I love to visit ethnic markets. Whether Mexican, Indian, Asian, or Middle Eastern, Atlanta is home to some of the coolest markets filled with exotic produce, spices, and cooking equipment. Every time I visit I find myself with a basket filled with things that I have no idea what to do with! Thank God for the internet.
This weekend, I visited a wonderful Indian market near my house. I’d seen it several times, but hadn’t had time to go in until today. Fortunately, I had my toddler with me! What a fun way to teach him about interesting new foods, flavors, smells, and culture. As we wandered through the store, he came upon a bin that was sitting on an upside down bucket and filled with water — and what looked like tiny floating watermelons. Naturally, he did what made the most sense and stuck his little hands right into the vegetables – and began bobbing for them.
Having no idea what he was playing with, I asked a couple of other patrons nearby what they were – “Parval,” one said, “you cook it like a vegetable.” Great, I know how to cook vegetables. I gathered up about a dozen of these little orbs and set out for the check out.
A quick internet search and I new just what to do. I made a version of this really wonderful dish – Dry Aloo Parval Sabzi. Of course, I can never really follow a recipe – they’re just for inspiration, after all. I followed the recipe except for this: reduced the oil to 2 Tablespoons, replaced potatoes with carrots, added one chopped yellow squash, and added 1/2 cup coconut milk at the very end to create a bit more sauce.
It was delicious served over this recipe of Indian-spiced rice with lentils. And okra tossed with olive oil, salt, and a bit of hot curry powder, then roasted at 375 for 20 minutes. Plus a bit of fresh fruit.
Do you love ethnic markets too? Take your kids? Tell me about it!