Root vegetable pancakes are a great tool to have in your arsenal of winter cooking tricks. If you’re like me and you try to eat seasonally, there will undoubtedly come a point where you’ll look at box after box of turnips and parsnips and yams, and you’ll be all like: what on Earth am I going to do with these that I didn’t do last night, or last week, or last year?!
Don’t get me wrong. I like winter vegetables. But especially when we’re crunched for time, there’s a kind of monotony to the root vegetable rigmarole: roasted, or pureed, or turned into soup. Again and again and again.
Did you think, perhaps, that I might leave my kheer experiment like this? Did you think that I could swallow my pride like a spoonful of hot pink pepto bismol, accept my failure with equanimity, and abandon my aspirations toward that creamy, spicy Indian rice pudding in favor of some more comfortable fare? Did you?
Nah. Of course you didn’t. Because you (dear readers!) know me better than that.
Kheer. Delicious. Cool and creamy on a hot summer’s day, or hardy and fortifying in the winter. Subtly flavored with the warm spiciness of cardamom, with the barest hint of saffron, sometimes with star anise, it’s Indian dessert done just to my taste. Not too sweet. Not too sticky. Just right.
Except this time. This week’s kheer experiment came out … just plain wrong.
Real saag! exclaimed my friend Allia, smiling as I put the dish on the table. Most restaurants say saag paneer, but what they mean is palak. Spinach. Saag is always mustard greens.
Allia would know. Not only is her family from India, but they are avid cooks. Her aunt alone, I am informed, is responsible for untold gustatory delights. She is the sort of person who converts food haters into food enthusiasts, the sort who teaches classes on the delicate art of Indian cuisine — and sets her own price for her time.
Just for the record — so that I am sure to give credit where credit is due — you must understand that the photos in this post are not — *NOT* — of my own, personal Thanksgiving supplies. They are courtesy of the content of our local Whole Foods Market. Seen there. Not bought. Just […]
Indian breads, it seems, are bound to become a series on this blog. Not that it’s a surprise. They’re scrumptious, they’re easy to make, and they’ve long been a favorite meal accompaniment — and utensil — of mine. I don’t have a tandoor (much to my lasting woe), but as I wrote in my Roti […]
Roti is so very easy, and so very very good with everything from fried chicken, to kabob, to curry. For those who don’t know, roti is the simplest of the Indian flatbreads, made from whole wheat (atta) flour, water, and salt. It is eaten all over South Asia (and apparently, in certain parts of the […]