Sunday, June 17, 2012

Simple Stir Fried Red Potatoes and "Lunch"

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We had one permanent sabji wala (vegetable and fruit seller) who would make rounds every other day and bring fresh produce from his garden. He had this huge basket made out of bamboo which he would carry on his head and would make rounds around the neighborhood. Mummy would select things that interested her most out of that basket and that would decide what we will be eating for the next couple days until the sabji wala comes back again. We knew what to expect in that basket depending on the season. He would bring lots of dark green and crunchy cucumbers in summer along with some juicy yellow and red mangoes. Winters would be mostly about root vegetables, mustard greens and beans while monsoon brought carrots. So if he brought carrots in summers or cucumbers in winter, mummy would teach him a lesson or two about organic farming and return back everything. This is how we grew up and still never realized how lucky we were.
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When I was little, we were lucky enough to have access to local small farmers who would drop organic produce from their garden, at our doorstep. We were lucky to know the real taste of mangoes and we knew why some vegetables took longer to cook than others. We were taught that its better to eat your potatoes with skin on and crunchier the beans, the better. Those little lessons and those bits of knowledge fed to us at the dinner tables, in and around the kitchen and out in the backyard while getting our hands dirty, always stuck with me. Although, the true realization didn't come until I had a child of my own and I relived those experiences with her.
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She is almost three now and curiously observes things around her which amaze her a lot. She tries to find a reason behind everything we do. She doesn't like to be told what to do but likes to watch us and does what we do because she thinks whatever Maa and Papa do is right. Her big eyes get even bigger when told that we can make a birdhouse out of a milk carton and then sits with me the whole afternoon painting the carton, hoping it would turn into a birdhouse and then her favorite humming bird will never leave the house after that. She goes speechless when her Papa shows her how seven stars can come together to make a big spoon and wishes she could use it to eat her cereal every morning. Everything amazes them and everything makes them more curious.
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She is equally amazed to see that the tomatoes that she ate till now were green before they actually turned red and juicy. Carrots actually come out of the soil and not from a plastic box at a grocery store and it takes way too much time for the strawberries and cherries to be good enough for her to pick off the tree. I have seen that when she gets an answer to all her why, how and whats she eats her food better. She prefers to pick carrots and broccoli over french fries and hamburgers when she understands what will make her healthier and stronger.
That's how the kids are. If they are helping in the garden and are involved in the preparation of the food then they are more likely to try that food than just setting it on the table and asked to eat. They want an adventure out of everything and at the same time they thrive to learn. So all we need to do is educate them and let them get their hands dirty. Teach them where their food comes from and how the whole life is interconnected. Teach them the importance of locally grown and organic food. We sometimes really underestimate our kids about what they would and wouldn't like. I am guilty of that too! But slowly and gradually I am trying to teach her and learning a lot myself along way. Not only about the food that we eat but also about my child and how her likes and dislikes change depending on my habits.

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Its no secret how in America we are struggling with teaching our kids about healthy eating habits. Although I do not think its just a national issue but has become a global crisis or else famous and influential people like Mrs. Michele Obama and Prince Charles of Wales would not work so hard everyday to make their voices heard. Lunch, a small yet powerful documentary is trying to do the same. Lunch, a movie directed by Avis Richards, founder and CEO of Birds Nest Foundation is a documentary that shines a light on school lunch programs and teaches kids about healthy habits, gardening, fresh foods and more. I was invited by the wonderful people behind Lunch to watch the movie and if I believed in what they say, then tell you about it. I strongly support the message Lunch conveys and would encourage you to buy the movie or first watch the trailer and then decide. Its about time we stop feeding into all the politics and petty things that go behind the food that we eat and start thinking of our young people, our kids.

Today I am sharing a very simple recipe using a few basic ingredients. Some stir fried red potatoes from a local farm and I spiced them with cumin and curry leaves.

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 Ingredients:
1 pound small red potatoes
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
12-15 curry leaves
2 1/2 tablespoon ghee *Can substitute it with an cooking oil of choice
Salt to taste

Method:
Cut the potatoes into quarters. Wash them with water. Drain water. Set aside. I used small potatoes. If you think yours are a little bigger, cut them to 1 approx. 1 1/2" size.
Heat ghee/oil in a thick bottom pan. Add cumin seeds. As they sputter add curry leaves. Step aside for a few seconds because curry leaves sputter a lot because of the water content in the leaves.
Add sliced onion. Cook them on medium high heat for 3-5 minutes until they are slightly golden brown in color.
Add potatoes. Stir fry over medium high heat for approx. 5 minutes. Add salt. Stir well. Cover with a lid and let it cook over a medium low heat for 5-8 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
Uncover and over medium high heat, cook off extra liquid if any. Serve hot as a side.

30 comments:

  1. I was just about to make these potatoes this afternoon, but we had sandwiches instead. The potatoes look good. An awesome post, kids change the way we look at most things in life. Looks like your little is on the right path.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Srimathi! We can only hope and wish for them to be on the right path :-)

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  2. Simple, but so scrumptious at the same time. Those look really toothsome. Nice choice of flavorings.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. Just something that was on my mind and now am sure am going to have potatoes for lunch!! Loved the post :)

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  4. love potatoes anytime. love the pics....

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  5. aww that picture of your little butterfly digging into the dirt is SO cute!
    My kid also is a picky eater but if I make it interesting enough, it does encourage him. Running out of ideas!Gardening and showing them where food comes from is definitely a great thing to do!
    Love the simple potatoes,I make a similar thing too often but I microwave the potatoes first, and then stir fry in the spices thinking that is faster and these days I am always in a hurry!Will try your way when I make it next.

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  6. Never heard of 'lunch' before but sounds like there is a lot to learn from them. I just love the way you both are teaching lil A about right and wrong! And nothing like a simple pan-fried potatoes .. I can eat that everyday :)

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  7. You've echoed my thoughts.. My 3 year old boy loves cooking. He has spent a lot of time with me in the kitchen, holding, touching, feeling the texture of onions, potatoes, cooking up an imaginary dish.. with recipe, if you please:) Demanding to know the names of every spice in the spice box. Sometimes tasting them.. Watching me and helping me transform an egg into an omelet.. He's so fascinated by it all..And me just amazed and fascinated seeing him grow up so fast :)

    Beautiful clicks:)

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  8. Looks tasty! Do you use dried curry leaves?

    The most important line from you post: "We sometimes really underestimate our kids about what they would and wouldn't like."

    Completely agree, I wrote a post on kids and food and how parents sometimes groom their children for food failure by only chucking them Mac & Cheese and Beanie Weenies.

    Thank you for choosing to treat your little one to real food.

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  9. A lovely, thoughtful post! First of all, this recipe is fantastic! Those potatoes looks simply divine.

    I am not a parent, but as a child of parents who brought us up in a household where we weren't served "kid food," I am appalled when I see children being given unhealthy options (that, for some reason, are completely different from what the adults are consuming). So, I just love what you are promoting here.

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  10. Dear friends

    Good idea for Healthy food is Organic Food
    so
    Visit us- http://www.downtoearthorganic.com

    Thanx

    Abhishek Erach

    ReplyDelete
  11. Those potatoes look so delicious! I totally agree that we need to teach kids what healthy food is and to eat healthy. I was lucky enough to grow up in a house that ate mostly healthy food, but I knew lots of friends whose families ate out every single night. And guess what! I love to cook and eat healthy; my friends eat out and have health problems.

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I agree with you Rachel, it was not before I had my daughter that I realized that ow hard to try to "tell" them how they should behave, they will only "observe" how YOU behave and simply follow. So if we do not want our kids to be a certain way we need to be the change first.

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  12. What a lovely post. The photos are just gorgeous and the potatoes look scrumptious!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much dear and also thanks for visiting my space!

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  13. Lovely post with a strong message, I never heard of 'lunch' before, thanks for sharing. Kids are the best teachers, feel there is a lot to learn from our kids too :).I have 2 picky eater at home and they drive me crazy for there meals.

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  14. Great post! The potatoes are so mouth-watering, and your photos are stunning!

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  15. after a long time :) hope all is well in your end
    the potatoes look fabulous I make it similar it is especially tasty with these small red potatoes. We picked some from the ground at our local farm too kids love this
    Perena, my daughter has the same hair style :) cute little one

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  16. wonderful post. I love the sound of these simple potatoes and will have to try them. It isn't always easy for me to obtain the curry leaves so when I am able to I really want to make this. Jotting it down for the future. Thanks and have a lovely weekend.

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  17. This looks like such a delicious meal my friend - perfect always-have ingredients with stunning flavouring :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  18. Lovely photos and I love your attitude to teaching your little girl about food and letting her get her hands dirty. Great simple tasty potato dish too!

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  19. Very detailed guide. I Appreciate :-)

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  20. For Indian and Pakistani Cuisine Recipes Click Here..

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  21. I would be very frank to you i don't like to eat potatoes, but after seeing this potato stir fry I would like to try this recipe. It seems yummy...

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  22. your daughter is adorable!

    the mangoes look so good, i would kill to try fresh mangoes, not literally :P and the potato recipe is definitely on my favorite list to try!

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  23. Perfect Indian recipes guide. thanks for sharing. best platform for learners.

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  24. Hello,
    We love your recipes, especially when its on Simple Fried Potatoes.
    These are so delicious.
    I have always looked at your blog for the various pictures and the way you write.Just Love it!
    You have shared some nice information about Simple Stir Fried Red Potatoes in this post.
    The points you mentioned are genuine and perfect.
    The content completely describes about the topic you wanted to portray with us.
    Thanks for sharing such valuable post.

    Regards
    VentairIndia Team

    ReplyDelete

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