Monday, 21 July 2008

Radish karhi and a rant about packaging.


Hey! You know that curry-udon taste? Well, here's something very similar: karhi. In fact, it may be the same thing. I have no idea, and I'm not going to fire up the Google and find out right now. Deal. I avoided karhi for years after an unfortunate incident that I refuse to discuss ever again, so gross was it. But this was lovely. Apparently exorcising one's past culinary disasters can yield yum. This is basically a chickpea flour and yogurt soup. Use soy yogurt for a non-death version. Start with a few tbs of chickpea flour (say 3) dissolved in some water, then once you have avoided The Dreaded Lumps, add more water (say 2 cups) and a few tbs of soy yogurt (say 4) or blended silken tofu (I used the yogurt because i had it on hand). Bring to a simmer. Add a few lovely fenugreek seeds and scant half teaspoon of cumin, 6 or so curry leaves, salt, a smidge of sugar, and as much veg as you want/can fit in the pot (I used radish and mixed bitter greens of uncertain name. i wanted something bitter since the sauce is very very mellow. I didn't add the greens until the end, because they're delicate. Peppery and exciting and bite-y, yet delicate. Kind of like me.). While that simmers, fry up a tsp of mustard seeds and a goodly amount of grated ginger and some chillies, and throw that in too. I had an annoying 1/4 cup of chickpeas left over from something, so I threw those in, but I wasn't really planning to until the very last minute. Cook until it doesn't taste like raw chickpea flour anymore (about 20 mins). Throw in some fresh coriander. Garnish with little flower petals. Eat with leftover potato roti, or on rice. Or *evil cackle* on udon noodles. This was a lovely pale pinkish colour from the radishes and the flower petals and greens looked so pretty. Win. Plus, it photographed exceptionally poorly (colour-wise), which amuses me.

I have nothing deep and meaningful to say today. So just a rant. I moved to the U.K. from Germany, and have been constantly shocked by the amount of packaging here. Granted, gratuitous packaging is pretty ubiquitous in the western world, but the U.K. seems particularly bad (from my sample of living in Canada, France, Germany and the U.K., and doing a fair amount of travelling elsewhere). I refuse to buy overpackaged vegetables even when they're cheaper than the free-range ones. Sometimes I just get angry in stores and leave, pepperless. Who the hell decided that bell peppers had to be strapped to a styrofoam plate? Are you people INSANE? Sheesh. And do you really need a different little plastic bag for each and every vegetable? REALLY? When I run the world, disposable packaging is going to cost about $50 per bag (as will plastic water bottles). That'll teach you to "forget" your reusable carrier bags or not use your backpacks. Grrrrrrr. Also, anyone carrying plastic bags will be publicly mocked. I get that we're supposed to be nice to each other, but a little bit of peer pressure to carry reusable bags and not use a million stupid clear veg bags wouldn't be such a bad thing.

ranty ranty ranty ranty: Faith No More (We care a lot)
I think the music inspired the rant tonight, rather than the other way around.

8 comments:

Tuimeltje said...

I'll be right there, mocking along with you. Plastic bags and water bottles make me punchy. Just stick a tote bag somewhere and buy a proper water bottle already!

The food sounds very interesting. Never considered using yoghurt in soup other than to salvage it after another peppery measurement mishap.

sinead said...

Lol. I used to actually buy people reusable bags (or give them my old conference bags, which is what I use, because for some reason you always get a tote bag at conferences). Then I realized that most of them were using the reusable bags to carry things in plastic bags. My head exploded. I have yet to recover. I especially like it when people use plastic bags to carry stuff like recycled toilet paper and organic veg and "vitamin water" (wtf is up with that?), and are wearing some sort of green chic designer t shirt. *grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr*

Tuimeltje said...

The hell? That's pretty fucking pointless. The large organic supermarket near me sells bags of some special kind of plastic (corn-based or whatever) that's supposed to be biodegradable or something, and people seem all over that even though a nice tote bag will last you much longer.

You do indeed seem to get tote bags everywhere. I got one in school every year for my books (even though they never all fit), summer programmes and other random educational things I attended usually came with some kind of bag, and I'll show you the one with the kilted viking on I got at the local highland games later.

Really, most people must have a closet full, so why not use them occasionally?

vegandwhatnot said...

my rule- I forget my tote bag, then I'd better be able to carry whatever I buy out of the store in my arms. Or in my excessivly large purse, along with the rest of my life. never heard of foam-plate-packed peppers, but the idea of putting veg in those clear plastic bags that come on rolls in the produce section, only to put it in another bag definately ticks me off.

sinead said...

@veganwhatnot... I have a similar rule. People seem to rush over to give me plastic bags when they see me carrying stuff in my arms, which is silly. I mean, what do they think arms are for? Plus, It means I rarely forget to bring my own bag.

Jake said...

I will confess to occasionally using plastic bags, but only when I find myself running out of bags to put in the garbage bins. Do you have a better garbage-bin solution? We use proper garbage bags for the big bin in the kitchen, but the smaller bins in the bed- and bathrooms need a smaller bag. We have a bundle-buggy that we use for big grocery shopping and a seemingly endless collection of canvas tote bags that we use for smaller stuff. I have also seen people putting plastic-bagged groceries in canvas bags and I also boggled. I mean really!

sinead said...

Yeah, garbage is pretty much the only thing I willingly use plastic bags for. I find I accumulate enough of them (my veg box puts the greens in plastic bags, even though i asked if they could stop) even if I never actually take one when there's an option not to. I'm not sure that one can entirely avoid the things. The veg box people have assured me that the bags they use a biodegradable, but I"m not sure if they really are. They seem awfully sturdy for biodegradable plastic bags.

Jake said...

In my experience the bags labeled biodegradable actually tend to be tougher than the ones that aren't. I figured it was because they made them out of cellulose or something.