Mango lassi for a hot day

Lately I have been getting back to fermented food. It’s just that it’s very tasty and, some say, quite healthy. Also, I come from a food culture where fermented food is part of the daily diet. Kefir in particular is used quite a lot especially during warmer summer months. My kinfolk and I eat it with boiled potatoes or make cold soup with beetroot called ‘šaltibarščiai’ (which from Lithuanian translates as ‘cold borscht’). It’s a delicious pink soup that I make for everyone who hasn’t tried it yet. I promise to share the recipe soon, but this post is not about that. This is me talking about having milk kefir grains and having incessant supply of kefir at home. If you’re in a similar situation here is a recipe you can try.

Ingredients

1 cup Almond kefir (made with putting milk kefir grains into almond milk)

very ripe mango (can’t stress that enough, how important it is that mango is ripe, all flavour depends on it)

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp ground cardamonn

1 tbsp sweetener- honey, maple syrup or other

 

Method

Blend everything in a blender and enjoy. Kefir makes it all very refreshing and it truly tastes better on a hot day!

 

 

In light of Angharad

People’s stories often intertwine in the most unexpected ways, and so it was with the story of Angharad, a fair Welsh woman walking in the footsteps of photographer Tom Mathias.
Mathias was from West Wales, and with his camera he documented much of the daily life in Cilgerran where he lived. In 2015, Angharard organised an event in Cilgerran called ‘In light of Tom Mathias’, breathing life back into those moments captured in Mathias’s camera almost a century before.

And now Angharad has become part of my photographic story, as I search through the daily life of Adamsdown, looking for people and their recipes. It was Angharad who introduced me to some of Adamsdown’s older residents, people who she meets with friendliness and cheer – as she does with everyone, making everyone feel at home even those from far away lands. These recipes she’s shared with me were taught to her by her forefathers.

Glamorgan sausages. You can fry them in the pan or cook in the oven for a slightly healthier option. It will also be more evenly cooked and less burnt.

Ingredients

1. 25g butter
2. 2 leeks, sliced in circles
3. 175g breadcrumbs
4. 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
5. 150g grated Caerphilly cheese
6. 2 free range eggs.
7. 100ml milk
8. 1 tsp mustard
9. a pinch of salt and black pepper.

Method

1. Melt butter, add the leeks and fry them until golden.
2. Then add them to a big bowl together with 125g of breadcrumbs, parsley, cheese, milk and mustard. Mix it all.
3. In a separate plate break the eggs. Put the remaining breadcrumbs onto a separate plate. Shape the main mixture into sausages, role them on eggs and the remaining breadcrumbs. Put the pan on heat and let the oil start to sizzle. Then put the sausages and fry them for 3-5 minutes.
4. Enjoy!!

Sweetcorn fritters. This recipe requires some extra spices, but the rest of the ingredients are just potatoes, sweetcorn, eggs and onions.

1. 4 medium potatoes
2. 1 garlic clove, minced
3. 1 onion
4. 200 g sweetcorn
5. 2 eggs
6. 1 tsp paprika
7. 1 tsp ground corriander
8. 1/2 tsp tumeric
9. 1/2 tsp garam masala

Method

1. Boil potatoes. Then mash them in a bowl.
2. Slice the onion, fry it in the pan with garlic and add it to potatoes.
3. Mix the eggs and add it to potatoes.
4. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix them all.
5. Put the pan on heat, add oil and let it heat up. Make pancakes out of the mixture and add them to the sizzling oil. Fry for about 3-5 minutes on each size.
6. Enjoy!!

Christine’s comforting ‘frogspawn’

With this recipe I felt like I have unearthed a treasure. It was passed on to me by Christine, an elderly lady that used to do lots of cooking even for 30 or so years ago. She would have three soups simmering at a time to feed her hungry family.

I later found out that tapioca, which is a pure starch extracted from a Cassava root, was much more popular in the past. You could buy it in every corner shop, according to Christine. Tapioca pudding or so-called ‘frogspawn’ used to be a British school lunch classic. It wasn’t particularly loved, but it is still vividly remembered amongst older generations. Despite the name it has nothing to do with frogs or toads, or other creatures. Just a lovely (in my opinion) comforting thing with little translucent perls that stare at you from your a plate like an army of frogspawns in the pond. They are soft and chewy and taste a lot like a rice pudding, just the texture is more bubbly.

Tapioca pudding is very simple to make and has very few ingredients.

Ingredients

1/2 cup of tapioca
1 1/2 cup of water
1 1/2 cup of milk (I used almond milk)
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp of sugar
a pinch of grated nutmeg

Method

1. Mix tapioca with water, milk, salt and sugar in a pot. Let it simmer for 30 minutes (check to see if tapioca perls are soft)
2. When it’s cooked grate a bit of nutmeg on top.
3. Enjoy!!!

The hunter-gatherer Kate and her (slug) omelette

Kate likes exploring the outside world and being in different places. She likes going on a food hunt, whether its skipping through a surplus food from supermarkets (although those days are way behind her), or foraging in parks, orchards or a back garden. She is curious about food textures and creatures that live outside her door, most notably the slugs. She got into them after she was invited to share her harvest with friends at the party. The only thing she could harvest were those slimy creatures, and Kate boldly gave it a go. This is how the ‘Slug omelette’ came about.
She learned that slugs require special preparation, such as starving them and then boiling to help remove toxins and parasites. Since it takes time to prepare and it’s not a slug season yet, Kate served me a nice omelette with mushrooms instead, texture of which is similar to that of a slug.

Adamsdown hasn’t been Kate’s neighbourhood for that long, but it looks like she’s putting roots down Adamsdown ‘community soil’. She and a friend have started a small co-working studio space that will also have a small sourdough bakery, a pottery, a community kitchen and quite possibly a sauna (!).

Ingredients:

1. 5 eggs
2. a handful of mushrooms (100-200g) or specially prepared slugs
3. a pinch of salt, and other spices or herbs (e.g. thyme)

Method

1. Slice the mushrooms and fry them in the pan with some oil until brown. Add salt, pepper and thyme.
2. Beat the eggs in a bowl and when mushrooms are ready pour it over.
3. Fry it until cooked , then turn upside (can use a plate) down and cook the other side.
4. Enjoy!

Huw’s sweet semolina

I decided to cook something that makes me feel really happy. This dessert is super delicious and also brings back some really good memories. A few years ago I was in Australia, volunteering at an Organic farm run by Krishna devotees, they were great people to be around and the food was so good there I almost didn’t want to leave – Keshava (one of the devotees) told me that’s the reason he joined the ashram!
The recipe I use is from a book called the Higher Taste, it’s a vegetarian cookbook that you’ll find in pretty much every Hare Krishna cafe, anywhere in the world.

This is the first time I’m following the recipe properly, I normally use dates instead of raisins and walnuts. That’s how we made it at the farm for their monthly feast. For me the most important part is to chant Hare Krishna while you “sacrifice the semolina grains” in the heat of the pan.

Ingredients

2 3/4 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup raisins
140 g unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups semolina

1/3 cup of walnuts

Method.

1. Combine water, sugar and raisins in a pot. Heat it and stir it until sugar is dissolved.
2. Put the butter in saucepan and melt it over low heat. Then add the semolina and stir the grains for about 15 minutes or until they become darker and more fragrant. Add walnuts for the last 5 minutes of toasting.
3. Increase heat for water and sugar and let it reduce. Increase the heat and stir continuously semolina for 1 minute. Then remove it from heat and slowly pour the sugary water over it slowly while stirring semolina making sure the liquid is absorbed.

4. Put it back on the heat and stir it for another 5 minutes until it becomes pudding-like and the grains have absorbed the water.

5. Enjoy!! (It’s very nice with some custard)

Vital vegetable broth

It makes me so happy to introduce you to this vegetable broth. It really represents what I think about food and healthy eating.

I found the recipe for it in a ‘Nutrition in essence’ book, written by a nutrition consultant Sarah Bearden. I would really recommend reading this book, as it has so much information about food and your body and some recipes too. The broth can be used for soups or drunk on its own. According to the author, people said they have better sleep, more energy, better skin and ‘experienced a soothing effect on the nervous system when they consume this broth daily’.

If you have a medium sized pot use just a third of the ingredients given and that will make the broth that you will use up in seven days if you drink one cup a day.

2 medium yellow onions
4 leeks
7 celery stalks
4 red potatoes (had white potatoes, as red ones weren’t in season, but it worked well)
2 sweet potatoes
12 green string beans (or runner beans)
1/2 bunch of flat leaf parsley
1bay leaf
4 cloves of garlic
12 black peppercorns
4 whole allspice
1 tablespoon sea salt

I also added some more veggies because I found them in my fridge: fresh thyme (adds a lot of nice taste and smell) and some cabbage with the core.

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1. Wash and roughly chop the vegetables into large chunks. Do not peel- even keep the skins on the garlic and onion.
2. put all the ingredients into a large pan.
3. Fill the pan with filtered water to cover the vegetables and to just a few inches below the top of the pan.
4. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for at least two hours.
5. Strain it using a colander, if you have line it with muslin and store it in a fridge.