summer

a buttery herbed pilaf

16th June 2018

Each year I plant broad beans because of their delightfully scented pure white, black and white flower. The seed always germinates, even in this unpredictable Sintra weather but when the beans arrive, I am sometimes at a loss at what to do with them.

This year, there was an abundance of both succulent beans and sweet peas. Just in time, I came across this rice dish which enabled me to make use of all the various green bits and pieces from the garden, that have emerged at this time of year.

The herbs soften the buttery rice and infuse it with flavour. The steaming method of cooking the rice forms a crusty bottom, creating crunchy shards of golden rice. It is a splendid outcome.

a  buttery herbed pilaf

Serves 3 – 4

Recipe adapted ‘Gather Cook Feast’ by Jessica Seaton.

Feel free to swap the vegetables around or even omit them out completely. I sometimes just prepare the crunchy buttery rice without any herbs or vegetables and serve it alongside a simple Indian spiced dal. 

ingredients:

1 cup/180g white basmati rice

½ cup/65g fresh young broad beans

½ cup/70g fresh sweet peas

½ cup/70 g finely chopped green beans (optional)

1 large bunch/20g each of fresh parsley, dill or fennel fronds

1 very large bunch/80g of fresh coriander

½ cup/125ml melted ghee – divided (or 75g butter-melted)

salt and pepper to taste

zest from half a lemon

juice from half lemon

preparation:

Wash the rice in cold water and drain. Repeat three more times to flush out all the excess starch (this helps the rice to be fluffy with nice separate grains when cooked). Then leave to soak in cold water for an hour while you prepare everything else.

Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. In it blanch the broad beans, peas and chopped green beans for 3 – 4 minutes, then drain and refresh in ice-cold water immediately to cool them down (this keeps them green). When they are completely cold, drain the peas and beans, set aside.

Finely chop the leaves and tender stems of all the herbs, and mix together. Keep any tough stems for soups or stews. Set aside.

Drain the rice. Fill a medium saucepan (with a lid that fits) with very well salted water. Bring the water to a vigorous boil and cook the rice for exactly 5 minutes, starting the timer from the moment the rice enters the pot. Drain in a colander and let sit for 5 minutes or so to steam dry.

Return the empty pan to the stove, add half of the melted ghee. Split the pile of herbs in two – one to use now, setting the other half aside to use later. Add one-third of the rice to the pot, then half of the herbs for using now. Do not mix. Repeat with the next third of the rice and the other half of the herbs. Finish with the last third of rice. Drizzle the remaining melted ghee over the top.

Cover the pot with a tea towel, then place the lid firmly on top, folding the corners of the tea towel over the top so that they don’t catch fire. Cook over a medium heat for 8 minutes, then place the pot on the lowest heat you can manage and continue cooking for another 45 minutes.

When the rice is ready, mix the reserved herbs from the bowl and the peas and beans into the rice and pile it all on to a good wide platter or bowl. Sprinkle over the lemon zest and squeeze over the lemon juice. Taste and season with salt and a few rounds of pepper. Scrape up the crisp rice at the bottom of the pot and tuck it into the pile of rice shards – it’s delicious.

okra & fresh fenugreek palya

5th May 2018

Growing fenugreek (methi) in the garden or in a pot on a balcony is one of the easiest things to grow. The seeds miraculously start to pop up in 3 -5 days and in four weeks the fenugreek is ready to harvest.

Fenugreek grows well in Spring to early Autumn, especially when the soil is warm. It can be grown in full sun or part shade. The fenugreek can be grown in the soil directly or in a pot. I stagger my planting both in a pot and in the soil every 2 – 3 weeks for a constant supply.

To plant, prepare the ground with some compost and well-rotted manure mixed into the soil. You can buy the seeds from the sprouting section in the health food store or as I do, buy from your local Indian store, the seeds grow very well. I sprinkle the seeds directly in the soil, however, you can sow in straight line trenches and cover with soil. The fenugreek seeds don’t need to be evenly spaced apart like other plants in order to grow. The seeds also don’t need to be buried deep in the soil, so a scattering of soil on top to cover the seeds are all it needs. Keep the soil moist and within in 3 – 5 days little buds will appear.

I start harvesting around 4 weeks when the plant is about 6 inches high. To harvest cut the plant with a pair of scissors a few centimetres at the stem above the soil. This will encourage new growth enabling you to get a new crop in 2 – 3 weeks.

To harvest your own seeds wait for the pods to turn yellow before harvesting your own seeds.

~Fenugreek or methi~

okra & fresh fenugreek palya

ingredients:

2 Tblsp peanut oil/coconut oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 Tblsp channa dal

1 tsp urad dal

500 g okra/ladyfinger

3 tightly packed cups chopped fresh fenugreek

½ cup/45g dried shredded coconut

1 tsp jaggery/brown sugar

½ tsp fine rock salt

preparation:

Cut the tops off the okra and cut into uniformed 1 cm pieces. Set aside.

Wash the fenugreek leaves, pat dry and roughly chop. Set aside.

In a large wok or similar pan over high heat. Add the peanut oil and once it’s hot, add the mustard seeds and fry until they turn grey and start popping, add the channa and urad dal, keep frying, stirring constantly until they start to brown, a minute or so. Add the chopped okra and keep everything moving in the pan until all the okra starts to char around the edges, this could take five minutes. Turn off the heat and fold in the fresh fenugreek leaves, leaving the pan on the stove to continue to cook even though the fire is off. Once the fenugreek is wilted, stir in the coconut, add the salt and jaggery and mix well. This dish is best eaten immediately with chapati, rice and accompanied by a simple dal.

golden pistachio cardamom cookies

15th March 2018

Because these cookies contain very little flour, they are a bit crumbly to mould.  I used a heaped round Tablespoon measure of the mixture and then flatten them out with damp fingers.  If you find the mixture sticking, dip the spoon in water and then use damp fingers to push the edges in if they are breaking away.  If you prefer a cookie crunchy on the outside and softer texture on the inside – just scoop to keep the dome-shape and skip the flattening process.  You can easily replace the sultanas with gojji or cranberries berries.

 golden pistachio cardamom cookies

Makes approx 31 cookies – two trays.

Grind your own cardamom as the taste is so much more fragrant. An easy way to do this is to place 18 cardamom pods in a high-speed blender or coffee grinder, and roughly grind. Use a strainer to sift the ground pods, discard the shells and grind bigger chunks again to a finer powder.

Inspired by these cookies and this recipe.

ingredients:

⅓ cup/60g golden sultanas

½ cup/65g raw unsalted pistachio nuts

cup/120g whole-spelt flour

1 ½ cup/130g fine regular rolled oats

3 Tblsp/25g sesame seeds

¼ tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp aluminium-free baking powder

1 tsp cardamom powder

1 tsp ginger powder

cup + 1 Tblsp maple syrup

½ cup coconut oil/olive oil

zest of two oranges

preparation:

Preheat oven 180C/350F.

Line two baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the sultanas in a bowl, add boiling water to cover and soak for 10 minutes. Pour through a strainer, and set aside to drain well. (The extra moisture will help prevent them from burning and drying out when baking.)

Place the pistachio nuts on a tray and toast for approximately 8 minutes.  Allow to cool, roughly chop and place in a medium bowl, along with the spelt flour, oats, sesame seeds, salt, baking powder, cardamom and ginger powder.  Mix to combine and set aside.

Melt the coconut oil over a low heat until liquid, mix with the maple syrup; whisk until emulsified.  Pour into the dry ingredients and stir well, add the drained sultanas, orange zest and mix until well combined.

Use a slightly wet round Tablespoon measurement to scoop the cookie dough pressing against the side of the bowl to compact and place onto the baking sheet, flatten with damp fingers. If the mixture starts to stick, dip the spoon between intervals into the water. It is helpful to have a bowl of water nearby.

Bake for 16 – 18 minutes, rotating the baking tray halfway through. The cookies are ready to come out when they are deeply golden. Cool the cookies on a rack while you bake the rest of the dough. They will firm up when completely cool and are best eaten the day they are made.

Goodness shared by Stacey

a mostly wholewheat challah (revisited)

5th October 2017

challah - 1 (5)

I  always look forward to sharing this bread when the four of us are all together.  And, especially if we are lucky enough to have our family or friends join us on these Friday nights. This is where we savour the opportunity to pause, bless and reflect on the week just passed and to light the candles as a reminder of that inner light inside all of us.

What is left-over, we spend the weekend eating with all sorts of delicious spreads.

india - sugarcane juice - 1 (3) india - sugarcane juice - 1 india - sugarcane juice - 1 (1) india - sugarcane juice - 1 (2)
Freshly pressed sugar cane juice – Mysore, South India.

challah - 1 (3)

a mostly whole wheat challah

Makes one large, challah.

The recipe uses a mixer with a hook dough, but you can easily use your hands. 

ingredients :

2 Tbsp flaxseed, plus 6 Tblsp water, whisked together

1 cup warm milk/almond milk

60 grams butter – room temperature/6 Tblsp olive oil

1 tsp active dry yeast

150g wholewheat flour

350g regular all-purpose flour

40g brown sugar/coconut sugar

1½ tsp fine rock salt

preparation :

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.  Whisk together the flax seeds with 6 tablespoons water.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Add the warm milk/water, soft butter and sprinkle in the yeast, leave undisturbed until the mixture is foaming, about 5 – 6 minutes.

Measure out the flours, sugar and salt, whisk together and sprinkle over the yeast & milk mixture, turn the machine on the lowest option and knead on medium speed for about 5 minutes or 10 minutes by hand.  The dough should be elastic and smooth.  If the dough seems too sticky, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time or if seemly too dry, add more liquid, a tablespoon at a time.

Cover with a damp tea towel and allow the dough to sit in a warm place for 1 – 1½ hours until well risen and doubled its size.  The longer it sits the better the final bread. I usually start in the early morning and it sits for 4 – 5 hours before proceeding to the second rise.

Take out the dough, knead a little with the heel of your hands and work it into a ball.

plaiting the dough :

Divide the dough into three equal pieces with a sharp knife or bench scraper.  Using your palms, and starting from the centre and working outward, elongate 1 piece by rolling it gently against the work surface with even pressure until you have formed a rope the desired length.  Repeat with the remaining 2 pieces. Place the three side by side.  Now pinch together the top ends and carefully braid the three, like you would if you were braiding or plaiting hair.  As I braid, I gently pull them length-wise to keep them as even as possible. Pinch together the ends and tuck them slightly under.

Transfer the plaited loaf to the baking tray and brush with ghee/oil and sprinkle with poppy & sesame seeds.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1½ hours.

About 10 minutes before the dough has finished rising, preheat an oven to 200C/400F with a rack in the lower third of the oven.  Remove the plastic wrap or towel and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Allow to cool completely before cutting into it.

When it is just the four of us, we have been enjoying the challah with a simple vegetable soup, a salad and a bowl of guacamole, and for dessert, slathered with homemade jam.

challah - 1 (6)

Goodness shared by Stacey

Jonathan´s Sunday night pasta sauce

8th September 2017

garden tomatoes & marigold - 1 (1)

Sunday night is pasta night and has become a regular for years now, mostly because we cook a lot of Indian and it was requested by our children to be guaranteed a  ‘normal’ non-Indian meal at least once a week! It started off as a special weekend dish my husband would cook and slowly my son started helping out by chopping vegetables and now he is in charge and has taken on the important role of making the pasta sauce. This past year, focaccia has become a regular at the pasta table and recently I have been making my own vegan pasta.

garden tomatoes & marigold - 1 (2)garden tomatoes & marigold - 1 (5) garden tomatoes & marigold - 1

~Marigold (Tagetes patula flowers).  The genus name for marigold (Tagetes) gets its name from the Etruscan god ‘Tages’ – the god of wisdom. It’s common popular name ‘marigold’ comes from “Mary’s gold” after Mother Mary.  In Hinduism too, the flower symbolizes auspiciousness. The saffron/orange colour signifies renunciation and hence is offered to God as a symbol of surrender.

The plant’s odour and root hormones scare away many animals and insects from the garden.  Marigolds are often used in companion planting for tomato, eggplant, chilli pepper and potato.

jonathan´s pasta sauce - 1 (3)

sunday night pasta sauce

Serves 6 – good for 500g pasta

For everyone who has joined us for pasta night!

ingredients:

⅓ – ½ cup peanut/olive oil or to generously cover the base of a large saucepan

½ heaped tsp asafoetida powder

1½ cups/155g celery

2 heaped Tblsp finely chopped ginger

2 cups/220g carrots

1½ cups/125g red bell pepper

1 x 140g tube tomato paste

1.5 kg/16 medium plump Roma tomatoes

3 heaped tsp fine rock salt

3 heaped tsp jaggery

to serve :

half portion home-made vegan pasta

pine nut parmesan

bowl steamed broccoli & kale, or grilled zucchini slices.

preparation:

Wash the vegetables and finely chop the celery, ginger, carrot and red pepper.  Set aside in their own piles on a chopping board.  Cut the base off the tomatoes, and cut each tomato into quarters. Set aside.

Over a medium heat, pour the oil to fill the base of a large heavy-bottomed pot, sprinkle the asafoetida powder evenly over the oil and fry for 30 seconds.  Add the chopped celery –  fry until the celery starts to soften.  Add the ginger and finely chopped carrot, simmer for 3 – 4 minutes or until the carrots are soft. Add the chopped red pepper, simmer for 3 – 4 minutes more.  Clear a space in the middle of the vegetables and squeeze in the concentrate, add the tomatoes and give everything a good stir.

Simmer, uncovered over medium heat for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally. Toward the end of cooking, stir in the salt and jaggery.

If the sauce is very liquid, leave uncovered. Not very liquid, leave covered but with the lid ajar.

Once the sauce is ready, roughly puree using an immersion blender.  Serve with your choice of pasta, a sprinkling of pine nut parmesan and grilled zucchini, steamed broccoli or beans.

jonathan´s pasta sauce - 1 (2)

Goodness shared by Stacey, Jonathan & Elijah

pasta dough without eggs

29th August 2017

homemade vegan pasta 4 - 1

Once you get the feel of the dough, making pasta without eggs is easy, it is a little softer, more delicate, however, the texture is divine. Homemade pasta is much lighter on the system and easier to digest.

The durum wheat flour helps absorb the flavours. It makes a softer, silky, smooth dough, that you will not get from other flours it also absorbs more water then ordinary flour, so keep that in mind if swapping the flours around.

This is a recipe that has developed over trial and error, as time goes on I am sure it will evolve even more and I will update accordingly. So far, I found when rolling and thinning the dough I used a liberal amount of flour – this may have something to do with where we live as there is a lot of moisture in the air in Sintra. I found using an icing sugar shaker very handy for this purpose, a sifter or sieve will work just as well to get a fine layer of dusting. The process is quite time-consuming, however the more confident you become with the process the quicker it is. The results are so delicious and worth the effort and impossible to go back to a box of dried pasta.  Making your pasta from scratch is a very satisfying process.

homemade vegan pasta 3 - 1vegan pasta dough - 1 (11)vegan pasta sheets & noodles - 1

pasta dough without eggs

Serves 6 

Recipe inspired by Kusama via Elegantly Vegan.

If attempting for the first time halve the dough recipe.  It comfortably serves 3 – 4.  The best way to get good at making fresh pasta is to make it again and again. 

ingredients:

480g/4¼ cups finely ground semolina flour from durum wheat

2 tsp fine rock salt

4 Tblsp olive oil

300 – 360 ml warm water

extra flour for dusting

special equipment :

pasta making machine

preparing the pasta dough:

In a medium bowl, measure out the flour, sprinkle in the salt and whisk to combine. Create a well in the centre of the flour, drizzle in the olive oil and slowly pour in 300ml (about 1¼ cup warm water). Using your hands, combine the dry into the wet, adding water a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together into a ball. Dust your work surface with flour and knead the dough, begin gently folding the dough on itself, flattening, and folding again, for about ten minutes.

When you finish kneading, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least half an hour to an hour. For best results knead and allow the dough to rest for as long as possible.

rolling out the pasta dough:

Unwrap the dough and divide it into quarters, and then each quarter in half again so you have eight equal portions, weighing approximately 90 – 100 grams. Work with one portion at a time, and cover the rest. Flour your work surface and flatten one piece of dough a little less than the width of the pasta maker. Feed it through the thickest setting on the machine – #0.  Lightly dust both sides of the sheet of pasta with flour and fold this piece of dough into thirds, like folding a letter, dust again and feed the pasta crosswise between the rollers.  Repeat this step 5 – 6 times. This helps strengthen the gluten in the flour, giving it a chewier texture when cooked. Change settings to the slightly thinner setting – #1, dust with flour and feed it through the machine without folding it; then set it on #2 and so forth until achieving the desired thickness – I finished at #5.

vegan pasta noodles - 1 (3)

If your pasta sticks at all, dust both sides with more flour or is too lengthy to manage, lay on a cutting board and cut in half.  Don’t tug or pull on the pasta as it goes through the machine. Let the rollers do the work. With practice, you will become familiar with your machine and with the dough and will be able to manoeuvre the dough by slightly moving it left or right so that it doesn’t go in crooked.

Now cut the sheet of pasta crosswise into pieces about 25 cm long and lightly dust them with flour again. I like to air dry the sheets for 15 – 20 minutes before cutting.

To make the process easier, roll out all the dough at once before cutting it into the desired shape. Dust the sheets of pasta generously with flour and overlap them on a floured board or hang them over racks. When ready to cut use the sheets which were rolled out first and have been sitting longer to dry.

cutting the pasta :

If making filled pasta or lasagna, proceed with shaping.  If cutting into noodles, switch from the pasta roller to the noodle cutter, dust again with flour and run the sheet of pasta through the cutter. As soon as the pasta comes through the cutter, dust generously with flour and gently fold into loose rounds to make a nest. Dust again with a little flour and continue with the remaining dough. Leave the pasta to air dry for 15 minutes – 3 hours before using. This helps the pasta to not clump together while cooking.

vegan pasta - 1 (3)

Once cut and sitting in mounds, cover loosely with a cloth and every hour gently pick up the mounds to loosen the noodles, gently replacing them into their mounds again.

to cook the pasta :

To cook the pasta immediately, bring a pot of well-salted water to a rollicking boil. Add the pasta to the water and cook for about 1 – 2 minutes – don’t overcook!  The pasta should float to the top of the pot when it’s ready and be al dente. Be gentle with it when you lift it from the water. Drain and then just drizzle it in olive oil or toss it with your favourite pasta sauce, and it’s ready to serve.

To dry, allow to air dry until completely brittle, turning the nests from time to time. Depending on the humidity it should take 5 – 6 hours.

To freeze, gather the bundles in a single layer separated with baking paper and freeze, in an airtight container, up to three months. Do not thaw them – place them directly in boiling water – may take 2 – 3 minutes to cook.

Enjoy!

vegan pasta - 1 (1)

Goodness shared by Stacey

fig & ginger cluster granola

17th August 2017

fig cluster granola - 1 (5)

quietness

garden - 1 (2)garden - 1garden - 1 (1)

Just now I went out into the garden, it was so quiet and still out there, except for a single bird, melodious and sweet.

granola - 1

tara o’brady’s fig & ginger cluster granola

Makes approximately 8 cups.

The recipe is taken from Taro O’brady’s Seven Spoons Cookbook, with a few small changes.

Tara goes on to say ‘This recipe is my standard and is intended only as a starting point. By all means, add, substitute, or subtract ingredients (add ground nutmeg or ginger, cardamom; or take away the seeds and go heavy on the nuts; swap pistachios for pecans, or dried apricots and dried cherries for the figs) as long as the general guidelines are loosely followed.”

ingredients:

¼ cup/60g ghee or unsalted butter

3 Tblsp olive oil

3 Tblsp maple syrup

½ cup/100g packed jaggery/light brown sugar

½ cup/120ml hot water

1 tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

5 cups/455g old-fashioned rolled or quick-cooking oats

1½ – 2 cups/180g slivered almonds & hazelnuts (I roughly chop my own into thick slivers)

¾ cup/65g flaked coconut

¼ cup/35g raw, hulled sunflower seeds

¼ cup/35g sesame seeds

1 heaped tsp cinnamon powder

½ cup/70g finely chopped candied ginger

1 cup/150g chopped dried figs & sultanas

preparation:

Preheat an oven to 325F/160C and with racks in the upper and lower thirds.

In a saucepan set over medium heat, melt the ghee into the olive oil and maple syrup. Turn off the heat add the brown sugar, hot water, and ½ tsp of the salt. Cook, stirring often until the sugar dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the vanilla extract, and set aside to cool.

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, grind 2 cups/180g of the oats into flour. Transfer this oat flour to a large bowl. Stir in the remaining 3 cups/275g whole oats, the remaining ½ tsp salt, and the nuts, coconut, seeds and cinnamon powder.

fig cluster granola - 1 (6)fig cluster granola - 4

Pour the ghee and sugar mixture over everything and stir to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes, to give the oats the opportunity to lap up the sugar syrup.

Line 2 half sheet pans with standard baking sheets. using your hands, drop the oat mixture in clumps onto the pans, then bake in the preheated oven until dry, light golden, and evenly toasted 45 to 50 minutes, gently stirring and turning the granola with a large spatula every 15 minutes or so and rotating the pans once from the top to bottom and front to back.

Remove from oven and leave the granola in the pans. The granola will continue to crisp as it stands. After 5 minutes, stir in the candied ginger. Once the granola has cooled completely, stir in the figs.

fig cluster granola - 1 (7)

Transfer the granola to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

fig cluster granola - 1 (4)

Goodness shared from Stacey

ginger coconut chutney

7th August 2017

chutney ingredientschutney-step1coconutchutney-step2

Chutney can be consumed with rotti, chapati, dosa, idli and rice. Recommended to all constitutions. Can be used once or twice a week, at any time during the day and in all seasons. For those suffering from Pitta imbalance, little ghee can be mixed into the food in order to eliminate any aggravation.  One may spice the dish as per his natural inclination adding or lessening the salty, sweet, sour (tamarind), pungent (chilli) tastes.

If having trouble finding the toasted chana dal, over medium heat, dry roast ¼ cup split chana dal until fragrant and proceed as in the recipe.

chutney-step3

Ginger Coconut Chutney

Makes approximately 2 cups.

Recipe shared by our teacher Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Jivana Yoga Programme. 

I make this quick and tasty chutney whenever I make dosa or idli.  The toasted chana dāl can be purchased from your local India store and once you purchase this everything comes together within minutes.

ingredients :

1 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut

1 – 2 cups lukewarm water (start with 1 cup for right consistency)

¼ cup toasted chana dāl (bought from your local Indian store)

1 tsp finely chopped ginger

½–1  red/green chilli (according to taste and strength of chilli)

3 sprigs fresh coriander

¼ tsp tamarind paste

1 tsp sugar/jaggery

½ tsp fine rock salt

preparation :

Place in an upright blender/grinder the dried coconut, chana dāl, chopped ginger, chilli, jaggery, salt and tamarind paste. Wash the coriander leaves, remove the thicker stems and place with the ingredients.

Pour in 1 cup water and puree until you have a thick paste, adding more water until you have the desired consistency.  The texture should be a bit coarse.  Taste for seasoning, adding more salt, sweet, tamarind or chilli, as needed.

dosa - 1

Goodness shared by Stacey

chuchu gojju

31st July 2017

4V7A1037_1_1980x1297

Chuchu known as Seemebadanekaayi in Karnatika, India, or chayote squash in Mexico. It is a pear-shaped, light-green vegetable in the gourd family and has a crunchy texture and a mild, sweet taste. Chuchu is a perennial vine that climbs over fences, shrubs, and even on trees. There is no need to peel the skin in the young, tender pears. However, larger and over-mature fruits need light peeling using a vegetable peeler. When in season you can find it in most supermarkets here in Portugal.  I make this weekly for a simple no fuss dinner – served with brown basmati rice and an extra drizzling of ghee.  I also use them when making a simple dal, grated carrot and finely chopped chuchu is a magical combination.

To sprout:  Each chuchu contains a single seed which is enclosed within the fruit and cannot be separated from the fruit.  To sprout place the whole fruit on a light-filled window sill and within days the chuchu will sprout from the broad end.  You can also set the whole fruit directly in the soil and within a week or two will sprout.

chuchu sprout - 1

Plant 1 chuchu vine per household of 4 persons. Chuchu is a vigorous climber; set a sturdy trellis or support in place at planting. Do not allow maturing fruit to come in contact with the soil; it will spoil and germinate while still attached to the vine. Chuchu will be ready for harvest when the fruit is tender and about 4 to 6 – inches in diameter, usually 120 to 150 days after planting. Cut chuchu from the vine with a knife or hand-pruner. Harvest chuchu before the flesh gets hard.

4V7A0979_1980x1297

chuchu gojju

Serves 3 – 4.

Recipe shared by our teacher Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Jivana Yoga Programme. 

Chuchu gojju is best served with rice or dosa – the dosa flavour and rice texture mixes well with the flavour of this dish.  It can also be served with chapati, however, it is best to decrease the amount of tamarind (sour) added.  Eggplant or capsicum can replace the Chuchu, additional capsicum may also be added.

ingredients :

1 medium Chuchu – approx 280-300g

1 cup/250mL water

1½ tsp fine rock salt

3 heaped tsp brown sugar/jaggery

¼ cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped

voggarane :

¼ cup/60ml peanut or coconut oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

⅛ tsp turmeric powder

15 fresh curry leaves

sambar – coconut paste:

¾ cup/60g dried shredded coconut

2 heaped tsp Sambar powder- moderately spiced

1 tsp tamarind paste

2 cups/500mL water – divided

preparation:

Wash, peel and chop chuchu into very small pieces to fill approximately 1½ cups.  Set aside.

Wash and roughly chop the fresh coriander – measuring ¼ cup.

4V7A1729_1980x1297

voggarane:

In a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat, add oil and mustard seeds. When seeds start to splutter and pop (make sure they have popped well), add asafoetida, turmeric powder and curry leaves.

4V7A1736_1980x1297

Continue to fry for a few seconds.  Add the chopped chuchu and 1 cup water. Allow to simmer, uncovered, until the chuchu softens – about 15 minutes.  

4V7A1761_1980x1297

Meanwhile, prepare the sambar-coconut paste.

sambar – coconut paste:

In an upright blender, place the dried coconut, sambar powder, tamarind paste and 1½ cups water.  Blend until smooth, approximately 1 minute.  Set aside.

4V7A1749_1980x1297 4V7A1752_1980x1297

After the chuchu has softened, add jaggery and salt, mixing well.  Pour sambar – coconut paste into gojju. Use remaining ½ cup water in the blender to clean out any sambar paste.

4V7A1763_1980x1297

Allow to simmer rapidly for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Turn off heat and add freshly chopped coriander.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then taste, and adjust the sweet, sour or salt to your preference.  The gojju will thicken as it cools. Delicious served with brown basmati rice or dosa.

4V7A0967_1980x1297

Goodness shared by Stacey

easy spelt focaccia & a vegetable garden

13th June 2017

4V7A1705_1980x1297

I make this focaccia every Sunday as an accompaniment to our traditional pasta night.  I mix the dough in the morning and leave it covered on the side for a full day, the extra fermentation adds flavour to the bread.  You can also make it days before, and store in the refrigerator after the first rise, the dough develops a more complex flavour, and you can pull part of it out to make dinner – just be sure it has time to come to room temperature before shaping and continue with the recipe.

I usually make one large focaccia but since our move a month ago I have a small oven that fits two narrow trays – now I make two oblong focaccia.

4V7A1793_1980x12974V7A1919_1980x12974V7A2148_1980x1297sintra-vegetable garden - 1

Quality of Food

‘A very natural lifestyle in which we could collect fresh vegetables every day would be even more ideal, however. Growing a small garden can serve that purpose to some degree. There are also many other benefits one may experience from having a small garden. For example, one may gain beneficial exercise, as well as deep satisfaction in doing garden work. If done in a measured and relaxed way, it may lead to a calm and quiet mind.’ 

~ Dr. Shankaranarayana Jois – The Sacred Tradition of Yoga

4V7A1725_1_1980x1297

easy spelt focaccia

Makes 1 rectangular or 2 small focaccia. 

Recipe slightly adapted from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce.

‘You can top the focaccia with almost anything: a liberal pouring of oil and a dusting of salt, a handful of fresh herbs, olives or sautéed vegetables, or a flavourful tomato sauce. However, you plan to top your focaccia, before cooking pour a generous glug of olive oil over the top – especially around the edges – for a crunchy golden crust’.

ingredients :

1¼ cups warm water

1 tsp active dry yeast

tsp sugar

1 cup/120g whole-spelt flour; plus additional for kneading

2½ cups/320g white spelt flour/all purpose flour

1 tsp fine rock salt

2 Tblsp olive oil + ¼ cup (divided) for drizzling over the top

herbs, spices, or other toppings of choice

preparation :

Lightly rub a large bowl with olive oil. Set aside.

Add 1¼ cups of warm water, yeast, and sugar to another bowl. Stir, and allow the yeast to bloom and bubble for about 5 minutes.  (If it doesn´t, it may be inactive; throw it out and start again.)

Add the flours, salt, and 2 Tablespoons olive oil and mix to combine to form a sticky dough.

To knead by hand: Turn the dough out on to a clean work surface. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and silky.

Or, to use a food mixer: Fit the dough hook and add the water, yeast, and sugar to the mixer bowl, stir, and allow the yeast to bloom and bubble for about 5 minutes. Add the flour and salt. Mix on low speed until evenly combined, then add the oil and leave to knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and silky.

For the first rise: Put the dough into the oiled bowl, turning it so that the top of the dough is coated with oil. Cover with a towel and leave for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

4V7A1683_1980x1297 4V7A1686_1980x1297

Generously oil a baking sheet with olive oil.

For the second rise: Place the dough on the baking sheet or divide the dough into two pieces and place them on the oiled baking sheet.  Stretch the dough out with your hands (It helps to oil your hands) into your desired shape on the baking sheet, and dimple it with your fingers. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and leave to rise for an hour.

Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven (or put a single rack in the middle if you´re using one baking sheet) and preheat to 200C/400F.

After the dough has completed its second rise and has puffed up on the sheet, drizzle with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt, herbs or spices, or toppings of your choice.

4V7A1679_1980x1297

Bake for 22  – 25 minutes, until golden brown. Drizzle with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil while still hot from the oven.  Allow the bread to cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Serve it with your favourite pasta or top it with mashed avocado, grilled zucchini, tomatoes, red pepper, fennel and a sprinkling of fresh herbs and salt.

Focaccia is always best eaten the day it is made.

4V7A1711_1980x1297

Goodness shared by Stacey

All rights reserved © Goodness is…. · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie