Yes, I’m back after my very long hiatus. I thought I could keep up with my blog after the big move to Toronto, my husband’s medical school graduation, a vacation to Dubai, and another mini-vacation to my parents’ house in Rhode Island. I missed my blog, but it’s sort of like when you stop something in your routine and then after a few weeks you don’t feel guilty about keeping up with it. This happened with me. As much as I love blogging, I just got out of my routine. It’s good to take a breather and come back refreshed and full of new ideas.
For the past few nights, I’ve been thinking what I would write for my next post. I felt the urge in the middle of the night to open up my laptop and just start typing and telling you all about all the major events that have happened recently. The big move, which still isn’t complete as far as setting up our place. Slowly but surely. And our wonderful vacation to see my sister in Dubai-we returned sulking because we had gotten so used to the pampered lifestyle and delicious cuisine from all over the world. Now, I’m back at my childhood home, having fun, spending time with my husband and parents, enjoying the New England summer. I hope to share more snippets and glimpses with you about all these things in upcoming posts.
I made my way to the Providence Farmers’ Market to get some inspiration. I came back with gorgeous chives and their even lovelier blossoms, radishes, cucumbers, and potatoes. Then I picked up the best yogurt ever, which is made by Narragansett Creamery. I wanted to make something fresh, it’s been hot here and wanted to make something light, cooling, and refreshing. I found some luscious mint in our herb garden and decided to make a potato salad with a few Pakistani twists. I added a tarka of curry leaves, cumin seeds, and crushed red chili flakes. It sounds odd to add sizzling oil over a creamy potato salad, but trust me it works.
I had a great time creating this dish. My mom helped me with the photos, something that a certain somebody (ahem, ahem…my husband) never does. She also has the most amazing collection of plates, silverware, napkins, and other lovely pieces. My parents’ house is also in the country. Fresh wild flowers are abundant here along with shimmering sunshine. I enjoyed this post, maybe it was because of my hiatus or new surroundings and new goodies to pick through. Either way, I hope to make something else before we leave to go back to Canada, where I also have a new condo kitchen waiting for me.
Until then, I’m enjoying myself here and hope too many of you haven’t forgotten about me. I miss my friends in the food community and look forward to exploring your new posts as well. :)
Potato Salad with Radishes, Cucumbers, and a Tarka (Tempered Oil/Sizzling Oil with Spices)
3 medium-sized red potatoes, washed and scrubbed
1 bunch icicle radishes, or any radish of your choice
1 medium-sized English cucumber, sliced into discs
1/2 a small red onion, minced finely
1/4 cup chopped chives along with some chive blossoms, if available, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons chopped mint, plus extra for garnish
1/2 full-fat yogurt
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
for the tarka:
1/4 cup neutral vegetable oil of your choice
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes, or to taste (this amount will be spicy)
10-15 curry leaves, available at Pakistani or Indian grocery stores
Boil the potatoes in salted water in a medium saucepan until tender. Allow to cool and then peel and slice into half moons.
Next, in a bowl combine the yogurt, crème fraîche, lemon juice, salt pepper, chives, mint, salt, and pepper. Once it forms a dressing add in the potatoes, radishes, cucumber, and red onion. Set aside and allow the flavors to come together in the refrigerator for an hour.
Before serving, prepare the tarka by heating up the oil in a small frying pan on medium heat. Once it has come to temperature add the cumin seeds and red chili flakes. They may splatter a bit, so be careful. Once they start to infuse the oil, after about 2 minutes, add in the curry leaves and let them fry for a minute. Once the tarka is done, pour over the potato salad. Garnish with chopped chives, mint, and chive blossoms. If you are serving in individual plates, place the potato salad in the individual plate and spoon a little of the tarka over each plate.