Blackeyed pea pancakes and Chickpea & spinach in cauliflower cashew curry sauce

Chickpea and spinach in cauliflower cashew curry sauce

Chickpea and spinach in cauliflower cashew curry sauce

It may well be that you reach an age when you’re too old to say, “When I grow up.” And I undboubtedly passed that age many years ago. But I believe that I’ll never outgrow the feeling of “when I grow up.” I’ll never outgrow the idea that someday I’ll finish a novel or make another movie or have a career or even a steady well-paying job. I love when the boys talk about what they’ll be when they grow up. It’s so hopeful and nonsensical, sometimes, but possible and practical too. They can be whatever they want to be. Isaac might be an inventor who makes robots and toys and Halloween decorations, and Malcolm might be a mechanic who develops a floating car that doesn’t hurt the environment. There’s no reason in the world these things won’t happen if they really want it too. And I know they have time to figure it all out, and I look forward to watching them puzzle through it all. Of course at my advanced age the possibilities are much more limited. I’ll never invent a floating car. Sigh. I’ve come to terms with that fact. I have a long path behind me with turnings I didn’t follow. I have a recurring dream about clothes. In the dream I discover that I have closets or cupboards full of clothes that I’ve never worn or that I haven’t worn in ages. I’m excited at first to have new clothes to wear, but upon closer inspection I find that they’re dusty and filled with moths and weevils. They’re unwearable. I think this dream is about my career, or lack of one. It’s about foolish decisions and wasted opportunities and squandered potential. It’s about waking up to discover that you’re forty-four, and things haven’t worked out the way they were supposed to. But I have another recurring dream and in this dream I make a film. Sometimes I shoot the film in the dream, and it all falls together with the ease and oddness of dream logic. Sometimes I find footage I shot at an earlier time, and it’s perfect, beautiful footage, and in my dream I have a revelation of how to edit it all together, I know exactly what I need to add to complete the film. I had this dream twice in one night this week, and I woke up feeling so happy and hopeful. The line between films and dreams is so slight and easily blurred. And maybe this means that I’m working on something good. Maybe it means I have beautiful ideas in my head that have been there all along, and I just need to discover them and put them together. The memory of dreams can shade your life for days, but maybe it’s time to step out of these dreaming shadows, maybe it’s time to wake up and live! When I grow up…

Blackeyed pea cakes

Blackeyed pea cakes

This savory pancake recipe is loosely based on one I found in Madhur Jaffrey’s World of the East Vegetarian Cooking. I added a few things to make it easier to cook the pancakes, and I added different spices. These weren’t hard to make at all, although you have to plan ahead and soak the peas. Malcolm loved them, and Isaac thought they were a little strange, (which, admittedly, they are) but he ate them anyway. They seem like they must be full of protein! They have a nice, unusual earthy taste. Everybody liked the curry, which is smooth and full of flavor.

Here’s Bob Marley with Wake Up and Live.

1 1/2 cups blackeyed peas, soaked in 4 cups water for at least 12 hours
2 heaping teaspoons flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
juice of half a lime
1 t basil
1 t chili flakes (or to taste)
lots of black pepper
1/4 t turmeric
1/2 t coriander
olive oil to fry

Once the peas have been soaked overnight try to peel off as many skins as possible. Rub them between your palms, and pick out any skins that have come loose. I didn’t get too many skins off, but it didn’t seem to matter. Drain them, spread them on a plate, and try to pick off any skins you missed. Transfer to a food processor. Add 1 1/3 cups water and all of the other ingredients, and process until completely smooth and pale.

Warm a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, pour a little olive oil on, and put a ladlefull of batter on the skillet. With the back of the ladle, moving in circles, spread the batter to be about 1/4 inch thick. Cook until the top is full of bubbles and less shiny, then flip and cook until the other side is browned. Continue until all of the batter is gone. Keep the bread in a warm oven until you eat it.


2 T olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup cashews
1 heaping cup cauliflower florets, cut quite small
1 heaping T tomato paste
1 t cumin
1/2 t coriander
juice of one lemon (or to taste)
1 T butter
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 packed cups spinach, washed, de-stemmed and chopped
salt and plenty of black pepper
fresh cilantro or basil leaves or both.

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the shallot and garlic and stir and fry for about a minute, until the garlic starts to brown. Add the cashews and cauliflower, stir and fry until the cauliflower starts to be flecked with brown. Add the tomato paste and herbs, stir to combine, and then add about 1 – 1 1/2 cups of water…enough to come halfway up the cauliflower. Cover and cook until the cauliflower is tender. Add the butter and lemon juice. Transfer all of this to a blender or food processor and process until completely smooth. Return to the pan, add the chickpeas and spinach, and cook until everything is warmed through and the spinach is wilted but bright. Season well, stir in the cilantro or basil and serve with basmati rice.


3 thoughts on “Blackeyed pea pancakes and Chickpea & spinach in cauliflower cashew curry sauce

  1. As I type this I wear a lovely sweater with big holes The pups made the holes, but the sweater still keeps me warm. I will not be a fashion plate. I have other stuff to do in my dog-bitten sweater.

    Maybe, you have shed your old clothes, edited out the things you considered. Perhaps, the editing is part of being grown-up. You are there. You will keep the pad and pencil at your night table, grab those dreams, make a film.

    Maybe grown-up is knowing what you strive for. Not just a vague hope, but a clear direction.

  2. Pingback: French lentil crepes with roasted butternut and chard | Out of the Ordinary

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