Thursday, August 21, 2008

Day 7: My Big Fat Indian Family

Alas a Greek Moussaka for my extended Indian cousins!
Having dined at some of Melbourne's best restaurants it was time for me to do some cooking myself. Moussaka is my favourite dish to prepare since I use my mother's recipe that is just idiot proof! I picked up these beautiful veggies at the green groccers in Oakleigh.

Here the sliced aubergine have been drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with freshly cracked black pepper salt as well as sage, thyme, oregano and fresh rosemary ready to go into the grill.

Meanwhile two kg's of beef mince has been through on the stove top in my aunt's trusted Besamer cooker. A great investment that I'm seriously thinking about! Starting out with chopped onions, garlic and ginger paste the beef was sealed before adding in tinned tomatoes with puree and a variety of Italian herbs.

Here the aubergines have been grilled to soften the flesh, in some places slightly charred to release a really smokey delicious flavour. The aroma of the rosemary, salt and olive oil together infused the house with the most wonderful smell, tickling everyone's taste buds!

The layering process begins, first with an even layer of aubergines.
And then a layer of seasoned mince meat ontop. And repeat again, try and get two layers of each at least - more is always good!

Little chef - my couisn Aviva got her dessicated coconut with butter going on the burner. Aviva decided to make Coconut Sweet, a traditionally Anglo-Indian sweet that is prepared at Christmas time. I was amazed at my eight year old cousins efficiency in the kitchen!

The first stages of the coconut sweet... hmmmm!

And in with some rose food colouring to brighten it up!

Having buttered these pyrex dishes (not very deep) we poured in the coconut sweet mixture. You know when it is cooked through when the mixture starts leaving the sides of the pan.

And flaten the coconut sweet evenly so that when it cools and hardens it is easy to cut into pretty sqaures or diamonds and serve.

Licking the ladels is always the best part of cooking up a storm!

After setting the coconut sweet to cool - usually overnight to set it is ready to cut, serve and relish!

Keeka, Lara, Aviva and Cynthia White and lil ol' me peeking through of course! Cynthia is my mum's first cousin.

And it's back to preparing the side dishes to go with the Moussaka. We decided to do some baby potatoes roasted with my spin on a honey-dijon dressing. And I must say my dressing was a hit with the guests!
Some greens of course because crunch with a bake is just the best combination ever!
The simple vinegrette that I threw together for the greens.. healthy too!
Voila - the potatoes look gorgeous combined with some leftover aubergine and rosemary.
Dressing the potatoes with the honey-dijon dressing.

The final result after my afternoon spent slaving over the fire!

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