Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Late afternoon snack

Dan fed me some of his lunch leftovers early this evening. Nice of him really, because I had so brusquely refused his offer of lunch:

- Ciabatta from Barbakan with olive oil
- Harissa olives - gorgeous!
- Broad bean and dill hummus from a Nigel Slater recipe
- Fresh tomato slices sprinkled with salt and sumac
- Sweet potato wedges

Again, no pictures, but essential mention because it was yum.

If the way to someone's heart isn't through their stomach, they're not worth knowing. 



This is a dry stew, traditionally cooked in an earthenware pot turned upside down over a fire lit in a hole dug into the ground. The idea is the vegetables cook in their own steam produced by their own water content. I did mine on the stove and it would therefore have less of a smoky taste than I imagine the real stuff would. People sell it on roadsides in India. I want to go there and try some.

I was inspired to make this because I found some lovely-looking peas at the local vegetable shop.

May add quantities if I can be bothered.


Sweet Potato
Fresh peas, in their pods OR mange tout and frozen peas
Peanuts, bashed into coarse pieces (food processor is good for this)
Sesame seeds
Ajwain seeds (get them from South Asian grocery stores, they look a bit like celery seed)
Asafoetida (hing)
Mustard seeds
Vegetable / sunflower oil
Fresh garlic and ginger, minced
Turmeric powder
Chilli (red powder or green fresh and minced)

Chop aubergine, potato and sweet potato into roughly even sized pieces. Shell some of the peas, remove some of the more fibrous parts of the more tender pea pods Heat sesame, ajwain, mustard seeds in oil in a large pan with a lid. When seeds start to pop, add asafoetida. Then add the peanuts, all of the vegetables, spices and seasoning. Put on moderate heat with lid on pan and make sure none of it sticks to the bottom of the pan.  You may need to add more oil so nothing sticks, but don't add water. Cook for about 30 minutes until potatoes and aubergines are tender and cooked.

Serve with a flat bread like roti or naan or paratha or with rice and dal or khuri (yogurty soup which I will write about soon).

The idea with the pea pods is that you can chew all the tenderness out of them until you are left with the fibrous stuff which you leave on your plate. It's a lot of fun to eat.

Once again, I ate it all, so a picture next time. It's not much to look at anyway. But it tastes great. I'm wary that records of things online won't last, so I'm going to write recipe down this in my diary so I don't have to ring my mum again to ask her. I knew most of it anyway.