Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rava Uttapam - A Guest Post for Sia of Monsoon Spice

Albeit red and green, it's beginning to look a lot like Indian around here. Yes, there is an unadorned mixed-conifer wreath on the door; a safe, candled light in every window; and a scripted font of smoke, as damp and dark green and indescribable as forest floor, dragging its finger across my face every time I light my fake fireplace, a coveted slim punk of Parisian joss stick, no longer in production.

For those who know me enough through this space, I have always embraced the cuisines of many cultures. My history of exploration spans some years before I ever tapped out my first post. Creating Indian meals with even a marginal authenticity of home cooking carries an enormous learning curve for the average Westerner. Fright of spices? Perhaps that's the typical reaction. But my own trepidation was strictly based on what, at the earliest times, felt like enigmatic methods of rendering those spices suitable for particular recipes. There was grinding for some; tempering for others; and often, the sizzling a tadka to drizzle over a dish as an essential finishing touch.

I have forever to go before I consider myself an accomplished Indian cook, but I am happy with my progress over the last few years. I am delighted, too, that Sia of Monsoon Spice asked me to create a meal for a guest post while she is back home this month in India. There is a gorgeous, uniquely pucker-y, yet refreshing kokum beverage included, as well as a blazing sweet and sour golden raisin and currant chutney. Will some quibble that my offerings are not exactly what they are used to or follow strict methods of pairings and preparation? Undoubtedly. But people feel security in the grub they grew up with. That's as it should be.

I'm not a late-born hippie, nor yoga practitioner, nor hipster. I am just a cook who follows the beat of her own drummer. May you feel the tattoo of spices in your own kitchen, too.

Rava Uttapam


  1. It is a wonderful guest post! Those rava uttapam look scrumptious.

    Merry Christmas, Susan!



  2. That DOES look really good. Yum! *licks lips*

  3. Scrumptious Uttappmas!! Lovely guest post and photos.... Happy New Year Susan

  4. Your simply the best blow me away!!

  5. Thanks so much, everyone.

    Kamakshi - And Indian blows me away.

  6. This is one of the best things with blogging. We get to try new cuisines the way they are cooked in home kitchens, with careful guidance from real people. The amount of things we can learn this way is incredible.