If you have been following my blog, you would have realised that my favourite flavour is garlic. I have grown up in a family that cooked without onion and garlic, for religious purposes. Garlic is said to have “tamsik” qualities. Tamsik food is considered unhealthy, and it brings out the negative in you, gives rise to anger and other repugnant emotions. During the Vedic times, everything that was considered not good, was given a religious decree of non consumption.
I have realised over the years that a lot of do’s and dont’s of the Vedic ages are now being proven scientifically true. Take for example the benefits of turmeric. The world over, turmeric is prescribed for it’s qualities. But there is also the other side of science, which has proven some foods that were earlier considered bad, are now proven to have health benefits. Garlic is very good for the heart.
As for me – I like to live dangerously and garlic is very good for my soul!
I can have garlic in every single meal, and not get tired of the taste. I think I am still making up for my lost childhood!
Nishi enjoying the taste!
Lasooni Palak, or Saag as its called in some places, is my favourite version of consuming spinach. I like the smooth texture, but I also like the chopped version. So I came up with a recipe that was a mix of both. I like my food on the little spicier side (more Tamsik me!!) and somehow the taste of garlic, rough and smooth spinach with a hint of fire sets me in the absolutely perfect mood!
I experimented with this recipe in the green environs of Mahabaleshwar. The spinach was not fresh off the farm, but it was still from the hills of Panchgani, and as fresh as one could possibly get. But the spinach I grow in our farm, is far superior, completely organic and I pluck it when still in baby stages. The result is a sweeter taste, with a hint of bitterness and then of course we add the ever loved garlic and fiery spices. In the near future, when the garlic grows green and fragrant in my farm, I will try this same recipe with new green garlic stalks. The taste will be a little different – more herby!
The recipe goes best with chappati, made with whole wheat or jowar.
I was all set to meet the husband for a romantic lunch, but Bangalore being crowded, overpopulated, Bangalore, the traffic was such that it was either the lunch or the airport. And that airport had a plane parked which was going to take us to Goa! So really there was no dispute, the airport on time – it was.
I surprised our caretaker with a lunch request. She wasn’t prepared to make anything since I had announced gleefully about my romantic plans. So she hemmed and hawed, wondering what to make. (And I was feeling fussy about food that day!) Her husband (I have mentioned him before in my blogs. He is a complete foodie- for which I am eternally grateful!) Well her husband suggested “Kachcha Sambhar” in his typical local accent. It took him three repeats of the word before I realised that is what he actually meant. Raw Sambhar.
I have learnt to experiment and sometimes leave the suggestions to the experts. AND I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. In fact, I was in food paradise. Every spoonful going in was ambrosia. Now I love garlic, and I love spice, and the most fun part was it has not one drop of oil!! Perfect right??
We did take off to Goa, and we had an amazing time, caught up in that leftover romance and all that! 😛 But I raved and raved about the Kachcha Sambhar, and he finally told me to use other methods to turn him on!! ( 😛 we are a foodie family!!)
Here is the recipe — the tomatoes have to be burnt — burnt black on a high flame. Wait for it to cool, and skim the skin off. Please do wait for it to cool — this way the skin comes off and does not leave small pieces of black burnt skin behind. We don’t want any black stuff in the sambhar. Same goes for the green chilly.
This is a very spicy dish. Deseeding the chilly reduces the spice. If you want it less spicy, reduce the quantity of the chilly, but don’t delete it completely. That would be a SIN! and Karma will pay you back!!
Tastes absolutely amazing with rice and a bland veggie. I love it with chilla. You make your own combinations and message me.
I was on the floor worshipping this dish! Hope you like it too!
I had Hummus for the first time as an adult. It picked up as a rage, and every party had a bowl of Hummus, with Pita. Then came the Lavash. Crisp flat wheat savouries topped with seeds.
I had Hummus for the first time some 20 years ago, in a restaurant called Olive. They had the typical platter of Baba Ganoush, Hummus and Tzatziki. At that time – I thought it was made with magic. How could something so tasty, so creamy be so amazing and healthy? When I learnt to make hummus, I was amazed at how easy it was, but I never seemed to like it as much as I liked the ones in a restaurant.
The fact is – I used terrible shortcuts. Sesame instead of Tahini. Sacrilege!! (my logic – Tahini is made out of sesame right??) Too much garlic, not enough creamy texture — blah blah!
I thought I would never be able to replicate the hummus, we have in good Mediterranean restaurants.I love the Hummus Beiruti. Its creamy with a mild tang of spice. Polishing off a small bowl is no big feat.
I tried Hummus again, (after my many not so good tries) and this time I used the proper Tahini. Another thing a chef friend of mine suggested was using cold water.
In this recipe, I use a little leftover water after boiling the chickpeas. I like to soak the chickpeas at night, and cook it the next morning and make the Hummus a few hours later. The water left over from cooking the chickpeas and the chickpeas itself are cooled down and refrigerated.
The hard work is soaking and cooking, after that its the quickest recipe you can make.
Serve it with a Rocket and cucumber salad, over toast with Avocado, obviously with Pita and Lavash. So many ways!! Do write in and tell me how you like to present it.
I made Hummus for my son last evening, thinking he could have it with Avocado. Confidently, I also made a small olive oil, garlic and Sumac drizzle for the top. Failure of failures! – the Avocado was not ripe enough and we had to chuck it. (Once cut it turns black quicker than a piece of charcoal rubbed on a face!) Then he suggested that we caramelise some onions, and top it with the same. Bigger flop. I had no brown sugar with me, and any case something made in a hurry not always turns out good. It was sticky …. basically – a flop!! I was flapping around about what he would eat, but he said the Hummus was good enough to eat on its own.. YAAAY!! Hummus saved the day!