What’s summer without admiring the hue of your tongue after sucking on a fluorescent popsicle, or licking the juice, dribbling down your forearm, after biting into a succulent slice of watermelon?
Look what I found at the Davis Square farmers’ market, in Somerville, yesterday!
I was super excited to chance upon this pretty bunch. They were fresh, had a sweet smell, and were selling for 4$ a bunch. Back home, in Kolkata, we coat the blossoms in a batter made of a mixture of chickpea flour and rice flour before deep frying them. Tastes great with some dal and rice.
A Japanese lady was buying some fresh green beans from the same stall and she wanted to know what I would do with the blossoms. After I told her the recipe that we usually abide by, she said she prepares tempura batter for the blossoms and deep fries them. She suggested I could stuff the blossoms first, with stuffing of my choice, and then fry them.
“The vegetables you get here are good and fresh,” she said.
Then she whispered into my ears, “And cheap too, you know.”
See, this is one of the reasons I love visiting a farmers’ market. You not only get to interact with the farmers and know where your produce comes from but also get a chance to interact with your fellow buyers.
Before I left, I got a big glass of freshly squeezed lemonade with raspberry and mint at another stall and a maple bacon donut from the Union Square Donuts’ stall.
I got back home feeling happy.
I knew what we would be having for dinner: moong dal with vegetables, basmati rice and pumpkin blossom fritters. I decided on making fritters because that would give me the option to shallow fry them, instead of deep frying. I picked ten flowers from the bunch and washed them and let them dry. I followed this recipe, but used only two tablespoons of chickpea flour, half an onion and added one tablespoon of rice flour. Didn’t add the baking powder as well. They came out crisp on the outside and soft but perfectly cooked on the inside.
Another reason I love visiting farmers’ markets is that they remind me so much of the sabzi (vegetable) bazaars back home.
Succulent kebabs, smoky BBQ ribs, wood-fired pizzas, meat-filled Banh mi breads and Jamaican meat patties are much more fun to eat when served out of food trucks. But never ever go to a food truck festival hungry, is what I learned from today’s experience at the one held at Assembly Row, in Somerville.
There were huge lines in front of each and every food truck, which we didn’t have the energy to brave. And what resulted in this lack of energy at noon, on a beautiful summer day? Well, we had skipped breakfast just so that we could eat like a hog during lunch. Our growling stomachs were making us grumpy. So we promptly decided to opt for dim sum and headed toward Chinatown.
But here are a few pictures that I managed to click before we left the food truck festival, hungry!
Burmese cuisine holds a special place in my heart. Why? Well, my father was born in Myanmar (Burma). My grandfather was a doctor and he was posted in Myanmar for a few years. They moved back to India when my dad was eight.
So, my mother had picked up some Burmese recipes from my grandfather, and I remember a dish specially delectable to my palate – “komon cho”. It is a dish made of a variety of vegetables — carrots, cauliflower, beans, cabbage, spring onion — and mutton (goat meat).
Ma prepared this dish only during winter due to the availability of different kinds of vegetables.
I tried to Google the dish but it didn’t show up anywhere during the search. I am thinking it’s safe to assume that my grandfather got the name of the dish and/or pronunciation wrong.
Recently a friend of ours introduced us to a quaint little Burmese restaurant called Yoma in Allston. It serves up some great Burmese dishes, but the one I fell in love with is a Burmese condiment made of dried shrimp called balachaung, which is generally served with rice dishes.
Just a couple of weeks back we were at Yoma for lunch and I made sure to order some extra to go.
But next time I visit, I will try and unravel the “komon cho” mystery.
I created a fun quiz for you to find out. This quiz won’t test your knowledge of food; it will only test your love for food.
If you score 70% or above you sure are a foodie.
Here’s the link:
Please leave a comment behind indicating your score.
Photo courtesy : Google images.