CLICK Au Naturel and some spirited self-searching

RedChillies

Should I, Shouldn’t I? These questions have been swirling in my head for a while and I have been debating different options but finally I have decided to take that bold step and lift that weight from my head. I am finally, participating in the CLICK event and here is my entry for that event. 

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Huh? What is your problem and what is the big deal, you ask?

Well, hitherto this I had not participated in this fun, talented event. There was some hesitation on my part to participate, not sure why and I did not spend time questioning the reasoning behind this either.  But then to set the matters straight, I decided to and look straight into the eye of the ‘bull’ so to speak. Ignoring all the curious stares from the husband and son, I proceeded to do some self-searching this weekend and concluded that my indisposition to participate was because I was stuck somewhere along the lines of these lowly feelings: 

  • All the entries in the event are very professional and mine will be lost in the middle of nowhere.
  • Any picture I take is not good enough to submit in a competition and I cannot think of a decent shot.

  Jeez, ever heard of the “spirit of participation”, you ask?

I know, I know it is the spirit of the participation that matters: not the actual winning or the loosing. I have been told this by my parents as far as I can remember. But knowing is one thing but actually doing it is another thing altogether.

Now that you have attained ‘Nirvana’ do you plan to go to the Himalayas, you ask?

No, no rest assured on the contrary I am staying here and participating in more events. I plan to be myself, have fun and focus on the spirit of participating in a competing event. At least I can proudly tell my son to follow suit without feeling shallow and hypocritical. 

PS: I had clicked this picture few months ago and this is kind of my trademark image. I had checked with Bee, if that was acceptable and she had gladly agreed.

Pineapple in Spicy Sweet Coconut Curry (Ananas Sasam)

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We have been married for quite a few years now, long enough to understand and predict each others tastes, likes and dislikes. Or so I thought, until a routine trip to the grocery proved that I had concluded a bit too soon.


I have a penchant for the sweet taste; he on the other hand steers away from it and even cannot withstand the sweetish taste of vegetables like zucchini, sweet peppers in the cooking. He would rather chew on some hot chillies than ogle at cookies and cakes. But then wait; he loves fruits and does savor some Rasmalai and Puran Poli (Obbattu) on some special occasions, but that’s about it.

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So while on a regular trip to the grocery, we were gazing at some good looking pineapples, he startled me when he said that “Pineapple Sasam” was one of his favorite curries. I had never prepared this before and nor had my MIL when she was here. Now “sasam” in Konkani is a coconut based curry that is a combination of sweet, sour, salty and spicy predominantly sweetish taste. Anyway, who knew? I guess, there is some thing new that you learn about a person everyday.

I on my part did not waste any time to try out this new and importantly sweet recipe. I made some quick phone calls to the appropriate personnel (read MIL) and got the recipe right away. She gave me two versions and this is the version that I tried. This is good dish to prepare on special occasions.

 

 

 

Ingredients           

Pine apple sasam

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 1 small pineapple (ripe) [3 cups of chopped pineapple]
  • Oil
  • Mustard seeds
  • Asafetida
  • curry leaves
  • salt 

Masala to grind: 

  • 1 cup shredded coconut fresh/frozen
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • Little tamarind paste (2 tsps)
  • 3-4 red chillies [I use byadgi dried chillies, pre-roasted in a drop of oil]
  • jaggery for taste

Preparation:

  • Grind the ingredients for the masala above by adding water and making a paste. 
  •  Remove the peel from pineapple. Dice the pineapple into bit sized chunks.

Method:              

 
 

 

 

 

 

  • Heat oil in a thick bottom pan. Add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.
  • Add the curry leaves, then asafetida and mix well.
  • Add the chopped diced pineapple and stir until it cooks up. (This does not take a long time, about 5 minutes).
  • Add the ground masala paste, salt and cook until the raw smell of the coconut paste is gone. Add little oil if necessary.

This can be served with rotis/phulkas or as an accompaniment with rice.    

 

 

Beans and Dill in Coconut Curry ( Beans Ambat)

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Dill is a favorite at our house and so I put it in things like curries, rice, rotis etc. Dill is available in bulk during the Fall and Spring season in the Indian groceries and so we use it the most then. Dill is not only nutritional but adds a distinct flavor to dishes. This is one such wholesome recipe as it uses Dill, vegetable and also Daal.

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup toor daal
  • 2 cups dill
  • Handful of beans
  • 1 medium onion
  • Oil
  • Mustard seeds

To grind: 

  • ½ cup shredded coconut fresh/frozen
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • Tamarind paste (per taste)
  • Salt
  • 2-3 red chillies
  • Little turmeric
  • Little jaggery for taste

 

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Preparation:

  • Grind the ingredients above by adding water and making a paste.
  • Chop the beans and put it in enough water. Boil the same separately until cooked. Retain the cooked water.
  • Cut the dill, onion and keep aside.
  • Pressure cook the daal with sufficient water and keep aside to cool.

Method:

  • Heat oil in a thick bottom pan. Add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.
  • Add the curry leaves, chopped onion and sauté it until it becomes transparent.
  • Add the chopped dill leaves and fry until it cooks a bit.
  • Add the ground masala paste and cook until the raw smell of the coconut paste is gone. Add little oil if necessary.
  • Add the cooked beans, salt and daal and allow to boil. Mix well.  Taste and adjust any seasonings.

 This can be served with rotis/phulkas or as an accompaniment with rice.