Thursday, 10 September 2009

Movie and a recipe

Anyone slightly inclined towards food or cooking will not miss out on the movie Julie & Julia, or so i think. Well to be honest i had no clue who Julia Child was until i saw the trailers in the theatre and read numerous blogs on her cooking and recipes. I finally caught the movie yesterday and should say i was not quite thrilled by it. It was alright, not that i hated it or anything. I expected loads of cooking and tips and food, but that took a second seat because the movie revolved around other aspects which i shall not elaborate on for the love of those who might wanna catch it sometime. I'm glad i didn't drag Ro to it cos he would have cribbed about it from beg to end and would so definitely put it in the category of a chick flick.
The Lobster Thermidor brought back strange memories. My first food review was at one of the restaurants in a hotel and i was tensed to the core. I had never done this before, didn't know how to go about it and didn't know how or where to start. Finally the chef introduced himself and i started asking him a few this and that and he insisted i try out the lobster dish which was the speciality. Now the irony was i hated seafood and that's the first thing i was asked to write about..and lobster..oh my god i couldn't even imagine having it. I checked the menu and it was the most expensive item and i just couldn't get myself to waste the whole thing. So i tried to talk him out of it, but in vain. I panicked. I obviously had to try it and couldn't piss them off since they were a very important client. My colleague who i dragged along shrugged and said he would not eat it either. So i convinced myself it would be alright and boy was i wrong. I first of all had no clue how to eat a lobster. The cutlery was new to me and i couldn't tell them this was my first time. For God sakes i was a reporter from a mag, i HAD to know how to do stuff. Luckily, the chef was such a sweet man, he opted to do the necessary and voila i had the meat removed and presented on my plate. Now the tasting part. I gobbled it down without even savouring it and pretended it was yum. After a few mouthfuls, i actually tasted it and it wasn't that bad. I however didn't even eat a quarter of it and felt so miserable for wasting the rest. The chef was happy with the write up and invited me over for another tasty crab prep. By then i learned how to say no without being offensive and conveniently avoided it, but gave enough publicity though. From then on i made it a point to take Ro to all of my seafood reviews because he loves seafood and would give me an honest opinion.
I made so many good friends in the hospitality industry and to this day when i go back to those hotels, they still treat me like a good friend and prepares yummy stuff. I miss my job so so much:(
Now coming back to a recipe. I have to make do with some leftovers since we are shifting apartments this weekend and didn't want to shop. I had some left over meatballs and tried out a recipe posted by sig. She did the original mutton prep whereas i tried out the same with meatballs. I know its an injustice to ruin an authentic recipe like that with my own input, but i just had to do something different. I also made a few changes here and there, and it tasted awesome:

Meatball curry from the Mudaliar kitchen
Meatballs- 6, medium sized
Green chilli- 2, thinly sliced
Onions- 1, roughly chopped
Cinnamon- 1/2 inch piece
Cloves- 2
Ginger garlic paste- 2 tsp
Tomato- 1, roughly chopped
Turmeric pwd- a pinch
Salt- to taste
Curry leaves- a sprig
Oil- 2 tbs

To roast:
Pepper pwd- 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek pwd- 1/4 tsp
Coriander pwd- 1 tsp
Cinnamon- 1/2 inch piece
Cloves- 2
Dry red chillies- 3, crushed
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Oil- 1 tsp

Roast all the ingredients in the 'to roast' section in oil, crush them slightly. Keep aside.
In a large pan heat 2 tbs oil and sautee the cinnamon, cloves and when they slightly splutter add the onions, green chilli and curry leaves. Sautee till onions turn light brown. Add Ggp and sautee for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the roasted masala, turmeric powder and 2 tsps of water mix well. Add the tomatoes and sautee till the oil starts separating. Add the meatballs to this and mix well to coat them properly. Add about 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, covered, or until the meat is cooked. If the water reduces in quantity, add some more but make sure it doesn't become too watery. I got a nice thick, dark gravy and it tasted awesome with warm rotis.