Summer has arrived at long last, and the garden is beginning to come along. Eggplants have yet to blossom, but the tomatoes are catching up quickly.
omar’s lebanese tomato ~ July 12 ~ note the rungs on the cage, and the window…
omar’s lebanese tomato ~ July 19 ~ what a difference the sun makes!
Cucumbers are growing like crazy…
burpee’s sugar crunch cucumber ~ masses of yellow blossoms
various chili peppers are setting fruit as well…
serrano peppers growing in long-awaited sunshine
I actually planted summer squash from seed today — with only 50 days to harvest, what have I got to lose? Dear Mom reminds me often that my Papa liked to say: “best garden he ever had, he planted on the 4th of July”!
Patience is not my strong suit. While waiting for my little garden to produce,
I find myself almost daily in one store or another, searching out fresh veggies. Yesterday I found some tiny kohlrabi with gorgeous greens attached. I went googling for recipes and came to Anita’s monjji haak.
It looked so good. It looked so GREEN! I had to have it 🙂
I don’t have cold-pressed mustard oil, so I used a smidge of extra-virgin olive oil (from Greece, my *flavorite* — no pun intended — I do believe the best-tasting olive oil comes from Greece. There is a little shop in Cambridge where you can go and have an olive oil tasting — but that’s another story!).
Other than that oil-sub, I followed Anita’s instructions exactly. My greens were young and tender, so I omitted the hing and special Kashmiri masala.
I was happy to be reminded of the old trick for preserving color in greens — baking soda. And what a delightful treat these greens are!!
Rather than break out the pressure cooker, I simmered the greens. I plan to take them to work tomorrow, so I drained off all the liquid to prevent further cooking.
Earlier this morning, I had mixed up a batch of ISG’s easy-breezy oats’n grits dosa. This time the batter was so thick that I think I unwittingly made uttapam.
As usual, I wanted sambhar — especially to go with the uttapam/dosai.
I decided to make some with the reserved haak broth.
Subtley-spiced Kashmiri haak and fiery sambhar?? Not exactly a traditional combo — but I eat at my desk and nobody’s watching 😉
It hardly seems necessary to set down a recipe for sambhar, but here’s how I made it tonight.
4-5 small kohlrabi, peeled and diced
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp urad dal
2 tsp chana dal
2-3 dried red chillies
1 sprig curry leaves
cooking water reserved from Anita’s haak mixed with
1 TB tamarind pulp (or to taste)
1/2 c cooked toor dal
salt to taste
In a medium saucepan, heat oil and add mustard. When it pops, add cumin, urad and chana dals, red chillies and curry leaves. Cook for a few minutes, then add onion and cook until translucent. Add diced kholrabi and saute for a few minutes, then add the reserved haak water and tamarind. Stir well, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes over med-low heat.
Now add sambhar podi and mix well. Cover and cook an additional 10-15 minutes.
By this time the kohlrabi should be tender-crisp. Add the cooked toor dal and mix well. Simmer another 5-10 minutes. Add salt to taste, and turn off the heat.
Let cool slightly before packing for lunch. Did I mention I can’t wait for lunch?? 😉
lunch tomorrow ~ ISG’s oats ‘n grits dosa, uttapam-style, and Anita’s shaak
and kohlrabi sambhar to go with!
A few things I want to make with kohlrabi:
Pavani’s kohlrabi greens curry!
Shivapriya’s noolkol kalan
Shilpa’s navalkola sukke (which I said I was going to make way back in 2006!)
Dear Lera’s kholrabi masala — come on back Lera, I miss you! 🙂