65° - 01.09.1967, Blaðsíða 20

65° - 01.09.1967, Blaðsíða 20
Stretching the Kronur A MAN IN THE KITCHEN Who? Not the traditional Icelander nor a pro- fessional chef, but a UN specialist from Ceylon here on an official mission. B. Thiagarajan was trained in cooking for two years during his apprenticeship as a Hindu. To him cooking is fun and bears no stigma of “women’s work”. He often cooks for his wife and five children merely to relax his mind. Donning an apron, he enters the author’s kitchen and a brisk examination of materials ensues. What? No fresh carrots, cabbage or cauliflower available? What do you eat? No fresh coconut? Well, we’ll find substitutes. Good, the peas and lentils have sprouted nicely in these two days. Always let your beans sprout before cooking them; they’re much more digestible. Sprouted beans contain more protein and less carbohydrate, too. You got skyr. Good. I hope it’s sour. Do you have a lemon? Well, we’ll use skyr to clarify the butter and to mix with the salad. Now the spices — all in powder form, I see. We’ll try them but they won’t taste the same as whole spices freshly ground. No spice grinder? What about a blender? We’ll try the meat grinder then. Three times he grinds mustard seeds onto a newspaper — no need to waste a bowl. While peas, lentils and rice steam soft, he checks the spices again, tasting each on a finger- tip: nutmeg, ginger, caraway and sesame seeds, coriander, cloves cinnamon, garlic, red pepper, black pepper, no hot green pepper, no tartaric acid — we’ll use cream of tarter, no turmeric, but it’s in the curry powder as you say. All right. I brought some cashew nuts, white raisins and some excellent chutney my wife made. Then we went to work, the author slicing onions, sweet green pepper, dicing tomatos and grating cucumber — the last three items to be mixed with watered skyr for the salad. Mr. Thiagarajan worked with his hands in- steads of spoons — a basic and efficient method for mixing and tasting — combining the peas, lentils, rice and canned carrots and a cloud of spices, notably red pepper, which necessitated opening the windows, and caraway seeds, which give an unforgettable pungency to Indian food. While potatos boiled, he melted butter, foamed it with a lump of skyr, and poured off the clear liquid (ghee). Onions and mushrooms browned in ghee, spices, milk and potato cubes comprised a sauce for the rice dish. While mixing milk to the glutinous rice and bean mixture, tasting the while and with much washing of hands, he managed to wash cooking utensils as they accumulated and still keep up a conversation. Spices, he explained, not only flavor the foods but do two other things. Even if people take exercise, there are parts of the body which cannot be exercised. Spices aid digestion in that way. Also in hot countries as India, one must sweat or be liable to heat stroke. Spices make him sweat and keep him healthy. Somewhere about this point, the rice was piled into dishes by hand, and he set about browning nuts and onions and mixing raisins to be patted over the rice mounds. What about dessert? We will use some of the extra lentils. He mixed several handfuls with coconut, sugar and cardamon and put them in the refrigerator to chill. Dishes? Just dinner plates and cups. We save dishes. The rice goes on first and the sauce poured over. Beside it goes the salad, and this lentil soup, hot and spiced, is drunk in the cups with the meal. Yes, put water on the table and bread if you like, but they’re not necessary. You’ll see. We did. It was a full and satisfying meal urged on us lavishly. (In India the host serves the meal to all, and not a drop spilled on the tablecloth as one might expect.) Though the foods were hotly spiced to our tastes, they sat easily on the stomach. Cups of hot tea and coffee followed later, but the pleasantest parts were no pots and pans to clean at all, eight contented and lively guests, a satisfied cook, and total cost just under kr. 300 — the price of meat alone for an Icelandic com- pany dinner. 18 65



Beinir tenglar

Ef þú vilt tengja á þennan titil, vinsamlegast notaðu þessa tengla:

Tengja á þennan titil: 65°

Tengja á þetta tölublað:

Tengja á þessa síðu:

Tengja á þessa grein:

Vinsamlegast ekki tengja beint á myndir eða PDF skjöl á Tímarit.is þar sem slíkar slóðir geta breyst án fyrirvara. Notið slóðirnar hér fyrir ofan til að tengja á vefinn.