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TRAY NO. 1
Menu : Gosht Yakhni Pulao, Potato Salad, Raspberry Sparkle.

Gosht Yakhni Pulao : Quick, simple and delicious. 1¼ cups basmati rice. 1 kg mutton. 2 large onions, chopped. 10 bay leaves. 10 black cardamoms. 4 medium sized potatoes. Refined oil as required. 2 tbsp Kewra water. 15 fried cashewnuts. 800 ml water. Salt to taste. Pick, wash and dry the rice well. Wash the mutton. Boil the mutton with the chopped onions, 5 bay leaves, 5 cardamoms, 1 tsp salt and 800 ml water. Pressure cook for 7–8 minutes only. Strain meat and reserve the stock. Discard the spices. Slice the potatoes into finger size pieces and fry them lightly in oil. Keep aside. Heat 4 tbsp of oil in the pressure cooker, temper with the rest of the bay leaves and cardamoms. When they turn dark, add the rice and fry till the rice turns opaque. Add mutton and fry once more. Add the hot stock, potato fingers, salt to taste and Kewra water. Place the lid of the cooker and let it come to full pressure. Reduce heat and cook for exactly 3 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with the fried cashewnuts. Variation : A quarter cup of whisked curd may be added along with the rice.

Potato Salad : The secret of this salad is to dress it while the potatoes are still warm, as they would absorb maximum flavour from the dressing. ½ kg potatoes, boiled and diced. Dressing : 1 cup chilled cream. 1 tbsp icing sugar. ½ tsp salt. ¼ tsp mustard powder or mustard sauce. ¼ tsp pepper. 2 tbsp lime juice or vinegar. Whip the cream till thick. Mix icing sugar, salt, mustard, pepper, adding the lime juice or

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vinegar last. (This dressing keeps well in the refrigerator for 4–5 days in an open container). Either toss hot potatoes in the dressing or just toss the dressed salad once over a low heat in a non-stick skillet till warm. Serve warm or chilled.

Raspberry Sparkle: Note : Any type of cake may be used with the exception of chocolate cake. 1 packet raspberry jelly crystals. 3 tbsp raspberry flavoured custard powder. 2½ cups milk. 4 tbsp sugar. 4 cup cakes, cut into small pieces. Prepare the jelly according to the instructions on the packet. Put in the refrigerator to set. Put 2 cups of milk to boil. Add the sugar when it comes to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Lower the heat. In another cup, mix the custard powder with half cup milk. Add this to the hot milk, stirring so as not to form lumps. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Take off heat and let it cool. Take a glass pudding bowl and pour a layer of custard into it. Top with a few cake pieces, followed by a layer of jelly. Repeat till the ingredients are finished; the top layer should be of jelly. Serve chilled.

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TRAY NO. 2
Menu : Almond Soup, Chicken Tikka Rolls, Gingerbread.

Almond Soup : Tasty, nutritious and somewhat different. Your family is sure to enjoy it. 2 cups blanched almonds. 4 cups chicken stock. ½ cup cooked, flaked chicken. ¼ cup finely chopped mushroom. 1 cup milk. 100 ml cream. Finely chopped parsley for garnishing. Salt and pepper to taste. Grind 1¾ cups of almonds to a smooth paste. Slice the remaining ones into fine slivers. Put the stock, cooked chicken and mushrooms to boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Boil over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add the almond paste and milk and simmer for another 20 minutes. Now add the slivered almonds. Serve hot, garnished with swirls of cream and chopped parsley.

Chicken Tikka Rolls : A delicious and filling snack that’s sure to become a family favourite. 4 large hot dog rolls. 2 tbsp butter. For the tikkas : 250 gm boneless chicken cubes. ¾ cup thick curd. 1 tbsp lime juice. 1 tbsp grated ginger. 1 tsp coriander powder. 1 tsp chilli powder. 1 tbsp raw papaya paste. A generous pinch of roasted and powdered fenugreek seeds. Salt to taste. Mix all the ingredients for the tikkas together, except the fenugreek powder. Marinate the chicken cubes for at least an hour. Grill the marinated chicken cubes in a hot oven or fry them on a tawa till soft and dry. Sprinkle the fenugreek powder over the tikkas. Slit open one side of the bread roll. Smear butter and then place the chicken tikkas between the rolls. Wrap each in aluminium foil and bake in 400°F/200°C oven for 10–15 minutes. The rolls taste equally delicious served at room temperature.

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Gingerbread : A lovely moist cake that is meant to sink in the middle. 100 gm butter. 150 gm brown sugar. 150 ml black treacle or gur syrup. 100 gm golden syrup. 3 eggs. 1 tbsp ground ginger. 200 gm flour. 50 gm raisins. 50 gm crystallised ginger, chopped. ½ tsp soda bicarbonate. 2 tbsp milk. Cream the butter and sugar. Stir in the treacle and golden syrup and then beat in the eggs. Sift the flour and ground ginger and stir into the egg mixture with raisins and crystallised ginger. Dissolve the soda in milk and pour into the mixture. Line and grease a 18 cm square cake tin. Pour in the batter and bake in a preheated oven (325°F/ 160°C) for 1¼ – 1½ hours. The cake will sink during baking because of the high proportion of treacle and syrup.

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TRAY NO. 3
Menu : Arabian Loaf, Mexican Salsa, Jalebi Pudding.

Arabian Loaf : A one-dish meal is always a favourite with cooks as it is easy to assemble and there are fewer dirty dishes at the end of it. For the Loaf : 1½ tbsp butter. 1½ tbsp refined oil. 1 onion, finely chopped. 1 capsicum, finely chopped. 1 cup boiled rice. 1 cup walnuts and cashewnuts combined, finely chopped. 1 cup tomatoes, chopped. ½ cup milk. ½ cup breadcrumbs. 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder. ½ cup coriander leaves, chopped. 1 tsp grated lime rind. ¼ cup tomato ketchup. Salt and pepper to taste. For the topping : 8 medium potatoes, boiled. ¼ cup hot milk. 2 tsp butter. Salt and pepper to taste. Heat the butter and oil together. Sauté the onion and capsicum together till soft, add the rest of the ingredients. Place this mixture in a 20 cm greased baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F / 180°C in an oven. For the topping : Mash the potatoes along with 1 tsp butter, hot milk, salt and pepper. Remove the loaf from the oven, cover it with mashed potatoes, dot with the remaining butter and grill till the top is golden. Variation : For a non-vegetarian version add one cup of cooked mince instead of nuts and use 1 egg in place of the ½ cup milk.

Mexican Salsa: This salsa is most versatile and can be served with any meal. 2 large, ripe, red tomatoes. 1 large capsicum. 1 large onion, finely chopped. 2 green chillies, finely chopped. 1 tsp sugar. ½ tsp pepper. Salt to taste. Blanch, peel, deseed and chop the tomatoes. Core and finely chop the capsicum. If you have the time, pass the tomato seeds through a sieve and add the juice to the salsa. Mix all the ingredients together. Chill and serve.

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Jalebi Pudding : I rustled up this original when I had a few left over jalebis and nobody wanted to eat them. 6–8 jalebis. A handful of broken cashewnuts. 1 lt milk. 125 gm sugar. 4 eggs. 1 tsp vanilla essence. Grease a baking dish. Break the jalebis and arrange on the base of the dish. Scatter the nuts all over. Put the milk to boil and reduce to ¾ of its original volume, while stirring continuously. Add the sugar and stir till dissolved. Remove and cool. Beat the eggs and mix into the milk. Lastly, add the vanilla essence and pour this over the jalebis. Bake in a water bath; to do this, take a large baking tin and pour some hot water in it. Place the baking dish containing the pudding it. The water should reach halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake in a preheated oven, at 400°F/200°C for 35–40 minutes. Serve chilled.

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TRAY NO. 4
Menu : Red Cherry Soup, Chicken Mould, Lime Chiffon Cheesecake.

Red Cherry Soup : Cold fruit soups are just the thing for summer. It is not only refreshing and nourishing, but light and easy on the stomach, too. Make use of the fresh cherries that are plentiful during summer. 450 gm cherries. 1 lt water. 1 tbsp cornflour. 1½ tbsp sugar. 1 tsp lime juice. 4 tbsp whipped cream and 4 mint sprigs for garnishing. Wash and stem and cherries; stone a few and reserve. Add the remaining cherries to water and bring to a boil. Simmer till tender. Pass the cooked cherries through a sieve. Add to the stock and reheat to boiling. Add the cornflour mixed with a little water and sugar. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add the stoned cherries and lime juice and remove from heat. Cool and then chill. Serve garnished with whipped cream and mint sprigs.

Chicken Mould : Any leftover meat can be used in this recipe. Apart from TV trays, this is ideal for picnics and even buffets. 250 gm cooked, flaked chicken. 100 gm ham slices. 1 cup cooked peas. 1 tbsp chopped parsley or fresh coriander. ½ cup cream. Salt and pepper to taste. ½ cup mayonnaise. 2 hardboiled eggs. Pass the cooked chicken and ham through a mixer. Add all the ingredients except the eggs. Lightly oil a mould. Press half the chicken mixture in it. Slice the eggs and arrange on top. Cover with the rest of the chicken mix. Chill thoroughly. Unmould just before serving. Slice and serve.

Lime Chiffon Cheesecake : The refreshing flavour of lime never fails to delight in summer.
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225 gm Thin Arrowroot or Marie biscuits. 50 gm melted butter. ½ tsp ground cinnamon. 1 tbsp gelatine. ¼ cup hot water. 225 gm cottage cheese. 4 tbsp milk. 100 gm powdered sugar. 3 eggs, separated. 2 tbsp lime juice. Grated rind of 1 lime. Crush the biscuits to a powder. Add the melted butter and cinnamon and mix well. Press the biscuit mixture over the base and sides of a spring form tin, a tin with a loose bottom. Soak the gelatine in ¼ cup of water for 15 minutes. Dissolve over very low heat. Keep aside. Blend the cottage cheese with the milk in a blender till smooth. Add half the sugar and blend in the egg yolks, one by one. Cook this mixture over a double boiler till a little thick, stirring well. Remove and let cool. Add the dissolved gelatine to the cottage cheese mixture with the lime juice and rind. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Whisk the egg whites till stiff; gradually beat in the remaining sugar. Next, whip the chilled cottage cheese mixture with an electric beater and fold in the egg whites. Pour into the biscuit crumb base. Chill until set.

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TRAY NO. 5
Menu : Chapati, Dalcha, Dum Gobhi, Ice-cream Sandesh.

Dalcha : Tastes best when cooked with ghee. But if you would rather not use ghee, cook with refined oil and add 1 tbsp ghee for flavour. 500 gm meat or chicken. ½ cup ghee. 2 large onions, chopped. 1½ tsp grated ginger. 1 tsp finely chopped garlic. 2 green chillies, chopped. ¼ cup black gram dal. ½ cup Bengal gram dal. ½ tsp turmeric. ½ tsp chilli powder. 2 bay leaves. 2 large tomatoes, chopped. ½ tsp garam masala powder. Salt to taste. Marinade : 3 cm piece of ginger, ground. 6 cloves garlic, crushed. 2 green chillies, ground. 1 tsp salt. ½ tsp chilli powder. ½ tsp turmeric. A pinch of garam masala powder. 1 cup whisked curd. 2 tbsp kasuri methi. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together and marinate the meat in it for 1 hour or longer if time permits. Pick, wash and soak both the dals for at least one hour. Heat the ghee in a degchi. Add the onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Fry till the onions are pink. Now put the meat along with the marinade into the degchi. Fry, stirring continuously for 10–15 minutes. Add both the dals, turmeric, chilli powder, bay leaves, tomatoes and garam masala powder. Stir fry for another 5 minutes. Add enough hot water and salt. Pressure cook for 10 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with fresh coriander. Variation : You can make this with only dal, omitting meat. In that case stir fry the dal with the masalas.

Dum Gobhi : A quick and easy preparation. 1 medium cauliflower. Salt to taste. ½ tsp chilli powder. 2 medium onions. 2 medium tomatoes. 2.5 cm piece of ginger. 4 cloves of garlic. 2 green chillies. ½ tsp garam masala powder 2 tbsp

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refined oil. ½ cup cubed carrots. ½ cup shelled peas. ½ cup cubed capsicum. 50 gm butter. Cut the cauliflower into medium-sized florets. Sprinkle a little salt and chilli powder on it. Blend the onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chillies together. Mix the cauliflower with the blended paste, salt, garam masala and oil. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. In the mean time, boil carrots and peas till just done. Add to the cauliflower along with the capsicum and butter. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Ice-cream Sandesh : 500 gm cottage cheese. 200 gm icing or powdered sugar. ½ tsp vanilla essence. Blend all the ingredients together. Pour into a greased container with a tight-fitting lid. Steam in a pressure cooker for 5–7 minutes. Cool and refrigerate for 24 hours. Cut and serve.

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TRAY NO. 6
Menu : Semolina Dosa, Coconut Chutney, Chicken with Fenugreek, Mango Cream.

Semolina Dosa : This is an instant dosa, eschewing the long and tedious process of soaking and grinding rice and dal. It is also ideal for the busy homemaker. Refrigerate leftover batter for next day’s breakfast. 2 large onions, finely chopped. 4 green chillies, finely chopped. 1 cup fresh coriander, finely chopped. 2 cups semolina. ½ cup flour. 2 tsp cumin powder. Buttermilk as required. Refined oil for frying. Salt to taste. Mix the semolina and flour together and soak them in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Add the onions, green chillies and fresh coriander. Add all the remaining ingredients, including enough buttermilk to make a batter of dosa consistency, which is a little thinner than pouring consistency. Smear a non-stick tawa with ½ tsp oil. Spread cup of batter and rotate the tawa so the batter makes a circle. Sprinkle 1 tsp oil on the sides. When one side is done, flip and cook the other side using another teaspoon of oil. Use the remaining batter the same way. Serve hot with coconut chutney.

Coconut Chutney : 4 tbsp chana dal. 1 small coconut, grated. 4 green chillies. 2 cm piece of ginger. ¼ cup thick curd. 1 tbsp refined oil. 1 tsp mustard seeds. 1 sprig curry leaves. Salt to taste. Roast the chana dal till aromatic. Soak in water for an hour. Grind together the chana dal, grated coconut, green chillies and ginger to a fine paste. Add the curd and mix well. Heat the oil in a small frying pan. Temper with the mustard seeds and curry leaves. When they stop spluttering, pour over the coconut mixture. Mix well and serve.

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Lime juice may be used in place of curd.

Chicken with Fenugreek : 200 gm curd. 1 chicken, cut into medium-sized pieces. 5 tbsp mustard oil. 1 tsp fenugreek seeds. 2 tbsp grated coconut, ground to a paste. ½ cup onion paste. 1 tsp garlic paste. ½ tsp turmeric. 1 tsp chilli powder. Salt to taste. Beat the curd and marinate the chicken in it for 1–2 hours. Heat the oil in a karahi to a smoking point. Temper with the fenugreek seeds. When they sizzle (do not let them brown, or they’ll taste bitter), add the onion paste. Cook, stirring till light brown. Add the garlic paste and fry till the onion turns golden. Add the coconut, turmeric, chilli and salt; mix well. Cover and let the chicken cook in its own juice on low heat. Sprinkle a little hot water, only if needed. The finished dish should have a thick gravy. Serve hot, garnished with green chillies and lemon wedges.

Mango Cream : Make the most of the king of fruits with this simple, yet delicious recipe. For the custard : 1 egg yolk. 4 tbsp sugar. 2 tbsp vanilla custard powder. ½ lt milk. 2 cups mango pulp. 1 egg white. ½ cup diced mango and whipped cream for topping. Beat the egg yolk and sugar together till well mixed. Mix the custard powder in cup of milk. Pour into the remaining milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Add the egg yolk mixture. Heat well (do not boil), stirring constantly. Cook over a low fire till thick. Remove and let cool. When cold, whip the custard and the mango pulp, whisking well. Separately beat the egg white till soft peaks form. Gently fold into the mango mixture. Pour into individual glasses or dessert bowls. Chill for 5–6 hours. Serve topped with diced mango and whipped cream.

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TRAY NO. 7
Menu : Appam, Mutton Stew / Kai Stew, Mango Pineapple Rasam.

Appam : 1 tsp fresh yeast. 2 tsp sugar. 4 tbsp water. 225 gm rice flour. 300 ml thick coconut milk. Salt to taste. Mix the fresh yeast, sugar and water in a small bowl. Keep covered for 5 minutes. Mix the rice flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the coconut milk and yeast mixture and form a smooth batter. Cover and leave to ferment for 1–2 hours or even overnight. Before making the appams, mix well again and, if necessary, add enough lukewarm water to make a batter of pouring consistency. There are special appam pans available.. An ordinary karahi can also be used. Lightly grease a karahi and heat over a moderate heat. Pour 75 ml of batter into the pan. Rotate the pan in a circular motion so that the batter forms a circle. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. The centre should be soft and spongy and the sides crisp and lacy. Ease the appams from the karahi with a blunt spatula.

Mutton Stew : 500 gm mutton, preferably from the hind legs. 1 tbsp vinegar. 2 sticks of cinnamon. 6 cloves. 2 green cardamoms. 1 large onion, finely sliced. 1 tsp shredded ginger. 2 cloves garlic, chopped. 4 green chillies. 1 sprig of curry leaves. 6 medium florets of cauliflower. ½ cup shelled peas. 5 peppercorns, crushed. 1 tsp flour. 1½ cups thick coconut milk or plain milk. Salt to taste. Pressure cook the mutton with vinegar, 1 tsp salt and 2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Heat the oil in a degchi and temper with the cinnamon, cloves and green cardamoms. Sauté for a minute or so and then add the onion, ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves. Then, sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the cauliflower, peas, salt (remember, the meat is already salted) and crushed pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add the cooked meat and stock. Stir, cover and let it cook till the vegetables are done.

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Reduce heat; mix the flour with coconut milk or plain milk and add to meat. Simmer for 5 minutes and remove.

Kai Stew (Vegetable Stew from Kerala) : In Kerala, coconut oil is used for cooking. It is an acquired taste. Do use it by all means, if you like the flavour. 2 medium carrots. 1 small cauliflower. 6–8 French beans. 1 cup shelled peas. 1 small potato. 1 tbsp refined oil. 2 cloves. 2 green cardamoms. 2 pieces of cinnamon. 5 peppercorns. 2 bay leaves. 1 sprig curry leaves. 1 tbsp shredded ginger. 4 green chillies, slit. Salt to taste. 1 tsp sugar. 1 cup thick coconut milk. Scrape and cut carrots into cubes. Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Top and tail the beans and cut each into 4 pieces. Peel and dice the potato. Heat the oil in a karahi. Temper with the cloves, green cardamoms, cinnamon, peppercorns, bay leaves and curry leaves. When it gives off an aroma , add ginger and green chillies. Fry for half a minute. Add the vegetables and sauté over a high temperature for 2–3 minutes. Add 1½ cups of water, salt and sugar; cover and cook till done. Add the coconut milk and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Remove and serve hot.

Mango Pineapple Rasam : ¾ cup sugar. 1½ cups of water. 2 cups pineapple cubes. 200 gm grapes. 2 dry red chillies. 1 tsp mustard seeds. ½ cup grated coconut. 2 medium ripe mangoes. Bring the sugar and water to a boil and stir till the sugar dissolves. Add the pineapple cubes. When almost done, add the grapes and cook till the pineapple cubes are done. In the mean time, grind the chillies, mustard seeds and grated coconut together. Peel and cut the mango into small cubes. When the rasam cools, add the ground paste and mango. Mix and serve chilled.

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TRAY NO. 8
Menu : Egg Pulao, Sweet and Sour Raita, Sweet Samosa.

Egg Pulao : Egg Pulao is a complete meal in itself; all it needs as an accompaniment is a cool bowl of raita. 2½ cups basmati rice. 1 tsp turmeric. 6 eggs. 1 cup diced paneer. cup refined oil. 2 tbsp ghee. 4 bay leaves. 4 green cardamoms. 10 peppercorns. 4 cloves. A small piece of cinnamon. 15 cashewnuts. 20 raisins. 1 tsp cumin seeds. 2 cm piece of ginger, grated. cup coconut, cut into very small pieces. 1 tsp sugar. 4 green chillies, slit. ½ tsp garam masala powder. 5 cups hot water or chicken stock. Salt to taste. Wash the rice. Smear with 1 tsp salt and turmeric and spread on a tray to dry. Boil four eggs and scramble the other two. Lightly fry the paneer and keep immersed in water till needed. However, this step is optional. You may keep the paneer as it is. Heat the ghee and oil in a degchi. Temper with the bay leaves, green cardamoms, peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon. When they turn a shade darker, add the cashewnuts and raisins and fry for 30 seconds. Add cumin seeds, ginger and coconut and fry for another minute. Add the rice and stir fry for 2–3 minutes. Mix in salt, sugar, green chillies and garam masala powder. Add 5 cups of hot water or chicken stock. Let it come to boil. Cover and reduce heat. When the water reaches the level of the rice and you find holes appearing on the surface, put the degchi on dum, which means putting a tawa underneath the degchi. Cook till rice is done and dry. Fluff up rice lightly and serve it garnished with the scrambled eggs.

Sweet and Sour Raita : 500 gm curd. 50 gm raisins. 10 dates. 10 cashewnuts. ½ packet sweet aampapar. 2 tsp roasted and powdered cumin. ½ tsp chaat masala. 2 tbsp sugar. 1 tsp black salt. Clean the raisins and soak for 2 hours. Hang the curd in a muslin cloth for 2 hours. Deseed and chop dates; chop the cashewnuts and aampapar in small pieces.

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Beat the curd till smooth and add cumin, chaat masala, sugar and black salt. Add all the other ingredients and refrigerate till needed.

Sweet Samosa : Round off the meal with this very unusual sweet. It is extremely popular all over Bengal. For the dough : 1 cup flour. 1 tbsp ghee. Refined oil for frying. For the filling : 1 cup grated coconut. ½ cup powdered khoya. ½ cup sugar. ½ tsp green cardamom powder. For the syrup : 2 cups sugar. 1 cup water. 1 tbsp milk. Mix the flour and ghee and knead to make a firm dough with water. Divide into 8 parts. Roll each into a thin round about 4–5 inches in diameter. Lift each part in your hand and shape into a cone. Brush the ends with a little water and seal. Fill with the coconut mixture. Again brush the opening with water and seal well. Deep fry in hot oil till golden. Dip in sugar syrup to coat well. Take out and serve. Can be served hot or cold. Filling : Grind the grated coconut. Put in a karahi over medium heat. Stir and add the khoya and sugar. Keep stirring till well mixed and the moisture is reduced. It should be moist and not too dry. Add the cardamom powder and remove. Syrup : Put the sugar and water to boil. Keep stirring till the sugar dissolves. Let it come to a boil. Add 1 tbsp milk mixed with 1 tbsp water. The scum will rise to the surface. Remove. Let the syrup boil till it reaches two-thread consistency. (A drop of syrup stretched between your thumb and forefinger should form two threads.) Variation : Leftover burfis or pedas can be used as filling instead of coconut.

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TRAY NO. 9
This tray consists of Gujarati cuisine. The authentic ‘daldhokli’ is of course, vegetarian. However, I have converted it to a non-vegetarian one. Menu : Stuffed Dal Dhokli, Lauki ki Muthia (Steamed Bottle Gourd), Mohanthal (Gram Flour Fudge).

Stuffed Dal Dhokli : For the dhoklis : 1½ cups whole wheat flour. 2 tbsp gram flour. 1 tsp salt. ½ tsp turmeric. ½ tsp chilli powder. 1 tbsp refined oil. Stuffing : 1 cup cooked chicken mince. 1 tsp grated ginger. 1 green chilli, chopped fine. 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander. A pinch of salt. Dal : 250 gm arhar dal. 1 cup shelled green peas. 1 large tomato. 3 tbsp groundnuts. 1 tbsp grated ginger. 2 tbsp jaggery. 6 green chillies, slit. ¼ cup lime juice. Salt to taste. Tempering : cup ghee. 4 cloves. 5 cm piece of cinnamon. 4 bay leaves. ½ tsp mustard seeds. A pinch of asafoetida. ½ tsp turmeric. Garnishing : 3 onions, finely chopped. A handful of chopped fresh coriander. 2 chopped green chillies. Lemon wedges. Dhoklis : Sieve the wholewheat flour and gram flour together and mix with all the ingredients. Knead to form a stiff dough with water. Roll into very thin small rounds. Place a little filling on one side and fold over to form semi-circles. Smear the edges with water to seal securely. Stuffing : Mix all the ingredients together and use. Dal : Pressure cook the dal and peas with sufficient water. Heat the ghee in a large degchi. Temper with all the ingredients and fry for a minute. Pour the dal over it and let it come to boil. Add the tomato, groundnuts, ginger, jaggery, green chillies and salt. There should be ample water. If necessary, add more hot water. Place the stuffed dhoklis carefully. Let this cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Sprinkle lime juice and fresh coriander and remove. Serve with the garnishings on the side.

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Vegetarians can use grated paneer instead of mince.

Lauki Ki Muthia : 1½ heaped cups besan. 1 heaped cup grated bottle gourd. ½ tsp garam masala powder. 1 heaped tsp salt. ¼ tsp citric acid. 2 tbsp sugar. ¼ tsp turmeric. ½ heaped tsp chilli powder. 2 tbsp refined oil. A pinch of asafoetida. ¼ tsp soda bicarbonate. For tempering : 3 tbsp refined oil. 1 tsp urad dal. 1 tsp mustard seeds. 4 green chillies chopped. 15 curry leaves. While measuring the gram flour, measure 1 cup and again ½ cup separately, both heaped. Firmly pack the grated bottle gourd and then measure. Mix all the ingredients well. The dough will be quite sticky. Do not add any water. The bottle gourd will release enough water of its own. Divide the dough into 3 parts and form into 3 sausage-shaped rolls. Steam in a pressure cooker for 25 minutes without the vent weight. The roll would puff up and there may be cracks on the surface. Let cool and then slice thickly. Heat oil in a karahi. Add urad dal. Fry till pink. Add the mustard seeds and as soon as they begin to splutter, add the green chillies and curry leaves. Stir once and add the sliced muthias. Stir on high heat a few times carefully. Remove. Serve garnished with coriander leaves and grated coconut. This can be served as a snack, too. Serve a green chutney on the side.

Mohanthal : 2 cups besan. 1 cup ghee. ¼ tsp nutmeg powder. ¼ tsp green cardamom powder. ½ cup chopped nuts and sultanas. For the sugar syrup : 2 cups sugar. 1 cup water. Sieve the besan well. Rub half the ghee in it and keep aside for half an hour. Heat the remaining ghee in a heavy karahi. Reduce heat and add the gram flour. Fry, stirring continuously till brown and aromatic.

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In another saucepan, put the sugar and water on heat. Stir till the sugar dissolves. Add 1 tbsp milk so that the scum rises to the surface. After removing the scum, boil till you get a twothread consistency. (A drop of syrup stretched between your thumb and forefinger should form two threads.) Add the syrup to the gram flour along with the nuts and powdered spices. Cook, stirring constantly till it forms a lump. Pour on to a greased tray evenly. When cool, cut into squares and serve.

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TRAY NO. 10
Menu : Chapati, Eggs in Gram Dal, Kachumber, Banana Halwa.

Eggs in Gram Dal : 250 gm gram dal. A pinch of turmeric. 4 onions. 2 dry red chillies. 3 cm piece of ginger. ¼ cup refined oil. 4 eggs, hardboiled. ½ cup curd. ½ tsp sugar. 4 green chillies. ½ tsp garam masala powder. Salt to taste. A handful of fresh coriander leaves for garnishing. Cook the dal with turmeric and salt till just done. Strain and reserve stock. Grind the onions, dry chillies and ginger together. Heat the oil in a karahi. Lightly fry the eggs and remove. Add the ground paste, stir fry for 5 minutes, sprinkling a little water, if necessary. Add the curd and sugar and fry well till oil separates. Add the dal stock, slit green chillies and garam masala. Mix well. When it comes to a boil, add the dal and cook for 5 minutes. The consistency of the dal should be quite thick. Halve the eggs and place on the dal. Stir once carefully and remove. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot.

Kachumber : 1 large onion. 2 green chillies. 1 large tomato. ¼ cup fresh coriander. 1 tbsp thick tamarind paste. 1 tbsp jaggery, grated. Salt to taste. Finely chop the onions, green chillies, tomato and fresh coriander. Mix tamarind and jaggery. Add to the chopped mixture with salt, toss well and serve. Alternatively, 1 small grated raw mango can also be used instead of tamarind.

Banana Halwa : 4 large ripe bananas. Juice of 1 lime. 1 tbsp white butter or ghee. 1 tbsp cornflour. 2 cups sugar. ½ cup chopped nuts and raisins. Peel and mash bananas. Add lime juice to them and keep aside.

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Heat the butter or ghee and when it melts, add the cornflour. Stir for ½ minute. Add the sugar and a little water. When the sugar dissolves, add the bananas, nuts and raisins. Stir over a medium low flame. Remove when thickened like porridge. Serve hot or cold.

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TRAY NO. 11
A typically North Indian menu that never fails to please all. Menu : Methi Parantha, Cottage Cheese (Paneer) Rezala/Meat Rezala, Tomato Raita, Fruitee Shikhran.

Methi Parantha : 1 large bunch fresh fenugreek. 1 cup fresh coriander, chopped. 50 gm besan. 250 gm atta. Refined oil for frying. 1 tsp amchur powder. 1 tsp crushed ajwain. 1 tsp finely chopped green chillies or ½ tsp chilli powder. Salt to taste. Pick and wash the fenugreek and coriander leaves. Sieve the besan and atta together. Rub in 2 tbsp oil, the remaining ingredients and fenugreek and coriander leaves, mix with enough water to form a semi-soft dough. Divide into 10 parts and roll into paranthas with the help of a little dry atta. Heat a tawa and roast the paranthas on both sides; then sprinkle oil from the sides and fry till golden. Serve hot with dollops of butter.

Paneer Rezala : 250 gm paneer. 100 gm curd. ½ cup onion paste. 2 tsp ginger paste. 1 heaped tbsp poppy seed paste. 1 black cardamom. 10 peppercorns. 1 tsp sugar. 2 tbsp ghee. 4 green cardamoms. 4 cloves. 2.5 cm piece of cinnamon. ½ cup milk. A pinch of saffron. 4 dry red chillies. Salt to taste. Cut paneer into cubes. Beat the curd and mix with the onion paste, ginger paste, poppy seed paste, black cardamom (slightly bruised), peppercorns, salt and sugar. Marinate paneer in it for half an hour. Heat ghee in a karahi. Temper with the green cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon. Add paneer along with the marinade and stir fry for 3–4 minutes on medium heat. Stir very carefully so as not to break the paneer cubes. A non-stick pan may be used. Add 1½ cups of water. Let it cook till the gravy is reduced by three-fourths. Mix milk with the

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saffron and add to the paneer along with the dry chillies. Cook over low heat for another 2 minutes and remove. Serve hot.

Meat Rezala : 500 gm meat. 200 gm curd. 6 tbsp onion paste. 1 tsp ginger paste. 1 tsp garlic paste. 2 tbsp ghee. 5 cm stick cinnamon. 2 cloves. 2 green cardamoms. 2 bay leaves. 1 tsp sugar. 6 dry red chillies. 1 tsp kewra water. 1 tsp rose water. Salt to taste. The meat should be from the breast portion with little fat in it. Beat the curd and mix it with the onion, ginger, garlic paste and salt. Marinate the meat in it for at least 2 hours. Heat the ghee in a degchi. Temper with the whole garam masala and bay leaves. Add the marinated meat and fry on a low heat, stirring. The meat must not change colour. When the water is considerably reduced add 1½ cups of hot water and sugar. Pressure cook for 15 minutes. Uncover and add the whole dry red chillies. Cook for another 10 minutes. Add kewra water and rose water and remove. The gravy of a meat rezala should be of a thin consistency.

Tomato Raita : 4 large tomatoes. 350 gm curd. 1 tbsp sugar. 2 tsp mustard oil. ½ tsp mustard seeds. 1 sprig curry leaf. Salt to taste. Cut the tomatoes lengthwise into 8 pieces each. Hang the curd in a muslin cloth till most of the whey drains out. This should take about an hour. Beat curd with sugar till smooth. Heat the oil in a frying pan till smoking. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. When the seeds crackle, add tomatoes and salt. Stir once; cover, reduce heat and let cook for 3–4 minutes. Add the curd, stirring continuously, and cook for another 3–4 minutes. Remove. Serve chilled.

Fruitee Shikhran : Note : For the shikhran you can use any fruits of your choice including strawberries, peaches and kiwis.
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½ kg thick curd. 1½ lt full cream milk. 2 cups powdered sugar. 250 ml cream. ½ tsp green cardamom powder. 2 drops saffron essence. 1 cup finely chopped pineapple. ½ cup green grapes. ½ cup black grapes. 1 cup sliced bananas. 2 cups orange segments. 1 cup cherries, deseeded. Hang the curd in a muslin cloth for about 4 hours till all the whey drains. Boil the milk and sugar till reduced to half-litre. Cool and chill. Beat the curd till smooth. Put the cream in a small bowl. Place this bowl in a large container filled with ice and whip the cream till it thickens. Beat the thickened milk and add to the curd along with the green cardamom powder and saffron essence. Fold in cream. Chill. Divide into individual bowls and top with the fruits and serve. Alternatively one tin of condensed milk may be used instead of the milk. Omit sugar in that case.

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TRAY NO. 12
For most Indians, anytime is snack time. One all-time-favourite is chaat with its sweet, sour, piquant and pungent flavour. Menu : Papri Chaat, Pani Pakori, Dabeli, Jhat Pat Rasmalai.

Papri Chaat : Note : This quantity will make approximately 40 papris. These keep well in an airtight container for at least a week. So prepare a large quantity and keep for emergency. Papri : 1 cup flour. 1½ tsp refined oil. 1 generous pinch of soda bicarbonate. A pinch of salt. Refined oil for frying. 2 large potatoes. 1 large onion, finely chopped. 1 cup thick curd. Fresh coriander. Green chillies and boiled chick peas. Sev as needed. Green Chutney : 2 large bunches fresh coriander. 3 green chillies. 2.5 cm ginger. coconut (optional). 2 tsp sugar. 1 lime. Salt to taste. cup grated

Sweet Chutney : 1 packet sweet aampapad. 100 gm dates. 1 large lime-sized ball of tamarind. 1 cup sugar. 1 tsp roasted and powdered cumin. ½ tsp chilli powder. ½ tsp dry ginger powder. ½ tsp pepper powder. Black salt to taste. Papri : Mix the flour, oil, soda and salt together. Knead to a semi-stiff dough with water. Keep aside for 30 minutes. Break very small lumps from the dough and roll into small rounds. Prick with a fork and deep fry in hot oil till light brown. Or, divide dough into 4 balls. Roll into large circles. Cut with a small round cutter; prick and fry. Keep aside. Green Chutney : Take only the leaves of fresh coriander. Grind with all the ingredients except lime. Mix in the lime juice. Sweet Chutney : Wash and deseed the dates. Chop the aampapad into small pieces. Pressure cook dates, aampapad and tamarind with 1 cup of water for 5 minutes. Blend to a puree. Put this puree in a saucepan with the sugar. Boil till thick. Add all the spices. Cook for a further couple of minutes; check seasonings and remove. It will thicken further as it cools. Refrigerated, this chutney will keep for at least a month. To serve : Place 8–10 papris on a plate. Pour some beaten curd over the papris. Sprinkle the

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green chutney and sweet chutney in streaks. Top with chopped fresh coriander, green chillies, onion and boiled chick peas. Lastly, spread the sev generously all over the papris. Serve at once. Golgappas, raj kachori and dahi bhallas can be served the same way.

Pani Pakori : Pakori : 250 gm moong dal. 1 tsp grated ginger. ½ tsp salt. A pinch of soda bicarbonate. Refined oil for deep frying. Pani : 1.25 lt water. 1 tbsp roasted and powdered cumin. ¾ tsp black salt. ¼ tsp chilli powder. ½ tsp pepper. 2 tbsp tamarind pulp. ½ tsp dry ginger powder. 1 tbsp sugar. 1 tbsp powdered mint. Black salt to taste. 20 mint leaves. A handful of chopped fresh coriander. 1 lime. Pakori : Soak the moong dal overnight. Drain and grind to a fine paste. Beat well till fluffy. Mix in the ginger, salt, and soda bicarb and beat again. Drop a little dal in a cupful of water. If it floats, the batter is done. If not, beat some more. Heat enough oil in a karahi for deep frying. Drop spoonfuls of batter and fry golden pakoras. Drain and put in a bowl of salted water. Soak till soft, then gently squeeze to get rid of extra water. Pani : Boil and cool the water. Now, mix all the ingredients into the water except the lime. Boil once and let it cool. Taste and adjust seasonings. Strain through a muslin cloth. Add lime juice. Put in the pakoras and chill. Dabeli : 4 round buns. ¼ cup chopped cashewnuts. ¼ cup groundnuts coarsely ground. ¼ cup roasted and roughly powdered gram. Filling : 4 medium potatoes. 2–3 tbsp refined oil. 1 tsp black salt. 1 tsp pepper. 1½ tsp cumin powder. 1 tsp garam masala powder. ½ tsp turmeric. Juice of 1 lime. 2 tsp sugar. Garlic Chutney : 8–10 cloves garlic. 2 tbsp chilli powder. ½ tsp salt. Juice of 1 lime. ½ tsp sugar. Sweet-Sour Chutney : See the recipe of papri chaat.

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Filling : Boil, peel and dice potatoes. Heat the oil in a karahi. Add potatoes and stir fry for 2 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and fry till dry. Garlic Chutney : Grind garlic and chilli powder together. Add salt, lime juice and sugar. The chutney should be firm. To Serve : Slit each bun, but not right through. Thin down the garlic chutney with a little water and smear both sides of the bun with it. Stuff with potato and sprinkle the nuts. Top with sweet-sour chutney and serve.

Jhat Pat Rasmalai : To soothe the burning palates after all these hot and spicy snacks, here is a cool, alltime favourite dessert. 2 litres full cream milk. 200 gm sugar. 1 pinch saffron. 4 tbsp chopped pistachios and almonds. 1 tbsp rose water. 8 rasgullas. Boil the milk and reduce by one-third, stirring constantly. Add sugar and saffron, mixed with a little milk. Boil for another 10 minutes. Squeeze the rasgullas to get rid of most of the syrup. Add to the boiling milk along with half the nuts. Let cook for another 10 minutes. Remove and sprinkle rose water. Chill, decorate with the remaining nuts and serve.

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TRAY NO. 13
Menu : Green Goddess, Satay, Orange Kabab, Paneer Angare.

Green Goddess : A drink to revive even the most jaded palate. 8 tbsp khus syrup. 8 heaped tbsp crushed ice. 4 tbsp pineapple juice. 400 ml chilled soda. Lime slices and mint sprigs for garnishing. Put 2 tablespoons of khus syrup in each of the 4 glasses. Top with 1 heaped tbsp crushed ice, followed by 1 tbsp pineapple juice and ice again. Over this pour 100 ml soda. Do not stir. The three layers should be distinct from each other. Garnish with a slice of lime and a sprig of mint.

Satay : Kababs acquire a special place on any menu, particularly in winter. Hot, spicy, sumptuous chunks of meat or vegetables add that extra zing to a meal. This light kabab is originally from Indonesia, now popular all over the Far East. It has the typical flavours of roasted groundnuts, tamarind and red chilli paste. Palm sugar and groundnuts are used to tone down the effect of red chillies. Satays should never be too spicy. 500 gm boneless chicken. 1 tbsp soya sauce or fish sauce. 1 tsp sugar or honey. ½ tsp chilli powder. 1 tsp cumin powder. ½ tsp coriander powder. 1 tsp green chilli paste. 1 tbsp roasted groundnuts, coarsely powdered. 2 tbsp refined oil. Peanut Sauce : 4 spring onions. 150 gm roasted groundnuts. 2 tbsp refined oil. 2 green chillies, chopped. 1 tsp grated ginger. 1 tbsp chopped lemon grass. 1 tbsp thick tamarind paste. 1 tbsp palm sugar, powdered. 1 cup thick coconut milk. 1 cup of water. Salt to taste. Cut chicken into thin strips. Combine all the ingredients and marinate chicken in it for at least 4 hours or overnight, if time permits. Thread the chicken strips from the middle on to the skewers. Do not pack too tightly. These can be grilled, basting often; or, cooked on a non-stick tawa. Do this in batches, using very little oil. Cook until done and golden brown. Keep basting with the marinade. Serve with peanut sauce.
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Peanut Sauce : Finely chop the peanuts and spring onions with some of the green stalks intact. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients except coconut milk and water. Cook, stirring well for a couple of minutes. Stir in coconut milk and water and cook for a further 5–7 minutes. The sauce should be of a thick consistency.

Orange Kabab : 500 gm minced meat. 100 gm chana dal. 1 tbsp poppy seeds. 5 peppercorns. 2 green cardamoms. 1 stick cinnamon. 2 cloves. 2.5 cm piece of ginger. 5 cloves garlic. 1 tsp cumin seeds. 1 tsp chilli powder. 2 eggs. Juice of 1 lime. Salt to taste. Refined oil for frying. Filling : 1 tbsp finely chopped onion. 1 tsp grated ginger. 2 green chillies, finely chopped. 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander. A few membrane-free orange segments. 2 tbsp orange juice. Mix all the filling ingredients and keep aside. Pressure cook the mince, dal, poppy seeds, peppercorns, cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, garlic, cumin and salt with 1 cup of water for 10 minutes. Cook till the excess water evaporates. The mixture should be absolutely dry. Grind to a smooth paste. Mix chilli powder, egg and lime juice with the mince. The mixture should be quite tight. If a little soft, refrigerate for half an hour. Divide into 15–18 portions and stuff each with a little filling. Be generous with the orange segments in the filling. Form into balls again. Flatten slightly, making sure the filling does not come out. Prepare all the kababs the same way. Heat enough oil in a karahi. Deep fry the kababs, 4–5 at a time. Serve hot, garnished with extra orange segments, slit green chillies and the following chutney. Prepare sweet chutney (see papri chaat recipe). Add to this any finely chopped fruit of your choice (like banana, orange, pineapple or grapes).

Paneer Angare : 500 gm paneer. 1 tbsp chaat masala. Filling : 1 capsicum. 1 tomato. 1 tbsp fresh coriander. 4 green chillies. 1 tbsp mashed paneer. ½ tsp white pepper powder. Salt to taste.

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Angare Sauce : 200 gm thick curd. 1 tsp grated ginger. 1 tsp salt. 1 tsp white pepper powder. 1½ tsp finely chopped green chilli. ½ tsp garam masala. 1 tbsp fresh coriander. ½ tsp gingergarlic paste (1 cm ginger, 1 garlic clove). Slice the paneer into 5 cm x 5 cm pieces. Slit from the middle to make a pocket—do not slit through. Stuff with the filling. Soak in the angare sauce for ½ hour. Skewer the paneer and roast over hot coals or grill. Sprinkle chaat masala on top. Serve hot on a bed on lettuce. Filling : Deeseed both the capsicum and tomato. Chop all the vegetables into very fine pieces. Mix with the other ingredients. Sauce : Mix all the ingredients together and use.

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TRAY NO. 14
Menu : Tahiri, Fish Chutney Tikka, Fruit Masala. Tahiri—a dish containing rice, dal and meat is cooked all over northern India, each differing from the other in some way. The dish can be both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. The following is my favourite. Tahiri is always served with the following two dishes— Fish Chutney Tikka and Fruit Masala.

Tahiri : 250 gm basmati rice. 200 gm moong dal. 2 tbsp refined oil. 2 tbsp ghee. 2 bay leaves. 4 cloves. 2 cinnamon sticks. 4 green cardamoms. 5 peppercorns. 900 ml hot water. 2 tbsp sugar. Salt to taste. Meat : 2 tbsp refined oil. ½ cup onion paste. 1 tbsp ginger paste. 1 tsp garlic paste. 1 tsp turmeric. ½ tsp chilli powder. 1 tsp salt. 500 gm meat. 2 tbsp ghee. 10 cashewnuts. 20 raisins. ¼ tsp nutmeg powder. ¼ tsp powdered mace. ¼ tsp green cardamom powder. 1 tbsp rose water. Wash and strain both the rice and dal. Keep aside. Heat the oil and ghee together in a degchi. Temper with the bay leaves and whole garam masala. Add the rice and dal and stir fry for 3–4 minutes. Add the hot water, salt and sugar. Cover and cook till the water is absorbed and you find holes appearing on the surface. Keep aside. Next, heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add the onion, ginger, garlic paste, turmeric, chilli powder, salt and meat and fry at a high temperature till the moisture dries up. Add 1 cup of water. Cook for 10 minutes. Strain and separate stock. Heat ghee and fry the meat pieces lightly. Add this to the rice and dal mixture along with the stock, cashewnuts, raisins, powdered spices and rose water. Mix lightly and keep on dum for 20 minutes. Note : Tahiri can be made with minced meat also. Use potatoes, cauliflower and peas instead of meat for a vegetarian version.

Fish Chutney Tikka : ½ kg boneless fish, cut into thick cubes. 2 tbsp lime juice. 2 tbsp ginger-green chilli paste (4 cm ginger and 4 green chillies). ½ cup sweet mango chutney. Salt to taste.
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Wash and dry the fish cubes, marinate in the lime juice and ginger-green chilli paste for half an hour. Chop a large piece of mango into the chutney. Skewer 4 pieces of fish on each stick. Brush with sweet chutney. Cook in a tandoor or grill in an oven, basting periodically with chutney. Alternatively, you can lightly fry the fish. You can also use sour chutney or combine the two for a sweet-sour flavour. Note : Substitute fish with paneer for a vegetarian version. You can also skewer capsicums, onions or tomatoes along with the fish.

Fruit Masala : 2 bananas. 2 medium potatoes, boiled. 1 medium cucumber. 1 ripe guava. 1 ripe star fruit (kamrak). 2–3 slices tinned pineapple. 20 green grapes. 20 black grapes. 2 tbsp lime juice. 1 tbsp sugar. 1½ – 2 tbsp chaat masala. Black salt to taste. Cut the fruits and vegetables in chunks. Mix all the ingredients together. Adjust seasonings according to taste. Chill till needed.

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TRAY NO. 15
Menu : Aloo Roti, Nawabi Keema Matar, Coconut Raita, Semolina Rabri.

Aloo Roti : 500 gm atta. Filling : 4 large potatoes. 1 tbsp roasted and powdered cumin seeds. 2 tsp grated ginger. 2 green chillies, finely chopped. 1 tbsp chaat masala. 2 tsp lime juice. Black salt to taste. A generous handful of chopped coriander leaves. Knead the atta with lukewarm water to make a semi-soft dough. Keep aside for half an hour. Divide into 12 portions and roll each portion into a ball; set these aside. Filling : Boil, skin and mash potatoes smoothly. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well. Divide into 12 portions. Stuff one portion of the filling into one part of the dough. Roll into chapatis with the help of a slightly dry atta. Make sure that the filling does not spill out. Roast on a hot tawa till brown spots appear on both sides. Roast over flame. The roti should puff up. If desired a little butter or ghee can be smeared over the rotis. Note : Fillings can be varied according to your taste. For example, paneer, vegetable, minced chicken, boiled or scrambled eggs etc.

Nawabi Keema Matar : ½ cup curd. 1 tbsp coriander powder. 1 tsp turmeric. 1½ tsp cumin powder. ¼ tsp chilli powder. Salt to taste. ½ kg minced meat. cup mustard oil. 1 tbsp ghee. 15 whole peppercorns. 4 bay leaves. 1 tbsp sugar. 2 cups shelled peas. 1 cup chopped fresh coriander. ½ tsp garam masala powder. Grind to a paste : 3 large onions. 6 cloves garlic. 4 cm piece of ginger. 2 green chillies. Beat the curd and add to it all the powdered spices, salt and the ground paste. Mix well, add the mince to it and marinade for a minimum of half an hour. Heat the mustard oil and ghee together in a karahi. Temper with the peppercorns and bay

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leaves. When the peppercorns stop spluttering, add sugar and let it caramelise. Put in the mince and peas. Fry well over medium heat for 10–15 minutes or till most of the water evaporates. Pressure cook for 10 minutes with 1 cup of water. Open cooker and fry till the excess moisture evaporates and it leaves a bit of oil on the sides. Add the fresh coriander and garam masala and fry for a few more minutes.

Coconut Raita : 3 cups partially hung curd. 2 cups finely chopped pineapple, tinned or fresh. 1 tsp honey. 15–20 raisins. 4 dates, deseeded and chopped. 1 tbsp sugar. Black salt to taste. 1 tsp roasted and powdered cumin. 1 cup grated coconut. Beat the curd till smooth. Add all the ingredients except coconut. Mix well. Garnish with the grated coconut. Chill before serving.

Semolina Rabri : 1 lt full cream milk. ½ cup cashewnut paste. 3 tbsp ghee. 1 cup cashewnuts, halved. 1 tbsp chironji. 3 tbsp semolina. 250 gm sugar. ½ tsp powdered nutmeg. Mix 1 cup of the milk with the cashewnut paste and reserve. Heat the ghee in a karahi. Add the halved cashewnuts and chironji and fry lightly. Add the semolina and fry till golden and aromatic. Now, add the milk, a little at a time, from the sides of the karahi. Stir continuously so that no lumps are formed. Let it come to a boil. Put in the sugar, the cashewnut paste, milk mix and nutmeg powder, stirring constantly. Let this cook over a moderate heat till thick. It will thicken further as it cools. Chill and serve. Traditionally, the rabri is chilled in sakoras (small earthen pots) as it imparts a delicious flavour.

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TRAY NO. 16
At times most unlikely dishes make a perfect foil for each other. This combination, for example, is one of my favourites. Try it. Menu : Paneer Khichdi, Chicken Supreme, Bhapa Doi (Steamed Sweet Curd).

Paneer Khichdi : 1¼ cups basmati rice. 250 gm paneer. ¾ cup moong dal. 100 ml refined oil. 1 tsp cumin seeds. 4 green chillies, chopped. 1½ tsp grated ginger. 2 cups cauliflower florets. ¾ cup shelled green peas. 2 bay leaves. 1 tsp turmeric. 2 tsp sugar. 50 gm cashewnuts. 50 gm raisins. 2 tbsp ghee (optional). Salt to taste. Roast and Powder : A small piece of nutmeg. 1 petal of mace. 4 green cardamoms. 2.5 cm cinnamon. Soak the rice for half an hour; strain. Cut paneer into small cubes. Roast the dal in a dry frying pan till it starts to pick up brown spots. Remove from fire and keep aside. Heat the oil in a degchi. Very lightly fry the paneer and remove into a bowl of lightly salted water. The salt in the water helps cut the grease and keeps the paneer soft. Temper the same oil with cumin seeds, green chillies and ginger. Stir fry for a minute or so and when it starts giving off an aroma, add the cauliflower and peas. Stir fry for 3–4 minutes. If necessary add a little more oil. Add the rice, roasted dal, bay leaves and turmeric. Stir fry for another 2 minutes. Add the spices, salt, sugar and 8–10 cups of hot water. When it comes to a boil, add the cashewnuts, raisins and cover. Cook over medium heat till done. The khichdi should have a porridge like consistency. Add the paneer. Put in ghee, (optional). Mix with a light hand and serve hot.

Chicken Supreme : 500 gm chicken. 2 tbsp vinegar. 1 tbsp grated ginger. 4 cloves garlic. 1 tsp salt. ½ cup cauliflower florets. ½ cup diced potatoes. ½ cup diced carrots. ½ cup shelled green peas. ½ cup chopped French beans. 3 eggs. 50 gm butter. 2 tbsp cornflour. 1½ cups milk. 3 cubes

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cheese, grated. Salt and pepper to taste. A pinch of grated nutmeg. 2 tbsp chopped parsley. Dry breadcrumbs as required. Boil the chicken with the vinegar, ginger, garlic and a pinch of salt till done. Debone chicken and chop into small pieces. Parboil all the vegetables. Hard boil 2 eggs and cut into pieces. Heat butter in a skillet. Add the cornflour and fry for half a minute or till the raw smell disappears. The cornflour must not brown. Add milk, stirring continuously so no lumps form. Add half of the grated cheese and keep stirring till the sauce thickens. Stir in salt, pepper, nutmeg and parsley. Mix well. Now, add the chicken, vegetables and eggs. Mix well. Grease an ovenproof dish. Pour in the chicken mixture and level the surface. Beat the remaining egg and pour over the chicken. Sprinkle bread crumbs and rest of the grated cheese evenly. Bake in an oven preheated to 180°C/360°F for 15–20 minutes. The top should brown.

Bhapa Doi : My grandmother would patiently prepare thick kheer from milk and then use it. Since both time and patience are at a premium these days, I make do with condensed milk. 750 ml curd. 400 gm tin of condensed milk. 4 tbsp chopped nuts. ½ tsp green cardamom powder. Hang the curd in a muslin cloth till most of the whey drips off. The curd should not be absolutely dry. Beat the hung curd and condensed milk together till smooth. Use a blender or a hand-held electric beater. Add 3 tbsp of the nuts and green cardamom powder. Lightly grease a mould and pour in the curd mixture. Cover mould with foil and steam for 15 minutes. You may either use a pressure cooker or rice cooker. Chill and serve garnished with nuts.

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TRAY NO. 17
This is a Thai menu. The interesting thing is that Thai cuisine, in spite of its close similarity with both Indian and Chinese cuisines, has a singular taste. Unlike Indian cuisine, the food is not deep fried and neither is there a liberal use of cornflour as in Chinese cuisine. Menu : Thai Fried Rice, Green Chicken Curry, Som Tam (Raw Papaya Salad).

Thai Fried Rice : 2 large onions. 6 cloves of garlic. 2 eggs. 100 gm French beans. 1 large capsicum. 6 tbsp refined oil. 1 tsp sugar. 2 tbsp red curry paste. 1 cup cooked prawns. 1 cup cooked shredded chicken. 2 tbsp fish sauce. ½ cup chopped spring onion. 4 cups cooked rice. Salt to taste. Coriander leaves for garnishing. Red Curry Paste : 15 dry red chillies. 1 bunch spring onion, chopped. 2 tbsp grated ginger. 4 tbsp garlic. 2 lime leaves. 4 stalks of lemon grass. 1 tbsp roasted cumin seeds. 1 tbsp roasted coriander seeds. 20 peppercorns. 1 tbsp coriander leaves. 3 tbsp refined oil. Chop the spring onions with a little of the green tops. Chop only the white part of the lemon grass. Blend all the ingredients together. Refrigerated, this will last for at least a week. Rice : Finely chop the onions and garlic. Scramble the eggs and set aside. Finely chop French beans and capsicum (use red capsicum to make the dish visually more appealing). Heat the oil in a karahi, preferably a non-stick one. Add onion and garlic and fry till soft. Add sugar and curry paste and fry for a further 2 minutes. Next, add the prawns, chicken, fish sauce, beans, capsicum, spring onion and salt. Stir fry for another couple of minutes. The vegetables should remain crisp. Finally, add the cooked rice and mix well. Garnish with coriander leaves and scrambled eggs.

Green Chicken Curry : 1 kg chicken, cut into regular pieces. 6 tbsp refined oil. 4 lime leaves. 2 green chillies, chopped. 2 tbsp green curry paste. 4 cups coconut milk. 2 tbsp fish sauce. 1 tsp sugar. Salt to taste. 10 fresh basil leaves or a handful of coriander leaves.

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Green Curry Paste : 15 green chillies. 1 bunch spring onions, with some of the green portion. 1 tbsp grated ginger. 1 tbsp chopped garlic. 2 lime leaves. 1 tsp lime rind. 4 stalks of lemon grass, chop white part only. 1 tbsp roasted coriander seeds. 1 tbsp roasted cumin seeds. 3 tbsp refined oil. Blend all the ingredients together. Curry : Lightly fry the chicken in oil. Remove and keep aside. Heat the oil in a karahi. Temper with the lime leaves and green chillies. When it gives off an aroma, add the green curry paste. Fry well. Add coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, salt and chicken. Mix well. Cover and let it cook over medium heat. The gravy should be considerably reduced when done. Add basil or coriander leaves and remove.

Som Tam : (Green Papaya Salad) 4 green chillies. ¼ cup long beans. 2 cups raw papaya. ½ cup tomato. 1 cup peanuts. 2 tbsp jaggery or brown sugar. 1 tbsp fish sauce. ¼ cup fresh coriander. 2 tbsp lime juice. 1 cup thick coconut milk. Salt to taste. Chop the green chillies, long beans and tomatoes. Peel and grate raw papaya. Take a stainless steel degchi. Pound the green chillies with a pestle. Add the vegetables and peanuts one after the other, pounding lightly after each addition. The vegetables should be bruised and not reduced to a pulp. Mix the remaining ingredients. Chill and serve.

For dessert, you can serve ice-cream and/or fresh fruits.

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TRAY NO. 18
Menu : Moon Rice, Fried Prawn Balls, Lime Sorbet.

Moon Rice : This can also be called Chinese khichdi. It is indeed comfort food on a winter’s night. 8 button mushrooms. 4 tbsp refined oil. 2 star anise. 2 sticks celery, chopped. 1 large onion, finely chopped. 4 tbsp thin soya sauce. ½ tsp monosodium glutamate. 4 cups cooked rice. 1 cup cooked peas. 2½ cups chicken stock. 1 cup cooked, flaked chicken. A few fried cashewnuts. ¼ cup chopped fresh coriander. Salt to taste. Boil the mushrooms and chop finely. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or degchi. Temper with broken star anise. Fry for about half a minute, add mushroom, celery, and onion. Fry till the onions are soft. Add the soyabean sauce, monosodium glutamate, salt and cooked rice. Fry for a minute. Add the peas, stock and chicken. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously. The finished dish will be of khichdi consistency. Serve hot, garnished with fried cashewnut and coriander leaves. Variation : Prawns, cauliflower, beans and carrots may also be used. Or, omit non-vegetarian ingredients altogether and use only vegetables.

Fried Prawn Balls : 2 cups shelled and deveined prawns. 1 tbsp ginger juice. 1 tsp soya bean sauce. A pinch of salt. 1 tbsp finely chopped green chillies. Cornflour as needed. Refined oil for frying. Gravy : 1 tbsp refined oil. 1 tsp chopped garlic. 1 large onion. 1 large capsicum. 4 slit green chillies. 1 tsp soyabean sauce. A pinch of ajinomoto. 1 tsp vinegar. A pinch of sugar. 2 tsp cornflour. Prawn Balls : Mix the prawns, ginger juice, soya sauce, salt and green chillies. Add enough cornflour to bind the prawns. Heat enough oil in a karahi. Add spoonfuls of the prawn mixture and fry till golden. Remove

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on to a piece of paper to let the extra oil drain. Gravy : Quarter the onion and divide into petals. Deseed the capsicum and cut into square pieces. Heat the oil in a karahi. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add the onion, capsicum and green chillies. Stir fry for 2 minutes on high heat. Add the soya sauce, ajinomoto, vinegar and sugar. Mix the cornflour with half cup of water; stir to mix well. Add the prawn balls and cook, stirring continuously for about 2 minutes. Remove and serve. The vegetables should retain some of their crunch and the gravy should be of coating consistency.

Lime Sorbet : Once you have tasted this home-made sorbet you’ll find that there is nothing really quite like this in taste and texture. This lime sorbet is often served along with dinner in continental menus to clear up the palate in between courses. 250 gm sugar. 60 gm castor sugar. Grated rind of 2 limes. 800 ml water. Juice of 6 limes. Juice of 2 oranges. 2 egg whites. 6 black grapes. 6 green grapes. Set your freezer to maximum point 1 hour prior to freezing. Put the sugar, lime rind and half the water to boil. When the sugar dissolves, boil for 5 minutes on high heat. Add the lime juice, orange juice and bring it just close to a boil. Strain and add the remaining water. Cool. Freeze in a shallow container for 1½ hours or until it is frozen all around the sides. Whisk the egg whites stiffly until they stand in peaks. Beat the half-frozen sorbet, egg whites and castor sugar. Pour back into the container and freeze again until it is lightly set and is a mass of small light crystals. Stir once again and freeze for at least 3 hours or overnight.

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Transfer the sorbet to the main part of the refrigerator about 1 hour before serving to allow it to soften. Stir sorbet and spoon into 6 tall sorbet glasses. Top each glass with 2 black and 2 green grapes.

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TRAY NO. 19
Menu : Namkeen (Salted) Lassi, Mexican Rice, Tangdi Kabab/Paneer and Vegetable Shashlik. Namkeen Lassi : This is the best possible beverage to accompany this menu. 2 cups curd. 2 cups chilled water. 1 tsp lime juice. 1 tbsp sugar. 1 tsp roasted and powdered cumin. A pinch of white pepper powder. 1 tsp black salt. Crushed ice. Blend all ingredients in a mixer and serve. Mexican Rice : 1 cup basmati rice. 1 onion. 3 cloves of garlic. 1 tbsp ghee. 2 cups chicken stock or water. Salt to taste. Vegetables : 2 onions. 1 capsicum. 1 tomato. cup paneer. 4 tbsp refined oil. 1 cup shredded cabbage. ½ cup boiled corn. ¼ cup boiled rajma. 1 tsp crushed dry chilli flakes. 2 tsp soya sauce. Salt to taste. Rice : Wash and strain rice. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Finely chop the onion and garlic. Heat ghee in a degchi, sauté onion and garlic till soft. Add 2 cups hot stock or water and salt. Cover when it comes to a boil and reduce heat. When the water reaches the level of the rice and you find holes appearing on the surface, place a tawa underneath and cook till the rice is done and fluffy. Remove. Vegetables : Finely slice the onion, capsicum, tomato and paneer. Heat the oil in a karahi. Add the vegetables and stir fry for a minute. Add the rest of the ingredients and fry for another couple of minutes. Add rice and mix well. Serve hot. Tangdi Kabab : 8 chicken legs. Juice of 1 lime. ½ cup thick curd. 2 tsp ginger paste. 1 tsp green chilli paste. ¼ cup raisin paste. Salt and pepper to taste. 2 tbsp butter or refined oil. Prick the chicken legs all over and rub the lime juice. Beat curd till smooth and add ginger, green chilli paste, raisin paste, salt and pepper. Mix
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well. Rub the curd mixture into the chicken legs and set aside for 1 hour. Brush generously with melted butter or oil and cook in a tandoor or grill in an oven, rotating and basting with oil till done. Serve hot. Substitute other chicken portions for those used in this recipe.

Paneer and Vegetable Shashlik : This is for the vegetarians. 500 gm paneer. 4 cauliflower florets. 4 broccoli florets. 1 green capsicum. 1 red capsicum. 4 button mushrooms. 4 baby potatoes. 2 tbsp butter or refined oil. Marinade : 2 tbsp any fruit chutney. 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce. ¼ tsp Capsico sauce. 1 tsp ginger juice. 2 tbsp soyabean sauce. 4 tbsp tomato ketchup. 1 tsp lime juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Cut paneer into 16 cubes. Boil cauliflower, broccoli and potatoes till crisp and tender. Deseed and cut the capsicums into square pieces. Prick potatoes with a fork. Mix all the ingredients for marinade and marinate paneer and vegetables for 1 hour. Take 8 skewers and pierce the paneer and vegetables alternately. Brush generously with oil or butter and cook over hot coals or grill, rotating and basting, till the paneer and vegetables are slightly charred. Serve hot with cherry sauce. Cherry Sauce : 1 lime. 2 oranges. 1 large tin of cherries. 1 tbsp cornflour. 2 tbsp malt vinegar. 2 tbsp jaggery. Salt and pepper to taste. 1 cup reduced chicken stock. Grate 1 tsp rind each from the lime and oranges. Squeeze the juice from 1 orange and separate the other into segments. Strain and deseed cherries. Mix the cornflour with ¼ cup tinned syrup. Heat the vinegar and jaggery in a saucepan till the jaggery melts. Remove from heat and add stock, lime juice, orange juice, salt and pepper. Return to heat and bring to boil slowly. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add cornflour mixture. Stir until boiling. Cook for 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove. Add cherries. Cool, garnish with orange segments and serve.

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TRAY NO. 20
Menu : Ginger Rice, Egg Vindaloo, Peanut Kachumber, Fruit Salad with Cream.

Ginger Rice : 1½ cups raw rice (boiled to yield 4 cups cooked rice.) 5 tbsp refined oil. 1 large onion, finely chopped. ½ cup chopped spring onions, only the green tops. 4 tbsp thin soyabean sauce. 3 tbsp ginger juice. 1 tsp pepper powder. ½ tsp monosodium glutamate (ajinomoto). 2 eggs, scrambled. Salt to taste. Heat the oil in a karahi. Add onions and sauté till soft. Stir in the spring onions and cook for about 1 minute. Add the cooked rice, stir. Add the soyabean sauce, ginger juice, pepper, monosodium glutamate and salt. Toss to coat rice well. Add a little salt at first, taste and add more, if needed. Remember, soya sauce is quite salty. Stir fry over high heat for 3–4 minutes. Finally, add eggs. Toss and serve. Substitute cashewnuts for eggs, if you’re a vegetarian. Egg Vindaloo : The Portugese have long left Goa but their influence can still be seen, or rather tasted, in the singular Goan cuisine. ¼ cup refined oil. 2 large onions, sliced. 4 hardboiled eggs. 4 green chillies. 1 tbsp sugar. 1 tbsp thick tamarind paste. Salt to taste. Grind together in vinegar : 2 cm piece of ginger, 5 cloves of garlic and 5 kashmiri red chillies. Heat the oil in a karahi. Fry onions till light brown. Add the ground spices and fry over medium heat till the oil surfaces. Add the eggs and sufficient hot water to cover the eggs. Cook uncovered. When the water is reduced by half, add slit green chillies, sugar, salt and tamarind paste. Stir to mix well. Cook till the gravy is thick.

Peanut Kachumber : 100 gm peanuts. ½ cup grated coconut. 1 small tomato. 3–4 green chillies. 1 onion. ¼ tsp grated ginger. Juice of 1 lime. 1 tsp sambhar masala. ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves. Black salt to taste.
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For tempering : 1 tbsp refined oil. ½ tsp mustard seeds. 1 sprig of curry leaves. Coarsely crush the peanuts. Finely chop the tomatoes, green chillies and onion. Mix together the peanuts, coconut, tomato, green chillies, onion, ginger, sambhar masala, lime juice, black salt and coriander leaves. Pour the seasoned oil over. Toss and serve. Tempering : Heat the oil in a small frying pan. Temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves. Remove when they stop spluttering.

Fruit Salad with Cream: An eternal dessert that never fails to please. 1 apple. 2 bananas. 10 strawberries. 1 small tin of cherries. 15 green grapes. 15 black grapes. 2 cups fresh cream. 50 ml milk. 6 tbsp icing sugar. Mint leaves for garnishing. Peel and slice the apples and bananas. Halve the strawberries. Deseed cherries. Use as many fruits as you want. You may even include apricot, papaya, mango, pineapple and litchis. Warm the milk and dissolve icing sugar in it; cool. Whip the cream over ice along with the sweetened milk till thick. Fold in the fruits. Chill and serve, garnished with a sprig of mint leaves.

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TRAY NO. 21
Menu : Radish Parantha, Stuffed Bitter Gourds, Green Tomato Chutney, Potato Halwa.

Radish Parantha : A winter staple in our family. Dough : 3¼ cup whole wheat flour. ¼ tsp salt. 1 tbsp refined oil or ghee for frying. Filling : 3 cups grated radish. 3 tbsp refined oil. ¼ tsp cumin seeds. ¼ tsp ajwain. ¼ tsp asafoetida. ¼ tsp mustard seeds. 2 bay leaves. ½ tsp amchur. ½ tsp chilli powder. ½ tsp garam masala powder. ¼ tsp grated ginger. 2 green chillies, finely chopped. 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander. Salt and pepper to taste. Dough : Sieve the flour and salt together. Mix the oil. Prepare a soft dough with water. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Divide into 6 parts. Squeeze the radish to get rid of some of the moisture. Heat oil in a karahi. Temper with the cumin seeds, ajwain, asafoetida, mustard seeds and bay leaves. Fry lightly. Add the grated radish and the rest of the ingredients. Stir fry for 3–4 minutes. The mixture should be a little moist and not completely dry. Cool and divide into 6 portions. Take one part of the dough and stuff with one part of the filling. Roll into a round parantha with the help of a little dry flour. Heat a tawa and roast the paranthas on both sides. When it picks up brown spots, smear oil or ghee. Fry well till golden. Serve topped with a tablespoon of butter.

Stuffed Bitter Gourds : 6 medium bitter gourds. Refined oil for frying. 100 gm thick curd. Filling : 250 gm minced meat. 4 medium onions. 4 green chillies. 6 cloves garlic. ½ cup chopped fresh coriander. 1 tsp grated ginger. 4 tbsp refined oil. ½ tsp turmeric. Juice of 1 lime. Salt to taste. Grind to a powder : 2 tbsp fennel seeds. 5 cm piece cinnamon. 4 cloves. 10 peppercorns. 6 dry red chillies. Slit the bitter gourds from the middle, take out the seeds and pith carefully; soak gourds in

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salted water for an hour. Drain, squeeze and pat dry. Stuff with the filling and tie with strings. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a non-stick skillet and fry the bitter gourds over medium low heat, till golden brown, stirring a few times in between. Heat 4 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker. Add the beaten curd with 1 tbsp water; arrange the bittergourds in it. Pressure cook till the cooker lets off steam once. Serve hot with chapatis. Filling : Finely chop the onions, green chillies, garlic and fresh coriander. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a karahi. Add the minced meat and fry for 5 minutes. Add the chopped ingredients, ginger, powdered spices and salt. Stir fry for 5 minutes. Then add 1 cup of hot water. Cover and cook till done. Dry excess liquid, if any. Add the lime juice. Remove and let cool; use as directed. Vegetarian filling : 2 tbsp refined oil. ¼ tsp cumin seeds. 1 onion. 4 medium potatoes. Salt to taste. ½ tsp fennel powder. ½ tsp chilli powder. ½ tsp amchur powder. Boil, peel and mash potatoes till smooth. Heat oil in a karahi. Temper with cumin seeds. Add the onions and fry till golden brown. Add the potatoes, salt, fennel powder, chilli powder and amchur. Stir fry for 4 minutes until everything is mixed well. Remove. Cool and use as directed.

Green Tomato Chutney : 6 green tomatoes. ½ tsp salt. 1 cup sugar to taste. A handful of raisins. 4 rings canned pineapple. 4 green chillies. 1 cup chopped fresh coriander. 6 glace cherries, chopped for garnishing. Chop the tomatoes, green chillies and pineapple. Wash the raisins. Put the tomatoes and salt to boil in a degchi. Cover. When it comes to a boil, uncover and stir. Add sugar and raisins. Let the sugar dissolve and come to a boil. Stir a few times in between. Add the pineapple and green chillies. Cook over medium heat till thick, stirring often. This will take at least 15 minutes. Add the fresh coriander and remove.

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Potato Halwa : 4 large potatoes. 6 tbsp ghee. 2 lt full cream milk. 250 gm sugar. 20 raisins. 15 cashewnuts chopped. 100 gm khoya, grated. Silver leaf for decoration. Peel and grate the potatoes. Wash and squeeze well. Heat the ghee in a karahi. Add the potatoes and fry over low heat till tender, stirring well. Add milk, sugar, raisins, cashewnuts and khoya. Mix well and cook. You will have to stir continuously as the halwa thickens. This takes considerable time and one needs to be patient. Decorate with silver leaf. Serve hot or cold.

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TRAY NO. 22
Whenever you are cooking for a TV tray, cook dishes that require a minimum of fuss while eating. It is therefore advisable to use boneless chicken or meat or fish fillet or fish kofta such as the one in the following menu.

Menu: Two-in-One Rice Ring, Paneer Kofta/Fish Kofta in Pea Gavy, Orange Kheer.

Two-in-One Rice Ring : Delicately flavoured, this rice ring is not only irresistibly appetising, it is also a visual delight. 1 cup basmati rice. Juice of 1 lime. Green layer : 2 cups chopped spinach. 2 green chillies. 1 cm piece of ginger. 2 cloves of garlic. 2 tbsp ghee. 1 onion, chopped. ½ tsp garam masala powder. ½ cup boiled peas. Salt to taste. Orange layer : 2 tomatoes. 2 tbsp ghee. 1 onion, chopped. 1 cup grated carrot. ½ tsp chilli powder. ½ tsp garam masala powder. Salt and sugar to taste. For Garnishing : Tomato slices. Parboil rice in salted water and strain. Each grain of rice would be separate. Mix in the lime juice. Green layer : Boil spinach with a pinch of salt. Cool and grind along with green chillies, ginger and garlic. Heat ghee in a karahi. Fry onions till soft. Add spinach and a little salt and fry till ghee separates. Mix half the rice, boiled peas and garam masala powder. Orange Layer : Blanch tomatoes and blend in mixer. Heat ghee in a karahi, add onions and sauté till a light brown. Add carrots and fry for 2–3 minutes. Add tomato puree along with the other ingredients. Cook till ghee separates. Mix the remaining rice.

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Cool a little and invert on a serving platter. Garnish with tomato slices. Instead of baking, this can be steamed in a pressure cooker without the vent weight for 10 minutes or steamed in a rice cooker.

Paneer Kofta (for vegetarians) : Kofta : 300 gm paneer. 2 tsp sugar. 3 green chillies, finely chopped. ¼ cup chopped fresh coriander. 5 tsp flour. Salt to taste. Refined oil for frying. Stuffing : 6 cashewnuts. 10 raisins. 50 gm khoya. A pinch of saffron. Salt to taste. Gravy : 4 tbsp refined oil. 1 cup onion paste. 1 tsp ginger paste. 1 tsp garlic paste. Salt to taste. 1 tsp sugar. ½ tsp turmeric powder. 2 tbsp cashewnut paste. ½ tsp chilli powder. 1½ cups of hot water. Juice of 1 lime. ½ cup cream. Garnishing : Fried cashewnuts and raisins. Kofta : Grate and mash paneer. Add all the ingredients and mix well. Divide into 8 portions. Fill each portion with 1 portion of the stuffing and roll into a ball. Fry in hot oil till golden. Remove and keep aside. Filling : Finely chop the cashewnuts and raisins. Mix all ingredients. Divide into 8 parts and use. Gravy : Heat the oil in a karahi. Add the onion paste and sauté till pink. Add ginger-garlic paste, salt, sugar, turmeric and chilli powder, stir frying after each addition. Fry till the oil surfaces. Add the cashewnut paste and stir. Next, add the coconut paste and stir once more. Add 1½ cups of hot water. Let the gravy come to a boil and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat till it thickens. Add the paneer balls. Stir carefully and cook for 2 minutes. Add the lime juice and cream and remove. Garnish with fried cashewnuts and raisins.

Fish Kofta in Pea Gravy: Kofta : 500 gm fish—rohu, katla, bhetki or surmai. 1 large potato, boiled. 1 large onion, finely chopped. ½ tsp chilli powder. 1 tsp ginger paste. ¼ tsp garam masala powder. Juice of 1 lime. Salt to taste. Mustard oil for frying.

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Gravy : 2 cups shelled green peas. 2 green chillies. 3 tbsp mustard oil. 1 tsp paanch-phoran. 1 tsp ginger paste. ½ tsp turmeric. 1 tbsp ground fresh coriander. 1 tsp sugar. Salt to taste. 3 cups hot water. 1 tbsp ghee. ½ tsp garam masala powder. Kofta : Boil fish in very little water. Dry excess liquid, if any. Debone and flake fish. Boil, peel and mash the potato. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a karahi. Add onion and sauté till soft and transparent. Add fish, potato, chilli powder, ginger paste, garam masala powder and salt. Stir continuously till moisture evaporates and mixture becomes tight. Add lime juice and remove. When cool enough to handle, make lime sized balls and deep fry in mustard oil till golden. Reserve. Gravy : Grind peas and green chillies to a smooth paste. Heat oil in a karahi. Temper with paanch-phoran. Add pea paste, ginger paste, turmeric and stir fry till moisture evaporates. Add fresh coriander paste, sugar and salt. Stir once and put in 3 cups of hot water. Let it come to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover and add the fish koftas and cook for 5 minutes more. Stir the koftas carefully so that they don’t break. There should be a thickish gravy. Lastly, add the ghee and garam masala powder and remove. Garrnish with boiled peas, if desired.

Orange Kheer: 4 oranges. 1 lt milk. 150 gm sugar. ½ cup grated paneer. 1 tbsp grated orange rind. 2 tbsp finely chopped cashewnuts. 15 raisins. Some extra cashewnuts and raisins for garnishing.

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Put the milk to boil in a saucepan. As soon as it begins to boil, add sugar and grated paneer. Cook till thick, adding the orange rind, cashewnuts and raisins. Remove and let cool. Garnish with orange segments and more cashewnuts and raisins. Chill and serve.

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TRAY NO. 23

Menu : Stuffed Baked Puri, Chilli Keema/Chilli Paneer, Alubukhara Chutney, Phirni.

Stuffed Baked Puri: ¾ tbsp fresh yeast. 1 tsp sugar. ¾ cup warm water. ¾ tsp salt. 1½ tbsp refined oil. 1½ cups flour. Filling : ¾ cup diced carrots. ¾ cup diced beans. 1 large potato, diced. 3 tbsp refined oil. 1 large onion. 1 capsicum. 2 tsp Pav Bhaji masala. 1½ tsp amchur. Salt to taste. 2 tsp gingergreen chilli paste (use a 2 cm ginger and 3 green chillies). Puri : Mix yeast, sugar and water. Sprinkle a teaspoon of flour on top. Cover and keep aside for 5 minutes. Mix salt and oil with flour. Make a soft dough by adding the yeast mixture. Keep in a warm place, well covered for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or till double in volume. It would take longer during winter. Knead the dough once more till smooth. Divide into 8 parts. Roll one part a little. Stuff with one portion of the filling and roll again to a puri. Likewise, prepare all the puris. Leave in a warm, draught-free place for 15 minutes. The puris will rise once more. Grease two baking trays. Place the puris on them. Bake in an oven preheated to 200°C/ 400°F for 15–20 minutes. Take out, smear with butter or ghee and serve hot. Filling : Boil carrots, beans and potatoes. Heat oil in a frying pan. Sauté onions till soft. Add capsicum and stir-fry. Add Pav Bhaji masala and fry for another minute. Now add all vegetables along with other ingredients. Fry well, mashing the vegetables slightly as you stir. Divide into 8 parts. Paneer may be used in place of vegetables.

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Chilli Keema: 1 tsp red chilli powder. 2 tbsp refined oil. 4 green chillies, chopped. 1 tsp sugar. 1 tsp pepper powder. ¼ tsp monosodium glutamate (ajinomoto). Marinate the minced meat with soya sauce, vinegar, lime juice, ginger paste and chilli powder for at least 2 hours, longer if possible. Heat oil in a skillet, non-stick preferred. Add green chillies. When it gives off an aroma, add the mince and fry. Cover and cook for 15 minutes on low heat, stirring continuously. The mince will release some water. Add sugar, pepper and monosodium glutamate. Taste and add salt, if needed. Remember, soya sauce is very salty. Check if the mince is done. If not, cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Uncover and stir fry till the moisture evaporates. Serve hot. This also goes extremely well with stir fried noodles.

Chilli Paneer : This is a vegetarian version. ½ kg paneer. 3 tbsp soya sauce. 1½ tbsp chilli sauce. 3 tbsp vinegar. ½ tsp monosodium glutamate (or ajinomoto). 3 tbsp refined oil. 4 green chillies. Cut paneer in cubes and prick with a fork. Marinate paneer with soya sauce, chilli sauce and vinegar for 1 hour. Heat the oil. Temper with the green chillies. Take out the paneer from the marinade and fry lightly. Add the marinade and cook till nearly dry. Add monosodium glutamate and remove. Adjust salt according to taste.

Alubukhara Chutney: 100 gm alubukhara. 1 pkt. sweet aampapad. 250 gm sugar. 200 gm dates. 100 gm raisins. A pinch of salt. A pinch of chilli powder. 1 tsp roasted and powdered cumin seeds. Soak the alubakharas overnight. Next day, boil for 15 minutes. Drain. Cut the aampapad into small cubes. Heat 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Add the sugar and stir till dissolved. Now add alubukhara,
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dates, raisins, salt and chilli powder. Cook over medium heat till the dates are soft. The dates may be deseeded and sliced. By this time the syrup should have somewhat thickened. Add aampapad and cook till soft. Taste and add more sugar if you want. Sprinkle cumin seeds. Cool and serve.

Phirni : 50 gm rice. 2 lt full cream milk. 300 gm sugar. 2 tbsp powdered cashewnuts. 100 gm khoya, ground. ½ tsp green cardamom powder. 1 tbsp rose water. Rose petals for garnishing. Wash, dry and grind the rice to a powder. Mix with 1 cup milk and keep aside. Put milk to boil. As soon as it boils, add the rice mixture gradually, stirring continuously, so that no lumps are formed. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add sugar, powdered cashewnuts, and khoya, stirring continuously. Cook for another 10 minutes or till thick. The phirni will thicken considerably as it cools. Sprinkle green cardamom powder and remove. Add rose water and pour into earthen bowls. Decorate with rose petals. Serve chilled.

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TRAY NO. 24
Menu : Thukpa, Momos, Tomato Chilli Sauce, Peach Pirouette. When I was an undergraduate student in Delhi, there was a Tibetan dhaba near our college which was a favourite haunt of the whole campus. This dhaba served superb momos and thukpa which used to be our staple diet those days. We christened the place a stylish ‘Tib-Dhab’. I don’t know whether ‘Tib-Dhab’ still exists or not, but whenever I prepare momos and thukpa it brings back nostalgic memories.

Thukpa: Thukpa can be defined as a one bowl meal. This delicious soup has all the ingredients necessary for a complete meal. Thukpa is served in soup bowls that are larger than the usual ones. 2 tbsp refined oil. 100 gm onions, finely chopped. 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (2 cm ginger and 4 cloves of garlic). 5 cups chicken stock. 1 tbsp light soya sauce. A pinch of monosodium glutamate (ajinomoto). 100 gm tomatoes, chopped. 250 gm shredded, cooked chicken.Chopped green chillies to taste. Fresh coriander. 1 pkt. noodles, boiled. 4 tbsp finely chopped spring onions with some of the green tops. A 1-egg omelette, cut into thin strips. 4 tbsp tomato sauce. 2 tbsp vinegar. Salt to taste. Heat the oil in a degchi. Sauté onions till soft. Add ginger-garlic paste and stir well. Stir in the stock, salt, soya sauce, monosodium glutamate and bring to a boil. Add chopped tomato, shredded chicken and cook for 2 minutes. To serve : Place equal parts of noodles in 4 thukpa bowls. Top with soup, 1 tbsp tomato sauce, 1 tbsp spring onion, omelette strips and more soya sauce if desired. Add fresh coriander, green chilli and vinegar as per taste.

Momos: A momo steamer is a series of 3 pans, one on top of the other. The bottom has boiling water to allow steam to go through to cook the momos in the middle pans. The top most container is covered with a lid. Crust : 250 gm flour, little warm water.

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250 gm finely minced meat or chicken. 2 tbsp refined oil. 250 gm onions, finely chopped. 3 tbsp thin soya sauce. ¼ tsp monosodium glutamate (ajinomoto). Salt to taste. Crust : You need very good quality flour for momos. Mix flour and water and knead to a hard dough. Keep aside for 10 minutes, covered with a cloth. Divide dough into 20 portions. Roll each portion to the size of a small puri. While you are rolling one, keep the rest of the dough covered. Stuff with one portion of the filling. Fold into a half moon shape, sealing the edges well. Place the momos in a greased momo steamer. Do not pack tightly; there should be enough room between each momo. Cover and steam for 25–30 minutes over boiling water. Serve with tomato-chilli sauce. Note : Momos can also be fried after steaming. Filling : The meat should be fatty. Mix all ingredients together and use. Divide into 20 parts. A mixture of prawns and mince can also be used. Vegetarian filling : A friend of mine, brought up in Darjeeling, served me this vegetarian version. And believe me, its just as good as the non-vegetarian version. She insisted on using vegetable shortening, which enhances the taste. But do use refined oil, if you feel like it. 1 medium cabbage. 2 large onions. ½ tsp monosodium glutamate (ajinomoto). 2 tbsp vegetarian shortening. Salt to taste. Finely chop the cabbage and onions. Heat the vegetable fat and add to the cabbage along with salt and monosodium glutamate. Mix well and use. Tomato Chilli Sauce: Note : This is common to both the momos and thukpa. Without this tangy sauce, both the courses will be incomplete. 200 gm tomatoes. 4–5 dry red chillies. Salt to taste. Roast the tomatoes. Peel and grind with the dry chillies. Add salt to taste. Use as directed. The consistency should be thin. This is equally good served with any fried snack, not necessarily Tibetan or Chinese. Peach Pirouette : A wonderful and extremely easy-to-make dessert.
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2 cups vanilla ice cream. 3 tbsp melted butter. 5 tbsp Marie or Thin Arrowroot biscuit crumbs. ½ pkt raspberry jelly crystals. 200 gm fresh and 450 gm tin of peaches. 1 tbsp gelatine. 2½ tbsp powdered sugar. Melt jelly crystals in 1½ cups of water. Cool and set. Hang curd in a muslin cloth for a couple of hours, till part of the whey drips off. Keep the ice cream at room temperature to melt. Mix the melted butter and biscuit crumbs together. Keep aside. Drain peaches and chop. Discard syrup. Soak gelatine in ½ cup of water for 15 minutes and dissolve over a low heat. Beat the melted ice-cream, hung curd and powdered sugar till totally mixed. Stir in the gelatine and lightly fold in the chopped peaches. Pour over the set jelly. Refrigerate for half an hour till lightly set. Top with the biscuit crumbs and chill till set. Garnish with cream and cherries, if desired. You can also use grapes instead of peaches.

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TRAY NO. 25
Menu : Thai Prawn Soup, Chinese Omelette, Cottage Salad.

Thai Prawn Soup: There’s nothing as satisfying as a bowl of hot soup, rich in flavour. 5½ cups green coconut water. ½ cup tender coconut meat. ½ cup shelled green peas. ½ cup chopped mushrooms. 1 cup shelled and deveined prawns. 1 tbsp refined oil. 1 tsp gingergarlic paste. 2 gre]en chillies, chopped. 2 stalks lemon grass or 2 lime leaves. 1 tbsp fish sauce. 1 tbsp cornflour. 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves. Lime juice as required. Salt to taste. Put 5 cups green coconut water, tender coconut meat, peas and mushrooms to boil. Cook over medium heat, covered, till peas are done. Add the prawns and cook for 3 more minutes. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Stir fry the ginger-garlic paste for half a minute. Add green chillies. Stir and add the prawn soup. When it comes to a boil, add the lemon grass or lime leaves, fish sauce, and salt. Let cook for a couple of minutes. Mix the cornflour with the remaining half cup of coconut water and add to the soup, stirring well. Boil till the soup thickens a little. Remove and serve in individual bowls, garnished with coriander leaves and lime juice.

Chinese Omelette: 1 small pkt. noodles. 4 eggs. 5 tbsp refined oil. 4 tbsp finely chopped spring onions, part of the green tops included. 4 tbsp chopped capsicum. 4 tbsp chopped mushrooms. 4 tbsp shredded ham. 4 tbsp cooked prawns or chicken. 1 tbsp soyabean sauce. A pinch of monosodium glutamate (optional). Salt and pepper to taste. Bring a pan of water to boil. Add ½ tsp of salt and ½ tsp of oil. Put in the noodles. Cover and turn off the heat. Strain after 5 minutes. Divide noodles in 4 portions. Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks and whites separately. Then mix the two adding ½ tsp salt. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the mushrooms, spring onions and capsicum,

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after the other, stir frying after each addition. Then stir in the ham, prawn or chicken. Lastly toss in the noodles, soya sauce, monosodium glutamate, if not using pepper. Mix well. Remove. In the same pan, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add ¼ of the noodles mixture, spread into a circle. Pour ¼ of the beaten egg and rotate the pan in a circular motion, so that the egg spreads over. Cook for a minute. Turn over the omelette and fold in half. Cook for another minute and remove. Make 3 more omelettes the same way. Serve with ketchup.

Cottage Salad: There’s a lot more to salads than the everyday onions and tomatoes option. 1 grapefruit. 1 large firm banana. 1 small apple. 1 bunch lettuce. ½ cup diced paneer. ½ cup crushed walnuts. Dressing : 1 tsp lime juice. ½ cup orange juice. 1 tsp chilli sauce (optional). 1 tbsp honey. Salt and pepper to taste. Peel and divide the grapefruit into segments. Slice the banana. Core and chop the apple with the skin. Tear a lettuce leaf into bite-size pieces. Mix all the fruits and paneer. Line a salad bowl with lettuce leaves. Put in the fruit mixture. Pour over the dressing and toss. Chill and serve garnished with crushed walnuts. Dressing: Mix all ingredients together. Chill and use.

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TRAY NO. 26
Menu : Banana Muffin, Scrambled Egg, Spiced Ice Coffee. During Sundays and holidays, breakfast is an important meal for the entire family. Breakfast trends these days indicate a strong preference for inventive and delicious muffins that make excellent use of grains, fruits and spices. In most cases, only a beverage is needed to make a full and wholesome meal. I have added a scrambled egg for good measure.

Banana Muffin: A scrumptious snack that is naturally sweet without a lot of sugar. You can use whatever fruits you have at hand. Or, try making them with carrots. 1¼ cups flour. 3 tbsp firmly packed sugar. 1½ tsp baking powder. ¾ tsp cinnamon powder. ½ tsp grated nutmeg. tsp powdered cloves. 2 medium bananas, mashed. ¼ cup milk. 3 tbsp melted butter or margarine. 1½ tbsp chopped walnuts. 1 egg. Sieve flour and baking powder together. Combine flour with sugar and spices. In another bowl, stir together all the remaining ingredients except walnuts. Mix flour and wet mixture and stir until just moistened. Do not beat or overmix. Divide into 6 greased and floured muffin cups, filing each about 2/3 full. Sprinkle evenly with walnuts. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Bake muffins for 20 minutes till light brown. Prick the muffins, right at the centre with a toothpick. If it comes out clean it means that the muffins are done.

Scrambled Eggs: No natural food has as much to offer as an egg. It is an ideal breakfast food and its versatility is second to none. 100 gm mushrooms. 1 small capsicum. 1 small onion. 8 eggs. 6 tbsp cream. 3 tbsp butter. A pinch of grated nutmeg. 1 tbsp chopped parsley. Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Chop the mushrooms and capsicum. Finely chop the onion.

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Beat the eggs, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg till all are well mixed. Heat 2 tbsp butter in a thick frying pan. Add the onion and stir fry till soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms and capsicum and fry till all moisture evaporates. Pour the beaten eggs over the mushroom and stir only until it reaches a creamy consistency. Add the rest of the butter in tiny pieces while stirring. Do not overcook. While the scrambled eggs are still moist, fluffy and soft, turn them out and serve immediately, garnished with parsley.

Spiced Ice Coffee: This is equally refreshing during summer and winter. 4 cups cold brewed coffee. 2 cups milk. 1 tbsp grated lime rind. 6 cloves. 6 all spice (kabab chini). 5 cm cinnamon stick. 4 tbsp sugar. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let it stand for an hour to develop a flavour. Strain into 4 ice filled glasses. You can add 1 scoop of chocolate ice cream into each glass before serving.

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TRAY NO. 27
Menu : Spicy Potato Puri, Khatta Chana (sour chickpeas), Instant Pickle, Nut Rolls. This menu also makes a good breakfast tray, more so if you have guests.

Spicy Potato Puri: Potatoes : 225 gm potatoes. 2.5 cm piece of ginger. 1 clove of garlic. 4 green chillies to taste. 2 tbsp refined oil. 100 gm onions, finely chopped. 2 pinches of turmeric powder. A pinch of garam masala powder. 1 cup chopped fresh coriander. Salt to taste. Dough: 225 gm flour. ½ tsp salt. ½ tsp cumin powder. 1 tsp chilli powder. 1 tsp sugar. 1 tbsp refined oil. Potatoes : Boil, peel and mash potatoes. Grind the ginger, garlic and green chillies together. Heat the oil in a karahi. Add the onion and ground paste. Fry for 2 minutes. Add turmeric powder, salt, and garam masala. Fry for another 2 minutes. Add the mashed potatoes and fry for 3–4 minutes, mixing well. Finally, add fresh coriander and remove. Sieve the flour, salt, cumin powder, chilli powder and sugar together. Rub in the oil, add the potato mixture and knead well. Add warm water, only if necessary. It should be a semi-soft dough. Divide dough into small balls. Roll each into a puri with the help of a little oil. Deep fry till puffed up and golden.

Khatta Chana: (Sour Chickpeas) 500 gm white chickpeas. cup ghee. 1 tbsp ginger paste. 1 tsp chilli powder. A pinch of turmeric powder. ½ tsp garam masala powder. 4 tbsp thick tamarind pulp. ½ cup chopped fresh coriander. 6 green chillies. 1 tbsp ginger juliennes. Salt to taste. Roast and powder : 2 tsp cumin seeds. 4 tsp coriander seeds. 4 tsp pomegranate seeds. Soak chickpeas overnight. Pressure cook with enough water and 1 tsp ghee for 20 minutes. Strain and reserve stock.

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Heat the ghee in a karahi. Add the ginger paste and fry, sprinkling 1 tbsp of water. Add the powdered spices, chilli powder, turmeric powder and garam masala. Fry for 1 minute. Add the boiled chickpeas and stir fry till dry. Pour in the stock, tamarind pulp and salt. Cook till thick. Remove and serve hot, garnished with fresh coriander, green chillies and ginger juliennes.

Instant Pickle: Try this insant pickle to add a sweet-sour flavour to your meal. This can also be stored for a few days. 500 gm prawns. 6 Kashmiri chillies. 4 dry red chillies. ½ cup vinegar. 1 tbsp mustard seeds. ½ cup mustard oil. 1 ½ tbsp sugar. Salt to taste. Shell and devein prawns. Squeeze well to get rid of extra moisture. Soak both the Kashmiri and dry chillies in half the vinegar for 15–20 minutes. Grind along with the mustard seeds to a paste. Heat the oil in a karahi till smoking. Add prawns and salt. Fry till the water evaporates. Add the spice paste, the remaining vinegar and sugar. Cook, stirring over medium heat till oil surfaces. Remove, cool and use.

Nut Rolls: A no-cook sweet. Keeps well for a long time. 1 cup powdered cashewnuts. 1 cup icing sugar. 4 tbsp milk. ½ tsp vanilla essence. Filling : 10 almonds. 10 cashewnuts. 6 walnuts. 1 tbsp multi-coloured tutti frutti. 1 tbsp butter. 1 tbsp sugar. Mix the cashew powder, icing sugar, milk and vanilla essence. Knead to a soft dough, adding more milk, if necessary. Add the milk a little at a time. Filling : Boil almonds in water for 2 minutes. Strain and peel. Finely chop all nuts. Heat butter in a small frying pan. Add sugar. As soon as it melts, add all the remaining ingredients. Stir to mix well. Remove.

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Lightly dust 2 greaseproof papers with icing sugar. Roll the dough between the two sheets. Spread the filling all over evenly. Roll the dough swiss roll fashion, with the help of the paper. Refrigerate for an hour. Slice and serve as it is or with cream.

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TRAY NO. 28
Menu : Bedmi (Urad Dal Stuffed Puri), Sweet-Sour Pumpkin Curry, Masala Tea. The following breakfast menu is popular all over North India.

Bedmi : Dough : 2 cups flour. ½ tsp salt. ½ tsp nigella seeds. 2 tbsp hot melted ghee. Refined oil for frying. Filling : 1½ cups urad dal. 1 tbsp coriander seeds. 1 tbsp cumin seeds. 1 tsp fennel seeds. 10 peppercorns. 4 dry red chillies. 1 tbsp refined oil. 2 tbsp ghee. A generous pinch of asafoetida. ½ tsp salt. Mix the flour, salt and nigella seeds together. Rub in the hot ghee. Add enough water and knead to a medium-soft dough. Knead well until smooth and elastic. Cover and set aside for half an hour. Filling : Soak the dal for 6 hours. Grind coarsely. Roast and roughly powder the coriander, cumin, fennel seeds, peppercorns and dry chillies. Heat the oil and ghee together in a karahi. Add the dal paste and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the asafoetida, roasted and powdered spices and salt. Fry well for about 5 minutes till everything is mixed and you get a good aroma. Divide into 8 parts. Divide the dough into 8 parts as well. Put one part of the filling in the centre and form a ball again, sealing well. Roll into a circle taking care so the filling doesn’t come out. Heat enough oil for deep frying in a karahi. Fry one puri at a time, till it gets puffed up. Turn over and fry the other side till golden. Serve hot.

Sweet-Sour Pumpkin Curry: We don’t cook this vegetable the right way and therefore it is not a hot favourite with most of us. Try the following recipe and you’ll soon love this vegetable. Note : You need tender pumpkin, with light yellow flesh and green skin for this curry. The ripe orange ones will not do. 1 kg pumpkin. cup mustard oil or refined oil. 1 tsp fenugreek seeds. 1 tsp turmeric powder..

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1 tsp chilli powder. 1 tsp coriander powder. ½ tsp cumin powder. 1 tsp pepper. 1 tsp sugar. 1 tbsp heaped amchur. Salt to taste. Wash and discard the seeds of the pumpkin. Do not peel. Now cut the pumpkin into large pieces. Boil in 2 cups of water till just done. Heat the oil in a karahi. Temper with the fenugreek seeds. When they turn a shade darker (don’t fry too long or the curry will taste bitter), add the cooked pumpkin along with the water, the rest of the spices, sugar and salt, except amchur. Cook, stirring constantly for 5 minutes over high heat. Add amchur. Stir to mix well and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring now and then. Never mind if the pumpkin disintegrates somewhat; that is how it should be. The gravy should be thick and not watery. Taste and adjust seasoning. Variations : Brinjals and potatoes can be cooked the same way with very good result.

Masala Tea: 2 cups milk. 2 cups of water. 2.5 cm piece of ginger, crushed. 2 green cardamoms. 2.5 cm piece of cinnamon. 2 cloves. 2 peppercorns. 2 bay leaves. 2 teabags or tea leaves as desired. Sugar to taste. Very lightly crush the spices. Heat the milk, water, ginger and spices. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the teabags or tea leaves. Simmer for 1 minute. Turn off heat, cover for about 2 minutes and let it infuse the spices and ginger. Strain into cups, add sugar to taste and serve hot.

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TRAY NO. 29
Menu : Breakfast in a Glass, Spicy Kedgree, Fruit Delite. Here are a bunch of recipes to sustain your appetites through lazy Sunday afternoons in front of the television.

Breakfast in a Glass: This is highly nutritious, full of the goodness of milk, paneer, fruit and honey. Very good for children and adults alike. 2 bananas. 6 cups milk. 1 cup soft paneer. 4 tbsp drinking chocolate powder. 2 tbsp honey. Chocolate chips for decoration. Peel and chop the bananas. Blend all the ingredients except chocolate chips. You may have to do it in batches. Chill and serve in tall glasses topped with chocolate chips. Other fruits like honeydew melons, mango, papaya, chikoo may also be used. Milk may be reduced by 2 cups; add water instead.

Spicy Kedgree: Kedgree is a legacy from the Raj. It’s the British variation of the desi khichdi. 175 gm basmati rice. 3 tbsp oil. 250 gm boneless fish nuggets. 3 hardboiled eggs. 3 tbsp butter. 2 tbsp cream. 1 tbsp chopped parsley. 1 tbsp lime juice. 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce. A dash of Capsico sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. To garnish : Paprika and parsley sprigs. Cook rice. Strain and reserve. Lightly fry the fish in oil till just done. Remove. Separate 1 egg yolk from the white and keep on one side for garnishing. Chop the white with the other eggs. Heat the butter in a skillet. Put in the rice and other ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste. Cover and heat gently for 5 minutes, shaking occasionally until thoroughly heated. Transfer to

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a serving dish, sieve the reserved yolk over the top and garnish with paprika and parsley.

Fruit Delite: 1 small tin pineapple. 2 oranges. ½ cup black grapes. ½ cup green grapes. 2 bananas. 15 strawberries. ½ cup orange or sweet lime juice. ½ cup lemonade. 2 tbsp honey. ½ cup cream. Chop the pineapple; divide the orange into membrane free segments; halve strawberries and slice the bananas. Put all the fruits in a large bowl. Mix orange or sweet lime juice, lemonade and honey together. Pour over the fruits and chill. Pour the cream on top just before serving.

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TRY NO. 30
Menu : Mango Litchi Slush, Lemon Rice, Kofta with Baked Beans, Lime Truffle. This is a most versalite menu. It can fit in anywhere—brunch, lunch or dinner.

Mango Litchi Slush: A healthy refresher, anytime. 1 cup chopped litchis. 1½ cup mango pieces. 4 cups milk. 1 cup vanilla ice cream. Blend all the ingredients in a mixer. Pour over ice in tall glasses and serve chilled. Decorate with cocktail sticks pierced with mango chunks, cherries and a cocktail umbrella.

Lemon Rice: An easy to prepare rice dish with a distinctively South Indian flavour. 250 gm rice. cup refined oil. 50 gm whole cashewnuts. 50 gm raisins. 1 tsp Bengal gram dal. 1 tsp black gram dal. 1 tsp mustard seeds. 2 sprigs curry leaves. A pinch of asafoetida. ½ tsp turmeric powder. 1 tbsp grated ginger. 4 green chillies, chopped. Juice of 2–3 limes. 1 tsp grated lime rind. ½ cup grated coconut. ½ cup chopped fresh coriander. Salt to taste. Boil the rice till just done. Strain and cool. Heat the oil in a karahi and lightly fry the cashewnuts and raisins. Remove and reserve. Temper the remaining oil with both the dals. Fry till pink. Add mustard seeds and when they stop spluttering, add the curry leaves and asafoetida. Fry for half a minute and add turmeric powder, ginger and green chillies. Fry for a minute or till you get a lovely aroma. Add the rice, keeping aside one cup, salt and lime juice. Mix well. Stir in the cashewnuts, raisins and the rice kept separately. Mix lightly. This gives an attractive visual effect—something like a biryani—white and yellow. Serve garnished with the lime rind, grated coconut and fresh coriander. Note : This tastes equally good served at room temperature. Makes a very good lunch box item. Lightly sautéed paneer pieces or meat koftas can be added, too.
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Kofta with Baked Beans: Koftas : ½ kg minced meat. 1–2 eggs, beaten. 1 tsp vinegar. Refined oil for frying. Salt and pepper to taste. Grind to a paste with vinegar: 4 dry red chillies. 1 tsp cumin seeds. 1 tsp mustard seeds. 10 peppercorns. 6 cloves of garlic. Gravy : 2 tbsp refined oil. 1 tin baked beans. 2 cups stock. Salt and pepper to taste. 2 tsp sugar. Koftas : Mix half the ground paste with the minced meat along with salt, pepper and vinegar. Add 1 egg to begin with and if needed, add the other one. Form into small koftas and deep fry till golden. Keep aside. Gravy : Heat 2 tbsp of the oil left from frying the koftas. Lower heat and add the remaining ground paste. Stir fry till the raw smell disappears. Add the baked beans and sauté. Add stock, salt, pepper and sugar. Taste before adding salt because baked beans already contain salt. Let it come to a boil and add the koftas carefully. Let simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes. If you want a thinner gravy, add more stock. Garnish with fresh coriander.

Lime Truffle: The more fruits used, the better the visual effect and taste. Fruits of your choice, like mango, pineapple, banana, kiwi fruit, litchis, cherries (tinned) apple, orange, grapes, etc. 200 gm thin arrowroot biscuits. 100 gm white butter. 1 cup homemade pulpy paneer. 1 small tin condensed milk (200 gm). 1½ tbsp lime juice. 1 tsp grated lime rind. Peel and chop the fruits in small bits. Smear banana and apple with a little lime juice to prevent discolouration. Keep refrigerated till needed. Coarsely crush the biscuits. The butter should be at room temperature. Mix butter and biscuits well and spread in a glass dish. Press evenly. Chill. Blend the paneer, condensed milk, lime juice and rind in the mixer till well mixed and smooth. Pour over the biscuits in the dish. Let chill for an hour. Now spread the fruits over the paneer evenly. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

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TRAY NO. 31
Menu : Peanut Scone, Stewed Chicken with Pepper, Piquant Salad, Biscuit Torte.

Peanut Scone: These delicious scones also make a lovely packed lunch item. 75 gm wholemeal flour. 75 gm flour. 2½ tsp baking powder. 1 tsp salt. 1 tsp mustard powder. A pinch of chilli powder. 50 gm roasted peanuts, finely chopped. 25 gm butter. 3 tbsp peanut butter. 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander or parsley. 75 gm cheese, grated. 1 egg, beaten. Milk to bind. 2 tbsp chopped peanuts for garnishing. Sift together the wholemeal flour, flour, baking powder, salt, mustard and chilli powder. Stir in the peanuts and then rub the butter and peanut butter in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in fresh coriander or parsley, cheese and egg. Then add enough milk to bind to a soft but not sticky dough. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead well until smooth. Roll out to 2.5 cm thickness and using a 6.5 cm round cutter, cut out scones. Reroll the trimmings and use. Grease a baking tray and arrange the scones. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle the peanuts. Bake in an oven preheated to 220°C/425°F for 10–12 minutes or until well risen and golden. Leave to cool slightly before serving hot or cold with butter and cheese.

Stewed Chicken with Pepper: An excellent recipe that goes equally well with rice and chapatis. The only condition is that the pepper must be freshly ground. 2 tbsp refined oil. 2 large onions, finely chopped. 1 kg chicken, cut into regular pieces. 2 tsp ginger paste. 100 gm curd. ½ lt chicken stock or water. 1 tsp sugar. 1½ tbsp freshly ground pepper. 1 tbsp butter. Salt to taste. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Add the onion and sauté till transparent. Add the chicken and sauté on low heat. Cover and stir intermittently for 7–8 minutes. The chicken must not

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change colour. Add the ginger paste and stir fry for another 2 minutes. Add the beaten curd, stirring continuously. Finally, add ½ lt water or stock, salt and sugar. Pressure cook for 10 minutes. Grind the pepper with a little milk, if you can. This enhances the taste. Add to the stew at the time of serving. Serve very hot, topped with butter and accompanied by finger chips or golden fried onions. Note : If you are a vegetarian, omit chicken and use cauliflower and peas.

Piquant Salad: A crunchy, nutritious salad with a slightly tart flavour. Very good as part of a cold buffet too. 1 small beetroot. 1 small carrot. 1 large capsicum. 1 small onion. 1 large tomato. 1 orange. ½ cup bean sprouts. 1 green chilli, chopped. Lettuce leaves as needed. Dressing : 1 tbsp salad oil or refined oil. Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. cup orange juice. 1 tsp malt vinegar. ¼ cup honey..

Parboil the beetroot and carrot. Cut the capsicum, onion, tomato and carrot into juliennes. Peel and cut beetroot into match-like strips. Divide the orange into membrane free segments. Mix all the salad ingredients and chill. Arrange the salad in a bowl lined with lettuce leaves. Top with the dressing and serve. Dressing : Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad just before serving.

Biscuit Torte: A no-cook dessert that can be prepared beforehand. 20 Marie or Thin Arrowroot biscuits. 6 tbsp hung curd. 6 tbsp top of the milk or cream. 4 tbsp soft brown sugar. 6 tbsp finely crushed walnuts. Beat together the curd, cream and brown sugar till light and creamy. Take 5 biscuits, spread a small amount of the cream mixture over all of them but one. Then sprinkle over the creamed biscuits a fine layer of crushed walnuts. Layer them up evenly, top with the plain biscuit. Prepare 4 more the same way.

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Wrap each stack in aluminium foil securely. Put in the freeze compartment of your refrigerator. Leave overnight or till the biscuits have softened and become one in texture with the rest of the filling.

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TRAY NO. 32
Menu : Spicy Noodle Almond Soup, Kathi Roll of Kolkata, Ice cream without Cream.

Spicy Noodle Almond Soup: 16 almonds. 400 gm tomatoes. 2.5 cm ginger, grated. 6 cups chicken stock. 1 cup broken noodles. 1 cup cooked shredded chicken. 1 tsp sugar. 1 tbsp tomato ketchup. 1 tsp light soya sauce. 1 tsp vinegar. Chilli sauce to taste. Salt to taste. For garnishing: Shredded chicken and chopped almonds. Soak the almonds overnight. Peel and keep aside. Cook the tomatoes in water with the ginger for 5 minutes. Blend to a puree. Strain. Add the chicken stock to it. Put on heat and add noodles, almonds, chicken and salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 3–4 minutes. Reduce heat and add sugar, ketchup, soya sauce and vinegar. Simmer for another 2 minutes and remove. Serve hot, garnished with shredded chicken and chopped almonds. Serve the chilli sauce separately on the side.

Kathi Roll of Kolkata: An excellent snack that originated in Kolkata. It makes a very good TV Tray meal. For the parantha : 2 cups flour. ½ tsp baking powder. A pinch of salt. ½ tsp ghee. ½ cup milk. Refined oil for frying. For the kabab : 250 gm boneless mutton or chicken, cut into 2 cm cubes. 2 tbsp hung curd. 1 tbsp raw papaya paste. 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste. 1 tsp lime juice. Salt to taste. 1 tsp chilli powder or green chilli paste. ½ tsp garam masala powder. ¼ tsp pepper powder. Parantha: Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together. Rub in the ghee and knead with the milk to a soft and smooth dough. Divide into large lemon sized balls. You will get about 6 balls from this amount of dough. Roll each ball into a thin rope and roll again into a coil.

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Prepare all the rolls this way. Smear with oil. Cover with a cloth and set aside till needed. At the time of serving, roll each into a thin parantha. Dry roast on a tawa and then drizzle a little oil from the sides and fry. Do not let the paratha become crisp. Fry for about half a minute on each side. Take out the hot parantha and place a few kababs in the centre, a few slices of onion and green chillies over them, and sprinkle a little lime juice. Roll from one side while still hot. Wrap a paper napkin and serve hot with a salad and chutney or tomato ketchup. Kabab : Marinate the mutton cubes in all the ingredients overnight for at least 4 hours. Use bamboo skewers or clean broomsticks (soaked well before use); grill or roast over coal or in a hot tandoor till done. They can even be fried on a tawa. These hardly take any time to cook. Note : You may use minced meat or eggs in place of tikkas. You can also smear one side of the parantha with a beaten egg, fry and then place the kabab on it. Some prefer to place a few slivers of cucumber, carrots and tomatoes on the meat before rolling. I prefer the salad on the side, but that’s up to you. The salad can also be omitted.

Ice cream without Cream: You will never guess that this ice cream has no cream in it. It is smooth, creamy, rich and delicious. 2½ tbsp heaped full cream milk powder. 250 ml water. ½ tsp GMS*. ½ tsp CMC*. ½ tsp cornflour. ½ tsp china grass powder. ½ tsp gelatine. of a large tin of condensed milk. ¼ tsp vanilla essence. Blend the milk powder and water in a mixer to prepare milk. Soak cornflour, China grass and gelatine in 2 tbsp milk each, separately. This milk is extra. Use whatever milk you have at hand. Add GMS and CMS to the milk and put on heat. Stir constantly. When it comes to a boil, add the soaked cornflour and China grass one after the other, stirring after each addition.

*Note : GMS is glysero monostearate and CMC is carboxyl methyle cellulose. These two are used to emulsify and thicken ice cream. They are easily available in the market. GMS and CMC do not get dissolved in the milk while cooking, but will do so while churning in the mixer.

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Let it simmer on a low heat, stirring often, till the custard is of coating consistency, that is, it should coat the back of a spoon. Add the soaked gelatine and stir till dissolved. Remove custard from heat and let cool. Add the condensed milk and vanilla to the cooled custard and churn in a blender. Pour into an aluminium container with a close fitting lid. Freeze for one hour. Take out and churn once more. Finally, freeze till it sets. Serve with chocolate sauce, if desired. Note : Set your refrigerator at the coolest point 1 hour prior to freezing the ice cream. You can add other essences and colour to prepare different flavoured ice creams, for example, orange colour and orange essence.

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TRAY NO. 33
Menu : Baked Curried Pulao, Meat Balls with Sweet and Sour Rajma. Since both the dishes are laborious, I’ve omitted dessert. If you must have a dessert, you can include a readymade one or a fruit of your choice.

Baked Curried Pulao: 1 cup basmati rice. ½ tsp salt. 2 large onions. Refined oil for frying. 8 French beans. 1 medium carrot. 1 medium potato. ½ cup shelled peas. cup tomato ketchup. 1 pinch of saffron. ¼ cup of milk. ½ cup thick curd. 1 tsp sugar. Paste: 1 tsp poppy seeds. 1 tsp fennel seeds. 2 dry red chillies. 1 onion. 2 cloves of garlic. 2 cm piece of ginger. 2 green chillies. 4 curry leaves. 3 cloves. 1 piece of cinnamon. 3 peppercorns. 1 tbsp grated coconut. 1 tbsp coriander powder. 1 tsp cumin powder. Cook the rice with ½ tsp salt till just done. Strain and spread on a tray to dry. Thinly slice the onion and fry in hot oil, stirring continuously, till golden. Strain and spread on a paper to dry. Cut the vegetables into small cubes and parboil. Mix with the tomato ketchup and reserve. Alongside, soak the saffron in the milk and keep aside. Paste : Soak the poppy seeds and fennel seeds in water for 2 hours. Deseed dry chillies. Grind all the ingredients together to a smooth paste. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a karahi. Add the ground paste and stir fry till the oil separates. Add curd, sugar and salt when cool. Mix well. Mix the vegetables and rice together. Grease a baking tray or dish and spread half of the fried onions. Cover with half the rice. Sprinkle half the saffron milk and spread the ground paste evenly. Cover with the remaining rice, saffron milk and fried onions. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Bake rice for 10–15 minutes. Serve hot, cut in wedges.

Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Kidney Beans: An innovative dish that is prefect for a TV Tray.

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Meat balls: 300 gm minced meat. 3 spring onions. 4 green chillies. 2 tsp grated ginger. ½ cup fresh coriander. 1 tsp chilli powder. ½ tsp cumin powder. 1 tsp garam masala powder. 2 eggs. Refined oil for frying. Kidney beans: 3 cups boiled rajma. 2 tbsp refined oil. 1 cup finely chopped onions. 1 tsp ginger paste. 1 tsp garlic paste. 1 tsp chilli powder. ½ cup tomato puree. 1 tbsp tamarind paste. ¼ cup jaggery or sugar. Salt to taste. A handful of fresh coriander. Meat balls: Very finely chop the spring onions and green chillies. Mix with the rest of the ingredients, except oil. Form into small balls and deep fry. Set aside. Kidney beans: Heat 2 tbsp oil in a karahi. You can use the oil leftover from frying the meat balls. Add onions and fry, stirring continuously till golden brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste, chilli powder and fry for a further 2 minutes. Add the tomato puree, tamarind paste, sugar, salt and boiled rajma. Stir to mix well. Add 2 cups of hot water and let it come to a boil. Cook for another 5 minutes, then lower heat and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring continuously. It is okay if the rajma disintegrates a little. Add the meat balls and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in freshly chopped coriander and remove. Note : Use vegetable koftas for a vegetarian version.

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TRAY NO. 34
Menu : Curried Chicken Pancakes, Rich Bread Pudding. This is an oven menu. If you have a large enough oven, then bake both the dishes at one go. Or, use a microwave oven. Both the savoury and sweet dish are very filling and an additional dish is quite unnecessary.

Curried Chicken Pancakes: This quick and simple batter is the base of many a sweet and savoury dish. The spicy, tasty chicken filling is a wonderful contrast to the plain pancake and can be served at any meal. For the pancakes: 100 gm flour. A pinch of salt. 1 egg. 150 ml milk. 50 ml water. Refined oil for frying. For the filling: 2 tsp coriander seeds. 1½ tsp cumin seeds. 2 tbsp refined oil. 1 tbsp grated ginger. 4 medium onions, finely chopped. 2 cloves of garlic, crushed. 2 tsp crushed dry red chilli flakes. 450 gm boneless chicken cut into strips. 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (optional). Salt to taste. You will also need: 2 cups thin white sauce. ½ cup grated cheese. 1 tbsp butter. Pancakes: Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Break the egg into the well and beat with a wooden spoon. Then gradually beat in the milk and water drawing the flour from the sides. Continue to beat until you have a smooth batter. A hand held electric beater is more convenient. Add the oil to the batter and let it stand for a few hours if time permits, or for at least half an hour. Heat enough oil to coat the base of a small non-stick frying pan. Rotate the pan over heat until very hot. Drain any excess oil from the pan. Pour in just enough batter to thinly coat the base of the pan, rotating the pan to ensure even coverage. Cook over medium heat for 1–2 minutes or until the edges of the pancake can be lifted with a spatula and the underside is light golden. Turn the pancake over and cook the other side for another 1–2 minutes or until golden.

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Remove and keep aside. Repeat with the rest of the batter to make approximately 8 pancakes. Pile the cooked pancakes, one on top of the other with sheets of greaseproof paper between them. Filling: Lightly roast the coriander and cumin seeds and grind to a fine powder. Heat half the oil in a karahi. Add the ginger, onion and garlic and fry until soft. Add chilli flakes, powdered spices, Thai fish sauce and cook for about 4–5 minutes. Marinate the chicken in this mixture for 1 hour. Heat the remaining oil in another pan, add the chicken, salt, the marinade and cook, stirring continuously till the chicken is cooked. To bake: Divide the chicken equally between the pancakes. Fold up like a parcel. Place in a greased baking dish, open side down. Pour the white sauce; sprinkle the cheese and dot with butter. Bake in an oven preheated to 350°F/180°C for 15–20 minutes until bubbly. Serve hot. Note : Omit chicken and use strips of paneer for a vegetarian filling. Omit fish sauce and use a light soya sauce.

Rich Bread Pudding: A bread pudding with a difference, as this one uses coconut milk. 4 cups of thick coconut milk. 225 gm sugar. 4 thick slices of bread. 4 eggs. 1 tsp vanilla essence. ½ cup raisins. ¼ cup chopped candied peels. 2 tbsp ginger preserve, chopped. 50 gm cashewnuts, chopped. ½ cup tutti frutti. 2 tbsp butter. Put the coconut milk and 200 gm sugar together in a saucepan and cook over medium heat stirring continuously. Remove as soon as the sugar dissolves. Blend the bread slices in the mixer to get fresh breadcrumbs. Soak breadcrumbs in hot milk for half an hour. Beat the eggs and vanilla essence in the milk. Use an electric beater if available. Fold in the raisins, candied peels, ginger preserve, cashewnuts and tutti frutti. Grease a baking dish and pour in the batter. Level the surface. Sprinkle the remaining sugar and dot with the butter. Bake in an oven preheated to 350°F/180°C for 40–50 minutes or till done. Serve warm or cold.
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TRAY NO. 35
Menu : Mango Colada, Pizza Pie, Orange Semolina Cake.

Mango Colada: A variation of the popular pina colada. 2 large mangoes. 2 cups thick coconut milk. 2 cups pineapple juice. Pineapple cubes for garnishing. Peel and cut mangoes into cubes. Blend and strain the puree. Mix all the ingredients. Pour into glasses over crushed ice. Garnish with pineapple cubes.

Pizza Pie: A welcome change from the ubiquitious pizza. This one is topped with mouthwatering flavours. For the pizza dough: 350 gm flour. 1 tsp salt. 1 tbsp fresh yeast. 1 tbsp refined oil. 225 ml water. For the filling: 1 tbsp refined oil. 2 medium capsicums. 4 large tomatoes. 1 tsp crushed dry red chilli flakes. ½ tsp dried oregano. 2 tbsp stock. 100 gm Mozzarella cheese, sliced. 50 gm sausages sliced. 50 gm cheese, grated. Beaten egg to glaze. Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Dough: Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the yeast. Make a well in the middle, pour in the oil and enough water to make a soft but not stickly dough. Do not add all the water at one go. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until soft and elastic. Return to the bowl, cover and leave in a warm and draught-free place to rise for 1 hour or until double in size. Filling: Core, deseed and dice the capsicums. You can use different coloured capsicums for better visual effect. Blanch, peel and deseed the tomatoes and chop. Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the capsicums gently for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, chilli flakes, oregano and stock. Simmer until the liquid has evaporated. Mix salt and pepper to

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taste. Remove. Pound down the dough to expel the accumulated air. Re-knead well for another 2 minutes. Break off two-thirds, roll out into a thin round and use to line a greased 23 cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Make sure the dough covers the sides. Spread the filling over the base and cover with half the Mozzarella slices. Arrange the sliced sausages on top, then cover with the remaining Mozzarella and sprinkle with the grated cheese, reserving 1 tbsp. Roll out the remaining dough to fit the top of the pizza, dampen the edges and seal well. Leave in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes. Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle reserved cheese over it and bake in a preheated oven at 200°/400°F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 190°C/380°F and bake for a further 15–20 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.

Orange Semolina Cake: A welcome addition to any cook’s repertoire. For the cake: 175 gm butter. 175 gm sugar, powdered. 1 cup orange juice. Grated rind of 1 orange. 3 eggs, beaten. 275 gm semolina. 1½ tsp baking powder. 125 gm cashewnuts, ground. For the syrup: 175 gm sugar. 2 tbsp lime juice. ½ tsp cinnamon powder. 25 gm mixed candied peels. 5 tbsp water. 3 tbsp orange juice. For the garnishing: ¾ cup cream, whipped. 25 gm flaked toasted cashewnuts. Cake: Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Beat in the orange juice, rind and eggs, pouring slowly and beating well continuously. Fold in the semolina, baking powder and ground cashewnuts. Turn into a greased ring mould. Level surface and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 160°C/320°F and bake for a further 30 minutes. Turn out onto a serving plate. Prick cake at a few places. Syrup: Place the sugar, lime juice, cinnamon, peels and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Simmer until thickened. Add the orange juice. Pour the hot syrup on the cake slowly until the syrup is absorbed. Leave to cool. Fill the centre with cream. Garnish with cashewnuts.
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TRAY NO. 36
Menu : Roasted Cashew Pate, Pasta with Almond Sauce, Fresh Fruits.

Roasted Cashew Pate: 125 gm roasted cashewnuts. 225 gm paneer. 4 tbsp cream or milk. A few drops of Capsico sauce. 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley. Salt and pepper to taste. Grind half the cashewnuts to a powder; very finely chop the rest. Grate the paneer and blend well with the milk till smooth. Mix the cashewnuts and paneer with the rest of the ingredients. Pour in a bowl. Cover with greased paper. Keep a weight on the paper and refrigerate for 6–8 hours. Serve with melba toasts or cream cracker biscuits. To prepare melba toast: Take ordinary bread slices. Cut the sides. Roll the bread slices with a rolling pin till thin. Cut in triangles. Grill till toasted. These toasts can be kept in an airtight container for a few days.

Pasta with Almond Sauce: Pasta has substance and style, anyway you toss it or sauce it. It is never boring, always good to taste and can be served in a variety of ways. 250 gm penne pasta or spaghetti. For the tomato sauce: 425 gm tomatoes. cup refined oil. 2 cups finely chopped onions. 2 tsp finely chopped garlic. 1 bay leaf. 1 tsp dry oregano. 2 tbsp thick tomato puree. 1 tbsp sugar. Salt and pepper to taste. For the almond sauce: 50 gm white butter. 400 gm cooked chicken, sliced thinly. 30 almonds, blanched and peeled. 200 ml cream. 1 pinch oregano. Salt and pepper to taste. Boil pasta or spaghetti in sufficient water adding 1 tbsp oil. Cook till just done. Strain. Sprinkle 1 tbsp oil and reserve. For the tomato sauce: Blanch, peel, deseed and chop the tomatoes. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onions and cook till soft and transparent. Add garlic and

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sauté for about 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf and oregano. Cook, stirring, till tomatoes are soft. Stir in the tomato puree, sugar, salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook, stirring continuously, till the sauce turns very thick, or till the oil almost surfaces. Remove. For the almond sauce: Heat the butter in a frying pan. Add the chicken and stir fry till chicken looks parched, or for about 10 minutes. Add the blanched almonds, and sauté for about a minute. Pour in the cream and cook on a low heat for another 10 minutes. Add salt, freshly ground pepper and oregano. Mix and remove. To serve: Place the cooked pasta on a serving dish. Make a bay in the centre. Pour the almond sauce in it. Pour the tomato sauce all over the pasta. Serve at once, garnished with fresh chopped basil, to give it extra flavour. For dessert, you can serve fresh fruits.

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TRAY NO. 37
Menu : Mock Caviar Dip, Tomato and Tuna Ring, Mocha Creme Caramel.

Mock Caviar Dip : This makes a good dip for an impromptu party. 1 large brinjal. 1 green chilli, chopped. cup hung curd. ¼ cup refined oil. 1 tsp sugar. very finely chopped fresh coriander. Salt and pepper to taste. cup

Smear a little oil all over the brinjal and roast till soft and the skin gets charred. You can roast it over the gas flame, rotating or in a hot oven. Wash and remove the blackened skin. Blend the brinjal, green chillies, curd, salt, pepper and sugar in a blender till smooth. Add the oil and blend once more. Place in a bowl and garnish with fresh coriander and chilli and serve on a platter surrounded by crisp, savoury biscuits and carrot and cucumber sticks.

Tomato and Tuna Ring : A no-cook recipe. Use any suitable salad from this book to fill the ring. 1¼ cup tomato juice. 1½ tsp gelatine. 1 large can tuna fish. 4 eggs hardboiled and sliced. Lime juice. Fresh coriander or parsley for garnishing. Salt and pepper to taste. Flake the tuna. Heat the tomato juice and sprinkle the gelatine. Stir till the gelatine dissolves. Leave it to cool. Add the flaked tuna, two eggs, a squeeze of lime juice, salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour into a ring mould and chill till set. To serve, turn out the mould on a flat dish. Fill the centre with a salad and serve with the remaining hardboiled eggs, chopped.

Mocha Creme Caramel : Rich and creamy, smooth and delicately flavoured, this coffee flavoured caramel custard is a sophisticated version of the nursery sweet. 120 gm Horlicks or Glucose biscuits, powdered. 1 tbsp coffee powder. 2 tbsp water.
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450 ml milk. 100 gm dark chocolate, grated. 1 tsp vanilla essence. 150 gm sugar. 4 eggs. 2 tbsp cream. Caramel topping: 100 gm castor sugar. 6 tbsp water. Mix the coffee powder with the water. Reserve 1 tbsp of the powdered biscuit for garnishing, sprinkle the coffee on the rest. Heat the milk well. Add grated chocolate, stirring constantly and melt completely before adding the vanilla essence. Whisk the sugar and eggs until thick and pale. Slowly stir in the warm chocolate milk until well incorporated, followed by the biscuit mix. Caramel : Heat the sugar and water over moderate heat until it turns to a rich golden caramel. Pour into a large mould. Leave for 5 minutes till it hardens. Pour in the custard. Bake in water bath. Place the mould in baking pan. Add enough boiling water to reach half way up the sides of the mould. Bake in a preheated 360°F/180°C oven for 45 minutes or till set. Once it has set, remove from the oven and let it cool. The pudding should be served chilled. When ready to serve, loosen the sides and turn out on to a plate. Garnish with reserved biscuit powder and whipped cream.

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TRAY NO. 38
Menu : Hawaiian Chicken Salad, Kidney Bean Salad, Tivoli Salad, Praline Gateaux. This tray includes only cool crisp salads. Full of vitamins and minerals, quick and easy to prepare, salads are the answer to many ‘what shall we eat?’ situations. They also make one of the best meal options during summer. They are low in calories, easy on our metabolism and make wonderfully refreshing meals. Serve different kinds of bread with the salads.

Hawaiian Chicken Salad : 400 gm chicken. 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce. 2 rings canned pineapple. 1 apple. 100 gm green grapes. 1 large tomato. 1 stalk celery. 2 tsp finely chopped onion. 1 tsp parsley. 50 gm roasted cashewnuts or almonds. 200 ml mayonnaise. 1 tsp curry powder. Salt and pepper to taste. Black grapes for garnishing. Take fleshy portions of chicken like legs, breasts and thighs. Pressure cook with ½ cup of water and Worcestershire sauce. Drain and flake the flesh. Finely chop all the fruits, vegetables and nuts. Mix all the ingredients together and chill. Serve garnished with black grapes. Note : If you want a sweetish flavour, add sugar to taste.

Kidney Bean Salad: This is a wonderful salad for vegetarians. 1 cup boiled rajma. ¼ cup onion. ¼ cup tomato. ¼ cup capsicum. ¼ cup cucumber. Dressing: 1 tbsp refined oil. 1¼ tbsp lime juice. ½ tsp roasted and powdered cumin seeds. ½ tsp finely chopped green chilli. ½ tsp chilli sauce. 1 tsp sugar. ¼ tsp salt. Do not overcook the kidney beans. Chop all the vegetables finely. Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour on the salad. Toss and refrigerate. Note : Boiled corn can also be added to the salad.

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Tivoli Salad: 1 chicken approximately 750 gm, cut into about 8 pieces. 1 small onion, quartered. 2–3 strips lime rind. 2 tbsp lime juice. 1 blade of mace. 2 sprigs of parsley or fresh coriander. 6 peppercorns. 2 cloves. ½ cup rice. 50 gm munakka. 15 raisins. 100 gm green grapes. 100 gm black grapes. 150 ml mayonnaise. 1 tomato, sliced. 1 hardboiled egg, sliced. Salt to taste. Pressure cook the chicken with the onion, lime rind and juice, the herbs and spices tied in a muslin cloth for 10 minutes. Strain the stock. Dice the chicken flesh and discard the herbs and spices. Cook the rice in the stock, adding water, if necessary. Strain rice and keep aside. Mix the diced chicken, rice, munakka, raisins and half the grapes. Add the mayonnaise, coating the salad well. Serve in a salad bowl, with a border of the remaining grapes. Garnish with the sliced tomato and egg.

Praline Gateaux: This gateaux tastes just heavenly, and is an all-time favourite. For the sponge: 4 eggs. 100 gm ground sugar. 1 tsp vanilla essence. 100 gm flour. For the filling and topping: 500 ml double cream. 5 tbsp icing sugar. 1 cup milk. 1 tbsp instant coffee powder. 5 tbsp praline, crushed. For the praline: ½ cup sugar. Sponge Cake: Separate the eggs. Beat the whites till stiff. Add sugar, a little at the time and beat again. Beat in the yolks and vanilla essence. Lastly, fold in the flour with a light hand. Grease and flour a 20 cm tin. Pour in the batter and bake in an oven preheated to 180°C/ 350°F for 25–30 minutes or till done. Remove, cool and split into 3 layers. Sprinkle each layer with a little milk to moisten. Filling and topping: Whip cream along with the sieved icing sugar till thick. Add the coffee powder mixed with a little milk and add half the crushed praline. Smear each layer with part of the cream. Cover the cake completely with the remaining cream. Sprinkle the rest of the praline. Chill and serve.

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Praline: Place the sugar in a pan. Dissolve very carefully over a low heat. Raise the heat and continue to cook until golden brown. Quickly turn the caramel out on to a greased baking sheet. When cold crush finely with a rolling pin.

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TRAY NO. 39
Menu : Sunrise, Jambalaya, Country Style Chicken n’, Pepper.

Sunrise: You know you’re on to a good thing once you’ve tasted this. 100 ml mango juice. 80 ml orange or sweet lime juice. 1 tbsp lime juice. 2 tbsp pomegranate juice. Sugar syrup to taste. For decoration: Sweet lime slice and cocktail umbrella. For sugar syrup: ½ cup sugar. ½ cup water. Mix all the ingredients together. Chill. Add sugar syrup to taste and serve in a tall glass. Decorate glass with the sweet lime slice and cocktail umbrella. Sugar syrup: Put the sugar and water on heat. Stir till the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Add the lime juice and boil till the sugar dissolves. This amount is for one serving only.

Jambalaya: This is a fine example of Creole cooking. Creole is a French word for the descendants of settlers in the Caribbean and other former French colonies. In culinary terms, it has come to mean the style of cooking that evolved in the territories as a direct result of the French influence. 1 tomato. 4 tbsp refined oil. 1 large onion, chopped. 1 tsp grated ginger. 2 cloves of garlic, chopped. 1 cup boneless chicken, sliced and cooked. 1 cup shelled and deveined prawns. 2 tsp Mexican chilli paste. 5 tbsp tomato puree. 1 tbsp chopped parsley. 8 cooked meat balls or 4 cooked mutton sausages. 4 heaped cups cooked rice. 1 capsicum (chopped finely). ¼ tsp cardamom powder. ¼ tsp cinnamon powder. Salt and pepper to taste. Blanch, peel, deseed and cut tomatoes into juliennes. Heat the oil in a large skillet or karahi. Add onion, ginger, garlic, chicken and prawns. Sauté for 3–4 minutes. Add the chilli paste and fry for a minute. Add tomato puree and parsley and

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bring to a boil. Crush the meat balls or sausages and add them to the mixture. Next, stir in the cooked rice, capsicum and tomato. Mix in the spices, salt and pepper to taste. Toss and cook till the moisture is almost absorbed by the rice. But it should not be completely dry. Serve hot. To prepare meat balls: Mix minced meat, finely chopped onion, parsley, green chillies, garlic, egg and cornflour together. Shape into balls and deep fry. For the Mexican chilli paste: Soak 4 dry red chillies overnight. Grind to a paste. Fry 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped, in 2 tbsp oil till golden brown. Add the chilli paste and fry till the oil surfaces. Add 2 tbsp vinegar and 1 tsp salt. Mix well and remove. Will keep for 7 days outside, and longer in the refrigerator.

Country Style Chicken n’ Pepper: This recipe belongs to what is known as Tex-Mex cuisine. A blend of cuisine favoured by the Texans who were once under Mexican rule and now live on the border. 1 chicken. 2 large onions. 2 large capsicums. 5 tbsp refined oil. 1 tsp salt. 6 green chillies, slit. 2 tsp freshly ground pepper. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Thickly slice the onion. Deseed and cut the capsicum into juliennes. Heat the oil in a non-stick karahi or skillet. Add the salt and let it brown. Reduce heat. Add the chicken, capsicum, onion and green chillies. Sauté and mix well. Cover and cook on a low heat till the chicken is done. No water is to be added unless absolutely necessary. The oil will separate when done. Remove as much oil as you can. Add the freshly ground pepper and remove. This is a very good cocktail snack by itself.

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TRAY NO. 40
Menu : Tomato Egg Drop Soup, Paneer and Walnut Sandwich, Ham and Chutney Sandwich, Litchi Yoghurt. When the Earl of Sandwich ordered a piece of meat between two slices of bread to be brought to his gaming table because he was short of time and couldn’t be away from his game, little did he know that it was the beginning of a whole lifestyle of eating. A soup and sandwich menu is always welcome, makes less work for the cook, too. So, settle for an imaginative soup and sandwich platter.

Tomato Egg Drop Soup: I have combined two of my favourite soups, Tomato Soup and Chicken Egg Drop Soup, and have created this new one. 300 gm tomatoes. 2 large onions. 1 tbsp refined oil or butter. 2 cups chicken stock. 1 tbsp light soya sauce. 1 tbsp cornflour. A pinch of monosodium glutamate (optional). 2 eggs. Salt and pepper to taste. Chop the tomatoes roughly and finely chop the onions. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add onions and sauté till soft and translucent. Stir in tomatoes and sauté for 2 minutes. Blend in a mixer and strain the juice. Combine tomato juice, stock, soyabean sauce, salt and pepper and put to boil. Let it cook for a couple of minutes over a high temperature. Add the cornflour mixed with a little cold water, stirring continuously, so no lumps form. Add the monosodium glutamate now, if you are using it. Cook till the soup thickens a little. Beat the eggs, lower the heat and pour in a thin steam all over the soup. Turn off heat; the eggs will form threads. Serve at once, topped with fried croutons and freshly ground pepper. For the vegetarian version simply omit the eggs.

Paneer Walnut Sandwich: Note : Whenever you are preparing a sandwich, remember to butter the bread well, spreading it to all corners. This prevents the filling from seeping into the bread and making the sandwich soggy.

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100 gm paneer. cup hung curd. ½ cup coarsely ground walnuts. 12 slices of (preferably) brown bread. Butter as needed. 3 tbsp finely chopped capsicum. 3 tbsp finely chopped onion. Salt and pepper to taste. Grate paneer. Beat curd and add it to the paneer. Mix well. Now combine this mixture with the walnuts, salt and pepper. Butter the bread slices. Spread the paneer mixture on 6 slices of bread. Top with ½ tbsp of capsicum and onion, sprinkle some freshly ground pepper. Cover with the other bread slices. Discard the sides and cut each slice into two. Keep wrapped in foil till needed.

Ham and Chutney Sandwich: Note : Sandwiches are so versatile, easy to make and delicious to eat. If you are preparing sandwiches an hour or two before serving them, always keep them covered with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying. 8 slices bread or 4 rolls. Butter as required. 8 slices ham. A few thin slices of cucumber. 4 tbsp sweet chutney. 8 crisp lettuce leaves. 4 tbsp mayonnaise. Salt and pepper to taste. Honey mustard : cup mustard powder. 2 tbsp honey. 1 tsp refined oil. 1 tsp vinegar. .

Prepare the spread first. Combine all ingredients mentioned for honey mustard. Add a little boiling water to make a dressing of spreading consistency. Halve the rolls, if using those. In case you are using bread discard the sides. Butter the bread slices or the rolls. Put 2 slices of ham each, on 4 slices of bread or rolls. Place cucumber slices on the ham and 1 tbsp chutney onto the centre of the ham. Sprinkle salt and pepper; cover with lettuce leaves. Spread the remaining slices of bread or rolls with mayonnaise and honey mustard spread and combine the two.

Litchi Yogurt: If you are one of those who cannot do without something sweet at the end of a meal, try litchi yogurt for a change. This tastes simply delicious and requires no cooking. It is a great low calorie substitute for rich mousses.

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The curd should have part of the whey drained. Beat curd with powdered sugar. Peel, deseed and chop litchis. Add the litchis to the curd and serve chilled.

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TRAY NO. 41
Menu : Chicken Salad Roll, Cheese Slaw, Carrot Pudding. The following menu can also be used to make a very good picnic hamper. All the recipes can be prepared beforehand.

Chicken Salad Roll: This tastes equally good served cold. 6 long hot dog rolls. ½ cup mayonnaise. ¼ cup tomato ketchup. 3 cups boiled and shredded chicken. 1 cup shredded capsicum. 1 cup tinned pineapple, sliced. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix the mayonnaise, salt, pepper and ketchup. Slit the rolls from one side, but do not cut through. Mix the chicken, capsicum and pineapple with the mayonnaise mixture. Fill the slit rolls and cover with butter paper. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Cheese Slaw: ½ cup hung curd. 1 tsp lime juice. 1 tbsp honey. 1 cup cheese, grated. cup grated carrot. cup finely chopped apple. 1 cup shredded cabbage. Salt and pepper to taste. To prepare hung curd: Hang the curd tied in a muslin cloth till most of the whey drains off. Beat the curd till it is smooth and mix with the lime juice, salt, pepper and honey. In a separate bowl mix cheese, carrot, apple and cabbage. Pour over the dressing and toss well. Serve chilled. Note : 2 tbsp chopped nuts of your choice, may be added, if desired.

Carrot Pudding: 1 cup flour. ½ tsp baking powder. ½ tsp soda bicarbonate. 2 eggs. 1 cup powdered sugar. ½ cup refined oil. 1½ cups grated carrot. ¼ cup raisins. ¼ cup chopped walnuts. Combine flour, baking powder and soda. Beat the eggs and sugar till light and fluffy. Add oil and beat again till well combined.

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Add the carrots, raisins, walnuts and flour mix. Beat with an electric beater on low speed till well mixed. Pour into a greased and floured 9” x 1½” round tin. Bake in an oven preheated to 350°F/ 180°C for 30–50 minutes. Serve warm or cold with or without custard.

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TRAY NO. 42
Menu : Lipari Pizza, Carnival Salad, White Chocolate Brownie.

Lipari Pizza : A potato pizza that involves less labour, but is just as delicious in taste. Choose any or all of the toppings. Base: 100 gm flour. 1 tsp baking powder. ½ tsp salt. 250 gm potatoes. 50 gm butter or refined oil. Topping Number One: 4 button mushrooms, sliced. 1 tbsp refined oil. 4 large onions, sliced. 1 large capsicum, finely chopped. ½ tsp dry oregano. 2 tsp vinegar. 2 tbsp tomato ketchup. 4–5 cubes of cheese, thinly sliced. Salt and pepper to taste. Topping Number Two: 100 gm fish fillet. 1 tbsp refined oil. 4 large onions, finely chopped. 110 gm flour. 300 ml milk. 1 tbsp chopped parsley. 2 cubes of cheese, grated. Salt and pepper to taste. Topping Number Three: 6 spicy sausages. 6 large tomatoes. A pinch of oregano. 1 onion, finely chopped. 2 tbsp tomato ketchup. 2 cubes of cheese, grated. Salt and pepper to taste. Base : Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together. Mash the potatoes. If the potatoes are hot, stir in the butter, and then add flour. If the potatoes are cold, rub butter into flour before stirring into potatoes. Knead lightly. Place the dough on a greased baking tray and press into a 25 cm round. Topping Number One: Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Sauté the onions and capsicum gently for 2–3 minutes till softened. Stir mushrooms, oregano, vinegar, salt and pepper. Spread the tomato ketchup over the base, followed by the onion mixture. Finally arrange cheese slices over it. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Bake pizza for 30–35 minutes or until the base is firm and the cheese a rich golden. Topping Number Two: Boil fish and chop it into small cubes, and keep aside. Heat the oil in a small frying pan. Sauté onions gently till they start to soften. Stir in the flour, cook for 1 minute; add milk and bring to boil, stirring all along. Let it cook till it is thick.

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Remove pan from heat, add fish, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well. Spoon sauce over the pizza base, sprinkle cheese on top and bake as mentioned above. Topping Number Three: Boil the sausages for 5 minutes. Strain and halve. Blanch, peel and deseed tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes, onion, oregano, ketchup, salt and peeper till thick. Spread over the base of the pizza. Then lay the sausages over the top like spokes of a wheel, sprinkle cheese in between sausages. Bake.

Carnival Salad: A refreshingly different salad for those long, hot summer days. 2½ cups cooked, chopped chicken. 1 cup watermelon balls. 1 cup honeydew melon balls. 1 cup sliced celery. 1 cup grapes. 1 banana, sliced. 20 whole cashewnuts, roasted. Dressing: ½ cup hung curd, 1 tbsp mayonnaise. 1 tsp curry powder. Salt and pepper to taste. 1 tsp lime juice. 1 tbsp sugar. Blend together all ingredients for the dressing till smooth. Combine all ingredients for the salad. Fold in the dressing. Chill and serve.

White Chocolate Brownie: Eat the brownie whenever you feel you deserve a treat—with your cup of morning coffee, afternoon tea or at the end of a meal. 60 gm white chocolate. 60 gm butter. 175 g brown sugar. ½ tsp vanilla essence. 2 eggs. 75 gm flour. ¾ tsp baking powder. 2 tbsp chopped walnuts or any other nuts. 45 gm raisins. Topping: 60 gm dark chocolate, melted. 30 gm white chocolate, melted. Line a shallow 8” (20 cm) square tin with greased butter paper. Melt the chocolate and butter over a low heat; mix sugar and vanilla with it till smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth. Sift the flour and baking powder together. Gently fold in the flour with the egg mix. Add the nuts and raisins and stir until evenly mixed. Pour into the greased tin.

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Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F for 35–45 minutes. Cool in the baking tin. Topping: Melt the chocolates separately. First, spread the dark chocolate over the cooled cake. As it begins to set, trickle the white chocolate over it with a skewer and swirl together to give a marble pattern effect.

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TRAY NO. 43
Menu : Cream of Peas Soup, Steamed Mushroom Buns, Bobotie.

Cream of Peas Soup: This bowl of wholesome soup is a good way to start a meal. 2 cups shelled green peas. 1 tbsp butter. 2 cups chicken stock. 1 cup milk. A pinch of nutmeg powder. 1 tbsp cornflour. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnishing: 4 tbsp cream. A handful of boiled green peas. Sauté peas in butter for 2 minutes. Pressure cook with the stock for 5 minutes. Strain. Blend peas in mixer till smooth. Add peas paste to the stock, along with milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg powder. Let it come to a boil. Mix cornflour with a little water and add to the boiling soup. Cook for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot, garnished with a swirl of cream and a few peas. You can use any other vegetable of your choice the same way.

Steamed Mushroom Buns: This mushroom stuffing is most versatile and can be used for cutlets, samosas, paranthas, koftas or sandwiches. You may also stuff idlis and dosas with it. Stuffing: 100 gm fresh mushrooms. 2 medium onions. 1 green chilli. 1 tbsp refined oil. 1 tsp grated ginger. 1 tsp chopped garlic. 50 gm paneer. ½ tsp turmeric. Salt to taste. Grind to a paste: 1 onion. 1 clove of garlic. 1 cm piece of ginger. 1 tsp cumin seeds. 1 tsp coriander seeds. 2 dry red chillies. 5 peppercorns. 1 green cardamom. 1 clove. 1 small stick cinnamon. 1 petal mace. Buns: 2 cups flour. 1 tbsp refined oil. ½ tsp salt. 1½ tsp fresh yeast. 1 tsp sugar. ¾ cup warm milk. Stuffing: Finely chop the mushrooms, onions and green chilli. Heat oil in a frying pan. Sauté onions till light brown. Add ginger, garlic and green chilli. Stir fry for a minute. Add the ground paste and fry for 5 minutes.
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Add mushrooms, paneer, salt and turmeric. Mix and remove. Do not cook. The mushrooms must not be allowed to release their water. Buns: Make a dough with all the ingredients; keep covered till double in volume. This will take between 50 minutes and 1 hour. Knead well again and divide into 10–12 portions. Divide the stuffing into 10–12 parts. Stuff 1 part into each part of the dough and roll into a ball again. Leave in a warm, draught-free place for 15 minutes. Place in a steamer and steam for 8–10 minutes. Can be baked too, if desired. Use minced meat or chicken in place of mushroom for a non-vegetarian variation.

Bobotie: Bobotie is a fine example of South African cuisine. South African cuisine specialises in a variety of ‘fruity’ accompaniments. The following recipe here makes use of apricots. One can’t think of a healthier way to balance heavy meat dishes. 12 almonds. 10 dried apricots. 1 slice bread. 250 ml milk. 1½ tbsp refined oil. 1 large onion, chopped. cup apricot jam. 1 tbsp lime juice. 75 gm raisins. 1 tbsp curry powder. 6 lime leaves. 2 eggs. 1 kg minced meat. Salt to taste. Blanch and peel almonds. Soak apricots overnight. Deseed and chop. Soak bread slice in half the milk and mash it. Heat oil in a frying pan. Sauté onion till soft. Add all the ingredients except milk and eggs. Stir fry till the moisture almost evaporates. Put in a greased baking dish. Beat the egg and milk together. Pour over the mince mixture. Bake in an oven preheated to 200°C/400°F for 20 minutes. Cut in wedges and serve with apricot sauce. Spicy apricot sauce: 5–6 tbsp apricot jam. 1½ brown sugar or jaggery. 3 cloves, powdered. 2 lime leaves. ½ cup of water. 1 tbsp vinegar. 1 tsp curry powder. Mix all the ingredients together. Cook on low heat, stirring continuously till thick. Remove. Refrigerated, this will keep for a few days. This will go well with the buns too.

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TRAY 44
Menu : Garlic Cheese Soup, Roesti, Mirch Gosht, Prawn and Broccoli Salad. Garlic Cheese Soup: This soup is especially good for a sore throat and chest congestion during winter months. 1 medium potato. 10 cloves garlic. 1 small onion. 1 tsp butter. 4 cups chicken stock. 4 tbsp finely chopped parsley. 4 tbsp heaped grated cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Peel and grate the potato; finely chop the garlic cloves and onion. Heat butter in a pressure cooker. Add onion and garlic. Sauté till soft, but not coloured. Add the potato, 2 cups stock and salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. When cold enough to handle, blend this mixture in the mixer. Add the remaining stock and simmer the soup for 5 minutes. Divide equally into 4 soup bowls. Sprinkle parsley and 1 tbsp cheese into each bowl. Wait for a minute and then serve. Roesti : In Switzerland, roesti is something like the pizza, topped with various toppings. Roesti, literally means ‘brown and crisp’ in Swiss. 750 gm potatoes. 5 button mushrooms. 1 large onion. 4 slices cheese. Refined oil or butter for frying. Salt and pepper to taste. Parboil potatoes. Peel and grate in long strips. Finely chop the mushrooms and onion. Combine potatoes, mushroom, onion, salt and pepper. Divide into 4 parts. Heat 1 tbsp refined oil in a small non-stick frying pan. Take one part of the potatoes and place onto the frying pan in a 12 cm circle. Fry over low heat. When the bottom is golden, turn over. Add another tbsp of oil and fry the other side till golden. Likewise, prepare the other roestis. Place a slice of cheese on each roesti and grill for 1 minute in a hot oven. Top with Mirch Gosht and serve hot.

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Note : If roestis are served as they are, finely chopped cashewnuts, cooked chicken or ham pieces may be added to the potatoes before frying. Mirch Gosht: Note : The green chillies used should be mild like the variety used for pickles. 15 green chillies. 750 gm boneless meat, cut into small pieces. 6 tbsp refined oil. 4 onions, finely chopped. 2 tbsp grated ginger. 2 tbsp garlic, finely chopped. 1 tsp roasted and powdered cumin seeds. 1 cup fresh, chopped coriander. Salt and pepper to taste. 300 ml curd. Slit and deseed the green chillies and discard the membranes. Mix all the ingredients together and put in a degchi. Seal degchi with atta dough. Do not add any water. Reduce heat after 10 minutes. Cook for 45 minutes or till done. Prawn and Broccoli Salad: Salads are perfect for every occasion. This one’s light, refreshing and delicious. 1 medium sized head of boroccoli. 250 gm small prawns. 1 tsp lime juice. 2 tsp orange juice. Salt to taste. Dressing: 1 tbsp honey. 4 tbsp vinegar. Salt to taste. 1 tbsp freshly ground pepper. 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander or parsley. Dressing: Pour all the ingredients into a screw topped jar and shake well. Cut the broccoli into small florets. Blanch in boiling water for about 5 minutes till crisp and tender. Shell and devein prawns. Cook with lime juice, orange juice and salt, till the moisture dries up. Combine the broccoli and prawns in a bowl. Add dressing and toss. Serve chilled.

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TRAY NO. 45
Menu: Stuffed Capsicum Slices, Creole Meatloaf, Double Sundae. Stuffed Capsicum: A most colourful starter as the taste matches the looks. 1 small green capsicum. 1 small red capsicum. Filling: 1½ cups soft paneer. 2 tbsp sweet pickles. 2 tbsp cheese spread. 2 tbsp whipped cream. Salt and pepper (or 1 green chilli finely chopped) to taste. Wash the capsicum, cut the tops and discard the seeds. Chop the large pieces of pickles, if any. Mix all the ingredients. Stuff the capsicums well so that all corners are filled with the seasoned paneer mix. Chill thoroughly. To serve, cut with a very sharp knife into 1 cm thick slices.

Creole Meatloaf: Meatloaf: 4 large slices of bread. 2 tbsp refined oil. 1 onion, finely chopped. 1 capsicum, finely chopped. 2 sticks of celery, chopped. 1 clove of garlic, crushed. 500 gm minced meat. 2 tbsp tomato puree. 1 tbsp jaggery. ½ tsp capsico sauce. 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce. 1 tsp salt. 2 eggs. Creole Sauce: 2 tbsp butter. 1 onion. 3 sticks celery. 1 clove of garlic. 1 green capsicum. 1 red capsicum. 1½ cups tomato puree. 1 tsp jaggery. 1 tbsp lime juice. A pinch of powdered bay leaf. Salt and pepper to taste. Meatloaf: Blend the bread slices in the mixer to get fresh breadcrumbs. Heat the oil in a skillet. Add all the vegetables and let them brown. This should take about 10–12 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix the mince with the sautéed vegetables, tomato puree, jaggery, Capsico sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and the beaten eggs. Place into a greased loaf tin, preferably foil lined. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Bake loaf for 1½ hours or until done. To test, insert a knife in the middle of the loaf, if it comes out clean, the loaf is done.
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Serve with sautéed vegetables and Creole sauce. Creole Sauce: Chop onion, celery, garlic and capsicum. Heat the butter in a skillet. Add the vegetables and sauté till soft. Add the tomato puree and the rest of the ingredients. Let it come to a boil. Cook, stirring continuously for 15 minutes. The sauce should be quite thick.

Double Sundae: 2 cups mixed fruits (tinned or fresh). ½ cup powdered sugar. 2 tbsp lime syrup. 4 tbsp rose syrup. 4 scoops vanilla ice cream. 4 scoops strawberry ice cream. 2 tbsp chopped nuts. Chop the fruits being used. Add the sugar and chill for an hour. In 4 tall glasses, put layers of fruit and the two flavours of ice cream alternatively. Top with the lime syrup and rose syrup in streaks. Decorate with nuts.

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TRAY NO. 46
Menu: Grilled Mutton/Champakali (vegetable cutlets) French Fries, Farmhouse Biscuits, Mango and Papaya Salad, Coffee Baked Custard. I have inherited the recipe for Grilled Mutton from my grandmother via my mother. Though called a grill, my grandmother fried the meat, presumably because there was no facility in those days for proper grilling. But whichever way you cook it, it will taste delicious. I’ve included a vegetarian cutlet for those who do not eat meat.

Grilled Mutton: 1 kg meat, preferably from the ribs. 1 tsp monosodium glutamate (ajinomoto) (optional). 5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce. 150 ml water. 1 tbsp butter. 1 tbsp refined oil. Salt to taste. You will also need: 100 gm French beans. 8 cauliflower florets. 1 cup shelled green peas. 2 large tomatoes. Pressure cook meat with monosodium glutamate (if using), salt, Worcestershire sauce and water for 20 minutes. Separate stock. Reduce stock on high heat to half its original volume. Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan and fry the meat lightly. Or, you may brush meat with butter and grill in a hot oven for 5 minutes. Add the reduced sauce to the meat and cook for 2 minutes, while stirring constantly. Halve tomatoes and fry, cut side down. Serve meat accompanied by the vegetables and French Fries.

French Fries: 2 large potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Refined oil for frying. Parboil the potatoes. Peel and cut into fingers. Sprinkle a little salt. Heat enough oil in a karahi for deep frying. Put in the potato fingers and fry, stirring till a light brown. Drain the oil.

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Champakali (vegetable cutlet): This alternative is for vegetarians. Other accompaniments remain the same. Cutlet: ½ kg boiled and mashed potatoes. 2 tbsp flour. Dry breadcrumbs as needed. Salt to taste. Refined oil for frying. Filling: 1 tbsp refined oil. 1 cup mixed vegetables, boiled. 1 tbsp chopped cashewnuts. 1 tbsp raisins. 1 tbsp fresh coriander. 2–3 green chillies, chopped. 1 tsp garam masala powder. Grind to a paste: 2 tbsp grated coconut. 1 small onion. 3–4 cloves of garlic. 2 tsp poppy seeds. 2 cm piece of ginger. 1 tbsp coriander seeds. 1 tsp cumin seeds. 2.5 cm stick of cinnamon. 2 cloves. 2 green cardamoms. Gravy: ½ tsp turmeric powder. ½ tsp chilli powder. 4 tbsp refined oil. ½ cup curd. ½ tsp sugar. ½cup cream. Salt to taste. Cutlet: Mash potatoes till smooth. Add flour and salt. Mix well. Divide into 8–10 parts. Filling: Mixed vegetables include peas, carrots, beans and cauliflower, chopped and parboiled. Heat the oil. Add vegetables along with rest of the ingredients. Stir till dry. Divide into 8–10 portions. Roll each part of cutlet into a ball. Fill with one portion of the filling and form into a cutlet, that is shaped into an oval. Smear with dry breadcrumbs. Deep fry in hot oil till golden. Reserve. Gravy: Heat oil and ghee together in a karahi. Add the ground paste; turmeric powder and chilli powder. Fry till the oil separates. Add curd, salt, sugar and 1 cup of hot water. Cook over medium low heat till thick for about 10 minutes. Churn in the mixer and strain. Reheat gravy in a small pan; add cream and remove at once. Place the cutlets in a deep serving plate. Pour the hot gravy over the cutlets. Decorate with silver foil and nuts, if desired.

Mango Papaya Salad: I feel fruits in some form or the other should always be incorporated in the menu. Pick and choose your favourite fruits for this salad. Mango and papaya happen to be mine.

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2 large ripe mangoes. 1 large ripe papaya. ¼ cup slivers of coconut. 5 cashewnuts, halved. 10 raisins. cup mayonnaise. cup cream. 2–3 drops Capsico sauce. The fruits should be ripe, but firm. Peel and chop into bite-sized pieces. Mix well. Sprinkle with coconut, cashewnuts and raisins and chill. In a separate bowl, blend mayonnaise, cream and capsico sauce. Top salad with the dressing before serving.

Farmhouse Biscuits: Though called biscuits, these have a bread-like texture and flavour. Makes a welcome variation from the ubiquitous bread roll. For the biscuits: ¾ cup milk. 1 tbsp white vinegar. 2 cups flour. 2 tsp baking powder. 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda. ½ tsp salt. 5 tbsp white butter. Combine the milk and vinegar and keep aside for 30 minutes. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles bread crumbs. Pour in the sour milk and stir quickly until the dough masses together. It will be a little sticky. Working quickly, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat with floured hands into a 20 cm circle. Cut the dough into 8 wedges with a floured knife. Transfer with a floured spatula to the tray, which should be greased beforehand. Bake in a 450°F/225°C oven for about 12 minutes or until light brown. Cool on a wire rack. Serve with butter and cheese.

Coffee Baked Custard: 150 ml strong black coffee. 4 eggs. 150–200 gm sugar. 450 ml milk. A generous pinch of grated nutmeg. To brew strong coffee: Boil 150 ml water. Add 2 tbsp instant coffee powder and boil for 1 minute. Strain and use. Beat eggs well. Add powdered sugar and beat again till thick. A hand-held electric beater

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helps to do the job quickly. Add milk, coffee and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly. Pour in a baking dish. Put this dish in another deep baking pan. Pour hot water in the larger pan. The water should come half way up the sides of the dish containing the custard. Preheat oven to 150°C/300°F. Bake for 50 minutes–1 hour or till the custard is done. To test, insert a needle in the middle of the baked custard. If it comes out clean, it is done; if not, bake some more. Take out and chill. Serve decorated with whipped cream, if desired. This can be baked in individual moulds also.

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TRAY NO. 47
Menu: Scalloped Fish, Spotted Dick Pudding. This tray comprises a one-dish main course, followed by a pudding. Simple, but elegant.

Scalloped Fish : This meal, is easy to cook, simple to serve and absolutely delicious to eat. 500 gm cooked, flaked fish. 2 tsp grated onion. 1 tsp lime juice. 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce. ½ tsp Capsico sauce. White sauce: 1 large tomato. 1 small onion. 1 small capsicum. 25 gm butter. 25 gm flour. 250 ml milk. Salt and pepper to taste. Topping: 150 gm potatoes. cup milk. 1 tbsp butter. Salt and pepper to taste.

Mix fish with rest of the ingredients. Arrange fish in a greased baking dish, spread the white sauce over it evenly. Top with the potato mixture. The potato can even be piped all over decoratively. Pour the melted butter on top. Bake in an oven preheated to 350°F/180°C for 20–25 minutes. White sauce: Blanch the tomato and skin, deseed and finely chop it. Finely chop the onion and capsicum also. Melt the butter in a skillet and sauté onion and capsicum till soft. Add flour and stir till smooth. Add tomato and mix well. Add milk gradually, stirring constantly, over low heat until the mixture thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. A part of the milk may be substituted by tomato juice. Topping: Boil the potatoes. Skin and mash with milk, salt and pepper.

Spotted Dick Pudding: This one is sure to become a family favourite. 175 gm flour. 1½ tsp baking powder. 75 gm butter. 75 gm sugar, powdered. 2 eggs. 50 gm chocolate chips. Grated rind of 1 orange. 1 tbsp milk.

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Rich Chocolate Sauce: 2 tbsp cornflour. 2 tbsp cocoa powder. 1 tbsp sugar. 450 ml milk. 1 tbsp white butter (optional). 50 gm cooking chocolate. Sieve flour and baking powder twice. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the flour, gradually, with a light hand. Stir in the chocolate chips, orange rind and milk. Pour into a lightly oiled 900 ml pudding bowl. Cover with aluminium foil or a double greaseproof paper. Make a pleat in the centre so that the pudding can rise. Steam in a pressure cooker for 30–40 minutes. To turn out, loosen the pudding with a knife and invert onto a plate. Serve, cut in wedges, drizzled with hot, rich chocolate sauce. Rich Chocolate Sauce: Blend cornflour and cocoa powder together with a little milk. Heat the milk and sugar in a saucepan till boiling. Add the cornflour mixture, stirring constantly so no lumps are formed. Add 1 tbsp white butter at this stage, if desired. Cook for 2–3 minutes. Add the cooking chocolate and stir till melted. Remove. Keep over a pan of hot water, covered, till serving time.

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TRAY NO. 48
Menu: Chicken Gougere, Coffee Mousse. Another of the one-dish meals. One dish meals can range from simple family fare to a veritable banquet. This one is just perfect for a TV tray.

Chicken Gougere: Note : The choux pastry which forms the outer ring can be made in advance and baked when you want. The complete dish with its savoury piquant sauce in the centre can be ready to put into the oven after being prepared early in the day. Choux Pastry: 1 cup of water. 60 gm butter. 75 gm flour. 2 eggs. 2 cubes cheese, grated. ¼ tsp mustard powder. Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Filling: 1 medium onion. 10 button mushrooms. 1 tomato. 1½ tbsp butter. 2 tbsp flour. 300 ml chicken stock (can be made from stock cubes). 2 cups cooked, flaked chicken. 2 tbsp tomato puree. Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. 1 tbsp chopped parsley. Put the water and butter in a saucepan and dissolve butter over a low heat. When it melts, bring the water to a boil. Take off the heat and add the flour all at once. Immediately beat the mixture with a spoon to make a smooth paste which leaves the sides of the pan clearly. The mixture can be cooked for a minute at this stage to evaporate some of the moisture. Let the mixture cool a little. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Stir in the grated cheese, salt, pepper and mustard. Take a large ovenproof dish with raised sides. Grease well; surround it with spoonfuls of the choux paste. Keep aside. Filling: Slice onion and mushrooms. Blanch and chop tomato. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add onion and cook, stirring, till transparent. Add mushrooms and cook very gently until mushrooms release their moisture. Add flour. Stir to mix well. Pour in the stock and bring the sauce to a boil, stirring all the time. Add tomatoes, chicken, tomato puree, salt and pepper. Mix well. Turn the mixture into the middle of the choux paste. If there is some leftover, serve on the side. Bake in an oven preheated to 400°F/200°C for 40 minutes. Sprinkle chopped parsley before serving.

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Note : Instead of 1 large gougere, you can bake 6 individual pots of gougere.

Coffee Mousse : 1 tbsp gelatine. 2 eggs. 125 gm castor sugar. 2 tsp instant coffee. 500 ml milk. 200 ml cream. A few glace cherries. Soak gelatine in ½ cup of water for 15 minutes. Dissolve over a very low heat. Separate the eggs. Beat egg yolk, sugar and coffee till thick. Add milk and beat once. Cook on a low heat till the custard is of coating consistency. Remove, add dissolved gelatine. Cool on ice. Stiffly beat the egg whites and the cream separately on ice. Whip in custard, then fold in the egg white and cream lightly but thoroughly. Decorate with whipped cream and glace cherries.

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TRAY NO. 49
Menu: Caribbean Rumba, Chicken Burger, Choco Lime Crunch.

Caribbean Rumba: 4 cups green coconut water. 1 cup pineapple juice. 1 tbsp lime juice. Sugar syrup to taste. 1½ cups thick coconut milk. A pinch of salt. 4 tbsp soft green coconut meat, chopped. Crushed ice as needed. 4 cherries and 4 pineapple slices for decoration. Mix the green coconut water, pineapple juice, lime juice and coconut milk together. Chill. Add sugar syrup and salt to taste. Stir to mix well. Put crushed ice in 4 tall glasses. Add coconut water combo. Top each glass with 1 tbsp coconut meat. Pierce 4 cocktail sticks with a cherry and pineapple each. Decorate the glass. Serve immediately.

Chicken Burger: The juices from the burgers flavour the buns and the salad adds a little more zest. 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs. ½ cup cream. 750 gm minced chicken. 1 egg. 1½ tsp salt. 1 tsp white pepper powder. ½ tsp paprika or Kashmiri chilli powder. 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce. 6–8 tbsp butter or refined oil. 6 large onions, cut into thin rings. Cole Slaw: 2 cups shredded cabbage. 1 cup shredded carrot. 6 tbsp mayonnaise. Burger: Combine 1 cup breadcrumbs with the cream. You may use low fat milk instead of cream. Add the chicken mince, egg, salt, white pepper, paprika and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well using your hands. Divide the mixture into 6 portions. Coat sides and edges with reserved breadcrumbs and shape into ¾” burgers. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. In a non-stick skillet, over a low flame, heat 3 tbsp butter or oil. Sauté burgers for 7–8 minutes on each side, using additional butter or oil as needed. The burger should be golden brown and crisp on the outside and moist and soft on the inside. Remove and keep warm. Do

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not press the burgers while sautéeing because the juice will run. In the mean time, combine the cabbage, carrot and mayonnaise. Set aside. Halve the buns horizontally. Heat them on the skillet after frying the burgers, cut side down, for 3–4 minutes. Sauté the onion rings in 2 tsp oil till soft. Add 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce and stir fry for 2 more minutes. To Serve: Place one burger each on 6 halved buns. Spoon over sautéed onion rings. Top with the remaining buns. Serve with cole slaw on the side.

Choco Lime Crunch: 10 walnut halves. 200 gm Marie or Thin Arrowroot biscuits. 2 cups hung curd. 150 gm powdered sugar. Grated rind of 2 limes. cup chocolate chips. Roughly chop the walnuts. Crush biscuits. Mix the two and reserve. Blend the curd, sugar and lime rind in the blender. Very lightly fold in the chocolate chips. The brown bits should be visible. Chill for a couple of hours. Take 6 stemmed glasses. Layer the curd mix and biscuit mix alternately. Decorate with more chocolate chips and wafer biscuits.

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TRAY NO. 50
Menu: Orange Magic, Egg Florentine, Chicken Hash, Banana Cake. This is a brunch menu. It combines the best of breakfast and lunch. It is a mid-morning meal usually served at weekends for the entire family or while entertaining friends.

Orange Magic: Note : For a festive touch, twist orange peel strips around cinnamon sticks and use for stirrers. 1 apple. 1 banana. 1½ cups green coconut water. 1 cup orange juice. 2 tsp lime juice. 1½ tbsp sugar. A pinch of salt. A pinch of freshly ground pepper. 4 lemon slices. 4 glace cherries. Peel and core the apple; cut into chunks. Peel and slice the bananas. Blend apple and banana with the green coconut water. Add the orange juice, lime juice, sugar, salt, pepper and ice cubes. Pour into individual glasses. Pierce 4 cocktail sticks with a lemon slice and glace cherry each. Decorate the glasses and serve.

Egg Florentine: 4 eggs. 4 bread slices. ½ tsp salt. 1 tbsp vinegar. 1 tsp refined oil. Hollandaise Sauce: 3 eggs. 2 tsp vinegar. 1½ tbsp melted butter. Salt and pepper to taste. Spinach: 16 spinach leaves. 2 tsp butter. 1 tsp chopped garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Fill half the skillet with water. Add the salt, vinegar and oil. Break the eggs one by one in a saucer and carefully slide into the boiling water. The vinegar will help coagulate the eggs. Poach till done. Remove and keep hot. Hollandaise Sauce: Separate the eggs. We need only the yolks for the recipe. Beat the egg yolks and vinegar. Cook over a double boiler, stirring well. Add the melted butter, a little at a time and stir to mix well. Add all the butter gradually. Season with salt and pepper. The sauce should be thick, like ketchup. If you find it too thick, add 1 tsp vinegar; if too thin, add 1 tsp warm water.
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Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add washed spinach leaves and salt. Stir fry till the leaves wilt. Toast the bread slices. Cover with 4 spinach leaves each. Top with a poached egg and pour the hollandaise sauce over it. Serve each toast with 1 grilled tomato and one fried potato cake (alu ki tikki).

Chicken Hash : 2 large onions. 4 stalks celery. 500 gm boneless chicken, cooked. 2 capsicums. 100 ml cream. 1 cup cooked peas. 4 tbsp refined oil. Lime slices to garnish. Salt and pepper to taste. Thinly slice the onions and celery. Cut the chicken in strips. Deseed and julienne the capsicums. Heat the oil, add the onion and celery and fry till the onions are soft. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook over low heat till thick. Remove. Serve hot, garnished with lime slices.

Banana Cake: This tastes very good when served warm. 1 cup flour. ½ tsp baking powder. 80 gm unsalted butter. 1 cup powdered sugar. 2 egg yolks. 1 ripe banana. 1 tbsp lime juice. ½ tsp vanilla essence. 2 egg whites. ¼ cup chopped walnuts. Sieve the flour (keeping 1 tsp aside) and baking powder together. Cream the butter and sugar, at a time. Beat well. Beat in the yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the mashed banana along with the lime juice and vanilla essence. Beat the egg whites till stiff. Fold the sifted flour into the butter mixture alternately with the egg whites. Lastly, add the chopped walnuts, mixed with 1 tsp flour. Grease and flour a ring mould. Pour in the batter. Bake in an oven preheated to 180° C/ 350°F for 30 minutes or till done. To check, insert a needle in the centre of the cake; if it comes out clean, the cake is done. Otherwise, bake for a few minutes more.

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