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Stuffed Jalapeños

In How on 2 March 2021 at 6:11 pm

Emerging from an icy February, these stuffed jalapeños are the right mix of heat and comfort to put a twinkle in the eye.

Surprise surprise, I actually measured!  To stuff 6 large jalapeños we used: 

3/4 cup chickpea flour (besan)

1.5 tsp cumin seed

1/2 tsp salt
A few tablespoons of oil (not measured)

Step 1 Dry-roast the besan+cumin seed on low heat until aroma and color indicate it is toasty. The color should become a richer shade of golden but not brown. The second you notice the color change, remove from heat. Allow to cool before mixing in 2-3 spoons oil – just enough to be not too dry but not so much that it clumps.

Step 2 Make a slit in the peppers, almost end to end but not quite.  To ease the heat level, I remove the seeds and hollow out the inside of the pepper. Sometimes this means I end up removing the stem as well as pictured below. If you prefer the pepper full-strength, then no need to remove, and you can therefore get away with a shorter slit which makes it easier to keep the stuffing inside while roasting.

Step 3: Insert stuffing. Putting thumb and forefinger on opposite sides of the pepper, squeeze gently so as to part the pepper along the slit and insert the stuffing. In case your slit is so long that the pepper does not close easily, you may optionally tie a thread around the pepper to keep it closed while roasting. One can also keep them closed by hand – it takes time but not hard if only making a few, as above.

Step 4: Roast on the stove top: Place the peppers on a griddle or pan at medium or medium high heat (5 or 6 on a scale of 1-9), uncovered. Put a little bit of oil near / around each pepper. Roast about 5 minutes until brown and slightly shriveled, then turn the pepper on its side. Repeat until all sides have roasted.

Stuffed jalapeños with rice topped with olive oil or butter.

Serve with rice topped with olive oil or butter.

Slow Learning

In How on 22 March 2020 at 2:05 pm

Dear readers, With schools around the world closing to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, many are seeking to understand the dynamics of learning at home.  Here is an article I wrote when my daughter was 9, years before her first day of school.  Were we homeschooling?  Unschooling?  I liked to call it slow learning.

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We often ask, what is learning? Now let us ask, what is slow learning?

1. Slow

In Space and Time in Classical Mechanics, Einstein asks to imagine that he has dropped a stone while in a moving train.  As it happens he asks us to imagine that he has dropped it outside the train, from the window, as the train movedi.

Inside a moving train, if we drop a stone we will see it fall down in a straight, vertical line.  If we are inside the moving train but drop the stone outside the train, we will see the same thing.  To the falling stone, once released from Einstein’s (or anyone’s) hand, it makes no difference whether it is inside or outside the train. Read the rest of this entry »

Live: Amma flips millet dosas

In How on 26 January 2019 at 1:39 pm

Well, if you’ve been waiting for a live demonstration of millet dosa as it is flipped in real time, your wait ends now. Here you go:

Watch as Amma flips millet dosas without using any oil.

Yes, folks, AskAmma goes live, inviting you into the kitchen on just another Friday morning, as she flips dosas in real time. This batter is made with a 1:1 ratio of proso millet and urad aka black gram or మినువులు. Be sure to use unpolished urad, with peel intact, whole or split.

Read the rest of this entry »

Yogurt in Winter – Tips for keeping it warm

In How on 24 January 2019 at 7:25 pm

To make yogurt, you need yogurt.  What if you have no yogurt? Ask your neighbor. Like a candle can light another without losing its own flame, fermentation too is a neighborly process.

“How did they make the first yogurt?” my daughter once asked me. That, I replied, was like asking “who was the first neighbor?”

You also need a warm place. What if it is cold?? Here we will give not a philosophical but a practical answer.

Warmth is the key to perfectly set yogurt every time!
Read the rest of this entry »

Hopelessly devoted and endlessly grateful … bread, revisited

In How on 16 December 2018 at 8:52 pm

I’ve been baking bread since I was a teenager and yet every so often I become giddy with wonder at the amazingness of its aroma, texture and the head-to-toe comfort it brings.  I cannot contain my awe in the face of my own bread.  And at the magic of microbes.

small breadThere is an online forum called The Fresh Loaf full of people like me. Except actually these people are way way ahead of me.
Read the rest of this entry »

Milling Wheat, part 1

In How, Recipes on 21 October 2018 at 12:00 am

Well the happy thing is that I need not live another day without freshly milled flour.  My sister mills.  I have friends who mill at home.  The women who work in our house and neighborhood in Mumbai don’t buy flour.  They take their grains to the shop to have them freshly milled.  The corner shop mills grain every day and sells it in bulk, but many of the middle class consumers prefer to buy brand name flour in packages, even though it may be several weeks old.

In the US you cannot find a corner shop that will mill grain for you, but you can buy a family size mill for home use.  A friend of mine bought one several years ago.  She has gone back to school now.  With that plus two kids, she isn’t milling like she used to.  She mentioned that if I wanted, I could try it out sometime.

Reader, I borrowed it. Read the rest of this entry »

Ask Amma 360-degree revolution workout

In How, What on 9 October 2018 at 8:00 pm

With Democracy Now! live in the background, Amma gets ready for a new day with this 360-degree revolution workout. Stop, drop and exercise your arms and legs, back and abs, with no impact to feet or knees, no need to go anywhere, no special clothes or even socks and shoes.

This 16-minute workout takes 16 minutes of your time. And you can listen to the news while you stretch and strengthen and prepare for a new day.

Nutan Pandit: Medical students need soft skills

In How on 17 September 2018 at 8:02 pm

How can women have access to the entire health, social support structure that makes normal delivery normal?

Aravinda of Ask Amma sat down with childbirth educator Nutan Pandit at the Human Rights in Childbirth Conference that took place at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai in February 2017.

 

Dr. Neil Shah: “Midwives Need to be at the Center”

In How on 17 September 2018 at 8:00 pm

Aravinda of Ask Amma sat down with Dr. Neil Shah at the Human Rights in Childbirth Conference and asked him to explain his position that in the matter of maternal and child health, the hospital could be a risk factor, and what he recommends for higher quality outcomes in childbirth.

Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai, February 2017.

Father, tell me about Kashmir

In How on 23 July 2016 at 11:00 am

A young boy asks his father, “What happened in Kashmir?”

father son sunset

Those of us sheltered from the daily horrors that have become a way of life in far too much of the world may be unprepared to answer honestly when our children ask us questions like this.  How do we reveal much less “explain” the violence in the world, when we don’t quite understand it ourselves?

Fred Rogers said about talking to children about such events – “look for the helpers.”  In any horrible scene (e.g. that you might read in the news) there will also be people who are helping, even if it is only the reporter bringing public attention to it.

Going one step further, one can try to be a helper – even from a distance, as this father tried to do.

“B, We have to go a protest today. Do you want to come too?”
“What is this protest, Acha (Dad in Malayalam)?”
“It is about a place called Kashmir. A lot of people have been killed and blinded there by the police and the army.”
“What happened there?”
“Ok, Let me tell you…..”

Read the rest of this entry »

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