Archive for October 2012

Radish (Mooli)

October 26, 2012

With the arrival of autumn there are certain bitter greens that thrive in cool temperatures.  Mooli (diakon) is one of the most versatile root vegetables and is used in myriad of ways in the Indian kitchen ranging from a variety of condiments, garnishes, salads, soups and parathas. I have been growing a variety of leafy greens in my garden since the fall of 1978. Every autumn, the mooli that grows in my garden is the last root vegetable to be harvested.

Being an avid gardener, my garden wouldn’t be complete without my favorite radish and mustard greens. Radish leaves are used in the same way as any leafy greens except that I call them bitter greens. The gardening season is over for me now that the autumn is officially here. I wanted to share some of the leafy greens that are growing in my garden since late summer. Below I have displayed two of the pictures with the vegetables that particularly do well in the fall.

Fried Rice

October 15, 2012

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup red bell pepper, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup green bell pepper, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Biryani Pulav Masala
1 1/2 cups cooked rice

1) Heat oil or ghee in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion, peppers and broccoli florets; cook until tender stirring often. Add salt and Biryani Pulav Masala.
2) Mix well and stir in the cooked rice. Heat through.

Cayenne Pepper

October 13, 2012

Cayenne pepper (mirch) is part of the capsicum family and is consumed in many forms and widely used in Indian cooking. Chili peppers often come in varying degrees of flavor, from quite mild (almost no pungent flavor) to hot in flavor. Dried chili pepper, as a spice, is one of the most versatile spices that is used whole, crushed and ground in a myriad of ways just like many whole spices in combination with or without in the Indian kitchen ranging from whole to finely ground in the form of chili powder. It is one of the must-have ingredients in Indian cooking regardless of its regional cooking.  In addition, the dried whole or crushed chili peppers are used in tarka (spice-infused ghee or oil) and ground for various spice blends. This is one of the ingredients you want to be extremely careful with and I suggest adding it to your cooking in moderation if you are not used to eating spicy food.

Recently as I received a jar of pickles made with cayenne pepper from one of my relatives that inspired me to share some of the pictures with my blog readers since chilies are used throughout the world in various forms. Over the years I have grown a variety of vegetables in my small garden simply by experimenting with different seeds that were preserved over the years from my garden. That brings back a flood of fond memories of the early 90’s as we had harvested a bumper crop of chili peppers a little earlier since we were expecting a frost that night. We had to bring in all the plants and kept them in the garage and next day, we delivered them to our friends and family members.