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comfort food

Razma Gogji

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Jun 222008
 
March2010 241

 

Simple Pleasures – Memories of childhood-

This simple dish, made with beans and turnips was comfort food at its best and the simplest in the long winter months in Kashmir. My Daadi [GrandMa] always had this half smile on her beautiful beautiful face when she cooked this up for us, Because we loved it so much that we could eat it for every meal.
I miss Daadi [peace be on her soul], and I miss the food that I have grown up eating – from her pots to my plate. If I can remember anything about her cooking, it is patience. She allowed a lot of time for a dish to cook up. She mostly cooked on medium low heat and she never ever measured her spice in tea or table spoons.

I made this on a rainy day a couple of days ago. One of the reasons I love Colorado is that it feels like home. The climate, the vegetables and herbs and even the roses and marigolds and are so similar to that of Kashmir, that if I could meet only a couple of Kashmiri speaking people, I would not feel I am in the US.

I know I got carried away, but that’s how this dish made me feel. Nostalgic.

Here is the simple and easy recipe to a great meal:

Plan:

  • 2 cups beans [red beans, pinto beans, kidney beans], soaked overnight.
  • 4 -5 medium size turnips, washed, and cut into quarters
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/4 th tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp fennel powder
  • water

Procedure:

  1. Rinse the beans. Put them in a pressure cooker with 5 cups of water and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. since this is an equipment based timing, you may want to adjust the time according to your own pressure cooker.
  2. the beans need to be soft but not mushy. Now put in the turnip pieces, oil and the spices, close the pressure cooker and cook for 5 more minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat, but let the steam stay in the cooker. Once the steam releases on its own, open the cooker and check for the consistency. If there is too much soup, reduce it on a medium low heat, but do not stir too much. You do not want to break the turnips or make the beans mushy.

Eat it with boiled white or brown rice.

Note: Some of my Friends asked what turnips were : here is a picture of turnips

You will find this in your local grocery shop, most probably without the green leaves. To prepare the turnips for cooking, peel off the top layer, wash throughly with a vegetable brush and cut into quarters.

And yes- There are no onions in this very kashmiri dish, no tomatoes, no garlic. The most delicious food is usually the most simply made. Enjoy!

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