Sunday, June 20, 2010

Warm Potato Salad, Indian Style

Would the 16 year old you recognize who you had become? Twice that age now, I wonder.

I was a terrible cook as a teenager. I didn’t burn food or undercook. The food I cooked was terribly, obnoxiously reaching. I craved sophistication in the way that all teens do. I made tahpaas, tahgeenes, and tehrrrrrines. There was nothing inherently wrong with the recipes. It was my motivation. I had imagined myself growing up to live an urbane, well-traveled life and I cooked to prepare myself. Someday, when I was sitting beside fabulous people, late late at night in the spot in Barcelona, I didn’t want to be the one saying, Ta-what?
Someone I worked with once, a 6ft two inch blond woman with a voice like Katherine Hepburn, told me she didn’t get the jobs she wanted but ended up wanting the jobs she got. Somehow that has always resonated with me. The flow of life, the currents that keep you moving, might make you forget that you are actually making choices. You are affecting the outcome of your life with every decision. Looking back, you might think it was the big choice, this college or that. But, I am starting to believe the little choices are the big ones. That moment you decided that you would hang out late after work, and then somehow mention to someone you think that coworker is cute, and then forget about it, and then go out of town, and then your friend sets you up with that guy, and then you go on the date, and now you are married with two kids. Well, you get my drift. The life you have might not be the one that you wanted, but if you do it right, if you own it, you will end up wanting the life you have.

Those terrible dinners I cooked as a teen was the life I thought I wanted. Now I cook for my real life, for my real family--no airs with my food these days.

Warm Potato Salad, Indian Style

Cut into large cubes:
1 head of cauliflower
2-3 large roasting potatoes
1 red onion
3-4 small zucchinis
½ cup chickpeas

Toss veggies with:
1-2 T garam masala
2 t turmeric
Salt to taste
1 t ginger powder
1 t cumin
1 t red pepper
Olive oil

In a pan, roast veggies.

When veggies are warm, toss with dressing of 3 T yogurt, 2-3 handfuls cilantro leaves chopped, ½ t minced garlic, 1T wine vinegar, 1 t minced shallots. Then add thing slices of red onion and bell pepper (I used red and orange.)

This is my entry for no croutons required from Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa's Kitchen.


Johanna GGG said...

your family is lucky to have such wonderful food cooked for them - I love your potato salad and I love your ruminations on life - some days I wonder at all the small decisions that result in big changes - I am glad you sounds happy with the way yours is going - I think my 16 year old self would be amazed at where I am now - I would never have believe such a life possible or enjoyable!

Joanne said...

Such a zen kind of post. I'm pretty sure my sixteen year old self would have no idea who I am now. She wouldn't recognize me in the street. But I'm okay with that.

I love the simplicity of this Indian style potato salad. Who needs ta-whats when you make a dish this good all with things you already have in your fridge.

Marisa said...

Man that looks good! Quite a far cry from the plain old potato salad, but a good departure I think.

grace said...

this is quite a deep and profound post--i found myself needing to go back and reread a couple of sentences to get things straight. i also found myself nodding along--right on!

Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen said...

I so agree with those sentiments! I once fancied I'd be a chic world traveler too!

Astra Libris said...

Your post is so beautifully written, and the truth of your words resonates deeply with me... Thank you for this gorgeous recipe, and for your uplifting wisdom!

Momgateway said...

I use garam masala a lot but I've never in potato to try this!!

e.m.b. said...

This salad sounds amazing, and your writing is beautiful. I know that my 16 year old self would not recognize my currently 25 year old self. So many twists, turns and changes; and, there is always another bend in the road...

These words of yours were beautifully put truth: " The life you have might not be the one that you wanted, but if you do it right, if you own it, you will end up wanting the life you have."

Thank you!