Saturday, October 11, 2014

Curried Cauliflower

Cauliflower, which is becoming a trendy vegetable, got a shout-out from the New York Times in a recent article. The article called cauliflower "a feisty vegetable that can take a punch" and recommended cooking it with bold spices in high heat. It goes on to say "Asian spices marry well with cauliflower". Well indeed. In northern India, cauliflower (Phool gobi) is one of several winter time vegetables eaten with roti or Indian flat bread.

One of my favorite ways of making gobi curry is the one I learned from my mother. What my mother used to do was to add a tablespoon or two of gram flour (besan) when the curry is almost cooked and give the curry to good toss and saute it for a few extra minutes. What one gets is a texture and taste of pakoras without the oil and the deep frying.

Here is how to do it:

1. Cauliflower
2. Usual spices (salt, turmeric, chilli powder, masala)
3. One tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon coconut oil
4. 1-2 tablespoon of besan (gram flour)
4. Black mustard for tempering


1. Cut the vegetable in medium sized chunks. The vegetable should be able to retain its shape after cooking.

2. In a pan heat oil and add the mustard.
3. After the mustard has finished popping, add the cut cauliflower.
4. Add the spices and saute in low heat till cauliflower is cooked. Cook it al dente. That is, it should still retain its shape and crunchiness.

5. Add the coconut oil now and sprinkle the besan on top. Toss with spatula so that the oil and besan coat the cauliflower uniformly.

6. Turn up the heat little and continue to saute till the besan turns brown.

7. Remove from heat and transfer to a dish. Serve with rice or roti.

Enjoy. Thanks for visiting

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sabudana Vada Tapioca Sago Patties

Sabudana (sago or tapioca pearls) vada (patties) is not a south Indian food. It is a Bombay snack but has become very popular in Chennai. I never had it when I was growing up in Delhi. But, my mother made it when I visited her after I had moved to the US. I learned this recipe from her. 

What you will need

Sago (Sabudana or ஜவ்வரிசி or साबुदाना): 1 cup

Baking potatoes: 2
Raw peanuts: 1/2 cup
Green chillies (optional)
Salt (to taste)
Chickpea or gram flour: 1 tablespoon
Oil for frying

1. Soak sago in water overnight. It will become spongy and puffy. Drain it completely in a sieve to remove all water.

2. Cook the potatoes till they become soft. Remove the skin and mash thoroughly.

3. Crush the peanuts coarsely.
4. Mix in sago, potatoes, peanuts, ginger, chillies, gram flour and salt.

5. Take a spoonful of the mix and flatten into a patty. 

6. Heat oil in a frying pan. When it reaches appropriate temperature. drop patties into the hot oil, two at a time.

7. Remove from heat when they turn golden on both sides and drain on a paper towel to remove extra oil.

8. Serve with mint or tamarind chutney.

Thanks for visiting.

Artwork on New Surface

Wood is my new substrate of choice for painting. It began when I spotted small, inexpensive 4"x6" wood panels at Michaels. I bought a whole bunch of them to paint. It was pine or balsa wood and not the best surface to paint. But it was a good experimental surface to try out inks, paints, pencils, markers, pens etc. to see how they preformed on wood. From pine, I switched to birch wood and simply loving the effect! In the last two weeks, I have completed several paintings and put them up for sale on my Etsy shop. Take a look

Thanks for visiting.