Milli was the first to guess the correct answer, which is that I was dyeing wool in the pot. Others, including R, Pavani, Amruta, Shirley and Garden Dreamer also guessed that this was wool/yarn.
The picture indeed was of white wool being dyed with unsweetened orange kool-aid (an artificial drink mix, similar to the brand Rasna in India), a technique described in this Knitty tutorial. It is as easy as heating wool in bright kool-aid solution. The wool soaks up the dye leaving clear water behind; it is quite fascinating to see dye being pulled out of the orange water.
I ended up with this skein of yarn. I was going for a saturated orange color for a particular project so it looks like I have to buy a couple more sachets and give this skein another dunking.
* * *This Sunday, I was watching PBS Create on TV and stumbled on an episode of this show called Bloggers: Confessions of the Food-Obsessed. They interviewed Pim and I turned to V and said- the pad thai that you love, I got the recipe from her blog. They interviewed David Lebovitz and I said to V- the butterscotch candy that you love, I got the recipe from his blog. It is true, most of my favorite recipes come from other blogs and I always think of the blogger with gratitude when we sit down to dinner and enjoy a particular dish.
So I was excited to see that The Singing Chef was chosen as blog of the month for this month's edition of Tried and Tasted, hosted at Dil Se. Raaga has hundreds of recipes for everything from baked goodies to everyday vegetable dishes. One of my grandmothers was Konkani and I grew up tasting some of that wonderful cuisine, so I especially like the typical Konkani dishes that Raaga shares.
The first recipe I tried was panpole, meaning leafy dosas. I have a theory that recipes that call for very few ingredients are often the most challenging to make. This one has all of two ingredients, rice and coconut, ground together to a batter. You need a bit of water for the batter, salt for seasoning and oil to make dosas, and that is it.
The dosas were just a little tricky to make in the beginning. My first two could not be called "leafy" by any stretch of the imagination. But I caught on and began making fairly good panpole after the first few attempts.
These dosas are fragrant and delicate and absolutely melt in the mouth. We enjoyed them with some incredible podi from the famous Ambika store in Chennai, a kind gift from a friend.
Another recipe that I tried from Raaga's blog was Chow Chow. I love recipes with goofy names. Before reading her post, I had no idea what chow chow could mean, other than slang for "eating". Well, her post taught me some three different definitions for this term; talk about getting an education. It is a dish invented by a clever caterer that uses a medley of vegetables and cooks them in pickling spices. I'm sold. I adapted Raaga's recipe, so I'm jotting it down here.
Chow ChowRaaga's recipe)
1. Make a thick paste of
1 tsp. mustard seeds
8-10 fenugreek seeds
2 tbsp. coriander seeds
3 tbsp. fresh/frozen grated coconut
2. In a pan, heat 1 tbsp. oil. Temper it with
1⁄2 tsp. mustard seeds
1⁄2 tsp. turmeric
1⁄2 tsp. red chilli powder
Pinch of asafetida
Sprig of curry leaves
3. Add the following vegetables (or other vegetables that you have on hand) and saute well
1 large carrot, diced
2 Japanese eggplants, diced
1 large potato, diced
4. Add salt to taste, a little water and cover and cook the vegetables until they are barely tender.
5. Stir in
1 tsp. tamarind paste
2 tsp. tomato pickle
Ground spice paste
6. Cook for a few more minutes.
This is an unusual and excellent vegetable dish- the mustardy paste makes the dish very tasty. What a great way to clean out the crisper.
I'll see you in exactly three days with the round-up of Blog Bites: Cookers and an announcement of the theme for the next edition.