As much as I love to cook and eat comfort food, I love to cook and enjoy party food as well. Great parties begin with great food, as food is the main spotlight of many parties. Preparing a party food is another form of amusement to me since it gives me an opportunity to try some colourful dishes that look fantastic on the table. It sure also gives me a chance to try those special dishes that can't be prepared on a daily basis, but still certainly deserve a spot on the table for special occasions or even for a casual evening party. But it certainly requires some level of planning, well ahead. I definitely enjoy hosting parties and having some great time with friends, yet can't take any last minute surprises. Everything has to be pre-planned. I prepare the menu atleast a couple of days before, so that I can plan for grocery shopping, if any, as well as manage my cooking time efficiently.
But I have to admit that though I enjoy cooking for a party, it is definitely an exhausting day for me many times. I often recall those days when I grew up in India, and wonder how do they cook such an elaborate south indian feast with very little help and still manage to serve with a smile in their face! I probably would have turned cranky by that time! For that reason, I avoid spending a lot of time in the kitchen on the day of my party and usually finish all my chopping, soaking and my pressure cooking tasks the previous day, so that they are ready to be just seasoned or stir-fried on the party day.
Two kinds of people make any party very special - those who love to cook and those who love to eat! Last weekend, we had some good friends come over to my place for dinner with their families. It was a fabulous evening and I was quite happy that everything went as planned. All of them are in my close knit friends circle, and like me, they are food lovers too :) So we always feel free in each others presence and are unfussy about food as well. And the best part is that we all get inquisitive about good food and happily exchange our secret recipes ;-) Even a slight variation to our regular food could give such a fantastic twist to the entire dish and thats something I'm always willing to learn from others.
Alright, about the recipe.. For the party, one of the veg curries I'd made was Methi malai matar. I often make it at home too whenever I am in the mood for something different. But this recipe undoubtedly looks great on a party table, especially if you can decorate with a twist of cream on the top. Fresh methi leaves are ideal, but you can use kasuri methi (dried methi leaves) as well, and comes out as great as the fresh leaves. I love the slight bitterness of the methi leaves combined with the sweet taste from the peas. Very simple and flavorful recipe.
This entry goes for EasyCrafts "WYF - Party food" event.
- Peas - 1.5 cup
- Chopped Methi leaves - 1/2 cup
- Curd - 2 tbsp
- Cream - 1/2 cup
- Onions - 1 medium
- Ginger/Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
- Green chillies - 2
- Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
- Corriander seeds - 1 tsp
- Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
- Corriander powder - 2 tsp
- Grind the ginger, garlic and g.chillies together. Set aside.
- Boil the peas with some salt and set aside.
- Heat oil in a pan, season with cumin seeds. Crush the corriander seeds slightly and add this to the oil.
- Add the chopped onions and fry for a few mins. Then add the ginger, garlic and g.chillies paste and fry well for a couple mins.
- Add methi leaves or kasuri methi and fry well for until the methi leaves lose shape.
- Add the spice powders, salt and mix well.
- Add curd and fry for 2 mins. Cover and let it cook for 3 - 4 mins.
- Now add the cooked peas, some water and let it boil for 2 - 3 mins.
- Finally add the cream and mix well. Remove from heat.
Serve with rotis.