Ready Steady Cook

Mallika Basu - Ready Steady Cook

Posted 19th November 2006

I spent the best part of today getting ready for the live cookery demo tomorrow. Normally I would prepare all the food the day before the party.

But in this case, I’ve had to keep everything prepared for actual cooking tomorrow. Aloo for saag aloo and gobi (cauliflower) has been peeled, quartered and is soaking in cold water. Two whole cauliflowers have been washed, cut into florets and ginger and garlic pureed for the dishes.

Technically, having an “Indian” dinner party does not qualify as quick Indian cooking. The sheer volume of onions, ginger and garlic to be chopped, fried and finished requires a certain amount of time. But there are certainly some techniques I use to keep things as simple and quick as possible:

  1. Cook large quantities of a few dishes rather than try your hand at many different recipes. It doesn’t take much longer to stir an extra onion, but making a whole separate dish will be more of a pain
  2. Never experiment. Do a dish you have tried before. Very important if you’re new to Indian cooking
  3. As mentioned earlier, cook the day before and leave the dishes covered in the fridge. Then reheat and serve on the day. This will let you enjoy your party and the food always tastes better the next day anyway
  4. Use expensive or fancy ingredients to get away from cooking many dishes. For example, prawns and pulao. This will let you make more of an impact without the effort. Time is money after all…
  5. Don’t bother with desert. In my experience, guests pig out on the mains and never have the stomach for deserts. Indian deserts are very sweet and when I have served them, they’ve not been the biggest hit. A block of fancy ice-cream or a platter of exotic fruit (papaya, lychee, mango) is often enough to sweeten the palate after the meal
  6. And lastly, serve the food out in the pots they were served in. I invested in quality pots, pans and a wok that doubles up as a karhai. While the food pictures in this blog look pretty, guests in my house serve themselves out of pots and pan. I mean, people are still eating out of banana leaves in Calcutta so a few pots and pans won’t hurt anyone!
  7. And lastly, and most importantly, don’t get drunk before the meal is cooked. This advice I can never seem to follow myself But the trick to quick Indian cooking is super concentration

Right, wish me luck for tomorrow. I’m getting quite nervous. Even though they may not notice what they’re eating after a few glasses of vino.

8 responses to “Ready Steady Cook”

  1. Asha says:

    Wonderful tips and info !

    I am sure I could use some of these, thank you.

  2. Meena says:

    This sounds so exciting Mallika!! Wish you all the best! Can’t wait to hear about how it goes, with lots of pics ofcourse!!

  3. vimax says:

    Im voix. Ceci est un blog superbe et très séduisant aussi. Excellent travail! Thats pas en réalité tellement provenant d’un éditeur amateur comme moi, cependant, son tout ce que je peux dire après une plongée dans vos messages. La grammaire et le vocabulaire de Nice. Non plus comme les autres blogs. Vous avez vraiment reconnaître ce que vous? Re parle d’environ aussi. Tellement que vous venez de faire m’a donné envie d’explorer davantage. Votre blog a pousser à être un tremplin pour moi, mon ami.

  4. Nima says:

    Nice Mallika. I have gone on-n-on reading your blogs since morning. i just feel that i am speaking to you directly. very informative and too good to know.

  5. You made some decent points there. I checked on the wweb forr mpre information about the issue and
    founnd mos people wll go alongg wiith your visws on this website.

  6. m88 says:

    Hello there! This post couldn’t be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept preaching about this. I am going to forward tis information to
    him. Pretty sure he will have a good read.

    Thank you for sharing!

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    Ready Steady Cook – Quick Indian Cooking

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