Indian Spiced Buttermilk with Peas and Spinach

I know, the title of this recipe makes it sound disgusting. Frankly, my pictures don’t look so hot either. Spiced buttermilk? That thought you’re thinking right now – that was also my first thought when reading the recipe in Madhur Jaffrey’s World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking. But then my second and third thoughts went something like this – a) it’s Madhur Jaffrey, so it probably is good despite the nasty title, and b) who the heck cares if it sounds nasty? I’m going to make it anyway. So I did. And guess what? It’s pretty great.


Now, after adding a cup of buttermilk to an acidic pot of tomatoes and spices, as you might expect, it curdled just a bit. But don’t be terrified! Think of it as cottage cheese. Still good. Also, when I looked up other spiced buttermilk recipes, the internet seems to be pointing me to a chilled drink. Ms. Jaffrey says to serve this soup-like concoction at room temperature over rice; therefore, I assume it is different than the spiced buttermilk that the rest of the internet is drinking.



Indian Spiced Buttermilk with Peas and Spinach

adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 jalapeno (or other hot, green chile), seeds and ribs removed, cut into thin slices
1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tomato, peeled and seeded, chopped
1 cup buttermilk
1 large handful fresh spinach
1/2 cup frozen peas
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a small pot and sauté the garlic and jalapeno. After about a minute, add the cumin seeds, turmeric, and tomato. Stir around for about 30 seconds. Add a sprinkle of salt and then stir in 3/4 cup of water. Bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the peas and spinach. Cook for 2 minutes, until peas are thawed. Add the buttermilk and pepper, plus any extra salt seasoning you may need. Serve with brown rice at room temperature.

Garlicky, Spicy Pepper Oil

Jeez, has it been that long since I last posted? I cannot believe how busy I’ve been.


It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Once I turned in my last 20-page paper, I was supposed to spend the day on the couch – watching movies, drinking wine, reading, and maybe even eating some ice cream. Instead, I went to work. And working is what I’ve been doing.

So that’s why I have not yet finished a bottle of wine this week. That’s why I have not read a good book (though I’m slowly working my way through Getting Out: Your Guide to Leaving America). I have managed to do a bit of cooking, though, which is at least a little satisfying. I’ve been using this oil on pasta, a drizzle on salads… it’d be great on popcorn. Get creative with it.


Garlicky, Spicy Pepper Oil

3 cups extra virgin olive oil
5-6 (or more) dried chiles – I had some dried chiles that my brother- and sister-in-law brought back from Italy, but any spicy, dried chile will work. Admittedly, I used the whole bag rather than just 5-6, but my oil is
really spicy
5-6 cloves garlic

Pre-heat your oven to 325. Roughly cut the garlic into big chunks. Dry toast the peppers in an oven-proof pan for a minute or two, then add a tablespoon of oil and add the garlic. Stir around for just a minute, then take off the heat, add the rest of the oil, and pop the whole pan in the oven. Roast for 40 minutes. When it’s done, pull it out and let it cool at room temperature before you pour it into a container. You can move it to the fridge or just pour it directly into your pouring vessel of choice.