To all those celebrating, Happy Diwali!
While Rob remains away (he came and left again), I was whisked away by friends into a wonderfully chaotic Diwali celebration over the weekend. A huge crowd came to the Houston BAPS in Sugarland to enjoy the music, light and firework display for the Indian festival of lights. A place named Sugarland, a suburb of Houston, seems like a fitting place for a Diwali celebration which includes a lot of dancing, fun, and food including Indian sweets.
While I don’t know the difference between a laddoo, burfi, and mysore pak, I can tell you all about how make dhokla, a steamed chickpea flour bread, and baked (not fried!) pakoras. Obviously, I am all over the savoury Indian meals. While I adore Indian curries, I like mixing Indian spices with other dishes as well.
Enter this simple bok choy skillet with soy knots. I got the idea from Iyer’s newest cookbook, Indian Cooking Unfolded. Iyer, the author of one of our favourite Indian cookbooks 660 Curries, has written a new cookbook that is, in essence, a cooking class in book form. Based on his own cooking curriculum, he takes you through different cooking techniques in each chapter, highlighting ingredients, methods and tips for each recipe. What it lacks in number of recipes, he makes up for it in sharing his cooking knowledge.
So, I took his idea for a quick-and-easy ginger raisin bok choy side dish and turned it into a heartier ginger date bok choy skillet with soy knots. I swapped dates for the raisins and added in these interesting soy knots. To be honest, I prefer the texture of the yuba skins (aka tofu intestines) as they were very dense. The recipe, though, is a keeper. A colourful keeper perfect for any celebration. A bit more spicy than I am used to (darn, green chiles in the tomatoes) but it mellowed as leftovers and worked well with the sweetness of the dates.
If you celebrated Diwali, how did you enjoy it?
1.5 tsp coconut oil
2 tbsp finely chopped ginger (I may use less next time)
1/4 cup chopped pitted dates
8 oz yuba/bean curd knots (you can buy them as knots or tie them into knots yourself)
1 lb baby bok choy, trimmed and chopped (thinly sliced stems and coarsely chopped leaves)
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
14 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained (I used one with green chiles in it, so this was more spicy than I wanted)
1. In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Once hot, add ginger and dates. Cook until fragrant and light brown, and the dates begin to caramelize, around 2 minutes.
3. Stir in the knots and coat with the flavourings. Stir in baby bok choy, adding them in batches, so that they fit int eh pan. Sprinkle with curry powder and salt. Stir to combine.
3. Increase the heat to high and cook the boy choy, uncovered, until the stems are tender-crisp, around 3-5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until warmed through, around 1-2 minutes more. Serve warm.