Sunday, August 23, 2009

what makes a curry famous, anyway?

Today was very food-centered. I started the day with a tasty and very clean-feeling breakfast. I would almost say "pure" but I'm not sure how that can be applied when a butter substitute is involved. It was quite simple, really - I had run out of blueberries, but still wanted fruit in my first meal of the day. I remembered I had pluots, a hybrid of a plum and apricot, and I just couldn't see how my Stonyfield yogurt would fit, so I left it out in favor of two slices of my favorite multigrain bread (Whole Foods store brand) with just a little bit of Earth Balance spread on top for some fat. So my carbalicious breakfast was: two breads and a pluot (Mister is insisting on calling them plumpricots and I think I like that better - it's much more fun to say!). The reason I got the plumpricots to begin with was that I thought they had a fun shape - when you cut them open and pit them, they kind of look like hearts:

A few hours (and cups of coffee) after breakfast, I ate the last Tomato Rosemary Scone and headed out to buy the week's groceries. I confess, I was influenced in my decisions could almost call it peer pressure, but the pressure was self-inflicted after looking at product reviews on a couple of my new favorite blogs: Chocolate Covered Katie and Vegan Eats & Treats. If you go to those blogs, it probably will not come as a surprise to you that my off-the-beaten-path additions to my grocery basket were:
Larabar Coconut Cream Bar
Larabar Banana Bread Bar

Larabar Jocalat Chocolate Mint Bar

Think Fruit Chocolate Pomegranate Bar

Clif Nectar Vanilla, Lemon, Cashew Bar

I have been known to get the Nectar bars in the past - in fact, that one is my favorite flavor...subtly sweet with the most sublime aftertaste of vanilla. What I love about the Larabars and the Nectar bar is that they each have between 3 and 5 ingredients. That's it! I'm not of the opinion that the fewer ingredients a meal has, the healthier it is, but when it comes to prepackaged "processed" foods, it's nice to see not everything has to have unpronouceable ingredients that sound more like chemicals than food. There's something beautifully ironic about turning over a Banana Bread bar and seeing these ingredients: almonds, dates, and bananas. Seriously. No (added) sugar, no flour, no corn syrup, rice syrup, etc....just fruit and nuts. I'm totally psyched. The Think Fruit bar had the most ingredients, tipping the scales at a mighty TEN. Anyway, I'll let you know what I think of the bars as I eat them.

Upon returning from grocery shopping, I ate the other plumpricot as a snack to hold me over until dinner. Just as I was getting ready to start dinner, my phone rang - because my mother has had and still has amazing timing for calling me. For Christmas last year, I had compiled some of my favorite recipes from my ever-growing collection of cookbooks and recipe websites in a small splatter-proof book for her. Tomorrow night she plans to make this amazing recipe for plum tomatoes with fresh basil and garlic over pasta and wanted to ask me a few prep questions. We talked about other stuff, too, but it just amuses the heck out of me that when people in my family have cooking questions, they come to me - 5 years ago I could barely boil water. Now my sister-in-law calls me for a zucchini recipe, my sister calls me about pomegranate molasses, and my mother wants to know if I really slice the garlic or if she can just press it.

So anyway, when I finally got to cooking, I made Satyamma's Famous Cauliflower Curry. It was very good and I got to make a crazy paste/sauce in my food processor, but it really wasn't anything all that it makes me wonder what makes a curry famous? Is it one of those things where you and all your friends are planning a potluck and someone says, "Hey, Satyamma, can you make that famous curry of yours?" because you've made it so damn many times that people know you as "Satyamma with the curry?"

Anyway, the curry comes from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. It's a charming book, written in the author's own penmanship and illustrated throughout with funny little ink sketches of food. There's even a picture of a pear with angel wings! I don't like to share other people's recipes (I hope I do a good enough job plugging for their books that you go and buy a copy to support their hard and hungry work!), but I want to give you a basic idea of what was in this nutty sauce I made in the food processor, so here are the ingredients without quantities:
shredded coconut
roasted peanuts
mustard seeds
toasted cumin seeds
ground cloves/allspice
toasted sesame seeds

Anyway, it was a good little curry, though surprisingly bland for everything that went into the sauce! Mister actually added salt to his food...we never have a salt shaker at the table.

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