Sunday, February 15, 2009

Four more farmers and a bountiful harvest

This week, we installed irrigation systems for Murgesh, Murali, Durai, and Perya Thambe; while those fields are just getting started, the kitchen garden at Ravi’s farm is in full swing. This week we harvested the last of the cauliflowers and the first of the cabbages; a peck of okra and a half-peck of peppers (alas, not pickled); six bitter gourds big enough to use as cricket bats; three spiny little ridge gourds; and a bucket of half-green tomatoes. The crows have been feasting on the tomatoes as soon as they show any color, so we’ve brought this batch of nearly-ripe tomatoes into the kitchen to remain in protective custody until they turn red.

Godorama picking peppers; Murgesh collecting cabbages

In the interests of using some of our garden produce, Murgesh has been teaching me how to make dosai, the crispy, crepe-like lentil pancakes that star in South Indian cuisine. A thin layer of dosa batter on a hot griddle, dotted with chunks of tomatoes, chilies, and cilantro fresh from the garden, quickly makes an easy and tasty breakfast. Anand also contributed by teaching me this dosa riddle—when you solve it, post your answer here; I’ll send Murgesh’s dosa recipe to the first person who gets it right.

Twenty people came to a restaurant; together they ate twenty dosas (dosai). The gents each ate three dosai; the ladies each ate two dosai; and each child ate half a dosa. How many gents, ladies, and children came to the restaurant?


Karl said...

Sounds delicious!

1 gent, 5 ladies, 14 children =)

Anna said...

Correct! Here's Murgesh's egg dosa recipe:
Take 1 cup Instant Rava Dosa Mix (a combination of lentil, rice, and wheat flour, with a bit of salt and oil, cumin & chili powder); mix with 1 1/2 cups water, 1/2 cup curd (or in America, plain yogurt). Mix and let the batter sit for five minutes. In the mean time, heat and oil your tava (or a nice big flat pan or griddle), and finely chop 1 tomato, 1 small onion, 1 green chili, and 2 tablespoons cilantro. When the pan is hot, turn the heat down to low, spread a thin layer of batter (thicker than a crepe, thinner than a pancake) over the surface, and sprinkle the chopped veggies artistically. Beat an egg and drizzle that over the surface, followed by a bit more oil; make sure you get some oil around the edges of the dosa to make it easier to lift up. When the egg thickens, the bottom of the dosa is brown, and the top is solid, get out your special dosa spatula (or any old spatula will do, so long as it's not too floppy), loosen the edges, and slide your dosa onto a plate, quickly folding it in half with the egg on the inside. Let it sit for a few moments so that the residual heat finishes cooking the egg, then eat while hot, preferably with cilantro/mint chutney or a nice hot tomato sauce.

Kapil said...

1, 4, 18 works too!


1, 3, 22


1, 2, 26


1, 1, 30


1, 6, 10

1, 7, 6

1, 8, 2


It would be interesting to see if it can be done with at least 2 gents and 2 ladies.