Featuring photos this week by Gilbert Roe.
It was an amazing day today, beginning with me falling down the concrete stairs to the garage. Traumatised more than actually hurt, pride suffering more than body, I am now the owner of a very sore big toe, a hole in the knee of my cropped pants, a dented pride, and some scruffs and scrapes on my lower limbs. It could have been much much worse.
It did take me a while for my body to get over the shock of that fall, so in the end I decided to work from home/take it easy as after all, I had worked all weekend running workshops and attacking that endless pile of bookwork.
The Bookshelf and Dinner
It gave me a chance to further delve into the new pile of cookbooks that arrived during last week. 9 in all, furthering my interest in Sth Indian food, traditions and routines, and, linked to this, in Ayurveda. One book that I like particularly is Grains, Greens and Coconuts. It’s full of Keralite dishes (from Kerala on the West coast of India). This book is going to be a treasure.
Tonight’s dinner is going to be Rosa Matta rice with Moth Bean Sprouts; Ripe Mango Yoghurt Curry; Spicy Spinach Mash — the last two dishes from that book.
More in The Kitchen
And am planning a tomato salad from my childhood. My mother, with her Germanic background, used to make a tomato and cucumber salad each summer which always delighted. Take tomatoes and cucumbers and slice very thinly. Arrange them nicely – my mother would make circles on a plate using one tomato slice then one cucumber slice etc. Sprinkle with a little sugar to bring out the sweetness. Scatter over some finely chopped salad onions, chives or spring onions. Make a dressing from cream, salt, pepper, fresh lemon juice and/or a good wine vinegar. Pour it over and chill the salad till serving.
I will also probably cook a sambar, ready for lunch tomorrow. I add the mango seeds in the last 15 mins or so and they flavour the sambar and the sambar flavours the seeds, leaving them perfect for sucking the last of the mango from the seeds. Yum.
Lassis Sweet and Salty
This hot weather has demanded cooling foods such as yoghurt, mangoes, coconut and Celtic Sea salt (to replace vital minerals lost in the heat). What better than Lassis? Take some plain yoghurt, a few icecubes and place in a blender.
For a sweet lassie, add half a mango, some honey or sugar, a pinch of cardamom, and blend as you would a smoothie.
For a salt Lassi, add salt, turmeric, black pepper, cumin powder, even a little chilli if you wish. Blend as you would a smoothie.
You can add some milk or water to thin the yoghurt if necesary.
Both are so delicious! I am making them every day at the moment, and on the hottest of days, a lassi, sweet or salty, makes a great breakfast.
Thirteen Treasure Happiness Soup
It’s not quite the weather in Adelaide for this hearty soup, but my Sydney-based daughter made it the other day in their rainy weather and declared it comforted, cheered and satisfied the whole (fussy) family. I haven’t yet posted it on my main site, so here is the recipe:
Ganga’s 13 Treasure Happiness Soup (Provencale Vegetable Soup)
This soup is SO delicious – and makes me so happy when I eat it. The 13 vegetables in it and that wonderful warm, happiness feeling gave the soup its name, but really it is from Provencale in France. There it is a summer soup, but the addition here of potatoes, pumpkin and sweet potato give it that wonderful warmth for winter and introduce truly wonderful texture combination sin every mouthful.
My parents believe firmly that vegetables are the path to health ,and so a normal meal at their place may consist of many vegetables. The record number of veggies at this time is 9, yes NINE, at once on a plate. But with this recipe, I think that I claim the prize. Thirteen in one sitting. Not bad.
The basil and garlic pistou gives the soup extra flavour and colour as well as a wonderful aroma, so don’t leave it out! The soup can be cooked and the pistou made 1 or 2 days in advance and kept chilled until time to reheat gently.
|275 g shelled fresh broad beans (if in spring) or 3/4 cup dried haricot or cannellini beans, soaked overnight, or even a can of haricot or cannelloni beans||pinch thyme, sage, rosemary||2 cloves garlic|
|1 Tblspn olive oil||1 onion, finely chopped||1 large leek finely sliced|
|1 celery stick, finely sliced||2 carrots, finely diced||2 small potatoes, finely diced|
|1 slice of peeled pumpkin, finely diced||a 7cm slice sweet potato, peeled and finely diced||115 g french beans|
|1.5 litres water, chicken stock or vege stock||2 small zucchini||3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped|
|handful spinach leaves, cut into thin ribbons||salt and freshly ground black pepper||springs fresh basil to garnish|
|1 handful peas|
|Pistou||1 or 2 garlic cloves||15 g basil leaves|
|4 Tblspn grated parmesan cheese||4 Tblspn extra virgin olive oil|
|few pine nuts or cashew nuts|
To make the soup, if using dried beans, drain, place in a saucepan and cover with water. Cook for 10 minutes and then drain.
Place them, the canned beans or the fresh broad beans in a saucepan with the herbs and one of the garlic cloves. Add the stock or water to cover by 2.5 cms. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer over a medium low heat until tender – about 5 minutes for canned beans, 10 minutes for fresh beans or 1 hour for dried beans. Set aside in the cooking liquid.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole. Add the onion and leek and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften. Add the celery, carrots and the remaining garlic clove. Cook, covered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potato, French beans and remaining water or stock, season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Add the courgettes, tomatoes and peas, with the reserved beans and their cooking liquid and simmer for about 10 – 20 minutes until all the veges are tender. Add the spinach to the hot stock and let wilt. Simmer for no more than 5 minutes more. Season the soup.
Serve with a swirl of pistou in each bowl, and garnish with basil.
To make the Pistou Put the garlic, nuts, basil and parmesan in a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides once. with the machine running, slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube. Alternatively, and for a better taste (I think), pound the basil, cheese, nuts in a mortar and pestle, and slowly stir in the oil while mixing.
- Mangai Sambar (Raw Mango Seeds in Sambar) (peppermill-miri.blogspot.com)
- Cucumber salad (desifoodbuzz.com)
- Soups and Salads Mela ~ Part 2 (cooking4allseasons.blogspot.com)
- Cool as a Cucumber, Melon and Tomato Salad (redactedrecipes.com)
- Fenugreek Sprouts Salad (talimpu.com)
- Cucumbers Aren’t Just For Pickling. Fast Salad For An End Of Summer Feast (thecolorsofindiancooking.com)
- January 9th, 2012: Mung Beans and Soup (ganga108.wordpress.com)