Give peas a chance
There was something therapeutic about breaking the pod, coaxing the peas out with my little fingers, releasing them into another bowl and slowly watching a pile of green jewels take form. Of course, I did not know what 'therapeutic' meant at the time, but the activity did keep my adolescent-self calm and content.
At lunch, when the fish curry appeared and I could spot the peas in it, I felt a chef's pride! I would try to fish all the peas out of the dish until my mother gave me 'the look'. I could eat bowls of just those peas, but who would do all that peeling?
I do not eat fish anymore, but my love for peas remains. My beloved peas are now available the 22nd century way — separated from their pods beforehand, nicely packaged in food grade plastic bags, and delivered to the super market for me to buy!
I miss handling my food from start to finish. I feel sorry for the children who will never gather around their grandmother over a vegetable or have seen a pea in its pod. The connection with our food is completely lost these days. The upside to this 'modernisation' is that now I can buy peas by the kilogram and make a meal out of it, as I often do! There is nothing more comforting than a big bowl of creamy, green pea soup with a rustic slice of bread, or a spicy aloo motor curry over a bed of kalijira rice.
I think a drop of my saliva just rolled out of my tongue and fell over to my laptop. Excuse me while I wipe that clean...
As I was saying…I love food and I love cooking! I do not think there is any greater expression of love than putting a hot, home cooked meal in front of your loved ones. I envy people who have what I call 'a grandmother's instinct'.
My grandma never looked at recipes, never measured her spices, but always managed to season her dishes to perfection. Unfortunately, I am nothing like her when it comes to kitchen skills. I own dozens of recipe e-books. I follow numerous YouTube cooking channels, and while cooking, I am often seen frantically running back and forth between the kitchen and the study, where some recipe video is being played on my laptop. Whenever
I cook, I, however, always put my best self forward and cook with the best ingredients possible.
Ancient science says that the ideal food to consume is the one which is high in Prana (life energy) and passes through your digestive tract easily. Prana a.k.a. 'pranic value' is highest in the food that is humanely sourced, cooked with love and eaten with loved ones. With that in mind, good food to me refers to not only what tastes good, but also what's good for me, good for the earth and kind to all the other earthlings.
As such, I only eat and cook food that comes from plants. Whether I am making porridge for my one-and-a-half-year-old nephew, or a birthday cake for my 40-year-old friend, I only use plant-based ingredients.
In this column, I will share all my favourite recipes using only vegan/plant based ingredients. I will show you how to make mouth-watering cakes without eggs or dairy milk, or how to cook a high protein curry without animal flesh. But for now, give those peas a chance, will you?
PEAS WITH COCONUT CREAM
1 tbsp olive oil
½ onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bag peas
2 cups of vegetable broth, more if needed
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until tender, about 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add peas and vegetable broth, and cook until broth just begins to simmer.
Working in batches, carefully transfer the soup to a blender, cover, and blend until puréed. If needed, add a little more broth to the blender. Return the puréed soup into a clean pot. Continue until all of it is puréed.
Heat puréed soup over medium heat until it bubbles and is heated throughout, stirring frequently. Thin out with more broth if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Divide between bowls and garnish with black pepper, and coconut cream.