I have this low feeling this week, you know the kind of feeling that you are not doing anything worthwhile and the world is heavily deprived because you are not doing anything worthwhile, kind of feeling
But then that is not worth writing here, so I will write about Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution instead, just to get it off my chest.
The weird part is, I didn't even watch Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution because I didn't know anything about it . But bear with me and you will be rewarded with nuggets of wisdom.
It was not until Saturday morning when the Dad started quizzing BS on random objects from the refrigerator that I got curious. The Dad was visibly worried about these kids in Huntington, Va who couldn't tell a potato from a tomato and had never seen a broccoli head. These kids belonged to families who ate fried donuts for breakfast everyday and had never seen food being cooked from raw ingredients. For them food source was the frozen section of the refrigerator. School lunches in this town was no better and pizza and nuggets were the staple.
I was so in awe by this whole idea that I didn't even scorn the Dad for watching Hulu while claiming he was doing "work" work down in his office.
Imagine there are families where the Parents do not chop, stir, cook, thus wasting their time to provide a meal. Instead they take out a pretty cardboard box from the freezer, zap it in the microwave or dunk them in hot oil and serve it up. I am sure the Mothers in these families are not like me and they are using their time for much more worthier causes than mine.
I am sure the School committee or whoever decides on the school lunches are also very competent and probably deciding on a rigorous curriculum while they think a pepperoni pizza counts for 2 grains and a vegetable !!!
Apparently Mr.Jamie Oliver does not like the whole idea. He does not like fried donuts for breakfast or obese 7 year olds for lunch(sic!). He wants them to eat food from scratch and we will see what happens. To know more, Topeka search for Jamie Oliver Food Revolution or catch the show on ABC Friday 9/8c
While in my slumped state I will just proceed to make a very simple dish, a Palak Kadhi, spinach in a yogurt gravy if you wish.
This is not exactly what I had planned on cooking. I wanted to cook a Khatta Palak that I had from a friend's lunch box. The recipe that she gave me was however so simple and sketchy that I was sure I would screw it up.
She said "Cook Spinach with green chillis and little rice in the Pressure cooker. Beat Yogurt with chickpea flour till there are no lumps. Season the yogurt with salt and red chili powder. Add the yogurt to the cooked spinach and rice and mix well. Add a pat of butter and enjoy the dish"
I couldn't believe that something so simple could taste so delicious and didn't attempt the recipe. Instead I made Palak Kadhi. With my bag of frozen spinach(ewww, not from scratch, losing points here), this kadhi was done super quick. It is just like regular kadhi but with spinach in it. It tastes great with rice but I will often eat this just by itself.
Here I must say that this seasoning that I use for my Kadhi these days is inspired by Hooked on Heat(who has a wonderful blog and has a book coming out). My Mom just used mustard seeds, red chili and a little ginger for her Kadhi but I love the additional flavors that Hing and Kasoori Methi brings along.
What You Need
Chickpea Flour/Besan ~ 1/4 cup
Thick Yogurt ~ 2 cups
Water ~ 1 cup
Spinach ~ 1 & 1/2 cup of frozen chopped spinach or 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
Cumin Seeds/Jeera ~ 1 tsp
Fennel Seeds ~ 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds ~ 3/4 tsp
Hing ~ 1/8 tsp
Dry Red Chili ~ 2 broken
Kasoori Methi ~ 1tsp
Red Chili Powder ~ 1/2 tsp
Turmeric ~ little
Water ~ 1/2 -1 cup
Oil ~ 2 tsp
Ghee ~ 1 tsp
How I Did It
If using fresh spinach, cook 2 cups of chopped spinach in pressure cooker or microwave with 2-3 green chili. If using frozen chopped spinach, which I did, just defrost 1&1/2 cups of spinach.
In a bowl add
2 cups of thick yogurt and beat well.
To it add
1/4 cup of Chickpea flour/Besan and 1 cup of Water. Whisk until you get a smooth batter with no lumps.
Heat about 2 tsp of Oil in a pot
Temper the Oil with
1 tsp Cumin Seeds/Jeera
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/8 tsp Asafoetida/Hing
2 broken Dry Red Chili
When the spices start dancing add the spinach and saute for the next 3-4 minutes.
Lower the heat to real low and slowly add the yogurt mix, gradually mixing the spinach with the yogurt
Crush 1 tsp of Kasoori methi between your palms and add to above. Add a pinch of turmeric and 1/2 tsp of Red Chili powder(more if you want it hot). Add salt to taste. Mix well.
Now add about 1/2 to 1 cup of water and let the gravy come to a boil at low heat. At low-medium heat let the kadhi simmer for 15-20 mins. Add more water if necessary and simmer until the raw smell of chickpea flour is gone.
Adjust for seasoning. I will add a wee bit of sugar at this point. Add about 1/2-1 tsp of ghee, switch off and let the kadhi sit covered for 15-20 mins. If you like it hot add some crushed dry red chili for the effect.
Serve with Rice