What should greet us this morning as we returned from our early morning coffee run to the Basque Boulangerie but a large turkey vulture sitting on the branch of a tree looking down at our house.
"Whoa!" I thought. What a kickoff to Meatless Monday. Whatever that big bird was looking for, he was not going to find it in my kitchen this afternoon.
It was Meatless Monday at our house and the Vulture was out of luck.
I love meatless Monday but it always hits me with a bit of a thud after the weekend. Especially this last weekend and the big Lamb Biryani dinner I'd cooked. for Paula Wolfert. So, I wound up spending time thinking about vegetables last night. What was fresh, what was available and what I felt like eating.
Not wanting Alan to be hungry, I thought three courses would do it. One hot, one cold and one room temperature. Two solids and a soup.
I decided I'd try a great and easy-to-whip-up corn salad. Since today is Memorial Day and the kick off to the Summer Season, it only seemed fitting that I'd fix a salad that would go just as well on a Meatless Monday as on a Whole Hog Saturday.
This is a traditional corn salad from the West coast of India. Here's what to do.
Cut the kernels off of 6 ears of corn. I used three white ears and three yellow ears for contrast.
Take half of the kernels and place them in a blender. Grind them up and mix them back in with the rest of the raw corn kernels.
In a large skillet or kadhai heat 2 Tbs of vegetable oil.
When the oil is hot toss in:
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds. As soon as they start to get fragrant and change color add in:
1/8 tsp of turmeric powder
All the corn.
Stir it around then put a lid on the pan and cook for about 10 minutes or so. Check it once in a while and make sure the corn isn't sticking. If it does, add a few tablespoons of milk to keep things moving.
Take the lid off the pan and add in:
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of sugar
1/4 tsp of ground cumin
1/8 tsp of kashmiri chili powder (cayenne if you can't get it)
1/2 tsp of lemon juice
Once again, stir it up over a low heat to make sure everything is blended in, then take if off the stove and mix in
1/2 cup of grated unsweetened coconut.
Set it aside and serve it at room temperature.
I've gotta add that Alan loved this dish. So did I, and it's another winning salad that I'm going to be serving a lot this Summer.
This Meatless Monday is really working out. Tomorrow...soup for you!