Sunday, November 4, 2007

Another round of comfort food

After several super hectic days including a trip to DC and crazy work reorgs, a simple meal exuding comfort flavors was what I was craving. I've noticed this often - every time I come back from a trip someplace, I truly crave home food, especially something yogurt-based! Guess the most familiar flavors of childhood are what I want to return to - the stuff I often ate while drowned in a book, especially during summers! *sigh*

Well, of course, a slight twist was necessary :) So, instead of brown or white rice, I went with quinoa - usually I use quinoa in a salad or a pilaf - both of which bring out the intense nutty flavor and chewy texture that I grew to love when in Peru. But this time, I did not want any fancy flavor, just something light and nutritious that I could eat with dollops of home-made yogurt and maybe some veggies. I finally went with a chayote squash curry to complement the quinoa+yogurt - perfect!

Chayote Squash Curry

Servings: 2

1 chayote squash - diced into small cubes
1 t mustard
1 t urad dal

6-7 curry leaves

1/2 t sesame oil
1 t ground spices (fenugreek + red chillies + turmeric + coriander)


Heat the oil in a wok and toss in the mustard seeds.

Once they sputter, add the urad dal, curry leaves and spices and stir for 1-2 minutes.

Toss in the squash cubes and salt and cook covered for 3-4 minutes till slightly charred.
Sprinkle some water (2 T) on the squash and stir some more.

Again, simmer covered for 6-7 minutes or till squash seems cooked.


Servings: 2

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water

1 t salt

Soak the quinoa in cold water for about 15 minutes. This is essential to remove the bitter outer coating of the grains which contains saponin - an ingredient that can often upset the stomach lining!

Drain the quinoa and add 2 cups of water and the salt.
Simmer covered till cooked - about 15 minutes, I think - once cooked, the grains kind of expand and unfurl - it is pretty visible that they're done :)

All I did was eat the quinoa with the squash, a wonk of homemade yogurt (*so* good!!!) and some lime pickle that my mum made when she was here - the ultimate comfort food! :)


Happy cook said...

Looke really delicious. First i thought they were made with potatoes

Lissie said...

unique recipes! sounds delicious...

Kribha said...

I've never tried chayote this way and quinoa is new to me. Both look so good. Thanks for sharing it.

Sirisha Kilambi said...

Its comfort food Indeed kaykat.....Looks Yummm

Asha said...

Quinoa, I am yet to try but love the Chayote squash. Looks yum, comfort food indeed!:))

sagari said...

yummmmmm looks delecious

Nabeela said...

What a nice Indian twist to Quinoa! And I complteley understand the need to come back to good old home cooking after a trip.

Red Chillies said...

Totally agree with you when you say you crave for yogurt based home cooked food when you are out for a while. This quinoa is totally new to me, need to try it out.

Cynthia said...

When you say squash, are you referring to bottle gourd?

KayKat said...

Hey Cynthia!

I'm actually referring to chayote squash - it is small (about 3" across), somewhat rounded, greenish in color with a thin skin that can be peeled. It is often found in indian stores.

Mocha said...

I never knew i could cook something with that squash. See it abundance all time but never even dared to try it