Roma is a Winner in Boulder Weekly’s Best of Boulder – East County 2014 Contest

October 21st, 2014

Best of Boulder East County Soiree Invitation

Roma’s Catering is a winner in the Boulder Weekly’s Best of Boulder – East County Survey! Winners will be celebrated at the inaugural BOBEC celebration, a lavish 1920s-themed soiree at the Dickens Opera House (300 Main St, Longmont) at 5:30 PM on Thursday, November 6. The evening will be filled with savory hors d’oeuvre, rich entrees, zesty sweets, and live repertoire reminiscent of the great Jazz Age. Get your tickets here by Oct. 26.

2014 Chili Inferno Winner!

September 11th, 2014

Roma participated in the 17th Annual Chili Inferno Cook-Off at the Boulder Creek Hometown Festival and carried away First Place in nearly every category.

Traditional Red Chili 1st Place: Roma

Green Chili 1st Place: Roma

Vegetarian Chili 1st Place: Roma

Inferno Chili 1st Place: Roma (tied)

Salsa (Pro) 1st Place: tie between Roma’s Salsa Roja & Roma’s Salsa Verde
Salsa (Pro) 3rd Place: Roma’s Mango Peach

Roma was also featured in a Daily Camera “spotlight” story about the event:

Spotlight: Roma Melrose

Roma Melrose was born in India, but she is obsessed with creating and perfecting chili and salsas.

It was actually a very natural transition, she says.

“The first time I got into salsa was because I couldn’t find anything spicy here in Colorado,” says Melrose, who previously owned the restaurant Royal Bengal Kitchen and now operates Roma’s Catering out of Longmont. “Now I just love it. Salsa is my premium love.”

It’s safe to say salsas and chilis love her back. She’s competed in and won awards at chili competitions all over the United States. At the local Inferno Chili Cook-Off, scheduled for 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday as part of the Hometown Festival, she regularly wins in at least one of the categories of traditional red, green, vegetarian green, inferno or salsa.

Last year, Melrose captured four of the five. And in that fifth category, which was traditional red? She took second. That’s an impressive feat, considering the judges taste their chili samples with no foreknowledge of their creators.

“Regarding chili and salsa, the ingredients kind of dance and talk to me,” Melrose says. “People maybe think I’m weird, and no, I’m not real normal because I start talking with my spices.”

She also starts planning far in advance, including planting and growing chiles in her organic garden, then roasting her tomatoes and chiles herself. Traditional salsas in Mexico, she explains, are not “chop and drop” affairs. Most require drying, roasting, soaking, blending and/or straining.

“You have to make your salsa on your own time,” she says. “Like a song, it comes together.”

This year, what’s come together for Melrose includes her classic red chili (which is featured in many of Roma’s Catering’s burritos, sold at local Whole Foods), a vegetarian posole with fresh hominy beans and cactus, and a fiery Salsa Macha.

Impressing the celebrity judges — which this year include Boulder Police Chief Greg Testa, Boulder Fire Chief Larry Donner, University of Colorado women’s basketball coach Linda Lappe and Ginger Havlat of KBCO-FM (97.3) — is not the most important thing for Melrose, though.

“It’s not a matter of winning and losing for me,” she says, “but the fun is serving the maximum number of people food that they think is delicious. That’s the best part.”

From The Daily Camera,  8/29/2014: “Boulder Creek Hometown Festival: City welcomes fall with wacky send-off

Sabzi Korma

May 18th, 2010

Vegetables in a Creamy Curry Sauce

Kormas and nut based creamy sauces are the Persian influence in India. This one is a curry from Kashmir the Northern most part of India.

I Green Bell pepper cubed

1 Cup Onions Chopped

1 Jalapeno sliced

4 Cloves garlic peeled and minced

4 Cups Frozen mixed Vegetables, Peas, Carrots Beans and Corn

1 Cup Tomato Paste Read the rest of this entry »

Daal Makhani

May 18th, 2010

Lentils in creamy style

Daal Makhani is a favorite lentil delicacy from Punjab, North India. Any Indian full course dinner or lunch must have some type of lentil in the menu. Lentils are cooked into a spicy gravy and are used as a dipping for flatbreads or to spread over rice. Lentils can also be soaked and blended into a puree and fried as appetizers. In South India lentils are soaked, ground and mixed with rice powder to make crepes. These crepes are called Dosas or they may be filled with spicy potato filling and rolled into Masala Dosas or spicy crepes. Lentils are an excellent source of protein and each state in India and each village cooks them in their own special way. When you visit an Indian Grocery store you will see many different varieties of the lentil. These lentils are also available at Asian or Far East markets. Today’s lentil recipe will use three different types of lentils.

1 Cup Urad Daal whole or Kali Daal or Black Lentils whole and not split available at Indian Groceries

½ Cup Split Mung Bean Daal also available at Indian Grocery stores

½ Cup Chana Daal or split Chickpea Lentils available at Indian or Asian Grocery stores

1 Tsp. Turmeric Powder

½ Tsp. Cayenne Pepper Powder Read the rest of this entry »

Aloo Gobi Matar

May 18th, 2010

Potato Cauliflower and Peas from Madhya Pradesh, middle side of India

This is a very simple and tasty vegetable. This can be served with Basmati rice or with Indian flatbreads.

2 Cups Potatoes peeled and cubed

2 Cups Cauliflower Florets

1Cup Peas

4 Tbs. Cooking Oil

1 Tbs Whole Cumin Seeds

1 tbs. Jalapenos chopped Read the rest of this entry »

Aam Aur Lasoon Chi Tikhat

April 4th, 2010

Mango and Garlic Hot Chutney

The State of Maharashtra in India with its capital city Mumbai faces the Arabian sea and is famous for seafood dishes. Coconut is an essential ingredient in Maharashtrian cooking. The food is mostly cooked in peanut oil and most of the curries are spicy and tart from chilies and tamarind. The thing that makes Maharashtrian food different from food cooked in other states is the use of dry roasted and ground nuts, like peanuts and cashews and sesame seeds. This is fresh chutney that can be served with dinner as a condiment.

2 Cups Green Mango peeled seeded and chopped. This is a tart variety of mango available in Indian and Thai groceries in spring and summer. If unavailable, you can substitute with any hard mango from grocery stores. Read the rest of this entry »

Doodh Pak

April 4th, 2010

Rice pudding from Gujarat

The vast land area and the differences in climate in the State of Gujarat have contributed to the different variety of food and cuisine. Gujarat is one of the few states in India where many different and flavorful vegetarian dishes can be found. Gujarat cuisine has a number of desserts which are different from the desserts of other states, but since rice is more or less the staple food of India, each state has it’s own method of preparing rice pudding. “Doodh Pak” is rice pudding from Gujarat. I got this recipe in course of my travels to Porbandar and Bhavnagar in Gujarat.

4 Cups Whole Milk

1 Cup Basmati Rice Available at Indian or Thai groceries.

11/2 Cup Sugar Read the rest of this entry »

Salaat Chole Nariyal Ki

April 4th, 2010

Salad made with Garbanzo Beans and Coconut

I learned this recipe during one of my visits to Pune, Maharashtra.

1 Cup Dried Garbanzo beans soaked overnight in warm water and drained.

1 Cup Carrots sliced thin

1 Cup Tomatoes chopped

1 Cup Red Onions thinly sliced

3 or 4 Hot green chilies sliced thin

1 Cucumber sliced thin

1 Cup Diakon or White radish thinly sliced

1 Cup Cilantro chopped

½ Cup Mint leaves chopped fine

1 Lime juiced Read the rest of this entry »

Thair Chaadam

April 4th, 2010

South Indian Yogurt Rice

4 Cups Overcooked Rice (Cooked until it is soggy)

1 Cup Plain Yogurt

1 Tsp. Mustard Seed

2 Cayenne Peppers, dried (or 1 Tsp. Crushed red pepper)

1 Tsp. Black Gram Lentils (available in Indian and Thai grocery stores, goes by the name of Urad Daal)

1 Jalapeno, chopped fine

10-12 Curry leaves, fresh or dried Read the rest of this entry »

Tandoori Murg

April 4th, 2010

Tandoori Chicken or Murg Angar (Chicken on Fire)

The Indian Independence Act was passed by the British Parliament in July of 1947. This act ended the British rule of India and provided for the partition India on August 15th 1947. On August 15th two independent countries were created, India and Pakistan. The state of Punjab was divided in half, West Punjab going to Pakistan and East Punjab joining India. Almost six million Hindu and Sikh refugees streamed out of West Punjab and into India carrying they personal belongings, their famous Clay Ovens called Tandoors and their extra ordinary cuisine. Tandoori cooking was like a hurricane that swept through New Delhi and spread over all of India.

The secret is to marinate the chicken in the spices overnight or for at least four hours. Then the chicken is cooked very hot, very fast. Read the rest of this entry »