Friday, February 5, 2010

See Mom, I'm Eating My Greens!

Motherhood is warfare, and C-section scars are just one of the battle wounds inflicted upon us. Don't even get me started on breastfeeding. Seriously. Don't. And then there's the new eating techniques I have to get used to. Where once I was free to savor every bite of whatever came out of my kitchen, leisurely enjoying my meal and chatting away with DH about the day, now I have no choice but to gulp down my meal in 5 mins. Barely getting the time to chew! That's the worst for a foodie, isn't it? One of these days I'd like to get back to eating for pleasure. A girl's got to have goals in life, right?

That's my thought of the day. *Sigh*. It feels so strange talking about "mommy" issues now. I never thought of myself as being very maternal. And I'm still not very good at it, but I find that I rather like being part of this whole new group of special people in the world, i.e., moms!

I'm not afraid to occasionally grumble about the small things with you, dear readers, because you are the soul of discretion and understanding. Plus, there is no guilt because I know how my heart melts when I look at my little guy. Some day I hope I can look back on these first few weeks, and laugh at how paranoid and silly I was about so many things. Like the intense relief I felt when Bashaar's pediatrician informed me yesterday that I was doing a "good job" with him, and that he had gained a good amount of weight. Two weeks ago, I never even thought this would be a concern for me - after all,
gaining weight has never been a problem for people living in or visiting my house! It's almost a no-brainer.

But I am trying to control myself when it comes to food these days (oh, the pain!), and I do love my veggies. Hard to believe, I know. But I like 'em cooked, not raw, please. My poor mom (I miss her so!), who was with me during the first few days after my delivery, tried her very best to get me to eat all kinds of nutritious foods. But those early days were really rough for me - nausea, baby blues, you name it - so I did not have an appetite at all. Now though, as time has gone by, I'm definitely feeling hungrier and craving foods that are good for my body and soul. Like this Indian recipe for Okra Curry - hands down my favorite way to eat okra. It might become yours too.
A pretty bouquet of okra.

Okra Curry With Cashews & Yogurt
Serves 4

Click here for printable recipe

1/2 lb okra (preferably fresh)
2 tbsp urad/maash daal (the white lentils)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 dried red chilli
1 white onion, finely chopped
2 small tomatoes, finely diced
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
3/4 cup yogurt, whisked
Salt to taste
1.5 tbsp grated coconut
1/4 cup cashews
8-10 curry leaves (kadi patha)
Canola oil for frying

1. Grind the coconut and cashews to a paste; set aside.

2. Remove the base and tip of each piece of okra and cut into thirds. Heat a few tbsp of oil in a pan and shallow-fry the okra for 5-10 mins, till mostly crispy. Remove from pan and drain on kitchen towels.

3. In the same pan with the remaining oil, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, onion and curry leaves. Saute till onions are transparent. Then add in the urad/maash daal and saute for another 30 secs.

4. To this, add tomatoes, chilli powder, turmeric, cashew-coconut paste and salt. Cook till tomatoes are softened.

5. To the yogurt, add 1 cup of water and mix into the masala. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Now add the fried okra back in, cover the pan and simmer for 10 mins. Serve hot with chapatis or parathas.
Verdict: I always, always lick my plate clean whenever I eat this curry. It's a little sweet from the onions, a little tangy from the yogurt and tomatoes, and has amazing texture because of the cashews - plus frying the okra means they're not at all slimy, so be not afraid. I first made this when I started living on my own oh-so-many years ago, and I feel like it's ingrained into my regular cuisine now. I don't need a side of meat with this. Actually I don't need anything, other than hot chapatis to go with this. Even DH agrees that it's his favorite version of an okra curry. Score!

I'll be submitting this particular favorite recipe of mine to the next Weekend Herb Blogging round-up, hosted by Simona of Briciole.


Varsha Vipins said...

we make simiar kinda dish in kerala..cocunut n cumin n al that ground..looks awesome here..:)..
hugs n kisses to bashaar..:)

Joanne said...

I baby-sat for a newborn last January and it was rough. I was exhausted after just a few hours and definitely can't imagine doing it full time! Kudos to you.

I'm glad you are over your apathy towards food because now we get to enjoy this recipe! I love okra. I think the weird slimy texture is fantastic! Beautiful dish :D

Also, glad to hear that Bashaar is meeting all of his milestones. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Lots of new things to get used to :) I'm still trying to get my daughter to gain more weight but now she's announced that she would actually like to be super skinny because she wants to keep doing ballet, such ideas! (sigh)

What a pretty okra bouquet! And the curry looks absolutely delicious!

Finla said...

I was never maternal too. When ├╣my sisters talked about kids ti thought theyw ere nuts.
But i turned out to be agood mom :-)
Love the okra curry.

Kerstin said...

Your okra curry sounds amazing and I would definitely be licking the plate too!

Deeba PAB said...

Mama poor little Mama. Oh the highs and lows of being a new mother. Still you blogged about this fab dish ... WOW!! Congrats my dear sweet your little one must be.

nandini.p said...

The okra boquet looks gorgeous!. Never had anything like this before!. will try sometime soon.

Kristen @ Change of Pace said...

I love okra but never know what to do with it! What a great recipe :)

Jennifer said...

I am deathly afraid of Okra, but this looks so yummy!

Nizsha said...

MashAllah mabrook on becoming a mommy food blogger yaaay and your lil bunny is so edible himself :D mashallah

RV @ Food for 7 Stages said...

That is a nice delicious curry... Enjoy your motherhood and blessings to the little one...

Sophie Sportende Foodie said...

What a tasty & lovely okra curry, Muneeba!!

Maria said...

Awww, it is definitely not easy being a mom ... especially the first time around. I know exactly how you feel (and I've got two C-section scars to show for it). It gets easier. Well, a little easier!!

This dish sounds great by the way. I remember loathing okra as a kid but I very much like it now. And my own children actually enjoy eating it ... weird huh?!

s said...

we love okra here but never had it with cashews....yum!!! congrats on motherhood...

ARUNA said...

Besides being a simple curry to make, its also delicious and equally healthy!

jp said...

just checkin in, you must be busy with the little one :)

Angela Burman said...

Hi Maneeba
Thank you for this great recipe. I cant wait to try it.


angelinthekitchen said...

Congratulations on getting through those first few weeks! (I remember reheating a bowl of soup five times for lunch one day before I finally got to finish ...) These little kiddos seem like a lot of work and also a lot of worry, but so completely worth it. I can't imagine life without my little guy. Glad to hear that you're hanging in there!

Yasmeen said...

Congrats Muneeba! Good to see you back to blogging.Bashaar looks cute mashallah.The rich and healthy okra sounds totally nourishing.
Take care.Hugs to you and your bundle of joy :D