Aloo masala

 Modified from a recipe from Manjulas Kitchen

  • 1-1½ lbs potatoes, diced
  • ¼ c. oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric 
  • 1 finely chopped green chili (adjust to taste)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ bunch chopped cilantro

  1. Boil the potatoes until they are soft and let cool a little.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium.
  3. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Seeds will pop all over the kitchen if the oil is too hot, but they do need heat to release the right flavors.
  4. Add turmeric, potatoes, green chili, and salt.
  5. Stir-fry briefly.
  6. Add lemon juice and cilantro.
  7. The potatoes should be slightly moist and not very dry.
  8. Serve hot.

Binita suggested using this to stuff poblanos and we liked it when we tried it. Chuck prefers the pepper halved and filled like a twice baked potato rather then tamping it in from the top.



This came from my  friend, Dot.  Cactus appears to be good for lowering bad cholesterol and decreasing inflammation.

1 jar canned Nopalitos (found in the Ethnic food section of the grocery, even Wal-Mart)
1 sm. red onion, chopped
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
4-5 Roma tomatoes, diced
S+ P to taste
Juice of 2-3 limes
1 jalapeño (fresh) seeded and chopped (optional)

Drain and rinse the nopalitos in cold water until they aren’t slimy.  Mix ingredients together.  Serve chilled.

I love this on a black bean burger.

Sauce from fresh tomatoes

Our romas are coming in and I have never put up tomatoes, nor have I ever made sauce from fresh, only from canned. So, tonight was a wild experiment that worked.

Chuck brought a food processor to this kitchen when he moved in here, not a tool I have ever been comfortable with. But, he suggested getting the tomatoes started with it and I did, in spite of my reservations.

I chopped somewhere between 3-4 cups of tomatoes. Dumped them in my favorite sauce pot at medium and a half. When they started to bubble, I turned the heat down to a hair above medium.

I gave a little stir, periodically, to keep it from sticking. It didn’t seem to want to stick, but I didn’t trust it.

When I had lost about an inch and a quarter of water, I added I added a heaping cream soup spoon (probably 2 Tbsp) of chopped garlic. (Yes, I am so lazy that I buy it in a jar.)

I cooked down another half inch and started the pasta.

When the pasta was 2 minutes from done, I added @ ¼ c. of olive oil.  I lost another ¼” or so of water as the pasta cooked. It was the consistency I expect from canned/stewed tomatoes when the pasta was ready.

I poured the water off the pasta and tossed a BIG handful of slivered basil (also from our garden) into the tomatoes.  I didn’t bother with any of the dried herbs I had available because I figured the basil with overpower them.  Tossed it all together and served it with grated Parmesan.

This took about 45 minutes.