The last time we made lacto-plums on an impulse I threw some of the plum vinegar into a batter I was making for dosa. I usually keep my dosa pure, but in for a penny, in for a pound: in went some black cumin after which a pinch of hing felt obligatory. Then I waited until morning for the result.
The batter had a definite yeasty smell and was extra full of air. This batter wanted to make soft, fluffy kutti (small) dosa. The type you drop onto a skillet and let spread naturally while a thousand bubbles burst to adorn the top
You can make Kutti Dosa the traditional way: just omit the lacto plum vinegar. Even the spices are optional
A flat pancake resembling a crepe, dosa are traditional to the South Indian and Sri Lankan Tamil cuisines but are popular all over India and beyond
Dosa are a staple in South Indian restaurants in the West. Plain or filled they come with coconut chutneys and often sambhar, a hot and sour South Indian vegetable dish which I’ll describe shortly. When in London we treat ourselves to dosa most weekends at our favourite Indian eaterie Sagar
If nine-tenths of taste is smell why is it that amazing tasting cheese can often smell so disgustingly bad? This year’s 34th National Cheese And Wine Fair hosted in our diminutive City Of Trujillo was no less odorous than usual. It was, however a day longer, starting mid-week to mark the May-Day holiday.
Conscious of the dairy industry’s damaging effects on the environment but being dedicated cheese lovers we opt for a middle way of goat and ewe’s cheeses from small independent producers, the cost and the caloires taking care of how much and often
With so much positive research and publicity on the happy gut- happy brain connection it’s no wonder fermenting food has taken off big time.
Healthy gut bacteria are essential not only for our gut but also for a strong immune system and a happy nervous system. In fact, as well as love, health and just possibly money it’s essential for happiness in general. And it’s just the quantity of bacteria that’s imnportant but the range of different bacteria. The greater the variety of gut flora, the healthier we are.
When in Spain for the New Year celebrations we rarely venture out before 1am. Last time we had to run for cover for fear of falling shrapnel from guns fired into a firework-lit sky, conscious also of a custom of flinging old items out of the window after a glass or three of bubbly.
We enjoy this brief period of voluntary house-arrest with something festive for supper: something full of colour, bursting with flavour and screaming CELEBRATION.
This year’s choice dish was that veritable painting-on-a-plate from our Korean friends down east.
Typical Christmas eve in Spain: meet frineds for drinks around eight, home for family dinner at ten, out again by two (am), breakfast in the town square, bed, then . . . that was last year.
This year we’re experiencing reduced staying-power and early nights, the effects of not drinking since before Easter. Even so, I set the alarm to be up in time to prepare Christmas brunch – just in case.
air-fried onion and purple potato pakora
sweet tomato and black mustard relish
salted cucumber with dehydrated fermented persamons
It’s the custom in the Bengal region of north-east India to start a meal with a bitter dish. Shukto achieves this through the use of karela, a bitter gourd readily available from most Asian grocers. If bitter isn’t your thing you can simply omit this vegetable and use any of your favourite ones.