Yesterday I said goodbye to our condo. I shed a
couple (more than a couple, but who’s counting?) tears for the condo my husband and I have built memories in since we were married almost six years ago. It was the house my Mr. Wonderful and I had our first married decisions in, the first place we prayed about together as a couple, the first place we discovered that our taste in decorating wasn’t that different after all, the first time I realized I loved DIY projects, the first place we garbage-picked furniture when our neighbors and family upgraded their furniture, and most importantly, the first place we built our own unique memories in.
We were really fortunate to live there. It was quite a special community! And really a surprising little haven away in Los Angeles. We had a mini farm with cows next door! We fed them carrots when we went for walks. There were only 4 units on each side of the building, so we all knew each other well, made christmas cookies for each other, traded dinners, babysat, house sat, and all sorts of favors you usually only ask your family members to do. I’m really going to miss my neighbors…they truly were family, not just friends. They made our tiny 900 square feet feel like a home. In fact, I used to run up to my neighbor’s house still in my pjs and barefoot. It always felt like an extension of our house to go anywhere in our complex. It was a slice of heaven.
But now we are on to new adventures! We moved into a little 1950s bungalow north of Los Angeles that is 10 minutes from the beach (woohoo!) and adding 500 square feet to our house plus a backyard. Once we get completely moved in, I will probably start blogging about my decorating journey in each room on the main Vanilla Plum Media site. What do you think?
The Tools You Need for Mulligatawny Healing Soup
Last week we talked about the perfect soup for the cold and flu season, which holds the title of best soup evaaa! in our house.
This soup doesn’t require any special tools. Just a stockpot and possibly a crockpot to transfer it into (after the ingredients are browned) if you want to make it in the morning instead of at night. If you have a crockpot that you can put on the stovetop, even better and lucky you!
I’m going to make this recipe vegan, but I did grow up with this soup traditionally being made with chicken, so if you want to make it with chicken instead of vegan-style (my husband prefers it with chicken instead of legumes), I will include those recipe adjustments. When made with chicken, I usually use scissors to chop the chicken…so have those around if you are making it with chicken. I do scissors instead of a knife because I don’t like putting chicken on a cutting board. Personal preference.
Until I watched The Mind of a Chef on Netflix, I never knew that “curry” was not something that was bottled up together. If you’re interested, it’s the last episode in Season 2. Most East India curries are mixed per dish and in the pot, not something you keep in the cabinet pre-mixed. In fact, it is a completely Western notion to make a mix. So why use a mix if it isn’t true to the origin? To put it simply: It’s easier. Mixes are just plain easier to work with. If you want to make it yourself, I like this recipe, just don’t add the star anise for this particular time.
I like buying my curry at my local Indian grocer because I like a LOT of curry in my soup and I can buy in bulk…hopefully you like a lot too or you won’t like this soup. lol. For me, the whole point of this soup is a well-rounded, plentiful ingredient curry, with lots of medicinal benefits. If you don’t have an Indian grocer, you can buy the Koshy’s brand here. Or, you can check your local store (or mix yourself) and try to have as many of these ingredients as you can:
*optional to consider: curry leaves or find a garam masala/curry blend with the curry leaves already added
Turmeric is one of those spices that we don’t use very often in American cooking unless we do it on purpose. And we really should eat it on purpose. There has been a lot of study as to why there really isn’t any Alzheimer’s in India and whether or not it is from the copious amounts of curry they consume. Turmeric is almost always the main ingredient in curry. Turmeric is nature’s most natural aspirin, most likely because of the curcumin, which is a potent anti-inflammatory. In fact, turmeric still seems to be one of those miracle mysteries that we are just scratching the surface on. We’re even researching the effects for shrinking tumors and using it as a preventative measure and cancer treatment. Talk about wow!
So how can you use turmeric more? Turmeric is a heavy yellow dye, so you can use it to color your rice, dying your easter eggs naturally, raw lemon bars with chia seeds food coloring, yellow frosting, juice it in your smoothies or migraine shot (which me and my friends swear by), add it to your juice or Kombucha, and much more. Or, you can do what I do and make this mulligatawny soup with frequency! Usually I make this soup in the fall/winter/spring and add it to my smoothies and juices in the summer.
Another ingredient that is great to incorporate–especially if you are female. Cumin has lots of iron! It’s also great for your liver and acts like a shield against cancer-causing free radicals.
Anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, helps with muscle spasms, lowers blood sugar levels, helps with indigestion, improves brain function, combats bladder infections, and so on. Western cultures are still studying this one as well, but I think there is still conclusive evidence that it’s great protection for your body. There is no excuse not to be incorporating this yummy spice in your diet! I love using cinnamon as a sweetener in my coffee. I like honey lattes with cinnamon….mmmm…now I want more coffee.
I prepare this like a Northern India dish since I make it a water/broth based dish. That means you will be using the soup broth recipe that goes with everything from last month.
Alright all, time for me to go back to packing/unpacking/cleaning/etc., but take a look online for the other ingredients if you want further proof that curry is pure M-A-G-I-C. Talk to you next week with my official shopping list for this soup! Also, I’ll be at Vanity Fair’s Social Club for the Oscars next week. Can’t wait to share!
In the meantime, tell me:
- What tips do you have for me when I’m unpacking?
- How do you use turmeric, cumin and cinnamon in your every day life?
- Is it still soup season where you are?