These are testing times and these are trying times but these are times also to be grateful. The other day I read somewhere- If you swap the words “stuck” at home with “safe” at home, it suddenly changes everything. In a moment from feeling frustrated one ends up feeling grateful and thankful . In one such moment of gratefulness and thankfulness, I penned the below lines:
It is not easy staying home he said
Life is boring, has lost its meaning
No parties to go to, no friends to meet
Staying within the confines of four walls
’Tis no fun at all!
It is not easy staying home
Kids yell, make demands
So hard to be patient with all that noise
She wondered if he had met someone
Who did not have kids, at least not by choice
It is not staying home
Cooking & feeding is all there is to do
So hard to decide what’s on the menu
And he thought of those who did not eat a square meal today
Nor would they, tomorrow…..
It is not easy staying home
Days are long and nights quiet
So hard to kill time
Her heart sinks at the thought of those dreading the countdown
Knowing well that much too soon it would be Time
What an irony it is
We whine and complain ‘bout things
Many would give anything to attain
Let us put an end to this chain of fret
And fill our hearts with gratitude
There is so much to smile and be thankful for
And so little really, to regret !
I live these words every single day. Every time it feels like life is asking too much of me I remind myself of the gifts that it has given me- my two children the greatest of all . I do not have a perfect life by any means, far from it in fact but what has kept me going so far (and I hope it does in the future too) is my ability to not fret for too long after a crushing period of non-achievement , pull myself up and look to the future. I truly hope that I continue to do so.
Most of us are home now with limited ingredients to cook with and one such day when I was struggling with what to make, I got reminded of this Aaloo-Posto dish which I although did not grow up eating , has now become a comfort food for me after I enjoyed it a few times at my in-laws.’
It is an extremely forgiving recipe and requires just 5 ingredients -Potatoes, Posto (poppy seeds), Kalonji (nigella seeds), Green Chilies, Ghee/Oil and salt of course . The simplicity of this dish is its strength and yet it does not compromise on flavours at all. I highly recommend it to people with low spice tolerance.
The only prep required is soaking the posto for an hour before you start cooking and make a smooth paste. Once thats out of your way, the recipe is really really simple. You can make it more indulgent by adding a dollop of ghee to finish off and that does take it to next level and oh so good with some daal and rice . So here you go..
- Potatoes- 3 medium-sized, cubed
- Poppy seeds- 4.5 tbsp, soaked in half a cup water for a minimum of one hour
- Nigella seeds- 1tbsp
- Green chilies - 2-3 , chopped fine or as per taste
- Oil- 2tbsp, preferably mustard oil for best results
- Ghee- 1 tbsp
- Salt- 2 tsp or to taste
- Scrub the potatoes well if using with skin, else peel and cube and let them soak in water
- Using minimal water blend the poppy seeds into a smooth paste
- In a thick bottomed pan, heat mustard oil and once the oil is hot, reduce the flame and add nigella seeds and chopped green chilies. Adding chillies at this stage imparts more heat to the final dish, however if that is not what you want, feel free to add chilies with the poppy seed paste
- Keeping the flame low, stir until the nigella seeds start to crackle, approximately 5-10 secs
- Then add potatoes and mix well, followed by poppy seed paste
- Reduce heat to low and add 2 tbsp water, stir and cover ; slow cook on a low flame till potatoes are tender
- Finally, season with salt and a dollop of ghee to finish
- Enjoy hot with toor daal and rice