Wondering what to cook for dinner today, I peeked into my refrigerator. All I found were a few tomatoes staring sadly back at me.
It's obvious I need to visit Fresh Foods, our local fruit and vegetable store in Carbondale. But I didn't have the energy to do that today.
So I looked in the freezer, hoping there was something else and found a bag each of frozen spinach and peas.
In my pantry I found a can of banana flowers. Hmmm...never cooked those before. I think I mistook it to be jack fruit and picked it up at the International Store in town.
I also found some onions, garlic and ginger - essential staples in every Indian home. I put everything on my kitchen island, took out my spice box, pondered over it a bit and here's what I came up with:
Curried Banana Flower
- 1 can banana flower
- salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 1 cup sliced onions
- one inch ginger chopped
- four cloves garlic chopped
- two medium-sized tomatoes - chopped
- 1 tsp. chilli powder (add more or less according to your taste)
- 2 tsp. coriander powder
- 2 tsp. cumin seed powder
- chopped coriander for garnish
Drain the can of banana flower and rinse well in colander.
Chop the banana flower and add salt and turmeric to it. Mix well and set aside for about 10 minutes.
In a pressure cooker (or regular pan), heat up the oil and add cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves and sauté for a few minutes.
Add the onions, ginger and garlic and saute till onions appear slightly transparent.
Add the tomatoes, chilli powder, coriander and cumin seed powder and sauté for 7-8 minutes
Add the marinated banana flower and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add 2 cups of water and pressure cook for 3 whistles over a medium flame. If using a regular pan, close the lid and let it simmer for 25-30 minutes.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or rotis.
The second dish I made was super easy and very delicious to boot. Thanks go to Tarla Dalal, my favorite Indian vegetarian cookbook author, for the recipe.
- 2 tsp. oil
- 2 cloves
- 1 inch stick cinamon
- 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
- 1 10 oz. bag of frozen, chopped spinach
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp. chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp. dry ginger powder
- 1 cup milk
- salt to taste
Heat oil, add the cloves, cinnamon and asafoetida.
Add the spinach and peas along with water and bring to a rapid boil.
Simmer for 10-12 minutes until most of the water evaporates.
Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, ginger powder, milk and salt and mix well.
Bring to a boil and serve immediately with rice or rotis.
I had some leftover rice in the fridge, which I sautéed in a tsp. of butter with whole cumin seeds and a pinch of turmeric powder, to make an easy Jeera rice (cumin rice).
I heated up some store bought rotis and dinner was served.
It was gobbled up in minutes. Minutes I tell you!
Now excuse me, I need to
burp digest all that awesome food.