Lessons from Collaborative Cooking + Recipe Veg Stew and Homemade Bread

What’s even more fun than friends bringing home-cooked delicacies over for a pot luck?  When done in the right spirit… cooking together!

Perhaps Diwali is the one time that we still gather together in large numbers and find ourselves cooking together with friends and family.  Nuclear households have lessened our ability to adapt and co-operate, with each one having developed their own style and tastes.  There is a saying in Marathi that roughly translates to mean that “Pots and pans are bound to clash noisily in the kitchen”.  This implies that sharing a household/work space is bound to lead to some disagreements.   However, when we are more conscious of our stubbornness, limitations and insecurities that lead to such clashes, we can be mindful. We can choose to focus on individual strengths and see how they can be combined in a complementary and synergistic manner.

Hence, here lies a beautiful opportunity to rise above all differences, co-operate and co-create.  I have learned extensively about relationships and working together from my co-facilitation experience and shared that here.  As I wrote in ‘A Stich in Time‘, “If we can open our mind to the possibilities of seeing things differently, we allow new magic to emerge.  Respecting our own identity, as well as that of the others – we can create new artistry together.

This is what my multi-talented friend Mitalee Joshi and I prepared together last week.  Because there is such ease and mutual respect, we work well together.  Sometimes we prepare individual dishes, sometimes one does all the preparatory work and at other times the idea is developed together.  The point being, there are no fixed rules or roles. I think that the flexibility and the loving interest that we take together in preparing the meal, makes all the difference.  

Here is what we made:


2 Large Potatoes
2 Medium Red Onions
1/2 Broccoli
8 button mushrooms
12 Baby Corn pieces
1 Carrot
1 Tomato
1/2 cup shelled Peas
1 Red Bell Pepper
12  cloves Garlic
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 pats butter
Salt to taste


  1. Chop all vegetables into large chunks, including the onions
  2. Heat oil and butter in large vessel.  Add garlic and onions, cook on slow fire without browning.
  3. Add Potatoes and cover with hot water.  When semi cooked, add carrots.  After that broccoli and then the other vegetables.  Add salt to taste. Keep adding enough hot water to keep it all covered.  All the vegetables should be cooked, but still firm.
  4. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and paprika if you like.

(This stew has a thin consistency.  For those who prefer it thicker, use vegetable stock instead of hot water.  Ready pasta sauce is another option.)

Fresh Walnut – Sesame Bread


4 cups Whole Wheat Flour (Atta)
Olive Oil
1 packet active dry yeast
Little sugar
3/4th cup Warm water


  1. Add a little sugar and warm water to the yeast and leave covered for about 10 minutes.
  2. Knead the flour with salt, oil and the dissolved yeast, adding water if required.
  3. Add chopped walnuts and pound the dough well.
  4. Cover with damp cloth and leave for about 25 minutes.
  5. Place in a buttered tray.
  6. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 F or in a microwave with a grill setting at 450 W for about 25 minutes.

Soak the bread in the stew and enjoy the aromatic, simple and healthy meal!



Filed under Flow, Meal Experience, Recipe

4 responses to “Lessons from Collaborative Cooking + Recipe Veg Stew and Homemade Bread

  1. Mercia

    Thanks for the delicious recipes. I have never succeeded making bread but now I shall try out your recipe n will let u know how it turns out. My recipe for stew is however different. I powder a little clove, cinnamon, pepper and after that add an onion, garlic n ginger. Then I fry the paste in oil over a fire and then when it turns slightly brown I add the chopped vegetables n let them cook.I also add a little water .
    This makes the stew a little thickish.

  2. mitalee

    Sangeeta we should try out the changes suggested by Mercia!

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