Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Aratikaya Vepudu/Stir-fried Raw Plantain

Dear Foodies,

Plantain Fry
Vegetables don't really need much done to them in order to taste good. Most of the veggie sides that my mom cooks are easy to make, subtly spiced and are more about showcasing the flavor of the vegetable. Lesser ingredients mean lesser prep time and this is something that is common in almost all regional cuisines.

I'm cooking many more proper meals these days, not many experimental salads or cereals for dinner now :D In the process, when I run out of ideas I ask my mom and mil for their recipes for certain vegetables and try them out. Though both our families are from the same state, our meals could not have been more different. The cooking methods, the daily meal format and the choice of spices are all different. So there is a lot more variety to choose from now. I've decided to explore the two styles and will continue to share these family recipes with you here.

Having moved to San Diego, I have access to a well stocked Indian grocery store and I am thankful for it since the Indian restaurant scene is pitiful. I found some good raw plantains on my last trip to the store, and this simple stir fry is one of my favorites ways to cook it. The least time consuming too. Green Plantains are not raw banana's but a variety in themselves. Ripe plantains are used to make desserts, but the unripe ones are what I prefer to cook with. They can be turned into scrumptious chips, sauteed with basic seasonings, or steamed and seasoned with mustard, cumin, grated coconut, curry leaves and a squeeze of lime. More about the last one in a future post.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Swiss Chard Paneer

Dear Foodies,

The colder temperatures outside make you crave for hearty, warm food that comforts the soul and the body. It could sometimes be answered by a hearty bowl of soup, or a piled up sandwich. But sometimes you just want to feel the warm grains of rice against your fingers and gobble it up with a side dish of your choice. Nothing can match the satisfaction of eating rice for me, I almost always tend to over eat when its around. And when its paired with greens, you can even convince yourself that its good for you :)

Most greens taste wonderful simply sautéed in your oil of choice, a little garlic and crushed chilli flakes. Spinach, swiss chard, collard greens all do great cooked this way. But last Tuesday at the farmer's market I noticed that huge piles of greens were being lapped up by the bag loads. I couldn't identify them immediately. Curious to see what they were I went to get a closer look and noticed tiny bell peppers growing on a few, while some others had squash flowers and others had little string beans growing on them. I have never seen these being used in cooking before and asked one of the ladies picking up yet another bag of them. And there it was again, sauté in oil with garlic! On my next visit I'm going to be grabbing some of those greens too, and yes, will report back to you :) I suddenly feel like I have many more options for my greens and not just spinach.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Jihva - Wedding Feasts Round-up

Dear foodies,

Finally, the much delayed and promised round-up is here. I thank all you of who made time to cook a recipe dear to your heart and write about your memories and stories. I feel guilty for not having done justice to them by presenting the round up earlier. It was great to read all the blog posts and also the comments and good wishes left here on my blog while I went MIA. I hope the wonderful delicacies below, and the lovely stories around them will appease you :)So without further ado, I present you the round-up. There is a link at the bottom of the images stating the name of the dish and the link to the recipe. Bon Appetit!

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