January 21, 2012
In a week, I will be off on my two-month long Asia trip. One month in Pune, India, working and then a month of travel in Vietnam, Laos and northern Thailand.
On this drizzly Portland night, I was treated to a wonderful send off by my sangha friends at Prajwal’s. It couldn’t have been sweeter. An international pot luck was the theme and it was truly amazing. It was good to see the my old and recently made friends and to make some new ones. The food was outstanding with a Nepali core (no surprise!), complemented with some great dishes from around the world.
From all the great food, what stood out for me was a sensational aloo achaar made by Jonathan. Here’s the recipe from Jon, though he says it should be taken as a general guideline considering he was “a little too deep into the scotch” when he wrote it:
- Boil and peel and cube some small waxy potatoes, combining with raw daikon/carrot/blanched onions if desired.
- Toast some unhulled sesame seeds until they can be crushed between the fingertips.
- Grind together with a pinch or two of szechuan peppercorns and some salt, then add enough lime/lemon juice (I sometimes add some Ume plum vinegar) to make a paste.
- Mix this in with the potatoes and veg. Stir in some chopped cilantro at this point, optionally.
- Then heat some mustard oil in a kadhai untnil smoking and toss in some fenugreek seeds and fresh or dried chilies.
- Once the seeds blacken (releasing that characteristic maple aroma), add a pinch of turmeric and immediately pour the sizzling oil mixture over the achar.
- Mix thoroughly and taste once more for seasoning (spicy, salty, sour).
<Need a photo. Did someone take a photo?>
It was a fun time, as it always is at Prajwal’s and reminded me of the great community I have in Portland that I can look forward to returning to.