Friday, April 11, 2014

A Wholesome Stew - Cauliflower and Chickpeas

Growing up, of all the knowledge that was bestowed on me, the thing that made most sense was science. While it was amazing to figure out the elusive X in algebra without asking Y, it made more sense in my brain to understand the meaning of premature ventricular contractions which translates to a skipped heartbeat. A skipped heart beat was exactly what I experienced when I felt his tiny little kick for the very first time. I was always in a predicament about my stand on miracles, until he came into my life. 

Motherhood came in with its own ups and downs. I loved the little guy and I loved my work. I lost count of how many times I was being advised on taking a break from what ever it is that I am working on and focus on the little guy. He is too little to be left at a day care, separation anxiety is a real deal, the emotional scars from being away from you may never heal and some even went on to say you are not going to win a noble prize with your research, why put yourself and your little one through this pain. The only person who stood by me was my dear husband. He said you can continue to do things you love and still be a loving mom. Don't stop desiring, aiming and achieving things for your self and that's exactly what I did. I kept going and tried my best to be there for him as much as I can.

It would be a blatant lie if I said, every thing went smooth. There were tears, lots of separation anxiety on both our parts; it broke my heart to see him sad when I dropped him off at the day care. I was confused. One day when he was about 3 years old I finally asked him" what exactly do you feel when I drop you and go to work".  He said " I miss you mama, but I know you will be back and the best part of my day is when you come to pick me up".  I was happy he expressed his feelings and the separation anxiety or whatever the term it is referred to as , made us for the first time communicate our feelings for each other and he was stellar for his age in expressing how he felt.

We survived through the early childhood, without me giving up on myself. Now that he is much older and has a better handle on exactly what I work on, I decided to ask him the same question again. I had to frame it  in a different way this time " Do you like the fact that mama is  a scientist or would you like it if it was any other way"?  He did not hesitate a second before he replied " Mama I want you to do what ever makes you happy and I know you will always be there for me when I need you". 

I always believed that when you truly love some one you don't hold them back. You let them do what makes them happy and be there for them always. Yes we missed each other, experienced the separation anxiety, I was not with him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But we are madly in love with each other and I didn't have to let go of my desires or my freedom to achieve things  for he was and still is the wind beneath my wings.

I was feeling very wholesome with all these emotions bouncing off  in my heart. I decided to cook something wholesome like this stew. The list of ingredients may be long, but its a very easy dish to prepare. Once we gather all the ingredients, its pretty much adding them all together and let them do their own magic. 

1 small cauliflower - I chopped the cauliflower in to bite sized pieces and microwaved them for about 7 minutes. This helps them to cook faster.

1 can of chick peas or Garbanzo beans

1 medium green bell pepper

1 yellow squash

(The cauliflower and chickpeas are the base of this stew,the squash and bell pepper can be substituted with other vegetables like zucchini, peas, potatoes or even radish)

1 medium onion- chopped

1 cup of tomato sauce - I used a olive oil garlic sauce. This can be substituted with 1 cup of tomatoes or tomato puree.

1/2 cup of water

1/4 cup of coconut milk

The spices:

1 tsp Thai Red curry paste

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp black pepper powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp of grated ginger or ginger powder

4 cloves of garlic

1 tsp of caraway seeds


Microwave the cauliflower, drain the can of chick peas, chop the squash, bell pepper and onions.

Heat a large pot with 3 tsp of olive oil.

To the hot oil add caraway seeds, garlic, ginger, turmeric, red curry paste  and red pepper flakes.

Let them roast for 40 seconds.

Add all the vegetables and the cumin, coriander, black pepper,  and cinnamon powder.

Mix well and let them cook for 2 minutes.

Add the tomato sauce, water and salt.

Cover the pot and let it cook for 10 - 15 minutes.

Turn off the heat and add the 1/4 cup of coconut milk.

Cover the pot and let it sit for another 10 minutes.

The stew is done.

The stew is  filled with layers of love and flavor. Each bite of this stew unveils a little picture of my success and failure and paints the picture of a wholesome life with my two wonderful men.

 Linked to In my Veg box  event at sliceoffme and .citrusspiceuk