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Fires: last night on the way to fetch Phleep from Gandalf's I happened to glance up to see Devil's Peak on fire. It was awesome to see, like a special effect from a movie, while at the same time sobering and saddening to realise how much plant and animal life must've been destroyed. There are lots of pics on News24. The view this morning was of an ashen mountain. Thankfully no one was killed. I feel for the wildlife reserve, though, I have often admired the wildebeest standing sentry on that hill over the M3, watching the cars go by.

Snot: my fluishness has turned to green mucus, hooray. I am at home sick today, hoping this won't turn into an URTI*. I have had two in the last month. Apparently the 16 days total of burning fires has pushed up the pollution levels somewhat, I'm wondering if this is the cause of my unseasonal respiratory issues, I usually get URTIs in winter. Hello URTI my old friend...

Imminent baby: Scroob has gone into labour, I'm watching the Ravelry forum like a hawk. I will sms people as soon as there's news other than "dammit, contractions hurt". Leave a comment if you want to be on the sms list. I guess I'm the SA news portal :P.

Awesome doggies: a video showing why Border Collies are the best dogs evar. Also, craaaaazy Welshmen doing amazing things with LEDs and sheeps.

* Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, I get them so damn often :(


Jan. 21st, 2008 10:52 pm
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Herewith, some recipes from my new cookbook Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. It is full of win. Recipes reproduced at the request of extemp and Jo (of JoStv).

Spicy Eggplant Stew with Potatoes, Mushrooms and Chickpeas (India)

(Serves 4 to 6)

1/4 cup peanut ir canola oil
1/8 teaspoon ground asafetida (couldn't find; didn't use)
1 1/2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
3 whole dried hot red chillies (I used 3-ish teaspoons crushed chillies)
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed and peeled
3/4 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch chunks
3/4 pound eggplants, cut crosswise into 1- to 1 1/2-inch chunks
3/4 pound large white mushrooms, halved or quartered to match other vegetable pieces
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup tomato puree
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 well-packed cup very finely minced fresh cilantro/coriander/dhanya (I left this out)
2 1/4 cups drained cooked chickpeas (a 20-ounce can)

Put the oil in a large, wide pot and set over high heat. When hot, put in the asafetida and cumin. Let them sizzle for 10 seconds. Put in the red chillies. As soon as they swell and darken, a matter of seconds, put in the garlic and potatoes. Stir and fry for a minute. Put in the eggplant, stir and fry for 2 minutes. Put in the mushrooms, stir and fry for another 2 minutes. Now put in the turmeric and ground coriander. Stir once and put in the tomato puree, 4 cups of water, salt, cilantro and chickpeas. Bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat down to low, and cook gently for 35 to 40 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

I served this stew with:

Yoghurt with Walnut and Raisins (India)

(Serves 4 to 6)

You can add a few tablespoons of diced green apple to this if you like. I didn't.

1 cup plain yoghurt
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint (I used more, I like mint)
1/4 chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon ghee or peanut oil (I used marg)
1/4 cup golden raisins (I used golden sultanas, couldn't find golden raisins)

Put the yoghurt in a bowl and beat lightly with a whisk or fork until it is smooth and creamy. Add the salt, sugar, pepper to taste, mint and walnuts and combine.
Put the ghee in a small frying pan and set over medium heat. When hot, put in the raisins. Stir them briefly just until they plump up. Quickly pour the ghee and raisins into the bowl with the yoghurt. Stir to mix.


Fresh Ginger and Green Chilli Relish

(Makes 1/2 cup)

1 (3-inch) piece of fresh ginger
7 to 10 fresh hot green chillies
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Peel the ginger and then cut it crosswise into the thinnest slices possible. Cut the green chillies crosswise into fine slices. In a small, clean glass jar, combine the ginger, chillies, salt and sugar.
Put the lemon juice into a small stainless steel or enameled pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow the juice to become lukewarm. Pour the juice over the ginger and cover the jar with a noncorrosive lid. Shake to mix. This relish may be eaten after an hour. Store in the fridge, will keep for 1 week.


In other news, I have joined the Cape Philharmonic Choir. First practice was tonight. In at the deep end with Handel's Messiah. It's hard. A's are not my friend when I'm so out of practice :(. There was a blind lady there and her guide dog whined a little when the sopranos squeaked on the high notes.

Also, reading Sunshine at the moment. I'm not sure if I like it, it's a bit angsty. It reads a bit like Ursula Vernon's blog at times, similar sense of humour. Also also, went to see The Merchant of Venice at Maynardville. I'm not sure I appreciated the new "take" (ie, raping). Obviously, the common-sense department was on holiday when the director said "I know! Nazis! Let's put Nazis in!". And, as we all know, as soon as someone introduces Nazis we all lose. And they didn't even salute the Bard's statue at the end! Shylocke's butler was fabulous, I wonder around saying "weeeeeeeeelll, my conscience, he says.." and "the deveeeel (hands up)". Sigh, good times.


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