I am aware I haven’t posted for an extreeeemely long time, but since ‘Bluehost’ has begun charging me monthly to allow this banal drivel to be lingering somewhere below the periphery of the ether, I thought I’d better post something.
Obviously lots of things can happen in a month, but it’s not like I’ve been aggressively hindering badger culls or gallantly freeing our animal friends from their factory cells (things I often fantasize about). As usual I’ve done no more than resentfully boycott meat/dairy isles, and more recently The British Heart Foundation whom reportedly test on animals (it’s on my long list of pre-existing posts). But- and I know I didn’t want this blog to be just aaall about cooking- but I have been cooking.
Food is my one constant. It’s always there for me, and I almost love the cooking part as much as the eating part. Almost.
That’s not to say I’m amazing at it, I think I love it because it creates an avenue for my scatterbrained way of being creative.
Because no matter what with cooking: as long as it tastes pretty good, the process does not have to be systematic; unless you absolutely cant screw up because you’re hosting a dinner party/ running a restaurant. which is why I do neither of those things.
And it’s also fun, and even educational at times!
Especially when you live just around the corner from Taj, my ultimate favourite place in Brighton. It’s an Aladdin’s cave of treats- the familiar and the exotic and the curious, tacked on the corner of an unassuming high street, surrounded by a bounty of suspiciously enormous fruit and veg.
Unlike the many ‘alternative’ supermarkets/ food shops in Brighton, Taj doesn’t have a label attached; its not ‘vegan’, it’s not ‘speciality’ or ‘health’ food with high prices tacked to it, the staff sustain an acceptable level of misery, and I’m still not sure if the fruit and veg is even strictly organic.
From the moment I go in, I feel transported and immediately calm after the torrent of hustle and bustle of the Brighton streets. Perhaps it’s all a conspiracy: the music, the smells- owing to a immediate sense of unencumbered happiness often resulting in the formidable ‘Taj splurge.’ Like when two glasses of wine turns into five kind of thing.
Talking of which, Marc and I headed into Taj the Grocer after a few drinkypops, where we bought pizza ingredients and a ‘mooli.’ Which at the time we thought was hilarious (the cashier didn’t but that’s fine). Not to mention singing it to the tune of Kaiser Chief’s Ruby.
Despite our initial enthusiasm over the mooli, it remained for some nights; it’s rather silly, wiggly shape (which is where Earthworm Jim comes in) mocking me from among my regular shaped vegetables. So I did what any normal person would do in this situation and turned to Facebook.
Finally after a torrent of unhelpful advice, a friend suggested I grate it and fry with onion, coriander and masala. She also suggested making paratha, which I’d only heard of recently. But to be honest the mooli itself was enough adventure for one week, so I bought chapattis. And Garam Masala after finally realising that ‘masala’ is simply a generic word for a spice blend. Doh.
The mooli I discovered, has a kind of pleasant earthy tang to it and according to the Daily Mail, can be eaten raw in salads, pickled and used in curries or stir frys. It contains vitamin B which keeps your red blood cells in tip-top condition (as technical as I get ladies and gents)!
The curry was more successful than not, despite forgetting the coriander, and not having any onion, and the discovery one mooli isn’t actually as substantial as I’d imagined….however I made a kind of chapatti wrap with some leaves and onion chutney, alongside some rice and whaddya know- it wasn’t too shabby!