Saturday, 26 September 2015

Calendar, Khana Do!







You float and float in a dream world, until all the helium is exhausted and you hit the ground with a loud thud….. Aaaaaaaa…… Congratulations to the newly wedded couple. That’s where it all begins ;-).

I had this absolutely over-the-top amusing notion that I would never cook in my life. And then? I got married!




It so happened that we relocated to London after marriage, just the two of us. The biggest difference between the East and the West my dear friends is this - On the east side of the world you are pampered downright to the extent of being spoilt, cooks, drivers, cleaners. In the wild wild West, it is generally only in the rich and famous homes where you would stumble upon these noble souls.

So there I was, Alice in wonderland, the utensils and cooking pots mocking me and murmuring behind my back! After a series of hiccups in the form of rock solid chapatis, bland curries and burnt veggies, which I treated (sorry, tortured) Mr A with, I slowly and steadily began to get a hang of the art called cooking. Mamma’s instructions over the phone and a treasure of her recipes in the form of a notebook saved Mr A from gastric trouble.

After my teething phase ended, Mr A didn’t have to pray before taking the first bite :-). He began enjoying what I would present on the table. And no, thats not cos he had no other choice. Apart from being a foodie he’s also a brutally honest critic. And believe it or not, but not even the wife is spared. Barring a few accidents here and there, I do manage to feed him well now!

As if one wasn’t enough, life presented me with another food critic in the form of Master A. Any slight deviation from the standard, and that is it. So say, when  a little more water in Upma changes its texture, it is very politely declined.

You know how God just keeps giving, and so the merciless brother Mr Y made an entry on the scene in Singapore. Had seen mom’s plight for years on end, but hadn’t felt the actual impact until it happened to me. Even the facial expressions shall speak for themselves! This burden thankfully was later shared by his better half.

Such is my saga….phewww.

One of these days, the father-son duo sat at the dining table and started beating their plates with spoons, asking for their plates to be piled up with breakfast, on a terribly busy morning. “Mamma khana do” sounded more like ‘Calendar khana do’ to my ears. Remember that iconic line from Mr India?

Cooking is not my passion as it is for some women. But I like to see my family well-fed and quenched, which drives me to cook, both regular and experimental stuff.

So on Ganeshotsav I made one regular sweet with a twist. What you see in the sweet shops as Modaks are the simple Mawa versions of the sweet. The real Modak is a steamed dumpling with a coconut-jaggery filling, and you will find it in Maharashtrian homes. I combined the two, so basically I used mawa in the stuffing! The visuals are not very attractive. You can close your eyes but I assure you the taste is yum :-).  Here goes the recipe.

STEAMED MODAK (Ukadiche Modak)


Ingredients:

3.5 small bowls rice flour
5 small bowls water
2.5 small bowls coconut
1 small bowl mawa (khoya/milk solids)
1.25 small bowls grated jaggery
1 tablespoon ghee
Salt as per taste

Method:

In a vessel, mix the ghee, coconut with jaggery and fry. This is the stuffing for the Modaks. If you want the authentic version, you stop right here! But if you are in the mood to experiment, go ahead and add Mawa. (Don’t worry, you won’t regret it!) Ensure that the stuffing is dry.
Now the cover. Heat the water, add salt and ghee. Once boiled, add the rice flour and switch off the gas. Mix immediately and remove from gas. Leave to rest for ten minutes. Keep water and oil handy, and using it knead the dough when lukewarm. Make balls, flatten with your hand, and stuff them. Try (and try, and try some more) to give them the shape of a Modak. (Or be satisfied with what you’ve managed, like I was ;-)).
Once done, steam them. If you have a steamer, nothing like it. If you don’t, no worries! Use a pressure cooker without the whistle, tada! Before steaming do dip them in water.
Makes 11.

I absolutely love the traditional authentic version and so would you. But when in the mood for a change, these are good as well :-). Try these out, don’t wait for another year!

Imp Note: If you've also been blessed with reviewers in your family, make the announcement of the recipe modification beforehand. ;-)




PS. This post is a tribute to all the Calendars, in my life, in your life, to all those Calendars who’ve always been striving for the satiated smile of their families :-).


40 comments:

Sumeet Nayak said...

How can you not mention my tips and recipes. Hahahaha kidding. But indeed cooking for me is a great stress buster. And cooking to me does reflect my state of mind at that moment.

amruta said...

excellent recipe.Cooking has been a wonderful experimental job so far, hopefully my husband enjoys being the guinea pig ;) Hoping, I ace it in the years to come! Reading your work was excellent.

Maniparna Sengupta Majumder said...

It's a wow recipe! But I liked the prelude to the recipe, too and it resembles my tryst with cooking a lot :-D “Mamma khana do” sounded more like ‘Calendar khana do’-exactly my feeling and I often remember this epic line when the duo in my house shout in unison :-D :-D

saloni said...

When can i come and taste?
Having tasted your food I must say you do a good job!!

Leena Walawalkar said...

Sincere apologies dear Sumeet! When I shall make a list of people who I have to thank for my cooking, you shall be one of the toppers on it :-)

Leena Walawalkar said...

Thanks for your compliment Amruta! Husbands don't really have a choice, do they? ;-)

Leena Walawalkar said...

Thanks Maniparna! Haha, so we sailing in the same boat, eh :-)

Leena Walawalkar said...

Saloni dear, you being kind :-)
We can surely plan that meal soon!

C'est La Vie said...

Hah! You're amazing! Love your writing style and brownie points for bringing back memories of calendar. Boy was he adorable :-)

I seriously contemplated making modaks this time, but by the time it came to execution, the kids had different plans that involved a seriously pissed of mommy and microwave dinner. Skip the details shall we? ;-)

Leena Walawalkar said...

Thanks a ton for those lovely words Mamta.. means a lot!
As for the situation your kids landed you in, lets just say ditto ditto :-). At times, even the planning to the minutest detail can go for a toss, thanks to our bundles of joy! But never mind, foodies don't really need a specific day to eat something special, do we? ;-) Just pick up one quiet day, and go for it :-)

Sonal Bhalerao said...

Hey so next time u come here I wud love to taste ur new version of ukdiche modak... I too make those authentic ones but my son doesn't like it he doesn't like coconut but my hubby loves them. B t m gona try ur version too next time....

Leena Walawalkar said...

Do give it a shot Sonal! And i know that predicament, when one of them prefers one version and the other one prefers another :-)

Maitreni Mishra said...

Looks so sumptuous Leena. A yum recipe, I am sure to ask mom to try out. Thanks for sharing! :)

Leena Walawalkar said...

You are welcome dear!

Vinitha Dileep said...

Yummy!! :)

Leena Walawalkar said...

Thanks Vinitha!

Sri Kri said...

Want to taste it.Looks yummy.:)

Cheers,
Sriram & Krithiga

Somali K Chakrabarti said...

From Alice in Wonderland to mawa modak is quite a transition! It looks good as well. Congratulations Leena. :)

Leena Walawalkar said...

Thanks Sriram & Krithiga.. I'm sure you'll be able to replicate the taste if you give it a shot :-)

Leena Walawalkar said...

Hehe..thanks Somali! Yes it has been quite a transition indeed, and thankfully a good one :-)

Roshni said...

LOL!! You definitely do have a passion for cooking! The modaks look yum!

Leena Walawalkar said...

Thanks Roshni! But I so wish what you said was true :-)

Indrani said...

Hi I see that you have joined IB recently. Great to be at your blog. :)
And this was a good post. I am not an expert cook either and some of your experiences matched mine. :)

Leena Walawalkar said...

Thanks Indrani! Glad to see you here! And hope to keep bumping into you often :-)

Ashwini Sarnaik said...

So our Alice is making ukdiche modaks in wonderland....what a makeover....fantastic. Next time pls do share a spicy version too....humare jaise figure concious log meetha nahi khattey..heheheheee.

Leena Walawalkar said...

I shall try Ashu dear! I can never beat your cooking skills though, I'm just an amateur player in the kitchen :-)

Umamaheswari Anandane said...

The story was vivid depicting what was on your mind before the actual recipe...liked it :)

Leena Walawalkar said...

Thanks Uma! Glad you did :-)

UK Fashionablefoods said...

I think all should try this.. :) looks fantastic..
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Kishor Kumar said...

True! True! Marriage changes a lot of thing. And, yes, those girl who never cooked before have to start cooking in most of the cases. That was kind of a touchy but funny story. And, of course the recipe was a bonus. Calendar, Khana Do!

Alok singhal said...

So you are doing great now...i am sure the duo are getting pampered :P

doc2poet said...

Looks too yummy to wait...but I will need a calandar to do that for me...

Leena Walawalkar said...

Thanks UK! And job's done :)

Leena Walawalkar said...

thanks for those sweet words Kishor! Glad you liked it :)

Leena Walawalkar said...

Haha Alok, I've got to drag Mr A to the laptop now to show your comment. He just never admits it :)

Leena Walawalkar said...

Doc, everyone has a calendar in their life, you shall too :)
Welcome to my blog!

cifar shayar said...

nice read and a delicious recipe

Leena Walawalkar said...

Thank you so much Cifar!

Indrani said...

You reminded me of my early days of cooking. Thankfully he found my khana better than the hostel food he had grown eating. So all was well with me. :P :)

Leena Walawalkar said...

Hostel food!! I'm sure he would've found even your novice cooking better than that :)
I'd tasted the food at the IIM Calcutta campus when I was visiting my hubby (way back before marriage when he was a student there). And I know exactly what you mean!