Monday, December 3, 2007

Recipes From A Girl Who Can't Cook

No one has ever accused me of being a connoisseur of the finest food but I knows what I likes! And I sure can eat a lot of it, too.

But of course, there are many foods that aren’t great in themselves but turn into something far more edible in combination with something else. Over the years, I have discovered a few such combinations. I can’t claim to have invented them all, but I am compiling them anyway, for no particular reason.

- Peanut butter, by itself, just okay. Mixed fruit jam, by itself, barely tolerable. Put them together on a slice of bread – Aah! (Credit to my friend Abhimanyu for introducing me to this fattening delight, many years and kilos ago)

- Lay’s Chips by themselves, too salty. Maggi Hot & Sweet Tomato Chilli Sauce, by itself, too spicy. Put them together, throw in bits of cheese – Aah! This one is my own invention.

- Coke, by itself, pretty ho-hum. Vanilla Ice-cream by itself, too Vanilla. Put them together and you get a far more enjoyable ‘Float’. The McDonald’s in the Delhi University area used to even sell this, years ago. I wonder if they still do.

- An ordinary tomato by itself, eww. Salt by itself, inedible. But bite out a small bit of the tomato and add a little salt to the hole you have created. Suck the pulp out of the tomato, adding bits of salt to taste. It is surprisingly good, and quite wholesome.( Credit to my Raju Mashi for teaching this when I was merely a small child. Just to clarify, I don’t really eat tomatoes like this anymore. Except when there is nothing else in the refrigerator.)

- Cherry, Cheese cubes, Pineapples – all reasonably enjoyable. But so much better when skewered together onto a toothpick. I have successfully made these for more than one party in my life, and they have been much appreciated. By me, who ends up eating almost all of them, but that’s not the point.

- And now, my personal favourite, and another of my own inventions: Chocolate Chip Ice-cream, by itself, good. Microwaves, I don’t know the taste of - but just put chocolate-chip ice-cream in the microwave for a minute or so and it’s – Aah!

Now, it may sound a little weird to you that someone can actually microwave ice-cream and blog about it unabashedly, too but I am telling you, it is great. Ice-cream in general, while being lovely, has the peculiar characteristic of being too cold and so microwaving helps. But you have to get it to just the right consistency. It should be part melted and part solid, part hot and part cold – this is no mean feat to achieve, let me tell you. What you can do instead is melt the chocolate chip completely till it’s hot and melted, and then throw in a dollop of another flavour such as vanilla, which is un-microwaved and therefore cold and solid. This works like a dream. Have you never microwaved ice-cream? Seriously?

And yes, I know I may not ever make it as a successful restaurant critic or anything. But it’s really the pleasure that is to be found in everyday foods that makes life that much better. And in case you’re thinking about how unhealthy most of the above is – you’re right. But I now weigh four kilos less than my husband, unlike a month ago when we both weighed exactly the same – so I feel much better now! Yesss!

Yeah, he’s put on four kilos in the last month. And your point is?

So now, tell me about any other weird, beloved ‘recipe’ or combination of foods you like so that I can try it. Keep it simple for me, and commonplace items please – if you ask me to sautée some avocadoes or something, I won’t. Keep it on the level of microwaved ice-cream? Okay? Thanks.


  1. Hey I remember the tomatoes with salt one, that used to be our "tiffin" when we were kids :) I recognise some of the others too... Peanut butter and jelly is an American favourite, and the Lays and Maggi combo (minus the cheese) is a favourite of mine.

  2. the melted chocochip ice-cream idea sounds lovely.

    Regular masala maggi cooked with a pinch of chaat masala is yum. and divine if you also have some chopped veggies in it.

    and i hope you know already about aloo bhujia and maggi sauce. hot chai in between mouthfuls adds to the flavour.

  3. More maggi ideas - maggi with italian spices (oregano, basil and mixed herbs from Patel's in Bandra), add chopped cheese just after you switch off the gas, allow it to melt a wee bit and bon appetit! And don't forget the tomato sauce on top.

    Also, pringles with imli ka chutney and krackjack with totato-chilli sauce.

    Looking forward to the other comments.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Though I did notice, your recipes are more of a mix n match than cooking, let me share one of my "fast" foods.

    Button mushrooms (normal white ones) cut into 4 and cooked for 2-3minutes in drops of butter. Add chopped garlic and salt. Let everything cook till mushrooms get cooked in their own juice (they'll leave some juice while u add salt). That's it!

    While to my disappointment I saw this recipe "LATER" in some books, when I cooked it for the 1st time, it was an experiment based upon my assumptions of the process and hence I am still quite proud of it :). Tell me if u try it.

  6. mmm... are we food-twins? Not really, maybe, because I don't like chips and gave up on aerated drinks a while ago.

    I still would concede to a coke float, though! mmmm!!!!
    Keep the recipes coming, Y! I haven't had tomatoes like that in the past three winters, and now I want 'em!

  7. ahh yes garlic butter mushrooms, sound ve fancy na? but such fun.

    maggi, cooked in very little water so it isnt soggy, and then put 1 tablespoon on amul cheese spread. mix. to DIE for!

  8. yep...i microwave is great..the two together sounds better

  9. peanut(s) (not ur baby, the actual nut?) with jaggery! also, french fries with mayo... or ghee & sugar on chapati... yummy!! and very simple.
    now, lemme go microwave the 'rocky road' ice cream in my freezer till i achieve the right consistency... ;)

  10. Marie biscuits with cheese on it, adding "drawings" of faces on it with Maggi tomato sauce! Our special from my school days in hostel! lol!

  11. One awesomely easy dessert- Brazilian bananas- mix cream, powdered sugar and instant coffee powder, add thick banana slices,and you have an easy-peasy yummy dessert. You can get fancy and add a little rum to the mix, and/or sprinkle toasted nuts/grated chocolate on top.
    Any icecream tastes great with a dash of juice- vanilla with litchi is great. Instant coffee powder on plain vanilla is also interesting.

  12. yeah.. who would want to eat ice cream all frozen?!

  13. Scrambled egg mixed with maggi.
    An acquired taste, though.

    Bread, slightly toasted, soaked in fresh curd and garnished with chips, ketchup, cheese, chat masala , cucumber, onions , tomatoes etc. Slurp!

    Ice cream microwave sounds novel.Will try:)

  14. Smileys. And ketchup. And Mayonnaise. And some cold boiled chicken. All mixed up. Topped with chocolate cake. And then I grumble about the hips reaching neverland.

  15. I think you should try out the chocolate cake recipe I recently blogged. Haven't tried it yet but it seemed fairly straightforward to me. Of course, you need a cat maybe.

    Other than that, cucumbers with rock salt. Guavas with rock salt. A dollop of jam in your cereals and milk.

    I have a cook now so am having trouble thinking of recipes. :)

  16. thot of another one while thinking of b'fast this morng... this one's IF u like cream...
    buttered bread, soaked in cream/milk, with cocoa & sugar sprinklings... :)

  17. melted cheese with maggie hot and sweet. hello!


Hi there. Go on, say it. Well? WELL?