In the Kitchen

Palm Court Chilli Cheesetoast

IMG_2074[1]My mum hosts the best parties I have ever been to. A menu staple is the chilli cheesetoast (yes, that is one word). Ever since I left Bombay I have tried, in vain, to recreate it in my London kitchen. While it tastes mostly-sort-of-maybe the same, it really doesn’t. The magic lies in the processed cheese mum uses and quite frankly no British cheese comes close in meltiness. Armed with a block of Britannia Cheese that I smuggled in during my last visit to India, I was finally able to recreate the perfect chilli cheesetoast. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 400 gms Britannia cheese (grated)
  • 3 tbsp chopped green chillies
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped tomatoes (blanch the tomatoes and remove skin and pulp)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 slices white bread

Method:

  • Pre-heat grill.
  • Mix all the ingredients together. (Note: the mixture can be made ahead and refrigerated.)
  • Lightly toast the bread when you are ready to serve the dish. Cut each slice into 4 squares.
  • Pile the cheese mixture on top of the toast squares and pack it down. The cheese should be tightly packed, so it resembles a ball.
  • Place the toast squares under a hot grill for 4-5 minutes until the cheese turns light brown at the edges.
  • Serve!

The Great Aunt Potato

My parents got married at a time when India was still very conservative. One community didn’t socialise with another; there was no sex unless you were producing someone’s grandchildren; and a North Indian definitely did not make a South Indian curry.

My Sindhi mum married into a Punjabi household believing that love would be enough. It was – except in the kitchen! A Punjabi tradition she wasn’t prepared for was to cook a dish for her new family on her first day as daughter-in-law. Ma was completely lost in a Punjabi kitchen. My dad’s great aunt saved the day by whispering this easy potato recipe in my mum’s ear. This recipe has continued to save many more days since then.

Ingredients:

  • 1 .1/2 tbsp ghee (or sunflower oil)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • Salt to tast
  • 1 kilo potatoes, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 cup warm water.

Method:

  • Heat the ghee/oil in a wok on a medium heat.
  • Add the turmeric and let it cook for a minute.
  • Add the red chilli powder, ground coriander and salt and saute for another minute.
  • Add the potatoes and mix well so the cubes are coated with the spices and oil. Cook on a high flame for 30 seconds.
  • Add the water, cover and reduce heat to medium.
  • Cook until the potatoes are done. Approximately 10-12 minutes.
  • Serve as an accompaniment to the main meal.

3 responses to “In the Kitchen

  1. you need to try M&S Cheddar Crunch (3-year matured).

  2. Ranji

    Ahhh…that cheese toast! Your mom makes it to perfection!

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