Sri Lankan Sweetcorn & Cauliflower Mallung

Srli lankan cauliflowwer and sweetcorn mallung

When’s a curry not a curry?

An Anglicisation of Indian dishes containing spices in a sauce, curry has evolved into a by-word for Indian food. Indian food developed in the UK by Bangladeshi cooks into the British restaurant curry, a unique cuisine at the heart of which is a very special onion “gravy”.

Our simply spiced vegetable dish has no sauce, is not based on the restaurant gravy, and is not even Indian – or cricket – or curry. Continue reading “Sri Lankan Sweetcorn & Cauliflower Mallung”

Vegan Sour Tamales – With Pumpkin-Seed, Tomatillo & Courgette Filling

fermented Sour Michoacan Tamales With Tomatillo Salsa And Pumpkin Seed

Vegan Sour Tamales – Corn At Its Best!

The usual thing with tamal dough is to chill it, something which greatly helps it pass the float-test, a sure sign that the end result will be light and fluffy. Sour tamales, on the contrary, are allowed to rest in warm place to ferment.

Nixtamalization, or lime-treatment of corn has great nutritional benefits. The alkaline lime (calcium hydroxide) breaks down the indigestible outer husk releasing essential amino acids and vitamins. Enter fermentation to fully open the door to nutrients not otherwise available. This is maize at its very best. Continue reading “Vegan Sour Tamales – With Pumpkin-Seed, Tomatillo & Courgette Filling”

Pizza Tamalera: Gluten-Free Maize Crust Pizza

maize-based-vegetarian-pizza

Polenta-based pizza is nothing new. And quite delicious, though many would argue whether it’s a pizza at all. The question seems to me academic. What is not academic is that nixtamal or lime-treated corn is not polenta! Nixtamalized corn has more protein, more vitamins – especially vit B3 (niacin), essentially unavailable in untreated corn – and of course exrtra calcium from the lime. It also has a more intense flavour – the flavour of maize. Continue reading “Pizza Tamalera: Gluten-Free Maize Crust Pizza”

Mexican Tomato Sauces: Caldillo

courgette flowers on tomato sauce

The world knows salsa ranchera. That spicy tomato-jalapeño classic turning plain old eggs into huevos rancheros. Usually eaten at breakfast I’m equally happy to start, sustain or finish my day with this light but satisfying dish.

Ubiquitous in Mexico, caldillo is conspicouly absent in Europe. We introduce it here as a topping for pizza tamalera, subject of our next post.

Caldo means broth, soup or stock. Caldillo is a tomato sauce incrporating a big pot of of your favourite broth which has been slowly added and simmered off. Caldillo is typically served with stuffed poblano chillies but is heavenly with just about any dish using tomato sauce. Continue reading “Mexican Tomato Sauces: Caldillo”

Basic Dough For Tamales

white-maize in a bowl

 

Getting tortillas right from raw ingredients took about 100 go’s. The process is labour intensive so Mexicans buy them ready-made or use masa-harina for instant results. Without the benefit of a personal tutor I had only trial-and-error to guide me. Of course I got there in the end!

Tamales are much easier. Mexican cooks make tamales, and I got that hands-on tutorial (thanks, Maria and Yolanda – you know who you are!). Continue reading “Basic Dough For Tamales”

Mexican Tamales

corn-husk and banana leaf wrapped Mexican corn tamales

The tamal is recorded at least as far back as 5000 BC. Tamales may have evolved from other nixtamal-based items, such as tortillas, out of the need for soldiers and warriors to have access to pre-perared food in the many wars between between pre-hispanic peoples.

Tamales are essentially corn dumplings, filled with meat, fish, vegetables, even insects or their eggs, wrapped in corn husks, or in more tropical regions plantain or avocado leaves, then cooked in a variety of ways. There are savoury and sweet tamales, filled and unfilled (blind), open (unwarapped) and closed, steamed, boiled, roasted, fried, even fermented tamales. the range is potentially endless Continue reading “Mexican Tamales”

Lunch: Full Indian

Indian thali

Yoga & Mindful Walking Menus – 7

A new walk today to the old XIX century public laundry and on to ancient rocks where it is said there are Visigoth steps carved into one of the monoliths. We didn’t find them. But the view from the rocks was great. We’ll keep looking for the steps.

Today, a selection of veggie Indian dishes to round off a marvellous week of yoga, walking and eating Continue reading “Lunch: Full Indian”

Lunch: Mexican Tamal Pizza, Azteca Sides & Watermelon Granizada

Mexican flint maize

Yoga & Mindful Walking Menus – 6

No guided walking today. We started with two and a half hours of flowing vinyasa settling into slower, deeper, then sustained yoga postures. After lunch a well deserved free afternoon. Debbie and Wendy are having none ot it. They’re off to Santa Cruz De La Sierra for a brisk climb up the 1200ft Saint Gregorio Peak. Continue reading “Lunch: Mexican Tamal Pizza, Azteca Sides & Watermelon Granizada”

Dinner: Korean Bibimbap With Turnip Kimchi

yoga and mindful walking in monfrague

Yoga & Mindful Walking Menus 5

Great day out in Monfrague Biosphere Reserve with a stiff walk up to the Castle. I chickened out just before the summit. Vertigo, don’t you know! Lots of fresh air, exercise – and vultures. Enough to give anyone a healthy appetite. We ate lunch out in the chiringito in the village. Finally, after an hour of gentle restorative yoga, SUPPER. Well, dinner, actually. Continue reading “Dinner: Korean Bibimbap With Turnip Kimchi”

Lunch: Tudor Pie On Gluten-Free Panko

sweet potato tart with panko base

Yoga & Mindful Walking Menus 4

The main course, a sweet potato tart, was introduced to the court of Henry VIII by Catherine of Aragon following the Spanish discovery of the Americas. The original recipe contained burdock root, with a flavour not unlike that of horseradish. We used (real) wasabe powder for a more unusual kick. Allspice was an essential part of the original recipe and we’ve stayed faithful to the fact.

I’m not always a fan of pastry: delicious, but I’m often rewarded with heartburn. Instead I used gluten-free panko breadcrumbs with hazlenuts and a little clarified butter. I thought the result was deliciously light and  – well – nutty. Continue reading “Lunch: Tudor Pie On Gluten-Free Panko”