Today, we celebrate the many moods of foods, the colors that catch our eye, the palette that tempts the palate.
Yellow: Mustard oil tinges jhaal muri and turmeric gives khaman dhokla and paneer bhurji its characteristic warm color. Toor dal adds some mellow yellow to banana flower kootu. Eggs and turmeric together add a touch of yellow to egg biryani.
Green: It does your body good! Here we have zucchini and sage risotto in the palest green, fenugreek leaves as bright green flecks in this lasooni methi and this garlicky mashed water spinach, which is the most verdant shade of green ever.
Pink: A pink sauce is born by the blending of (what else but) red sauce and white sauce. And do I detect a tinge of green, as in (restaurant) envy? :) Another pink dish is this prawn curry with kokum painting the coconut milk pink.
Red: A simple vegetable soup is boldly dressed in red from beets and carrots.
Red-Orange: Curries and pasta sauces have their own rich hues. Here, red chillies add color and zing to lasnachi vali chutney, sweet and sour mango pachadi and onion chutney. Tomatoes lend their rich color to chicken kheema, macaroni in tomato ricotta sauce and cabbage kofta.
Orange: Carrots make for a lovely carrot soup designed to brighten up cold days and nectarines go into a pie that is a slice of summer.
Golden brown: The color of freshly baked bread is unmatched, seen here in whole wheat pav and bhaji, Syrian onion bread, whole wheat walnut bread and phulkas. Fried potatoes get a golden touch in vegan potato latkes.
Khosha charchari is a beautiful combination of green vegetable peels in a spicy brown gravy. Paneer chilli stir-fry wraps and veggie delight pizza are both a riot of white, green and red colors.
Finally, White: Powdered sugar showers snow on Noel nut balls.
My kitchen sink still has no water, and probably won't for another 4-5 days. Cooking without running water in the kitchen? I hyperventilated for a few moments when I realized this, then reminded myself that millions of people cook this way (and with much less) on a daily basis and I could safely stop being a friggin' diva and get on with it.
As in, Keep Calm and Carry On.
So I made Recipe #2: Bharleli Mirchi, Maharashtrian style stuffed pepper, using this recipe from A Mad Tea Party. Anita's recipes are precious gems and this one is certainly no exception.
I found these great pale green-yellow jalapeno peppers yesterday and the rest was just pantry staples. With some liberal use of oil, a tasty stuffing came together and a sizzling dish was ready.
After a meal of these stuffed peppers with a simple khichdi (nothing but toor dal, rice, salt, curry leaves, cumin seeds pressure-cooked with too much water to get it nice and porridge-like), I am in such a state of bliss that even the hole in my living room wall doesn't bother me!
See you for the grand finale. I'll post it tomorrow around 6 PM and update it with whatever entries are posted later than that. Now to get some good sleep on the last night of 2009...