It was raining raining cats and dogs yesterday. Although rain is not an uncommon feature in our part of the UK, the same accompanied by thunder and lightning definitely is. As the kids were putting on their raincoats in the morning before setting out for school, it somehow took me back to my childhood. Here I was, urging my kids to put their hoods on and take care not to get too wet, although they just had to walk or rather run from the front door to the car(Dinesh offered to drop them). A good many years ago, it was a different story.
I come from a place where thunder storms are very common especially during the monsoon season. I loved it when it rained, especially at night. The constant pitter- patter of the wind lashed rains, striking the windows, and the sound of the rain drumming down on the roofs, it almost seems to be musical, though a bit deafening at times. Curled snugly under a light blanket, I loved to be lulled into sleep by the rain…although it may sometimes be as loud as hard rock music, I didn’t mind, I slept anyway…
As for the lightning, I remember , once, one of my uncles jokingly said that it was actually someone up there taking pictures and the lightning was the result of the flash going off. I was very young at that time and took it literally. So, every time, lightning struck, I would be dismayed if the ‘flash’ missed me, very much to the amusement of the others.
The best bit about the rain was to get soaked in it. I absolutely adored it and I’ve lost count of the number of times, when I was in school, that I’ve purposely left behind the umbrella in the hope of getting wet if it rains…and of course, that has happened quite a number of times…although I was not always successful… I still remember that day when I gleefully hopped off our school bus and was proceeding homeward (a short distance away from the drop off point), just starting to get soaked in the downpour when one of our neighbours, seeing me offered a space under her umbrella, chiding me at the same time as to how I should never leave it behind, seeing that there is no knowing when the heavens might decide to open without the least warning…my heart wanted to say ‘no’ but my mind said otherwise…no point in letting her go and inform ma about my rainy adventures. So, instead of getting soaked, here I was,being guided home by my ever helpful neighbour.
I also remember how just before Rengoni was born(we were in Kolkata at that time), and me and Dinesh were returning from a visit, when it started to rain(the kind of rain I’m used to). At the first instinct, I rolled up the window of the car…but , then, I thought, why not…I rolled it down again letting the rain lash at my face, leaving that tingling sensation…no wonder I got strange looks from passing vehicles..must have thought I was being driven to some nuthouse.
Well, that was then, not so very long ago…and now, I worry about the kids getting soaked and falling ill. I wonder what they might say if they knew about all that…I’d probably have a lot to answer for, especially from Rengoni , who is never short of querries…
Now, coming back to the present, and most importantly, the recipe of the day, we had a nice lunch of paneer kofta curry accompanied by rotis and a fresh salad… I haven’t made koftas for a long time and really enjoyed doing so today… the lunch went quite well…the koftas with the rich, thick gravy went along famously with the rest.
For the koftas-
200 gms of paneer, grated
2 potatoes, boiled and mashed
2 tsp cornflour
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
salt to taste
oil for deep frying
For the gravy-
Paste no. 1-
2 handfuls of cashew nuts and 2 smaller handfuls of poppy seeds, soaked in a cup of warm milk for and hour
Paste no. 2-
2 onions, chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1″ of ginger, chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
1 tsp each of turmeric, cumin and coriander powders
1/2 tsp of garam masala powder
For the tempering-
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
1 whole red chilli
1C of yogurt
salt to taste
1 glass of water
2 tblsp of oil
Mix all the ingredients for the kofta except the oil.
Shape into 15 equal sized balls and deep fry till nicely browned.
Drain on paper towels and save aside.
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the ingredients for tempering.
When the seeds begin to splutter, add the tomato based paste. Apart from the garam masala powder, add the rest of the powdered spices and stir over medium heat till the water evaporates and the mixture forms a lump.
Add the cashew paste, yogurt and a glass of watter. Season with salt and simmer over medium heat for 5-6 minutes.
Add the garam masala powder and simmer for another minute.