Skip to content

Yeh Mera Dill … [Dukkah-crusted Dill Potato Croquettes Stuffed with Cottage Cheese]

2017 September 17

I’m in love with a weed called dill.

paticheri_dillcutlet2

With it’s spray bouquet of yellow baby’s breath flowers, its feathery leaves, its versatile flavor that seems a perfect companion to potatoes and chutneys and fish and yogurts and cheeses alike. read more…

Share

Sukkha Dukkah

2017 September 17
सुखदु:खे समे कृत्वा लाभालाभौ जयाजयौ
 sukha-dukkhe same kṛitvā lābhālābhau jayājayau

Treat alike your happiness and your distress, 
your gains and your losses, 
your victories and your defeats...
 --Bhagavad Gita, 2-38

dukkah4

“Dukkah” is a seed-nut-spice mix of Egyptian origin, the meaning of the word itself deriving from the Arabic dokah: to pound or powder. And just as the sacred Gita exhorts me to treat happiness (sukkha) and despair (dukkha) with the same stoic equanimity, this little dry spice mix simply does away with that eternally persistent human binary: my happiness (sukkha) becomes my dukkah.

dukkah9

Asking for pun-pardons and moving on to matters of greater anthropological accuracy: read more…

Share

Grow your own ground cherries for a rustic Chocolate Almond Torte

2017 June 11

Cape gooseberries, ground cherries, husk tomatoes–whatever you call them, were always a childhood favorite. They’re one of those delightful garden secrets, tart-sweet juicy bits of happiness to be discovered inside paper lanterns hanging about on garden bushes which one could eat without the need to wait and wash. Imagine! If the garden was an unending treasure hunt, these were golden clues lighting the way.

paticheri_groundcherry chocolate almond torte

Physalis philadelphica, they’re called botanically. Physalis is a genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family, related to the tomatillo–which explains the husk. read more…

Share

Jack it up with Jackfruit Seed Hummus

2017 May 16

It’s Jackfruit season, again.

jackfruithummus3

Now that we’re experts at dissecting and dismembering the great beast that is the jackfruit

jackfruithummus10

Now that it takes us just a few days to consume all the jackfruit’s flesh… read more…

Share

The blu-ubé ricotta roll-up cake

2017 May 6

My Manila friends will know and readily attest to my obsession with ubé–the purple yam that is used to flavor ice creams that top that most iconic of Filipino desserts, halo halo. Knowing Manila traffic makes it hard to get about anywhere, let alone to a wet market in search of these somewhat unfriendly-looking masses of yams, I’ve twice had very kind participants in courses I was teaching hand me purple yams as take-home souvenirs to feed my soul. “Half to cook with, half to plant,” I was told.

So, dutifully, I did both.

paticheri_ubevineandjellyroll (16)

First, a confession and a disclaimer: I know nothing about growing yams. All the gardening I have done has been learned on the go, by trial and error, in between parenting and professional deadlines. Throw some seeds, stick what’s spoiling or sprouting into the ground, and above all hope–without expecting much. I knew only that the purple yam was, like so much else in life, forbidding and scary on the outside but stunning and other-worldy on the inside:

paticheri_howtogrowpurpleyam5

read more…

Share

Another Taste of Salt

2017 May 1

This post is a photographic update to my post on salt production in Marakkanam some years ago. That time, there had been only a small number of chatty women collecting dry salt from the sides of salt pans and depositing them onto a slowly growing salt mountain. This time, on yet another ride back from Chennai, I stopped to witness a different phase of salt production: the bagging.

IMG_1909

The already-built salt mountain needed now to be broken down. read more…

Share

Summer Tomato and Goat Cheese Flatbread

2017 April 29

Absolutely essential to any even half-hearted cook’s repertoire is the versatile flatbread. It’s a great way to use up a few stray vegetables left after all our salading and galetting–we had only a few ripe tomatoes and a lone ear of corn to use up–and a straight ticket to the heart of any pizza-loving picky eaters you may have lurking around. With less than half the cheese.

You get badges for thriftiness, efficiency, low-fat cookery, hostess elegance, and doting mommy-ness. Can it get any better really?

tomgoatcheese flatbread2

We started with a few tomatoes harvested from the garden:

paticheri_tomatoes2017 (5)

paticheri_tomatoes2017 (1)

read more…

Share

The Mixta Majicama Summer Salad

2017 April 25

The way I see it, salads have for much too long been too-much lettuce-centric, leaving those of us who live in hot places with cultures of growing mostly cookable greens wanting. No doubt, Aurovillians have figured out lots of ways to grow good salad greens here, and while I admire always their ingenuity, there are plenty other, locally familiar ways to think of fresh salads in the absence of greens–or, indeed, elaborate dressings. Here is one to make with a freely mixed combination of common ingredients, at a moment’s notice. We call it the Mixta Majicama because that’s what it is: a mix-mix salad that’s plain magic, and because we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the addition of jicama–when we’ve been lucky enough to have some around (see below).

I got the idea for this salad from a very beloved aunt who replaced the lettuce with shredded cabbage in her version. But even that, I find, isn’t critical. Our first versions showcased the yellow pear tomatoes emerging abundantly from the garden [which we used as abundantly also in this rustic galette]:

paticheri_pear tomato (5)

paticheri_pear tomato (3) read more…

Share

Rustic Whole Wheat and Heirloom Tomato Galette

2017 April 16

Last year’s garden tomatoes were our humble local country varieties which yielded in such profuse abundance, we had no choice but to chutney them over and over again. This year started us on other adventures, which demanded more showcasing and celebration of the aesthetics and taste of the tomato itself. We started with the grand galette:

Paticheri_wholewheatheirloomtomatogalette (2)

read more…

Share

Sallu ki Pasand [Baked Salmon with Zingy Pineapple Chutney]

2017 March 11

When you have a craving for salmon, you must first travel to some far-off land where you have very dear friends. Write to them. Tell them of your craving. They’ll understand.

paticheri_salmonpineapplegingerchutney4

They’ll go to the market for you, your offers to find ingredients notwithstanding.  read more…

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Share