Monday, October 12, 2009

A Guest Blogger!

As most of you know my daughter is home for a somewhat extended visit until she gets a new job in Korea. We are enjoying her immensely, but she is, as predicted, rather bored. She has all her paperwork done and has been getting a lot of responses lately to her resume. A skype video interview is scheduled for tonight for a job that meets all her requirements.
She has agreed to be a guest blogger here on Nancy K Sews. She doesn't sew, cook or garden but she does eat, so she was happy to talk about what we had for dinner last night.

Guest Blog for Mom 10/12/09


Perhaps you know me by one of the following monikers: dd, midget, long lost daughter in Korea, etc. My Mom doesn’t blog much about what she cooks in part I think because she doesn’t think what she prepares on a day to day basis is anything special. She thinks that whipping up a chocolate mousse from scratch (for a quick way to cheer up her daughter) is no big deal. As a child, people used to suck up to me in March to get invited to my birthday parties, not because I was popular but because the birthday cake was sure to be an out of this world concoction of amazingness.

A “simple” Sunday meal: sambal and idli. I hung out in the kitchen with her for part of the preparation to keep her company. However, I will admit that I contributed absolutely zero effort toward making this meal though I did put away some dishes and clean out the silverware drawer. Anyways, sambal is a type of curry like sauce** made from lentils and stewed veggies and seasoned with a spice mix. Of course my Mom does not BUY the spice mix. Oh no. First she roasted the hot chili peppers in the oven. Then she ground them up in the old coffee grinder that is reserved for this purpose (because let’s face it, chili powder coffee is a zing we aren’t exactly looking for in the morning) and then mixed in a bunch of other stuff. This is where I was (obviously) paying less attention. The idli is some sort of fluffy cake thingy made from rice flour and you eat it mixed in with the yummy sambal sauce. Apparently, it’s a traditional breakfast food in some parts of India but definitely more of a dinner food for the traditional Western palate. Leftover idli also makes an awesome dessert if you eat it drizzled with maple syrup.
**All knowledge is from staring/osmosis and not actually based in fact. Correct at will.

This is a meal that my Mother would consider ‘nothing special.’ It’s a vegetarian dish that is low fat, savory and exotic to boot. I will happily continue to do the plethora of dishes she leaves in her wake in order for the cooking to continue.

A little more technical information about my recipes might be in order, as I said Alex doesn't cook. But she does do the dishes with my dh, a routine that they have down, including complaining about how many pots I use.

The Sambar is a south Indian dal and vegetable mixture usually served with Idli, a steamed rice cake formed in a stacked metal mold that is put in a steamer to cook. I use a mix for this. It's a pretty elaborate preparation to make this from scratch. Sambar calls for sambar powder, which you can buy ready made, but I didn't have any more in the house, so I made it from scratch. Not hard to do. Three kinds of dal, fenugreek seed, coriander seed, cumin seed, curry leaves, peppercorns, brown mustard seed and dried red pepper are toasted with about a tsp of oil and then after cooling is ground in the coffee grinder Alex mentioned. I stored the excess so next time I make this I can skip a few steps! The Sambar is made with toasted dried coconut, cumin seed, red peppers and brown mustard seed browned before adding the red lentils and turmuric and water. After it is cooked to mush, the vegetables are added along with tamarind juice and some salt. I used red peppers, zuchini and cauliflower, a pretty standard variety, though if you have fresh okra that can be added too. When we were in Madurai in India, this was served at the breakfast buffet along with idli. Yum.
We had leftover chocolate mousse for desert. I make a low fat recipe that is 3 points per serving and is absolutely delicious and no one ever thinks that this is a 'diet' recipe. It has no dairy in it and no gluten, so it meets the dietary requirements of the house.


  1. I love curry dishes.
    Sounds like it was a fun time :)

  2. My daughter will never be a guest blogger about what I cook.

  3. i REALLY want to know how to make idli and sambar! sarah LOVES sambar...... and I LOVE idli

  4. I, too, am glad to do the dishes instead of cooking!

  5. I'm visiting Korea for the first time in April next year. I'd be very interested in a heads up on where to go (tourist and off the beaten track locations) and where to buy fabric in Seoul.

  6. That sounds like a great meal and dessert of a low calorie, dairy free chocolate mousse that is delicious sounds like heaven. Please share your recipes.