Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Flirting on the Foothills

Covered in a blanket of fog,
As the wind whispers sweet nothings in my ears.
The crisp scent refreshes the senses,
From the stately eucalyptus tree.
A slight shimmer in the air from the raindrops,
The smell of earth envelops the air.
The snow covered peaks resplendent,
Untouched in their beauty...
Am I in love with these foothills...
Or is this a brief interlude, to be replaced again by the random busy life?

My visit to Kalimpong is etched in my mind - so much so that I had written this poem about that visit in 1995. Four days of quietude spent with my parents in beautiful Dak Bunglows ...quiet elegant beautiful buildings from the pre-Independence era with lots of character and sumptuous meals cooked and served by the  attentive messman, trips to the monastery and the vast tea estates, not to forget the flea markets. We never did get to try any of the ghati cuisines which would have exposed me to a multitude of international flavors - Burmese, Bhutanese, Tibetan and Nepali....truth be told even until last week I was a stranger to most of these cuisines...but not anymore. Last week on a relaxed trip away for Thanksgiving I got to try Nepali cuisine twice (in four days).

The food was simplicity ...very close to Oriya /Bengali cuisine yet with difference. The dal was channa dal simply laced with cumin, hing and ghee...there were 2 tarkaris/curry ( one vegetable, one chicken), Mango and Cilantro chutney, Rice and sookhi chapatis...a meal to remember. Do you know what K2 polished off - the Momos...they are very pot-sticker like.
Given K2's intense love for all things pot-stickers and the chilly, foggy weather I have made this quick soup to warm us and ward away the chill...

What you need?
  1. 1 package of Annie Chun Pot Sticker's - with shitake mushrooms
  2. some fresh veggies - I used shredded  carrots, edamame (soy beans), enoki mushrooms and some campari tomatoes ( go with whatever veggies you like that fits into this recipe : bamboo shoots, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli etc.)
  3. Minced Garlic, Chopped Scallion, 2 tsp Rice Wine Vinegar, 1 tsp Soy Sauce, 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  4. Pacific Vegetable Broth
  5. Cilantro to Garnish
  • Combine the Vegetable Broth, Rice Wine Vinegar, Soy Sauce and Minced Garlic and bring to a gentle simmer
  • Add the vegetables and the potstickers
  • Simmer gently for about 5-7 minutes. Add the Chopped Scallions and freshly chopped Cilantro
I didn't add any green chilis to the soup as I was sharing it with my little boy. He slurped up his share, it was the second soup after the cheesy tomato soup that I have seen him enjoy so much. This recipe goes out to Vardhini @ Zesty Palette for her event Dish it Out ( featuring tomatoes and soy) and to Kalyani @ Sizzling Tastebuds for the event "Flavors of China" ( Kalyani is guest hosting Nayna's event).

Hope you got a breather with the "flirt with the foothills in your life" can find them in the most innocuous of places. Life feels like an adventure whether it is one with travelling, the gym, reading, doing homework with my son, food and work...and I am glad I am able to be a part of so many new experiences and drag the 2K's with me...

1 comment:

  1. New dish and looks yummy. Love edamame and thanks for linking to the event.

    Event: Sinful Delights
    Event: Stuffed Paratha