The most versatile among the food grains, rice is the staple food of over half the world’s population. It is the largest cultivated crop and provides more than one fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by humans.
Rice cultivation originated in the Pearl River Valley of Chine, close to 10,000 years ago. From there, it spread to countries in South and Southeast Asia like India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Legend has it that is was the soldiers of Alexander the Great that brought this grain to Europe. And when Europeans started the colonization of the American continent, rice reached there too.
There are many varieties of rice available today, each one suitable for particular ways of cooking. Like basmati for a pulav or arborio for a risotto. And if we start talking about the many many dishes that can be made out of rice, we will be here a long time. 🙂
Not exactly… I mean, the eggs are not green, but the sandwich is! A lovely green chutney is the secret behind this delicious sandwich can be made in a jiffy.
When it comes to sandwiches, I totally agree with John Montague, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, who is credited with its creation in the first place. The story goes that reluctant to get up from the card table – apparently, the man took his gambling seriously – he would ask his servants to hand him a piece of meat between two slices of bread so that his fingers would stay clean. Naturally, the other players at the card table started asking for the food item ‘same as sandwich’ which soon got abbreviated further and the dish names sandwich was born!
Here the role of the bread is just to hold the goodies inside (which function I get lettuce leaves to do as well, very often). And whatever interesting and tasty food that keeps its shape can be placed inside a sandwich. If you are not sure whether the filling will stay inside the bread, just toast it to keep it all together. 🙂
Tabouli is one of the dishes that is a definite hit or miss with me. (Is that statement an oxymoron?) I know that tabouli is a parsley-intense dish. Though not a major fan of parsley, I am okay with it… up to a limit. Sometimes the parsley in the tabouli sooo overwhelms everything else that it tastes of nothing else. In such cases, yeah, that polite one spoon is all that I can deal with.
But then, this friend of mine – she is from Turkey, where tabouli is a staple – made this amazing version, with cilantro instead of parsley. And boy, did it change everything! Never have I made a tabouli again with parsley. The main difference I feel, is in the texture. Cilantro has this delicate texture whereas parsley tends to be a bit coarse. Even when you manage to avoid even the tiniest stems and use only the leaves.
Another standard ingredient of tabouli is bulghar wheat or cracked wheat. The variety that gets cooked with just hot water poured over it. Recently, I tried using quinoa instead of the wheat. And, found it far superior.
Four bananas going south… cannot eat anymore as two already downed… don’t like to waste food either… what is a girl to do?
Make some banana muffins, of course! Especially when she is in need of some interesting breakfast stuff.
And that is how it started. But then, isn’t it too tame to go ahead and make some regular run of the mill muffins? Why not add some different stuff to make it a bit more interesting? That is the path I took. And the end result? Well worth the effort… a healthier, tastier set of muffins!
So I went around assembling the ingredients… the bananas are very sweet; so what is a fruit that is not so sweet? Dried plums! They do have a good texture too.
There is this funny story about how humans first started cooking their meat… how a barn got burned down along with the animals in it and the sad owner burned his finger when he poked a dead (and apparently perfectly cooked) animal… and put the finger in his mouth… and went yummm… but I have not heard a story about how we started eating shrimp. Only thing I can say is, whoever started the trend, he or she must have been a courageous soul! To look at one of those grumpy looking things with all spindly legs and stalk eyed stare and think… “umm… that must taste lovely!” would have taken a truly adventurous mind.
Whoever it was, I’m eternally grateful to that person. For, that indeed tastes lovely! In fact, shrimp is the favourite of a majority of pescetarians.
The name ‘shrimp’ is used to describe a wide variety of species, often synonymously with ‘prawn’, though technically prawns are the larger cousins of shrimp. These days more than half of the shrimp in the commercial market is farmed and rather than caught in the wild.
July 4th… if you grill one day in the year, this will be that day! It has become so much a part of the tradition. The weather, the food, the whole atmosphere calls for it. And that is exactly what we did for our dinner on July 4th.
The menu was quite simple. To start with, the basic of basics, grilled chicken. A simple marinade of sour cream and tandoori spice. Marinated in the fridge for two hours and straight to the grill. As simple as that.
The next item was a bit more complex. Spicy kababs! Cilantro and mint leaves, garlic and onion, and jalapenos, to add that requisite heat.