Saturday, September 30, 2006

Ulri Phital

Vanktesh is the South Indian Chef that I worked with this week. Vanktesh specializes in the cuisines of Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Pandicherry. While I was working in the South Indian kitchen he showded me how to make dosa, idli, aloo bonda, South Indian mutton stew, pongal, tomato chutney, vadas, sambar and ulri phital. Vanktesh's brother works at the fish market in Panjim, here in Goa.
Ulri Phital:
Dry roast some fennel seeds and sesame seeds and grind them in a mortar and pestel. Fry whole, peeled pearl onions in ghee intil they begin to brown. Remove onions and fry mustard seeds in oil until they start to pop. Add whole curry leaves and ginger garlic and onion paste. Fry for a few minutes over medium heat and add fresh tomato puree, tumeric powder, coriander powder, and chile powder. simmer for a few minutes to reduce and then add tamarind water, finely ground dried coconut, toasted fennel and sesame powder, and salt. Add browned onions and simmer in sauce for about 10 minutes over medium low heat. Garnish with cilantro.

Tune: She Knows Her Onions [1926] by The California Ramblers

Sunday, September 17, 2006

German Chocolate Puris

The puris we made last week for the Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival, were a big hit. We filled them with curried pecans, hot fudge, salt caramel, ghirardelli chocolates and seasonal fruit from the Ferry Plaza farmers market. Frog Hollow peaches are doing very well now, so we filled our puris with diced peach, caramel and pecan for a great down home puri experience. Some of the festivalgoers had an opportunity to come on stage and customize and fill their own puris with the soulcocina fixins. I also used the puri dough to make chapatis that I grilled and topped with chocolate, olive oil, and sea salt, and strawberries. It was fun to cook outside for a group of fellow chocoholics on the wonderful Dacor equipment.

Serves 15-20


For Puri

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour
1/4 cup soda water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon salt

For the Chocolate Sauce
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed)
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

For Salt Caramel
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup cream
1 tablespoon salt

Pecan pieces, salted, toasted
Coconut, grated, toasted
Whipped cream
Milk chocolate chips



Pre-heat oil to 375°.
Combine all purpose flour, semolina, salt and soda water to form a stiff dough and knead by hand for 10 minutes or with dough hook of stand mixer for 6 minutes untill smooth. Let rest for 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into half. Divide one half of the dough into 40 equal portions and rest for 5 – 10 minutes. Reserve the other half of the dough for Rava Chapatis.
Roll each portion out into 1 1/2” circles.
Let rest under a damp cloth for 5 minutes then deep fry one at a time.
Hold each puri under the oil with a spider or a slotted spoon until they puff up. Fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels or a wire rack.
Chocolate Sauce
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the water, cream, sugar, corn syrup, and cocoa powder.
Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it's just begun to simmer and boil, remove from heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until melted.

Salt Caramel
Combine the sugar with enough water to make a “wet sand” in a stainless steel sauce pan. Wipe the sides of the pan with cold water and cook the sugar without stirring or moving until it becomes a dark caramel. Slowly add the cream and cook over low heat until smooth and dissolved. Add the salt.

To Serve:
Each guest can lightly crack a whole in one puri and fill it with coconut, pecans, and a milk chocolate chip. Then fill with caramel and chocolate sauces. Top with whipped cream.

East meets West tune: Get Crunkrd Up by Panjabi Hit Squad is a bhangra tune that mixes in the perculator riddim with urban bhangra beats and rhymes.

East meets West tune: Nasheh by British bhangra artistJuggy D

bhangra tune: Baba Ve Kala Maror is another bhangra cut with a heavy beat. This song by Baba Ve Kala Maror has a rolling dhol drum rhythm.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

India Classic Remix

I made some puris this weekend. I didn't fill them with tamarind, garbanzos, and mint chutney. Instead, I gave it my own twist. Here is a clue on the right. More pics and details of my Indian Classic Remix coming soon, before I depart for Bollywood.
Bollywood Tune: Don't Stop Till You Get to Bollywood by Bollywood Freaks from the Bollywood Gangster 7"

I am not the only one putting my own spin on Indian classics.
Film India is a mix of classic and obscure Bollywood film songs mixed, edited, and cut by Bay area DJ Romanowski
I found this cd at Fabric8 on 22nd st near Valencia St in San Francisco.
Here are some sample tracks:
Bollywood Tune: Film India track 39
Bollywood Tune: Film India track 40
Bollywood Tune: Film India track 41
Bollywood Tune: Film India track 42
Bollywood Tune: Film India track 43

Bollywood Tune: Film India track 33
Along with track number 36, this is one of my favorites on the mix. There is a serious beat that rolls throughout.
Romanowski's Party in My Pants is being remixed by heavywheights like Bay Artists DJ Zeph, J Boogie, and others. DJ Zegon, one of my favorite Cali DJs, is also working on the Party Pants Remix project.
Zegon's Brazil Export EP has some crazy electro funk beats that are a little less harsh than straight up baile funk. It is Hip Hop with Brasilian breaks and Brasilian roots rhythms, very tight and unclassifiable.

Beats: Brasil Crunk Funk by DJ Zegon from Brz-x-port-brk EP

Friday, September 08, 2006

Aloo Paratha

To make the potato filling for the aloo parathas, start out by dry roasting the spices. I used cumin and coriander. Mustard seeds also go well with potatoes. The spices can be toasted in an oven set at 325 degrees F or in a pan (preferably a thick cast iron skillet or an Indian tawa) over medium heat. When the spices are toasty and fragrant they are then ground to a powder in a mortal and pestel or in a spice grinder.

5 cups potatoes peeled, boiled, and mashed
1/2 cup finely diced onions
1 bunch finely chopped cilantro
1 green chile pepper finely diced
2 cloves garlic finely diced
1 1/2 T coriander seeds
1 1/2 T cumin seeds
2 t tumeric powder
a few teaspoons of salt
1 T ghee
1 T mustard oil

Heat a saute pan with the ghee and mustard oil over medium heat and add the garlic, chile and onions and cook until transluscent and fragrant. Add the ground spices and cook for one more minute. Add to the potatoes. Cool to room temp and mix in the cilantro.


3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour
2 t salt
about 1 1/2 cups water
Knead together all ingredients to form a dough, adding more water or flour as needed. Allow to rest at room temperature covered with a moist towel for 30 minutes. Shape into 20 equal sized balls and form each ball, one at a time into a bowl shape. Fill the bowl with about 1/4 cup of potato filling and stretch the dough over the filling to seal and form a ball. Flatten out the ball gently without tearing the dough, lightly dust with flour, and carefully roll out to about a 5 inch circle.

Cook the filled parathas on a griddle over medium heat on both sides until light golden brown.

Aloo parathas are fun to make, so find a casette of early Kishore Kumar songs on Devon Street in Chicago, Bombay Bazaar in San Francisco, or any Indian casettewalla in your area. I found this great song on a record I picked up at the Chor Bazaar in Mumbai. It's a great song to whistle along to while rolling out aloo parathas.
Tune: Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke by Kishore Kumar written by Majrooh Sultanpuri and SD Burman, from the 1957 film Nau Do Gyarah
Hear more songs from Nau Do Gyarah here.

Sopes and Mission St Characters

I brought home a doggy bag of leftovers from a recent Hands on Gourmet event and transformed it into a Mexican feast. With the leftover masa I formed some sopes and pan fried them with some of the leftover cheese from the cheese platter and topped it with some of the super spicy tomatilla salsa that the Food Diva and her group put together. This group also had some leftover chicken that was stewed in a luscious red chile sauce, and I used this chicken to top the melted cheese in the sopes. There was some Latin slaw from the fish tacos left over so I served the slaw with the sopes. The slaw, spiked with citrus juice and zest is cool and refreshing alongside the firery sopes. There were also a few leftover tamales and some cilantro rice. I opened the windows and put on a Tigres del Norte record as I enjoyed the meal from leftovers that the Hands on Gourmet participants put together. I picked up a jicama at a Mission st market on my way home from the event. The sweet, crunchy jicama was perfect with the meal, and I got to hear some live mariachi music outside the market.

Mexican Beats: Rainbow Music by Instituto Mexicano Del Sonido

Mexican Beats: Invisible by Kampion from the duopandamix crew

Get some more abstract Mexican beats at Filtro

I found a guy with a Frisco tatoo on the bus ride home from the Hands on Gourmet event, and another guy with an Hecho En Mexico tatoo outside the Mission St produce market. Both the tatoos were proudly carved on the neck. There are plenty of Mariachis and interesting characters all up and down Mission St.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Another Soul Cocina Supper

Green plum spring rolls with Santa Rosa plum chile dipping sauce and coconut peanut dipping sauce
The rolls are filled with bean sprouts, green plum, rice noodles, scallion, basil, mint, cilantro, and red onions and carrots that I pickled in my plum vinegar.

Ahi tuna tartare on crispy coconut rice crackers
The tuna is tossed in yuzu juice and soy sauce before serving. It sits on avacado with sea salt, wasabi aioli, on a coconut rice cracker. I cooked coconut rice, dehydrated the rice, and deep fried the rice to make scrumptious crispy salted coconut rice crackers. The tuna is topped with scallions and young ginger that is picckled in the plum vinegar.
Roasted burdock root and lotus root with miso glazed shitake mushrooms.

Root tune: Root of All Evil by Dan Boadi & The African Internationals a musician from Ghana now based in Chicago. This cut was recorded in 1978. Find it at Dusty Grooves Chicago

Roots Tune: Roots Train by Junior Murvin with toasting by Dillinger, produced byLee "Scratch" Perry

Roots Tune: African Roots also by Lee "Scratch" Perry

Tune: Also enjoy Selecta Beatwalla's Roots Train Mix

Sesame seared opah with wakame - black moss salad and shitake sushi rice fritter The fritter was a big success. It was inspired by the arancini di riso we have been doing at Hands on Gourmet Instead of risotto I used sushi rice and instead of an Italian filling I stuffed the rice with miso glazed shitake mushrooms then I fried the whole cylinder shaped fritter in panko (Japanese bread crumbs) The sauces are hot mustard sauce and wasabi aioli. I also searved this with cucumber froth. Cucumber juice and yuzu juice bubbles. There was no time to photo the froth because it is nice and delicate and has to be served right away.

Green tea rice crepe with sauted cherries in port reduction, and genmai candy with green tea pocky stick The crepe was a variation on the pokemon mochi crepe. The genmai candy and the matcha powder came together to create the flavors of genmaicha tea. The pocky stick is a grissini coated in green tea white chocolate.

Tune: Sanose (It's Japonese) by Ali Hassan Kuban from the real Nubian album.

Young ginger crème brûlée served with sesame cookie, golden kiwi, toasted coconut, and black sesame pocky stick with a mioga garnish

Instructional Audio Clip: How to Plan a Dinner Party (1961) brought to us by Gaynor & Dorothy Maddox, two foodies from the early sixties. From the Carlton Record Corporation.