Just because I haven’t posted recently doesn’t mean we aren’t eating!
- 1 c. white rice
- 3 tbs. oil
- 1/2 c. beans, chopped
- 1/2 c. scallions, chopped
- 1/2 c. cauliflower, chopped
- 1/2 c. carrots, chopped
- 1/2 c. green peppers, chopped
- 1/2 lb. prawns
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. green chili sauce
- 1 tsp. tomato sauce
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
- Heat 1 tsp. oil in pressure cooker and then add rice and two cups of water. Close pressure cook and cook on medium heat for 3-4 pressure pops.
- Let pressure cooker cool.
- Heat large pan with oil.
- Add all the chopped vegetables and saute about five minutes or until vegetables have softened.
- Add prawns, soy sauce, green chili sauce, tomato sauce, salt and pepper and cook until prawns are just done.
- Add prawns and vegetables to rice. Mix and serve.
Makes 4 cups
When we first moved to India we went shopping for kitchen things. As with every country there are special foods and the pots and utensils have been made to suit the cuisine. You’ll recognize most of these items and will find in future posts how (and why) they are used.
Observation: I just learned watching Annette cook that when using a pressure cooker you use the number of times the pressure valve (at the top) pops as a unit of time measurement. Rice cooks in 3-4 pops, potatoes 3 pops, etc. And pressure cookers while sounding scary (they are just blowing off steam – literally!) are truly amazing at speeding up cooking times!
- Blender (with small chutney sized bowl)
- Marble rolling board and pin
You can see the size of this relative to my foot (nice nail polish, right?!). It is small, but quite heavy and cool so the perfect spot to roll the dough.
- Chapati pan (not edges) and flat wooden spatula
- Oil pot (this is pretty small, probably holds 1 cup and has a little ladle in it)
- Other special spoons – the ones on the left and center are general use and the spoon on the right for making dosas since it is more like a ladle, but flatter
- Metal bowls and covers – so simple and so useful but used for food mixing and storage
- 2 – 3 tbs. oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1/8 tsp. tumeric powder
- 2 small tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 eggs
- Heat oil in saute pan
- Add chopped onion, chili powder, tumeric, tomatoes and salt and cook for 10-15 minutes until very soft.
- Add eggs and mix vigorously to scramble them so there are no big pieces of yolk or egg whites.
- Cook for a few minutes until eggs are cooked through.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Observation: Tumeric is primarily used for coloring and to kills strong odors, in this case eggs!
Dinner (with Methi paratha and Chana)
Scrambled eggs with onions and tomatoes
Eggs just added
Amazingly enough after being here over two months we aren’t hankering for non-Indian food. That doesn’t mean we don’t periodically go out and enjoy a bowl of pasta, but generally we are very, very happy eating Indian food every day.
I think this is because of the immense variety and wonderful flavors. The spices are incredible (I’ll do a separate post on that!), the breads varied and we haven’t found eating vegetarian to be difficult.
Paneer provides the protein. They call it cottage cheese here, but it is more sturdy in structure than our cottage cheese. There are lots of ways to include paneer in your diet.
Because India is a poor country things are really available seasonally. Right now we are in summer so the mangos are really starting to appear (they need a few rains to make them even sweeter), jackfruit, and other seasonal fruits like mash melons (looks like cantaloupe to me!) and watermelon.
Right now because of the mangos Annette is making mango lassis daily. They haven’t been too hard to consume. So this might be breakfast.
For us lunch is usually leftovers from the night before. Annette makes enough for Eric to pack a lunch box, or a modern day tiffin box and enjoy a great meal. It makes it really easy, but by the time he gets home it is time for dinner so we eat early.
Annette works 10am-4pm and leaves dinner for us each evening. Here are some sample meals over the past few days. My next post will show how these are made (including recipes!)
- Meal 1 – Fried Eggplant, Green Gram Dal with Onions and Tomatoes, Vegetable Biryani, Paneer Masala, Cucumber Raita and Chapati
- Meal 2 – Methi Paratha, Scrambled Eggs with Onions and Tomatoes and Chana
- Meal 3 – Vegetable Fried Rice with Prawns, Prawns with Spices and Okra with Potatoes
- Meal 4 – Dosas with Potato, Onions and Coriander filling and Onion Chutney and Coconut Chutney
Most Indians actually enjoy a large breakfast and lunch with a small and late dinner, around 10pm. The heat around dinner time makes it less pleasant to eat a heavy meal. Obviously we are still on an American clock!
We hosted our first party last night and… had way too much food. Everyone seemed to have fun though. This was for a bunch of Eric’s managers and their spouses. We know better for the next party in two weeks!
Things I learned
- It is really, really hard to get the florist to do something simple. He wanted to spray the green leaves gold.
- When it is hot (even with A/C) people don’t eat that much. Need to cut down on options.
- When it is hot people drink more beer (duh!) and juices and less whisky. I think Eric drank most of the whisky that was consumed.
- There weren’t that many mosquitos so maybe my many, many lemongrass candles and plugs worked. And our outdoor porch worked really well.
- Annette and her kids were very helpful throughout the night.
- Our place works really well for a party!
We moved into our new house last week and have been hard at work converting it from an empty space into a home.
It is a fun and funny thing to outfit an entirely new space. Do you buy similar things to what you have at home? Do you branch out into new shapes and genres? New color palettes? How do you integrate India’s culture into the space you live in?
Most importantly, how do you make the house your own so you can find comfortable spots in which to curl up to read a book, to savor the outdoors, to eat your meals or look at mementos to remember family and friends?
26 CRESCENT PARK
Our house is the floor below the top (it has the brown wood ceilings)
Our Favorite Purchases (these divide the large space between the living room and the dining room)
These pedestals are pretty solid (praying I don’t walk into one by accident) and the two of the three lanterns house vanilla candles waiting to be lit.
This is definitely going to be a favorite place once I conquer my fear of mosquitos! Also there are porches off each bedroom and around the central living space. Flower and vegetable post to come.
Note there are three other bedrooms, but they are awaiting our linens from the US so pictures to come!
Our house still needs many finishing touches, lots more color, pictures, etc., but it is shaping up nicely – and becoming our home.
Observation: I’ve noticed that you can’t exactly count on stuff promised. It isn’t that people mean to mislead but that they want to pacify. And then they ignore. Perseverance pays off though!