EGD https://www.egeedee.com It's me! Mon, 31 Aug 2020 15:33:45 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 120547040 Avial https://www.egeedee.com/2020/08/31/avial/ https://www.egeedee.com/2020/08/31/avial/#respond Mon, 31 Aug 2020 15:05:08 +0000 https://44EF4B38-CF47-46DE-89B3-C54271E770F5 Happy Onam! Even though I was born and grew up in Goa, food from the state of Kerala has always been my favourite ever since I first tasted my first mediocre idli. It was also my nickname in school. Since then, I have eaten many, many delicious foods made in and by people from Kerala...

Read More »

The post Avial appeared first on EGD.

]]>

Happy Onam!

Even though I was born and grew up in Goa, food from the state of Kerala has always been my favourite ever since I first tasted my first mediocre idli. It was also my nickname in school. Since then, I have eaten many, many delicious foods made in and by people from Kerala but never quite took the time to understand the geography and variety of influences the cuisine has throughout the state (this is where I ask for a book recommendation).

If I could pick a food destination I would be happy to visit for the rest of my life, I would pick Kerala. Subtle, raucous, modest, tempered – it has a little bit of everything to satisfy every palate. If you roam the streets, you are bound to find not just one but many different cooks from a variety of cooking “schools” (of thought) making world-class meals like it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Give them all cookbooks, but you won’t, I know.

I can’t believe it took me so long to eat avial. I first heard the word when I read rock magazines and heard of the band by the same name. The description of avial the food sounded simple but for a ….rock bank? It was only after I ate it that I realised, yes, it’s simple but no, it’s definitely something more. Kind of like these pandemic days.

I had bought a diabetic-friendly cookbook for my mom called Deepa’s Secrets a few years ago written Deepa Thomas. Most of the recipes in the book have been influenced by her family’s cooking and modified to suit the low-carb lifestyle of a diabetic – in this case, her husband. It is a beautiful book and well-suited to an Indian audience with access to American groceries. However, the language seemed more like it was catered to white American sensibilities. For example, the coconut masala paste was called “dressing”.

I made the avial as noted in the book. In it, Deepa blends the coconut with curd to make the masala and also just blanches the veggies to keep them more crisp. I preferred making it like I saw it in all the other avial recipes I looked at online.

I think this fascination with keeping things al dente/ crisp is very much a Western style of cooking. I don’t care if my vegetables are slightly softer because they lay in a bed of delicious flavours – not just salt and pepper and rando chilli powder. I also didn’t need to combine the yogurt in the grinding of the masala because it saves no time. This recipe is meant to be easy.

I messaged some (can I can call you) friends on instagram to ask them how they make avial – both super cool and people I know I could be friends with if I lived in the same area. Reshmi shares her recipes and life on @life_in_a_curry and Sreelakshmi Haridas does a little bit of everything (like me) on @lakshmi_h (private account, fyi).

I had a lot of apprehensions about what to put and whether the ingredients I was seeing online were right. This is the thing, it’s a dish that varies by region and location of the maker. If you ever see yourself questioning “authenticity”, just ask someone who knows better. This recipe by Suguna Vinodh from Kannamma Cooks helped me the most because of the visuals. She was raised across state lines in Tamil Nadu but close enough to have similar influences. All these people gave me almost-entire recipes of how they know avial, and what I made benefited so much from their help. Thank you, ladies!

Today being the last and most auspicious day of the harvest festival of Onam, I wanted to share my recipe for avial. It is but *ONE* of the dishes that go into a sadya (feast) and if you skip on to Goya Journal, you can find all the rest. One day soon I will make more than avial for sadya. Here is a direct link to Goya Journal’s avial recipe.

Here is my interpretation.

Avial

There isn’t a set list of vegetables for avial because it caters to the what’s in season. It’s okay to use whatever you have in the kitchen, but make sure they are veggies that are hefty (if that makes sense). So no leafy greens.

Ingredients

For the coconut masala

  • 1 packed cup grated coconut, fresh or frozen
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
  • Salt, to taste

Grind all the ingredients, except the salt, in a high speed mixer. Add just enough water to loosen the coconut and get the blade moving. You are looking for a coarse paste. I just added about 1/4 cup. Add salt to taste and set aside.

For the veggies

To know how to cut vegetables for avial, this post is IMMMMESNSELY helpful. You are going for long, finger-like pieces. Think of French fries. Thank you, Rajani for writing that post.

  • 1 tsp haldi (turmeric)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tbsp salt, to taste
  • 1 inch piece tamarind
  • 2 moringa/ drumsticks
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 green capsicum/ bell peppers
  • 7 bhendi/ okra
  • 2 brinjal/ eggplant
  • 3-4 tbsp yogurt/ curd

Fill a large handi/ vessel with water and add the haldi to it. Salt the water and taste it to see if it tastes salted because this is what’s going to season the vegetables before they get coated in the coconut paste.

Bring the water to a boil and add the tamarind, moringa, carrots, cucumber, green capsicum and bhendi to the water. Let them cook until semi-soft, for about 8-10 minutes. They should have little to no bite to them.

Drain the water into a separate bowl. You will need to use it again. Put the vegetables back into the same vessel they were boiled in and cover it with the coconut paste. Turn the stove to medium heat and add some of the reserved cooking water to turn it a gravy, about 1/2 cup. If you want it runnier, add more of the water.

Cook for 4-5 minutes and add more salt to taste, if needed. Take it off the heat and add the curd into the avial. Mix well.

For the tempering/ tadka

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp urad dal (split and skinned black gram)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 Kashmiri chili

Right before you can call your avial “done”, it’s game-changing to add some tempering on top. Heat the coconut oil in a small pan and add the urad dal to it. Next add the curry leaves, mustard seeds and chilli. Stir it constantly making sure nothing gets burnt and until the mustard seeds start to pop.

Immediately take it off the heat and pour the oil with all the goodness on top of the avial.

Serve with rice.

The post Avial appeared first on EGD.

]]>
https://www.egeedee.com/2020/08/31/avial/feed/ 0 18043
Patoleo https://www.egeedee.com/2020/08/17/patoleo/ https://www.egeedee.com/2020/08/17/patoleo/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2020 21:26:00 +0000 https://96C16458-7623-4D16-9080-870D0C872867 Inspired by this recipe from Simply Delicious My mother and I picked up some haldi leaves (haldi is turmeric) at the local vegetable vendor last week and we decided to make patoleo. I never liked the aroma of the leaves as a kid but couldn’t resist the stuffing. So I would hold my breath and...

Read More »

The post Patoleo appeared first on EGD.

]]>
Inspired by this recipe from Simply Delicious

My mother and I picked up some haldi leaves (haldi is turmeric) at the local vegetable vendor last week and we decided to make patoleo. I never liked the aroma of the leaves as a kid but couldn’t resist the stuffing. So I would hold my breath and eat it. Lucky for me, I outgrew that pettiness.

Patoleo (One patoleo is called patoli) is a sweet, celebratory preparation made in Goa and other Konkan coastal states. Depending on which religious community you belong to, you will make it on different festival or feast days. One of those days for the Roman Catholics in Goa is August 15 on the Feast of Our Lady of the Assumption. Another for the Hindus is the day before Ganesh Chaturthi, which this year falls on August 22.

With just 3 ingredients – rice (local red rice called ukadem tandul/ xitt), coconut jaggery/ sugar (maadanche god), and haldi leaves (haldi pana), it feels like the most luxurious sweet to have with tea or after a filling feast.

My mother looked up the recipe online on Simply Delicious + she had some residual food memories from her grandma making them. With a little preparation in the form of soaking the rice for 6 hours and mixing the coconut with jaggery, we began. I am not going to explain the entire process because it’s all in the video. I like this video because it show us how to make this dish even if we can’t find every single ingredient or follow the method easily. They make patoli with baking paper and added turmeric root to give it the aroma of haldi.

What I am going to do is explain how my mother prepared a steamer to make all our freams come true.

She fashioned a stovetop steamer to cook the patoleo. She put small metal vessel that sat inside a big pot. The small vessel acted as a stand for a porous lid and that lid was a the bed on which the patoleo was placed. The large pot was filled with about 2-3 cups of water, making sure it would not evaporate too fast and was also not too deep that it would touch the patoleo while the water bubbled. The large pot was covered with a lid and the patoleo was steamed for 20 minutes. I thought this was quite genius.

The post Patoleo appeared first on EGD.

]]>
https://www.egeedee.com/2020/08/17/patoleo/feed/ 2 17997
Ambadyachi uddamethi (hog plum in a coconut-based gravy of urad dal and fenugreek) https://www.egeedee.com/2020/08/11/ambadyachi-uddamethi/ https://www.egeedee.com/2020/08/11/ambadyachi-uddamethi/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2020 01:05:00 +0000 https://58664C83-6D2B-478D-AA6B-0D77A54AADB3 So much of food from India is a complete sensory experience. Right from using your fingers and eyes to calculate the quantity of spice that will go into making a masala to the satisfaction of scraping your teeth along the skin of moringa to extract the little flesh that lives inside this seed pod –...

Read More »

The post Ambadyachi uddamethi (hog plum in a coconut-based gravy of urad dal and fenugreek) appeared first on EGD.

]]>

So much of food from India is a complete sensory experience. Right from using your fingers and eyes to calculate the quantity of spice that will go into making a masala to the satisfaction of scraping your teeth along the skin of moringa to extract the little flesh that lives inside this seed pod – it all requires you to be present and observe.

The biggest myth I have heard perpetuated by people who only look at ingredient lists in recipe, is that making the food that has been my sustenance is, complicated. The history with this thought process is complicated – The obsession with perfection (“this recipe has to work on my first try”), claiming to simplify already simple recipes and calling it simple (I have been guilty of this) or completely ignoring entire methods of cooking because it doesn’t seem authentic. It is anything but.

It has always been so ingrained that anything associated with the kitchen is the work of a woman and even though I remember this being an equal endeavour in my house, cooking for myself was something I always felt was “laborious”. It still is for many homes that still rely on the woman for most household functions – whether paid or unpaid. My dad used to always say at social gatherings that his daughters did nothing in reply to other adults saying “oh you have daughters? you must have so much help at home”. *eye roll*.

Actually making dishes like this mild-spiced ambadyechi uddamethi couldn’t be simpler once you get past breaking and grating a coconut. Modern convenience has also arrived in Goa where you pay a little extra today and you can buy the coconut already grated. Uddamethi is a masala that contains mainly coconut, urad dal and methi (fenugreek seeds) along with a little haldi (turmeric), 1 dried Kashmiri chilli, jaggery (raw cane or coconut sugar) and a little tamarind.

Ambado or hog plum is used widely in Goan Saraswat cuisine. I have always love love loved ambade (so many exclamation points!!) but only ever got to eat in in miniscule quantities during the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi or Diwali. It is customary for people in Goa to distribute small offerings of the food or sweets they prepare amongst neighbours of other faiths as a mark of inclusion in their celebrations. My family being Catholic, received this from our Hindu neighbours.

Ambado is sour, and once peeled and boiled, you grate your teeth along the seed, as if you were eating the seed of a mango. To love Goan food is to love the marriage of salty, sour and sweet with most of the sour brought to the plate by its many locally available fruit. Tamarind, kokum, raw mango and ambado are few that take a humble meal from good to “why can’t I stop eating it”. The sour is probably why.

I was 3 days ago years old when I realised the more you chew on the ambado, the more flesh there is embedded in the net-like body of the fruit. It is a sensory experience like no other, for me. Like joy, is how I would describe it.

Ambadyachi uddamethi

I tried to estimate the quantities of every ingredient I used but I haven’t re-tested anything. I used this video by Ranchikood, which is an excellent visual document on how to make this dish at home. Even if you follow it without my recipe below, you won’t get it wrong. Ganesh Chaturthi is on August 22, so you have time to practice.

Ingredients

Inspired by Ranchikood – The Kitchen

For the uddamethi

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp raw rice
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp haldi (turmeric)
  • 1 dried red chilli (I used a Kashmiri chilli)
  • 1 tsp jaggery (raw cane or coconut sugar)
  • 1/2 pinky finger piece of tamarind (without the seed)

Method

Heat the coconut oil on medium heat and add the urad dal to it. Stri it around, and then add the methi and raw rice. Cook until the urad dal turns slightly brown but make sure you don’t burn the methi seeds. Scoop the mixture into a small bowl along with the oil and let it cool.

In a high-speed grinder, blend the rest of the ingredients into a smooth paste. You can use a little water to get the mixture going. Set aside.

For the ambade

  • 11 ambade, washed and peeled
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp hing (asafoetida)
  • 1/2 tsp urad dal
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • Salt

Method

Heat coconut oil in a small, shallow pan or kadai and add the mustard seeds, hing and urad dal to it, all on medium heat. Stir them around for about 30 seconds and then add the curry leaves. Keep stirring so nothing gets burnt.

Once the mustard seeds start to jump around, add the ambade and cover them with water until it submerges the fruit only halfway. Cover the pan and let the water come to a boil. Let the ambade cook through for 5-7 minutes. They should turn soft.

When the ambade is cooked, add the masala to the water. Whatever masala is left behind in the grinder should be rinsed with a little more water and added to the cooking vessel.

Stir it around and let everything cook for 5 more minutes. Add more water if you want your dish to be a little thinner and end with salt, to taste.

Serve with warm boiled rice.

The post Ambadyachi uddamethi (hog plum in a coconut-based gravy of urad dal and fenugreek) appeared first on EGD.

]]>
https://www.egeedee.com/2020/08/11/ambadyachi-uddamethi/feed/ 2 17979
Fried plantain, a la Grandma https://www.egeedee.com/2020/07/17/fried-plantain-goa/ https://www.egeedee.com/2020/07/17/fried-plantain-goa/#respond Fri, 17 Jul 2020 11:29:09 +0000 https://BF3823A9-2F56-4FC2-8BBA-21772F73F544 The vegetable markets during this time of the year in Goa are usually packed with local produce. It is the monsoon and green is the colour most visible outside the window. This time though, a lot of local growers have been moving their one-person operations from the market, to the side of busy roads in...

Read More »

The post Fried plantain, a la Grandma appeared first on EGD.

]]>

The vegetable markets during this time of the year in Goa are usually packed with local produce. It is the monsoon and green is the colour most visible outside the window. This time though, a lot of local growers have been moving their one-person operations from the market, to the side of busy roads in different towns. The pandemic and general mood around it has made business difficult for everyone but the effects will mostly be felt by those who depend on a meager amount to sustain them on a daily basis.

I bought these plantains from a couple selling small bundles of locally grown fruits and vegetables outside the back of their van. They had 2 varieties – the green plantains and these long yellow ones that people in Goa call “Moira bananas or Moidechim kelim, Moira being a village in Goa known for its plantain-tions, back in the day. There is a lot of history of how the herb was introduced to Goa. Colonial history says it was the Franciscan priests (Portuguese) who brought it from Kerala to Moira. These days, cultivation has moved to other parts of Goa, but the name of the banana has stuck.

My grandma pronounced them as “planten” and my most vivid memory is eating them fried, by her hands. I don’t think I ever ate them anywhere else (at least knowingly) while I lived in Goa and recipe searches online show plantains cooked this way and then dunked in a sugar syrup. The Moira plantain is much starchier than a typical banana and depending on what stage of rawness you eat it, it has to be cooked to be edible.

Fried plantain

This style of eating plantains is popular in West Africa, Latin America and depending on where you eat it, it can either be a sweet or savory preparation. The darker the spots on the plantain skin, the more they will caramelize while cooking because of the higher sugar content. If the plantain is completely blackened, then it’s best to mash and turn it into a fritter. My preferred stage to use them is in between few dark spots to how it looks in the photo above (ripe, yet firm).

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe, yet firm yellow plantains
  • 1 tsp cane or coconut sugar, optional
  • Coconut oil, to fry (you can also use ghee)
  • Goan rock salt, to finish

Method

Peel the plantains and slice them diagonally, along the length, into 1 inch pieces.

Coat the slices of plantain with sugar (if using) and then toss gently, to coat.

Heat coconut oil or ghee in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the plantains to the pan, making sure they aren’t touching each other and there is no overcrowding. Cook them for 1-2 minutes on each side and then reduce the heat to low. Keep cooking, and checking the colour until they turn a nice deep golden brown, about 2-3 more minutes more in total. They should be crispy on the edges and soft in the middle

Take the plantains off the heat and let them drain on a wire metal rack or on a paper towel. The wire rack will help retain some of the crispness while it cools whereas the paper towel won’t. Use whatever is best for you, because both will taste just as good.

Repeat the process until all the plantains are cooked. Sprinkle rock salt on top, if using and eat warm during tea time or during lunch with rice and beans or dal.

The post Fried plantain, a la Grandma appeared first on EGD.

]]>
https://www.egeedee.com/2020/07/17/fried-plantain-goa/feed/ 0 17963
Bhendi, fried and covered with dahi + tadka https://www.egeedee.com/2020/06/21/bhendi-fried-and-covered-with-dahi/ https://www.egeedee.com/2020/06/21/bhendi-fried-and-covered-with-dahi/#respond Sun, 21 Jun 2020 07:16:41 +0000 http://12B554F1-5CA3-4CFE-B3BF-3E70F671F958 Bhindi in Hindi or bhendi in Konkani is okra. We also call it lady finger but I really don’t like that name so I call it one of the first three I mentioned. Dahi is the word for yogurt or curds, as we say with ease. Tadka means tempering (of spices) and the versions of...

Read More »

The post Bhendi, fried and covered with dahi + tadka appeared first on EGD.

]]>

Bhindi in Hindi or bhendi in Konkani is okra. We also call it lady finger but I really don’t like that name so I call it one of the first three I mentioned. Dahi is the word for yogurt or curds, as we say with ease. Tadka means tempering (of spices) and the versions of it are as myriad as the diaspora.

We have been making dahi at home for sometime now (maybe 2 months?) and it has been a good lesson in fermentation and reducing plastic waste (the onus of which should NOT be put on a consumer). It’s simple to make. Most of the work is forgetting you did it.

You can find many recipes online. Some will tell you to measure the temperature of the milk, others will remind you how long is too long to boil it. The oh-no-I-looked-away-for-1-second-and-now-have-to-clean-the-stove unit of measurement is something very familiar to many Indian children, who were tasked with boiling milk for tea. The best recipe for dahi is largely instinctual. You start with a culture (which is a little bit of dahi from someone or from the last bag of dahi you will ever buy). You boil milk, you let it cool to tepid/ lukewarm. You add the culture to the milk and then let it sit in a warm spot in your kitchen until it takes over the milk and sets. It might not set perfectly the first time but keep practicing and it will eventually set to a place you can be proud of.

I first saw this recipe with brinjal on my instagram friend’s feed. Reshmi goes by @life_in_a_curry and lives in the US. I can’t remember how I started following her but now that I’m invested in it, I enjoy looking at her daily posts and finding inspiration in some of the dishes she makes. She grew up on the Andaman Islands, which is a union territory in India. I don’t know a single person from there so following her teaches me non-food and food facts I would not have learnt otherwise.

Reshmi gave a brief gist of how she made and since we had some brinjal at home, I cut into rounds and was too lazy to go any further. My mother saw the post and took it upon herself to make the dish herself. It was every bit as advertised and more.

This dish is made with eggplant in quite a few Indian states and depending on the spices that are commonly used there, it could taste completely different. It’s made in Kashmir, Orissa and even in India’s neighbouring countries – Afghanistan and Pakistan. Here, we made it with bhindi. I asked Reshmi where she learnt how to make this and she said that it might have been a friend’s mother (but couldn’t remember the details).

Bhendi, fried and covered with dahi + tadka on top

Notes

If you want to start making curds/dahi/yogurt at home, this website has some well-tested and reliable recipes. I can vouch for their work. Photos accompany you through the process and everything is explained in detail as well. Take some time to read through before you begin.

You should be able to find all these ingredients in an Asian or Indian store, if you’re in the US.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 kg or 1/2 lb okra, sliced 1/4 inch thick diagonally or into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (can substitute paprika)
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp coconut oil, divided
  • 2 pieces of dried kokum (if you’re in Goa) or 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Rock salt, to taste
  • 1 cup full-fat yogurt, whisked till smooth and of a pourable consistency
  • 1/2 tbsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp urad dal
  • 2 stalks curry leaves (about 15-20 leaves)
  • 1 whole Kashmiri chilli, cut in half

Put the bhendi in a bowl and cover it with the spices – coriander, turmeric and chilli powder. Mix it well, with your hands making sure the spices cover every surface of this majestic seed pod.

Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat and add coconut oil to it. Your coconut oil should have the fragrance of coconuts. Add the okra to the pan once it starts to shimmer and let it cook, letting it be and occasionally stirring it so it gets nice and brown on its fuzzy yet resilient exterior.

Add the kokum or lemon juice to the pan and stir well. The acid helps change the pH, reducing the slime that releases from the okra seeds. Cook the okra for about 7 minutes, but more if you like it crispier. Add salt to taste at the end of cooking and stir it to coat the okra.

Move the cooked okra to a shallow serving bowl, gathering every last bit. Pour the yogurt over it the vegetable and stir it all together.

In the same frying pan, heat another tbsp. of coconut oil on medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds, urad dal and Kashmiri chilli. Stir constantly. Once the urad dal starts to change colour slightly, add the curry leaves. Keep stirring until the urad dal starts to turn golden, the mustard seeds begin to pop and the curry leave crisp up. Immediately take it off the heat and pour this mixture (called tadka) over the curds. This final step happens very fast. If it ends up burning, start over.

Mix everything together. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

6

The post Bhendi, fried and covered with dahi + tadka appeared first on EGD.

]]>
https://www.egeedee.com/2020/06/21/bhendi-fried-and-covered-with-dahi/feed/ 0 17934
Happy 70th birthday, dada! https://www.egeedee.com/2019/12/02/happy-70th-birthday-dada/ https://www.egeedee.com/2019/12/02/happy-70th-birthday-dada/#respond Tue, 03 Dec 2019 02:22:44 +0000 https://www.egeedee.com/?p=16344 Today December 2 is my father’s 70th birthday, a day he didn’t make it to. He always thought he would live till past 90 and I believe he would hadn’t he been a victim of circumstance. I don’t know if I told anyone this but on his last birthday alive I had this dread all...

Read More »

The post Happy 70th birthday, dada! appeared first on EGD.

]]>

Today December 2 is my father’s 70th birthday, a day he didn’t make it to. He always thought he would live till past 90 and I believe he would hadn’t he been a victim of circumstance.

I don’t know if I told anyone this but on his last birthday alive I had this dread all through my body that I wouldn’t get to wish him again so I wished him – twice over the phone.

He was such a mixed bag of anxiety, dadaness, jokes, spontaneous dances and songs, mooning and cursing. Always there to help those less fortunate because “you’re not going to take it all to the grave”. He did this at the expense of his own well-being, never expecting anything in return, which sucks but what a way to live so selflessly.

I believe and know now that these values don’t just come from thin air. They are taught to children. Just as you can teach a child to love, you can teach them to hate. My father had great teachers in my grandparents. I didn’t get to spend too much time with them but I saw how they influenced my father who in turn influenced us.

My father was an idealist, a dreamer, a doer and unconditional in his love. I wanted the world to know he is really missed. This day might have meant little to him but it means the world to me. Especially that he’s not here.

The post Happy 70th birthday, dada! appeared first on EGD.

]]>
https://www.egeedee.com/2019/12/02/happy-70th-birthday-dada/feed/ 0 16344
being creative https://www.egeedee.com/2019/09/08/being-creative/ https://www.egeedee.com/2019/09/08/being-creative/#respond Sun, 08 Sep 2019 20:29:13 +0000 https://www.egeedee.com/?p=16326 I have been making things for as long as I can remember. My creative journey didn’t begin or end at any specific point in my life. It has always been a huge part of everything I do. I am not exaggerating when I say that I can make almost ANYTHING I think of. I have...

Read More »

The post being creative appeared first on EGD.

]]>

I have been making things for as long as I can remember. My creative journey didn’t begin or end at any specific point in my life. It has always been a huge part of everything I do. I am not exaggerating when I say that I can make almost ANYTHING I think of.

I have been more or less writing this blog for 7 years now. In that time, trends have come and gone and circled right back, social media has turned into a monster and whatever I knew of “sharing” has become less and less appealing to me.

Does that mean I’m not being productive enough? What’s that tree falling in the woods analogy? I don’t remember how we were viewing the creativity of others prior to tumblr and Instagram. I know I used to go to a lot of art galleries or rummage through old book stores. But most of the independent art that I knew of was being made entirely by people an arm’s length away.

I’ll admit that I let the Internet influence when and where I’m making my art. I felt like if I wasn’t “showing” what I make to my followers, then I wasn’t really doing much worth at all. I am still trying to understand my relationship to posting work online. Am I doing it just for likes? No. I want more of an interaction but it seems like it’s very hard to get it when the “<3” button is so easy to tap and move on.

I will try to share more here instead. I don’t seem to get much in way of comments here either but this is my space entirely and I’m the most myself here.

Flowers

These are all flowers that grew in my garden this year. I like using them in photos and try to do it every year. This year I used one placement and added digital lettering. The second placement was a piece I sent to a website/Instagram platform that accepts contributions from the public. It features my Grandma. I will be making more of these this week so let’s see where it all goes.

The post being creative appeared first on EGD.

]]>
https://www.egeedee.com/2019/09/08/being-creative/feed/ 0 16326
Grilled chicken kebabs + quick sautéed tomatoes and herb oil over yogurt https://www.egeedee.com/2019/08/30/grilled-chicken-kebabs-quick-sauteed-tomatoes-and-herb-oil-over-yogurt/ https://www.egeedee.com/2019/08/30/grilled-chicken-kebabs-quick-sauteed-tomatoes-and-herb-oil-over-yogurt/#respond Sat, 31 Aug 2019 01:27:45 +0000 https://www.egeedee.com/?p=16315 When we were growing up, we spent a lot of our vacations right in our vast Goan “backyard”. We either went to hotels, used a family friend’s timeshare, went to the beach or to another family friend’s wilderness hut where 10-15 adults and kids slept in close quarters to the sound of rushing water from...

Read More »

The post Grilled chicken kebabs + quick sautéed tomatoes and herb oil over yogurt appeared first on EGD.

]]>

When we were growing up, we spent a lot of our vacations right in our vast Goan “backyard”. We either went to hotels, used a family friend’s timeshare, went to the beach or to another family friend’s wilderness hut where 10-15 adults and kids slept in close quarters to the sound of rushing water from the stream behind the house. Sometimes, we went to shop in Bombay.

I don’t think about these memories as much as I should but I did today so I thought I should write it down. As an adult, I feel so pressured to see the world and take faraway vacations. As a kid, just a body of water to go into all day until it was time for lunch was all I needed.

After lunch, we would have to wait for an hour before going back in the water because in our circle of friends, we all agreed that if we didn’t, we would cramp and drown. Or vomit blood. This was kiddie folklore. It was based on no research and we wouldn’t dare test it.

I don’t remember any adults being worried about how long we were in the water. At the beach, our fingers turned into raisins and we would compare how much darker our skin was around our swimsuits. As much as I love the mystery of a foreign country, I think I still get the most joy from escaping to a place not so far away.

The benefits of international travel are many. Some people need it a lot more than others, but there is a privilege involved in terms of where you’re born, how much you earn and in what currency. Real travel can happen just by leaving your comfort zone and traversing places you know nothing about.

Maybe you’re with someone you know or maybe alone. You might run into the kindness of strangers or be the only person in the woods. There is always something to learn when you’re “teetering in the unknown”. Hopefully there’s a body of water and definitely lunch.

Grilled chicken kebabs

Balk all you like that these kebabs are made with chicken instead of mutton because they were delicious. You can make the meat mix about 2 days ahead but leave out the salt until you’re ready to cook them.

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch piece ginger
  • 455 gms/ 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/4 large red onion (1/2 cup), finely diced
  • 1 cup fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp amchur (raw mango powder)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder (like Kashmiri chilli or ancho chilli)
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • Lots of fresh lime, to serve

Special tools

  • 12 inch wooden or metal skewers (if using wooden, soak them in water for 1 hour before using)

Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and ginger into a paste. If it seems to take too long for the ginger to break down, sprinkle a tiny pinch of salt over it and that should help.

Put the chicken in a large bowl and add the ginger-garlic paste to it. Next add all the rest of the ingredients apart from the salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix everything together like you would do a dough, (do a dough) making sure all of it is spread evenly through the chicken.

Add the salt and pepper to taste and set the bowl in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up. You can also sprinkle the salt on the kebabs right before cooking.

Divide the mixture into six balls. Set a bowl of water next to you and lightly wet your hands to help with any sticking. Form the kebab mixture around the skewers, by rolling them longways into a kofta of (more or less) even thickness. I mimic a rolling pin action to help out a bit and then smoothen out tears or any gaps.

Press the skewer into the centre of the kofta and wrap the meat around it. Lay the kebabs on a sheet pan and place it in the fridge while you heat up the grill.

Heat a charcoal or gas grill to high heat, creating a zone for high-heat on one side and a zone for lower heat on the other. Basically put most of your charcoal on one side of the grill.

Put the skewers on the cooler side of the grill and cook for 4 minutes on one side and then flip them around to the other side and cook for 4 more minutes. Once the outside is set, move the skewers over to the warmer zone and cook for 2 + 2 more minutes on each side. The kebabs are ready when they register a temperature of 74 C/ 165 F. Another way to tell is by pressing on them and seeing how firm they feel to the touch. Firmer is best.

Serve warm.

Quick sautéed cherry tomatoes and herb oil over yogurt

This recipe is very forgiving. Although I have given you measurements, I expect you to follow your instincts (as always!). This is a good one to do just that!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup full fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup herbs like coriander leaves, rosemary or oregano
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 pinch of Kosher salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup + 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Fresh lime, to serve
  • More Kosher salt, to taste

Spoon the Greek yogurt onto a deep serving platter and spread it out to cover the plate in a single layer. Season lightly with salt.

Take the herbs, garlic clove and salt in a mortar and pestle and grind it to a paste. Put it into the 1/2 cup measuring scoop and measure out the olive oil. There is no need to be exact. You can’t go wrong with anything here. Mix well and set aside.

Heat a pan on medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and let it warm up. Add the cut tomatoes to the pan and saute them for 3-4 minutes, allowing them to bump into each other and gently release some of their juices. Sprinkle a little salt over at the end and take the pan off the heat. Again, you can’t really overdo this step, unless your tomatoes burn to a crust of black char.

Spoon the tomatoes over the yogurt and let them drip their juices to the edges of the plate. Drizzle the herb oil over the tomatoes and season with more salt. Sprinkle fresh lime juice of the top and serve with the skewers.

The post Grilled chicken kebabs + quick sautéed tomatoes and herb oil over yogurt appeared first on EGD.

]]>
https://www.egeedee.com/2019/08/30/grilled-chicken-kebabs-quick-sauteed-tomatoes-and-herb-oil-over-yogurt/feed/ 0 16315
Salmon cutlets with a garlic yogurt-mayo dipping sauce https://www.egeedee.com/2019/08/23/salmon-cutlets-with-a-garlic-yogurt-mayo-dipping-sauce/ https://www.egeedee.com/2019/08/23/salmon-cutlets-with-a-garlic-yogurt-mayo-dipping-sauce/#respond Fri, 23 Aug 2019 20:07:53 +0000 https://www.egeedee.com/?p=16306 I sprained my ankle at the beginning of June. I was hiking and the sandals I was wearing didn’t hold my left foot very comfortable. As a result of all that walking + weak hips, I twisted it just a little bit. It was enough for me to tear a ligament but not as badly...

Read More »

The post Salmon cutlets with a garlic yogurt-mayo dipping sauce appeared first on EGD.

]]>

I sprained my ankle at the beginning of June. I was hiking and the sandals I was wearing didn’t hold my left foot very comfortable. As a result of all that walking + weak hips, I twisted it just a little bit. It was enough for me to tear a ligament but not as badly as if I fell right on top of it. I managed to catch myself (thank you shoulders) and it was all good.

For the next few weeks, I rested, iced and did all the things I was supposed to. I knew it wasn’t broken because I walked with no discomfort. It did swell from time to time, which made me cautious and concerned. Eventually I decided I could not live this low-activity life anymore so I went to get the green light from a doctor to go to physiotherapy.

Currently, that’s what I’ve been doing with my body. I have high hopes that I will be back to my ways with minor adjustments. But there are exercises and they will only work if I work at them.

When I made the choice to become more physically active, it was 2011. On my first day at a gym, I couldn’t even walk down stairs after 10 minutes of whatever it is I did. My friend was sitting at his laptop in the lower level of my parents’ house and I was groaning about how much it hurt to walk. But I went back to the gym and kept going until I got sick of it two years ago.

Now I have an indoor activity aversion. So if it’s outdoors, I’ll do it. Indoors at a gym after an exchange of money? My face turns sour. (“WHY WHEN THE OUTDOORS IS FREE!!”). I know what I like for now. The fact that I can’t pursue any of it at a level I’m used to has given me a lot of anxiety.

“Level”: I’m not sure how to define this. It has changed so much over the years. Right now, the level is mostly walking, stretching and riding my bicycle. These are all physiotherapist approved until my ligaments get stretchier.

This is the first time I’m even writing about exercise and reading all these words that I’m typing is making me cringe. I feel like (social media rant coming up) SOCIAL MEDIA has turned us into such 1-dimensional versions of ourselves that I desperately cling to whatever sense of self I have in terms of sharing my interests. How did we get here? I am even wondering why I cared whom someone voted for.

We can be many things in our bodies. We can stretch, run, bounce or fly all the little ligaments and nerves as time goes by. Some might not be as limber but that’s a level and levels change.

Salmon cutlets with a yogurt-mayo dipping sauce

Ingredients

Serves 3-4

For the salmon

  • 226gms or 1/2 lb fresh salmon
  • 1 cup + 3/4 cup panko (Japanese style breadcrumbs)
  • 2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 green onion, cut into rounds along the vertical
  • 1 tsp fresh garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp. black sesame seeds
  • A dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Cooking spray or neutral tasting oil like safflower
  • Fresh lime, to squeeze on top

For the dipping sauce

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • A pinch of salt

Take the salmon and lay it flat on a cutting board. Ideally, your salmon should still have its skin on since this helps to keep it in one piece while you cut.

Using a sharp knife, cut the salmon horizontally into 1-2 inch thick slices and then further cut them vertically into smaller pieces. Gather the salmon into the centre of the cutting board and run your knife through it. What you end up with should look almost like ground meat with a few sizeable chunks dispersed through it.

Preheat the oven to 205C/ 400F

Put the salmon in a bowl and add 1 cup panko, soy sauce, vinegar, green onion, garlic, ginger, 2 tbsp. sesame seeds and a dash of cayenne. Mix all of it together making sure the panko is nicely spread throughout the salmon mixture. Break an egg stir it into the salmon mixture until everything is combined. Set the bowl in the fridge for about 30 minutes while the oven is heating.

Take a baking sheet and coat the bottom with cooking spray or oil.

Take a plate and scoop out about 3/4 cups panko and 2 tbsp. black sesame seeds onto it. Mix well.

Remove the salmon mixture from the fridge and add about 1 tsp of salt to it and mix using one of your hands. If you need more, then go for it. I usually taste just a tiny piece of the mixture to decide if it’s good.

Set up an assembly line of 1) salmon 2) breading 3) baking sheet. Form about 9 small balls from the salmon mixture. Taking one salmon ball at a time, gently press it down into the panko-sesame mixture to flatten it into a cutlet. Coat the other side with the breading as well. Set it on the baking sheet. Repeat with all of the salmon.

You can also make a lesser number of salmon cutlets and make them bigger instead.

Place the baking sheet with the salmon cutlets into the oven and cook for 10 minutes on one side. Take the sheet out of the oven and lightly drizzle more oil onto the bottom of it around the salmon cutlets. Let them cook for 5-10 more minutes and they’re done.

While the salmon is cooking, mix all the ingredients for the dipping sauce together. This can be made 3 days ahead and kept refrigerated.

Serve with the a generous squeeze of lime of top + the dipping sauce.

More salmon recipes:

Cedar plank grilled salmon
Salmon noodle salad with chilli lime dressing
Grilled salmon
Steamed clams and salmon in a tomato and white wine broth
Spicy salmon kebabs with a creamy cilantro yogurt sauce
Salmon cakes with jalapeno aioli

The post Salmon cutlets with a garlic yogurt-mayo dipping sauce appeared first on EGD.

]]>
https://www.egeedee.com/2019/08/23/salmon-cutlets-with-a-garlic-yogurt-mayo-dipping-sauce/feed/ 0 16306
Flowers! https://www.egeedee.com/2019/08/22/flowers/ https://www.egeedee.com/2019/08/22/flowers/#respond Thu, 22 Aug 2019 18:32:10 +0000 https://www.egeedee.com/?p=16291 I wanted to add some beauty into the world today so I compiled some photos I’ve taken in the last two months. Most of these plants are just a walk away but for some I had to literally stop and smell the roses. I spent a lot of time planting mostly flowers this year and...

Read More »

The post Flowers! appeared first on EGD.

]]>

I wanted to add some beauty into the world today so I compiled some photos I’ve taken in the last two months. Most of these plants are just a walk away but for some I had to literally stop and smell the roses.

I spent a lot of time planting mostly flowers this year and not so many vegetables. I think they will pay off over time and that thought pleases me very much. I know that it’s almost the cooler season here and as much as I dislike that – I am cold-blooded – I know I have something to look forward to in the spring.

I have taken a lot of time off Instagram and facebook and replaced all that mindless scrolling with other activities. Mainly, I have been trying to read a lot more with all that time. I know there are a lot of benefits to reading books and in this hyper digital age, it feels more crucial that we – no I – put that shit away and hide in a book. I have learnt a lot from social media and read a lot of interesting things but that’s all I’ve done…surface stuff.

I also remember how much I love watching regional cinema so that’s another of my goals, to watch moe independent movies. This is all in preparation for something and nothing at all. I want to feel like I’m in college again, waiting to soak in ideas like a sponge.

The post Flowers! appeared first on EGD.

]]>
https://www.egeedee.com/2019/08/22/flowers/feed/ 0 16291