Eggplant ecstacy

These eggplant are from our little kitchen garden! And they almost did not happen.
We planted a rather large bed with these saplings at the beginning of the summer in the hope they would give some fruit during those awful months. But that was not to be!
Just two weeks ago, I told the gardener to get rid of them and plant something else but even that did not happen because either he was too lazy or just chose to ignore what I had said.
Suddenly, though, they are in bloom. In the last few days, we’ve had quite a crop and new fruit continues to appear. I am not exactly in love with eggplant but, since we have them from our own garden, these are priceless.
It’s that time of the year when we will have plenty to grow but, honestly, at least I wasn’t banking on eggplant. Not only have these plants occupied quite some space, one can easily get ‘bored’ with what to do with them after a while.
Not so, of course, for the “winter” veggies like cauliflower, cabbage, carrot and radish.
Now, those are what I call, the “cool” ones.

Appam Ahoy! — cookwithsingh

Appam stew – the name’s an appetiser in itself! This is a dish I love but have not made at home for a while. The reason : we did not have the right kind of ‘deep’ pan to make the appam (a type of pancake made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk. It is […]

via Appam Ahoy! — cookwithsingh

Tomato fest in town

The tomatoes are here – they really are. Bahrain’s had a bumper harvest this year and prices have hit rock bottom. This this year’s harvest has been quite exceptional – and very colourful – and prompted organisers of the”Saturday Market” to hold a “Tomato festival”yesterday.
Though nowhere near the famous La Tomatina festival held in the Spainish Valencian town of Buñol, or the lesser known ones in Australia and Italy, this event was, nevertheless, unique to Bahrain where such a bumper crop of anything is rare to come by.
Though most of the tomatoes were sold as just that – tomatoes – some enterprising traders had set up stalls to sell tomato sauce, pickle, jam, pizza and other things.
One lady even had a kiosk selling T-shirts, caps, hats and mugs printed with “Tomato messages”.
And, of course, there weren’t enough tomatoes to throw around and squash in eatch others faces, as is so common in the Italian and Spanish events.
Meanwhile, just to show how “bumper” the harvest has been, below is a basket full of our own home tomatoes – organic at that – grown in the little garden we have.



In good taste!

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Large ferns grow in the wild everywhere you go in the state

Though our week-long trip to Sikkim in North Eastern India was unique in many ways, what stuck me most was the organic vegetables and fruits produced in the state.
Sikkim, which was until 1975 an independent nation, will soon be declared a 100 per cent organic state and the use of chemical fertiliser and other add-ons in all forms banned. There is already a lot of awareness against their use and, if local people are to be believed, no one uses any chemicals anyway.
No wonder, then, freshly cooked vegetables are just different. They have a very soft and mellow taste and one where we can actually “feel” the flavours. It is a lot different from the plains where practically every vegetable and fruit available is laced with chemical fertilisers and preservatives.
Perhaps the rest of India will take cue from this little place tucked away on the border with Nepal and Bhutan, and as yet largely unspoilt by the huge influx of tourists.

A vegetable market in Sikkim
A vegetable market in Sikkim

And, while I am in the “organic” mode, I must point out I was very impressed with the extremely large ferns growing in the wild all over the state. No wonder then that these ferns are also a delicacy, expertly cooked as a vegetable by the locals.
Tasteful, indeed!

Cheerey Tomatoes

Cheerey Tomatoes

We went to buy fish at the local Farmer’s Market on Saturday and came back with a load that we had to clean ourselves in the process leaving the kitchen in a mess and the apartment smelling for several hours.
But we also got back some lovely red fresh cherry tomatoes – which made our trip ‘fruitful’. If not for the fish, the bazaar offers some really colourful and fresh produce from Bahrain’s vegetable farms – particularly in the winter!