Raita is a cooling dish that accompanies many spicy curries. It is usually made with a yogurt base, but I use milk kefir because they are very similar and the kefir is easy to make at home. The cooling properties of milk help to balance the heat from many Indian dishes. One of the most common varieties is cucumber raita, so I made one with raw lotus instead. It goes perfectly well with the Lotus Stalk Curry from last week. Continue reading
Category Archives: Local Food
Lotus Stalk Curry
Lately at the Waki Farmers Market I find interesting and unidentified plant stalks. I don’t know what they are, so obviously I want them. I’m told that they’re lotus stem, and that they can be cooked, or rubbed with salt and eaten raw. You may be acquainted with the lotus root (a rhizome, though sometimes called a tuber), but this is something entirely different that I’ve never previously encountered. Continue reading
Did you know that you can eat the seeds and rind of a watermelon? I didn’t know growing up, even though I always enjoyed that white part between the melon and the skin. The rind and seeds provide plenty of nutrients that you won’t get from the melon flesh alone. The sweet and bitter tastes that come from eating all parts of the melon are a nice combination for the heat. Continue reading
Japanese Purple Carrot Soup
I’ve never been a huge fan of carrot soup. I think it’s the limited texture and mouthfeel, so I get bored eating it. Lately we’ve been blessed with an abundance of beautiful purple carrots so I decided to make a soup that would satisfy my tastes. I jazzed this up with corn, sesame seeds, and chives. It makes for a great light dinner with plenty of crunch.
Ground Cherry Salsa Salad
In Japan, Houzuki is a “ground cherry.” It’s not that the fruit is mashed up, but that it is a low growing plant. When ready to be eaten, it tends to drop its fruit on the ground, hence the name I suppose. They ripen in their husk to a golden hue. I’ve heard the ground cherry likened to a gooseberry, but can’t attest to the similarity.
The ground cherry has a lively flavor that is at once sweet and acidic, like pineapple or tomato. The local farmers markets are flush with beautiful fruits, so I wanted to make a fresh fruit salsa. Continue reading
Purple Carrot Chutney
I’ve been on a chutney kick lately. Chutney goes well with rice, pasta, corn cakes, and idli (fermented bean and rice cakes). It makes a great dip, but it’s so good that I’ve been known to eat it by the spoonful. If you struggle with finding new ways to pack a ton of vegetables into a meal, then chutney is a great choice. Continue reading
Japanese Ginger Carrot Dressing
If you’ve ever been to a Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant in the states, then you’ve had a taste of this dressing, atop a small bowl of iceberg lettuce, right next to your miso soup. Did you know that carrots are the key ingredient? I sure didn’t. This dressing had me baffled for years. Why don’t they call it carrot-ginger dressing? Give a girl a break.
Purple Carrot Salad
I can’t get enough of purple vegetables. At the farmer’s market last week, I found gorgeous purple carrots. I thought to snatch them all up, but opted for a small healthy bundle. I’ll cross my fingers for more this week. In the meantime, I’ll share with you a simple salad that will showcase the carrots. I could hardly stop myself from eating the whole bowl. It’s super delish! After we gobbled down this salad, I regretted my display of self restraint. Continue reading
I’m enamored with the array of purple vegetables that I find in Okinawan farmer’s markets. One such delight is the fujimame, but it is also known by several other names including hyacinth bean, dolichos lab-lab, pharaoh bean, Egyptian bean, Indian bean, and Chinese flowering bean. It’s no surprise that this bean gets around, considering its beautiful appearance and crisp texture. Continue reading