Sunday, July 14, 2019

Ridge Gourd Saute with Peanuts - Farm to Plate

Lots of friends have asked why I don't grow onions and garlic. So last fall I planted some garlic and onion bulbs on a trial basis to see how they do and when to harvest. From theory to practice. The garlic bulbs have to be planted in the Fall with enough warmth for the bulbs to sprout. Once the cold hits they go into dormancy during the winter months and starts growing again in spring. According to another friend who is a lot more experienced farmer than me told me that the garlic and onion should be harvested on summer solstice. I delayed harvesting because of some other unavoidable work. There is always a lot unavoidable work like that in the farm. Anyway the week delay did not cause major damage to the onions and garlic but I have learned after a season of hard work growing them, time needs to be set aside for harvesting on time however busy.

So when the first Ridge Gourds of the season were harvested and as luck would have it a friend sent this recipe that she had tried and really liked. So with farm grown onions, garlic, green chilies and ridge gourd this recipe came to be. Very simple but oh so good.

Here is the recipe in pictures,
Chop the ridge gourd, onions, garlic and green chilies. In a saute pan add oil and add fennel seeds and chopped garlic, onion and green chilies.
Sauté till the onions are translucent, add the ridge gourd and turmeric powder, sauté for a minute and cover with a lid.
After 3-4 minutes, open the lid and add the sambhar powder and salt. Coarsely powder the roasted peanuts.
Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the peanuts and turn off the heat.

Tastes great with rice or as a side dish.

Ridge Gourd Saute with Peanuts
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
  1. 2 Medium sized Ridge Gourds, the thicker skin peeled and cubed (about 3 cups)
  2. 6-8 shallots chopped or a 1/4 cup of chopped red onions
  3. 3-4 garlic cloves diced
  4. 4 green chilies slit and seeds removed (adjust according to heat)
  5. 2 tsp sambhar powder
  6. 1 tsp turmeric powder
  7. 1/3 cup of coarsely crushed roasted peanuts
  8. seasonings: fennel seeds
  9. 2 tsp oil

  1. In a saute pan, add the fennel seeds followed by the onions, garlic and green chilies, saute till the onions are translucent.
  2. Add in the cubed ridge gourd and turmeric powder, mix and cover with a lid and cook for about 3-4 minutes, the ridge gourd will send out moisture.
  3. Now open the lid, the gourd should be cooked by now, add salt, sambhar powder and mix. Sauté for another2-3 minutes or so.
  4. Sprinkle the crushed peanuts mix and turn off the heat.
  5. Serve with rice.

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Saturday, July 6, 2019

Highway Chicken Curry - Turban Tadka's recipe

Late winter, spring and early summer are perhaps the busiest in a farm. Starting seeds, preparing the field for new planting and transplanting, there is never an idle moment. While later winter and early spring are the best to work outside, summer brings with it rewards but absolutely abysmal working conditions with the heat, humidity and bug menace. Every time you cook or eat be sure to give good thoughts for farmers and all the field workers who have made that possible. And last but not the least don't forget to patronize your local farmer. Nothing compares to fresh produce.

Though this blog has been pretty idle the kitchen has not been. Have been cooking a lot of greens and fresh produce. Just have not found the time to sit and write.

Today's recipe is of an easy chicken dish. This recipe is based on Turban Tadka's Highway Chicken Curry. With a few ingredients but great taste. If you have some really juicy ripe bright red tomatoes you will be very happy with the results. Though I cooked this curry near the fag end of winter. The tomatoes were ones I had frozen last summer. Freezing tomatoes has saved me from buying the tasteless tomatoes that usually abound in the winter time in the grocery stores.

This is also a reminder to buy summer tomatoes and freeze them for winter.

Here is the recipe in pictures,
Get the onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes ready along with the chicken.
Heat oil in the pan and add the whole spices. Add in the onions and green chilies and saute till translucent.
Once the onions are sauted add in the ginger and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Add in the spice powders and saute for a couple of minutes on medium heat.
Add the tomatoes and saute till the they become mushy. Add the chicken.
In medium heat cook till the chicken is cooked. Add salt and coriander leaves and cook till the desired consistency is reached.

Delicious but a very rustic and simple chicken curry is ready.

Highway Chicken Curry
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
  1. 2 lbs of chicken with bones cut into bit sized pieces
  2. 3/4 cup of chopped (or sliced) red onions
  3. 1 tbsp of grated fresh ginger
  4. 4-5 garlic cloves chopped
  5. 4 green chilies slit
  6. 1 - 1 1/2 cups of finely chopped tomatoes
  7. 2 tsp of turmeric powder
  8. 1/2 tbsp of black pepper powder
  9. 1 tbsp of red chili powder
  10. 1/2 tbsp of coriander powder (I used chicken masala powder)
  11. 1/4 tsp of cumin powder (if not using chicken masala powder)
  12. handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves
  13. Seasonings: cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, fennel seeds and curry leaf
  14. 1/2 tbsp of oil
  1. In a wide mouthed pan (kadai) (I prefer my Visions Dutch oven) add oil, when hot add the whole spices.
  2. Add in the onions and green chilies and saute till they are translucent (about 4-5 minutes). Add the ginger and garlic and saute for 2 more minutes. Take care not to burn the ginger.
  3. Add in the spice powders turmeric, black pepper, chili, coriander and cumin if using or chicken masala powder. Mix it gently.
  4. Add in the chopped tomatoes and saute in low medium heat for about 5-6 minutes till the tomato is completely mushy.
  5. Now add in the washed and drained chicken and saute for a couple of minutes and let it cook for 6-8 minutes till the chicken is completely cooked. Add salt, coriander leaves and cook till the desired consistency is reached another 3-4 minutes or so.
Serve with rice or any Indian flat bread.

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