Gatte ke subzi : Vegetarian sausage curry; GF

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IMG_1451Rajasthan in India is a province which has desert like climate. With very little rainfall, there is a scarcity of fresh produce. The local cuisine has evolved around it, relying less on vegetables, but managing the protein etc intake from alternative sources.

IMG_1442“Gatte  ke Subzi” is one such special dish from Rajasthan. Chick pea flour is kneaded with a variesty of spices into these locks, which are then boiled and fried gently.

IMG_1443These are made into a curry, which can be enjoyed either with piping hot rice or handmade rotis or flatbrads.

IMG_1445I must admit I am fairly new to this curry, was introduced to this only in my adult life. Look at the versatility of the use of legume and beans in Indian cooking. Not only are they used to make Dals, or salads, but grind them in powder, make them in “Gatte”, or shape them round to make sun dried :Vadi:, or even roll them paper thin into Papad:. The possibilities are endless.

IMG_1457Recipe: Serves 4 as a side dish.

Ingredients;

For the Gatta (Sausage ),

Besan ( chick pea flour )                                              1cup

Cumin seeds                                                               1/2 tsp

Aniseeds ( saunf )                                                         1/4 tsp

Carom seeds ( ajwain )                                                 1/2 tsp

Coriander ( dhania ) seeds                                            1/4 tsp

Turmeric powder                                                           1/4 tsp

Red chiily powder                                                           1/4 tsp

Salt                                                                                 1 tsp

Ghee                                                                               1 tbsp

Oil                                                                                     1 tbsp

Water                                                                                 2 tbsp

Yoghurt                                                                              3 tbsp

For the gravy;

Cumin seeds                                                                   1 tsp

asafoetida ( heeng )                                                          1/4 tsp

Dried red chilly                                                                  2

Ginger grated                                                                    1 tsp

Tomato                                                                              2, made into puree

Turmeric powder                                                                 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder                                                               11/2 tsp

Red chillly powder                                                              1 tsp

Yoghurt                                                                              2 Tbsp

Kasuri methi ( dried fenugreek leaves )                               1 tbsp

Cilantro                                                                             1 tsp

Method:

For the Gatte,

Coarse grind the seeds. In a bowl take the besan, add the crushed seeds, all the powders as listed, ghee, salt, oil and yoghurt. Mix with greased hands then add water little by little to make it into a nice dough. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Knead a few more times with greased hand and cut in four balls. Shape each one into cylinders, like in the picture above, about 4 inches long.

In a sauce pan bring a litre of water to a rolling boil. Add the locks one by one.  Let it cook for 10-12 minutes. these will rise up and have blisters on its skin. Put the gas off. Collect these, let it cool. Cut them in half inch pieces and fry them in very hot oil for about two minutes. Collect on kitchen towel. Save the boiled water for gravy.

For the gravy,

Take 2 tbsp oil in a pan on high heat. Add the dry chilly, cumin seeds and heeng, saute till the cumin seeds get a light colour. Add the ginger paste, saute for another minute. Add the tomato puree, turmeric, red chilly powder, coriander powder and add about 2 tbsp of the saved boiled water from before. Crank the heat down to medium high and keep stirring until all the water evaporates. Bring the heat down to low now. Add the whisked yoghurt and keep stirring for 3-4 minutes. Add the rest of the saved boiled water , salt and the fried “Gatte”pieces. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Garnish with Kasuri methi and cilantro.

Serve with rice or roti.

I feel we should be able to freeze the fried Gatte pieces. This will give a head start for the day of, cook the gravy and throw these in and bring it to boil.

 

Skinless moong beans with bottle gourd: Moong dal with lauki

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IMG_1269In a matter of weeks, the world has turned upside down. Who would have thought that we would witness this pandemic first hand. Countries are in lockdown, social distancing is the key word of late.

We are all mindful of the food we cook for our family. Something that can be put together easily without pinching the pocket, that will be healthy and will mostly use pantry staples.

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Dal aka lentils or beans are a must in any Indian pantry. These are rich in proteins, the skin on ones are extra high in fibre, not mega pricey, making them a staple food for the masses.

There are innumerable ways to cook Dal. It could be spicy or bland, sweetish or sweet and sour. Throw in some seasonal vegetables, it can be an almost one pot meal with a side of either rice or bread.

IMG_1271 Today”s recipe is one that uses minimum spices, the bottle gourd adds extra nutrients, elevating this homey dish to a five star one.

When goings are tough don’t we all look for something like this?

Recipe; Serves 4 as side.

Ingredients;

Skinless moong dal                                                  one cup

Bottle gourd                                                             one medium

Cooking oil                                                               1 Tbsp

Ghee                                                                         11/2 Tbsp

Grated ginger                                                            1 Tbsp

Turmeric powder                                                        1 tsp

Cumin seeds                                                               1 tsp

Salt to taste

Dried red chillies                                                            2

Green chillies                                                                 2 sliced ( optional )

Jaggery                                                                           1 tsp

Method;

Dry roast the moong dal on medium heat till very lightly coloured, add the oil and fry for another minute. Add a cup of water, cook till half done. Add water as needed, the dish is neither runny nor solid.

Wash the bottle gourd and cut in thin slices ( about half a cm ). Throw in these to the half cooked dal, also add the turmeric powder, jaggery and grated ginger, salt, green chillies and continue cooking till the gourd and dal are cooked, not mushy. Both the dal and gourd should hold shape. Put the gas off.

In a separate pan, heat the ghee, when hot throw in the dried red chillies, cumin seeds, wait till it gets light brown in colour, add this on to the dal.

Adjust salt to taste and enjoy with rice.

 

Sauteed Amaranth leaves: Notey shaag

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There are foods, and then there are superfoods. With a storehouse of phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibres, Amaranth leaves belong to the superfood family.

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Cooked in salads, soups, stews there are so many ways of enjoying these leaves. In Bengali cooking gentle sauteing  the Notey shaag with minimum spices is common. Served as a first course, it is enjoyed with a side of warm rice.

Here is the recipe of these humble Amaranth leaves.

How do you cook these leaves? Would love to hear from you. Leave a comment for me below. Thank you.

Recipe: Serves 4

Ingredients

Amaranth leaves                           500 gms

Mustard oil                                  3 tbsps

Nigella seeds                             1 tsp

Dried red chillies                          2

Fresh green chiliies                      2

Garlic pods (Sliced)                      3

Salt                                            to taste

Method ;

Wash the leaves thoroughly and chop them fine. Take the mustard oil in a deep bottomed pan on high heat. Add the nigella seeds, dried red chillies, saute for a few seconds and then add the green chillies and slices of garlic. saute again for a few seconds, making sure not to burn the garlic slices.Throw the leaves in, cover and cook for about 7 to 8 minutes till done. Sprinkle salt, give it a nice mix.

Enjoy with hot rice and a side of mustard sauce aka kasundi.

Gobi Roast: Roasted Cauliflower, GF

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By  Ratna

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I  always  struggle  with  the  side  dish.  The  main  dish  is  easy  to  pick,  the  carb  follows  the  main  dish,  dessert  is  good  with  whatever  you  choose.  That  leaves  us  with  a  side.  What  is  that  going  to  be.

While  growing  up  it  would  be  easy,  whatever  was  available  in  the  season.  Eggplant,  Okra  in  the  summer.  Cauliflower,  Turnip  and  other  root  vegetables  in    winter.  Hawkers  would  sell  door  to  door.  The  wooden  cart  neatly  arranged,  they  would  call  out  their  wares.  There  would  be  others  who  would  tinkle  their  bells.  They  all  came  by  at  a  fixed  time.  I  remember  at  times  anxiously  waiting  for  the  familiar  call.  Its  something  like  the  ice  cream  truck’s  music  here  in  the  west.

untitledThings  have  changed  since.  The  season  is  not  a  hindrance  anymore.  Thanks  to  modren  technology,  produce  from  Peru  or  Ecuador  can  be  at  our  doorstep  in  no  time.  We  are  spoilt  with  choices.  Eggplant  and  Cauliflower  could  be  rubbing  shoulders  in  my  refrigerator.

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Coming  back  to  the  recipe,  I  love  when  part  of  the  dish  can  be  finished  in  the  oven.  That  seems  to  free  up  valuable  time.  The  beauty  of  this  recipe  is  you  can  crank  up  the  spices  or  go  for  a  ‘less  fiery’  option.

Friends  do  you  have  hard  time  deciding  the  side  dish?  I’d  love  to  hear  from  you.  Please  leave  me  a  comment..

Recipe:

Ingredients;

Cauliflower                                                         1  large

Onion                                                                  1/2  cup  chopped

Garlic                                                                  3  cloves

Ginger                                                                  1/2  inch

Tomatoes                                                            2  small

Canola  oil                                                           4  Tbsps

Salt                                                                      To  taste

Coriander  powder                                                1  tsp

Cumin  powder                                                       1  tsp

Turmeric  powder                                                    1/2  tsp

Cilantro                                                                   1/2  cup  chopped

Bay  leaf                                                                  1

Cardamom  pods                                                   2-3,  crushed

Green  chilli                                                             2  (  optional  )

Method:

Pre  heat  oven  to  350  F

Wash  the  cauliflower,  leave  it  whole  or  divide  it  in  two.  Sprinkle  salt  and  turmeric,  keep  aside.

Put  the  onion,  garlic,  ginger,  tomatoes  and  chilli  if  using,  in  a  blender  and  make  a  fine  paste.

Take  a  deep  bottom  pan  with  a  Tbsp  oil  on  high  heat.  Put  the  bay  leaf  and  cardamom  pods  in  it,  as  soon  as  the  pods  crackle  add  the  cauliflower.  Fry  for  a  minute  or  two  until  it  gets  a  light  brown  colour.  Take  it  out  of  the  pan.

Add  2  Tbsps  oil  in  the  same  pan  and  add  the  onion  paste.  Throw  in  the  cumin,  coriander  powder.  Check  the  salt,  add  more  if  needed  now.  Saute  the  Masala  or  spice  paste  on  medium  heat  until  the  oil  separates  from  the  mixture,  about  8-9  minutes.  Put  the  gas  off.  Smear  this  mixture  all  over  the  cauliflower.

Take  an  oven  safe  vessel  and  add  1  Tbsp  oil.  Seat  the  cauliflower  in  it.  Cover  and  bake  for  30  minutes.

Garnish  with  cilantro  and  serve  hot.

Inside  Scoop;

Please  do  not  get  put  off  by  the  long  list  of  ingredients.  A  small  collection  of  these  spices  in  your  pantry  can  come  handy  in  many  Indian  recipes.

While  frying  the  spice  mixture,  keep  stirring  so  it  doesn’t  stick  to  the  bottom  of  the  pan.

Sauted Potato and peanuts : Aloo aur moongphali Ki Sukhi Subji

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By Ratna

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Have  you  noticed  how  sometimes  ordinary  things  can  become  extraordinary?  Things  that  otherwise  wouldn’t  be  noticed  or  talked  about  or  even  given  a  moment’s  thought,  can  sometimes  be  the  one  we  look  at  with  dreamy  eyes.

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Now  opening  the  window  to  let  some  air  in,  isn’t  exactly  an  exotic  act,  by  any  standards,  we  all  agree.  But  when  the  window  had  to  be  kept  closed  for  the  last  five  months,  when  the  window  was  the  only  barrier  between  our  warm  self  and  the  hostile  elements  outside,   then  one  fine  morning,  voilla,   the  nature  decides  to  be  kind  to  us,  the  temperatures  struggle  above  zero,  that  first  whiff  of  the  cold  air  from the  open  window  touching  the  cheek.  Now  this  could  qualify  for  a  memorable  event.

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The  warmer  temperatures  is  working  magic  on  my  surroundings  too.  The  geese  and  gulls  are  back  scouting  for  the  best  spot  to  nest.  It  doesn’t  matter  that  the  lakes  are  still frozen.  The  leaf  buds  are  swollen  too.

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This  brings  us  to  our  dish  for  today.  Potato  isn’t  exactly  ‘The  king  of  vegetables’,  is  it ?    It  is  a  very  basic,  rustic,  ‘just  there’,  everyday  source  of  carbs.    That  can  be  changed  though.  Try  this  flavourful  dish  from  Gujrat,  a  province  in  Western    India.

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The  crunch  from  the  peanuts  balances  the  mushy-ness  of  the  potatoes.  Then  there  is  the  sour,  sweet,  salty  and  heat  working  all  together,  as  a  team.  The  four  different  tastes  kept  under  a  tight  leash.  Not  one  of  them  get  to  show  their  true  colours.    The delicate  flavours  from  the  cilantro  and  cumin  seeds  add  interest  to  the  dish.

Ordinary  to  exciting.

It  is  a  good  thing.

Recipe:  Serves  6-8  as  a  side.

Ingredients;

Potato                                                                          Six  medium

Ginger                                                                          One  inch  grated

Peanuts                                                                       Three  quarter  cup,  coarse  ground

Curry leaves                                                                8-10

Coriander leaves                                                         Quarter  cup  chopped

Sesame  seeds                                                           One  Tbsp

Cumin  seeds                                                            One  tsp

Cloves                                                                       6-8

Green chillies                                                             Four,  finely  chopped

Salt                                                                           To  taste

Lemon juice                                                             One   Tbsp

Canola oil                                                                 Two  Tbsp

Paneer cubes                                                            One  cup,  cubed,  lightly  fried  (optional)

Raisins                                                                     One  tbsp

Black  pepper  powder                                            One  pinch

Method:

Boil  the  potatoes,  peel  and  cut  them  in  half  inch  cubes.  Sprinkle  some  salt  and  keep  it  aside.

Heat  oil  in  a  pan  on  high. Add  the  green  chilli  pieces,  ginger  and  curry  leaves.  Crank  the  heat  down  to  medium.  Saute  for  a  few  minutes  then  add  the  cumin  seeds  and  cloves.  Wait  for  the  cumin  seeds  to  have  a  bit  of  colour,  then  add  the  peanuts.  Keep  stirring  till  the  nuts  are  light  brown  in  colour.  Next throw  in  the  sesame  seeds  and  raisins  ,  fry  for  a  few  seconds  and  add  the  lemon  juice.  The  seeds  should  not  be  burnt.

Next  add  the  potato  pieces.  If  using   Paneer,  add  them  now.  Stir  to  bring  everything  together.  Taste  to  check  the  salt.  Throw  in  a  large  pinch  of  black  pepper,  garnish  with  cilantro  pieces.

Inside  Scoop;

This  is  a  recipe  given  to  me  by  my  good  friend  Rohini.

Check  for  a  balance  of  flavours,  do  not  hesitate  to  titrate  it  to  your  taste.  We  are  looking  for  a  balance  of  salt,  sour,  sweet  and  hot.  If  you  are  not  too  keen  about  the  chillies,  lessen  or  omit  them.  The  ginger  and  black  pepper  will  impart  a  bit  of  heat  anyway.

This  can  be  served  as  a  side  dish  with  either  Roti  (  Indian  flat  bread ),  Poori  ( Indian  fried  bread  ),  or  rice.  Adding  Panner  cubes  to  this  dish  can  add  the  protein  and  elevate  this  dish  to  a  main  course.

I  only  had  red  chillies  today,  so  used  them.

Paneer  is  a  form  of  cheese  that  is  available  in  Indian  grocery  store  or  even  in  the  World  food  section  of  Superstore.

 

 

 

Stuffed Baby Eggplants in Yoghurt Sauce

 

By  Ratnastuffed  eggplant-720

“Staaaart  the  car”,  I  felt  like  calling  out,  as  the  lady  did  in  the  IKEA  ad.  The  prices  of  lentils  had  been  slashed  for  Vaishakhi  festival  in  the  grocery  store.  Limit  four  per  customer  it  cautioned  in  fine  print.  This  is  at  a  time  when  I’m   participating  in  the  Lentil  Recipe  Revelation  Challenge“.  The  countertop  in  my  kitchen  is  starting  to  look  like  the  Biology  lab.  Red,  green,  black  lentils,  some  soaked  in  containers,  others  wrapped  in  cheesecloth,  some  sprouting,  others  doubling  in  size.  The  racks  in  the  fridge  displaying  leftover  lentil  paste  individually  ziplocked  and  labelled.

This  is  my  entry  for  ”  Best  in  main  course”   category  for  the  Lentil  Revelation  Challenge.  Stuffing  vegetables  is  quite  common.   The  possibilities  for  the  stuffing  are  endless.  It  could  either  be  with  vegetables,  or  lentils,   nuts,    meat  or   even  a  combination  of  any  of  these..  The  stuffed  vegetable  can  either  be  enjoyed  just  fried  or  in  a  bed  of  sauce.  We  like  it  with  rice  in  this  household.  It  can  very  well  be  paired  with  Naan  or  rotis.

The  uniqueness  of  the  recipe  has  been  simplifying   it   with  fewer  ingredients  and  substituting  Lentil  powder  instead  of  gram  flour.   Adding  the  stuffed  eggplants  in  the  yoghurt  sauce  in  the end  works  better  in  my  hands.  This  eliminates  the  risk  of  the  yoghurt  splitting  when heated.

You  can  read  my  entry  in  “Best  in  appetizer”  category  here.

I  need  your  help  friends.  Do  you  like  the  idea  of  this  recipe?  Does  the  picture  make  you  want  to  go  shopping  for  baby  eggplants?  Please  leave  a  comment  below.  I  would  like  to  know  your  thoughts. Thanks  for  visiting.

Recipe:

Ingredients;

Baby  eggplants                                                                                                About  8

For  the  stuffing,

Split  and skinned  green  lentil  powder                                                            Half  cup

Peanuts, coarsely  ground                                                                                  Half  cup

Cumin  seeds  whole                                                                                            Half  tsp

Asafoetida  or  Hing                                                                                              One  pinch

Salt                                                                                                                        To  taste

Canola  oil                                                                                                              For  deep frying

Turmeric  powder                                                                                                 Half  tsp

For  the  gravy,

Greek  yoghurt                                                                                                      Two  cups

Sugar                                                                                                                    To  taste

Chilli  powder                                                                                                        To  taste

Roasted  and  ground  cumin  into  powder                                 half  tsp

Salt                                                                                                  To  taste

Cilantro                                                                                           One  tsp  finely  chopped

Method;

Wash    eggplants  with  water.  Make  two  slits  in  it  all  the  way  except  near  the  stalk.  This  will  leave  them  in  one  piece  while  creating  room  for  stuffing.  Sprinkle  salt  and  turmeric  powder.  Let  it  sit  for  about  five  minutes.  Take  oil  in  a  wok  and  deep  fry  them.  Place  them  on  paper  towels.

Stuffing:     Place  a  Tbsp  of  oil  in  a  pan  on  high  heat.  Throw  in  the  cumin  seeds,  as  soon  as  it  is  lightly  coloured,  add the  hing.  Wait  for the  aroma,  this is  the  cue  to  add  the  lentil  paste  and  chopped  peanuts.  Bring  the  flame  down  to  medium  and   saute  for  a  few  minutes.  Add  salt  to  taste.  As  is  gets  dry,  add  some  water.  Cover  and  cook  for a  few  minutes.  It  should  be  the  consistency  of  a  thick  paste.  Turn off  the gas.

Carefully  pack  the  stuffing  in  the  eggplants  with  a  small  spoon.  I’d  be  careful so  that  the  stalk  remains  intact.  When  done,  keep  it  aside.  Save  the  left  over  stuffing.

Clean  the  pan  where  the  the  stuffing  was  prepared  and  place  it  on  medium  heat.  Add  a  cup  of  water   with  any  leftover  stuffing.   Carefully  seat  the  eggplants  one  by  one  into  the  pan.  Cover,   simmer  for  a  few  minute.  Close  gas.

Whisk  the  yoghurt  with  half  cup  water. Add  salt,  sugar  and  chilli  powder.  Balance  to  your taste.   Skip  the  chilli  powder  for a  mild  taste.  Add  the  roasted  and  ground  cumin  seed  powder.  Carefully  add  the  stuffed  eggplants  and  the  gravy.  Garnish  with  cilantro.  The  thickness  of  the  yoghurt  sauce  can  be  adjusted  by  adding  water,  to  your  liking.

Inside  Scoop;

I  bought  Moong  dal  (  split  and  skinned  green  lentil  )  flour, from  the  local  Indian  grocery  store.  If  that  is  not  available,  soak  the  lentils  the  night  before ,  grind  with  little  water.

When  enjoyed  with  rice  or  Naan   it  can  be  a full  meal.  The  lentils  are  a  good  source  of  protein .

I  cooked  this  last  evening  after  getting  back  from  work.  We  enjoyed  it  for  supper.  With  a  bit  of  planning  it  can  work  as  a   weeknight  supper.

Peanuts   can  be   substituted   with  grated  coconut.

Phool Kofi Aloor Dalna (Cauliflower with Peas & Potatoes)

Cauliflower  with  peas  and  potatoes

By  Ratna

Phool kofi-689

The  clocks  have  moved  forward.  Sprung  forward.  Adjusting  the  clock  could  be  a  bit  confusing  sometimes.  The  way  I  remember  is  we  go  to  work  an  hour  early.  The  thought  of  going  to  work  early  may  not  be  something  to  look  forward  to,  for  anybody,  me  included.  There  still  is  an  excitement  with  the  words  “sprung  forward”.  This  also  means  somewhere  I  see  the  words  “Spring”.  Ah  yes,  Spring.

The  picture  of  Tulip  heads  swaying  with  the  wind  and  chirping  of  the  birds  immediately  come  to  mind.  Alas,  I  do  not  see  any  of  those  yet.   Ravens  and   Magpies  are  the  resident  bird  species   around.   They  don’t  seem  to  mind  the  weather.  Their  nests  now  exposed  in  between  the  branches  of  the  leafless  trees,  looking  like a  game  of  tic  tac  toe.    The  sun  tries  hard  to  melt  the  snow.  It  barely  makes  a  dent  some days  even  with  the  help  of  its  accomplice  the  wind. The  lakes   were  frozen  solid  untill  a  week  back.   The  neighbourhood  kids  took  advantage  of  this  by  playing  a  game  of  hockey  on  it.

Growing  up  Cauliflower  was  a  vegetable  of  winter.  Cauliflower  of  all  sizes  used  to  flood  the  markets.  With  school  being  closed  for  the  christmas  holidays,  we  would  sleep  in.  Breakfast  would  be  a  lazy  affair.  Friends  would  stop  by  late  morning.  We  played  badminton.  The  proper  court  was  a  few  blocks  away.  We  played  impromptu  games  on  makeshift  courts.  The  branches  of  the  mango  tree  of  Anita  Kakima”s  house  to  the  poinsettia  bush  in  our  house  used  to  be  the   net  line.  Marked  on  the  ground  for  better  reference  using  a  few  irregular  twigs  from  the  garden.  Ma  and  Baba  tended  to  our  garden,  as  if  that  was  another  of  our  sibling.  Rose,  Chrysanthemum,  Dahlia  in  round,  rectangular  beds  would  reward  their  efforts  manifold.  We  would  straddle  our  feet  very  carefully   between  the  two  flower  beds . The  effort  paid  most  of  the  times.  The  shuttle  cock  would  put  us  in  big  trouble  sometimes,  landing  on  the   pink  Damask  rose,  that  was  so  perfect  until  then.

Phool kofi-602

The  smell  of   cauliflower  being  cooked  would  waft  from  our  kitchen  window. That  would  be  our  cue  to  wind  up  the game  soon.  Ma  would  be  asking  us  to  get  ready  for  lunch.

Phool kofi-688

There  would  be  days  when  she  would  ask  us  for  help.  Cutting  some  vegetables  or  shelling  the  peas. “Dekho,  hath  keto   na”,  she  would  caution,  careful,  don’t  cut  your  hand.  In  between  stirring  the  Dalna,  she  would  run  her  eyes  on  the  Thonga,  the  carrier  bags.  The  ‘Thongas’  were  made  from  old  newspapers,  unlike  the  brown  paper  bags  we  have here.  There  were  two  windows  in  the  kitchen.  The  one  faced  east  led  the  eyes  towards  our  garden,  her  children  playing.  “Let  me  take  a  look  at  your  knee”,   she  would  demand  rightfully  some days,  “Pore  gele  dekhlam”.  “Saw  you  slip”.  The  north  facing  window  gave  a  view  of  the  road  leading  to  the  neighbourhood  properties.  Why  was  the  ambulance  waiting  in  front  of  Meeradi’s  house,  she  worried.  Ma  had  the  pulse  for  our  house  and  of  the  neighbourhood,  sitting  on  her  low  stool  in  the  kitchen.  A  pilot  in  the  cockpit, all  the  while   humming  a  few  lines  from  her  favourite  Rabindra  Sangeet.  Talk  about  multitasking.

Phool kofi-691-2

We  have  made  progress.  One  doesn’t  have  to  wait  for  winter  to  have  cauliflower  or  peas.  Mangoes  can  be  enjoyed   year  round.  Snow  could  be  on  grounds  in  the  Prairies,   it  is  still  summer  in  Peru  or  Mexico.  Novel  methods  of  storing  and  transporting   almost  anything  to  anywhere ,  anytime  has  been  made  possible.  Nature  has  been  put  on  the  backseat.  Apparently  we  want  things  here, now.

Friends,  do  you  have any  fond  memories  of  food  with  a  particular  season?  What  are  your  thoughts  on  eating  seasonal?

Recipe:

Ingredients:

Cauliflower                    Half  head  of  a  big  cauliflower,  cut  into  medium  florets.

Potatoes                       Two  medium,  cut  into  small  cubes.  I  keep  them  skin  on.

Green  peas                  Half  cup  shelled.  I  used  frozen.

Tomatoes                     Four  medium  chopped  into  small  cubes

Cilantro                        Chopped,  two  tsp

Bay  leaf                      Couple

Ginger                           One  inch  grated

Cumin  seeds                One  and  half  tsp

Turmeric  powder         One  half  tsp

Chilli  powder                 One  quarter  tsp

Coriander  powder        Two  tsp

Cumin  powder             One  tsp

Salt                                To  taste

Canola  oil                      Four  tbsp

Ghee                               One  tsp

Garam  masala               One  tsp

Method:

Put  the  canola  oil  in  a  wok  on  high  heat.  Add  cumin  seeds  and  bay  leaf  when  the  oil  is hot.  As  soon  as  the  cumin  seeds  get  a  bit  of  colour  and  a  nice  smell  comes  out,  throw  in  the  potatoes.  Sprinkle  salt  and  turmeric.  Saute  till  the  corners of  the  potatoes  turn  golden.  Cover  a  bit.  Add  the  cauliflower  florets  now. Give  it  a  nice  stir.  Lower  the  gas  to  medium.  In  a  small  bowl  add  cumin,  coriander,  chilli  powder  and  the  chopped  tomatoes.  Make  a thick  paste  by  adding  water.  Add  this  paste  to  the  wok.  Stir  intermittently  until  the  oil  separates  from  the  spices.  Careful  it  doesn’t  get  burned.  Now  add  three  cups  of  water  and  the  grated  ginger.  Cover  and  let  it  cook  till  done.  The  gravy  should  be  thick,  adjust  water  accordingly.  Put  the  gas  off,  add  the  peas,  ghee  and  garam  masala.  Garnish  with  chopped  cilantro.  Keep  covered  until  serving.

Check  the  taste.  Enjoy  with  rice . You  can  also  make  it  into  a  wrap,  using  tortillas  or  rotis   with  a  little  bit  yoghurt  by  the  side.

Inside  scoop:

Ma  Baba               Mum  and  Dad.

Taste  the  Dalna,  adjust  to  your  taste.  My  husband  N,  likes  things  a  bit  sweet,  so  I  squirt  a  bit  of  Tomato  Ketchup  towards  the  end.

Dalna  is  a preparation where  the  gravy  is  thicker.

Meeradi                      Di  or  Didi  is  respectfully suffixed name,  when  the  person  is  older

Kakima                      Dad’s  brother’s  wife.  Loosely  used  for  aunty.

Garam  masala         Available  in  stores.  “How  to”  in  another  post.

Special  occasions  demand  less  healthy  options.  The  cauliflower  and  potatoes  for  those  occasions  are  fried  separately,  then  the  above  recipe  followed.  For  everyday  cooking  I  try  to  limit  the  oil.