Archive for February, 2007

Aromatic Baked Dal

green moong, moth, and urad dals
a trio of earthy colors and tastes: whole black urad dal, whole green moong dal, and whole moth dal

Here is an easy recipe for mixed dals, baked in the beanpot. It takes half the day, but it’s worth it for the delicious aroma that will permeate the kitchen.

dal in beanpot
aromatic baked dal in beanpot

Aromatic Baked Dal

1/2 c whole black urad dal
1/2 c whole moth dal
1/2 c whole green moong dal
pinch turmeric
pinch asafoetida

Night before, pick over and wash the whole black urad. Leave it to soak overnight. In the morning, drain and rinse the whole urad and boil one hour in fresh water with a little turmeric and asafoetida. Meanwhile, pick over and wash the moth and whole green moong dals. Leave them to soak for one hour.

While the dals soak, prepare the paste:

chop 2 onions and fry in 1 tsp ghee until browned.
blanch 3 tomatoes, chop them and grind with onions.

Drain all the dals and rinse the boiling water from the urad. Place all the dals into the beanpot. Place beanpot in cold oven and preheat to 250F (this is to avoid cracking the beanpot. Follow the method you use for your own clay pot).

In a saucepan, heat 1 tsp ghee.

Add:

3 TB ginger garlic paste
2 tsp kashmiri chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 TB cumin powder
1 tsp mace
1 tsp salt
2 cinnamon sticks

Saute everything for a few minutes, then add the onion-tomato paste.
Cook about 10 minutes, then add three cups fresh water. Bring to a boil and add to the dals in the warming beanpot. Stir well, cover the pot, and bake for 1 hr. After 1 hr, stir everything around again. Raise heat to 325F and bake another hour. By now, the liquid should be boiling around the edges. Stir and add more water as necessary. Continue to check every 30 minutes or so. Stir, add water, and adjust the heat as necessary.
My pot took about 4 hours and about 2 additional cups water.

Serve hot with rice, breads, or papad.

baked dal
aromatic baked dal with sago papad

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Recipe for a Spring Agate Hunt

Finding Spring Agates
click on photos to enlarge

A very simple recipe for a spring agate hunt on Lake Superior!

You need:

1 warmish spring day, after ice break-up on Lake Superior
1 kindred spirit
1 reliable automobile
1 full tank gasoline
1 good pair walking shoes
1 camera
1 Song Of The Lakes cd in the player
1 big lunch in picnic cooler

Instructions:

1. Wait for spring. Takes all winter.
When you notice things like this…

trout lillies
trout lillies

blossom
cherry blossom near opening

… then you know it’s time.

2. Get in the car. Start the engine.
Place SOTL cd in player and cue to track 1.
Press play. Drive north. Time varies.

I 75
keep driving north…

3. Continue north until you see…

mackinac bridge
mackinac bridge

… the Mackinac Bridge. If you’re lucky, you’ll see a laker passing beneath!

4. Go over the bridge. Continue north until you get to a deserted stretch of Lake Superior agate beach. Takes about 3 hours.

beach
agate beach on Lake Superior

5. Walk on this beach. Wear the good walking shoes. You’ll be glad you did.
Search on the beach for agates. Takes all day.

water
millions of rocks in Lake Superior

6. Also search at the water’s edge. Bring gloves. The water is cold.
When you need a break from bending over, have a look in the trees.
If you’re lucky, you might see…

sapsucker
yellow-bellied sapsucker

… a sapsucker!

7. Continue searching. At the end of the day, you should have several treats to help you remember your spring agate hunt 🙂

spring agates

spring agate

spring agate

“February is a short month… then March is spring… ”

— Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Nupur’s A-Z of Indian Vegetables ~ E is for …

Hooray! It’s Saturday, almost time for another installment of Nupur’s eggceptional emumeration of The A-Z of Indian Vegetables. I can’t wait to see what will be featured over at One Hot Stove come Sunday or Monday.

Thanks again, Nupur, for the chance to play along!

Back when I was about 12 years old, the American Egg Board introduced a new ad campaign featuring the slogan “The Incredible Edible Egg ™”. The slogan was paired with a catchy little tune and the resulting four-word jingle remains in my head to this day — pretty successful marketing to last that long! 😉

For my entry to Nupur’s Letter “E”, I made an obvious choice. I make no excuse for being predictable however, as this veggie is none other than the enticing and unequaled… incredible edible eggplant!

Known in various languages as aubergine, baingan, brinjal, berenjena, daimaru nasu, makhua, melanzana, qie zi, terong, and many other names*, I was fascinated to learn that the eggplant is native to India*. You’d think I would have known that somehow, with endless exquisite eggplant edibles created and perfected by so many excellent Indian bloggers.

eggplant varieties
beautiful fresh purple and green eggplants

I have always been an eggplant fan, and now that I have found the sweet and tender asian varieties, I find myself indulging in eggplant esctasy every chance I get. Healthy and delicious, there are innumerable ways you can enjoy the enchanting eggplant:

Try Menu Today’s yummy Tamilian-style Stuffed Brinjals

Giniann’s spicy Brinjal Theeyal

For for wedding days or any day, Sailu’s Vankaya Bataani Kura

Indosungod’s rich and tangy Mor Kozhambu or
yummy brinjal curry with spinach and brussels sprouts
yes, that says brussels sprouts! 🙂

With tasty menthi podi from Swapna’s Kitchen

Mix it up into Jasu’s brinjal chutney

In the mood for something timeless?

Try your eggplant elegantly sliced and spiced from Meena’s Hooked on Heat

Use some in Mrs. Marthi’s classic sambhar

Or make a beautiful ‘bouquet of brinjals’ with help from Indira at Mahanandi;
the Best Food IndiBlog of 2006! Congratulations, Indira!! 🙂

And how could I leave out our hostess’ traditional Marathi dish: Bharli Vaangi!

~~~

Many recipies for eggplant call for peanuts and/or coconut, two things I love but am trying, at the moment, to cut back on. I wanted to make a stuffing or gravy that had some substance — ie not made only of spices or vegetables — without draining my calorie bank account. The other day I found a bag of frozen jackfruit seeds at the store. They are fairly low in fat and calories, so I decided to give them a try. While not quite the robust nutty dish you get with peanuts, it came out pretty well! I used small purple eggplants, left whole and slit all around, roasted in ghee fragrant with garlic and ginger, and finished up in a thick gravy. I would also like to try this with the longer japanese-type eggplants, cut in chunks.

~~~

Eggplant (Brinjal) with Jackfruit Seed Gravy

For the eggplant:

6-8 small purple eggplants/brinjals/aubergines
2 tsp oil or ghee
2 TB fresh garlic, minced
1 TB fresh ginger, minced

~~

Wash the eggplant and make slits all around, from top down, leaving the stem intact.

Heat the oil or ghee in a pan large enough to hold the eggplants in a single layer. When hot, add the garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant. Add the slit eggplants, turn heat to medium-low, and cover the pan.

Roast the eggplants about 20 minutes, turning from time to time, until they begin to spread apart and the skin is well colored. They should be about half cooked.

With a fork, remove eggplants from the pan and hold aside. Don’t wash the pan.

~~

For the paste:

1/2 c frozen jackfruit seeds, thawed

1 tsp oil or ghee
1 big red onion, chopped

2 tsp cumin-coriander powder
1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp salt

1 small piece tamarind, soaked in 1/2 c hot water, pulp extracted

~~

Dry-roast the jackfruit seeds in an iron or non-stick pan until well browned (I used a spray of Pam to help them brown). When cool enough, grind to a powder and set aside.

In the eggplant-roasting pan, heat another teaspoon of oil or ghee and fry the chopped onion until soft and beginning to brown. Scrape the pan out well, removing all the bits of ginger and garlic as well as the onion.

When cool enough, grind this to a paste with the powdered jackfruit seeds, cumin-coriander, chili, and turmeric powders, about 1/4 c of the tamarind pulp and the salt. Set aside.

~~

For the gravy:

1 tsp oil or ghee
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp chana dal
2 tsp urad dal
1 tsp cumin seeds
5-6 curry leaves
1 big or (2-3 small) green chile, slit
3/4 c chopped fresh tomatoes (or 1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes)
1 TB jaggery, powdered
1 TB Vineela’s magic vangi bhath masala
salt to taste

In a deep frying pan or saute pan, heat the oil or ghee and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add chana dal, urad dal and cumin seeds.

When the dals change begin to change color, add curry leaves and the green
chile(s). Fry a minute longer, then add the onion paste and cook about 10 minutes over medium heat.

Add the tomatoes and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until most of the moisture has cooked off and the mixture starts sticking to the pan.

Add jaggery and vangi bhath masala and cook 5 minutes further, stirring.

Add 1/2 – 3/4 c water, stir well and bring to a boil. Add the roasted eggplant, pressing down a little on them with the back of a spoon to get the gravy in and around the eggplant as much as possible.

Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat about 20 minutes, or until eggplant is tender.

Taste for salt before serving.

~~~

The gravy was thick and rich-tasting, with a faint nutty flavor from the jackfruit seeds and extra dal in the tempering, and a hint of coconut from the vangi bhath masala. I would recommend using ghee rather than oil for this dish. Ghee lends rich, mellow note to the flavor of eggplant that oil simply can’t match. Four teaspoons might seem like alot; considering I didn’t use peanuts, I felt it was a worthwhile addition.

Tasted even better the next day.

~~~

eggplant with jackfruit seed gravy
eggplant (brinjal) with jackfruit seed gravy

There you have it!

Earthy yet exotic, enchanting and enthralling cooks the world over, elevating essential everyday meals to extraordinary ecstasy, simply exquisite ~~

eggy
The Incredible Edible Eggplant!

*source wikipedia

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Winter Morning

Click photos to enlarge.

winter hanging on
gray squirrel

winter morning
searching for sunflower seeds

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Long Beans Stir-Fried with Silk Squash and Shitake Mushrooms

dried and soaked shitake mushrooms, long beans, silk squash and garlic
clockwise from bottom left: cut long beans, shitake mushrooms — dried, soaked, and shredded, chopped garlic, fresh silk squash

This recipe is based on Long Beans Stir-fried with Silk Squash and Cloud Ears, from Ken Hom’s beautiful food-and-family odyssey, The Taste Of China. This book is a wonderful source of authentic Chinese recipes. It is also something of a travel and cultural journal, and the hard-cover edition has lovely photography.

Long Beans Stir-Fried with Silk Squash and Shitake Mushrooms
adapted from Ken Hom’s The Taste Of China

12 dried shitake mushrooms or chinese black mushrooms
1/2 lb long beans, washed and cut into 1″ lengths
1 big silk squash, washed, peeled, and cut into 1″ chunks

1 tsp canola oil
1/4 c chopped garlic (or use half shallot half garlic)
2 TB soy sauce
2 TB shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
1/2 c reserved mushroom soaking liquid

few drops sesame oil (Chinese or Japanese type, for flavoring only)

~~~

Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for at least 30 minutes — an hour or more is better if time allows. When soft, remove from the soaking water one by one, squeezing out the liquid. Strain the mushroom soaking liquid through a coffee filter into a clean bowl and reserve.

Rinse the mushrooms well in fresh water to remove any grit that may be trapped in the gills. Trim the tough stems and discard. Shred the mushrooms and set aside with beans and squash.

In a large frying pan or wok, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add chopped garlic and stir-fry a minute. Add the long beans and stir-fry a few minutes, until they begin to change color. Add the squash and mushrooms and cook a few minutes more.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the soy sauce, wine, and reserved mushroom soaking liquid. Stir well, cover, and cook 5-10 minutes until beans are tender but not mushy. Sprinkle on a few drops of sesame oil and toss before serving. This dish is good hot or even at room temperature, with or without hot steamed rice.

long beans stir-fried with silk squash and shitake mushrooms
long beans stir-fried with silk squash and shitake mushrooms

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Cleaning the Dashboard

We had a heat wave today (40 degrees F!) and it’s almost time to think about spring housecleaning. To begin, I’m cleaning and consolidating the “dashboard”
of drafted posts that somehow never made it to completion.

Here are a few things I’ve cooked over the winter.

~~~

Paneer is one of my favorite foods, and I am really bad with self-control when I make it. It’s a treat and there are never any leftovers next day! I was surprised to realise that I had been making paneer long before I discovered blogging. I would curdle some milk and let the whey drip through a couple of coffee filters. Chop that up and mix it into some cooked (frozen) chopped spinach. To this I would add a little tomato and cream, maybe some really pathetic bottled garam masala from Spice Island or some other horrid brand… oh, the shame of it all! I can’t think of it any longer 😉

Of course my paneer dishes are much more authentic and delicious now, thanks to many great recipes and tips obtained through the magical world of blogging!

Paneer with Peppers and Onions
inspired by Maheswari’s Kadai Paneer

1 tsp oil or ghee
1 TB ginger-garlic paste
2 green chiles, slit

2 bell peppers, seeded and sliced (any color – I used red)
1 onion, sliced
10-12 baby corns

2 TB tomato puree

1 tsp cumin-coriander powder
1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric

2 tb yogurt mixed with 1/2 c water and 1 tsp cornstarch

homemade paneer from 1 qt milk, cut in chunks
1 tsp kasoori methi
salt to taste

~~~

Heat oil or ghee in a large saute pan, and add the ginger-garlic paste and chiles. Saute a moment, then add the sliced peppers and onions. Cook until softened. Add the baby corn, then the tomato puree and stir to coat well. Add cumin-coriander, kashmiri chili and turmeric powders. Stir well and keep on a low flame.

In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with the water until dissolved. Add yogurt and mix well. Raise the heat to medium, and when the onion/peppers are bubbling, add the yogurt mixture. Stir well with wooden spoon until the sauce thickens a little.

Add the paneer and kasoori methi, mix everything well and heat through. Add salt to taste, and serve hot. Tasted great with rice and with chappatis. Thanks, Maheswari!

paneer with peppers and onions
paneer with peppers and onions

~~~

Here is a delicious and nutritious dish from fun and talented Inji Pennu, another of my first inspirations. This was the second time I made this dish. Both times I followed her recipe for Green Peas Gravy (In Coconut Milk), but this time I added a little rice toward the end to soak up all that coconut goodness. Thanks Inji, it was delicious!

inji’s green peas gravy with coconut milk (and rice!)
inji’s green peas gravy with coconut milk (and rice)

~~~

When I go by the supermarket on Sundays or Mondays, I always peruse the ‘breakdown lane’ (as my aunt calls it). Here is where they place the reduced-price produce, and often great bargains are to be found. One trip yielded this treasure-trove of fancy colored peppers — each and every one perfect, not a thing wrong with them! I had to join the stuffed pepper craze.

beautiful fresh bell peppers
beautiful bell peppers in a riot of colors

This is a mostly-veggie stuffing; light on seasoning to let the sweet flavor of peppers and nutty perfume of brown basmati shine through. You can of course jazz it up with any spices you desire.

Brown Rice Stuffed Peppers
inspired by nidhi’s (award-winning!), coffee’s, and sushma’s varieties

1/2 c brown basmati rice
1 1/2 c water
1/2 tsp salt

2 large bell peppers, any color, that will sit nicely for stuffing

1 tsp oil or ghee
1 healthy TB garlic paste
1 big or 2-3 small green chiles, slit

2 big bell peppers, any color, diced
1 small onion, chopped fine
1/2 tsp turmeric

1 TB besan mixed with 2 TB water

salt and pepper to taste

~~~

Preheat oven to 375F.

Wash the brown rice well, soak it for ten minutes and then drain for 10-15 minutes. In a small saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil, then add rice. Lower the heat, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, or until rice is tender, adding a little more water if necessary.

Meanwhile, wash the stuffing peppers, cut the tops off and remove seeds and ribs. Rinse them out and set aside.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil or ghee and add the garlic paste and chiles. Saute a few minutes, then add the diced peppers, onion, and turmeric. Cook for 10 minutes or so over medium heat, until vegetables are softened but not mushy. Mix the besan with water to a smooth paste, and add to the vegetables. Continue to cook, stirring, until the raw taste of besan is gone.

When the rice is cooked, add it to the vegetables and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stuff the large peppers with the mixture.

Place the stuffed peppers in a baking pan with very little water in the bottom. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until peppers are softened and tops are brown.

Serve plain, or with a spicy tomato chutney on the side.

Thanks Nidhi, Coffee, and Sushma!

veggie-brown rice stuffed peppers
bell peppers stuffed with brown rice and veggies

~~~

Last but certainly not least, I made Sri’s mouthwatering Chole Masala. I still can’t find a dried amla to save me — but I carried on without it and the results were fabulous. I added a few frozen green chana I had hanging around, but otherwise I followed her recipe to the letter. Run don’t walk to Daavat for this one, and thanks, Sri!

sri’s dhaba-style chole masala
spicy and tangy – sri’s dhaba-style chole masala

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Sunday Veggie Shopping

fresh veggies
fresh veggies from a new marketplace!

mmmmmm…
I was so excited to find this!

Comments (6)

Nupur’s A-Z of Indian Vegetables ~ D is for Dosakaya

Lovely Nupur of One Hot Stove has invited us to to take part in her new series,
A-Z of Indian Vegetables. Since Nupur was one of my very early inspirations, it’s particularly fun to take part in this. Thanks, Nupur!

As usual, however, I am late — perhaps just under the wire since Nupur is blogging on central time and I am on the east coast! I thought it would be easy to whip together something for a veggie event… but do you know how many vegetables actually begin with “D”!? Without counting “dal” — here’s what came to my mind:

Dandelion
Dasheen
Dhania (hmm… vegetable or herb? I stuck with herb)
Dondakaya
Doodhi
Drumstick

“D” is for dilemma, eek! I don’t love dandelions, and I wasn’t going to get to the Indian store today. At home, I didn’t have so much as a *can* of drumsticks (my favorite!), nevermind fresh or frozen. Ditto for the other choices. I had a bunch of cilantro (dhania), but that wasn’t inspiring me.

“D” is for dig, and dig I did. I dug through my cookbooks. I dug through the internet. Finally I remembered the dosakaya (dosakai) I bought a couple of weeks ago. Did I still have the half I hadn’t cooked? And more importantly, would it be usable? Sure enough, there it was securely wrapped in plastic in the fridge, still feeling firm and fresh, and still scented with that lovely summer-sweet melon fragrance. Perfect!

In digging through my cookbooks, I came across my old copy of The Joy Of Cooking. Armed with that, I decided to experiment. I am not much of a baker, but J of C has never let me down.

~~~

Dosakaya Breakfast Bread
adapted from carrot-nut bread from The Joy of Cooking

Preheat oven to 350F

Sift together:

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour, preferably unbleached
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cardamom pwd.

In another bowl, mix:

1/2 c sugar
1/4 c jaggery
2 eggs, beaten (I used 3, as I had medium sized eggs)
1/2 c canola oil

Grate:

1/2 medium sized ripe dosakaya (yellow cucumber)
you should have about 1 cup

In a small pan warm:

1 tsp ghee
1 cinnamon stick
5-6 cloves

To the spiced ghee, add and toast:

1/3 c golden raisins
1/3 c cashew pieces

Remove cinnamon stick and cloves from pan. Mix dry and wet ingredients together. Fold in the grated dosakaya, and the toasted raisins and cashews. Bake in greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan at 350F for approx. 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool ten minutes in the pan before removing.

I put some butter next to the bread for the pic, but it really didn’t need butter. It was very moist from the juicy dosakaya, and not overly sweet. Like most quick breads, it’s probably best eaten within a day or two of cooking — and rewarmed at that.

dosakaya bread
fresh from the oven ~ dosakaya breakfast bread

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Fry Fest for MBP February

First of all, congratulations!! to Anthony, Ashwini, Shaheen,
Indira, Meena, and Trupti, all nominated for Best Food Indiblog at IndiBloggies.
I wish I could vote six times 😉

~~~

Lovely Coffee of My Khazana of Recipes has chosen finger foods as the theme of her Monthly Blog Patrol for February. What a perfect excuse for me to try some of the fried foods that I (ahem) *try* to indulge in only rarely 😉

It was easy to find my wishlist of recipes… more difficult to choose amongst them. In the end, I made three… leaving many more to try the next time!

First up was a dish I have been eyeing for weeks: Supriya’s Plantain Kabobs. These were easy to make and I really enjoyed the spicy-tangy taste, crispy outside and melting-soft inside.

Next, another long-coveted dish, Asha’s Palak Onion Pakodas. They came together in a flash (a hallmark of Asha’s great recipes!) and were crunchy and delicious with fresh spinach and thinly sliced onions.

I also made some fried okra, inspired by Shaheen’s Stuffed Okra Fritters. I made it a little differently (feeling lazy!?) by stuffing them with amchur and sambhar powders mixed with drops of water. I also mixed besan, cornstarch, and rice flour for the coating, to which I added the leftover stuffing paste. I fried a couple plain, too. Shaheen was right: fried whole okra is fantastic!

fixing okra
fixing okra for deep frying

Since I had the oil out and bubbling, I got a little carried away. I tried frying some baby onions, lotus seeds, and dahi chiles I found at the store. The onions made some pretty shapes as their layers separated, but in the future I would save them for something better. The lotus seeds didn’t do much of anything — I found them just as tasty heated in the frying pan with Pam. The dahi chiles… well, let’s just say I am a not-ready-for-primetime player when it comes to munching whole chiles of *any* variety — but I did try some and it was tasty if HOT 🙂

Thanks Coffee, for the fun theme, and thank you Supriya, Asha, and Shaheen for the great finger foods!

fryfest
fry fest on a plate, clockwise from bottom: tomato-chile pwd-yogurt dip, fried okra, assorted tidbits (baby onions, lotus seeds, dahi chiles etc), plantain kabobs, palak-onion pakodas, and can you guess?

kitties
kitties in winter sunshine

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Mong Toi or Malabar Spinach with Mushrooms

mong toi
fresh, succulent mong toi greens

This weekend at Melting Wok, I saw this wonderful recipe for a beautiful asian green called mong toi, or malabar spinach (see original recipe post for more info on this vegetable). I knew I had seen it in the asian grocery, and it looked so appetizing, I had to try it. Happily, yesterday, I was able to pass by the store and found a very fresh bunch of mong toi. Because greens can be so perishable, I wanted to cook as soon as possible.

I decided to make a vegetarian version. Mushrooms that have gone slightly too far to eat raw can be pan-fried to make an extremely flavorful dish on their own. I had a package of mushrooms like this, so I pan-fried them to take the place of dried fish. Cooking the mushrooms might seem complicated on paper (or screen), but in practice it’s really very easy and well worth the little extra time.

Greens and mushrooms, garlic and wine have a strong affinity for one another. I increased the amount of garlic in the recipe and skipped the sesame oil and fish/oyster sauce. The heady aroma of Shaoxing wine, the fragrant ginger and garlic paste, and the mellow soy sauce along with the earthy mushroom liquid all combined to make a simple yet complex little sauce for the veggies.

While some of the greens did become slightly slippery, I did not find it unpleasant, and I detected no aftertaste. I would suggest serving this immediately, however, before the greens have time to sit too long. They will continue to cook a little in the hot sauce. If the idea of even a little slippery turns you away, I’m sure this would be equally tasty with any other spinach-like green.

All in all this is a delightful new vegetable to add to my list of favorites. Thanks, Shirley, for a fabulous new veggie and great recipe inspiration!

~~~

Mong Toi with Mushrooms

1/2 bunch mong toi/malabar spinach (about 2 c torn leaves)
12-16 oz fresh mushrooms, preferably a little past their prime

1 tsp plus a spritz of canola oil
or Pam

1 tsp ginger paste
1 TB garlic paste

2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp shaoxing wine (sake or cooking sherry would probably work in a pinch)
mushroom cooking liquid (see below)

salt to taste (only if necessary since soy sauce can be salty)
~~~

Wash the mong toi carefully, tear larger leaves into pieces and leave to drain.

Wash the mushrooms with minimal water and dry them well. Separate the stems from the caps. Slice the stems medium-thick, and cut the stems in half. Heat a nonstick frying pan on high heat. Spray with Pam, or use a small spritz of oil (if you prefer not to use nonstick pans, you will need about 1 tsp oil for this). When pan is quite hot, add the mushrooms. Let them cook two or three minutes undisturbed. They should begin to release some of their moisture. Lift the pan slightly off the burner and shake back and forth, holding it level to the stove, giving the mushrooms a little toss without stirring them. Return pan to the hot burner and let the mushrooms cook a few minutes more, then shake-toss again. Repeat several times, until the mushrooms are turning brown and smelling wonderful. When they are well browned, remove to a bowl and set aside. Soon a little liquid will begin to accumulate in the bottom of the bowl. Don’t drain it off.

In the same pan, heat 1 tsp canola oil (or spray with Pam again) on medium-high. Add ginger and garlic pastes and stir-fry a minute or two, until they begin to stick to the pan. Add a little of the reserved mushroom liquid. Continue to stir another minute or two, then add the torn mong toi leaves and mushrooms. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes, until leaves begin to wilt. Add the wine and soy sauce. Stir-fry just another minute or so, until all is blended. Remove from the heat, salt to taste, and serve at once.

mong toi with mushrooms
stir-fried mong toi with mushrooms

Want to grow some mong toi? Check out Kitazawa Seeds 🙂

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