Thai Eggplant with Tofu

My two and half year old son loves this dish. The key ingredient is soy bean paste – Healthy Boy Brand. The recipe I use is modified from Keo Sananikone’s book on Thai Cuisine. Keo owned five restaurants, three of which were in Honolulu at one time, I don’t know if that’s still true.  My favorite dish of his is “Evil Jungle Prince with Chicken.”

Ingredients:

1 pound, sliced (Eggplant, any kind really, but the small ones work well).
1 pound tofu (the hardest that you can get)
Approximately 6 tablespoons olive oil.
8 cloves garlic, chopped
6-8 red dried chillies, whole
4 table spoons yellow bean sauce (Healthy Boy Brand is the best!)

In the largest pan you can find, Cut the tofu is small 1/2 each cubes and with a thin lay of oil (about 1 tablespoon) saute; basically you are browning them and removing a lot of the water in the process. When done, remove and set aside.

Add the remaining oil in to the pan, using a medium flame, saute the chillies (whole) and garlic.

As the garlic turns brown, add the eggplant pieces, and follow that with the browned tofu. Mix well for a few minutes. Make sure that you don’t break the chillies. They should remain whole throughout the cooking of this dish.

Add the three tablespoons of Thai yellow bean sauce. (This ingredient is key – and it isn’t easy to get, at least not in the bay area).

Mix for about 5-10 minutes on medium heat.
Close the pan for two minutes and heat for 2 minutes.

Open and mix well. Serve with rice. Enjoy!

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Faria

Fourteenth day of the month of September in the fourteenth year of the twenty first century, Santa Clara, California, United States of America

When my wife settled from the effects of  (well as far as a mother was about to give birth can) her epidural, I was encouraged by the nurse’s comments that this birth was going to be quick and, well, relatively speaking, easier than the birth of our first-born. The nurse thought the our girl would arrive before the day is done. I too hoped that it was true. I wanted my daughter to see the light of day, a simple wish for an event that borders on the miraculous. After a short labor, Faria arrived, first – her hair, and how much hair it was! And then all of her and as I held her, I shivered. I held her tight, using every muscle in my body to gather her–because when babies are but a few minutes old, they seem to have the viscosity of water, with but a thin membrane to contain them.  I turned towards the window, and opened the venetian blinds a bit; the waning sun crept in and on to her face. I stood there and watched the sun on her face dissipate slowly — and in turn, my face began to glow.

Faria arrived at just after half past seven in the evening.
The sun that day, set forty one minutes past the same hour.

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Faria, about three months old.

 

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Joys of a new life – birth

(a blog post a year overdue)

He arrived very early on the seventh morning of the twelfth month of the twelfth year of the twenty first century. Well, I should say we did not know if he was going to be a he or she was going to be a she. The nurse gave me this bundle, and pronounced – here is your baby, a son! Probably the most unexpected even though we knew there was a fifty-fifty chance that our baby would be a boy.  We were more than prepared for a girl, with a thousand names chosen and dresses we would like to buy–and yet here he was, all gooey and pink with his eyes barely open, in shock of his own arrival. I laid his bare body against my chest, watched his scanty haired head with the happiest of eyes, caring not that I could not see his face. He was my son, a child a waited for, for what seemed like a fourth of a century.

Only days before Saira and I had agreed on a name on the off-chance that our baby would be a boy. We were looking for a simple name, of two syllables, one that he would not have to defend in this land of many cultures, and not get teased because it didn’t sound mainstream. Yet, we wanted the name to have meaning and honor and something he would want to live up to, or rather his parents would wish he could and perhaps he would. Back when I was merely ten or eleven, I had a cousin, a child belonging to my father’s youngest sister. She was perhaps seven or eight and had the sweetest, kindest heart in all the land. An illness had befallen her, and it proved fatal. I can see her in my mind’s eye to this very day, with crutches not far from the bed she would sit on, propped up with pillows and a spirit I have not seen since. Her name was Naseema.  I told Saira this story — and we immediately agreed, if we had a boy, we would name him Nasim. The spelling would be unusual (usually spelled Naseem) and he would be Naseema’s namesake.

Image

Kaash, standing vigil over Nasim. Nasim is two months old in this picture.

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Saturday

Making shelves
Listening to Rafi
Kids content in the sun
Sipping Darjeeling tea
occasionally.

The sweltering heat in the garage
forgotten, nay, absent.
Content is the heart
Come often, my dear
Saturday!

Copyright G. Salim Mohammed 2012

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The Folly of My Being

This morn awoke
to pixels that cried
news afar of merciful
light.

The folly of my being
the error of my ways
a grimace of pain
devoid of grin.

The day moved thus
distant and wandering
lingering dread
creeping right in.

A weight so heavy
fog set in
up to the levee
threatening within.

First rain of autumn
drenched and chill
fabric sticking such
second skin.

Sauntering thoughts
finding escape
none too blithe
meandering undrape.

The evening grey
merged with mine
misplaced epiphany
forlorn resign.

The folly of my being
the error of my ways
a grimace of pain
devoid of grin.

Seek I a shimmer
a semblance of sanguine
a hair’s breadth of hope
a scintilla so fine.

Copyright G. Salim Mohammed

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Respite from Chaos

[To my fellow creatures on earth – our common home, Eid Greetings]

Crescent to crescent
Sunrise to sunset
hour begets hour
a munificence of faith

Many seeking solace
with borders closing in
waters rushing fantastic
searching peace from the din.

threats of fire
a book of certitude
a place of prayer
mired in dispute

Within this chaos
heart wrenching woes
seeds of hope
a kernel of light

in each of us, the
left ventricle of hearts
taking all amiss
speaking worthy sparks

igniting passion of sanity
moderate voice, calming poise
reaching higher humanity
searching life in repose.

thus single insane
is abomination galore
have in us billion spirits
we can more than endure

like a mother
new clothes forgone
she saved pennies so
daughter’s bangles shone

let not the shambles
of a global chagrin
rob us this sweet day
while praying within

Celebrate this day
midst all humanity
nurture your heart,
cajole the soul

Break not her bangles
or your resolve
Eid Greetings my all
especially my foes.

1 Shawwal 1431/10 September 2010

Copyright G. Salim Mohammed

[Some lovely images that, coincidentally, from the Boston Globe provide a backdrop to Ramazan are here.]

Posted in Faith, Our Planet, poems, Poetry | 2 Comments

Raisa

She’s a sweet thing
Gorgeous hair, the loveliest of eyes
Uncomplicated heart, unassuming part
expressive a face, finest art

If you offer her your hand
she’ll give you a hug
offer her your attention
and she’ll give you devotion

She waits for me
every single day
delight returns to me
every single way

She’s mostly silent
speaks none such
talks only with touch
she can’t enough

I can rest my breath
whisper none
yet we grow closer
every single sun.

My princess of pearls
with a lovely twirl
a tail so bushy
such a pretty girl.

Copyright, G. Salim Mohammed, 2010.

Posted in Cats and Dogs, Love, poems, Poetry | 1 Comment