Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

Carrots are Divine

Recipe: Spicy Carrot Pudding

I’m a child of the ’70s. If Bugs Bunny says it, believe it.*

Carrots are the first thing I ever grew from seed. My parents were big landscape gardeners, but not much into food gardening.  My mother planted cucumbers on the south side of our house one year, and the vines actually climbed up the house and under the siding – anything goes for heat-loving plants in the Pacific Northwest. Some years she grew corn, and almost always pumpkins and tomatoes – but it was too haphazard to be called a garden.

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Indian Carrot Pudding with Raisins and Pistachios

Recipe: Indian Carrot Pudding with Raisins and Pistachios

Confession: I’ve never eaten carrot halwa in India.  Yet it is one of my favorites – and a dessert I’ve been making for nearly two decades.  It’s a good thing I live with someone who knows how it ought to taste and can veto any adaptations that go too far. But I still think it’s safer to call my version carrot pudding.

Indian sweets are a special treat. A few of my favorites include kalakand, laddu, pesta barfi, and peda – we don’t buy them very often, (though there are local sources) and I have yet to attempt to make them. When my Mother-in-law comes to visit with a box or two, we cherish them till every bite is gone.

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Potatoes with Tart Lentils, Winter Greens and Controversy

Recipe: Potatoes with Tart Lentils and Winter Greens

My dog Max has a passionate love for seafood; salmon, trout, shrimp, lobster, and especially tuna.  The only time he indulges in countertop surfing is when we have fish on the menu. He once jumped into the back of fisherman’s truck parked on the street. When my cousin Mark made sushi in our kitchen a few years ago, Max was never far from his side.

I’m like that about Indian potato dishes; K.M.’s  black pepper potatoes, and the aloo dom (pressure cooked potatoes in yogurt sauce) I had in Darjeeling more than 10 years ago, and still dream of. The first time I made a successful aloo gobi (check out the video from Bend it Like Beckham), I felt like I had finally achieved novice status in Indian cooking.

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Snow Days and Cheese Soup

Obatzda Beer Soup with Black Bread Croutons

Snow has mysterious power here in Seattle. Politicians panic. Kids of every age, dogs and TV weathermen rejoice. We don’t drive in it if we can possibly help it – in fact, some people actually abandon their cars on the road at the first sight of flakes. We usually don’t even have to shovel it – only once in 10 years does it stay on the ground that long. No one owns a snow shovel, anyway.

I was lucky enough to have a cheese soup planned for the first real winter day of 2012.

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Savoring the sour: Tamarind Tofu Noodles

Recipe: Tamarind Tofu Noodles

Last week it was lemon ice cream –  today it’s tamarind noodles, and Friday a post about a lemon shallot shrimp salad. Maybe it’s a salt hangover from Charcutepalooza. (Have you seen the contest winning post? It’s really something special.) All I know is that I’m all about sour flavors right now.

I love tanginess almost as much as I love the heat of chilies – which probably explains my strong attraction to South Asian food. Sour and hot? Hand it over, now.

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