The other day, Isaac went to the fleamarket with his aunts and his grandmother. He found five thimbles.He brought them home and invented “thimble man.” I love this drawing! It’s so expressive. And thimbleman’s thimbles have magical powers, like lazers, water, super-punch, and I can’t remember the others, even though Isaac patiently explained it all to me twice.
And that night for dinner, Isaac ate quinoa kofta!! The kid doesn’t like much, but he likes Indian food. And olives. And other very strong-tasting items. Won’t touch a banana, but he’ll stuff himself silly on punjabi mix. He likes creamy curried sauces, which the boys call “yellow stuff.” I made this sauce out of cashews, tomatoes, and red leaf lettuce. The lettuce gives it a nice little sweet-bitter bite. The sauce is very smooth and creamy, but there’s no cream in it. And the quinoa kofta, made from leftover black quinoa, are lovely and crunchy – from being roasted in olive oil, and from the naturally crunchy crunch of black quinoa!! I served them in their sauce over basmati rice.
Isaac says this is his favorite song. It’s K’naan’s 15 Minutes Away.
1 cup cooked black quinoa (you don’t need to cook it as long as this. You can use less broth, and simmer it for about 20 minutes, till the broth is absorbed.)
1 cup cooked rice (I used basmati)
1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 T flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t cumin powder
1/4 t coriander powder
1/4 t ginger
1/8 t cinnamon
salt and pepper
Mush everything together in a bowl, with a potato masher or a fork, or both.
Preheat the oven to 425. Coat a baking sheet with olive oil. Form the kofta into small, flattish balls. Spread them on the baking sheet. Bake for about twenty minutes, turning them once or twice, till they’re nicely browned on both sides.
1/2 cup roasted cashews
2 T olive oil
5 scallions or one shallot – chopped
1 garlic scape or one clove of garlic – chopped or minced
2 packed cups lettuce (I used curly red leaf) – washed and roughly chopped
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 t cumin
1/2 t coriander powder
1/2 t cardamom
1/4 t turmeric
1/4 t ginger
red pepper flakes to taste
1 t white wine vinegar or lemon juice
2 T butter (omit if you’re vegan!)
salt and plenty of black pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil & cilantro, cleaned and chopped
Warm the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic & scallions. Stir and fry till they’re starting to get browned and soft. Add the lettuce stir and fry till it’s all wilted.
Add the cashews and all of the spices, and then immediately add the tomatoes (you don’t want the spices to burn).
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer till everything is soft and hot. Add the vinegar and butter, and blend in small batches (carefully, it’s hot!) Return to the heat, season with salt and plenty of black pepper.
Sprinkle the basil and cilantro over just before serving. Serve with kofta and basmati rice, and flatbreads if you have them!