Its already a month since we brought in the new year. I would like to think that the new year is just a number and like the change in seasons there is the change in the numbers of each year. But I wonder if this sort of thinking makes one detached to the whole prospect of making goals to better ourselves, our work, career, relationships or spirituality.
Unless we realize that time is short, time flies past and time is transient it is difficult to comprehend the preciousness of time.
We were fortunate to bring in the new year this time with family as we decided to congregate at my parents place. Road trips, exploring the beauty of nature and the remnants of time gone by, music, animated discussions, spotting the extinct great Indian hornbill, good food ofcourse and bringing in the new year amidst scenic surroundings in a river on a boat, thanks to an adventurous father who has a knack of discovering picturesque places with unsurmountable beauty, marked our time together as a family.
There was the customary visit to grandma’s house, a few miles away from my parents, without which no trip to my hometown is complete for me.
Road trips exploring the charm and beauty of nearby places.
Visits to ancient temples.
That led to the discovery of a well, hundreds of years old.
Some imaginary golf lessons thrown in for good measure.
And the capturing of alluring scenes.
A visit to a Tibetan monastery along the way.
Deep contemplation and unsaid words understood.
A some what bored husband…!
Some posing and bonding with the beloved son.
Few cherished moments with the siblings after a long long time!
A benevolent mother and a magnanimous brother.
And this curry!
Amidst all the eating out that we did, I did manage to cook some fare for my family. Some cheesy baked jacket potatoes, different curries, millet pilaf and this curry made with babycorn, broccoli and soya chunks that was relished by everybody.
I find curries very comforting and love to whip up a variety consisting of different vegetable combinations, base and spice mixtures.
The flavours resulting from the combination of broccoli, babycorn and soya chunk, coupled with the majestic properties of the spices provide a burst of flavours to the palate and make for a heartening meal whether eaten with rice or scooped up with a piece of bread.
Babycorn, Broccoli & Soya Chunk Curry
Use a combination of different vegetables available on hand.
250 gm (1 1 /2 cups) baby corn
1 medium sized broccoli head, cut into florets
1 cup (250 ml) soya chunk
1 cup packed grated coconut
3 to 4 tomatoes, boiled and peeled
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2” stick cinnamon
1/2 tsp peppercorns
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3/4 tsp to 1 tsp red chili powder
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp asafetida
1 tsp ginger, grated
1 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
Clean and wash the baby corn and broccoli, cover with enough water and cook till tender.
In a saucepan, take 1 cup of soya chunks, add 3 cups of water, a pinch of salt and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Once it cooked, take off the heat, drain and squeeze the water out of the soya chunks. Rinse well in cold water 2 to 3 times and squeeze dry using your hands. Keep aside.
In a small pan, roast all the spices, the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves, and peppercorns until they release their flavors, about 3 to 4 minutes.
In a blender, put in the tomatoes, coconut, roasted spices and blend to a smooth puree using a little water if required.
In a wok or large saucepan, heat the oil over medium flame and put in the asafetida and ginger, lower the heat and stir fry for a minute and then add the pureed ingredients. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in the vegetables along with the water.
Put in the salt.
Serve hot with rice or breads of your choice.
serves 4 to 5