Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cauliflower and Potato Subzi

I have very little faith in the health care reform bill that is coming out of congress. I am not particularly sure what the final bill will have when it does get passed. Last month it was the senator from Maine, Susan Collins who was seen as the all important vote but now the man of the hour is Joe Liberman, yes the very same guy from Connecticut who is probably in the payroll of a dozen insurance companies. Whatever shenanigans these guys play with the health of people who cares? I doubt if there is any American today who does not have anxiety about his health care coverage. We have our worries.

For many years we had individual coverage, purchased directly from an insurance company. The premium on such a plan is no doubt very high. Majority of Americans have health coverage through their employers called group insurance, the premiums are deducted from the pay check which may range from zero to as high as an individual plan. During the last decade barring a couple of years when I was a full time employee our coverage has been through an organization called the National Association of Self Employed professionals. We pay premium where coverage is mostly for catastrophic situations while getting group rates for treatment but the doctor's bill would be paid by us. The health insurance also gets us admission to a doctor's office who for the most part would not accept patients without insurance coverage. A non insured patient ends up in the emergency room, where they cannot be turned away for lack of coverage.

That said, I took the DDs for their yearly checkup and vaccinations appointment. The bills we received should have given me a heart attack. The amounts given in parenthesis is the discounted amount through the insurance.

DD2's bill came to $509 (don't know yet)
DDs bill came to $406 (256.91)
Sick visit for DD2 $111 (52.95)

We are still sorting through the doctor's office about the actual amount that needs to be paid. The doctor's office claims that they have not heard from insurance company. No way am I blaming the doctor's office for the mess but the frustration and the multiples phone calls have me in a bad mood.

How do we deal with our lack of complete coverage? We have a health saving account (HSA) through which we contribute a yearly maximum of $5000 which can used solely towards payment for health related expenses. We also have a CD in the bank for expenses related to health. In case of a huge health related expense we are prepared to make a trip to India where we have family members who are doctors to get treated.
Sad right?

But surely this is not a perfect solution. What about people who are unable to pay? Tough luck.

No health care reform will have the impact it should without adequate tort reform. Tort reform to release doctors from the strange hold the sue happy lawyers have on them. Patients for sure need a single payer system where health coverage is not tied to an employer. I read both are not politically possible. Congress is so indebted to industry and special interest money that meaningful reform is probably impossible.

The biggest question I have in mind is the coverage that so called conservatives have. They are so offended by the government entering the health care business through the public option - this is not a radical thought the government is already entrenched in the health care market through Medicare. But what about the health care mess they and their family are in?

What we can do and is under our control is to eat healthy and stay healthy. Cauliflower and Potatoes is a much beloved combination in our house. Cooked mostly in a dry form, sookhi aloo gobhi are a great combination with chapatis. I wanted to make a slight modification and give this combination a try.

Cauliflower and Potato Subzi
1. 4 Medium sized potatoes cubed 4 cups worth
2. 1 head of cauliflower, flowers separated to bite sized pieces 2 cups worth
3. 1/2 onion sliced 1/2 cup
4. 1/2 medium sized tomato chopped very fine 1/2 cup
5. 2 tsp turmeric powder
6. 1/2 tbsp ginger grated
7. pounded 5 - 6 garlic cloves
8. 1 tbsp sambhar powder
9. seasonings: mustard, cumin and curry leaves
10. 1 tsp oil, salt to taste

1. In a wide bottomed pan heat oil and add the seasonings followed by the onion and garlic and saute till onions start to soften
2. Add ginger and give a good mix, add the turmeric powder followed by the potatoes and saute for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes saute till the tomatoes break down. Add the cauliflower and salt, mix well, sprinkle 1 tbsp of water, cover the lid and let cook for 10 minutes or till the potatoes are soft and well cooked.
4. Open the lid add the sambhar powder and let look for 5 more minutes or till the moisture is completed gone.

Serve with chapatis.


  1. Move to Canada, Indo! No worries about insurance or health care. :)

    The subzi looks so yummm!

  2. Wow do you have to pay that amount from you pocket or do your insurence pay it?
    I am so glad we live in Belgium.
    I think we pay something like 250 € for the special insurence for all three of us together and then just 40 € eacg for the GP insurence etc......... come over here.

  3. Oh forgot to say that amount was for the whole year not for one month.

  4. Kay, if not for the cold weather we just might.

    HC, our insurance coverage is such that we pay for most care. We pay twice that much as premium every 3 months just to get a discounted rate.

  5. Oh my that is scary. Our health insurance has always been through our employer so it has been ok so far. But our premiums have been increasing over the years and now quiet a fair amount goes out of pocket.

    One of our friends have individual coverage, I am not sure what kind, they pay about $1400 for 3, but the doc visit etc. is paid

    Cauliflower and Potatoes, go so well together

  6. Just recently took individual insurance and yes it costs a lot when compared to the group insurance.
    I always end up trying to sort the issues with the insurance company over the bills, when left unnoticed they charge more. I agree it is whole lot of a mess and I am pretty sure the new bill will be no better. Maybe it will benefit the insurance companies but not the common man.
    Yes, eat healthy and stay fit to avoid all these issues. Curry looks good. Should try adding sambar powder .

  7. My favourite combination..delicious..

  8. I've been shocked by the charges as well after seeing the Explanation of Benefits... It's quite insane.
    Even with insurance through the company the premiums keep increasing each year as does the deductible.

    Love both veggies so this is a super hit combination.

  9. The health insurance is the best gambling done I believe! The cauliflower and potato subzi is a real favorite but we hardly ever make it at home. Will be going on a pilrimage. Will be back by next weekend! See u then Indo!

  10. The subzi looks lovely !

  11. You have captured the well prepared dish......WELL.....


  12. You bring up some really good points; health care here is a mess indeed and I also believe like you that it has a lot to do with the doctors under a constant scare of being sued by hungry lawyers. The question in my mind is say we pay the high premiums and the exorbitant out-pf-pockets even then are we really getting care that is our money's worth? One of the recent experience I had with some diagnostic tests had me wishing that I should just go to India for a week and get all the tests done there, so much was the craziness.

    Anyway, coming back to the recipe, this dish looks yummy! I make a similar one with just one addition of peas. You said it so well that best we can do is eat well, exercise and take care of our health proactively :)

  13. Subzi looks delicious, we too make in a similar way!


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