fermentation

spring miso with lemon

31st May 2016

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I am out in the garden every day now, finding any excuse to be there.  The fresh air, to experience the spring in its full glory.  It can still be cold and unpredictable but we are now blessed with warm weather days that lift us up and put a spring in our step.

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precious evening twilight & a walk in the garden

I had written this at the start of spring last year but it got put to the side by other inspiring dishes. A lovely light cleansing soup. You can vary this recipe using whatever vegetables you like. In summer, I add a whole cob of corn, cut into fours, with thinly shaved garden zucchinis. For a more substantial meal, add a small amount of cooked noodles when adding the blanched vegetables. It is important not to boil the miso, the rich enzymes and nutrients due to the fermentation, will be lost.

spring miso with lemon

I have been slowly working my way through Amy Chaplin’s – At Home in the Wholefood Kitchen. This recipe is another from her book – ever so slightly adapted.

If you want to make this soup ahead of time, leave out the miso and keep the blanched vegetables and dashi separate.  Reheat together; then add miso, lemon zest and juice.

Serves 4

dashi

6 cups water

4-inch piece kombu

2 large slices fresh ginger

soup

8 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut diagonally

1 cup tiny broccoli florets/sugar snap peas, strings removed and chopped in half lengthwise

1 carrot, thinly sliced into rounds

2 small radishes, thinly sliced

6 – 8 Tbsp sweet white miso

zest of 1 lemon

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

handful of baby kale/spinach leaves

make the dashi

1.  In a medium pot place the kombu, ginger, and filtered water bring up to boil over high heat.  Cover pot, reduce heat to a low and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove kombu and ginger using a slotted spoon.

make the soup

2.  Bring the dashi up to a simmer over high heat, add the asparagus, broccoli/sugar snap peas, carrots, and cook for 30 seconds.

3.  Add the radish rounds and cook for another 30 seconds, reduce heat to low, then remove all the vegetables using a slotted spoon.  Set aside to cool.

4.  In a small bowl mix the miso to a paste using a little of the soup and pour through a small strainer into the soup.  Taste, add more miso or a small spoon of salt if necessary.

5.  Add the blanched vegetables and small kale/spinach leaves, warm over a gentle heat for a minute or until the leaves are wilted.

6.  Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and juice. (Adding a pungent flavour such as ginger or lemon to miso soup just before serving will activate the enzyme, making them more beneficial).

Serve immediately.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

fermented mung bean pancakes – revisted

20th May 2015

soak

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grind

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ferment

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cook

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Mung beans (whole moong dal) are one of my favourites and are unique in the fact they are warm and nourishing in winter and cooling in summer.  Mung beans are easy to digest and in Ayurveda are considered medicinal, cleansing and one of the keys to a long, vibrant and healthy life. They are high in protein, rich source of fibre and packed with vitamins and minerals and when fermented they become abundant in live enzymes as well as bacteria which helps restore the intestinal flora, helping to assimilate nutrients in the digestion process.

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fermented mung bean pancakes

Makes 15  (4-inch pancakes)

This recipe came from a dear friend, Lulu and where she got it from I don’t know, but it has been a favourite of ours for many years now. You can change the spices to whatever appeals that day.  The mixture keeps happily in the fridge if you only want to make one or two – they are best freshly cooked, of course!

The temperature in your kitchen will affect the speed at which your mung beans ferment.  In winter it will take much longer and in summer much quicker.  In Winter, place the covered bowl next to a heater or place overnight in the oven at an even temperature of 40 Celsius.

ingredients 

1 cup/200g whole mung beans (whole moong dal)

2 cups/500ml water

½ tsp fine rock salt

voggarane

1 Tbsp ghee/oil

1 tsp heaped cumin seeds

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

a big handful coriander leaves, finely chopped

optional – finely sliced vegetables of choice – fennel rounds, carrot, green peas..etc

to serve

tomato gojju

spicy avocado puree 

preparation

1.  Pre-soak, the mung beans in water for at least 8 hours or overnight.

2.  Next morning, drain and refresh with 2 cups water – adding more when needed, then using a hand immersion blender/food processor, blend until thick and barely pourable.  You want the mixture quite thick.  

3.  To ferment, add ½ teaspoon salt and leave covered to sit for at least 8 – 12 hours, depending on where you live and which season. This gives the mixture a chance to ferment and develop lots of wholesome B vitamins. Once it has risen substantially, it is fermented and a little bubbly, it is ready to cook.

4.  Prepare the voggarane, in a small pan, heat ghee, add the cumin seeds and asafoetida, when the seeds have browned a little, remove from heat and add to the fermented mixture, along with the coriander and turmeric – mix well.

These can be cooked as they are or chop thin slices of fennel rounds and tiny carrot matchsticks to add on top when cooking.

5.  To cook, heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Make sure the pan is hot. Drizzle with a little ghee and place ¼ cup batter onto the skillet, then flatten out slightly with the back of a spoon/ladle so the pancake is the size of a small tea saucer, layer on top a few carrot sticks, fennel rounds or green peas and push down slightly, drizzle the top with a little ghee/oil – cook for about 4 minutes on each side. My hand is quite generous with the ghee, as this gives crunchy edges!

They are delicious spread with guacamole, olive paste, hummus or used instead of a rotti with Indian food.  Wonderful with tomato gojju!

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Goodness shared by Stacey

dosa – a fermented rice & dal pancake

25th June 2009

We travel to India at least three times a year to spend time with our teacher in the South of India and because of this connection, I cook a lot of Indian dishes.  Through the years of studying yoga, I have learnt that to quieten the mind is to lead the correct lifestyle, and the type of food we eat plays a very important role in helping us on this yogic journey.

Like many other types of Dosa, it supports all constitutions, can be used at any season and can be easily digested. Dosa also strengthens the body and is especially recommended for morning time. One may consume it once a week. It is recommended to consume it with greater amounts of water for digestion and to avoid thirst, especially during the summertime.

Dosa batter is a wonderful, quick and nutritious meal.  It is a typical South Indian breakfast.  The rice and urad dal (a type of white lentil available from Indian stores) combine to make a perfectly balanced protein and because of the fermentation process, they are easy to digest.  The success of a good dosa is in perfecting the fermentation.

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dosa – a fermented rice & dal pancake

The traditional dosa recipe is made with just white rice, but I like to add a bit of wholesome goodness, by adding brown rice.  Whole or split moong dal can be used instead of the urad dal.

I start soaking in the morning and grind in the evening, and ferment through that night and ready for the first meal. (depending on the season).

Pre-preparation – 20 hours

Preparation – 5 minutes

Makes – 25 dosa

ingredients 

1 cup/200g urad dal/moong dal

2 cup/400g white basmati rice

1 cup/200g brown basmati rice

8-10 cups water (for the soaking)

1 Tbsp fenugreek seeds

1 tsp fine rock salt

pre-soak

1.  In a large bowl, rinse the dal, rice and fenugreek until the water runs clear, then refill with enough water to generously cover – about 2 inches and soak for a minimum 12 hours.

grind 

3.  Drain a little water out and put this water aside, as you may need it later.

4.  In a high-speed blender with the water they have been soaking in, grind until fine and smooth, adding if needed a little of the water that you had put aside, add salt.  Be careful, as you don’t want the batter too runny.  Aim for thick pancake batter consistency.

ferment 

5.  Pour the batter in a large bowl with plenty of room to expand, cover and leave to stand in a warm place for at least 8 hours, can take up to 24 hours in wintertime.  The batter will get slightly thicker, fizzy and rise.  Perfect!  This is the fermentation taking place.

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‘Fermented foods, because of their vital digestive enzymes, aid in the absorption of  B12 from other sources and stimulate B12 bacterial growth in the intestines.’

cook 

6.  Heat a heavy skillet or a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and drop a ladleful of batter into the pan. The batter should be of thick, pouring consistency.  Make sure the pan is very hot.

7.  Using the back of the ladle, very gently swirl the batter from the centre outwards to make a thin crepe-like dosa. Optional, drizzle ghee lightly over dosa.

8.  Cook over medium heat until the edges of the dosa start to lift – about 2 – 3 minutes. If you try to turn it over too soon before it has started to set, the dosa will break. Flip and cook until golden.

Serve with a palya or simple dal and slices of avocado.

We always finish our meal with a sweet dosa, drizzled with ghee and maple syrup or with home-made strawberry jam and tahini/almond butter.

Goodness shared from Stacey

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