My window towards the West gives me a spectacular view of the sunsets every evening. And almost every evening I stand by the window breathing in the wind from the West trying to captivate the view in my phone camera. And like all other times, I look into the screen and then into the sky and realize that nothing could ever capture the sigh I see with my eyes. The magnitude of the beauty of that huge crazy goblet of fire is nothing like you can ever imagine. I have never seen sunsets so perfectly round and fiery orange, dipping into the horizon of the earth so fast that I can almost feel the speed at which the earth rotates. I mean, I really have stood their and measured the time and it practically vanishes from my sight within about 5 minutes. What is left behind are clouds set on fire, looking like smoking remnants in the fireplace.
And as the sun goes down, I really want to leave behind the unpleasantness that transpired during the day, and give it all up along with the setting sun. Because I know the sun will rise again in all its glory and so will life offer me a new day……nothing is lost, nothing was lost.
As I close the window and shut the wind off I thank God in my heart for all the wonders of this world and for the life that I have. And I love doing this day after day because it reminds me that life itself is a miracle and everything about it is magnificent.
Pumpkins in Dar es salaam as as huge and round and orangey as the setting sun. Trust me, and they are sweeter that any diabetic patient, and for those reason I dont like to make a curry out of them. I miss the Indian subtly sweet pumpkins which are awesome to make a good kaddu ki subzi – pumpkin curry spiced with fennel and bitter fenugreek seeds and soured with dry mango powder and sweetened with sugar. So therefore I have started roasting the pumpkin I get here and add to salads. Honestly, I find it very difficult to keep my hands off them once they are out of the oven smelling like heaven, so only leftovers go into salads. Once I made a soup out of them, and it truly made me nostalgic about getting snug into a quilt with a great movie to watch and digging into a hot thick pumpkin soup.
Time taken – 25-30 minutes (including the roasting)
Serves – 4-5 portions
250 grams pumpkin – peeled and cubed
4-5 flakes of garlic – grated
1 tspn olive oil
sea salt as per taste
1 big onion
1/4 cup milk
2 bay leaves
1/2 tspn crushed peppercorn
1 tbspn butter (or as much as you want – I love butter)
1 multi grain bread per bowl (see I compensated the butter with multi grain bread croutons – you can use any bread)
1 tspn of rosemary
a few basil leaves
Heat the oven to 160 deg.
Mix the pumpkins, chopped onions, sea salt, garlic, rosemary and olive oil and bake for about 15 minutes till your kitchen smells warm and sweet and garlicky, but not burnt please – I have even managed that at times. Puree this once warm with about 1/4 cup of milk, and if the thought of adding milk makes you put your tongue out use water instead.
In a pan add the butter and stir in the bay leaves.
Add the puree and cook for about 4-5 minutes, adding more or less water depending upon the thickness you desire of the soup.
Finish off with crushed pepper corn and the basil leaves
Toast the bread (dont fry it, spare your heart the cholesterol please – only because they taste as good as the fried one’s, infact better!) and cut them off into croutons and serve alongside the soup.
Believe me this is a great soup for the upcoming rainy season in Dar and it will make your stay indoors worthwhile.