Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Masaledaar Lobia (Spicy Red Cow Peas)
If there is anything I dislike more than cooking....
Oops....did I just say "dislike cooking"? Now, that is quite a sacrilege for a food blogger, isn't it?
Well, truth be told, there are days when making the "roz ka khana" does bore me to no end! Yes, there are days when I do dislike cooking.
But, if there is anything that I dislike more than cooking, it is planning and deciding what to make. Believe me, there are days when I am at an absolute loss over what to make. I go over what I have in the fridge and in the pantry and still draw an absolute blank over what to make. Of course, the husband is very helpful on days like these. "Make anything," he says. "Just make something tasty." Yeah, right!!
So when great food - food that I absolutely love - appears almost magically on my plate without me having to plan the menu and cook it , where do you think I would be?
In a restaurant? Good guess and quite close, but no.
Great food without even having to ask for it - that is possible in only one place in the world: my mom's kitchen.
Now, I can go on and on about what a fabulous cook my mom is. But I won't. Because it is something that every person knows - that nothing quite measures up to mom's cooking.
However, there is this one thing I will say about my mom's cooking: that she sometimes follows very different ways of cooking.
Take this particular lobia curry, for instance. Counter-intuitive. That is what I call her way of making lobia. After all, isn't it common practice to sauté/fry the onions FIRST?
No need, says the mater. She puts the onions right at the end in this particular lobia curry. And it tastes absolutely awesome. In fact, it is the only way I eat lobia.
Lal lobia or red cow peas* : 1/2 cup, soaked at least 6-8 hrs
Whole garam masala: Cloves: 4 nos, Black Cardamom: 1 large, Bay leaf: 1
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
Tomato: 1 large, chopped
Ginger and garlic paste: 1 tsp each
Green chilli: 2, chopped
Onions: 1 large, grated
Garam masala powder: 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves, chopped: 2 tbsps
Pressure cook the lobia with the whole garam masala, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and some salt. Discard the black cardamom and the bay leaf after the lobia is cooked.
Heat oil, add the garlic paste followed by the ginger paste. Then, add the tomatoes and cook till they get soft and mushy.
Add the cooked lobia and the chopped green chillies. Add some water, half the coriander leaves and the grated onions. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer for at least 15 minutes on a medium high flame. Top up the water as needed and stir occasionally. Finally, add the garam masala powder, a dash of sugar and the remaining coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rotis/rice with some yoghurt on the side. I must say it again, tastes awesome!
* I have used red lobia, but you could use black eyed peas or even rajma and follow the same method. It works.
It is not just about the ingredients or the recipe, good food happens when it is served with love!!