Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A Sense of Impending Dum

My stash of frozen vegetables (bought fresh at last year's farmers' market) is dwindling, and with a new growing season about to begin, I knew I had to start clearing out some of those last items.

I had thawed some shredded zucchini for a zucchini scramble (thrown together with garlic, a local egg, organic cottage cheese, and dried mint from my garden) the other night, and I've been drinking from the last quart of grape juice at breakfast all week.

But I knew something bigger was coming. I could feel it.

I'd gotten a craving for Indian food again, and as I slowly stocked up on other items (locally canned tomatoes, organic potatoes and onions), the idea stalked me, finally revealing itself as dum alu.

So along with the aforementioned vegetables, I thawed the last of my green peas and a cube of chopped cilantro (also from my garden), and I spent a while this evening (while talking on the phone with my Granola Girl) prepping, sauteeing, and simmering a large skillet full of Indian-spiced potatoes in a yogurt-laced tomato curry sauce.

By the time the potatoes had cooked to the appropriate tenderness, I realized that the dish was still liquid enough to warrant being served over rice. (It's been a while since I've made this dish, so I had forgotten.) But feeling lazy after all the energy I expended to make the dum alu, I decided not to take the additional time to cook some brown basmati rice and chose instead to whip up a quick polenta (made from local cornmeal) base for the dish.

Savory and filling, this small plate full of spicy vegetable goodness made an enjoyable dinner, especially when followed by a cup of herbal "chai" (Celestial Seasonings' Bengal Spice).

And I have a feeling I'll see dum alu at lunch tomorrow, too.


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