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eG Foodblog: Monica Bhide - Thoughts without a thinker


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Catching up on your blog and I eventually realized you don't actually have a monkey.  It was not uncommon for people to have marmosets as pets in Brasil so I began thinking that having a five year old was pretty good...  :blink:

Loved the Times article!  :smile:

lol. He is a monkey alright -- just that he is my monkey and thank you

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Lunch -- I was going to make cilantro chutney sandwiches but discovered I had no bread left today. So I ransacked the fridge and found leftovers. (I guess its all relative what is found commonly in ones refrigerator!)

I found some dosa batter from last night -- made with rice and white urda dal (soaked and ground up) and some potators cooked in a simple tomato curry. A side of cilantro chutney and ofcourse my bad habit of a coke.. and we are good to go.

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I am off to go eat and work. Be back tonite with dinner -- Coconut shrimp curry with simple basmati rice. ANd of course some fried papads.. hope you will like it.

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Regarding my monkey - He and I cant seem to agree on what should go in his snack bag for school. I keep adding fruits and he keeps insisting on fruit roll ups. I am sure there is a happy compromise somewhere. What do other moms add in the school snack bags??? Help!

I usually pack fruit or at least a whole grain cookie - something with some substance and nutritional value. Honestly, I don't much care what the other kids are getting, as I want mine to be healthy.

I'm so excited to see your blog this week, Monica. Looking forward to peeking into your kitchen and living vicariously, at least for a little while.

Just peeked at the pictures - gorgeous dosas above! I can never seem to get them thin and crispy enough. Yum.

Edited by tejon (log)

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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Thanks Tejon. I wish I had a bigger kitchen. It is so small. I have so many friends who dont cook AT ALL and have these gorgeous gourmet kitchens that make my mouth water. Someday.. also I wish I had a gas range. My electric one works fine but I prefer the control a gas range provides.

One can always hope eh!

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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I've made the same observation - it seems that so many people who never cook have huge, beautiful kitchens, while those of us who love to cook get by with tiny spaces better suited to microwave dinners. Just shows what you can do when you set your mind to it. :smile:

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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Great start to the blog, Monica. My own monkey is in 2nd grade and recently they spent an extended portion of the curriculum on health and nutrition. My wife reports that, of his own volition, he only wants 'healthy' snacks packed in his lunchbox (carrot sticks and the like) from now on. I'm wondering how long this is going to last...no complanits, though.

The potato dish intrigues me, it's definitely something that I could see myself doing fairly regularly. I'd appreciate it if you could post some more details on how it was made.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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Great start to the blog, Monica. My own monkey is in 2nd grade and recently they spent an extended portion of the curriculum on health and nutrition. My wife reports that, of his own volition, he only wants 'healthy' snacks packed in his lunchbox (carrot sticks and the like) from now on. I'm wondering how long this is going to last...no complanits, though.

The potato dish intrigues me, it's definitely something that I could see myself doing fairly regularly. I'd appreciate it if you could post some more details on how it was made.

Its a simple dish and one that I make often -- Heat some oil in a pan, add some minced garlic. Add tomatoes (diced) and cook down until the oil starts to separate from the tomatoes -- this will take a few minutes. Add whole coriander seeds, turmeric, red chili, whole dried red chili, dried mango powder (optional) and salt. Cook for another minute or so and then add the potatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add water, cover and simmer til the potatoes are cooked.

Dosas -- Tejon - to get crispy dosas make sure your batter has had a chance to sit and ferment (the raw batter at this point tastes a bit sour). Also when you are making them try to keep the dosa thin -- like at thin crepe.

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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I'll have to give dosas another try - thank you for the tips. Think I'll make up that potato curry tonight, since I have a few tomatoes that need using up and everything else needed. Looks simple and delicious.

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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Hi all - After many months of procastinating, I am your humble blogger this week.  I signed on to eGullet about 2 years ago and remember being terrified to post -- everyone knew so much about food and I wondered what I could contribute. That feeling is even stronger today[...]

Fortunately, it hasn't stopped you, and this blog has already settled into a nice rhythm, but I'm surprised that someone who's contributed so much great content to this site and started one of the all-time best threads on eGullet was so terrified. If any of you missed 20 reasons to fall in love with India, you owe it to yourself to look it over. I feel sure that this will be one of the best in a long list of great blogs, just by virtue of your being yourself.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I'll have to give dosas another try - thank you for the tips. Think I'll make up that potato curry tonight, since I have a few tomatoes that need using up and everything else needed. Looks simple and delicious.

It really is. In my two cents worth of an opinion Indian cuisine tends to be very forgiving for the most part. Just use fresh spices and herbs -- even if you use premade spice mixes they should be fresh and you cannot go wrong.

That is my opinion anyway.

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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I think that's one of the reasons I love cooking all kinds of Indian foods - most dishes are very forgiving (well, aside from dosas :wink: ) and come out well even in untrained hands. That said, watching someone with such a rich and varied background is inspiring.

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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The lemon helps it release its color better so you get a darker red instead of an orange

Oh, wow! I've been using henna on my hair for 15+ years and I never knew that! Must try next time!!!

Back to topic... I gave in on school snacks because when I gave my daughter the "healthy stuff," she'd come home with it uneaten because she preferred to share her friends' junk food. I didn't want to make her the odd one out. :blink:

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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My henna is still pretty nice after two days..but the food at Monica's was exceptional. The fried okra was to die for, the lentil patties were tinly bites of delight, and there was also a lovely little snack made with chick peas and potatoes that has chutney on it. For a very picky eater, I've never eaten so well.

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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Hi Monica- Looking forward to reading your blog! Any chance that you could make pulari (spelling?) this week. My 7 year old ate them at a friend's house with tamarind sauce and is bugging me to make them.

Thanks!

Helen Kimmel

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Parle-G rules!!!!!!

My boyfriend and I were ecstatic when we found them at an Indian store in Vancouver. Nothing like good ol' Mum's tea and Parle-G biscuits! I always manage to keep them whole after dipping while my boyfriend is consistently finishing up the last sip of tea with a spoon, to pick up all the congealed biscuits hahahahah! :biggrin:

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My henna is still pretty nice after two days..but the food at Monica's was exceptional.  The fried okra was to die for, the lentil patties were tinly bites of delight, and there was also a lovely little snack made with chick peas and potatoes that has chutney on it.  For a very picky eater, I've never eaten so well.

I am glad I was able to feed you well :smile:

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Hi Monica- Looking forward to reading your blog!  Any chance that you could make pulari (spelling?) this week.  My 7 year old ate them at a friend's house with tamarind sauce and is bugging me to make them. 

Thanks!

I am not sure I know what you are referring to. Can you have him describe it a bit?

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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I had some good shrimp in the freezer so its shrimp curry for dinner. I like to defrost my shrimp under cold running water. How do you do yours?

So we had -- some colorful papad (wafers), coconut shrimp curry and basmati rice. For dessert just some slices of cold mangos.

First -- here are the fried wafers -- unfried this is how they come in the bag --

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Here it is -- deep fried

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The we had the shrimp curry -- here is how I make it.

First heat a bit of vegetable oil (dont use olive oil). Add some brown/black mustard seeds (these are called Rai in the Indian store. Dont use the American mustard seed). When the seeds begin to pop, add a handful of curry leaves. *there is no substitute for these. If you cant find them, leave them out. We get it at the local Korean store here for about a dollar for a huge box.

Now add diced fresh tomatoes. Yes you can use canned, but now is the time to use fresh. I found some really good tomatoes in the grocery store today.

Let the tomatoes cook down for about a few mintues. Use a masher if you need to but make sure they compeletely cook down. The oil will start to separate from the tomatoes. Now add the spices -- chili powder, turmeric and salt (I add chili powder at the end.. I will tell you why in a second).

Now add the shrimp and cook for just a few minutes till the shrimp changes color. Add coconut milk -- and bring to a slow boil. Cover and simmer for 3-5 minutes.

Now if you have a monkey like mine who does not like hot things :biggrin::rolleyes: - remove a cup of the curry for him. Now use a small saucepan and add some oil to it. Heat it well -- add a pinch of chili powder. Pour this heated mixture onto the shrimp.

Here it is --

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Finally the rice and the mangos --

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Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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