A couple of days ago, we had a slightly atypical spread for dinner at home with some of my extended family members. Home-cooked food in Indian-Muslim households generally extend to the common Malay and Indian cuisines, which involve mostly curries (and lots of steamed rice). But we do get bored of the usual menu occasionally, so on Saturday, the menu included grilled fish and shrimp, prepared by my aunt and uncle while my cousin and I prepared vegetables and cheesy tortillas. I had to somehow incorporate vegetables into the menu because I just feel like a meal is incomplete if there isn’t some form of veggie on my plate. Especially when said meal is dinner at home. I’m perfectly alright with an unbalanced meal at restaurants/cafes/coffee shops though. I’m weird that way.
Returning to the main story … where was I? Oh the menu. There was also fried yellow noodles cooked by my mum (crazy spicy but SO GOOD!!) and cheesy fries. Talk about carb overload! No wonder I loved Saturday’s dinner!
My aunt tried two different marinades for the fish. One was slightly North Indian, with Greek yogurt, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, salt and pepper. The other was simpler, with just finely chopped garlic, a dash of chilli powder, salt and pepper, but turned out to be the favourite. I forgot what marinade was used for the shrimp, I just know that the grilled shrimp was awesome. I think shrimps are meant to be grilled. It was perfect.
My cousin said the menu was very Middle Eastern. I’m not sure which part of it was Middle Eastern, probably the grilled stuff?
The veggies were nothing fancy, I just threw sliced red and green bell pepper into a pan slicked with butter and a little ginger-garlic paste, salt and pepper. Oh and some baby corn, which I rescued from the fridge where it had been looking sad and abandoned.
Now for the best part, the cheesy tortillas! My cousin and I got a little generous with the ghee (clarified butter) when oiling the grill pan so the house was filled with heavenly buttery fragrance while we grilled thirty-two flour tortilla triangles. And topped them with cheese, smokey BBQ cheddar for some and shredded Parmesan for most. I had to caution my family members to eat in moderation when we brought the plate of cooked tortillas to the dining table, coz it was essentially heart attack on a plate (although I guess occasional indulgences don’t hurt so much?)
Being trigger-happy girls, my cousin and I had to plate our meals and snap photos to our hearts’ content before settling down to actually eating all that delicious food. (I think I burned off some calories by sweeping and mopping the flat after dinner.)
The best part of Saturday’s dinner though, apart from the sumptuous spread, was the pure fun we had in the kitchen, prepping and cooking. That shared experience was significant in making the evening a truly memorable one, something that we will look back upon in fondness and laughter for many years to come. May we be blessed with many more such warm, hearty and enjoyable gatherings for as long as we are alive. 🙂
home is where the heart is, and my heart is with my family ❤