South Indian Dosa – Basic Recipe

south indian dosa with coconut chutney and sambhar

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

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Potato & Onion Pakora – With Cumin, Fennel And Black Salt

onion and potato Indian pakora

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

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Nixtamalization Of Corn: Ancient Secret Of The Americas

Mexican flint maize

By reputation corn is a second-rate grain,  low in protein, high in carbs and lacking in key vitamins. Think polenta, tasty only as its companion sauce.

Now, Mexican tortillas fresh off the skillet. These also contain tasty fillings, but they accompany the delicious taste of corn which now holds centre-stage. And with taste comes nutrition. This corn has more protein and a wider range of vitamins and minerals. The difference? A 1500 year-old process unique to pre-colombian central America: nixtamalization.  Continue reading “Nixtamalization Of Corn: Ancient Secret Of The Americas”

Tapas 6: Spanish Potato And Onion Tortilla

What can I say? Slimming it ain’t. Yet Spaniards enjoy a morsel while managing to stay in second place for life-expectancy and are set to top Japan by 2040. Cast aside your guilts and worries and enjoy a small piece of tortilla.

To onion, or not to onion?

A great debate has been raging in Spain: does the classic tortilla contain onions or not? As long-time winner of the national tortilla contest the Galician municipality of Bentanzos holds the honour of being the nation’s standard-bearer.  The onionists have had it their way for decades. But this year’s winner in Betanzo has finally sided with the non-onionist underdog  in re-defining this Spanish  institution. Continue reading “Tapas 6: Spanish Potato And Onion Tortilla”

Tapas 5: Spanish Tortilla With Black Cabbage

spanish tortilla or frittata

I’m always amazed at how my French friends are able to rustle up a pot of onion soup complete with cheesy croutons, or a perfect spinach quiche in the mere twinkling of an eye. Or the Italians’ flair for putting pasta with a sauce unknown outside their village under your nose in little more than time it takes to boil a kettle.

The gift of the Spaniard is for the tortilla. We can make tortilla out of anything  –  if you can eat it, we can tortilla it. Continue reading “Tapas 5: Spanish Tortilla With Black Cabbage”