Day 6: Indian Vegetarian Dinner

dsc_4044(To read the older posts in this blog, click here.)

Due to other commitments I’m a bit behind. We did eat on Day 5 and 6, though, and most of it was locally grown.

As we had had so much chicken, we wanted to go meatless for Day 6. My mother-in-law is a great cook of Indian dishes, and even if you leave out the non-local rice and the lentils, summer’s abundance supplies plenty of ingredients for a variety of yummy dishes.

  • Chapati: one more opportunity for the local wheat to shine. We used a cup of Pioneer Valley Redeemer hard red wheat, and a cup of Richland soft white wheat fromĀ Four Star Farms, and a cup of water. Due to the high gluten in the former, the chapatis turnedĀ  out a bit chewy, so from now on we’ll use only the soft white. You mix the dough, let rest under cover for an hour, then fry the in a pan with a tiny bit of oil, ghee or (in our case) local butter.
  • Fried eggplant (probably the last one of the season, from Siena Farms) with spinach (Two Field Farm). Oil and spices not local.
  • Shahi paneer: we curdled High Lawn Farm whole milk with vinegar, which was non-local for this first batch. We will keep the whey to curdle the next batch (can I call it “local” when re-using it?). We made the shahi sauce with High Lawn butter, Two Field Farm onions, homegrown garlic and tomato, fresh cream from High Lawn, non-local ground almond flour (en lieu of cashew), non-local ginger. I’ve grown ginger myself in my garden, with middling success, and I know quite a few New England farmers are growing it, but couldn’t find any that was accessible. Also non-local garam masala, turmeric, sugar and bay leaf (which I should start growing too).

dsc_4042We all love paneer, especially The Kid, and strangely enough we never made it home. My mother-in-law showed me how to do it: just get the whole milk to boil. Once the milk starts rising (we used about 1/4 gallon) and threatening to boil over, you stir in a glass of water mixed with two or three tablespoons of vinegar. We added the vinegar with the water because otherwise the paneer gets hard. If he milk doesn’t instantly curdle, add a little more vinegar until it does. Then when the curds and whey have separated, pour it through a sieve lined with a cloth and hang the cloth so the whey can drip out over the next couple of hours. Because we ran out of time, my MIL squeezed the bag to get the last liquid out. Cut the ball of curds into bite-size pieces. Keep the whey to replace vinegar in the next batch.

What happened to Day 5, you might ask? It happened and was nothing much to write about, food-wise, being one of those left-over days. For dinner the five of us had the left-over chicken with local over-roasted potatoes. Lunch was more all over the place, literally, with The Kid having a (non-local) school lunch, The Husband having a (non-local) lunch at work. My parents-in-law and I had our homemade, local bread with a local salad as well as the left-over chili and savory corn bread.

Tomorrow is the Farmers Market again, and there will be New England fish! After we’ve covered fish the only food group we won’t have “localized,” The Kid will remind me, is… candy.

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