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.




Probably time to jot this one down as well, it's Ottolenghi, but this is the slightly less complex and expensive version.


root vegetable stampppot with red onions.

80g red lentils
1 celeriac (600g), peeled and cut into chunks
2 big old carrots (300g), peeled and cut into chunks
2 sweet potatoes (600g), peeled and cut into chunks
70g butter, diced
2 tbsp maple syrup
1½ tsp ground cumin
salt and black pepper

2 tbsp olive oil
600g red onions (roughly 6 medium), peeled and cut into eighths
200ml red wine
400ml vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 or 2 tsp dried thyme, depending on how much you like thyme
1 tbsp brown sugar
smoked salt, or well, salt
30g butter

The instructions on how to do this are important in terms of doneness timings.

Put the oil and onions in a heavy pan and fry, stirring occasionally, for five minutes until lightly browned. Add the wine, stock, bay, peppercorns, thyme, sugar and a pinch of smoked salt, cover and simmer for an hour. Remove the lid, raise the heat and boil until the liquid is reduced by half, or you are left with a 1/2 inch of sauce.

Fill a sizable pan with boiling water and add the lentils, celeriac and carrot. After 10 minutes, add the sweet potato. The vegetables should be just covered by the water. 10 to 15 minutes later, everything should be fork-tender but still toothsome.

Drain all that shit, getting rid of as much liquid as possible, and then mash everything with one of those stamppot mashers. Or whatever you normally use to coarsely mash things. Mix in the butter, syrup, cumin and cooked lentils, season to taste, and keep warm.
Then I just add the last tbsp or two of butter to the shallots, simmer/reduce for 5 minutes and serve, topping the mash with shallots and sauce.

Serves at least 4.




Hi. Let's talk about food.

And here is an especially promising new thing, got it from here, did it camping style with no oven so I imagine the recipe will change eventually, but tonight was pretty darn good. Instead of a meat sauce I made this Lentil Bolognaise with Afghani spices instead of Italian. Here's where the idea came from. I bet toasted pumpkinseeds would be a good experiment on top.


kaddo bourani (sweet afghani pumpkin with spicy tomato-lentil sauce and garlic yogurt).

3 tbsp butter
2 onions, chopped fine
2 carrots, diced small, smaller than you usually would
100g tempeh, diced the same smallness as the carrots (optional)
1 tsp ground coriander (or more, this is the most important taste)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric (or more)
3 cloves garlic, pressed
3 cans tomatoes
2 tbsp tomkllllllllllllllllllloikjjjjjjjjjjjato paste (thanks Pip)
2 tsp sriracha
1 cup green lentils (not the fancy kind)
1 cup water
a pinch smoked salt
a pinch red chile flakes
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 small pumpkin,  peeled, seeded, and cubed into 1.5-cm cubes or something like that
some cooking method

2 cups yogurt
4 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tsp dried mint
salt to taste


Mmm, it went something like this: melt the butter in a big pot. Throw in the onions and carrots and tempeh if using and saute for 8 minutes or so. Then throw the coriander and turmeric in and saute it all for 3 minutes or so. Then the garlic, for a minute or two. Then the tomatoes, the tomkllllllllllllllllllloikjjjjjjjjjjjato paste, the sriracha, the lentils, and the water. And maybe the salt, chile and pepper too. Yeah go ahead. Do it. You're going to cook this business for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are al dente, possibly adding more water as you need to to give the lentils something to soak up. If you do do that you'll probably need to adjust salt and pepper again.

Meanwhile, on another burner if you're camping like I was and don't have an oven to do Helmand's candying thing linked to above: boil the squash in water for 10 minutes or so, or however long it takes the squash to be cooked but still hold its shape. Drain it and caramelize the outside of it in sugar and melted butter (roughly 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp sugar).

Oh, right: before you do any of this, make the yogurt sauce: go into the fridge and find the oldest of the several buckets of Greek yogurt that are in there. Scrape off any gross looking parts and throw away any watery liquid that has accumulated. With what's left, use a silicone spatula to make it look pretty, then add the garlic, mint, and salt to taste. Don't tell anybody what you just did. Stir to combine. Let sit for at least an hour before you do the first two steps.

Serves probably 4.