Medha's room is very warm. Mine is a freezer as it gets buffeted by the winds. So I get the heater until I am warm under several layers of comforters.
It was 40F this morning but very blustery. A little person crept into my room and asked to wear my slippers as she could not find her own. Oops! Then she said: I really want to save the Earth and, I know my room is warm so I really don't need the furnace at night. But, the rest of the house is so cold that when I wake up in the mornings, I have hypothermia. Daddy, could you please turn the furnace on?
It didn't work.
It warmed up to a sunny but windy 70F today and it will probably be the same tomorrow. Sunday's high is going to be 39F with rain and snow. That's the high. The low will be 29F and it will feel much worse inside the house. I think I need a petition to get the furnace started by Saturday night!
Tonight is the Pom Cheer Night. We are going to freeze some more as we watch Medha and a whole bunch of young girls, aged 5 to 10, do the cheer at the high school football match. I've never been to a football game and I really hope those bright lights generate some heat! Brrrr! After that, we head to a friend's place for Navratri celebration. We will miss the puja but be just in time for pav bhaji. Yum!
When it's cold like this, I yearn for comfort food. A soupy something like Nabeela's Marag is just perfect! But given the deadlines at work, I need it to be quick as well. So last night, I reached out for Ammini's Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts and made Cheera Udachathu. With plain steamed rice, I reached my Nirvana and did not worry about the underlying problem with the furnace cleaner.
And, yes, spinach is very popular in this household. It's healthy, it's delicious and it's also a great alternative to Metamucil!
Spicy Mashed Spinach
- 1 lb baby spinach leaves, washed
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp urad dal
- 2 dried red chillies, halved or 2 green chillies, sliced vertically
- 12 to 15 fresh curry leaves
- Bring 1/4 cup water to boil in a saucepan. Reduce the heat, and add the spinach to the
- Add salt and turmeric powder. Cook over medium heat until the spinach wilts completely.
- Drain the excess water and reserve for vegetable stock or to knead the dough for rotis and parathas. Let the spinach cool, then blend it
to make a thick, smooth purée.
- While the spinach is cooling, toast the fenugreek seeds over medium heat in a small skillet. Remember that dry roasting enhances the flavor and reduces the bitterness of fenugreek seeds. However, fenugreek needs close attention while toasting; it turns reddish brown and tastes very bitter when over-roasted!
- Using a mortar and pestle, crush it into a coarse powder. Or if you prefer, grind it to a fine powder in your spice grinder.
- Heat the oil in a skillet, and add the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start popping, add the urad dal, the green chillies and the curry leaves. Fry until the dal turns golden.
- Transfer the puréed spinach to the skillet. Sprinkle the toasted fenugreek powder on top, mix well, and cook for another minute or two.
- Cover and set aside for ten minutes, to allow all flavors to meld.
- Serve hot with plain boiled rice.
This is a very easy and quick curry to put together. You can increase the spicyness by adding more green chillies or dried red chillies, if you wish.
This recipe, and many more easy to make recipes, can be found in Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts by Ammini Ramachandran. I keep going back to this cookbook over and over again for heart-warming recipes.
Thank you, Ammini!