Monday, January 25, 2010

Bird's Nest

Lindsay from The Chickenless Kitchen threw us a Renaissance Cook Challenge, where we are supposed to cook a dish inspired by our hobby. Though I just returned from a family wedding, I made this dish in a hurry to meet the deadline. I loved the idea and am eager to participate.

Ornithology -the study of birds or Bird watching(no pun intended) in a lay man's terms has been an interest right from my school days. Later I met a few environmentalist friends through whom I was introduced to the finer aspects of bird watching. The Book Of Indian Birds- by Dr Salim Ali has been my guide ever since. My mom's place is located close to a National Park. This gave me the privilege of watching a lot of species from the luxury of our living room, even without a pair of binoculars. Some of the species I have enjoyed watching from home were - Oriental Magpie Robin, Drongo, White-throated Kingfisher, Golden Oriole, Greater Coucal/Crow Pheasant, Egret, Coppersmith Barbet and varieties of Sunbird to name a few. (click on the links for picture).
Sadly urban development has brought about a drastic reduction in the numbers of birds. When I was there last week, I only saw a magpie robin and heard the call of a kingfisher and a coppersmith barbet, other than that I spotted none.

Bird-watching for kids- Bird watching is a great way to teach kids to respect nature and in turn protect nature. Children learn very quickly, my 4 year old can already recognise a few species.
For more fantastic pictures on Indian Birds- Indian Myna [मैना], Forest Warbler, Peacocks and Long-tailed Shrike.

Bird's Nest
Bird's Nest is probably one of the first recipes that I learnt to prepare. I used to go to summer camps in school and this was a favourite for cooking competitions. Kid's love the concept. (Since I was in a mighty hurry to prepare this dish one of my eggs almost threatened to hatch as I fried them!)

For the shell-
4 large potatoes
salt to taste
bread crumbs

For the filling-
3 button mushrooms
1/4 cup green peas
1 onion
4 cloves of garlic
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper

To decorate-
Roasted vermicilli

  • Boil the potatoes and peel when cool enough to handle. Mash add salt and keep aside.
  • Chop the onion, garlic and mushroom.
  • Heat oil and saute the onion and garlic. Add mushroom and peas, cover and cook.
  • When done take of the heat and add salt and pepper.
  • Make egg sized balls of the mashed potatoes and stuff with the filling mixture.
  • Roll in bread crumbs and fry.
  • Roast the vermicilli till brown and cook in water. Use to decorate.


  1. This is a perfect way to hide vegetables. Any filling would be great but I really love mushrooms. I should try this soon.

  2. oh, my. now you are making boring potato so much fun!

  3. This is such an adorable dish! Love the presentation!

  4. Adorable!!! Love the little birdie presiding over it all. Thanks so much for participating :)

  5. By the title I thought it's the bird's nest that we eat back home. But you've made this dish so fun to make and delicious to eat. A great way to hide vegetables.

  6. Adorable!!! I love it! my other hobby is knitting and I'm trying to come up with something..

  7. Hi Shirley, good to see you back on track again! And this is such a lovely meal. I'm sure your children love those EGGS very much. haha... Did they ask you why it doesn't taste like egg?

  8. What a great idea. My mom loved bird watching as well, she would always say 'keep your bird feeders full' I will certainly try these yummy potatoes!

  9. These look good!!! I'm passing your blog onto my 2 sisters that LOVE to cook, especially healthy :) Best of luck!

  10. This is so cool! I would have never thought that you could represent ornithology with a food.

  11. That was really challenging to cook with your hobby in mind. You did a great job :)

    Should try it out one day.

  12. Oh I love how you tied your inspiration into this- very creative!

  13. This is amazing and very inspiring....U rock ...I love your recipes!



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