Looks like the Diwali season has brought its own foodie blessings upon me. I had entered 2 food contests last week, before I left on my diwali trip to the inlaws place and both results came within 24 hours - since yesterday. I won them both. Yay!
The first contest was hosted by Rushina of A Perfect Bite. She had asked her readers "If you could be a spice, what would you be and why?
Best answer wins a copy of The Mainland China Cookbook! !"
My response was "Cinnamon - I go well with everything (sweet, savoury, drinks) and just add a subtle hint, yet my presence is not unnoticed. Also enjoyable completely undiluted and a bit of me, can be relished for hours leaving behind a fresh feeling."
So thats the Mainland China cookbook in the mail for me. I'm really happy with this one as it was released just a month or so ago and I haven't been able to find it in any of the Delhi bookstores or Flipkart either. Was thinking I would have to trek to Gurgaon to eat at Mainland China and check up if they had any books in stock. Given the high possibility of non availability, I've been postponing that for a bit :)
The Second Contest was held by Pratibha Jain and Jigyasa Giri of Pritya Books, the authors of 2 wonderful collections of Heritage Recipes: Cooking with Pedatha and Sukham Ayu. The Ayurvedic Cookbook - Sukham Ayu stood second in the category of "Best Health & Nutrition Cookbook in the World" by the Gourmand awards (2009) organization.
The Contest asked "Can you think of a traditional, vegetarian, festival dish which is your favourite? Write a description and your reasons for liking it in 100 words".
Well, I do love to write about food and there are plenty of festive dishes that are so much a part of my memory. The best memories and experiences of cooking festive foods was the assembly line of my mom, her sisters and some of the kids that was set up around the dining table under the eagle eye of my grandma (to whom this blog is dedicated) - who supervised the proceedings and of course the sneaking of bits and bites of the fillings and batter during the processes.
Now to choose just one, a Vegetarian one (all dishes with eggs were out) and to describe it within 100 words, seemed nigh impossible. But this is what I finally sent in: "Kidiyos (khulkhuls) - maida and coconut milk shaped into little worms (kidis) on the back of a fork and then deep fried are my favourite kuswar (Christmas Goodies). As a special treat, one batch would be dipped in sugar syrup and left to crystallise. These treated kidiyos would have the sweet crunch of a layer of frosted sugar, followed by the crisp outer shell that had been deep fried and the soft heart that had not been directly exposed to the boiling oil. A combination of textures and flavors that even today make me miss grandma more than ever.
It won FIRST place. You can take a look at the other entries on The Contest Page. I would love to hear your favourites too, so leave me a comment.
I'm now waiting for my copies of the Mainland China Cookbook and Sukham Ayu.