Archive for January, 2006

Curry Powder

Today, we started our our culinary adventure producing curry powder from whole spices. We continued by using the curry to flavor green beans and chick pea (garbanzo) flour. Freshly grated coconut and cloves sweetened the dish.

We culminated the adventure by explaining how to separate the coconut meat from its shell.


Here are the recipes.


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Garam Masala

Garam MasalaToday, we made garam masala spice mixture, starting with whole spices. The process took some time to complete but it was very satifying to make a fragrant blend that is much better than the pre-mixed variety.

We produced enough garam masala for several dishes. As a start, we made stuffed cauliflower, a specialty from the Marahashtra state of India. This state may not be familiar but it’s capital, Mumbai (aka Bombay) certainly is. The stuffing consisted of a garlic paste with spices. The cauliflower was steamed first, then combined with a tomato sauce that included garam masala and other spices. The dish was well-received by our Co-op clientele.

To balance the rich flavors of the stuffed cauliflower dish, we also prepared a cool dish called Cucumber and Yoghurt Salad, also known as a Cucumber Raita.

Here are the recipes.

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Thai Curries

Today, Khun Sunee treated our Co-op members and friends with a green Thai curry with eggplants and mushrooms and a red Thai curry with tofu, mushrooms and peanut sauce. She toned down the pungent spices to appeal to our audience, but the dishes still received a very warm reception. The curries were served with steamed jasmine rice.

Sunee Tong

Sweet pumpkin rice cakes complimented the curries. Thank you, Khun Sunee and Tong!

rice cake

Here are the recipes.

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Tom Yum Soup and Other Thai Classics

Today, we had a guest cook, Khun Sunee, who is a visiting scholar at St. Olaf College and a culinary teacher in her native Thailand. She was assisted by Tong, a St. Olaf student from Thailand.

In such capable hands, we produced three dishes that can constitute a complete meal. For starters, we served Tom Yum Tofu Soup, a sour and pungent soup with tofu and mushrooms. For the main course, we had Pad Thai, a stir-fry rice noodle dish. Finally, for dessert, we offered Kluay Buat Chee, or banana in a sweet coconut syrup.

Here are the recipes.

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A Community-based Commercial Kitchen Model

The Women’s Foundation of California is setting up La Cucina, a commercial kitchen to help underprivileged women build a sustainable food business. In addition to a cooking facility, the project also provides technical assistance and marketing support. Based on the donor list, I estimate that the project has raised $1-$1.5 million. Thank you, Theresa, for the reference.

Here is the project description and a story on National Public Radio (part of Hidden Kitchens, a series of stories on how communities come together through food).

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