all 6 foot 3 of him with a smokin’ hot pound of Danish rye bread. I sent Johnny a picture of the baath baked in his cake tin and got the reply saying it was his grandmums cake tin and she was thrilled!!

Pickles are my forte and I am always making amla, brinjal, lime, tamarind and sweet mango chutneys and pickles like my Mum. Last week the house was redolent with the smell of prawn balchao and when shared the neighbours give me a lot of their goodies in return. I mean we got hot Bise bele baath from a neighbour on Christmas eve along with the Kerala coconut chicken from another, our Christmas eve was made!

Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

Content copyright © 2023 by Marianne de Nazareth. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Marianne de Nazareth. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Marianne de Nazareth for details.