15 June 2009

Love, Hate, and Poha

Today Sharell wrote about 5 Indian foods she loves and hates. She mentioned hating Indian breakfasts because it seems strange to her to eat chapatis, curry, or other "dinner" foods at the beginning of the day. So, I suggested poha, which is one of our favorite breakfasts--recipe to follow.

Five Indian foods I love:
1. Paranthas, either made by Mummy or from Parantha Wali Gali in Chandni Chowk.
2. Raj Kachori from Haldiram's: a big crunchy kachori filled with aloo, chickpeas, yogurt, chutneys, pomegranate seeds, and other things. It's a taste explosion and I think I would be willing to pay 50 bucks to have one right now.
3. Gajjar ka halwa, sweet and delicious carrot pudding.
4. Vegetable pakoras (from my husband's hand).
5. Pau bhaji, a wonderful mixed vegetable subjee served with soft buttered rolls.

Five Indian foods I hate (and this is hard, because I don't hate much!)
1. These black chickpeas that my husband loves as a snack.
2. Murmure--I've never liked Rice Krispies very much, and this is just a spicy non-milk version.
3. Kheer: well, I don't really hate it, but I don't like it enough to seek it out either. It's too plain tasting.
4. This sort of lotus thing that tastes like water chestnuts--I'm not sure what it's called. Again, it has a plain taste that is hard to choke down.
5. Anything with too much black salt flavor. A tiny pinch is fine, but if it's the main flavor I can't stand it. Haldiram makes a sort of cornflake snack that tastes overwhelmingly of black salt, bleh.

I'm pretty lucky that since I grew up eating such spicy food, and I already had an adventurous palate, that I've loved almost everything I've tasted in India or that we've made here. My husband jokes that I should have been born there.

Now, for Sharell, my poha recipe/method (I never really measure when I make it, so I hope the proportions are right):


1 tbs oil
1/3 cup raw peanuts
1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
About 4 cups of thin (NOT thick) poha (beaten rice flakes)
1 tsp or so of turmeric
1 chopped onion
1-2 minced green chiles
1 tsp red chile powder (or to taste)
lime juice, to taste
chopped cilantro for garnish
sugar, if desired

In a large skillet, heat the oil, then add the peanuts and cook, stirring, until they get toasted.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, pour the poha and add the turmeric. Pour over enough water to moisten evenly but not make it soggy, mixing it with your hand or with a big spoon to evenly moisten and mix in the turmeric.

Add mustard seeds, then onions to skillet, and stir-fry until the onions become tender and translucent. Add the chopped chiles and stir.

Pour in the moistened poha and continue to stir. Add the salt, red chile, and a few dashes of lime juice. Stir until it's heated through; taste and adjust seasonings. Add cilantro. Serve hot with sugar if you like--I like sugar, but V doesn't.

12 June 2009

Happy Loving Day!

Happy Loving Day, y'all! Time to take a moment and be thankful that the brave Mildred Loving and her husband Richard fought all the way to the Supreme Court to make interracial marriage legal in all states. It's easy to forget that not all that long ago, marriages like hers--or like mine--were actually illegal in many states.

Happy Loving Day!