Sunday, September 14, 2008

International Solidarity with 9/11/73

(A riff on Chilean stew, with South Asian elements)

It's been a while since I've updated, and this is because I've moved. But I finally made it over to Jackson Heights, Queens, the south Asian capital of New York city. Man, i've never been to South Asia but I've been in South Asian districts of London and it felts very similar- busy, chaotic, incredibly diverse (in the south asian groceries by my parents' house in exurb Atlanta, I am typically the only non obviously S.Asian looking person). But I felt very much at home with the Central American, South Asian, East Asian populations mixing with the occassional white urban gentrifier.
I bought really cheap cauliflower, a few pickles (including a mango one for one of my roommates), and a good garam masala (I refuse to pay a dozen plus dollars for the Whole Foods/Dean and Deluca variety). I went home, looked around the fridge and came up with this: (it's a marriage between Tomatican- a Moosewood cafe version of Chilean stew, and Aloo Gobi)

Butter (Lima) bean and cauliflower curry with brown basmati rice
(approx time: 40 minutes)
serves 2-3 (I am hungry so I ate about half)

1 frozen pack of butter beans (approx 12 oz)
1 can of chopped tomatoes (Hunts or Muir Glen, everything else taste tinny)- you could also use 1 fresh tomato and some tomato paste and water)
1/2 cauliflower head (or whole)
1 small onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, diced
1/2" of ginger root, diced
1 jalepeno or similarly hot peper chopped, or 1/2 teas of cayenne
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon of coriander
1 teaspoon or less Garam Masala
salt to taste
oil or ghee for sauteeing
brown or white basmatic rice

plain yogurt, chopped cilantro, Indian relish

1) cook rice (as much as you want- i did 1 1/2 c.) according to directions (typically 2:1 water to rice for brown, 1.5:1 for white).
2) Brown onions in oil over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, jalepeno for 2-4 mintues, until onions are tender and the peppers are making you cough (a little)
3) add spices except garam masala to onion mixture, stir for 1 minute
4) add tomato/canned tomato. Let simmer for 2 minutes
5) add beans and cauliflower. increase heat to high until this starts to bubble and lower to a simmer. Add lid and stir occassionaly, 10 minutes (if the liquid is too low, then add some water) until the beans are tender but cauliflower still has some bite
6) add Garam Masala- stir another 2 minutes
7) remove from heat. Serve rice and any garnishes

It doesn't look pretty but it tasted damn good:
(that green stuff in the middle is coriander relish, coriander being the Queen's way of saying cilantro).

On an somewhat related but important for me anyway topic, I love Indian medicine remedies,
especially for the gastro-intestinal area. Imagine my delight as I found these in the checkout "impulse buy" area for a mere $1.99:

They are "special pills for all gastric disorders, indigestion, wind flatulations and other digeston disorders." I took some with water before eating dinner. They tasted a bit like farts and here I am, having eaten a bit too much, feeling comfortable and carefree. Thanks Chiran1a!


Monchi02 said...

Woohoo! As (one of?) your Chilean friends, I have to thank you for the inclusion of one of our traditional dishes! Or at least the influence from it :)

Solidaritybitch said...

aw, thanks. I learnt this from the Moosewood but love it. I am all about learning to eat from many cultural perspectives. This is why NY is so awesome for me.