With each year I see myself stretching to do things I never dreamt of, it’s a feeling of liberation. I must have been such a boxed thinker. We are all born free, but somehow somewhere we all form opinions, biases and try and fit all our thinking into specific boxes. We judge a book by the cover, even before we have read a few pages, we make rigid opinions and conclusions. We forget to be a child, curious and happy. By no means free thinking means lack of disciple, see even here am trying to define, trying hard to put it in a box. Old habits die hard, it’s hard to let go. Art is curative, whether it is cooking, baking, painting, writing or photography. It cures and makes us into better people, at least some of us.
I wonder if writers feel the same way, I happen to have a writer friend and she told me about her writing class. That’s really out of the box for me . I kept telling her in different words than this, “I cannot write” she told me something that will stay on my mind and is a valuable life lesson, “just write don’t judge , If you start judging when you write, the inner critic will win and you will not be able to progress. “ I call it a life lesson, as we constantly judge our own selves and in the end we end up being something we are not. I am so glad I enrolled, it’s definitely going to open up some rusty windows in my brain and let in some fresh air and sunshine. I am curious to see, how my thinking will change and how this will effect the way I think and photograph. Super excited! Thanks Monica!. She’s amazing, I just have to tell you her food essay is included in : Best food writing 2014. Now you get the idea of who she is. I really hope to stop thinking about the outcome and enjoy the process, give myself up to be molded and cured as life should.
2 large tomatoes or 3-4 small
1 big yellow onion
2 cups frozen peas
5 tbsp cooking oil ( anything you use)
2 tbsp cashew nuts
1/2 cup half n half or cream
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp homemade spice blend (the one I just shared with you)
salt to taste
Soak the cashew in warm water for about 20 minutes. Puree it with the tomatoes.
Puree the tomatoes and cook till it is reduced to half or less and looks like a thick paste. Keep aside.
Preheat oven to 375F. Cut the tofu to desired cube sizes and toss it in 2 tbs oil and a little salt. Arrange in baking tray and bake for 12 min, turn them around and bake for another 10 min till it’s roasted to a golden brown color.
Finely chop onion, it has to be very fine, if you prefer, puree, do that. Sometimes puree is much better than big chunks of onion. It has to be almost a grated consistency. Heat a saucepan, add 2 tbs oil and add cumin when it splatters add (very) finely chopped onion. Roast till translucent NOT BROWN, brown will change the color of the curry and make it darker and I don’t want that. Now add turmeric. Add the tomato puree, spice blend, salt, sugar and stir and let it simmer. Now add the half and half and 1 cup or more of water till the gravy is of required thick consistency. Now add the roasted tofu and frozen peas and bring to a boil.
Serve hot with cumin rice.