I've always wondered how it would be to begin a post by saying 'I'm back'. This blog has been around for five years so I may well have done it, but I don't think so. Not in such precise terms. I mean, what if I made this announcement, and you (and millions of my other readers) said to yourselves 'But when did you ever go away?' or worse, 'So what?' or worst of all 'Okay, now who are you?'
Consequently, I won't tell you why I've been posting just once a month for the last few months, barring one early reason: Internet problems. And after that, I guess I have to say I was the problem. Let's leave it at that.
I had visualised another post about my travels to strange and foreign lands, one of which made for last month's post. I thought I would write a rib-tickling piece about how a seemingly benign but rather dirty old man tried selling me his non-spice wares in Dubai's spice souk. I visualised bringing to you a barberry-flecked pilaf (zereshk polow) at the end of a photo feature on the spice souk. I imagined you rolling on the floor laughing your butts off (ROFL LMAO) over The Adventures of Sra and The Dirty Old Shopkeeper. I imagined posting stunning pictures of the pilaf, one of them black and white with just the barberries in vibrant ruby red, thanks to the Colour Accent feature on my camera. But alas, it was not to be!
Here's one picture, for now. The barberries are the maroon ones in the front row, between the green slivers of pista and the black raisins.
This time, I'm bringing to you a rather quotidian curry that I made on Monday. Actually it isn't quotidian for me, but it's not as exotic as pilaf. It did meet one condition: It had to have some gravy, and the gravy had to be achieved without grinding. Remember Grindless Gravies?
The not-so-quotidian-for-me curry was hastened by the discovery of some nice mushrooms found on Sunday evening at the store. Evening find spells bad mushrooms, but these were good. I also bought some green and red capsicum (peppers) to add crunch and vibrance. A generous hand led to much oil splashing into the pan. It was good. Is good. I still have some left over, though I may go off it by the time I finish with this post.
Here's how you make it:
Capsicum/peppers, chopped: 4-5 cups
Mushrooms, chopped: 2 cups
Onions, chopped: 1.5 cups
Oil: Ahem! (I must have used at least 6 tsp)
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tsp
Green chillies, halved: 3
Salt, to taste
Garam masala: 1 tsp
Cumin seed: 1 tsp
Water: A few splashes
Heat the oil in a pan, pop the cumin.
Fry the onion till pink, then add the ginger-garlic paste. Fry well for 3-4 minutes, as mushy as you can let it get. If you need to add some water to prevent burning, add a splash or two now.
Now add the capsicum, saute on medium heat but make sure they don't lose their succulence.
Add the mushrooms, mix well and saute. There will be much water as the mushrooms cook - keep an eye on that.
When you've had enough of the watching-over-the-curry experience, and too much water still, turn up the heat and let it evaporate till the gravy reaches the consistency you desire. Stirring it vigorously will speed things up a bit.
When it's looking nice and unctuous, add the salt and stir.
Now add the garam masala stir it once more. Turn off the fire.
Mushrooms Capsicum/peppers Vegetarian Humour