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.
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.
It’s been such a long time since I last donned anything remotely bollywood. I was feeling a bit wistful, and remembering some of the outfits that I have worn. These are three saris that I loved wearing and are rather special to me. Purple, as my favourite colour. Pink and polka dots was something of a vintage look, and a green one that I could just about breathe in.
No, I don’t wander down the plot wearing these. Wouldn’t go with the red wellingtons, now would they!
There are two parts to this blog post. The first involves the stash of home brewed wine that is developing rather nicely.
Ready and waiting
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.
When you have radishes that bolt, you get seed pods. Or Moongreh as they are known in our house. Moongreh, or Mooli pods as I call them, could also be dried and you might want to save the seeds for next year. You could also eat them.
Eating them is fun, and one of the most vivid memories from my childhood. In the back garden, my paternal grandmother would occasionally sow mooli-that’s the other name for Japanese radish-however, these would bolt given the rather erratic nature of British Summer. When they would bolt, you would get a flush of white flowers that would dry off and leave behind these short fat, sometimes pointy seedpods. Seeds pods, that a child could snap off as they played and munch on quite happily whilst giggling at their peppery flavour.
And boy are they peppery. Just like a radish, each bite is a burst that does rather blow away the cobwebs.
You can munch on them, straight from the plant; you can also curry them. Crushed mooli pods combined with potatoes are actually quite nice!
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.
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.