Flowers are more fragrant, colors are more vibrant and of course the spices are more assertive in India. I’m still adjusting to the sensory overload. Wow. My first trip to an Indian grocery store yielded culinary treasures that left me buzzing and excited to start cooking. The exotic produce and extensive spice collections made me feel like a kid in a candy store (sorry for the cheesey metaphor). Since I finally moved into an apartment, I was ready to start cooking again. I wanted to make something simple and healthly yet inspired by my new surroundings. Without further ado, I give you my groceries for the week.
Here we have, from top to bottom, turmeric powder, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and coriander. I know that turmeric is related to ginger, but it wasn’t until now that I could actually smell the relationship. Next up my produce.
Here we have, clockwise from bottom left hand corner, baby corn, lemons (yes, they are tiny compared to the ones I’m used to), green beans, cherimoya, bananas, garlic, onions, opo squash, amaranth (aka red spinach), cilantro, avocado and cauliflower. I also picked up a bag of red matta rice, because I love my grains, especially the healthy ones. This rice is commonly eaten in the Kerala region of India and is nutritionally similar to brown rice. Isn’t it pretty?
I steamed up a few (too many) cups of the red rice and stirred in some sprouts right at the end, to add some extra nutrition. Aww… Just like the sprouts I get from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. Sad to get teary eyed because you miss your farmer’s market?
While the rice was steaming I toasted up some of the spices and sauteed them with garlic and onion. Then I added my soaked chickpeas and baby corn. I’m very happy to report that I was able to find all organic spices and grains. I’m still searching for a store with a larger organic produce section though. Once my chickpeas were tender I added chopped amaranth and cilantro.
Here’s my very first cooking experience in India. Bon appetit. Coming up next is my molecular gastronomy dining experience in India. Sorry for the photo heavy post. I’m having fun playing around with all the settings on my new camera.