This past year's been a rocky road for Holy Cow! She turned three in November, which seemed like a pretty big milestone considering I have rarely stuck to any one project for that long. But there were obstacles that kept me from giving her as much attention as I should have-- I was juggling a new job, the long and arduous road to recovery that followed Lucy's diagnosis with osteosarcoma, Freddie's slow decline as he struggles with cancer, and two repeated mishaps with the camera that made it impossible to post, along with about two dozen other things.
But for those of you who've missed seeing me online, I have good news: I am going to be around much more-- perhaps more than you'd like-- in 2011. Because I've missed you even more.
So here I am, with the final post of 2010-- a creamy, delicious, almost incredibly exquisite curry made with an ingredient that may not be familiar to some of you: lotus seeds, or phool makhana.
Lotus seeds are a wonderful treat and you can buy them at any Indian grocery store here in the United States. When I started to cook with them, I discovered they make a wonderful meat substitute. The seeds, dalmatian-like with a creamy color mottled with black specks, are puffy and light. You would usually cook them by frying or roasting them first in a little oil which makes them rather crispy and delicious and subtly flavorful-- almost a wonderful snack in their own right. But an even more delicious treat is to dunk them in a spicy curry which changes their texture to slightly chewy.
I use a paste of cashews to make the makhana curry creamy, but coconut milk would work too although, of course, it would alter the flavor.
This is a great recipe for winter-- it's healthy but you practically don't need any fresh ingredients. Even the peas are frozen, and everything else came from the pantry.
For those of you who were expecting my vegan custard tart post, sorry, but I am going to undertake that project only after Desi gets his camera back from the repair shop-- heaven knows why it's taking them that long! The pictures for today's post were taken on my phone which, although not a great substitute for the real thing, makes a pretty decent picture, especially in the very talented Desi's hands.