A Proper Elucidation

A Proper Breakfast

Sourdough rolls filled with Valrhona chocolate, from the Levain Bakery.

Mango tea from Harrod’s.

Oranges from Fairway.

A Proper Lunch




Cilantro-lime hummus*.


Stravecchio from Fairway.

Peppers from the Greenmarket.

Farmstand blueberries.

A Proper Dinner
Brown rice.


Chayote-red pepper curry*.

*Recipes after the jump.


A note on the recipes: these are things I cook often and cook by instinct. Novices might understandably not like to see recipes sans precise instructions; I sympathize, but I’m taking the simpler route this time around. Troppo triste.

Cilantro-Lime Hummus

Directions: Follow a favorite hummus recipe—get a little liberal with the tahini and olive oil, and a little tight-fisted with the garlic. As all the ingredients come together smoothly in the food processor, wash a large thatch of cilantro and slice off the root ends. Add to the mix, and watch the blades destroy it. God, the power of it all! Now zest and juice a lime (or two if you like, but easy there, toughballs). Add in the final moments of blending. If you like, sprinkle a little sea salt and grind a little pepper over the top before slicking it with a touch more olive oil. Makes 4 cups.



Directions: Grind together kosher salt, black pepper, and a few cloves of garlic in a mortar and pestle or with the flat of a chef’s knife. Add paste to 4 cups full-fat Greek yogurt. Thinly dice a seedless cucumber, pat away excess water, and fold into yogurt. Whisk in a teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Makes 4.5 cups.



Directions: In a saucepan, heat 3.5 cups water over medium heat. When water begins to simmer, add 3 tablespoons tamarind paste, 1/3 cup cooked yellow split peas, 2 diced plum tomatoes, 2 teaspoons rasam powder, 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida powder, salt and black pepper to taste. Simmer until the surface begins to develop a foam of tamarind and tomato. In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of untoasted sesame oil. Add 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds, 5-6 curry leaves, and 2 dried red chilies. Cover quickly. After mustard seeds have popped rapidly for 15 seconds, remove from heat and add to rasam immediately. If desired, garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with rice. Makes 3 servings.

Chayote-Red Pepper Curry

Directions: Follow recipe for Cauliflower Curry, but substitute 1 peeled, diced chayote and 1 diced red bell pepper for cauliflower, and omit ginger and cumin. If desired, reduce turmeric powder to 1 teaspoon. Just before serving, fold in 1/4 cup chopped fresh coconut. Serves 3.

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