primary colors.

This is to hpu, yes, which is not a ty po, Terrill Soules wherever you are, Room temperature to hpu is a super interesting substance, like a cross between polenta and a Spanish tortilla, and absolutely nothing like tofu.

It's also called Burmese tofu or Shan tofu, this is the recipe I used to get where I am so far, which I trusted because it's suspiciously identical to the Dutch one from Anna Jones' cookbook that I tried to use, but, like so much of the cooking I'm doing lately, the process is so unfamiliar (for me) that I had to find an English version to be certain that these were really the steps.

Anyway. More when I figure out what to do with it. Guess something like this is one option, or this...still looking for a Burmese recipe that sounds wonderful. In other news, found a pretty good thing to do with discarded, unloved mandarin oranges.


anudder whorl.

I am cooking in another world. Elzer has gone gluten-free, and dairy-free, and sugar-free, and she was already meat-free and egg-free and fish-free. You might think that that means there's nothing left, but no, there are things left, you've just never eaten most of them in the forms we're turning them into. Today she made crackers out of seeds. I'm making tofu out of chickpea flour. Yogurt made from coconut cream is doing it's thing in the fridge. Nothing is as it seems. Up is down. Black is white.

I'm trying to quote Eddie Dane in Miller's Crossing, but I don't think I'm doing a very good job (Editor's note:
Eddie Dane: Very smart. What were you doing at the club, talking things over with Leo?
Tom Reagan: Don't think so hard, Eddie. You might sprain something.
Eddie Dane: You are so goddamn smart. Except you ain't. I get you, smart guy. I know what you are. Straight as a corkscrew. Mr. Inside-Outski, like some goddamn Bolshevik picking up his orders from Yegg Central. You think you're so goddamn smart. You join up with Johnny Caspar, you bump Bernie Bernbaum. Up is down. Black is white. Well, I think you're half smart. I think you were straight with your frail, I think you were queer with Johnny Caspar... and I think you'd sooner join a ladies' league than gun a guy down. Then I hear from these two geniuses they never even saw this rub-out take place.
Frankie: Boss said to have him do it. He didn't say nothing about...
Eddie Dane: Shut up! Or maybe you still got too many teeth. Everyone is so goddamn smart. Well, we'll go out to Miller's Crossing... and we'll see who's smart.)

The most surprising thing is that we're actually eating pretty well, lots of little things that feel healthy and taste good. Pictured above: sweet potato pao de queijo, without cheese, so they should really be called something else, but they were a totally viable breakfast food if you didn't eat 6 of them like I did (recipe here, though I left out the herbs and doubled the amount of water). And below is a nice oatmeal variation from Anna Jones, whose cookbook just seems to keep getting better the more weird stuff you try and even the obvious things end up being nice variations, like this: whole oats, oat milk, tahini, coconut yogurt, chia seed, date syrup, grated red apple, coconut flakes.


restjes, deel 3982.

This turned out way better than expected, light and with an almost eggy texture, so before I forget.


what to do with leftover rice.
2 cups leftover cooked rice
4 tbsp leftover plain yogurt or homemade tzatziki
3 tbsp chickpea flour
pinch ground coriander
pinch ground ginger
pinch ground turmeric
pinch cumin seeds
possibly 1 or 2 tbsp water, probably depends on your rice
a good bit of salt
coconut oil for frying
pinch nigella seeds and/or black sesame seeds

So, I just put the rice in the food processor and zhoomed it up, possibly having first added the tzatziki to make it easier to process. Then added everything but the black sesame seeds and processed it for 30 seconds or so. Then decided it needed some water but not too much, you're going for a pancake batter that will spread out a little when it hits a hot pan but will also flip without falling apart.  After you throw some batter in the pan, throw a pinch of black sesame seeds on the side facing up. When the little air bubble holes appear after 2 or 3 minutes, flip and hope for the best.




So the other night My First Internet Friend went for a 23km hike through the frozen tundra, a hike whose endpoint was literally right around the corner from here, and so I made a kind of stupidly complicated appetizer with which to welcome her to this fair city.

This is a chickpea flour pancake with tamarind syrup (loosely based on this) topped with a dry potato curry (closely based on this), mint pea mash (not visible in photo), pudina pachadi or "green chutney" (here), Anna Jones' roasted maple-lime coconut, and some little pink cubes of Turkish pickled turnip.

I was trying to make something that tasted like bhel puri but wasn't cold, and yes, this did that. Sure would be nice if there was a slightly easier way to get that feeling though, maybe it would be as simple as skipping the potatoes and peas, just making the pancakes, two chutneys, toasted coconut and some store-bought Rice Krispies.


new curry 2.

Yeah, no posts, I know. What can I make. I imagine there'll be a Winter Photo Roundup Jamboree at some point, but for now what-a we have-a to offer is some continuing documentation of Papyrus Problems 'round the globe.

And.......segue........also some continuing terse documentation of recent Indian food successes. I thought that the Anna Jones curry from last month was pretty special, and while I'm pretty sure it still is, this kind of even simpler and rounder version from Kristy Turner's vegan cookbook that I can't even type the name of because it offends my tender sensibilities was really almost every bit as good. I could imagine making both of them for a dinner party kind of thing if you could decide which one would more resiliently handle swapping out the main ingredient since they're both sweet potato curries. I kind of think this one would be good no matter what the main ingredient was.


sweet potato and red lentil curry with green peas and spinach.

1 medium or large red onion, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil

4 garlic cloves
one 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
one 2-inch piece fresh turmeric, peeled

1 tbsp sambal
1 tbsp curry powder, I used Chan's Surinamese masala
1½ tsp garam masala
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
good pinch smoked salt
2 or 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
3 cups peeled and chopped sweet potatoes (about 2 medium)
1 cup red lentils
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp to 1 tbsp Dutch appelstroop (mm, kind of like molasses or treacle, start with 1 tsp)

1½ cups frozen green peas
2 handfuls fresh spinach, leaves roughly chopped

1 teaspoon black salt (kala namak) or sea salt (didn't have this)

Melt the coconut oil in a pretty big pot and throw the onion in. "Meanwhile", process the garlic, ginger, and turmeric and after the onion has browned a bit throw this stuff in too. Don't burn it, if you start to run out of liquid/oil you can either add more coconut oil, or toss some coconut milk in, or some of the broth you'll be using in a minute.

After say 5 minutes of cooking the onion/paste mixture, throw in the sambal, curry powder, garam masala, turmeric, black pepper and smoked salt, cook for maybe 3 minutes. Then add the broth, sweet potatoes, and lentils. Cook for maybe 20-25 minutes, until your potatoes are almost done. Throw in the coconut milk and appelstroop, cook for 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Add the peas, cook for 5 minutes, make sure everything's still hot and the frozen peas have become unfrozen, then throw in the spinach and serve over the starch of your choice. Serves, mwahhh 4 at the most.



new curry.

I've always thought that Indian cooking was probably the hardest kitchen to properly replicate at home. There is nothing hard at all about this recipe, and while it's not something you'd ever be served in your standard curry house, it hits all of the "Indian food" bullseyes totally squarely. Lightly adapted from Anna Jones' A Modern Way To Cook.


sweet potato curry with roasted coconut, lime and tamarind + cauliflower rice.

1/2 of a giant cauliflower
2 tbsp olive or coconut oil

2 tbsp coconut oil
1 red onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
a thumb of ginger, peeled and minced
1 fresh red pepper, or an equivalent amount of dried
1 tsp ground turmeric

2 average carrots, peeled and cut into coins
400g sweet potato, cut into 1/2-cm thick wedges? plakjes
200g cauliflower, cut into 1/2-cm thick plakjes
1 tbsp fennel seed
1 tbsp mustard seed

1 400ml can coconut milk
1 400ml can peeled tomatoes
2 tbsp tamarind paste

200g unsweetened coconut pieces
zest of one lime
2 tbsp maple syrup

200g spinach, washed


Process the cauliflower until it looks like couscous. Toss it with the olive oil, spread it out on a baking sheet and roast for 12 minutes at 200C. Remove, salt to taste, and set aside.

Standard curry making instructions for onion, garlic, ginger. Throw seeds in, wait til the mustard seeds pop, then throw in everything else up to tamarind paste. Cook for 25 minutes or so.

Put the coconut flakes flat on a baking sheet, sprinkle/drizzle/eetc the maple syrup over top and roast in that same 200C oven for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned.

When curry is ready, throw spinach leaves in and serve over cauliflower rice with toasted coconut on top.



batting cleanup.

When cleaning out a kitchen, I mean truly cleaning out a kitchen, in the way that moving the kitchen to another part of the house would necessitate....well, one finds things. For example one might find four or five unfinished bags of red lentils, or dried couscous, or penne pasta or some other pantry staple that one uses semi-frequently but that always seems to somehow evade completely being used.

Another class of found food would maybe be the things one might have purchased as a kind of diet or health or one-time cooking experiment and then lost track of almost immediately after one realized that absolutely zero members of the household enjoyed ingesting the substance in its natural state. Spirulina powder springs to mind. Flaxseed. Nori.

I kept stumbling across this giant bag of dried cranberries every few months while looking for something else and then forgetting about either its existence or its location. But now: gotcha.


cranberry-mandarin-ginger something.

3 cups dried cranberries
1 cup water
1/3 cup raw sugar
zest and juice of one actual orange
zest and juice of one actual lemon
some number of the about-to-go-bad dry-as-shit mandarin oranges from the airbnb upstairs, peeled and sectioned
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
whatever unoxidized nuts that have been abandoned, chop-ped
a pinch of cinnamon, cloves, and/or nutmeg?

Add all ingredients and boil lightly until it tastes like something.


bdoodje tempeh.

This was buried in another post, but now it's graduated to the big leagues. Pictured above is a pretty A+ broodje tempeh from Warung Mini in Den Haag last week (yes, it's being eaten in a car). Their broodje kouseband was also way above average, but the tempeh was just about perfect. Thus there will soon be an attempt at recreation, based on this.