First up, a gorgeous and couldn't-be-simpler subzi from Arundathi. A mild hint of cumin and mustard allows the fresh colors and flavors of spinach and corn to shine through. Arundathi tells us that this is a recipe she carried with her as a student, and it is a nice reminder that such recipes are worth going back to even after the bare-bones pantry days are gone.
Spinach + Corn + Cumin seeds + Mustard seeds = Spinach with Corn
I served this simple and delicious spinach-corn with rice and bhindi ni kadhi from Coffee. This okra kadhi is a superb recipe. I was almost tempted to eat the spicy stuffing with a spoon! My attempts at frying the stuffed okra were quite fruitless this time around; the stuffing leaked out :D Next time, I might bake the stuffed okra before making the kadhi.
Next on the list, an irresistible radish relish from Anita. The zingy flavors of radish are paired with bright lemon juice, with red chillies providing heat and color.
Daikon radish + Chillies + Tempering + Lemon juice = Mujj Chatin
I probably committed a cardinal sin in using peanut oil instead of mustard oil in this recipe. I don't have mustard oil in my pantry and when I look at the bottles of toasted sesame oil, raw sesame oil, peanut oil, and two kinds of olive oil in my pantry, I feel like I just can't bring home another one, hence the substitution. The mujj chatin, just like every other recipe from Anita's blog, was spot-on! It turned a dal-rice dinner into something mighty special.
We come to another spinach recipe- I'm getting serious about eating my greens! This one comes from Nandita. Her traditional lunch series is my absolute favorite, sharing those most precious recipes that make up the taste of home-cooked food. Nandita says, "This is a fine example of typical Tamil Brahmin cuisine, where less is always more and the flavours of the main ingredient are relied upon to the maximum without adding strong flavours like onion or garlic." Less is always more, you say? I had to try this recipe for my event!!
Spinach + Rice flour + Urad dal + Red chillies = Keerai Masiyal or mashed spinach.
Nandita got beautiful results with her traditional stone pot and mashing spoon; I managed with my heavy-duty le creuset casserole and a hand blender. My only tweak to the recipe: I added some lemon juice at the end. You have to taste this to believe it.
I served the mashed spinach with steamed rice and a sesame potato stir-fry from Latha
Potatoes + Sesame seeds + Red chilli powder + Turmeric + Tempering= Bangala Dumpa Vepudu.
Nothing more and nothing less! When I sat down to enjoy this meal, I could not take my eyes off the beautiful colors on my plate- the jade spinach and the golden potatoes.
Sure, ginger/garlic/ any one of a hundred different ingredients could be added to each of these recipes, but the truth is that they taste perfect just in this minimalist state. Needless to say, all these vegetables are being packed to-go, straight to MBP: Less is More.
Entries are already trickling in and I hope you will participate too! If you have a favorite few-ingredient recipe on your blog, leave a comment and I'll try and make it for this event.
...and for dessert, another cupcake. The recipe comes from the ridiculously talented Hannah of BitterSweet.
Enjoy the weekend. Here's wishing my American friends a happy Fourth!