Vietnamese bitter melon soup

kho qua

I didn’t have any luck recovering the notebook that I had left behind at the grocery a couple of weeks ago. I called them twice last week to see if anyone was kind enough to turn it in, but after checking the objets perdus (lost and found), nothing turned up. Both gals whom I spoke to said someone probably took it or trashed it and since a week has passed since I lost it, they said that it isn’t likely that it will turn up. Ugh, I knew the chances were slim, but my heart sank after calling them. Nearly a decade of home recipes gone, the most precious ones being those from my grandma and mother.

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Vietnamese bitter melon soup

vendredi vietnamien ~ soupe à l’aubergine éclatée

aubergine
It’s been a good minute since I’ve shared any Vietnamese recipes, and my rather nascent weekly series has been badly neglected lately. I do, however, have a recipe that I’ve been dying to share with you for months. Being a soup with dark-colored spices and veggies though, I had trouble capturing a decent photograph of the dish hence, no post. Thanks to these long summer days (which are already getting shorter by about 3 minutes everyday), it was still light out when we were getting ready to eat dinner the other day. I seized the opportunity and quickly snapped a couple of shots before inhaling the dish!

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vendredi vietnamien ~ soupe à l’aubergine éclatée

vendredi vietnamien ~ soupe à la mousse de crabes

red perilla

Just as quickly as the sun breezed through, bathing us with its warm rays and cheer, it appears as though it will be abandoning Paris soon, along with the mass exodus of Frenchies heading to anywhere but here for their month-long respite. July was filled with nothing but chatter about where everyone is going to vacation and when their long awaited departure would be. When asked when I would be taking off, everyone balked when I said that we’re not planning on taking our vacation until la rentrée, which is when everyone has returned to work and students start school again. The idea of not going away during the summer months is a completely foreign idea to the French. Frankly, I’ve never witnessed such a phenomenon back home in the states where everyone takes off for at least three weeks sans blackberries and laptops. Although I’m a big fan of lengthy vacations and I’ve easily adopted this cultural practice, I prefer to travel when it’s not so hot and the airports and train stations aren’t teeming with people.

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vendredi vietnamien ~ soupe à la mousse de crabes

part i: south indian spinach and lentil soup

Masoor Lentils

Padma Lakshmi came to Austin a couple of years ago to promote her cookbook, Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet at the Texas Book Festival, and I was lucky enough to snag a seat under the tent where she was doing demonstrations of recipes from her book. I was sold after I took a bite of her macaroni and cheese! Immediately after the demonstration, I grabbed a copy of her book and stood in line to meet her. I’ve prepared a few dishes from the book and I’ve been pleased with the results. But, for the last several months, the book has just been sitting on my bookshelf collecting dust.

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part i: south indian spinach and lentil soup