Things on gardening seemed brighter last month. The changes of water I use to wash the rice, the dal, the greens and other vegetables in are used efficiently to water my aloe and other pots. In quest to save water and not let go into drains, I drain them down to the aloe plants and the extra ones to the empty pots too so that they evaporate to the nature. A month ago though I was taken by surprise. A sapling that I thought to be weed sprout through my pot. I let it grow naturally till it shot up to 2 feet tall and flowered tiny white buds. I was elated but had less known it would fruit too. Last week, couple of the white flowers withered and beneath them shot tiny buds of green chillies. Somewhere in the process of draining the washed water into the pots, the green chilli seeds must have made their way and sprouted. Sometime ago, I had a tomato plant sprout the same way. It bore 3 cherry tomatoes that I used in my cooking, but later wilted away. This triggered my love for gardening all over again.
Last Sunday, we drove down to the nursery. I got a pot of basil and couple of seeds too. I almost went crazy and could have picked up the whole nursery, but I settled with basil, spinach, fenugreek, dill and parsley. I potted the fenugreek seeds again in a hope that they will sprout. I speak to them daily. I care for them just like my baby. I try to bond and hope they will reciprocate. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hope they will shoot soon.
Meanwhile the budding green chilies have been making me happy. I watch them for hours. I tender them affectionately. Today morning, I couldn’t resist and plucked the longest one for this South Indian breakfast delicacy, Tomato Kharabath, which my husband loves for its tang and spices. The chilies rendered a fresh, bold and spicy taste to this dish. Beyond all, they were organically grown in my own garden. That’s the beauty.
1 cup pre-roasted semolina / rava
1 onion, chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
3 tbsp. ghee / clarified butter (use regular vegetable oil for a vegan version)
½ tsp. mustard seeds
½ tsp. cumin seeds
½ tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. sambhar powder
A sprig of curry leaves
Salt to taste
A dash of lime juice
Fresh coriander leaves to garnish
Heat oil / ghee in a thick bottom pan. Add mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. As they splutter, add the curry leaves, chopped onions. Fry them till they golden brown. Next add the green chillies, the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, sambhar powder and salt and fry them for another 2-3 minutes. Now add the roasted semolina / rava and fry for few minutes. Pour 3 cups of hot water into the mixture and bring it to rolling boil on low heat for couple of minutes. The water should be absorbed by the semolina / rava and cooked. Turn off the heat and add a dash of lime juice. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.
* Clarified butter / ghee makes this dish rich and delicious. However avoid it and replace with vegetable oil if you want a vegan option
* I've used only a tsp. of sambhar powder for a hint of added flavour. You may skip it altogether.