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Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Desi Mac 'n' cheese

How do you identify with the word “international” here in the US? do you like me consider it always a synonym for multi-lingual and cultural mixing South American with African or Asian (and of course Indian, Malayali, anything that relates to the various parts of you that you left behind)? And so, would you, like me get a little disappointed when the typical mainstream American squanders the word in contexts where ‘European’ or ‘Western’ would as well suit the bill? like using a 1-gallon container for a thimbleful of milk, or even half a cup of milk?

I guess that was my reaction to the Yahoo Food blog ( ), The Magical Melting Pot's story of Mac 'n' Cheese 4 Ways, where she added "you can also easily create international versions of mac 'n' cheese by adding locally popular cheeses and proteins such as salami, ham, or shrimp and local flavors such as dill or chili peppers. " (emphasis mine) and then followed that with Italian, Mexican, Swiss and Danish versions of America's beloved Mac 'n' cheese! I suppose the inclusion of the 'Mexican' version half justified that international claim!

But where is the Indian version I cried!

Oh! didn't you know either that there is an Indian version? I suppose it's not widely known - it was just a little adaptation that a friend shared with me long, long ago, before I'd even crossed the border! So I'll pass it along [I know, I know, I'd said that this wasn't going to be a cooking blog - but I'd filed this as something I wanted to comment on when I saw that Yahoo story a few days back, so look at it as a bonus :)]

Here's how you do it:

Materials for 4 servings: A cup of macaroni, half an onion diced, a couple of green chillies chopped, a cube of ginger chopped (or a teaspoon of ginger paste), an egg beaten (optionally substitute with a tablespoon of maida or self-raising flour and half a mug of milk), pinch of salt, 1 tomato diced, chopped coriander leaves, half a mug of peas (optional) AND HALF A TIN OF AMUL CHEESE grated!!! {Back in those days there was only 1 flavor - cheddar - and it came in a small half pound (I think) tin container; it may be quite different today! but this will work only with AMUL CHEDDAR - if not you may as well abandon the project :) }

Set the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the macaroni per directions (9-10 minutes in boiling water), adding the onions, chillies, salt, ginger, peas, tomatoes half-way through.

Drain macaroni completely.

Add beaten egg (heat milk, sprinkle maida/self-raising flour and mix in heated milk), 3/4 of grated cheese.

Top with remaining cheese and garnish with coriander leaves.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


PS. I will try and add a picture later when I cook this next.

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