To Live, Love and Learn: A Cookworm's Tale
Not all meals take hours to cook in order to look beautiful and turn out tasty. Some can be thrown together at a moment’s notice, with some help from friends and family. And that is where leftovers come in. We all have leftovers at home, and though curries actually taste better as leftovers (you should try this if you already haven’t), some things need to be pushed a bit more to be turned into ultimate deliciousness.
This particular lunch was made out of leftovers and some fresh vegetables within a span of half an hour. We were literally on the run, making a round trip from south Delhi to Noida and then back to Delhi again, just so that we could have a sleepover. While my friend packed her bag in a hurry and sorted things out in her pretty Noida home, I foraged the kitchen for a quick lunch. She’d made some rice with Nigella seeds (kalonji/kala jeera), peas and a bit of turmeric the night before, and quite a lot of it was left. And of course there were some fresh vegetables in the refrigerator.
All I had to do, was chop up one onion, one tomato, some baby corns and cut a red bell pepper in half. I quickly fried all the vegetables in vegetable oil, added some ginger-garlic paste, added the leftover rice, seasoned it well and cooked it for about 5-8 minutes.
While the next step is not necessary, it did add a bit of, well…drama to the whole thing. I took the bell pepper halves and stuffed some of the rice in them. I put the halves in a deep pan (the same where I cooked the rice mix. This step put the flavours of the rice inside and outside the bell pepper halves), added some oil and covered and cooked it on a high flame for another five minutes. (Now when I think of it, it would have been easier to just cook the bell pepper halves without the rice mix stuffing. Well, we live and learn, don’t we?) Once the bell pepper was cooked well, I put one each on a plate (see the first photo) and served it.
It was crunchy, simple, healthy and barely took time to cook or eat!
In and out of my friend’s place in an hour, and who would believe we managed to put together a beautiful meal and finish it off within that time?
(Thanks for the rice Juni Bahuguna. It was a revelation and you need to know you are a brilliant cook yourself!)