Category Archives: Mama H recipes

Try it: Spiced Okra

There are many allotmenteers and GYO-ers across the country who have sown and grown Okra. I’ve yet to join that number, maybe when the poly tunnel is up and running. However, I did manage to grow some of the tomatoes that can used along side okra to cook up an Indian dish.

Okra are probably not the first thing to come to mind when you think of Indian food. They are however fairly straight forward to cook up. You can either chop or slice them, and Okra do have a tendency to be sticky and a bit like wall paper paste when handled too much.

The ones in this dish were sliced and then added to the base. As usual, the base is onions, garlic and ginger which is sauteed with cumin in olive oil and butter. I added about six home grown Roma and Marmande tomatoes before adding spices and salt; may have added too much salt today, but you can also throw in a new potato or too to help take it away.

okra

Make sure you keep an eye on the okra, and add some water. This will prevent them from burning and allow steam to cook through. Stir too much, and you may end up with a mush; not enough, and you will have Okra welded to the bottom of the pan.

Moonshine and Mooli pods #gdnbloggers

There are two parts to this blog post. The first involves the stash of home brewed wine that is developing rather nicely.

 

Today, I have bottled up a batch of Rhubarb and currant wine. This has been lingering for sometime and was brewed in August last year. One of many different varieties, the batch was racked off into small bottles, wrapped up and stowed away. When bottled, it was actually transparent-you could see right through it, and there was little or no sediment left behind. Like all the others, this batch has been wrapped up in brown paper so that it doesn’t fade.  I have taken a quick inventory, and we do have something of a stash developing. To date, we have bottled up:

  • Strawberry wine
  • Blackberry, plum and currant
  • Rhubarb and Currant

There is apple wine, blackberry and mixed berry and Rhubarb and goosebery left to do later in the year.

Most of the wine is transparent on racking, and you can see right through it. It is only through repeated racking that you get wine that is completely see through whilst keeping it’s natural colour. As the wines are so varied, they will need to be stored and allowed to  mature sufficiently. I have to say though, that the blackberry ones are a rather nice claret colour that does look rather proper! There id definitely more than one way to preserve alloment produce, and Petal plonk isn’t too bad at all.

That’s the home brew developments today. Then come the mooli pods. Mama F has found some Mooli pods-these are seed pods from bolted radiishes-in the freezer.

Very simple to make, Mama F created a sauteed base of onions, garlic and ginger before adding the mooli pods, tomatoes and potatoes. We might not have got any radishes, but the seed pods are edible and you can see use the produce that you do get quite effectively.

Cooking Allotment Squash #gdnbloggers

It will be soon that time of year again, where we cannot move for Pumpkins. There are two of our-well, Mama F’s-that are waiting in the wings to meet their merry end. In the mean time though,  you may have a few allotment squashes hanging around that need to meet their end.

There were a few round courgettes that were floating around looking rather sorry for themselves. Mama F has decided to make a curry type dish with them, and I just happen to be in the vicinity to catch it on film.

You can also view the clip here.

The recipe is simple enough. Onions, garlic and ginger were sauteed in a pan with some cumin. Ma then added spices to these, and cooked them through to infuse the flavour. She also added Punjabi Wadi-these are made of urid dahl and are effectively dried spiced dumplings-a bit like a bollywood oxo cube, just a bit grittier. These are spiced, and give a little more depth to the dish.

 

punjabiwadi

Once that base of the mixture is cooked through, chopped squashes were added. They were already in water, so there was no need to add extra. Allow this to all cook through, under cover so as to allow steam to cook the squashes through. The dish is done when the squash is tender, but not too squishy or mushy.

Depending on how coarse and stringy the squash is, this will influence how long you cook it for. Don’t forget to stir, otherwise it will burn. Keep it all on a moderate heat, just to make sure; this also allows the water to be soaked up.

You can also view the second clip here.

Pudding, potting up and moolis #gdnbloggers

The initial plan for the day was to pot up rescued chilli plants. I had decided that i wanted some more in the poly tunnel; and in the coming days I try and find some more. I popped down first thing to have a general mooch, also to harvest gooseberries. More on the gooseberries later. Early on in the day, I was okay, I wasn’t sneezing so much; all was well. Fast forwards three hours to when I wanted to pot up the peppers; and I kid you not. Whooping sneezing; the horrible, squelchy, bogey-fied, ‘all right, there, Punam?” sort that has your plot neighbours wondering if you are okay and shouldn’t go home and lie down. With my “Yes, thank you, it’s just hay fever” response, I did try and carry on. I was going to pot up the chillies even if my brain made an exit. It took forever, to pot up those peppers and add slug tape. Once completed, I cried off; left Mama F and scarpered home whilst clutching rolled up balls of tissue. Mama F heard her first born whine and snort that she was going home.

Today was all about food. Making the most of what was harvested. Mum’s focus was all about the moolis-the things that I can’t grow-and mine was pudding based with gooseberries.

A lot gets written on this blog about growing, but not an awful lot gets written about eating; surely as a GYO thing, that is important! I was rather glad to see that the tomatoes aren’t doing too badly; the courgettes on the other hand, are a cause for concern with not a lot a fruit as they are slug/snail damaged.

So, first thing first. Mum harvested a few mooli. Declared that these would be dad’s lunch as she raised one aloft. There was also a handful of coriander that was harvested. I simply cannot get mooli’s to grow, I get seed pods. My mum on the other hand, was and is committed to the cause; she has sown loads on her plot and is now reaping rewards. Mooli-or japanese radish-is used not only as a salad crop, but Mum stuffs it into chappatis. With the coriander that she also harvested, today’s harvest was lunch. With atta (dough) already made, Mum grated the radish, added salt to the squeeze out the water; before seasoning with the contents of her spice tin. Adding to a rolled roti, this was then cooked on a tava. I had mine with a 5 minute raita as an accompaniment. You can also stuff chappatis with fenugreek, and this is next on Mum’s agenda. A note of caution, mooli’s are spicy, hot and blowaway the cobwebs. So if you don’t fancy the heat, stick with conventional radishes.

{You can find recipes for both of these in #plantpottales -the yellow one!}

As mentioned, before my focus was more sweet rather than savoury. This years gooseberry crop is exactly double compared to last year. Last, 250g came from the then new bushes. This year, with 500g, I’m making cake rather than jam, pickle or gin. I seem to have lost my jamming mojo, and will try to get it back at some point. The crop was added to a sponge mix containing desiccated coconut and golden caster sugar; one of the tins is still in the oven as I type. I fancied making a pudding, rather than jam as it seemed an interesting experiment to do.

So what happened with the cakes?

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Now cooling. I assure you, they are golden and not burned!

Anyway, I am now dosed up with anti-hay fevers stuff. Exiting stage left; to feed to the veggies and harvest some roses.

Spot of Easter minted/fenugreek lamb

Traditionally, we have had a lamb roast dinner on Easter Sunday. The trend was bucked a little this year, as lamb in question was curried.

You can see the youtube version here.

The home grown element is the dried mint from the allotment. There was an abundance last year, and mum dried it so that she could use it in her kitchen. The fenugreek might be shop bought-we’ve finally run out of the home grown stuff, but plans are afoot to sow and grow more this year-but the mint is the genuine article. There a whole host of different varieties that Mum has collected, so that jar contains several different ones.

And here is Part two of the recipe.

Lamb does take time to cook, and everyone does have their own preferences. Slow cooking tenderises the otherwise quite tough meat and allows the flavours to become deeper.

 

 

Cooking Honey Bear squash: Indian Style!

Today, after much deliberation; Mum announced ‘Punam, I have sacrificed your pumpkin!”

The pumpkin in question was actually a squash, and it is called a honey bear squash. Having been sacrificed, we then had to cook the thing. So we did.

This is the link for the first part, a quick dash through the recipe.

It actually didn’t take too long to tenderise the squash and mum even added some frozen home grown fenugreek.

There is an alternative link here for when it had cooked through.

 

 

Methi harvest time: That’s Fenugreek, Folks

My dinner tonight, was methi roti and raita. That’s chappatis that have been stuffed with fenugreek.

Mum had broadcast sown fenugreek seeds right at the foot of the allotment in an area that had had been previously uncultivated. Fenugreek is used both as a green manure and as part of Indian cuisine. The former, was my intention, the latter was my mum’s. The rain and warmth have formed a lush carpet of green leaves that can now be harvested. Mum has been after a harvest for days, so this evening we harvested two fists full of the stuff. As you can see, that is quite a lot int he harvest and quite alot left on the plot. What was harvested tonight, was enough for about six stuffed chappatis.

#NaBloPoMo: Fenugreek is a fab food

Fenugreek in raised bed
Fenugreek in raised bed

Ma loves this stuff. For most gardeners, Fenugreek is a green manure. Not many might think it’s edible. It is. Makes for lovely stuffed chappatis and curries too. As a green manure, it will help with nutrients when dug over. I will probably dig this over, once ma has made a final harvest.

As you can see, we have one 2mx1m raised bed, half of which had fenugreek in it. There had been baby green tomatoes sat next to it. Ma swears blind that there are different types of fenugreek, and the ones her dad grew when she was a child were taller and greener. She might be right, but I don’t remember them being taller or greener.

Used in Indian cooking, Ma does rather like the leaves. She also likes the mooli pods you get when you have bolted japanese radishes. She’d actually curried those yesterday.

How do you make a stuffed chappati with these then?

Using plain or wholemeal flour add the washed and chopped leaves. Add water and make a dough. Make small balls, and roll out to 3-4 mm and heat through on a flat pan or a tava (Indian pan used to make chappatis). You can also put into mashed spuds and stuff into chappatis.

To curry:

Saute sliced onions, garlic, ginger and cumin in a teaspoon of oil. Once transparent, add fenugreek leaves, add garam masala, salt, pepper, and potatos with some turmeric. Fenugreek should wilt down, and you can also add cayenne or green chillies. Add a little water, and you can steam the spuds to cook. Fenugreek has quite a bitter taste, and therefore an acquired taste. Dried, it can be used it the same way as herbs. You can also do the same with Mooli pods, which you do have to bash first.

Holy basil, Batman!

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Meet Tulsi, mama H’s holy basil plant. Tulsi is something of a fickle creature; if she doesn’t like where she is positioned; she dies. So goes the mythology anyway. This is probably the biggest and bushiest the plant has ever been. Ma tells me she will give poor tulsi a hair cut soon. The plant is actually flowering. Ma has been known to cook with the leaves and also use dry leaves as tea leaves.

Bollywood butternut, baby

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One cobnut butternut 3.5 lbs
Lots of small sweet peppers
Purple rainbow chillies Nigel and frauzauber
Garlic
Onions
Cumin seeds
Chilli flakes
Fennel seeds
Ginger
Stock
Garam masala
Salt and pepper to taste
Have chopped up all the veg. Roast in the oven-happening right now-45mins on has mark 7ish.

Heat roasting dish with olive oil. Adds cumin fennel and chilli seeds when hot enough. Add veg and put in oven.

Then fry off onions and garlic in dash of oil. Add roaster veg with salt, pepper and garam masala with stock. Simmer till soft and then blitz with hand blender. That’s the plan at least!

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