Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I prepared this soup for my friend Busayo's birthday dinner. She was leaving for Nigeria and would be gone on the actual day, but I wanted to give her a little celebration before she left. I brought this soup over with a beet salad, baguette and one of my favorite cheeses - Prima Donna, which tastes like a sharp Gouda. And of course there was cake - red velvet from Cake Man Raven.
This soup is sweet from the butternut squash, sweet potatoes and coconut milk, but also quite spicy from the chilis and spices. I used many of the winter vegetables I had received in my CSA that week, including celeraic, or celery root. This is what it looks like, kind of like a monster:
It's actually kind of great though once you peel it. The inside has a nice white color similar to a turnip. I tasted a little of it raw and it's kind of pungent, a cross between celery and parsley. When you cook it, the taste becomes more mild and the texture is soft and creamy like a potato. And I found out it's actually a great alternative to using potatoes because it hardly has any starch in it.
Happy Birthday Busey! xo
makes 16 cups (good for freezing)
3 tablespoons oil or ghee for soup pot, 1 tablespoon for roasting butternut squash
1 butternut squash, halved, roasted and spooned out
1 celeraic, peeled, cubed
5 small carrots, peeled and cut
4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 inch ginger, grated
12 cups water
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
pinch of asafoetida or hing
2 tablespoons coriander powder
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup coconut milk
juice of 1 lemon or lime
salt and black pepper
brown sugar - optional
Indian green chilis or jalapenos, chopped
Note - I roast the squash because I don't like having to peel and cube it since it's quite hard, but you can also just pan fry it with the rest of the vegetables instead if you choose to.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil with a sprinkling of salt into a baking dish and place the halves face down on the bottom of the pan. Rub them around so that they absorb the most amount of oil. Roast butternut squash for about 40 minutes or until soft. Cool and scrape out flesh. Place in a bowl and set aside.
Warm 3 tablespoons of ghee or oil under medium heat in a heavy soup pot with the cumin seeds and pinch of hing or asafoetida. Once the cumin seeds start to brown or crackle, throw in the onions. Fry them until translucent. Mix in the coriander powder, turmeric, garam masala, chili powder. Fry for 30 seconds. Add in the garlic and ginger and stir around. Fry until fragrant, 30 seconds or so.
Next throw in all of the veggies - butternut squash, celeraic, carrots and sweet potatoes. Mix everything around so it is coated by the onions and spices. Next add the water (you can use less or more than what I have noted based on how thick you want the soup). Bring to a boil and simmer until all vegetables are so soft you can mash them against the side of the pot. Add in the coconut milk and heat the soup up to a boil. Puree this mixture in blender. Add in the lemon, salt, pepper, brown sugar to your taste.
Serve with cilantro and fresh cut chilis on top.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Last Sunday, Sabra and I served Indian tacos at a 3rd Ward Moviehouse event that featured music from Kodomo which I loved! I wanted to make a special salsa to go along with our tacos so I made one from persimmons I had brought back from my favorite grocery store, Berkeley Bowl and farmers at the Ferry Building in San Francisco.
I like the crunchy persimmon variety called fuyu, which is what I used in the salsa. The other popular variety is mushy and called hachiya. The fuyu persimmon is kind of like a papaya apple. It has a rich flavor like papaya and a texture similar to a crunchy apple, but looks like an orange tomato - so confusing I know!
Thanks for event photos Alana!
3 fuyu persimmons, chopped
juice of 1 navel orange
tiny green pepper, chopped fine
1 cherry pepper or anything hot like a jalapeno or serrano chili, chopped fine
half of a cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
juice of 1/2 of a lemon
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
This is a sad story of some green tomatoes. I got these from my CSA and wanted to make a special chutney to take to my brother's house in San Francisco, but I forgot to pack it in my checked luggage and the airport authorities took it away along with my tupperware that I am really attached to!! I got to enjoy it for a couple days before this unfortunate incident but my brother did not:(
Green tomatoes are usually present at the end of the season because they are the tomatoes that are having some trouble ripening. They don't really taste good raw so you have to cook them. Usually people fry them, but I kind of wanted to go a healthier route so I made a chutney out of them and it came out quite well.
This recipe is dedicated to my lost tupperware - I miss you!
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 green tomatoes, chopped
pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon urad dal
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek
1/2 onion, chopped
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ginger, grated
8 green chilis (more or less to your taste)
1 bunch of basil leaves
handful of cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup yogurt (or more to your taste)
Heat oil in a pan under medium heat. Put in hing, cumin seed, mustard seed and shake up pan. Add in the urad dal. When the mustard seeds start to pop and the urad dal is turning golden, throw in the fenugreek seeds. Fry for a few seconds until they turn brown (if you fry these guys too much they taste super bitter). An alternative to frying these seeds is to roast them separately and powder them in a coffee grinder. You can then sprinkle this mixture when you throw in the tomatoes.
Throw in the onions and fry a few minutes. Mix in the turmeric and fry the onions until they are translucent. Mix in the garlic, ginger and chilis. Stir well and add in the tomatoes and salt. Cook the tomatoes until they are soft ~ 20 minutes. If the pan is dry, add in some water. You can also cover with a lid to cook faster.
Spoon the tomato mixture into a blender and puree with the basil, cilantro, sugar, lemon juice and salt. Add more chilis if you want it to be spicier. Transfer mixture to a bowl and mix in yogurt to your taste.
Serve as a side with roti or rice.