May 2011 Archives

Today Sadananda asked me to make soup. With mustard greens being the only vegetable mature in the garden, Italian soup simply didn't seem like the best option. It was time to create some Southern food; dishes taken from the heart of Africa and then mingled with Native American and European staples to create that unique blend we now call Soul Food. Just as the slaves cooked whatever was given them, I made this unplanned dish from whatever I happened to have in the frig. And added the extra Hindu twist--vegetarian Soul Food!

Mustard Greens.jpg

2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 can blackeye peas
1 small winter squash or one yam, peeled and cubed
1/2 red cabbage, chopped
1 zucchini, cubed
1 quart vegetable broth
I bunch mustard greens, washed and chopped
Salt to taste
Cayenne to taste

Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add garlic and shallot and fry until shallots are translucent. Add the cabbage, zucchini and squash or yam (we happened to have a a small winter squash from last year's garden but a yam would be even more authentic). Stir fry briefly, then add blackeye peas and boiling hot vegetable broth. Since I didn't plan this recipe ahead, I used canned black-eye peas but of course, made from scratch is ideal. Add the mustard greens, salt and cayenne and simmer until the vegetables are soft. Serve with cornbread. I used the cornbread recipe below (my favourite) and substituted golden flax seed meal for the eggs. One tablespoon flax meal plus two tablespoons warm water equals one egg.

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Bitter Gourd Stuffed with Besan

Stuffed Bitter Gourd 1.jpg


Karela (Bitter melon) 4, size about 3 inch long. If longer, cut into 3 inch pieces.

Green chili, 1 finely chopped

Ginger, ½ inch finely chopped

Garlic, 2 cloves, finely chopped

Coriander, fresh, chopped, 1 Tbsp

Sunflaower oil, 3 tsp

Besan (gram flour) 4 Tbsp


Red chili powder, ½ tsp

Salt, to taste

Coriander powder, 1 tsp

Turmeric powder, ¼ tsp

Amchur (Mango powder), ½ tsp or lime/lemon juice, 1 tsp

Cumin seeds, 1/8 tsp


Method of Preparation

Wash kerala thoroughly with water. If keralas are of longer variety, cut them into pieces of 3 inch size.

DO NOT cut the karelas in half BUT just SLIT them open lengthwise so seeds can be removed & stuffing added. Remove the seeds. (in the photos, I cut them in half lengthwise Don't do this!)

•Heat a frying pan and add 2 tsp oil. When the oil becomes hot, add cumin seeds and hing. When the seeds becomes dark, add, green chili, ginger and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes and add all the spices and besan. Stir well and cook until the mixture turns light brown, about 5-7 minutes. Mix half the coriander leaves.

• Fill the above mixture in each karela and close it back up.

•Heat a frying pan and spray oil. Place all the karelas in the pan, cover with a lid and reduce the stove to low. Let them cook for 20-30 minutes. Change the side of karelas and again cover with the lid. Cook for 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle coriander leaves.

Stuffed Bitter Gourd 2.jpg

Serve with rice & dal or simply with chapatti.

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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