Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pumpkin/Squash Bharta Recipe and notes

From Hema:

for now here is the Squash/pumpkin dip:

Pumpkin/Squash Bharta (eaten as a minor item alongside a main vegetable and chapatis... but acts beautifully as a dip with pita chips, veggies)

1. Use a squash or pumpkin that is used for pumpkin soups.
You need 1 1/2 cups of steamed mashed pulp. Should be fully cooked.
2. Yogurt.... add per taste.... enough to make it creamy is fine.
3. mustard seeds 1 tsp
4. asafoetida and turmeric 1/4 tsp each
5. curry leaves (available at Indian stores) about 5-6 is enough
6. cumin seeds (1/2 tsp)
7. finely chopped coriander
8. 1tbs of oil... you could use olive... but make sure not to smoke it when you heat it.
9. 1 deseeded, spicy green chilly, cut in half. optional.

How to:
Mix the steamed, mashed squash/pumpkin pulp well. Usually well steamed squash/pumpkin does not have any stringy bits... but if there are any lumpy/stringy bits then remove them. Add salt to taste and set aside.

Heat a tbs of oil in your tiniest saucepan or pan with walls. Add mustard seeds and allow them to split (pop). This should happen quickly if the oil is hot (not smoking) then add cumin, turmeric and curry leaves. Add the deseeded chilly. Switch of the heat quickly at this stage. Now add the asafoetida. The chilly can explode a bit sometimes so take care. You have now tempered the oil according to indian cookbook terminology. But i think we've infused the oil with the flavors of the spices.

Chili notes:
The chilly can be removed at this stage if you dont want it to continue spreading its heat in the dish. But as it is deseeded it won't be much. I've even used haberneros and its added a different flavor... a nice twist.

Now add the infused oil (along with the seeds, curry leaves etc...) to the Pumpkin/Sqash mix. Mix it up well. Allow it all to cool to room temperature.

Now add the whisked yogurt a little at a time to the mix. Make it as creamy as you want without loosing out on the flavor of the pumpkin/squash. Add salt per taste. Add the chopped coriander on top.... for color contrast and flavor. Or you can mix it in too.

Can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days. Best served by taking it out of the fridge an hour before you need to serve it. So the temperature is closer to room temp. Serving it very cold makes it taste less spicy.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Candid Rangoli

I discovered two photos, looking through Hema's online stuff, and wrote and asked her about them. Her response is below.

On Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 6:34 PM, Sandra Dodd wrote:

I lifted these from your slide show on your blog. Are those "natural" rangoli? Or something else?

Yes they are! more on that later. rushing
Hema A. Bharadwaj

The later note:
Wrt the rangoli.... its more modernistic type rangloi done at functions etc. Those photos were at Rvi's friend's boys thread ceremony. interestingly... his friend is Indian born but has lived about 20 years in the states... and married a white, american... and has no intention of returning to india. But wanted to come back to india to conduct this ceremony for his boys...

Beatles Rock Band (Sunday, unscheduled)

Sometimes things just happen.

Rangoli on Sunday

Because we forgot to do this on Wednesday at Tiguex Park, Hema showed us Rangoli.

The supplies are patterns (Hema has some in her head, but she brought two books, as well, and gave them to me), and powders. The white makes the design, and the others fill in.

We started on the front step, but it was too cold and too dry. The powder wasn't falling as it should have—static electricity or whatever dry air does.

We went inside and used the old wooden gateleg table Keith and I have had since we were young. So it's not authentic to do it on a table. It should have been at the front door and at the back gate. I still have the colors if anyone wants to come and try some.

The photos aren't in a great order, because they came from several cameras. And then there was a moment when I whined that I wasn't a good artist but I could surely sing. MY MISTAKE. Not that I was a better artist, but here, look: Couldn't sing, either.