It had been a month and half since I came to Bangkok and had not cooked anything special for my family except baking cakes a couple of times. So yesterday I cooked the entire dinner from appetizer to dessert for my family for the first time. I had major butterflies in my stomach if they'd like my food as much as others always did, but the dinner turned out great.
I thought of making my trusted Strawberry Lemonade that I knew everyone would have loved but damn, strawberries and blueberries are so expensive in Bangkok! Besides, I had brought these pineapple straws from California so I decided to make something with pineapple. I started the dinner with Virgin Piña Colada. I blended Pineapple + Coconut Milk + Granulated Sugar + a teaspoon of pineapple extract. My secret for this recipe: pineapple extract. It adds the flavor and aroma boost that a natural pineapple cannot.
For appetizer I served Samosa Bowls - it is samosa with a twist. Couple of years back I had made Potli Samosa, but that's a pretty common way so I came up with this new idea of serving samosa. Instead of filling inside the regular triangle shape, I fried the dough in shape of a bowl a day beforehand and filled it with the potato and peas stuffing, served with chutneys.
Then the buffet style table was arranged, starting with salad. For this, I cut cucumber in large pieces, scooped out the insides from them without going all the way through, filled it with a garlic yogurt dip, served with julienne tomato and carrot sticks. The carrot was boiled in salted water beforehand and chilled. My recipe for the dip: whisk minced garlic + olive oil, to it add hung curd (greek yogurt) + salt + red chili powder and mix well, let chill in refrigerator few hours for flavors to blend well before serving.
For the main course there was Laccha Paratha and Kadhai Paneer (pictured below), Mughlai Biryani (above), and my usual awesome Grapes and Walnut Raita. I like to have a one roti-one sabji-one rice-one rice accompaniment concept for my dinner. However, my family is used to making various sabjis and several desserts and excess food during parties, so yes - my grandfather did ask if there was more than one!
Papad is a regular at Marwari households, although I'm not too fond of eating papad with every meal. But instead of roasting or frying a round papad I served them as Papad Cones filled with Mango Cucumber Salsa. Papad was cut in semi-circle and roasted on pan on both sides and quickly twisted to form a cone shape. My salsa recipe: mango chunks + cucumber chunks + cilantro + salt + black pepper powder + lemon juice. The mango, cucumber, and cilantro were ready in a bowl and the salt, pepper, lemon juice was mixed in just before serving, otherwise mango and cucumber would have become soggy and released water.
For dessert I prepared my layered Vanilla and Chocolate Pudding. The chocolate layers were cooked with a few pinches of instant coffee powder and there was a layer of chopped nuts in between.
And I had everyone gather around the dining table as I presented and served my Eggless Crater Chocolate Cake as the grand finale. Watch my video here!
I couldn't make everything as planned, there were a couple of more dishes I had in mind (with twin babies to take care of, I don't think I could have done any more than this!), but all the items that I prepared my family praised my food and my presentation. And with that - I am more than happy!
No, actually - what's the word for very, very, very, very, very, very happy?
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