Friday, September 23, 2011

A new Rachel at New Roots!





Hello from the newest member of the team! I'm Rachel Friesen, and I'm just beginning a year-long term with Mennonite Voluntary Service here at New Roots for Refugees.

(Already there is much confusion at the office and the farm due to having two Rachels around, so I am encouraging people to call me by my nickname "Scratch".)

In addition to odds and ends around the office, I will be primarily involved with the development of the new community gardens this year. At the moment, however, my main project is putting together a cookbook of recipes from our farmers. Some of these recipes have already been featured on the blog, but several are new! In the last couple weeks I have gotten the chance to cook with Mari Mi and Maku Gurung, and both of these women cooked me DELICIOUS food from their fresh veggies. Mary Mi made a spicy Karenni-style soup with pumpkin and bamboo shoots (it made me sweat a little, but was so good!), and Maku cooked me 4 different variations of vegetable curry. Here is her recipe:


Maku's Nepali Curry

Basic ingredients:
Vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 small sweet red pepper, chopped (seeds removed)
1 teaspoon turmeric
salt to taste
2 cloves garlic
1-2 teaspoons cumin seed
1-2” section of ginger
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 or
more types fresh vegetables of choice--here are a list of the veggies in Maku's 4 variations:



  • 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped thinly

  • 1/2 lauka gourd, sliced thinly and quartered

  • 5-6 Thai or Asian eggplant, stems removed, chopped

  • 2 bitter melons, thinly sliced

  • 1-2 Asian cucumbers or "luffa gourds," cut into 2” pieces and then chopped lengthwise

  • 1 small blue pumpkin, thinly sliced

  • 1 handful shell beans, chopped (Maku used cranberry beans)

Preheat oil in pan on stove, then stir in chopped vegetables (except tomato). Add turmeric and salt, stirring in water as needed to prevent sticking. Crush garlic, ginger and cumin seed in a mortar and pestle or food processor, then stir into pan. When vegetables are tender, add the chopped tomato and sauté a few more minutes. Serve alone or with rice. Yum!

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