I have spoken quite a few times about my efforts to eat natural, fresh, local, seasonal and organic whenever possible. I feel like I am trying to do my bit to be more environmental friendly by doing so. I know I can’t completely give up of the food I am used to but I can avoid/limit them wherever possible.
I am very happy that several well-known chefs around the world talk about the importance of cooking with fresh produce for the best flavours. But I am extremely sad about the new growing trend in India of eating highly processed, canned, packed imported food
India is blessed with a great tropical weather where fresh fruits and vegetables are available throughout the year. Our traditional diet is full of whole grains, dairy, fresh vegetables, greens, nuts and healthy fats. Almost all our recipes are cooked from scratch with all fresh ingredients. There was no need or space for canned vegetables and pre-cooked meals in our kitchen. But things are changing rapidly.
Thanks for our new found love for consumerism and well paying jobs we now only want to eat things which are grown or manufactured on the other side of the planet! It’s really disturbing to see prominent cooking magazines having recipes which asks for fruits and vegetables which are not local in India. It’s really sad that we don’t take pride in our own produce. Most magazines, books and newspapers recommend most expensive imported fruits and vegetables as the healthiest in the market.
I am going to be making a conscious effort to showcase more and more local produce in Love Food Eat. I will also try to come up with new innovative ways to use familiar vegetables and fruits and new flavours.
I am using our very own Pigeon Peas today. Pigeon Peas known as ‘Hasi Togari’ in Kannada. They are right now fresh and abundant in our markets and are very nutritious with high levels of protein and the important amino acids, methionine, lysine, and tryptophan. For vegetarians it’s one of the best sources of protein. They are delicious when used in curries and stir-fries. Though I LOVE Indian food, we don’t always have to use our local vegetables in our own cuisine.
In today’s recipe I have used native Pigeon Peas in a warm salad with oriental flavours. I have paired it with pan fried tofu and green peppers and used a soy based light dressing. With both tofu and pigeon peas this is a protein packed dish. You can eat it by itself or even serve it over rice or noodles.
[typography font="Cantarell" size="24" size_format="px" color="#b36f98"]Ingredients:[/typography]
- Fresh green pigeon peas, shelled – 1 cup
- Green bell pepper – 1
- Firm tofu – 200 grams
- Sesame oil – 2 tbsp
[typography font="Cantarell" size="24" size_format="px" color="#b36f98"]Dressing:[/typography]
- Sesame oil – 1 tsp
- rice vinegar – ¼ tsp
- Soy sauce – 1 tsp
- Vegetarian oyster flavored sauce – 1 tsp
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
Boil in pigeon peas in salted water till soft. drain the water and keep it aside.
Heat a little bit of sesame oil on a pan and when smoky hot place the tofu on it. Let it sear for a few minutes till golden brown. Now turn it over for the other side to brown as well.
Cut both the top and bottom part of the bell pepper, de-seed and de-vein it. Place It on the same pan flattened with a little more oil. Let it get slightly charred on both sides.
Cut both the tofu and bell peppers into thin long strips.
For the salad dressing simple combine all the ingredients together.
Combine tofu, bell peppers and pigeon peas in a salad bowl. Drizzle the dressing on top. Sprinkle more sesame seeds on top and serve.