September 2012

South Asian Street Food with Ceri Buckmaster

Lots of things to celebrate from yesterday at Myatts fields harvest festival. The collective spirit of those who hung out with us all afternoon, the amazing salsa, dancing in the nature garden with Mary, Marion … and Hamid! Ramya’s creativity and focus in doing the henna designs, Simon’s fun spirit in doing the nails and the henna also, the rug full of gorgeous children, Zeca’s school mate and f…

amily coming along, soul family Rashda and Hamid’s generous contribution, Ramya’s solid friendship and community spirit, Nikki’s time and peaceful energy, John’s friendship and practical skills, Segen, Mary, Ellen, Mitzi, as ever, friendly faces, willing spirits, Malin and Una, herbs, love and grounded spirits, Fan – a lovely catch up and chat about our commitment to the community and to ourselves as part of that community (Brixton People’s Kitchen next Sunday 12 – 5pm), the food, the abundance, the delicious tomatoes from the greenhouses, pakora, biryani, wonderful contribution of South Asian culture to our contemporary London, Suneil’s bbq corn, Barnaby, Stefan and the bees in London, Tori, Ola and Kasia and all the wonderful people who make Myatts Fields what it is. Katy, Aga, friends, friends, friends.

Chestnut and fig biryani – one pot version

 2 cups basmati rice  3 tbsp oil (or 5 tbsp if you don’t have ghee)  2 tbsp ghee [clarified butter]  1 large red onion,sliced  2 tsp each garlic & ginger, finely chopped  3 finely chopped tomatoes  Chopped fresh coriander, fried brown onions for garnish  2 bay leaves  2-3 fresh green chillies  3 cloves,3 green cardamom pods, 5 black peppercorns, crushed  1 stick cinnamon  1 tsp turmeric powder  1 tsp crushed coriander seeds  1/2 tsp garam masala  1 cup boiled and peeled chestnuts   1/2 cup hazelnuts  3 or 4 figs

1. Soak the rice for at least 15 mins before cooking. 2. Heat the oil for about 2 minutes.Add the ghee to the pan followed by onions. Fry onions until golden brown. 3. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. 4. Next tip in the chopped tomatoes, and all the spices. Cook for a few minutes. 6. Next, add the nuts and figs. 7. Add the rice and 1.5 cups of water for each cup of rice. 8. Add salt and cook for 10 minutes. 9. Serve with torn coriander and salad burnet leaves.


Wild herb Pakora

1 cup gram (chick pea) flour 3 tablespoons rice flour (optional) 1 tablespoon of coarsely ground coriander powder (dhania) 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera) 2 chopped green chilies 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (hara dhania) 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste 3/4 cup of water (Use water as needed) Burdock root, plantain leaves (finely chopped), nettle leaves Oil to fry

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together: gram, rice flour, coriander powder, and salt. Add the water slowly to make a smooth batter (batter should be consistency of pancake batter or dosa batter) 2. Next, add the wild herbs and roots, green chilies and coriander leaves. Mix well. 3. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium high heat.(To check if the oil is ready, put one drop of batter in oil. The batter should come up but not change color right away). 4. Add a spoonful of the batter and vegetable mix to the oil. 5. Fry the pakoras in small batches. The pakoras will take about 4 to 5 minutes to cook. 6. Turn them occasionally. Fry the pakoras until both sides are golden-brown.