Here is another food story inspired my the memories of many winters in spent in Lucknow, India in my grandfather’s house and the houses of my uncles and aunts throughout the state of UP.
Somehow the archives of food snapshots in your mind brings a nostalgia filled smile and some strangeness. The simplicity of meals prepared in my grandparents house still seems so pure to me. There was a large family to feed so little ingredients went a long way. The laughter and the joy of togetherness at the lunch table in Hussaingunj with a simple meal of Dal and Vegetables is instilled in my memory to this day. There was always the abundance of “romali” (paper thin) roti that our “bua” ( god bless her) cooked in bulk over on a sawdust stove in a dark kitchen.
Bringing one of those vegetables to life in this blog is homage to the lady who cooked our meals, “bua” and my grandparents who also inspired us to be creative, smart, simple and good humans.
The house was defining and built character in every child, teenager and adult that spent time within its walls. The picture is recent but a fossil of an amazing before.
It is an honor to be to hosting the Fiesta Friday this week where I can showcase the beautiful memories of food. Looking forward to the dishes that you all will bring to the party so please join us!!
There are so many versions of cucumber and herbs in cuisines ranging from Indian, Egyptian to Greek. My version takes all these influences and create a soothing and filling summer dish.
Perfect for the summer months especially if you have those fresh cucumber growing in your back yard. I have been so excited about my cucumber produce that has brought joy to my small garden. Nothing like picking that cucumber and serving it within minutes.
The yoghurt can be greek or whole milk just needs to be thick. I used a grass fed organic yoghurt which was creamy and delicious.
Dill and mint ( dried and fresh) add amazing flavors and of course garlic is king in kicking the whole dish up many notches:)
You can use Pistachios or Almonds, I soaked the almonds for a couple of hours and sliced them after removing the skin.
This is when you bring out that good quality olive oil.
A trip to the local farmers market inspired this Mediterranean influenced dish which wakes up you taste buds. I found a fresh bunch of Dill begging to be tried – it was so green and velvety, the stand for cheese looking so very inviting but the local feta sample had me sold and of course I still had eggplants in my garden.
Fava beans are usually in my freezer. Also known as broad beans, they have no saturated fat or cholesterol and contain a high concentration of thiamin, vitamin K, vitamin B-6, potassium, copper, selenium, zinc and magnesium.
Eggplants are sliced and roasted in a 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes. The tomatoes are pan roasted in olive oil and garlic and red chili flakes.
2 cups of shelled and cooked Fava beans ( I used the organic frozen precooked bag from the local Trader Joes store)
4 tomatoes, quartered
Sliced and roasted eggplant slices
1 chunk of Feta cheese cut in cubes
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Crushed Red chillies
1/2 tsp cumin powder
Chopped dill – approx 1/2 cup
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Putting it together:
In a large pan, add some olive oil, garlic and chillies and cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes and let them brown a little. They need to stay whole so do not over cook. Add the cooked fava beans, eggplant, cumin powder(if using) and heat through until combined
Add the Feta as you turn the heat off and combine. Mix in the chopped dill and salt/pepper. Serve at room temperature and enjoy!