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How to elevate an everyday dish

Hungry and tired, I returned from college and rushed into the kitchen asking my mom, “What is there for khana today?” She mischievously turned around and said, “Today for dinner you have long grain fragrant white rice gently cooked with yellow and green lentils over a slow fire, served with salted or unsalted butter, all with some crispies”. Oh Lord. wasn’t I excited! I washed my hands and rushed to the table to see our humble khichdi waiting to be eaten. As my face fell, mom garnished it with freshly cut green micro herbs topped with some croutons.  There, just like that, she gave a new twist to an ordinary dish.

How interesting it would be to break the monotony of everyday meal with these twists. So, let us begin with breakfast:

Eggs

If an egg is your staple for breakfast, we are not going to ask you how you have them. There are basically just four universally known ways of having eggs for breakfast. So, if boiled is how you prefer your unda, then we may push some chaat masala towards you. Sprinkle it with some freshly cut dhania and the hardboiled egg will never remain the same.

For an omlette, try adding some dhania, jeera, haldi and red chilli powder. Give it a desi twist.  Crisp up your toast. Make a tava toast by generously applying butter on the bread before putting it on the tava. Hold it down with a ladle as it sizzles.  As it begins to brown, take it off the pan and on your plate.  Now put the omelette on the crisp toast and garnish it with tomato sauce or maybe green pudina chutney.  We know your egg will taste different. It will taste awesome.

Enjoy a delicious Egg Benedict or whip eggs in your Banana Pancake and Tomato Capsicum Uttapam for a delectable breakfast!

Moving on to lunch:

Soups: How can we give a wriggle to the classic tomato soup? By adding wasabi paste to it. Wasabi paste will bring in the zest and enhance the acidity of the soup. What do you think? If not, try dipping tulsi and jasmine tea bag in it.  It will add a different aroma to the classic dish and will keep others happily wondering about the flavours.

For a twist to the regular soup, you can try out the Thai Soup or the Pasta Soup and Quinoa Pumpkin Soup which are a meal in itself.

Dals:

The most common in the kitchen would be toor dal or ahar ki dal. Lets’ see if we can give it a nice twist to make it exciting. Who hasn’t tried adding some tangy yoghurt that adds some khatta twist? That is not all, reach out to some chat masala and give your boring dal a nice tadka (ghee wala). Adding other variety of dals would also make it more nutritious besides making it different. Have you tried putting in a dollop of pudina dhanai chutney? A mouthwatering treat!

Tickle your taste buds with the Green Onion Dal Fry, Mango Sambhar or Veg Dhansak with Brown Rice.

Chicken dishes:

Have you tried adding mild Dimbula tea leaves while cooking your chicken dish or during barbeque? This high-quality Ceylon tea is full of flavour which will lend a fresh taste. Nuwara Eliya is yet another fragrant flavoured tea which goes well with something tangy. Another tip, grate some cheese over the marinade to get its creamy texture in the chicken gravy.  Yummy!

You can try Coriander Chicken in Coconut Milk or Hara Bhara Chicken.

Kheer and mithai:

Below are some tips on making your sweet indulgences even more scrumptious!

  • Adding khewa essence to our coconut kheer will give a scent of royal fragrance to the dish. Alternatively, grate some orange skin into the kheer and let it boil.  The tangy orange aroma flavour is something that will get embedded in your heart eternally.
  • You must get a little experimental and add flavoured baby food while preparing barfi. Its mild flavour will enhance the milky, khoya flavour of your barfi. Go for it we say…
  • Gulkand has more than just medicinal properties. You can make Gulkand ice cream, chutney or add it to your cake batter for a different sweet flavour.
  • Have you tried dipping your gulab jamuns in chocolate mousse? Also, try filter coffee mousse to give it a hint of bitterness. If you don’t know what we are saying then my dear, you are missing something here.
  • Adding thin slices of tender coconut to the thick Punjabi lassi can make a world of a difference to the famous drink. Alternatively, add a dash of amchoor to your sweet lassi. Drink it one go, bottoms up, and flaunt your lassi moustache!
  • Top your vanilla ice cream with crisp corn flakes to give it the ultimate crunch twist.

Sink your teeth into treats like Gulkand Khoya Ladoo, Apple Kiwi Kheer, Carrot Quinoa Kheer and Quinoa Gulkand Phirni.

Indian staples like dried methi leaves, poppy seeds, green chilli-ginger mix instead of wasabi, can totally elevate an ordinary everyday dish.  Try it and soon your family will reward you for it.

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