[As is usual, this post has been a few days in writing…]
I hope you are having a great feast today on our beloved Krishna’s day of birth. Today we celebrate a God whose myth recognizes and cherishes much in our very flawed human lives: the innocence of childhood, a mother’s love, the exuberance of youth, trusted friendships, the power of love, and duty above all. He has been the inspiration for artists, musicians, and writers through ancient time and present. His love of food, particularly fresh churned butter, laddoo, and of course, Sudama’s sattu makes him a legendary foodie as well. While today your feast may consist only of vegetarian, grain-free dishes, tomorrow you might want to have a different party.
On most weekend evenings TH and I sit ourselves down with the tipple of choice and munchies such as these on the side. There is usually a dip: fresh-made tomato salsa or tzatziki. On Sunday, when the maid gets her day off , I celebrate my freedom from having to supervise her. I know – you can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them. In any case, I am planning to get the maid out of my kitchen for good. She has been sick and out of circulation for the last three months and I have honestly felt more in charge of my time since I don’t need to disrupt my time in the office to plan her work! It is so much more efficient when I plan for myself.
But I was telling you about our twosome weekend parties. One such evening I decided to put my tiny granite pestle and mortar and make a satay-style peanut dip for us. I didn’t have any peanut butter on hand so I made some. I haven’t used peanut butter out of a jar since.
3-4 fresh chillies, the hot kind (preferably red)
2 cloves of garlic
2-3 shallots (or 1T chopped onion)
3/4 C peanuts, roasted and skinned (or about 1/4+ C peanut butter)
1 t soy sauce
1 t fish sauce
2t lime juice
jaggery (substitute with a sweetener of your choice)
salt to taste
(all quantities are approximate)
Take the roasted peanuts in the jar of a grinder and blitz till you have peanut butter of desired smoothness. In a pestle and mortar pound the first three ingredients to a paste. Mix in the remaining ingredients adding hot water gradually till you have the consistency of a thick dipping sauce. Taste for salt; remember both the fish sauce and soy sauce are salty. Serve with plain crackers or vegetables cut into batons.
I tried this dip with the blue cheese crackers but they do not pair well; two stinky foods together are too many! A little bit of the strong smelling stuff, just like the hint of fish in this fish sambal, and you have a winner!
I have been up to other things…I finally found the time to inaugurate the Fashionmaker I bought last year. I stitched a skirt for my niecelet! Before that I used to stitch on our antique Singer. My carbon footprint just got bigger but it might help me recycle more!