With the Vaisakhi around the corner, Michelle was inspired to prepare an Indian theme lunch at the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.
Here is an excerpt which Michelle shared in the kitchen about Vaisakhi.
For many thousands of years, Vaisakhi has been the time when farmers have put their sickles to harvest and celebrated the coming of a new year. Since 1699, the Sikhs have had a further reason to celebrate at this time of the year. Now Vaisakhi is celebrated with even more energy, pomp and fanfare. It has become a holy day to mark the birth of the Khalsa fraternity. And so 300+ years on, this tradition continues with much gaeity, vigour and enthusiasm, Sikhs worldwide will spend much time remembering this most important day in their religious calendar – the day the Khalsa was created.
If we take ourselves back to 1699 and the birth place of the Khalsa perhaps the real significance of Vaisakhi for the Sikh people can be comprehended. During the period around 1650, the country around Punjab was in turmoil; the rulers were corrupt; there was no rule of law; the rights of the common people were non-existent; justice did not prevail. The strong imposed their will and their way without question; the weak suffered constantly and quietly; there was misery everywhere. It was under these circumstances that Guru Cobind Singh rose to the occasion and chose to create the Khalsa. The Guru was looking for people within the community who would take on the challenge and rise above the weakness; to be strong and fearless; to be prepared to face these challenges without reservation and to uphold justice; to be fair and even handed at all times; to be prepared to die for the truth.
This Vaisakhi inspired dish is from Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine by Vikram Vij & Meeru Dhalwala. Although this Beet and Daikon Salsa calls for finely dicing the beets and daikon, you could grate or process the veggies to speed thins up.
- 2 to 3 beets, peeled and finely diced (or grated)
- 4 oz daikon, peeled and finely diced (or grated)
- 1 large, firm tomato, finely diced
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper and salt
- juice from 1/2 to 1 lemon, or to taste
Source: Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine by Vikram Vij & Meeru Dhalwala
Instead of just plain chopped tomato, you can serve the Spiced Lentil Tacos with Fresh Salsa.
The jalapeno adds a kick to the Fresh Salsa. You can also serve fresh salsa with tortilla chips or as a condiment for grilled steak or shrimp.
- 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 small white onion, diced small (2/3 cup)
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- coarse salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
Source: Everyday Food, June 2010
- In a medium bowl, stir together tomatoes, white onion, jalapeno, garlic and fresh lime juice.
- Season with coarse salt and pepper and stir to combine. Let sit at least 15 minutes (or, covered, up to 4 hours).
- Stir in cilantro leaves just before serving.
The South Arm Seniors Kitchen served the Beef Burgers and Quinoa Burgers with Roasted Cherry Tomato Salsa.
This Roasted Cherry Tomato Salsa is great with any burgers.
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste