Thursday, 16 August 2012

Knitting in the Round

My sister-in-law had bought a large (1kg) ball of wall and a pattern that came with it, to knit something for one of my nieces. Whether it was that she didn't really like the pattern (she did suggest I could try something else if I wanted), or that it was tricky to knit with, she passed it on to me - and now it's ready to head back down to her again. I put the wool brand into the search in Ravelry, and a Pinwheel Sweater was one of the hits.
I had to use different needles to get the right tension, but I really enjoyed knitting this. It was a bit bulky for carrying to work, but I got it done; and one of the best things is that there was no sewing up to do - just darning in the ends. The picot edging took a while, but I think that if I wants to add a couple of big buttons, the loops in the picot will serve as button loops. Essentially it's just a circle with sleeves set into it and knit down from the top, and the smaller part becomes a loose shawl-type collar. The front is more like an extended bolero - it's longer and swings loose at the back. I really like how it turned out! The pattern says that for a baby it can be worn the other way, with the longer part as a hood. It certainly did remind me of my favourite ever coat that I bought in Paris, which had a sort of cape edged with fur which could be left at the back as a cape over the coat, used as a hood, or draped across the front like a loose shawl. I wore it till the wool was getting bare!

Gujarati Style Aubergine  (Eggplant) and Potato (serves 4)

5 tblsp oil
large pinch asafoetida (but then do NOT reheat this in the microwave!!)
1/2 tsp each mustard and fenugreek seeds
2 cloves garlic, crushed,
1/2" ginger root peeled and grated
1 small onion, finely chopped
8 oz potato, peeled and diced
1 tblsp desiccated coconut
8 oz aubergine/eggplant diced the same size as the potato (about 1")
1 tsp each ground coriander/cilantro and ground roasted cumin seeds
1/2 tsp each garam masala, ground red chilli / cayenne, turmeric
8 oz chopped tomatoes (fresh or tinned)
1 tblsp each sugar and lemon juice.

Heat the oil, fry the asafoetida with the mustard and fenugreek seeds till the mustard starts popping. Add the garlic, ginger and onion and fry till lightly browned.
Add the potato and fry till golden brown.
Add the coconut and aubergine and fry for one minute.
Stir in all the dry spices, then the tomatoes. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for twenty minutes till the vegetables are tender. I think I may have added a little water at this stage - the recipe says to add water if it gets too thick.
Add the sugar and lemon juice, then increase the heat till the liquid has reduced.
Sprinkle with garam masala and chopped fresh coriander/cilantro and green chilli to serve.

As I said, I made this purely because I had already set aubergines ready before work on the day our guests had to cancel, and since we'd just had a large dish of ratatouille and C is not over-fond of aubergines, I thought I'd try something other than the pasta dish with grilled vegetables that I had been going to do. This was more work than I would have chosen in a busy week, but he liked it and it's certainly something I'll be making again. The sweetness of the coconut went remarkably well with the aubergine.

I need to do some more research into what makes Gujarati food so typical. Is it the asafoetida? I know that the two other dishes I use it in both say they are Gujarati. I just wish that the smell was a bit less lingering!


  1. wow I love that jacket, it's gorgeous. I have a pattern for a jumper knitted in the round but I've never tried it, I wondered about the weight of it as you went along, but it does seem to be a fast way to create a garment.
    My Madhur Jaffrey book doesn't say anything about Gujurati food, I used to cook a lot of Indian food but haven't done any for ages. Is there a good Indian supermarket that you use?

  2. Your knitting skills are awesome. The pinwheel sweater is indeed gorgeous. Your niece is going to love it. I love the gray variations. Your recipe sounds very interesting. You must have a great selection of herbs and spices in your pantry.

  3. Beautiful, if I had seen only the first photo I would have no idea of how to hear it. I'd probably would have to cut a hole in the middle for the head :-)
    Never seen nor tried asafoetida, fetida is stinky in Portuguese so it doesn't sound very appetising but I assume it smells much better when cooked.