Friday, 26 October 2012

Heron a Moment


It took me by surprise. I walked alongside the still bird, mistaking it for a statue, then it twitched, stretching elegantly, without want. After a few seconds I reached for my camera, as I focused the lens, the battery went. This moment was uncaptured, it was free, like the heron itself. As it opened her wings, a nearby father with his toddler looked on in wonder, the little boys eyes lit up. Expect miracles, was my morning affirmation, and what was most lovely about this unexpected, unplanned and totally unpredictable encounter, was that it was as welcome as the sunshine on a cloudy day, and a rare sighting amongst the sirens and hum of the city, that reminded me of the ethereal qualities that is only present with natural beauty.

Now, this golden jade jewelled recipe, rippled with dreamy spices and speckled with Indian magic had a similarly surprising effect, not least because my teenage son who is recently adverse to eating vegetables, loved it. Quite simply, everyone whose tried it does.

One of the main ingredients in this recipe is turmeric. Turmeric is to spices, what Christmas lights are to pine trees – the body ripples with healing nourishment upon eating it. Turmeric is a potent healer and you’d be wise to start cooking with it, if you don’t already. Chilli powder brings a sharp and necessary kick to the mash, with popping cumin and sprightly green peas ornamenting it. I served it with a spoonful of tiger prawns on top, it will go with a simple steak just as well - whatever you prefer.

I call it feminine mash, as that is how someone described it, and I think it’s apt. I hope you give it a try. It would also work well as part of a Halloween Dinner party!!!

Happy Weekend to you,

FFX

Feminine Mash


Per person you will need

Sweet potato, 250g peeled and roughly chopped
Olive oil, 1 tbs
Cumin seeds ½ tsp
Turmeric, ½ tsp
Chilli powder, ½ tsp
Frozen green peas, a handful

SIMMER sweet potato in lightly salted water until tender, about 15 minutes.
DRAIN and set to one side with lid on.
POUR oil into a pan, over a medium heat.
THROW in cumin seeds and add the turmeric and chilli powder once they begin to pop.
SAVOUR the spice moment – half of the joy of making this dish is the fragrance it gives.
REMOVE from the heat after a minute.
STIR spiced oil into the sweet potato and mash until smooth and silky.
SCATTER over peas and replace lid, there is no need to cook them, the steam from the potatoes does the trick.

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