Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Churning Out Pots of Kushari

It's interesting how foods of my childhood are receiving loads of attention nowadays as 'super foods'. I was a child with plenty of allergies and that required special attention to the food that went into my stomach. Both sets of grandparents who were my caregivers took loads of pain with my meals. It helped that the grandparents were brought up in different countries and grew up with different cultural foods and they could talk to one another to creatively plan my meals so that I didn't have to eat plain oats everyday. Oof.

The man has taken a huge interest in these super foods too. His bff, M, has recently turned vegetarian and his diet consisted of a ton of low-GI foods. So talking about guitars, they've been wollymugging in the kitchen, brainstorming exciting and often rather tasty dishes. Most welcomed. M's partner and I are the main beneficiaries of all those kitchen experiments. Perfect. I still have bloody persnickety tastebuds and food preferences.

Kushari, a dish filled with grains and lentils, something I ate loads of as a kid on the road, has recently become a staple in our fridge. The man loves it. Like how we always keep dhaal in the fridge for late night bites, kushari is something we cook and store for the week. Heeeeee. We've taken it for potluck meals with the friends and it seems to be a hit with them and their kids as well. Why ah? Just delivered another pot to a lovely couple last week who were stricken with severe food poisoning. By the time the pot got to them, they seemed to be able to take small bites after days of porridge and biscuits. Whewww. Kushari would be okay for upset stomachs. While our kitchen isn't halal, it's kosher. And items churned out from this kosher kitchen suit many friends' dietary preferences as well.

While kushari isn't difficult to produce, putting it together can be tedious. Everything is cooked separately and then tossed together in a salad bowl. I suppose it's a bit like Thai phad thai or Chinese fried rice or Japanese chirashi-don. How the dish will taste depends on what we feel like putting in. Our choice of base ingredients are kamut, Puy lentils, wholewheat pasta, a ton of onions and anchovies. Pumpkin is always good for texture. You could toggle between eggplant, squash, zucchini for flavors. Vegetables could be sorted out between spinach, broccoli, asparagus or kale. We've promised to cook up pots of kushari for friends. Made a list of those who already yelled that they want a pot. We're nowhere near fulfilling that list though. :P

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