Monday, January 12, 2009

Betel Bump

Here is another Soul Cocina Motion Picture called Betel Bump. The video starts off in the village of Mutt on the Malvan Coast of Maharashtra near Sindadurg. There is a festival and ceremony during the week of Holi. The tree is a supari tree.
Then the motion picture moves on to a paanwalla working with the product of the supari tree. then the film moves on to people and places across India from the soul cocina lens.

Anthony Bourdain should go to the Malvan Coast

His No Reservation show airs around he world. But apparently, in some Muslim countries they edit out the pork scenes.

I guess the Soul Dukra Motion Picture would have to be edited out as well. This is the film of the wild boar hunt and butcher ceremony that also happens durring Holi in Mutt. [more on Soul Dukra here.]

Bourdain visited some great places in the past few years for the show.
In Jamaica he hung out with Mutabaruka. One of his new shows is in Puebla, Mexico, a center of cumbia sonidera culture and mole poblano. He went to Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Transylvania, Malaysia, and in Spain he visited Eric Rovira's Choccolate Lab, Extebarri, Mugaritz, yeah, that Mugaritz and El Bulli. Just a good show.

Tony at Mugaritz

Tony visits some pastry gurus of Spain. Check out the chocolate egg!

Tune: Junk Food - Food Dub by Mutabaruka

Tune: Da System by Mutabaruka

Pick up some Mutabaruka CDs and books here.

Tune: Downtown Pigs by Daleduro

Tune: I Crave My Pig Meat by Blind Boy Fuller

Tune: Goodbye Pork Pie Hat is Charlie Mingus' ode to Lester Young

Tune: Gimme a Pig Foot by Bessie Smith

Tune: I Heard the Voice of a Pork Chop by Jim Jackson

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rocket Stove

This is the first of a few posts from Shammi. Shammi recently returned to India from Kufunda Village, Zimbabwe where he was continuing his life journey of learning and sharing. Whether bicycling the hills and jungles of Rajasthan bartering his hands and mind in exchange for food and shelter, learning how to make chapals from used tires, creating tasty meals with little or no oil/ butter, documenting the love songs of the Bengali Bauls on film or creating useful everyday objects from old magazines, Shammi is always active creating a more beautiful, sustainable world.

His first contribution is about a rocket stove that was built by his friends Jenny and Steven in the Kufunda Village:

~Whenever Jenny would sit near the fire as we would cook she would look at the smoke
coming out of the fire and express her concern for the unburnt smoke and would talk
about the fuel efficient Rocket Stove that they have in their place. So finally
she began working on it with Steven and finished it just before she left. It had not dried before she left so she didn’t get a chance to test it.

One day when we were cooking with the kids we decided to use it and I was REALLY
AMAZED at its working. It is super efficient, I would say it can do the same job in
half or even 40 percent of the wood and doesn’t give any smoke. I used to think
how can one have a wood burning stove without smoke but this actually is.
It was made on one of the old stove like the ones next to it.
The inner chamber was made by joining small, metal cyclinders and was given a layer of clay outside.
The gap has to be filled with ash in order to insulate and keep the heat go up rather than pass on to the clay which will become a thermal mass. We don’t want the stove to get hot but to transfer all the heat from the fire to the pot. One has to just put some clay over the ash and make three protrusions to put the pot and jenny had also said that we need to make a skirt around the place of the pot so no fire escapes from the side as that also is a big loss in the fire.
Tinashi was the one who agreed to light it up. The kids in Kufunda are really good at making fire, as I suppose they do it enough at home.

The chamber for putting wood is really small and according to jenny one is supposed to put thinner pieces. I read some where that it increases the surface are of the wood which makes it burn better.As you can see only the tips of the wood burn unlike the other stove where the whole log can also burn at on time thereby dying out soon.
The fire is on but there is no smoke, only when you take your hand near you feel the heat.
There should be a skirt made around the place you keep the pot so no heat escapes from the side and is all directed to the pot.

Zimbabwean soldiers are being given elephant meat for their rations ~BBC news

Tune: Ration by Bongo Herman And Bingy Bunny

All That Meat and No Potatoes by Fats Waller

Tune: The Elephant Never Forgets by Jean Jacques Perrey

Tune: Turn My Teeth Up! by Baby Elephant

Tune: Andarele by Papá Roncón & Katanga

Tune: Girl from Pakistan by Bikram Singh & Elephant Man

Tune: El Tren Featuring Corrales - Prince Nico Mbarga by The King Elio Boom from Champeta Criolla Vol II

Fire Fi Mi Roots by Noiseshaper

Chillando Goma by Fulanito

The African Way by K'Naan

Tune: The Bauls of New York by Zeb

Tune: Fever by Kazi Arindam from the Singing Guitars album via radio Diffusion

Tune: Elephant und Mücke (The Elephant and the Fly - 1918) by Weyert A. Moor and Benjamin Kohon from an Edison phonograph cylinder

Tune: Fire Dub by Yabby You

Tune: Keep it to Yourself by Queen Ifrica

Tune: Scrappy Elephant by elephant Man and Missy ElliotBangers R Mashed on the flip side of the Healing in Vain record

reposted tune:
Tune: Killer in Tunisia has Elephant Man singing over a version Dizzie Gilespies classic Night in Tunisia done by La Sonora Poncena Elephant man was born on 9-11 in the wonderful year of 1975. from Noisybunch records

Tune: More Fire by Mr. Arssen via Esta Bater

Tune: Now that I found you by Munman

Aki Special by Uproot Andy Via

Get Ready San Francisco for Valenines Day Tormenta Tropical with Uproot Andy.

Tune: elephant message cumbia

Sweet Mother by Prince Nico Mbarga

Tune: Zimbabwe by Bob Marley

Tune: Abuela Santana by Papá Roncón & Katanga

Tune: O Elefante (SHH remix By Philip Cohan Solal (Gotan Project) & Haaksman) by Ray Barretto

Monday, January 05, 2009

More funk from the vaults of Nori

Tune: Get It Together (Part 1) by James Brown from I Can't Stand Myself When You Touch Me

Nori, Me and Jimmy Wu 2000 Flying Saucer, SF

Besan Ladoo
2 cups besan [chick pea flour]
1 cup ghee
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cardamom

toast the chick pea flour in a large saute pan over low heat, stirring constantly until it is toasted to a golden color and smells nutty. Add the sugar and ghee and continue to stir and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Mix in the cardamom and spread onto a pan to cool. Allow to cool to warm temperature [not hot, not cool] and roll into little balls. Garnish with silver foil or nuts. Reminds me of my mom's energy balls made from peanut butter and powdered sugar back in 1984 when Afrika Bambaataa and James Brown put out the Unity record.

Tune: Unity pt3 [Nuclear Wild Style] by Afrika Bambaataa & James Brown from their 1984 Unity 12"

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Firni Funk

Bosc Pear poached in star anise infused white wine with cinnamon phirni.

I remember first arriving in Mumbai a few years ago and my friends brought me from the airport to a restaurant opposite a flyover [Indian addresses are cool like that, "next to the banyan tree" "opposite the cricket club" "around the corner from the temple"]. The meal was great after a long flight. Not too "street exciting" like the fish fry shop inside Sasoon Docks, the sev puri stand at Juhu, or Bademiya, nor was it too plush. A great first meal for Bombay. What was super remarkable was the phirni. I had never heard of phirni [or firni] before this. It is basicly a rich rice and milk custard that is slow cooked in a clay ramekin called a kulhar. These earthenware cups and ramekins are still found all over India, but there used to be a lot more back in the day. Used for warm chai, warm dhood and various drinks and sweets sweets, these cups made basically from dried, molded mud are a pleasure to drink from. Calcutta uses a lot more than bombay. The warm milk that steeps all day long in giant vats on the streets of Calcutta are served in kulhars. Sugar cane juice too! Now chai is often served in plastic cups instead of the clay cups. The train tracks are full of plastic cups taht have been thrown overboard after comsumbpion. I think they were trying to pass a law that would bring the kulhars back to the rail system. They give work to many families who survive off of kulhar production rather than the big plastic cup factories and they drastically cut down on liter. Those scenes in Slumdog Millionaire with all the garbage were not filmed on a set, that is the real everyday life in many parts of Mumbai. And the kulhars add to the flavor and help with the slow cooking process of phirni, as the clay cunducts heat well and is poreous. But it's all about the great milk of India. The custardness comes from khoya and the reduced milk, which is common in so many Indian desserts. At the Cidade de Goa kitchen, there were always a few 50 gallon buckets filled with half liter bags of milk [dhood in Hindi, dhooda? in Konkani] and they were always broken open by the dozen or more. I always asked why they didn't just get milk in larger containers, or better yet, reusable barrels or bottles. They wasted so much plastic everyday. It's like that with little individual wrapped candies and snacks too, which are rapidly replacing many hand made snack stand fare. Although the chaatwallas will never die, they are taking a bit of a beting from the mass produced packaged snacks. So all these packages of milk are slashed open with a knife and used to make paneer, khoya and tea. For firni, the milk is cooked down and the rice is broken and simmered in the milk to create a gloriously unique texture. This firni was flavored with saffron. The place was close to Victoria Station. Now I remember! It is a place called Saffron. Or maybe Zafron. It is next to a Bengali place that serves great banana flour fritters. I may have forgotten the name of the place. But I will never forget the firni. A few weeks after my first taste of firni, I came across a a part of Mumbai where there are a bunch of shops that specialize in making firni durring Ramadan along Mohammed Ali Road. They have huge pans lined with clay ramekins filled with the delicacy.

2 liters of milk
150 grams [about 3/4 cup] basmati rice
125 grams khoya
2 teaspoons ground cardomom
a few pinches of saffron
sliced pistachios for garnish

grate the khoya
soak rice for 4 hours, drain and roughly grind.
simmer milk slowly with a tiny pinch of saffron until reduced by almost half
add rice and simmer over very low heat, stirring often until rice is almost cooked
add the khoya, sugar and cardomom, mix well
pour into kulhar or ceramic ramekin
top each kulhar with a tiny pinch of saffron
bake in a water bath @ 300 degrees for one hour
cool to room temperature
garnish with pistachio
can also be flavored with rose water, almond extract, vanilla, cinnamon......

Silence is ......

I have been excited for the release of Slingshot ever since I saw this trailer a few years ago. It finally debuted in SF and I missed it.

Tune: War In The Poppy Fields by Dub Gabriel from Bass Jihad off of Azra Records

Tune: Make Dub Not War by Quantic from Death of the Revolution

Don't sleep. Get hip to this Quantic album today. If we did best of 2008 lists at Soulcocina, this would be up there in the top ten with Ticklah [even though Ticklah vs Axelrod was late O7]

Tune: Stop the War by Okokan Sound System

Born Here by DAM - Da Arab MC's

Palestinian by Ja'afar Hassan from Choubi Coubi (Flok And Pop Songs From Iraq)

Radio Diffusion has a few tunes by Ja'afar Hassan up along with a bunch of great Indian Slide Guitar music, tunes from obscure Indonesian records, and a bunch of great music from North Africa, the Middle East and beyond. Check the records from Algeria, Tunisia, Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Tune: #$%& a WAR by The Geto Boys

Tune: War feat. Nas by Saigon

Tune: WW4 (Dirty) by Saigon feat. Lil Fame from A Rosenberg Oddisee EP
Oddissee always on point.
"it's brothers like [Oddissee] that keep the movement moving forward in an authentic way" - Ali Shaheed Muhammad

Warlord's Daughter (Krishna XL remix) by Lexie Lee from Di Preparation

Tune: Yo Ka Ka ka by Mighty Ki La

Tune: Se Está Acabando el Mundo by Principola

.....and just for fun:
Tune: Tienes El Culo Aguao by Japanese

Tune: Sa Péké Passé by by Mighty Ki La

And another unforgettable spot for grub in Mumbai:

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Other Weapons Ethiopian Feast

Scheduled to drop on January 13th [a Tuesday not a Friday] in the US and sometime in March in Europe, the new Other Weapons album, Basis To Break This has a hand holding a microphone on the cover. The cover should have a pair of headphones instead of a mic, because there are so many sonar treats on this album you don't want to miss. Basis to Break This is not only an album to bump on your ipod on the bus, it's also a party rocking album. Process Rebel passes the mic to some heavyweight vocalists on this release and the lyrics inspire change. He has been involved with some very nice things over the years, but this is what will push him to rockstar status. As a kid, I loved El Farolito in Summit for the burritos as big as your head, as an adult I love this album for the beats as big as your head. I first met Process Rebel when we were working together at a cooking party at a winery in the Santa Cruz mountains. As usual I had the soundsystem playing crazy tunes as we set up for the event. A song came on my ipod and he told me that he was the producer. We are lucky, cause Process Rebel is hooking us up with a pre-release tune from the upcoming album.

Tune: Badder Better ft. Juakali [link to lastfm page with free download] by Other Weapons from Basis to Break This off Destroy All Concepts records

Bird Of iLL Omen ft. 101VOiD finds MC Zulu [AKA 101VOiD?] rockin' the rock ting inna rockers stylee.... and he kills it. "Only time will tell I heard them say"- these brothers are keeping it righteous. I was getting over a cold today and checked into VH1. They were airing the 100 best hard rock tunes of all time. Sadly, Bird of iLL Omen had not been released yet. It would have been nestled in the top between Zeppelin and Sabbath, way ahead of the Journey and Foreigner songs. massive.

For The Living ft. Profisee has a grinding cinematic dancehall beat that rolls along like a fast drive through empty city streets after midnight. Profisee riding shotgun, navigating Process Rebel past vampires as he dodges the parasites and hypocrites. Mayhem, action, suspense fill this guerrilla rebel mission. Profisee advises the driver to "put your heart mind and soul in it" The raw drums sound like a hard hand to an animal skin. primal.

~when I found this Profisee video I discovered I was not the only one who had visions of driving fast and dodging obstacles.

Release Me ft. Juakali, Kid Beyond & Lady K has a dark hypnotic beat that deserves a headphone listen. Kid Beyond provides the beat box like a monster. There are also some ill monster sounding scratchs. Halfway through, the sultry dubbed out groove is joined by something that sounds like a Little Walter harmonica riff in the distance as Juakali's vocals jump back into the tune like a boogieman from under your bed, ghosts howling in the leafless trees outside your bedroom window. At second listen, what sounds like a harmonica could just as well be a processed wail from Lady K, only the Process Rebel knows. Like an underground journey through the tombs of warriors, I guess this is what they mean by dirt music? A warning from Other Weapons: check yourself before judgement time or find yourself lost forever. eerie.

What A Ting ft. Juakali ~ Juakali sings about some zombie dime as the Rebel goes to town on the outer space zapper sound to shivers the spine. One for the dancefloor. addictive.

Backflow ft. Dr. Israel, Juakali & Lady K
~ a feel good tune with the Brooklyn dub wizzard Dr. Israel. Lady K brings more gospel soul sound. A raw, clean, live sound here, imagine the trap set is in the same room as your stereo speakers on this track. Then Process Rebel turns it up to 11 and he holds the guitar's humbuckers up to the tweeter of your speaker for some Hendrix feedback. It's like the begining of Back to the Future. At one point it breaks into some Nucleus electro ish for just a second before the slanky distorted guitar riff starts to roll with Juakali The Doc as he mashes it up for the revolution before passing the mic to Juakali. When Dr Israel says "We got basses to break this" he's not playin' around, the bass is straight up funk. Is that Process Rebel or Bootsy Collins? bump.

Check out another project where Dr Israel and Lady K join forces. Dreadtone International

Pray For A Sound ft. Sunru Skywaka ~ some abstract beats with spoken word singjay calling for the fall of the Babylon system. Like a jedi Sunru Skywaka never gives up. A future nyabhingi classic with the space aged consciousness of Sun Ra and Afrika Bambaataa. cosmic.

MC Zulu brings a message of love again. You know everything's gonna be alright when he proclaims that "we chose not to use that gun".. and good thing for you, cause Zulu can be a real bad man when he wants to. So Decadent ft. 101VOiD [AKA MC Zulu] sounds like a lost tune from the Beatles' White Album. This is music music. "Different rights for rich and poor" who cares - sing, dance, and make your own change as you dance into the sunlight, early morning where you will find the stripped down hand clap and piano soul that is real music. As you wish the fuzzy guitar will return yo keep you warm, you realise that you need to get out there and make your own heat. Proof that music is forever. fire.
Tune: Another Shot by Zulu from the Riddim Killah album.

We Will Rise ft. MC Coppa is some heavy stuff. Dark dancehall. Puttin holes in chests. Is this the dubstep I have been waiting for? Lyrics and flow on this are super nice by MC Coppa. Biggin' up the people worldwide, Coppa even gives a big up to my proud people the Irish. The sneak attack sniper, Process Rebel plugs in his guitar again so that the wicked mafia rulers will hear that "we gonna rise tonight". Stand up music. represent.

At nearly 130bpm, Who You Be ft. Profisee is the first tune where the MC asks us to "feel the bassline".... after all we've been through so far, It's hard not to. This is now music. change.

Other Weapons cross borders, modern day innovation, undefinable. OG rocker bass for the people. Pre-order here.

From Africa to Jamaica, Ethiopia to California, New York to Holland, Seattle and back again. The circle of sound, spice and life.

Now it is time to take the headphones off and enjoy the Other Weapons album with other people. In a true communal style. The Ethiopian way. A feast on Injera Bread.

First, I'll start off by roasting the chillies for the berbere paste

Then I toast the spices. Cumin, Fenugreek, Cardamom, Cloves, Cinnamon, Coriander.
Berbere Paste
3 T cardamom pods
3 T fenugreek seeds
3 T cumin seeds
2 T coriander seeds
6 whole cloves
1" piece of cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cayenne chillies
3 T brown butter
1/4 cup minced onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
2" ginger, minced
1 t salt
1 t black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika

Toast athe first 6 ingredients and grind to a fine powder.
Toast the chillies and soak in 1 1/2 cups of water for 3 minutes.
Heat the brown butter in a skillet and cook the onion, ginger and garlic over low heat until soft.
Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

The berbere can be used as a hot sauce condiment as well as a spice paste for Ethiopian dishes.

Next I prepare the nit'ir kibe aka niter kibbeh.
Nit'ir Kibe

2 pounds Butter
1/2 cup diced onion
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1" ginger, chopped
1" piece cinnamon
3 cloves
3 cardamom pods, crushed
2 tablespoons fenugreek seeds
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons tumeric powder

Combine all ingredients and simmer over very low heat until the milk solids begin to toast. remove from heat and allow to cool to warm room temperature. Pour through a fine strainer lined with cheesecloth.

use the nit'ir kibe as a cooking fat for Ethiopian dishes or mix it with some berbere to use as a dip for steamed artichoke.

Next, I'll prepare the Injera.
I start by soaking teff grains in water overnight. The next day I blend the grains in the blender until smooth, using water as needed to create a smooth batter. Then I let the mixture sit, covered at room temperature for 4 days. Then I add a little all purpose flour along with a pinch of salt. The ratio should be about 4 part teff to 1 part all purpose flour. I mix together, stirring always in the same direction, clockwise, adding enough water to make a crepe batter consistancy. Then I let this batter sit for another 2 to 3 days at room temperature. After a few days a little grey water will rise to the top. I pour it off and add a little fresh water, stirring clockwise. There should be plenty of burping bubbles. Then I heat a large, round, flat pan [I use my dosa pan] over medium heat. When preheated, I add a ladel and a half of batter to the center and I pick up the pan and tilt it to spread the batter around into a large circle. Then I cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for a few minutes until I see steam escaping from the sides of the lid for about one minute. Then i remove the lid and loosen the edges with a baby offset spatula. It should peel off fairly easily. The pan does not need to be oiled. The bottom of the injera should not be brown or crispy. It should be light color and soft, yet cooked. The pan needs to be hot enough to solidify the batter as it touches the pan, but not hot enough to brown the bottom too much. There should be lots of holes in the injera with a spongey top and a smooth slightly shiney bottom. Then I make the yegomen kitfo or braised greens with buttermilk curd.

Making the buttermilk curd is easy. Just heat the buttermilk over low heat until the curds and whey separate. Then cool to room temperature and strain through a cheesecloth. Wrap in the cloth and put a heavy can ontop to squeeze out the excess whey and to condense the curd. Leave the weight on for about 45 minutes. remove from cloth and cut into cubes.To cook the greens, simply saute some ginger, garlic and onion in some niter kibbeh and then add the greens. Add some berbere, a splash of vinegar and a few cups of vegetable stock. Simmer over low heat until the greens are tender and spiced and the liquid has mostly evaporated.

In Ethiopia, yegomen kitfo is made with collard greens, I used red chard and Chinese mustard greens for my version. It is so good, I plan on making another batch next week, using some of the injera batter I saved as a starter for the next batch. next week I'll make the yegomen kitfo with Lacinto Kale