28 February 2012

Brown Rice Medley

Sometimes a prepacked medley is very handy on hurried mornings. Daikon Radish seeds, Black Barley and Parboiled Rice packed together.I added 3 table spoons of masoor dal to bulk up the content, so that I can reserve a cup for yet another lunch this week. While the Garlic and the tomatoes bounced in hot oil in a pressure cooker, the washed cup of medley was added.

A spice blend of fenugreek, fresh black pepper, fennel, cumin and salt was folded into the contents of the cooker. A fresh turmeric tube added an extra burst of flavor and long string beans was the green companion to the medley.

The pressure cooker steamed for 5 minutes. As the lid was pulled away after the pressure cooker was well rested and the steam cooled off, the flavor gave away to a beautiful bed of cooked yellow whole rice decorated by spots of black barley and brown daikon radish seeds

fine cilantro garnish gave it the final touch

Always grateful for a hearty meal,

22 February 2012

Turkish Tea

Chai,the elixir to relax ? Perhaps, that is one of the reason it is one of the highest selling beverage. Boiling Tea leaves is the most easiest drink to make and the most common part of making tea irrespective of the culture.

How long water is boiled, When should the tea leaf be put,in what kind of pot is the tea boiled, How is it presented, what else the tea is mixed with -(sugar, milk, cream), At what time of the day or night should it be taken, How many cups of tea can one drink is what makes it different from Turkey to India and from China to Canada.Nevertheless Tea is a unifier to bring oneself to relax and and enjoy the comfort and company of friends.

I was pleasantly surprised when a Turkish friend invited me to Turkish Tea, since I was naive of its existence. People from different countries were present - Americans, Egyptians, Cubans, Chinese, Polish , French, Indians and the large population of Turkish origin or Natives, because it was held at the Turkish Center. It was considered only polite to drink at least 3 cups of tea.

Tea was passed around in chai barads. It was black and I had mine without Sugar. Two cups were good enough for me, after a sumptuous serving of Turkish snacks, all made at home by Native Turkish women. But the best of all was the company of our friends for 3 hours. The discussion moved from Tea Party politics, to paintings (one of them was a painter who was currently working on an exhibition ) to food of the ancient culture of our countries.

There were many things in common among everybody - a love for true earthy things , without being polluted by the cosmopolitanism of the fusion foods that we see around everywhere these days and our roots. Each of our roots had similarities,yet different,especially in the value and concept of time. That is what has bought us together - something we did not get in our countries and the curiosity to explore and experience new things.
I will be back with a cup of tea again !

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