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.

Summer Market Pasta

One of the best stands at our farmer’s market is one that I don’t visit that often. The veggie stands – yes, all the time – I buy most of my loot at the veggie stands. But the mushroom stand? I only buy mushrooms every once in a while for some reason. And the mushrooms are awesome. They have a “variety pack” for $10 that contains a whole brown paper bag full of cremini, shitake, and chantarelle mushrooms.

Picnik collage

They’re beautiful, aren’t they? That same trip I picked up some fresh English shelling peas. The combination was made for a pasta. At least, in my kitchen, the combination seems meant for a pasta.


Also in this pasta… a grass-fed, organic spicy lamb sausage from Mint Creek Farms in Stelle, Illinois. I know – aren’t you surprised? Sooner or later, my meat-eating ways will stop surprising you.


Summer Market Pasta

whole wheat linguini – cook according to package directions
large bunch of various mushrooms
fresh English shell peas – about a pound – shelled
2 links of spicy lamb sausage (or any chorizo or Italian sausage would work well)
big handful of spinach
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
big glug of olive oil
parmesan cheese

Start by sautéing the garlic cloves in the olive oil. I like slicing them – I prefer the big chunks. After about 2 minutes, toss in the mushrooms and white wine. Let the wine reduce to about half. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, saute the lamb sausage. When those are seared on each side, toss them in the white wine/garlic/mushroom mixture. Add the cooked pasta. At the very end, toss in the peas and spinach, then take of heat immediately. Serve with shredded parmesan.