Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I have a weakness....

When I teach I like to start each class with an introduction- I know it is probably the hardest thing we do in the class and thrown at people first off- but it breaks the ice,
I get an idea of people and interests and I really encourage everyone to take note because the group's experience and ideas is a big part of the richness of any class...take this time to pick the teacher's brains for sure but don't miss out on sampling the rest of the wealth in the room as well.
I often feel I am at an AA meeting when I start this off, "Hello my name is Fiona, I have an addiction...textiles are a passion, and I spend a great deal of time thinking of my next fix....blah, blah, balh"
I realise I am that way about cooking as well, I collect recipes like crazy, always trying out something new;  a few weeks ago I was looking for a recipe for appe, a south Indian morsel it was in none of my cook books so I did something dangerous...looking for THE fix I wandered into the dark allyways of the internet and got dragged into a whole world a foodie hangouts.
I only use the internet for what I am doing, don't often linger there and certainly not go peeping. Well I peeped and I am hooked.
I even signed up to a blog - aptly named "Seduce your Tastesbuds" it certainly seduced me, she-Padmajha writes to me personally with a new idea almost everyday [OK it is an email list but when I comes into my email box it feels special- just for me!]....always so interesting and tasty I don't have enough time to try everything out!!
What to do? I am hooked, here is something I jotted down a few weeks ago and trialed last night
the Podi is a South India idea like a sprinkle to jazz up your food, lots of roasted dals so it is very nutrious as well. you can make up a jar and have it to hand for lazy days.
It seems to be used in dal dishes but I recon it would go well many different vegie and dal combinations  as well...I have ideas to try out.
This is her Mum's recipe for
Kootu Podi
Channa dhal- 1/2 a cup
Urad dhal-1 cup
Coriander seeds-2 tablespoon
Fenugreek seeds -1 teaspoon
Asafoetida-a large pinch
Pepper corns-1/2 a teaspoon
Red chillies - 10 [adjust to taste]
Oil-2 teaspoons

Bung them in a pan and slow roast, stirring constantly.
I make a cup of tea and sit on the bench to drink it and stir...from horrible experience I know if you get distracted for a minute it burns!!

Until they look like this and smell fantastic, take off heat - remeber pan will hold heat so either stir a little longer or turn onto a plate.
Grind when cool and keep in an airtight jar.

This is the recipe she gave to use the mix- absolutley scrumptous. From her Mum, how wonderful to grow up with a Mum who could cook....
for Keerai Kootu :
Greens-1 bunch,chopped
Toor dhal-1/2 a cup
  • cook these until soft
Peanuts-2 tablespoons
Red chilli-2
Turmeric powder-a pinch
Curry leaves- a few
Mustard-1 teaspoon
Urad dhal-1 teaspoon
Asafoetida powder- a pinch
Salt to taste
  • dry roast these and add to the soft dal/vegies
  • Kootu Podi-2 teaspoons stir through and serve
I added a squeeze of lemon juice- it was so good Praveen and I finished off the pot!
here it is still bubbling in the pot

Let me brag- first harvest from my new garden- Curry Leaves....

And how smart is our government??
Rajasthan is plastic bag free- the rule was passed on 1 August and now there are no plastic bags in the market...yes it is a little difficult remebering to take a carry bag and I do need to carry these paper packets with a bit more care but it will make such a big difference to our enviroment!!
In Australia they have been fiddling with this idea for -it feels like centuries, still no change and they just hide the consequences at the huge dumps outside every town.
Yeh India!!


KerryFelter said...

Ireland passed a plastic bag levy, so that people are charged for bags, to remind them to bring their own. It still needs to go a step further and be plastic free! A lot of stores give paper bags, but this country is too wet for paper bags, so I try to remember to bring my own :)

Jacky said...

Interesting concept the paper bags and no plastic!!!! I know a few of the bigger supermarkets and stores are selling their plastic bags too.
Mmmmmm.... all of your food looks so yummy. I am such a foodie and love curries. I think I will have to take a trip to India one day!!!

Jacky xox

PJ said...

Thanks for ur sweet words Fiona :).Am really glad you guys liked the dish.

Yea now many places in India are changing to 'plastic free' zone and its nice to see Rajastan joining the list.It is one of my fav holiday spots.