Wednesday, March 12, 2014

In Sickness and Health - Mushrooms, Tamarind, Ginger and Spice

Motherhood  is often associated with the term unconditional love. While its true that a mother loves her child no matter what, I always wonder does the child love the mother no matter what - unconditionally?

It was one of those times when every one was walking around with a runny nose and sore throat. He comes from school and complains that his nose feels like a overstuffed turkey and there is a huge frog inside his throat. I tried to make him feel better by suggesting the normal sickness routine which involves  me getting very  anxious and trying to get the medicine to clear the throat and drain the nose. For some reason, this time nothing I said or did was working and he had a look on his face that said " Mama I except a little more from you".

I had to execute a plan to overcome the overstuffed turkey and the frog. I did what I do best under such circumstances- Cook. Yes, I cook when I am stressed and end up with some amazing  stress inspired dishes. 

My maternal instincts inspired the combination of red chili flakes, ginger, garlic and black pepper with mushrooms and tamarind extract. Tamarind  is rich in vitamin C and has lots of flavor. A spoonful of dried tamarind can be soaked in a cup of warm water for about 20-30 minutes to get the extract or the dried tamarind can be microwaved in water for 2 minutes and strained to get the extract. 

2 cups of chopped mushrooms

1 clove of garlic

About an inch of ginger

1 tsp fresh whole black peppers

I used a Mortor and Pestle to crush the ginger, garlic and black pepper.

1 tsp red chili flakes

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp sun dried tomatoes

2 cups of tamarind extract

1 tsp dried Fenugreek leaves


Heat a tsp of olive oil.

To the hot oil add the red chili flakes, sun dried tomatoes and cumin seeds.

Let them roast for about 30-40 seconds.

Add the mushrooms and turmeric powder. Let it cook for about 2 minutes.

Add the tamarind extract, salt and the crushed ginger, garlic and pepper.

Let it come to a boil and turn off the heat.

Let it sit for 10 minutes and then add the crushed Fenugreek leaves.

This can be had just like that as a soup or serve it with rice like I did for the little guy.The spice, ginger and pepper helped the turkey and frog and the little guy did feel better. 

That night, before he went to bed he said" Mama I know why the dish you cooked made me feel better, its because you made it with love." Even though I am proud of the fact that I make sacrifices and  compromises to raise the little guy, I don’t want him to love me just for that. I want him to love me and respect me for the person I am. Having said that I did realize that sometimes I do have to earn his love.

Linked to bangermashchat at the Spice Trail.