ME Meals challenge
You remember how bad my cooking skills were four years ago right? Well its gotten better and infact I had been meaning to write (ahem boast) about what I learnt in the last four years about cooking. Then I came across 'Special K''s post about the challenges of 'cooking for one'. Apparently chefs "cite measuring obstacles, portion doubts, paring problems and presentation apathy". I have been 'cooking for one' for about 5 years now and comparing to making meals for a family when I was living with the parents, I couldn't agree more. Not only is cooking for one hard, but so is grocery shopping. I have lost count of how many times I have had to throw out veggies I bought in a bout of inspiration, until a friend suggested makign veggie stock to freeze and use it for soups later. That didn't work out so well but now I just know how much to buy for a week and also stock up the pantry with things that are quick to prepare but also healthy. Being near so many fresh fruit/veggie vendors help of course. I also had to learn how to plan most of the meals (lunch and diner) for the week so I only have to cook all of it once and still account for dinner out with friends.
As a part of K's challenge to write about 'what you eat or crave eat when you eat alone', here's a ME meal that I make often as its easy to prepare and a comfort dish for me.
It is a Bangladeshi dish called 'Khichuri' which means 'hodge podge of things'. It is commonly prepared during rainy days when no one feels like spending hours in the kitchen or going out to buy fresh grocery. It can be made with stuff at home and reminds me a lot of my childhood when rainy days meant quality time with the parents and siblings- playing board games and enjoying quiet times.
2 cups of Basmati Rice
1 cup of split orange lentils
1 cup onions chopped
2 green chillies (split in half)
1 tsp cumin powder
1/3 tsp turmeric powder
1/3 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp chopped garlic
Salt (little more than just to taste)
Mix everything together in a rice cooker pot and add 6 cups of water. Cook until the rice is more on the 'mushy' side. Serve hot with a side of an omelet prepared with sliced onions and green chillies. Some people like it with a dash of clarified butter on the rice, I don't. I make a quick tomatoes-onion-crushed red chili flakes-olive oil salad to go with it. The sweetness of the tomato really goes well with the spiciness of the dish, even though spicy food is probably my biggest weakness. Its easy and can be made within 20 minutes for a healthy and hearty meal for one. You can even add veggies to the rice and cook it all in the same pot if you want to make it a even filling meal.
(I had some left over beef curry to go with the Khichuri this time :)