Much before the quake, I met Bria. She works with me at The Mountaineers. And I can tell you one thing, Anne of Green Gables knew what she was talking about. Bria is, "A bosom friend–an intimate friend, you know–a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul."
She came to Seattle from Minnesota where she had worked as a teacher. But before that, she worked in Nepal and grew so close to that community she calls many folks she met during that journey her family.
The day I went to learn how to make Challah Bread, Bria came with me to help me shoot. Later that day, she surprised me and cooked us dinner. We made mushroom curry. Now two things about me, I don't like mushrooms and I don't like potatoes. Bria being a vegetarian, she could only leave out one of those two items. So thank god it was potatoes!
Just kidding..... I had to put my brave toes on for this food adventure. And bravely I did!
She took me into her retro Ballard kitchen, which has the BEST light, and I was transported to a whole new world. Grabbing a huge cookbook, which I refer to as the Nepali Food Bible, thumbing through the dogeared pages, and smelling all her ingredients, Bria began to cook me the BEST mushroom potato dish I've ever had.
From Bria's kitchen to yours, let's travel to Nepal.
Mushroom Curry(Chyau ko Tarkaari)
- 1LB fresh oyster mushrooms
- 2 tbls mustard oil (good luck finding this in seattle, i just used peanut oil with fresh ground mustard seeds)
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek
- 1 onion chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 green chili, halved (seeded for seattlites)
- 3 large cloves garlic
- 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric (use additional fresh minced)
- small pinch asafetida
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
Radish Pickle(Koreko Seto Mula Achaar)
- 1.5 LBs white radish. cut however you lie. julliened. grated. thinly sliced. Go crazy.
- 1 tsp salt
- 3-4 tbls fresh lemon/lime juice
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 2 tbls mustard oil (someone find mustard oil!!!!!!!!)
- 1 dried red chili, seeded
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric (fresh or otherwise)
- pinch chopped garlic greens
- 2-3 bunches dark leafy greens. mustard greens. radish greens. spinach. throw em all in there.
- 3 tbls MUSTARD OIL
- 1/4 tsp ajowan seeds
- 2 red dried chili,halved and seeded
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1.5 tsp minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 tsp salt
*Side notes on cooking Nepali food*Don't be too particular. Really. It's going to taste great, just use your best judgement. The mustard oil is a key component to the flavor profile, perhaps not across the board but certainly in anything you're pickling. I've looked high and low. Someone the other day at the grocery thought I was making it up -- they didn't even believe mustard oil existed. That's how hard it has been to find it here. But I'm not crazy. It's real.
<3 Karen and Bria
P.S. Don't jump on a plane to Nepal. They will be okay, eventually. What will really help is your thoughts, prayers, and money (if you have any at all to spare). Read this article to learn more.
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