Sunday, December 18, 2011

fresh coconut meat. pop rice.

i've had quite a range of indian food thus far, three weeks into india. let me see. from humble home cooking to posh hotel  and fancy resort. honest to the gods and goddesses, shiva, vishnu, parvati, laksmi, and so on and so forth, i love them all. having said that my top fave is some simple, humble home cooked food from my hostess in pune, sadhana's modest corner kitchen. what's so great about it? how about fresh, finely-grated coconut meat? i've never liked coconut meat. dry, stale, funny taste. my ayurveda advisor back in bay area says to me again and again, suk wah, you should have coconut in your food. i say, yeah, yeah, yeah and can't help rolling my eyes. so you might think when i smell something that is unmistakably coconut when sadhana is serving food i would say to myself, uc-oh. no. no. no. without a doubt it is coconut but it smells fantastic and fresh. it is a mound of fine white mash. sadhana puts a nice dollop over dal and rice. i take a spoonful and, wow, i say, this is coconut? this is coconut and how do you do it? what sadhana does is this. she shows me a simple instrument that has a small curved knife hanging. she cups the inside of the half coconut shell over it and grates and grates and grates. at any moment if she loses attention there'll be a cut on her hand. it takes quite a bit of hard work to fill up a small bowl. i'm not kidding. this finely textured coconut meat is worthy in any king's court, appropriate to be served to the gods and goddesses. it lifts a mundane dish like mung and rice to the

my fave way to have it is to spoon it over popped rice for morning meal. i'm definitely going to make this at home. so easy and so good. soak some pop rice. i can get it from an indian store. just 5 min will do. stir fry for a couple of minutes in a little ghee with popped mustard seeds, sesame, channa (a kind of small bean), cilantro. pair it with chai. wowo. i'm in heaven.

sadhana also shows me how to make a great snack. don't soak. just stir fry pop rice in a little oil with a little cumin, sesame seeds, nut bits - optional. hey, say goodbye to potato chips.

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