gayathri: (Default)
I was listening to "The Splendid Table" on saturday morning, and she was talking about salt cod, and how to make a spanish style dish...

and suddenly, I wanted tomato saaru (or rasaam) but I wondered how it would taste with fish. Cod in particular. Something about the idea of pieces of white flakey fish floating in a clearish sea of red tomato-ey goodness sounded SO GOOD.

that and the saaru flavor  is spicy, tomato-ey, and when done correctly, a very clear broth.

So the experiment - but I didnt know how to make the saaru. I know its easy, but I couldnt recall the ingredients other than tomato.

Call my Amma. On  a Saturday afternoon, when I know she's out for a dinner party. Oh geeze. I'm so lame,having this crazed craving for it. I call [livejournal.com profile] basmati  and ask her to look it up Dakshin, but that didnt sound right either.

At 9 pm PST (midnite back east) my Amma calls - they just got back from a party in CT, and she'd gotten my voicemail on the home machine and figured I'd be up...

Boil 3 tbs of red lentils in 6 cups of salted water until tender in a BIG pot. Remember to wash the stupid lentils, or you'll be skimming foam forever. Doh.

Cut up tomatoes (four cups chopped), cook them in a little oil with four cloves of smashed chopped garlic until the tomatos release their water. Add the rasaam powder. I made my own - for 4 cups of chopped tomatoes, I used 3 tbs of Coriander seeds, 1.5 tbs of cumin, 2 of peppercorn, and a handful of dried red chilie peppers - dry roast each spice individually, let cool and grind together. (I used 6 peppers, and likely should have used 3 or 4 in hindsight. _I_ like it, but its prolly too spicy for anyone else.) 

Drop the spices and some water on the tomatoes and garlic and let it cook up some more. When the rawness of the tomatoe is obviously done, dump this mixture into the BIG pot with the lentil water. Add about 3 cups of chopped potatoes. (in hindsight again, prolly didnt need the potatoes, I'll try it again without) . Taste. Scream at the heat, add a bunch of salt and more water to bring it to a thinner soup texture. (it was very thick at this point) 

Bring to a simmer.

Taste again and .. kinda have a moment.

Kind of have a few moments. Because you see, THIS WAS IT. This was the taste I was looking for. The sharp red chili tempered with the smokier cumin/coriander with the bite of peppercorn with the backdrop of the sweetish saltiesh tomatoes...

I might have cried a little. Mouthgasms for sure. Oh! for once in my life I remember "getting it right"... or just like Amma might have made.

Frankly, potatoes and fish were superflous - but I had 'em, so I threw 'em in. Cooked the potatoes until tender, threw in the fresh rock cod until cooked, and served it in wide open bowls so you could see the clear rasaam surrounding the small pile of tomatoe/potatoe/fish...

Spicy!

I'll have to think about how to meld those flavours more - the amount of chili overpowered everything for this dish and might have been better with just tomato alone. I'll try it again with a less flakey fish in bigger chunks, and maybe roasted tomatoes and A LOT FEWER chilis. I think I've got something fun here. :)

(dont get me wrong. I like the dish. I have leftovers I'll be taking to work. But already, how to make it better...) 

enough ingredients left to make another rasaam this week. :)
gayathri: (girl)
I poached some chicken breast in apple cider, and once the chicken was cooked, I let the poaching liquid reduce into a sauce. Just before turning the heat off, I went ahead and dropped in a splash of balsamic vinegar. I think next time, some fresh mint or even rosemary might be good in it as well.

I also made some of lil_brown_bat's rice and beans
and a great salad of non lettuce things -- thinly sliced radish, carrot, red pepper with rice wine vinegar. MOre like a quick pickle of the items. It was great. I want to make some matchsticks of the carrots and let 'em soak overnight in the pickle sauce!

mmm! Blood sugar was great last night before bed, and perfect this morning. :)

more fresh pickles, I think, they help kill my appetite.

lazy day

Feb. 24th, 2007 07:37 pm
gayathri: (Default)
mostly read books. What a nice feelings to just sit and read and not think for a while. Now dinner is on the stove, lazy dinner of TJ's turkey chili mixed with some chicken leftover, and some fresh cornbread. I've been craving cornbread, but I need to find good stoneground corn flour as I'm almost out!  

Chst still hurts like a mofo from this morning's nonsense. It seems I need to be taking claratin or singular along with the Advair and Astelin. (*note to call pulmonary guy and talk to him about it)

Good news is I'm signed up for Mystery School! I'm gonna learn to ride dirtbikes. hee! its an early birthday present to myself.

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gayathri

May 2012

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