There was a grub on the marigolds this morning. A fat happy chappy, curled up and content. I couldn’t help laughing. It was almost as if I could hear his contentment and tiredness after munching through a dozen flowers, eating all of the petals. What an appetite Mr. Grub has. I took him and left him in another part of the garden where he can eat undisturbed – his munching won’t leave such detailed signs, and Mr. Bird Always Looking For Food is less likely to spot him.
There is a happiness in eating good food cooked with love, isn’t there. I felt really happy today. Once upon a time I cooked a vegetable soup. It had 13 vegetables and herbs in it. It left me feeling so warm and happy that I named it “13 Treasure Happiness Soup”. It is one of my classics and I will post it this winter.
Today I made TBC’s Rasberry Shrikand from the last of the thick thick yoghurt, and had it for breakfast. Who would have thought that yoghurt and honey could taste so fine? Then I had some home made paneer in the fridge waiting patiently, and I made the best Mint Paneer for lunch. I felt so incredibly good afterwards. So light and happy. Dancing inside.
So I made some home-made yoghurt for the first time. Making paneer successfully took several attempts to get it consistently good. But today the stars must be all aligned, because my yoghurt is wonderful.
I continue to be amazed by the wonderful shadows of Autumn. Usually I say that I love the light, but actually it is the shadows I love. Cast by low sun, mellow after the summer blaze. Sometimes it takes my breath away. Light shining through trees. Roots exposed in shade and light. How flowers grow longer and lankier at this time of the year, and that causes them to swish and sway in the breezes. As I am driving, light plays in between buildings, spilling out onto the road in shards of sun.
I am obsessed at the moment by the shadows. You may have noticed. There is a silence in them, a pause. Like that pause at the top of your breath, so empty, so necessary, serving to highlight your in or out breath. Like the silence Arvo Part uses in his music. Perfect. Necessary. Shadows. So it is with light.
I saw a lotus today, too. An Amazonian lotus of huge proportions. And with that, a Blue Nile lotus, not yet open. Sacred to the Egyptians who believed that god sat at the centre of the lotus.
There is also a lotus pond in our Botanical Gardens, currently going through its decay cycle. I love the pond, and often run into Indian people there. They visit because the lotus is sacred for them too.
I visited a spice farm once, in Goa. There were no clocks there, only several types of lotus. The workers all lived on the property. Their days were ruled by the opening and closing of the various types of lotus – when to start work, when to stop for lunch, when to resume work, when to finish for the day.
My day started with the Shrikand. I tweaked it a bit from TBC’s version, but not much.
Source : inspired by The Budding Cook
Prep time: 10 mins + draining time for yoghurt
Cooking time: 0 mins
Serves: 4 – 6 people, depending how you use it
0.5 cup drained, thick yoghurt (obtained by straining a cup or so of yoghurt for at least 2 hours and overnight if possible. See this post for details.)
2 Tbsp organic honey
20-25 blueberries, pureed (they can be frozen blueberries)
A pinch of cardamom powder
A pinch of salt
A few cashews, broken into small pieces
Mix all the ingredients together and chill before serving. Top with the cashews and whole blueberries. The cashews are essential, a wonderful contrast to the creaminess of the yoghurt mix.
Eat and enjoy!
Ways with Yoghurt:
- How to make thick thick yoghurt/yoghurt cheese.
- I finally made a Blueberry Shrikhand. It is hard to beat.
- Use thick thick yoghurt with all sorts of fruits and other toppings.
- A huge dollop of thick thick yoghurt on top of winter soups, like this spicy red lentil soup.
- Yoghurt Curry
- Thick Yoghurt Tahina Dip with Herbs
- Yoghurt and Rosepetals
- Cacik: Turkish cucumber and Yoghurt Mezze
- Tender Eggplant with yoghurt
- Yoghurt, Feta and Mustard Dip
The Holiday Series
- Mint Paneer: A recipe
- Shrikand: A recipe
- Creme Fraiche: How to make
- Thick Thick Yogurt (Yogurt Cheese): How to make
- Yogi Tea: A recipe
- Roasted Rosemary Pears: A Recipe
- Pomodori Gratinati (Baked Tomatoes with Cheese): A recipe
- Ginger Garlic Lentil Soup: A recipe
- Oven Baked Chickpeas: A recipe