cumin

All posts tagged cumin

I’ve been dealing with an extreme bout of total unmotivation this week so I opted out of thought for this post. Instead, I posed the question to my Twitter buddies what they were interested in knowing about food. DazzlinDonna responded with the idea to look at what cultures around the world do for breakfast.

I was actually a bit surprised at the answer, but according to Wikipedia every major culture appears to use breakfast as a chance to load up on carbohydrates: rolls, pastries, noodles, and rice are common in just about every culture. In India, they eat Idli, a savory lentil cake. In Pakistan, they eat Naan. Vietnam eats noodles. In Western cultures, there are biscuits, toast, pancakes, and oatmeal.

This does make sense. In many cultures, the gap between breakfast and the next meal can be up to 12 hours. Eating a heavy breakfast will give the eater the best chance to remain full throughout the day.

During my reading, there was one dish, though, that really caught my eye: htamin kyaw, a Myanmaran rice/split pea dish.

Htamin kyaw- a rice/split pea dish with onions

I couldn’t find was a recipe for it, but I did learn that this is dish made from day old rice, yellow peas, and onions with cumin and tumeric for flavoring.

This is my take on the dish. My recipe uses fresh rice. If using day old, add about 4 tablespoons of broth or water when you mix it with the onions. This recipe also cooks the rice and peas together with the tumeric, which will make the rice yellow. I did this to save on cleaning an extra pot. You can, however, cook them rice and peas separately and add the tumeric to the peas.

You will need:

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1/2 cup uncooked yellow split peas
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of tumeric
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  1. In a rice cooker, add the rice, yellow peas, tumeric, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the salt, and 3 cups of cold water. Prepare according to your rice cooker’s instructions. If you don’t have a rice cooker, add the ingredients to a saucepan and cook covered until the peas are soft, at least 20 minutes.
  2. After ten minutes of cooking the rice and peas, put a skillet on medium heat and add the onion, olive oil, cumin, pepper, and the rest of the salt. Saute the onions until soft.
  3. When the rice is done, mix the onions with rice/pea blend in a bowl and stir well. Adjust the salt as needed. If you are using day old rice, add it to the onions first with the broth and let it rice rehydrate.

If I keep finding dishes like this, I’ll be eating breakfast for dinner more often. What do you eat for breakfast?

By the way, that image is copyright Waguang and like this post is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 License.

As I understand the term “braised,” I made braised potatoes last Friday.  My son had tossed several spuds into the pan I was using to hold potato peels, covering them in potato juice.  Figuring that putting the potatoes back into the bag was a good way to ruin the rest of the spuds in the sack, I figured I should cook them.  Unfortunately, my judgement was a bit off and what I thought would make enough mashed potates for dinner and perhaps lunch the next day turned into the largest batch of mashed potatoes I have ever prepared.  Which left me with four medium sized golden potatoes that I did not want to add into the boiling water for fear of overflow.

Still on an Indian kick, I decided to experiment.  This is what I used:

  • 2 tablespoons of ghee (butter or olive oil is fine)
  • 4 medium sized golden potatoes cut into 1/4 inch coins
  • 1 teaspon of cumin seeds
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flake (more is fine)
  • 1/4 cup of broth 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powdeer
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper
  • salt to taste
  1. Melt the ghee in a large skillet over medium heat.  When the ghee is melted, toast the cumin seeds and the red pepper flake.
  2. Add enough potatoes to cover the bottom of the skillet.  Do not pile the potatoes on top of each other.  Season with salt.
  3. Stir the potatoes to coat in the ghee/seed/pepper flake mixture to coat and let cook for two-three minutes, until the potatoes begin to change color.
  4. Add enough broth to come up half way on the potatoes.  Cover with a lid.  The potatoes are ready when they are fork tender.
  5. Move to a serving dish and add the ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic powder, pepper, and any additional salt.  Toss to ensure all potatoes are covered in the spice.

Try this dish.  I enjoyed the cinnamon and the potato combination far more than I had hoped.

Question:
So if you don’t mash ’em or fry ’em, what do you do with your potatoes?