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
Continue reading “Kutti Dosa – Little South Indian Rice & Lentil Pancakes”
This simplest of condiments is a must when eating dosa or idli.
It’s an uncomplicated blend of fresh or dried coconut, green chilli, garlic, fresh coriander & or mint and salt. That’s it!
Continue reading “Green Coconut Chutney”
Having discussed the nutritional value of fermented fruit and veg in the last post, here’s the tutorial for home fermented plums
The basic method for lacto-fermentation we covered in our Fennel Sauerkraut recipe
RECAP: A Few Notes Of Guidance
Continue reading “Lacto-Fermented Sweet Plums 2 Ways”
India is said to be the original home of the relish, with an array to match every one if its equally vast variety of street-food snack.
Imagine pakora without relish? It’s like pasta without sauce or pizza without a topping. It’s just not done
Continue reading “Spicy Tomato Relish”
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
- south Indian sambhar
- two poached eggs on buttered rye sourdough toast
- with alcohol-free lager
- and chocloate brownies. It is Christmas
Continue reading “Potato & Onion Pakora – With Cumin, Fennel And Black Salt”
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.
Two other flavours are common in Bengali dishes, mustard in the form of seed, the oil or kasundi and panch phoran or five spice. This dish combines all these flavours for a traditionally sweet dish with a mild bitterness – or leave out the bitter and keep it sweet. Continue reading “Shukto – Bengali Mixed Vegetable Curry”
Traditionally served with greens, kasundi ( कसूंदी ) is a perfect accompaniment to dry vegetable snacks such as pakora and samosa. Added to pasta it’s a marriage made in heaven.
Though available commercially, kasundi is easy to make at home. No vinegar or other acids, no additives, no cooking even. Just natural fermentation of raw materials for a condiment bursting with pro-biotic goodness and umami deliciousness. Continue reading “Aam Kasundi – Bengali Mustard & Green Mango Relish”
This is my earliest memory of making curry. 1981, the London Sivananda Yoga Ashram, my home at the time, is hosting a distinguished group of Indian scholars for a week of lectures on Vedanta philosophy. Declaring European fare as “bland” our guests have brought their own cook who is promptly dispatched to the kitchen.
A Brahmin, the highest of the Hindu casts, Rita handles food exclusively with her right hand, her left dedicated to supporting a long, shimmering fold of silken sari. She requests assistance. My luck is in. Continue reading “Aloo Gobi – Potato & Cauliflower Curry”
A member of the nightshade family, along with tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and others, aubergine’s popularity derives largely from its great abosrbency. They are masters at mopping up flavour – and also oil. As with potato, they’re no good raw. But while potatoes can be steamed or boiled, aubergines are at their best cooked in oil. Or are they?
Continue reading “Spiced Smoked Aubergine Curry – Began Bharta”
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”