Potluck #2

It looks like our potluck has now officially become a monthly event. The ladies regrouped for another night of socializing, this time hosted by the lovely Akanksha. We were joined by two new additions to the club, Radhika and Aparna. The evening was filled with a lot of talk about pregnancy since both Akanksha and Radhika are expecting to deliver babies in September. Aparna is also a new mother and so the evening ended up being quite informative for a person such as myself (no kids, unless you count my husband who is a BIG kid). Invariably the conversation leaned towards our husbands who are in B-school and soon to be embracing the demanding consulting lifestyle. The common thread in the group is that we are all professional women with careers all embarking down the path of learning how to manage work and life.

Aparna is a Doctor doing her fellowship in Gastroenterology, Radhika is a PMP and now a stay at home Mom, Akanksha is a Programmer, and I am an Engineer and PMP. All together we discussed our fears of having to leave work and try to join again after taking time off to care for children, how we will manage living with husbands on the road 4 days a week, and how we all enjoyed earning a lot of money but would also really love to stay home. Managing the home and children is hard enough without adding a job to the mix. Ulitmately our conversations came back to how we prioritize these things. Many of you who read this blog are accomplished mothers, cooks, and professionals. I ask you all, how do you manage work and life?

More importantly, the food was fantastic.

Potluck #2 Menu
Akanksha's Baked Paneer Tikka
Akanksha's Daal
Akanksha's Salad
Kanchana's Masala Dosai
Radhika's Rasamalai

Akanksha's Baked Paneer Tikka
1 block paneer cut into small cubes, sliced onions, sliced bell peppers: green, red, yellow, salt, 3 cups yogurt, 1 tbsp of any masala powders (chaat masala, garam masala, dhania jeera powder, etc)

1. Add the yogurt, masala powder, salt and vegetables to paneer and marinate it for about 15 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and the paneer mixture (spread on aluminum foil) in oven for about 15- 20 min.
3. Turn the oven up to broil, and leave the paneer in for about 5 min while constantly checking to make sure it doesn't burn.

Akanksha's Masoor Daal
1 cup masoor daal, 1 tsp turmeric, salt to taste, 1-2 tbsp chaat powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala, 1 tbsp oil, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 2 red chillies, 1 tomato chopped, 1 onion chopped, a pinch of asafetida

1. Soak the black masoor daal for about 2-3 hours.
2. Add about 3 cups of water, turmeric powder and salt to the daal and boil till completely cooked.
3. Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds and red chillies. After the cumin seeds turn brown, add the asafetida and onion. Saute this.
4. Add tomatoes and fry them.
5. Add chaat masala powder and garam masala powder.
6. Add the onion paste to daal and mix well adding salt.

Kanchana's Masala Dosai
See previous post!

Radhika's Rasamalai
Paneer - 250 gms, Water - 6 cups, Sugar - 2 1/2 cups, Whole Milk - 1 litre, Cardamom Powder - 1/2 tsp, Almonds & Pistachios - 2 tsp (thinly sliced), Few strands of Saffron

1. In a wide saucepan, add 1 1/2 cups of sugar to water and boil.
2. Mash the paneer and make small well pressed patties and gently let into the boiling water. Cover with a perforated or partially covered lid. Boil for 12-15 minutes (a little less if the paneer patties begin to separate out). On touch the rasmalai should spring back, to be done.
3. In another pan add milk & 1 cup sugar to boil.
4. Add cardamom, sliced nuts and saffron to the boiled milk until they dissolve/blend well.
5. Gently remove each rasmalai from (2), drain water and transfer to the milk pan.
6. Allow them to boil in the milk for further 2-3 minutes.
7. Turn off the heat and cool to room temperature.
8. Chill for 3-4 hours before serving.

Akanksha's Salad

One of the coolest things we discovered is how Akanksha makes her rice in a pyrex dish in the microwave! Just add double the water. We were all wondering how she got the rice to fit so perfectly in the square glass tray.

Verdict: Potluck with the Girlfriends is some serious food for the soul.


Mishmash ! said...

Can I join you for that Masala dosai and rasmalai? :)

Take Care

FH said...

Great looking Pot luck dishes there!!
I ALWAYS cook rice in the Microwave,how much water to add depends on what kind of rice you are using.Got to learn by experience.
Welcome to the real World when you have kids and stay home!!;D How do we do it? We roll with punches!!
Motherhood and staying home 24/7 is THE hardest and most stressful job in the World.People do not understand that most of the time.
You don't have to quit your job but cut down if you can or work from home when the time comes!:))
Right now,enjoy your life.

Priya said...

Wow! That is a delicious meal, and the company of friends should have made it even better.
'How she fit the rice in the square dish' ....hehe...I realized about the microwave rice cooking recently too,we hardly use the cooker at home since then. Nowadays I grab a small cup of raw rice in my lunch box with the curry in a separate one and cook the rice fresh in my lab :)) Just takes abt 7 mins, and hot meal is ready !! Even tried maggi in the microwave, makes the boxed lunch a little more interesting :D

Rachna said...

uff such an amazing menu, the paneer tikka looked yum, the dosais, and the rasmalai... slurp....and jugling work and managing kids is so hard, sometimes i wonder how i will justify my career if i stay at home, sometimes i wonder if i am justifying being a mom when going to work, sometimes i wonder if the money's worth it when hubby works late evenings.... thats life i guess

marriedtoadesi.com said...

Shn: Anytime!
Asha: Thanks for the micro-rice tips. I agree with you, Motherhood is the hardest job. Hat's off to all you great mothers. Good advice on the remote work suggestion.
Priya: Seriously love the lunchbox ideas especially fresh rice!
Rachna: Very good points.

Thanks Ladies!

Viji said...

Great looking dishes at the potluck.The rasmalai recipe seems very easy.bookmarking.

J said...

WOW!! Those dosas look tempting! Microwaved rice looks fantastic!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kanchana,

It definitely helps if you have the option of working from home, if needed. I sometimes wonder if I should quit my job as a software programmer and take up a job in my daughter's school. That way, I can be at home with her during summer holidays, and don't have to feel guilty about sending her to summer school.


PS: I am a regular visitor to your wonderful blog.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention that the recipes and pics look great!


Roopa said...

Wow thats a great potluck party dear :) nice one. working or SAHM we can never say how it goes all i can say you need a good support system on handling both hand in hand. Yeah if you have an option to work from home it would be good..

Suganya said...

Baked paneer tikka and masala dosa catch my attention :) Lovely rolls of dosa...

A, mama of twins said...

Hi Kanchana,

Nice array of dishes. I love Rasmalai! Favorite indian dessert.

Being a Stay home mommy of two, I can tell you its one of the hardest but most gratifying things I have done.

When you have a child or two I think the decision to stay home, work from home, work full time or part time will have to be a very personal and family decision. For us, me staying home at the moment is the perfect choice. I have various outlets for my creative, adult and "intellectual/work" needs so those keep me busy but there are always days where I wonder what our lives will be like when I go back to work.

Enjoy your time with your husband now as things do change once the tots arrive. :)

Motherhood has been very fulfilling, fun, tiring, emotional and amazing journey.

Srivalli said...

all the dishes look so yummy...


Aparna said...

Hey Kanchana, Awesome blog man. Wonderful pictures,tasty recipes and beautiful thoughts! You are indeed a woman of many talents...


Sharmi said...

I would like to settle down with 2 masala dosas and ras malai. lovely potluck. the dosa is presented so well.

TNL said...

what a lovely bunch you all are! That daal recipe is awesome...I've never tried Chaat masala in daal before, will do now!


Anonymous said...

hey kanch,
I'm a regular visitor of ur blog,great photos..yummy recipes....
meanwhile,u can work from home when u have kids also.only thing is time management.
meanwhile myself and my hubby r planning to visit toronto,canada for 2 days.
tell me when is the best time to visit,things to do,must see places in ur place.it would be great if u reply me.also we r new to USA. my e-mail id dodggy_123@yahoo.com

thanks and regards,

Sia said...

thats one cool bunch of friends u have kanch:) its feast to our eyes to see all those yummies...

EC said...

Wow, ras malai,my mouth's started watering already.... pass on that bowl please

canadiandesi said...

Was visiting your site after a while... this looks absolutely delicious... I think I have some paneer left over in the kitchen I am going to use to try your recipe! :)

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm a couple of years late but wanted to pitch in my two cents - it's all about priorities. I've decided not to have any children. Also, motherhood has never really appealed to me. People usually get confused when I say this, it's not that I don't like kids, I just don't think it's for me. If I were to one day have kids, I would not quit my job - I don't think I could. Cutting down seems like the viable alternative, and in that case I would want my partner to cut down as well. Working from home is another option. Some women, including some of my dearest relatives, want to stay at home, and while I respect that, it's not the right choice for me.