Monday, March 30, 2009

Date 'n Nut Balls

Swiss Chard Challenge:
Have you started to setup up pots for the Swiss Chard? Its about time, in some areas it might be warm enough to sow seeds.

Green Earth
I am sure everyone dreams about stuff to do in the house. I have many such dreams too numerous to count but mostly those that I do not necessarily act on. One is of a recurring kind where I derive my power independent of the power grid. I have these shiny solar panels on the roof catching all the power from the sun. This I know is a costly dream but in all probability will pay off in a few years. I realize it does not have to be a dream when I read a news article in the Washington Post a few weeks ago. A Maryland couple had installed their solar panels almost 20 years ago and the panels are erected about six feet from the ground and their 2000 square feet home has been fully powered by these panels. State and federal government offer subsidies for installing solar systems. Another Maryland resident has installed a windmill to generate power for his home. Though we do have winds powerful enough to blow off our siding now and then, this might not be a viable option. If you are interested in reading the articles, links here

Md.Couple Basks In Savings From A 19-Year Old Solar System

Green Answers, Blowing in the Wind

It is really encouraging to read these articles and when the time comes and with money readily available(I am pretty sure this would be the stumbling block) maybe I'd convince myself and other responsible parties to give this a try.

I have a sweet tooth, a severe one at that. When I was a kids whenever ammayee(grand mom) sent mysore pa or gulab jamuns I ate them early in the morning right after brushing my teeth. I seemed to carry that even today, now I indulge on sugary breakfast cereals as a snack early in the morning. Cereals are good for you aren't they. Having sweet things without sugar added seem to be a great idea.

I saw these date and walnut balls on Linda's Make Life Sweeter a long time ago and had been planning on making them ever since. It came to pass when I bought a lot of walnuts and had to use them before they became rancid.

Mahima of Indian Vegetarian Kitchen has a version of the these balls here.

I also used a handful of peanuts and after a couple of days I saw oil pooled in the bottom of the container. Peanut/walnut oil?. A dab with a piece of paper towel removed the oil. A ball during midday satisfied my sweet and hunger pangs. DD loved it but DD2 did not take to them.


Recipe Source: Halawa Tamr (date and walnut balls)

Makes: 15 balls

1. 1 1/2 cups of walnuts and peanuts
2. 10 dates
3. handful of raisins
1. Blend the nuts,dates and raisins till they come together in a mass.
2. Roll out into small lime sized balls

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lima Beans Kootu (Lima Beans / Butter Beans in spicy lentil gravy)

When I resigned my job last September, the stock market had not tanked, Wall Street had not become a villain and bonus was not such a dirty word. The picture seemed rosier. Was it really but compared to now it definitely was. I wanted a break and moreover the job did not make me feel like I was accomplishing anything and making me itchy and restless. The 2 years that I spent in the company after it was acquired is a story for another day, but it was an important experience in terms of how people spun everything for short term benefits.

I was so busy those days that I used to wonder how DD2 went from being a baby to a preschooler. I always had this worry at the back of my head about how I was going to fare with all this free time because I have never been without a job. Would I become someone so obsessed with my house and children that I would not recognize myself after a few months? Would I compete through my children and drive them nuts? Will I shop till I drop all in the name of beautifying something or other? Lets see.

Now I was left with all this time in the world and it felt great. Nothing earth shattering to rush out the door for. After the initial euphoria with my free time wore off I had to devise a strategy to use the time. If I lived in a place that was warm all year round I might started to look for a piece of land to grow stuff. seriously.

For most of us the day jobs outside our homes defines who we are, so when that is yanked we seem to lose our bearings. Now and then with all the gloom and doom I do wonder if I did the right thing. Even if I start looking for a new job right now I am not going to get gainfully employed any time soon, so I decided not to try. If you had been layed off from work this might give you some ideas about how to structure your time and not worry about not having that job.


First and fore most learn to enjoy the time on your hands and not worry about being jobless. This might be considered as the time off you always wanted but never got around to it. Also use the extra time to brush up on some technology or skill you wanted. Learn to cook healthy and learn a few tricks, so when you do go back to work it will come in handy. Take that afternoon nap and go for a walk when the weather is good. Develop some good exercise habits which is sure to help even when you get busy. Brush up those hobbies and interests that have never had the time of day. Here is how I spend my time,

1.Take part in every activity at the kids' schools. I have all the time to take part in their activities and be part of their life. While DD has become independent to a large extent, DD2 actually enjoys having me around.
2.Try out recipes that have been bookmarked for ever.
3.Exercise regularly, I especially enjoy going to the swimming pool in the mornings and swim with sunshine streaming through the windows. There are lot of senior citizens at that time of the day. I overheard 2 ladies talking about going to the senior Olympics. They inspire me and wish fervently to be as active at that age. Of late I have been seeing a lot of people my age. Is this is a sign of what is going on in the job market?
4. Spend a couple of hours or longer, keeping up with the latest technology, so if I do go back to work I am not completely rusty.
5. Dab a bit in the stock market. I have always been intrigued by people who only pay capital gains tax and no payroll taxes. Trying my hand to see if this can become a full time job. I am only half kidding.
6.Take walks around the neighborhood when the weather is pleasant and explore the park and creek nearby with DD2 who gets home in the afternoon. This is usually what gives the most joy.
7.Take the pleasure of the extra few minutes in bed in the morning, this is not always possible because the kids have to get to school but I know I can always catch a few zzzs once they are out the door. Take that afternoon nap if I need to. I am not big on afternoon napping but I know I can if I want to.
8.Learned to shop smarter especially groceries. I am a lot better now, yes occasionally I forget my coupons and don't always look at the fliers but the times I have done I know I have saved quite a bit.
9. Learning to play tennis, something I have always wanted to but never had the time.
10. Volunteering. I teach English. I got trained and am tutoring through this organization.
11. The last but not the least is this blog and blogging. This has to a large extent kept my sanity, giving me the medium to crib, rant and complain when I needed to. I have also learned a lot from the various blogs that I visit regularly.
This article is not an endorsement/encouragement for anyone to quit their job(not that I believe that anybody is going from reading to writing a resignation letter). I was firmly of the belief that a job was essential to happiness/contentment and when I finally decided to quit the results were quite different from my expectations. This absolutely does not mean I won't go back to work full time. The important takeaway is to be happy wherever we are, especially if the break was forced. I am not really sure if I was successful in conveying that in all that blah.

The minute I saw this double beans recipe on Arundathi's My Food blog, I knew I was going to try it very soon. I rarely add beans to lentils/dal. I usually use onions or tomatoes to form the base for the gravy but to use mashed dal in its place seemed more healthy and of course easier. I gave it a try and it has become my most favored way of cooking dried lima beans.


Recipe Source: My Food Blog - Double Beans Kootu

Lima Beans Kootu
1. 3/4 cup toor dal cooked with a pinch of turmeric, drop of oil and extra water to be used for the curry
2. 1 1/2 cups dried lima beans soaked overnight
3. 1/2 red onion chopped
4. 2 roma tomatoes chopped
5. 3 green/red chilies
6. 2 tsp sambhar powder
7. 1 cup green beans chopped
8. salt to taste
9. seasonings: curry leaves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and a pinch of asfoetida
1. Take a pan and heat a tsp of oil and add the seasonings followed by the chilies.
2. Add the onions, green chilies and saute till translucent and add the tomatoes and saute till soft. Add the sambhar powder.
3. Now add the green beans and double beans and the water from the toor dal and let them cook till the double beans is almost cooked.
4.Now add the mashed toor dal and salt, mix and let it boil for a few more minutes.

Serve with rice or rotis.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tom Yum Goong (Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup Thai Style)

I have a love and hate relationship or more like tolerate and hate relationship with this particular food item. For the life of me I could not understand how this slimy, ungainly looking thing makes so many people wax eloquent. But guilt is what pushes me towards buying this now and then. I felt guilty for depriving my family of all the goodness by keeping away from it. So I brace myself and bring some home. I even had a few successful recipes though the one I seem to prefer most is the deep fried version invariably found in most take out fried rice.

I have watched in amazement at recipes where this was used as a substitute for traditional ingredients. I watched paneer being tossed in favor of this in mattar paneer. It even became raita. It replaced eggs in a scramble, which is the form I happen to cook up most often. Moreover I watched friends add a handful of this beans to make idli batter or a handful of powder into paratha dough with great trepidation.

I bet by now you know that I am talking about Tofu and Soy. I started to read up more about soy and soy products to assuage my guilt, learning more than I wanted to in the process. Soy is the second most subsidized crop in the United States next only to corn. It has taken over land from other crops simply because it is more profitable. Once it got its reputation as a super food and endorsement from health food experts its utilization and popularity steadily grew. Most processed foods seem to have some form of soy based ingredient in them. I am sure even with a stellar reputation it cannot be consumed for breakfast, lunch and dinner without fear of side effects. Like the CDS (Credit Default Swaps) that we cannot escape from the benefits of soy seem to be overrated whose fall I expect will come sooner than later. I also understand that it does not hurt to have the most powerful lobby promoting its benefits. The soybeans have to be fermented to produce soy curd which is called Tofu. In its raw form soy bean inhibits absorption of nutrients making it unsuitable for consumption. To make roasted soy beans, they are first cooked completely to deactivate the enzyme that inhibits the absorption of nutrients and protein.

I am glad I did the research, I realize now soy is not a replacement for any food group and come to the conclusion that there is no need for it in Indian cooking. Using paneer in mattar paneer once in a while is not going to cause any great harm. I would rather use potatoes if I had to toss out the paneer. As for the raita I won’t even go there. Needless to say I rest easy without being forced into guilt by the unseen Tofu gods. I still may occasionally cook up that tofu scramble not because of its health benefits but simply because I feel like eating it and maybe even this stir fried tofu. There are a lot of negative effects of eating soy products which I won't go into at length here but there is a lot of information available so please do your research.

If Tofu kept me awake for a night or two, it is nothing compared to what I had to go through before I was able to cook up some Tom Yum Goong in my kitchen. I had gone out with some friends to a Thai restaurant. Yes, most Thai soups are light and flavorful always leaving you wanting more. This one was no exception. When I started to look up the recipe I was glad to find that it was really very simple. As luck would have it an international market opened a mile from our house. I picked up lemon grass, galangal and chili sa-te. It could easily replace the nam prik pao. The ingredients in this were chilies, shallots, sugar and citric salt preserved in soy bean oil (!) similar to nam prik pao. I used vegetable broth which gave this soup a bright color. Any broth can be used or even just water would do. Adding or leaving out the shrimp is completely up to you. We added some noodles to our soup to make it a complete meal. As for the kafir lime leaves did not have any but I had a lime tree in a pot.

I based the soup on the following recipes.
Rasa Malaysia
Chez Pim


Serves: 5

Tom Yum Goong

1. 1 Quart Vegetable broth
2. 15 Shrimp
3. a handful of coriander leaves
4. 3 red thai chilies
5. about 2 inch piece of galangal peeled and sliced
6. 2-3 lemon grass outer leaves removed and sliced
7. 4-5 lime leaves
8. 2-3 tbsp fish sauce
9. 2 tbsp chili paste (nam prik pao)
10. 1/2 tbsp lite soy sauce
11. 4 Cups of water
12. juice from 1 lemon (lime preferable)
13. 1 pack crimini mushrooms cleaned and sliced
14. 2 cups cooked noodles ( I used soba noodles and chow mein stir fried noodles)
15. 1 tomato cut into chunks (optional)

1. In a sauce pan throw in the sliced galangal, sliced lemon grass, torn lime leaves and slit thai chilies and a bit of the chili paste and let it reduce to about 2 cups.
filter out the liquid.
2. Now heat the stock with the aromatics filtered out from step 1 till it comes to a boil and 5 minutes more, filter out the aromatics.
3. Now add the broth from step 1 into the stock.
4. Add the fish sauce, chili paste and soy and let the mixture come to a boil
5. Cook the noodles per direction if using and add it to the soup
6. Add the sliced mushrooms and towards the end the cleaned shrimp. Cook for a minute or two.
7. Sprinkle the coriander leaves and server immediately.
8. Squeeze lemon juice onto the cups.

A Poll!

I ask you to indulge me and take the poll displayed on the side bar.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kid friendly Broccoli and Carrot Quesadilla

I had been mulling about identity ever since the usually unflappable DD came home all upset. She was in second grade. A girl in her class had repeatedly insisted that she was an American Indian (Native American) even though DD explained to her several times that she was Indian from the subcontinent. They were learning about Native Americans and the girl wanted to know if DD and her folks roamed around with bows and arrows.

This came up again a few days ago but DD a bit older dealt with it to her satisfaction. Not exactly the same context but a Chinese friend of hers was surprised that Indians were also Asian. She had assumed only people from the Far East countries are considered Asian. I would not blame her, there are lot of adults who assume that and that is generally the case. DD this time put her foot down and asked the friend if she was going to believe her or another person who had no knowledge of the fact and with the advice to go check in an Atlas if India belonged in Asia or not.

This also brings another incident to mind, one of DD's classmates is from Taiwan(T1). The conversation between him and another boy went like this.

B1: Where are you from?
T1: I am from Taiwan.
B1: So you are Chinese?
T1: NO! I am Taiwanese?
B1: You are Chinese!
T1: NO, I am not Chinese. I am Taiwanese.
B1: Whatever.

That answer pretty much sums up the apathy which is so bothering. All these incidents clearly illustrate that kids though not expressed openly (at least in our home it is not) take their identity seriously. The country that someone is originally from might be as important as the ethnicity. I also have to add through all of this their pride in being American never wavers.

From the food we eat, clothes we wear, customs we respect and traditions we follow are all inextricably linked with our identity. Even saving, spending habits and educational achievement are all identified by who we are and where we came from. Of course this identity also comes with certain stereotyping like this comment from one of DD's classmates again "Asians don't have a life!". It can be taken as a compliment or a commentary IMO. It could just mean that Asians as a group are hard working and value education more than frivolous pursuits. Again I am stereotyping here but with a spin. But this stereotype could be true of Asians only when applying to a small group of immigrants, but surely back home it is a different story.

I imagine it is hard enough being an immigrant kid trying to blend in and also carrying the burden of defending who you are. It is good to be part of the melting pot but would be best while retaining the good and leaving the bad when you melt into that pot.

When you live in your own home country advice, support and help is only a plane or train ride away. Elders guide you towards the best of possible choices and serve as sounding boards and steer you in the right direction. But when you are far away this support and clarity of thought is not always available. What is readily available though is the practises and customs that are part of your identity. Most times decisions based on those age old practises turn out to be the best for any situation.

I have not always been aware of my identity or its significance till I moved away from home. The older I get the more I realize that identity is very important to what you are as a human being. Teaching kids the language and food habits are just the most obvious way to connect to that identity. But the other not so obvious ones are what is essential for living a better life.

The problems with this identity manifest themselves in the lunch room at schools. I am sure parents of school age kids have resorted to packing peanut butter jelly sandwich just to keep peace at home.

DD hates peanut butter so we had to figure other foods that tasted good and were not junky. Broccoli Carrot Quesadilla is one of those things though ethnic has blended into the mainstream that no questions are asked. She has also learned to deal with the eeyews and what is that? and does not hesitate to take easily eatable Indian foods to school. I like quesadillas as they provide a great canvas for me to work on. No No I am not suggesting I am artist. I am not that creative :( It also takes very minimal time and a tasty lunch is ready in minutes.

DD's version of the recipe: Quesadillas with Broccoli and Bell Peppers


Broccoli and Carrot Quesadilla
Serves: 1

1. I head of broccoli florets (about 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli)
2. 1/2 carrot grated
3. 1 tbsp shredded cheese
4. 1 large whole wheat tortilla
5. Variation: scrambled eggs, roasted bell peppers

1. Microwave the broccoli florets with a sprinkle of water. Once done squeeze out any extra moisture and chop them up.
2. Heat a pan and heat the tortilla on both sides for a few seconds.
3. Spread the broccoli and the grated carrot.
4. Sprinkle the cheese on top and let it melt a bit
5. Fold the tortilla over, turn over and cook a bit on the other side.


Lunch is ready with a side of yogurt. I am not fond of broccoli but give me as many of these quesadillas and I am ready to eat them, no problem.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chettinad style Brinjal with Potatoes

beetroot = cabbage + green beans OR do beetroot equal purple cabbages and beans? I don't think so and I am sure none of you think so too, but someone in my house reads beets as cabbages! On those rare occasions when I ask the other adult in the household to do some grocery shopping I spend a significant amount of time getting the list ready. As for me I make list occasionally. Anyway the list for DH is a lot more detailed than anything I would make for me. It has instructions on how many tomatoes or potatoes to pick up, the size of the onions and where they should be pressed to find out if they are starting to go bad. It is indeed an arduous process.

You might be wondering if it wouldn't much easier just doing the shopping myself, well some days there is no other choice. Anyway all I remember putting in the list were beets but when I return from my trip, the grocery was put away and the kitchen counters and stove wiped clean. This pleased me no end but when I search for the beets all I see is a purple cabbage sitting next to the green cabbage that I had purchased just a few days earlier and a bag of green beans. So I come home with my head filled with beet recipes but there is no beets only purple cabbage and green beans. Some reprogramming was required to use up the purple cabbage instead. Adding chopped up cabbage to Dal Rice made it look and taste good.They were a great addition to fried rice and using them in place of onion in gravies. So if life hands me a cabbage or in particular a purple cabbate I have learnt to deal with it.

But purple brinjals are another matter altogether. Like this Brinjal masal on Solai's blog. I am sure most of you aware of this treasure trove of Chettinad recipes. Though Chettinad is famous for spicy non vegetarian dishes there are a quite a few lip smacking spicy vegetarian dishes as well. I just love the fact that she had used sambhar powder in the recipe. I added a few potatoes for some extra quantity.

We had them with some whole wheat rotis but tastes good with rice as well.


Recipe Source: Brinjal Masal

Chettinad Style Brinjal with Potatoes
1. 10 Medium sized purple brinjals sliced thin
2. 3 Medium sized potatoes, peeled and sliced
3. 1/2 red or yellow onion chopped
4. 6-8 cloves of garlic sliced
5. 2 juicy red tomatoes chopped (I used 10 grape tomatoes and 1 medium sized tomato)
6. 1 tbsp sambhar powder
7. 2 tsp turmeric powder
8. seasonings - cumin, curry leaves and mustard
9. salt to taste
10. 2 tsp oil
1. In a kadai heat oil and add the seasonings, when the mustard pops add the onions and saute till translucent.
2. Add garlic and saute for a minute more. Now add the tomatoes and salt and cook till the tomatoes are soft.
3. Add the brinjal pieces and saute for a few more minutes.
4. Add the potatoes, turmeric,sambhar powder,salt and mix with the brinjal pieces.
5. Sprinkle a tbsp of water, cover the lid and cook till the potatoes and brinjal turns soft.
6. Open the lid and saute till all the water is absorbed.

Serve with rotis.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Rotis with Stone Ground Wheat Flour and Kale with Toor and Chana dal

I have always wondered if some fried foods are considered more equal or less junky than others. I would never associate ulundu vadai (black gram fritters) with junk food whereas french fries would always be associated with junk food. Not all fried food are completely bad and none of them are good to be consumed on a daily basis. So if I do end up eating fried foods everyday am I not the one who is solely responsible?

Lot of Indians were in the news, Bobby Jindal who is trying to become the leader of the other party talks so fast that I had trouble keeping up with his delivery the speech hid the whiz kid who so impressed everybody, Dr. Gupta who apparently turned down the position of Doctor in Chief, Vijay Mallya the guy who pooh poohed "Be Indian as Buy Indian" as old fashioned is the knight in shining armor to rescue the Gandhi memorabilia on auction and who can forget the Slum dog Millionaire awards. Perhaps all good things.

The thing I am most afraid of is it is becoming clear that our law makers do not have the guts or ability to set right the country's ills and it starting to stare at us from the front pages of the newspaper. The speaker of the house cancelling events to make nice with one half of Brangelina and the supposed leader of the free world and his team having a war of words with the drug abusing talk show host is enough to send shivers up your spine. If this is somehow supposed to inspire confidence that these people are in charge?

The economy is hurting us in different ways. Here is something that I think I have complete control over namely my grocery bills. Not to say I did not have these methods at my disposal before, just that I did not pay close attention to them. Now with the saving and shopping judiciously the order of the day these things are taking a life of their own. When I was too busy there was just enough time to run in and grab everything I wanted and rush out, shopping smartly was the last thing on my mind. At the checkout, stood and watched in awe as the smart shopper in front of me got close to $150 wiped off her bill with various coupons and cards. I would resolve to do something about my shopping habits but nothing changed. Well now with time on my hands being that smart shopper does seem a definite possibility. Clipping coupons helps but it also makes you buy over priced stuff. Paying attention to the fliers from the local grocery seems to the best way to cut costs. They have coupons that give a $10 or $5 off if the purchase is more than an certain amount which seem to work out better than coupons for a specific product. Also there are items that are on sale each week. Just a little extra planning can help save $20 or so every visit. Moreover even organic items are on sale on certain days of the week.

When things get to me I to head to the nearest swimming pool. On days that the weather or the news or whatever gets to me the dip puts me in a better frame of mind. If you are into swimming, running, walking or dancing I bet you know what I am talking about.

Stone Ground Wheat Flour
The wheat flour that Indian grocery stores carry is called atta and is also labelled as whole wheat flour, it has a slightly yellowish tinge and is pretty fine and smooth. There is no bran - look here. The last time around I found a 25 lbs bag of stone ground whole wheat flour for the price of 20 lbs of atta. Though a bit reluctant to buy that large a quantity, what if it was a disaster, I picked it nevertheless (see above). Fast forward, the texture of the flour is a bit coarse but the rotis or chapatis made out of the flour are so soft. They do not get hard or chewy the next day which is not the case with rotis made of atta. If you like a slightly smoother texture you can always sift the flour. I have not tried it but just a thought. Following Kay's method of leaving the dough to rest for 3-4 hours or soaking as she calls it gives even better results.


Stone ground Wheat Flour Rotis
1. 3 Cups Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour
2. 1 tsp salt
3. 1 tsp oil - amended - 1 tbsp yogurt or yogurt whey
4. 1 cup of water

1. Mix the flour, salt and oil.
2. Add water bit by bit and make a pliable dough
3. Let the dough rest for at least an hour but preferably for 3-4 hours/
4. make small lime sized balls and roll it out into circles about 1/4 inch thick.
5. Heat a griddle and transfer the rolled out dough onto it. Wait for a second and turn it
6. Let it cook on one side till brown spots appear
7. Flip and apply slight pressure till the rotis start to puff
8. Remove from the heat. apply a bit of ghee or spray of oil if desired.


Kale is a green that I have not tried before. One look at Sig's Chickpeas and Kale stir fry is all the encouragement I needed. I had not soaked chickpeas so decided to use a combination of toor and chana dals.

Kale with chana and toor dals
1. 1 bunch Kale washed and chopped
2. 1/2 onion chopped
3. 1/2 cup toor dal
4. 1/2 cup chana dal
5. 5 garlic cloves chopped
6. 1/2 tbsp sambhar powder
7. 1 tsp turmeric powder
8. 1 tbsp lemon juice
9. salt to taste
10. 1 tsp oil

1. Cook the toor and chana dal with a bit of turmeric and a drop of sesame oil
till soft. (should not be mushy)
2. Heat a pan add the oil when hot add the onions and garlic and saute till soft.
3. Add the kale and let it cook till wilted (will be still a bit crunchy)
4. Add the sambhar powder and salt
5. Add the cooked dal and mix
6. Add the lemon juice.

Serve with rotis or as a side for rice.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bean and Vegetable Burger

It is convenient, comfortable, no fuming, no swearing, could catch some zzzs or two, read a book, listen to music or even watch a movie. Even with so many plusses, public transportation is not the preferred mode of commute for a lot of people in the US. I am not talking about people who have to jump through hoops to take the bus or train but about people for whom it would be an added convenience. I was talking to someone who wrote it off without even a thought.

This sudden light did not dawn on me in a moment of lucidity one fine morning but one I had known all along. Public transportation is just not chic. When I told people at my (ex)office I take the bus and metro to get to work, the question that popped up was "You take the bus?" in that incredulous voice. Taking public transportation for some reason brings with it a negative connatation. When the gas hit $4/gallon the negative was overcome and a lot more people readily took the bus making it difficult for regulars to find parking spots. Unlike in European countries I know of no high level official (barring the VP who used to take the Amtrak), takes public transportation and hence lack of powerful voices to fight for these services. There was a huge uproar about a year back when it came to light that none of the officals who sit on the metro board have ever been on the DC metro. Fixing transportation should be on top of the list if there is some hope of doing something about the emissions. Public transportation to get popular should become cool and irresistible.

I have not posted a bean recipe in quite a while and wanted to set it right. I have been cooking a lot of beans but nothing new. I wanted to make something similar to those bean burgers that we find in the frozen section and they do make a decent meal.
I started out pan frying and then put them in the oven as impatientce took over. But the pan fried ones are much more moist and tastier than the baked ones.


Black Bean Vegetable Burger
1. 2 cups black beans soaked overnight
2. 2 potatoes
3. 1 cup green beans
4. 2 carrots peeled and diced
5. a handful of green peas
6. 4 green chilies chopped fine
7. 4 garlic pods chopped
8. 2 tsp chili powder (suit to taste)
9. salt to taste
10. garlic 2 inch piece (half grated, half pounded)

1. Pressure cook the black beans with the pounded ginger till soft
2. Steam the potatoes and other veggies
3. Fish out the ginger and mash the beans gently and mixed with the mashed veggies (press the water out)
4. Mash the potatoes and mix with the chopped chilies, garlic, grated ginger
5. Now shape them into patties of desired size
6. Spray on both sides and bake at 325F for 7 minutes on both sides. Remove from the oven and let it rest outside. (if left in the oven for too long they get too dry)

Serve on sandwich buns. I use cream cheese instead of mayo and they tasted great with some sliced tomatoes, onions and relish.