Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gujarati Vegetables With Lime And Cilantro


Ever since Paula Wolfert gave me a Clay Coyote Flameware skillet the other day, I've been jonesing to use it. However, at the same time I got the skillet, I also got all inspired to fix some meatless Indian raw salads that I'd learned of from a cookbook she'd also given me.
 I kept staring at the beautiful Flameware skillet up on the shelf next to my clay pots and my fingers were just itching to get it on the stove for a test run.
 So today, I decided to cook up a simple Gujarati vegetable dish with lime and cilantro and try out my new pan.
   I picked up 3 organic zucchini on sale from our local farm market and that was the starting point. At a $1.49 a pound how could I resist?
Here's what I did.
 Halve and steam 2 Yukon gold potatoes for about 15 minutes. When they're fork tender, run them under cold water to stop the cooking process and set them aside.
In a large, deep skillet or kadhai, heat 2 Tbs of butter or vegetable oil.
 When it's hot toss in:
1 tsp. coriander seed
1 tsp. cumin seed
1 tsp. of fennel seed

Stir them around until the spices darken and then ad in:
1/4 tsp of red chili pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. of turmeric

Stir them around for a bit and then toss in:
3 large diced zucchini
2 steamed potatoes, diced.

Saute the vegetables for about 20 minutes. Stir them about. The potatoes will get nice and browned and crispy.
When all the vegetables are cooked through, toss in :
1 cup of frozen peas. If using fresh peas put them in with the other vegetables.
1 tsp. of lime juice
1 and 1/2 tsp. of salt
2 tsps. of sugar

Mix the spices in well and then stir in 3 Tbs of chopped fresh cilantro and serve. This dish is great, economical and cooks up fast. Alan liked it so much that after 2 helpings he asked, "is this part of Meatless Monday?" No dear, it's Thursday.
 I have to add totally beside the point, that I've started baking bread. Up here in Sonoma it's quite common to find insanely delicious bread from a whole raft of artisan bakers. Unfortunately, a lot of these breads also have insanely high price tags. So I've picked up my stone, and my peel and have started baking. I've been churning out this bread, proofing it in my cozy warm garage next to my Volvo, and now letting it slowly rise in the fridge for a few days, turning it into sourdough. Alan has all sorts of suggestions for interesting add-ins. Here's the sourdough I baked this afternoon.
Alan has now asked for jam. Buy a man some bread he'll eat it. Show a man you can bake bread..he'll ask you to make jam.

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