When my daughter’s doctor prescribed very bland food (for an Indian) as part of her treatment for a gastric condition, I looked around for a preparation that would be easy to digest and provide very good quality protein. I found that she was able to tolerate cauliflower, eggs, and cheese. I also love cauliflower and cheese and found recipes for the elaborate cauliflower au gratin, but I wanted something simpler. The Complete Australian Cookbook in my personal library gave me a recipe for cauliflower and cheese. I modified the recipe using some features from the au gratin and made the measurements of the ingredients easier. I also omitted the heating of the cheese with the white sauce because of the stringy texture it gives. Instead I sprinkled the cheese on top, and it not only gave a beautiful colour, but also a delicious aroma while baking.
I believe in using my culinary equipment as often as possible. I therefore like to experiment and create different kinds of kuzhippaniaram (fritters) to make use of the kuzhippaniaram mould. I have already given recipes for Kuzhippaniaram with dosai batter and All Wheat Kuzhippaniaram without dosai batter. I have always wanted to combine cheese with the milk and egg batter and make fritters without deep frying to arrive at a high protein, low fat snack. This is a western kuzhippaniaram as I have used oregano seasoning for flavouring. I would have liked to use dry garlic powder, but it is not easily available in Chennai and has a poor shelf life even if it is, so I have used fresh garlic in the preparation.
Tomatoes are still selling at a low price though not at Rs. 8/kg. They are of good quality, and it is time to make tomato sauce for pasta or pizza. I used to buy pizza sauce, but I found the flavour too strong for my taste buds. It also distracted from the flavour of other ingredients. I browsed through several recipes for Italian tomato sauce, and I created a recipe which has the Italian punch but still Indian enough for us.
I came up with this recipe during the recent rains. I usually stock up on a variety of ingredients during the northeast monsoon as depressions form in the Bay of Bengal and we can get heavy rain for even a week, but this time I was caught unprepared. I had these ingredients on hand and quickly whipped up this dish which was very well received by my children. It is a warm, high energy and high protein dish that is ideally suited for a cold and wet rainy day.