Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Luck o' the Irish

Me and Chef Fernando's Nostalgia crew in Dona Paula, Goa. I like Ravi's t-shirt a lot more today than I did back then in 2006.

That's right, Barack is Irish

Barack's great great grandfather comes from Offaly County in Ireland. There is an Indian restaurant in Offaly county called Saffron Cuisine of India, half way between Dublin and Galway. I'll have to stop by on my next road trip. The lamb is great in Ireland. Here is a dish that would make a great snack at Saffron in Co Offaly for a stop between Dublin and Galway.
Mini Masala Lamb Burgers with Mint Chutney on Homemade Pao Buns

Start with the dough for the pao buns
starter 1 cup water 2 teaspoons yeast 1/4 cup wheat flour 1 cup bread flour Combine all ingredients and refrigerate over night. Dough 1 teaspoon honey 2 teaspoon salt 2 cup flour 1 1/2 cup milk 1/2 cup butter (1/4 pound) Combine all the ingredients together along with the starter and knead by hand for 12 minutes. cover with a damp towel and allow to rest until double in size. Cut into 16 equal sized pieces and roll into little balls. Brush with egg wash and rest for 30 minutes. Brush again with egg wash and bake at 400 degrees until golden brown and baked through (about 30 - 40 minutes)

Pao bread is all over Goa. There are little neighborhood bakeries that crank out little buns shaped like spheres and also shaped like butterflies. They usually have a bicycle with a giant basket covered with a blue plastic tarp. The Pao guy rides around the neighborhood and rings his bell. Everyone knows the sound of his bell. It is different from the sound of the fish lady and the knife sharpening guy and the vegetable lady. The bread is always fresh and it is very good. A lot of "Western" cuisine in India is very bad, but the pao bread from Portugal has been adopted as a Goan specialty and they do it very well. It has great texture and flavor. There are a few varieties. Some are like a mix between ciabatta and brioche, some are like little round baguettes.The picture above is the inside of the bakery at Nostalgia in Goa where I learned to make Pao bread. They make the best cocnut green chutney at Nostalgia. A special treat for the cooks at Nostalgia would be a chutney and pao sandwich.The chutney for my moini lamb burgers is different from the famous Goan cocnut green chutney at Fernando's Nostalgia. Mine is less sweet (no sugar added) and does not have any coconut.
Mint Chiuntey

Mint Chutney:
2 bunches of mint, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 green chilies, chopped
1/2" ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups yogurt
juice of 1 lime

Lamb Masala Burgers:
1 1/4 pound ground lamb
1/2 onion, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2" ginger, minced
4 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and ground
3 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
2 Tablespoons toasted and ground dried kashmiri chile
1 Tablespoon tumeric powder
2 teaspoon toasted and ground brown cardomom
2 teaspoon toasted and ground fennel seeds
pinch of asafoetida
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients and form 16 flat meatballs. Sear both sides in a little vegetable oil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until desired doneness.

These lamb burgers were inspired by the lamb kebabs I made with the Cidade de Goa BBQ chefs.

As seen in this video Miriam Makeba has quite an international band.

Miriam Makeba (4 March 1932 - 9 November 2008) Miriam and I share the same birthday, 43 years apart.

Miriam Makeba sang all her life. She was singing on stage in Italy on Sunday when she died of a heart attack.

Listen to a story about her on PRI from yesterday.

"I am just a little old singer, I'm not a politician. I just wish people could be soldiers. Soldiers not to fight each other, but against poverty, illness and disease. Be an army for all goodness." -MM
She was exiled from her home, South Africa, after starring in an anti-apartheid documentary and did not return to her native country until after Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990.
Miriam Makeba was the momma of "world music", adding rhythms and sounds from around the world to her South African Roots. Check out the use of the Güiro in this tune.

"Khawuleza was recorded for a Swedish TV programme in 1966 - she links it to black children in the townships watching the police turn up for a raid and calling Khawuleza Mama (Hurry Mama - i.e. 'don't let them get you')." -from the History is made at night blog

Nelson Mandela persuaded Miriam Makeba to return to South Africa in 1990.

Letter to Barack Obama from Nelson Mandela
5 November 2008

Senator Barack Obama,

Dear Senator Obama,

We join people in your country and around the world in congratulating you on becoming the President-Elect of the United States. Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place.

We note and applaud your commitment to supporting the cause of peace and security around the world. We trust that you will also make it the mission of your Presidency to combat the scourge of poverty and disease everywhere.

We wish you strength and fortitude in the challenging days and years that lie ahead. We are sure you will ultimately achieve your dream making the United States of America a full partner in a community of nations committed to peace and prosperity for all.


N R Mandela

Tune: Amampondo by Miriam Makeba


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