Thursday, 16 August 2012

Greedy Guts and the Asafoetida

This post is part of Pavarti.K.Taylor's CELEBRATE COMMUNITY BLOG HOP AUGUST 16 - 19
I am not a bad cook just a lazy one. I can spend nights planning out chapters for my novel in my head, but when it comes to cooking,  it is as if my movements slow down till I am living life in slow-motion, unable to really put one step in front of the other, my thoughts all glued together. Powerless in differentiating the separate ingredients,  my eyes become inept unable to navigate through the minefield of the simplest recipe,  my hands lose dexterity—the easiest tasks become mountains to be crossed, my mind moseys around the room, pushing at boundaries, not really wanting to follow rules, yet my taste buds have already leaped forward  to the outcome of my efforts, yum—real home cooked food, bringing with it the flavours of my childhood, warming my heart with love, glowing my soul with joy, losing all rational thought, I decide I have to give myself a shot at making one of my favourite  food items just one more time. It was only after I left the umbrella of my birth-home—to quench the raging wanderlust inside me which had refused to curl up and go away—that I realised I actually had to cook to eat. No more, was hot piping food soothed with a mother’s love going to magically appear on the living room table. Even then, I celebrated the first many years of living-on-my-own-with-no-rules in a burst of expansive, formless, meals, which were also sadly, quite tasteless. The day arrived when my palate lay down on the floor and refused to move till I had picked up the skillet and actually decided to cook for myself. The very first dish I made, was an all-time favourite, very easy to turn around—as you may well imagine—and extremely tasty. It’s called Upma normally made with semolina (cracked wheat) and originates from the Southern state of Karnataka in India. Best of all, it is really quick, so I don’t have to wait long before I jump from being chef to greedy guts.  Here's the recipe:
Upma

Basic Information
·     Preparation Time: Under fifteen minutes
      Serves: 2 people


Lakshmi Hing
 The most famous Asafoetida of all time, named after my namesake Goddess




Ingredients

Yummy ingredients
  • 1 cup semolina rava (fried in a pan with a dash of indian ghee -- clarified butter till light brown)
  • 2 onions , chopped
  • 8 green chillies
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 small bunch coriander dhania
  • 1 small bunch curry leaves kadi patta
  • 2 carrots , chopped
  • 100 gms chopped french beans
  • handful of fresh green peas
  • 2 cloves laung / lavang
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cashewnuts kaju
  • salt to taste


For Seasoning
  • 1 - 2  teaspoons of ghee Indian clarified butter
  • mustard seeds 
  • urad dal split black lentils

Method
  1. Heat the ghee in a pan.
  2. Add cashews first and fry till light brown. Then add the mustard seed and urad dal, let it splutter add curry leaves, chilies and onions. Fry well till the onions leave oil.
  3. Add precooked vegetables and fry again for 2 mts, then add tomatoes, powdered cloves and cinnamon with garam masala. Boil water in a separate pan.
  4. Add the boiling water to this fried ingredients add salt, mix well for 1 min.
  5. Add rava slowly and stir well, without forming lumps this here is my cue to wander off into the garden, or pick up a book or get onto twitter!
  6. Once its done add coriander leaves and lime juice. that's the secret ingredient
  7. Serve with mango pickle or coconut chutney.



Et voila! you gourmet chef you, pat myself on back!

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