There are three types of watermelons in the market right now, named after the three big cell phone companies: Grameen, BanglaLion, and Citycell. Banglalion is the one that’s striped. Grameen is light green, and Citycell is dark bluish green. We have also been told that you need to ask for “balu balu“, one that is grainy rather than mushy. Happy watermelon eating, folks!
Strawberries were in season for a lot longer this year. They got as cheap as apples. With hot season arriving, we don’t crave tea any more but smoothies hit the spot! Jacob has also been making bael juice. Bael is called wood apple in English, and มะตูม in Thai. The fruit is round and has a very hard shell; and inside is yellow pulp. Jacob took the pulp out and added water then put it through a sieve to take out the fiber. Locals add palm sugar, but some bael juice is so sweet that it does not need any sweetener. I wonder how bael juice would be if it was made smooth in a blender and then cooled.
Strawberries have only been grown here for a few years — maybe four years? And I tell you, they taste like strawberries should taste! Two weeks ago we noticed that the mulberry trees at the silk research center were full of green berries, and today in the markets the berries are for sale. I don’t know what locals do with the mulberries (except eat them as is!) but my husband’s Sabbath to do list is: mulberry pie, saft, and silt. Yum.
Some of the most fun times happen and there are no pictures to show for it. A friend of mine invited me to make pitha (Bengali cakes) with her and some of our friends. You think it’s hard to find time for girlfriends to get together in the West — here it’s almost impossible unless your friends are your neighbors or you work or study together. So the sheer fact that 6 of us were together was staggering. All of us worked together in the tiny kitchen. The grated coconut and grated palm sugar was fried together until the liquid was dry. Dough was made with rice flour, wheat flour, and hot water. Then two of us (not me!) rolled out perfect thin circles. I stuffed the coconut mixture and Elias and Maia helped me crimp the edges. Then the half moons were fried. Very tasty. Very fun. No wonder we had such a good turn out for a pitha party.
We found a place that makes good fresh yogurt. The way I like to eat is over fried eggplant for lunch.
2 c yogurt
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t salt
1 t fresh smashed garlic
fresh ground black pepper
I stir it all up and leave it for a hour if I have time. It’s great with our dal bhat (rice and lentils).
Jacob makes great baba ganoush. It’s hard for me to write a recipe because he is very creative each time! The main ingredients are roasted eggplant (peeled), roasted garlic, lemon, salt, tahini, and yogurt. He blends it all up in a food processor. Delicious on any sort of flat bread or with vegetables as a dip.