Food for the mind and the body*: Countdown 365/6 [Jan 5, 2011]

Food for thought: Our universe

Today ws Perihelion Day. That is, the Earth was just 147 million kilometres from the Sun. That’s the nearest we are going to come to each other this year. Every year, in January, the Earth celebrates [really!] the Perihelion Day and in July, the Apehelion Day when it is, you guessed it, farthest from the Sun!

At the other end, in the depths of the Ocean off the coast of Antarctica, a whole new World of animals has been discovered. Using a remotely operated vehicle, a team of scientists has found what they call ‘a lost world.’ At a depth of 8000 feet, deep down on the sea floor, away from all sources of light, these creatures live by getting their energy from the highly toxic chemicals found in the smoke of undersea volcanoes. Temperatures rise to 380 degress Celsius atop the vents of these volcanoes, near which the animals crowd.  Among the new species are the Yeti Crab, an unknown species of Octopus and a seven armed Starfish.

Food for the palate: Potato kaara karemadu

Cook 6 medium sized potatoes till very soft. Peel, if you have cooked them with skin, and mash very well.

In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil, add 1 teaspoon each of mustard, split black gram, a pinch asafoetida. When mustard splutters/ gram browns, add a few curry leaves, pinched into bits. Add mashed potatoes, 2 teaspoons red chilli powder, 1/2 a teaspoon turmeric powder, and salt to taste.

Cook the mashed potato mixture over slow flame for 12-15 minutes, till raw smell of chilli powder goes and the mixture leaves the vessel – like a huge potato ball!

Eat hot with rice, or spread on bread toast. Can also be a meal by itself. Mixed into curds, it can make a quick raita.

* Food for the mind is drawn from the day’s news about the ordinary or the extraordinary. For food for the body, I turn to the timeless recipes of Indian vegetarian cooking.

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