Getting my knife skills back

Chop. Chop. Chop.

I’ve been cooking here and there for years, but lately I’ve been trying to make more of an effort. Part of it is cause my brother is home, and he likes to get involved in projects. Part of it is my trying to get into a new routine.

Last week we made tomato sauce from scratch. Yesterday I made a vegetarian curry, with chickpeas, cauliflower and potatoes. It’s a dinner time staple at our home. Tonight I made a summer favourite. Due to the heat, I had no interest in cooking, so I made amba salad. (Sidenote: I did however, teach my brother how to cook white rice from scratch.) Amba is pickled mango from Punjab, and is sold in oil or vinegar, and is eaten like a condiment. It’s not sweet at all, but it retains its hairy texture in a sour and spicy sauce. Maybe hairy is the wrong word, but it retains that absolutely delicious mango texture.

When I was on my own, studying abroad, I suddenly had these crazy cravings for this food. I used to hate it as a kid, but went through 1L in about four months. That’s nuts by the way, I mean, imagine eating 1L of ketchup or mustard that quickly! I used to make myself this salad to stave off homesickness and scurvy.

Here is how to make the best summer salad:

Ingredients:
2-3 tomatoes
1/2 English cucumber or 1 smaller type
1 green pepper
Amba
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional ingredients:
Green onion
Sweet (vidalia) onion
Parsley
Lime juice

Method:
Dice veggies: tomatoes, cucumber, pepper onion, etc. and put it in a bowl. Scarf this spicy and refreshing concoction down. If you put onions, don’t kiss anyone. This is what mine looked like:
Tomatoes, green pepper, parsley, vidalia onion and some salt n pepper. I ran out of cucumbers earlier today making something else. The yellow is the amba.

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