Locomotoring

Spending our time untethering the mind, getting the fidgets out, exploring the in-between ideas, and learning kintsugi.

Learning to cook with mom – the unique

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Raw pumpkin vegetable dish, and the Cauliflower curry

Kacha kumror tarkari: I am not certain what exactly is raw pumpkin. What sells for raw pumpkin has green skin with light green or white patches and a light yellow interior. The pumpkin skin is edible and must be left on so the dish doesn’t turn into a mush. The closest to edible skin might be Hokkaido pumpkin (aka red Kuri pumpkin).

Raw pumpkin, Potatoes, Panch phoron (mustard seeds, fennel, nigella seeds, fenugreek, cumin), red chili, vegetable shortening (dalda), mustard oil

To serve four, chop the raw pumpkin, including its skin, into 3/4 inch cuboids to make up about 6 cups and set aside. Cut up two small potatoes similarly and set aside. In a kadai, add 3 Tbsp of mustard oil and 1 Tbsp of dalda. Let reach smoking point, reduce heat, tear and add 2 red chilis and 1 tsp of panch phoron (equal mix of mustard, fennel, nigella, cumin and fenugreek seeds). Let the seeds splutter for 10-15 seconds and add the potatoes, followed by the pumpkin. Add 1 tsp of salt, gently mix, cover and cook. The water will be released and the vegetables will cook in the water. Here, the vegetables retain their colors and we are not adding turmeric. Modulate the heat and kadai cover to achieve doneness while the vegetable mixture is still loose and moist. Taste and adjust salt.

Phulkopir dalna: This one can be one of those dishes where people may have foundational differences in opinion – to make it dry or to have a curry. This one is a curry. I think, this dish done right is amazing (rich and unctuous), but it is difficult to get this right (watery and mushy). Wishing us all some luck.

Cauliflower, Potato, tomato, ginger, garam masala (cinnamon, cloves. cardamom), red chili, Bay leaves, cumin, cumin powder, turmeric, ghee, mustard oil

Following should serve 4-6. Start with cutting the cauliflower in florets that are approx 1.5 inches in diameter. The trick is to not cut through a floret to the extent possible, instead cut in-between to retain the florets. The stems should be slit for better flavor absorption. Add 1.5 tsp salt and 1 tsp turmeric, mix gently and set aside from an hour or two. When ready, peel and cut a medium size potato in 1 inch cubes and set aside. Chop two medium tomatoes in small pieces. Make a paste of the ginger (need about 1 Tbsp) and set aside. Prepare 1 tsp of garam masala (grind equal parts cinnamon, cloves and cardamom seeds).

In a kadai, add 4 Tbsp of mustard oil and let reach smoking point and reduce heat. Add the cauliflower florets in batches and gently fry them turning occasionally. You want them fried to golden brown. It isn’t important to cook them right now, you want to get them nicely colored. Once the florets are done, repeat with the potatoes.

Add 1 Tbsp of mustard oil to the Kadai, once hot, add 2 Bay leaves, 1 tsp of cumin seeds, 1 Tbsp of ginger paste, 1 tsp of cumin powder, and fry for a minute or so. Add the chopped tomatoes, 1 tsp salt and fry for another few minutes. Add 2 cups of hot water. Now gently lower the potato pieces and florets, add 1 tsp sugar and salt to taste. Cover and cook, occasionally stirring. Goal is to cook the potatoes through and no more. Switch off heat.

In a tadka pan, add 1 Tbsp of ghee, once hot, add 1 tsp of garam masala (dry ground equal amounts cinnamon, cloves and cardamom seeds), let splutter for about 10 seconds, add the mixture to the vegetables in the kadai.

My mom doesn’t use coriander powder as much, but it is equally nice to have 50-50 or 30-70 cumin/coriander powder mix. Depending on your variety of potatoes, you might need to give your potatoes a head start and add the florets a later.

Written by Som

December 16, 2021 at 5:07 am

Posted in Recipe

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