Monday, August 27, 2007


We had a wonderful field trip to the Sunnyvale area yesterday with our Indian cooking class teachers. A convivial group of ten, we met at Turmeric Restaurant around 1 p.m., and enjoyed the lavish and tasty buffet together. Then off to several busy markets, including India Cash and Carry. Since it was quite a warm day, this was a welcome sight:

A charming lady making a fresh sugar cane juice drink. The machine rolls and macerates the canes, extracting the juice. She adds fresh ginger, lemon and brown salt, if you like. It was delicious, light, and very refreshing.
We finished our grocery shopping, with the valuable assistance of Sangita, pointing us to the necessary ingredients for various dishes we are all wanting to try at home. We also visited a clothing and jewelry store, as well as the East-West bookstore, where Sangita has done nutritional healing presentations. We finished off the day at a Southern Indian style vegetarian restaurant, Udupi Palace, for some chai and a little snack to get us through the drive home.

This afternoon, when it became apparent that dinner wasn't going to cook itself, and no one was going to whisk us off to Sunnyvale for more feasting, I assembled all my ingredients and groceries. Sangita had shared a recipe for uppma with me, so I began by preparing that:.

One of the intriguing vegetables I came across in the market was this: Bitter Melon. I also bought Okra. Sangita suggested dredging the bitter melon slices in turmeric and salt and frying them. I decided to combine the okra with it, and added Japanese panko breadcrumbs to the equation.

By this time the uppma finished cooking and resting, and was ready to be dressed with a little cilantro and ghee, and the sizzling vegetables were dished up, all served with a side dish of hot mango pickle and plain yoghurt. The bitter melon is interesting, slightly bitter, a nice counter to the slightly sweet okra. We have enough uppma left for a hearty breakfast.

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