Sabudana Khichdi (literally meaning a ‘mishmash’) is a very popular breakfast dish, especially in Maharashtra. Growing up in Mumbai, one sees and consumes this everywhere and even now this is a firm favourite in our household, especially on weekends when one has the opportunity for a more leisurely breakfast.
Sabudana or Tapioca pearls are a processed form of the Tapioca root, and are a common ingredient in Indian kitchens. Sabudana is an accepted food during most religious fasts (vrat) and so it is used extensively on such days to make a variety of foods from breakfast dishes, fried snacks and even desserts.
After a recent visit to my local butcher, I brought home some gorgeous looking thick pork chops. One of my preferred ways to cook them is a low and slow simmer in cider, with apples, onions and sage. But this time, wanting to do something different, I turned to the Porkaholics community on Facebook for ideas. And the suggestions came flooding in. One of the recipes that really caught my fancy was suggested by Arindam Hazarika, who co-founded Arohan Foods, a pork products business in India. Working day in and day out with the product, one would expect him to know what he’s talking about. He described a dish using cardamom, star anise and ginger. And best of all, a beer sauce! How could I resist?
Last weekend, at Chez Kalra’s we made some really awesome black olive tapenade. And joy of joys, we brought the leftover tapenade home with us, leaving our lovely hosts to make some more.
Now while the tapenade tastes lovely with some toasted bread and possibly a little cheese, since that day I’ve been drooling at the idea of having it tossed with a little spaghetti. I happen to have some chilli garlic spaghetti that I got on my last trip to Milan and I figured the taste and colour would go perfectly with the glistening black tapenade. Add in some thick piri-piri sausages, and some garlic and herbs and we have a winner. A delightful dinner for two, so quick and easy that I made in the time it took for the pasta to cook.
My friends Rhea and Kurush have never missed an opportunity to extol the Parsi love of eggs or ‘eedu’ on and with everything. And one of their classic egg dishes is the Akuri, a delightful Parsi version of scrambled eggs, cooked in an onion-tomato masala and spices. Ever since Rhea posted a recipe for Akuri, it’s been lingering at the back of my mind. And so the other day, when I was craving eggs, but still something slightly different, I thought to dig up the recipe and give it a go. To my pleasant surprise, it’s not so different from the Punjabi version we usualy make at home… just subtle differences that you think will affect the dish subtly, but still makes for a fairly distinct dish in the end. I think the biggest difference was the use of ginger, garlic and turmeric.
I love Korean food and in particular Samgyeopsal. I think the idea of wrapping slices of roast meat in lettuce is great. It allows you to focus on great flavours and not feel guilty about consuming loads of carbs in the form of rice, noodles or rotis. Pork belly works beautifully in such dishes, with the streaks of fat providing a lovely counterpoint to the meat and packing loads of yummy pork flavour.
We were feeling like having a light meal tonight, and luckily there was lettuce in the fridge, and some pork belly as well. But rather than just grill it plain, like the Samgyeopsal, I decided to go for a spicier, bulgogi-like variation, with the flavours modeled after the chicken bulgogi served at my local Korean restaurant (the very aptly named Bulgogi).
The July challenge in the ‘We Knead to Bake’ group was to make Tingmos or Ting Momos, which are Tibetan steamed buns, flavoured with ginger, garlic, sprong onions and coriander. Even though these are yeasted breads, they are steamed rather than baked, reminiscent of bao, char siu buns and dim sum rather than the traditional western breads.
Typically eaten at breakfast, these buns are ideal to sop up hot, spicy gravies and sauces. The suggested accompaniment is Sepen, a Tibetan hot sauce. But I decided to cook these for lunch and so I served them with a dish of spicy chilli bean pork with bamboo shoots and mustard greens. The hot and slightly sweet pork, with the bitter leaves gave an excellent contrast to the garlic-and-coriander tingmos.
We love sun-dried tomatoes. They taste great in a variety of dishes, from anti-pasti to salads and sandwiches, even as an addition to simple spaghetti al’olio.
Sun drying tomatoes is usually a very easy affair. All you need are tomatoes and plenty of strong sunshine. Alas, the UK weather is so fickle that we cannot be guaranteed of continuous sunshine for any length of time. But I had a huge box of cherry tomatoes that were just begging to be used.
So here is my version; simple oven-dried cherry tomatoes with garlic and sea salt. The concentration of flavours into these tiny slivers of rich tomatoey goodness is amazing – truly sunshine in every bite, even on a gloomy and rainy day. Thanks for the inspiration, Rhea.