Palm Court Chilli Cheesetoast
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:
- 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
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.