Friday, May 14, 2010

Stinky Stuff Fusion

I made millet the other day, I like to play with grains/starches. I get bored with the rice, noodle, potato routine. It is bland like all the rest and goes with just about everything. I picked it up at an Asian grocery, which I find to be much less expensive and has much better stock turnover than most health food stores. It is cooked just like rice except that it requires 3 parts water for 1 part millet.
Today’s meal was to go with the leftover millet, so I walked out to the garden, picked a bit of the red chard, washed and chopped it and then stared at it for a few moments to figure out what it wanted to be when it grew up. I decided that it needed to be a sort of Indian meal, but not quite. I wanted the lime tang of Vietnamese food…so I chopped an onion, and two carrots from the garden.
The chard in the garden is about to go to seed, so I am eating as much of it as I can. I hated chard as a kid, but once I learned that vegetables can be seasoned with more than salt, pepper and a bit of butter, and don’t need to be cooked until they are unrecognizable, a whole new world opened up.

I pulled out my grandmother’s trusty cast iron skillet and heated a little oil. Into that oil I tossed asafoetida, yes, you folks who took Latin read that right, it means stinky stuff, another name for it is hing. The folks in India who have religious reasons for not using garlic or just don’t like garlic or bad breath use it instead, the scent does cling to your clothes though. I think it is great, and it really lets you know who your real friends are!
Next some black mustard seeds, and cumin seeds. When those started popping, I tossed in a little turmeric, some garam masala, and some red pepper. As soon as the red pepper hit the pan I grabbed the chopped onion and tossed it in, because I know that if it smokes I’ll be coughing while opening every window in the house. Next went in the carrots and the stems of the chard. When those were softened, I added the greens, tossed it a bit and then put on the cover and turned it to low. While that was cooking I zapped the millet. I scooped the greens into the bowl, scooped some chick peas in on top and drizzled a little lime juice with a bit of sugar over the top of it all.

Very yummy, very filling, has complete proteins, and certainly is not boring. It has no name, but today I called it lunch.

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