Saturday, 9 January 2010

⊗ Read It and Eat ⊗

Waking up at 5.30 for yoga practise, it is still very dark but I can always hear someone chanting...getting dressed and tiptoeing into the cool morning air is soothing after a hot sweaty sleep with clear, clear dreams in which I can smell and taste and feel..
it's incredible, this only seems to happen here*, in India. 
(*Happy here, I just wrote by mistake which was a truth just waiting to exit!)

{{Once after an Indian head massage from Pushpa 
I slept so well and woke up with my hands in the prayer position 
and had been dreaming of standing under 
a glimmering, golden waterfall...
The memory of this still makes me feel 
the joy that I woke with that day, 
like a 1,000 kids on Christmas day}}

My yoga practise here is a hard deep series of postures; if anyone is interested I am practising Ashtanga, a flowing with the breath practise. Of course, yoga is many other things and I may cover this in a later post. During these postures or asanas (as they are known by), my dreams rise again, through my twists, as though my body is extracting every last drop of night from me. It is cleansing, it feels good and it hurts. I ask myself why I do this to myself quite often during the 90 minute practise but I remind myself it is my choice and I am lucky to be here and it's great for my health, mental and physical.

After yoga and a burst through the doors into morning, I could vault the coconut trees home to Pushpa's. My energy is bursting for breakfast, I'm high on life and as I flow past the corner house I can hear all the Tibetan monks that live there doing their chanting and I always stop to listen to the deep, deep drones, it is mesmerising. I want to go in there one day and listen to the full blast of it.

Pushpa is usually sweeping the steps and has chai waiting for me and we sit in companionable silence listening to the birds and the sweep of other brooms. Breakfast is so good that I go to sleep  at night thinking about it... here is what I had for breakfast today and hopefully you'll be able to follow the recipe (I fear that I am already speaking in Indglish so forgive me for my weird sentence construction, I've hardly spoken to a Brit)

This is a recipe for a breakfast dish but I would eat this anytime of the day. All measurements are approx. 
As Pushpa says "however much you want then you use"

Aloo Methi Paratha with Tomato Chutney
[Potato and 'green' chapati with Tomato Chutney]

  • Tomato Chutney

1 small onion
large pinch of mustard seed
3 or 4 tomatoes
handful of coriander
quarter teaspoon of turmeric
quarter teaspoon sugar
chilli powder to taste
salt to taste
sunflower oil 

  • Paratha

chapati flour or wholewheat flour
1 or 2 leftover potatoes (mashed)
coriander leaf
1 bunch of methi (which are greens, you may be able to get in an Indian supermarket or substitute spinach)

First of all, make your paratha. Put the flour into a bowl and mix in chopped methi (or spinach) with the mashed potato and good pinch of salt, then adding water and mixing until you have a firm dough. Leave this to rest whilst you make the chutney.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add a good pinch of mustard seed, heat until the mustard seed begins to pop then add finely chopped onion & cook until golden...add the chopped tomatoes (and I wouldn't write off using a tin of tomatoes as tomatoes in the UK are quite horrid and tasteless in the winter) & chopped coriander leaf. Mix well and add the turmeric powder, chilli powder (as you like it!) and salt to taste. Then add a quarter teaspoon of sugar and cook well. Whilst it is simmering away and smelling like heaven then you can make your parathas/chapatis.

As you can see from the top image, gather your dough into balls that would fit in your palm and roll out using a dusting of flour. It's the layers that make the parathas wonderfully chewy and crunchy. So, roll and then fold and roll again as though you are making puff pastry. Then place in a hot heavy based frying pan that has been preheated with a good spoonful of oil. Whilst the first side is cooking, Pushpa swirls a spoonful of ghee on top (naughty Pushpa) as she says it is good for health. I go with it. Then when the first side is nicely browned, flip it over and cook until nicely browned.

Then serve...with love... and repeat until everyone is full. Pushpa always makes me eat two 
but one is filling enough.
Eat with your fingers, breaking off the paratha and scooping up the tomato chutney. If you've been brave with the chilli powder you'll be warm and tingly and as I've heard it's a snowy landscape then you'll feel good. But not as good as standing under a golden waterfall. You'll just have to visit India for that.

Please let me know how it works out as this was conducted under a lot of imprecise discussion. And if you have any questions I'll ask Pushpa and translate for you! 
Bon appetite bloggers.


adventuringmaya said...

I am positively salivating. Am determined to try this one of these days...particularly as we are buried under 12 feet of snow here so I'm whipping up a storm in the kitchen...shall let you know how it goes (though it never quite tastes the same here, does it)

nath said...

i am so making chapathi this week, or perhaps even making Paul make them.

i am loving these sun-filled posts so much as i sit bundled in layers, silk thermals, vests, socks, scarf etc. i swear it's almost as good as yoga. okay, i know i am deluding myself. but i do find myself sitting a little straighter. and that's something, right? right?

the letters i wish i'd written said...

I do believe the word I am searching for is...yum!

Lizzie said...

Mmm, thanks for sharing this. Sounds as if you have having such a lovely time there- I'm quite envious!
My Indian friend used to make lovely parathas. She put butter between the layers as she rolled them (naughty!). They were soo tasty! Must try your recipe - much less fattening. The chutney sounds amazing.

Meghan said...

"Mix well"

You're talking like Pushy P!


chocolategirl64 said...

made it :
noshed it :
loved it :
blogged it :
lunching leftovers today ❤❤
f a b