Dragon Whiskers vegetable is the vine of chouchou/ chuchu/ sayote/ chayote. One can only find some sayote or choko leaves recipes while googling but searching ‘choko chips’ you’ll end up with chocolate chips. All of us accustomed to, as it’s called in China, Long xu cai, are familiar with the stir fry or soup-broth – bouyon bred, in Mauritian Creole. I’m no longer a fan of bouyon so when I’m left with a handful, I tried to make chips.
I suggested this on facebook as we can’t kale was not yet available here, but didn’t try it until recently, when I no longer have an oven. I pan-fried them and they may be better in the oven or dehydrator (or they may be too fine who knows). What I do most often is drizzle oil in a thick-based lidded pot that I would later use for cooking 1/4 pot of something else, add the leaves even if they overlap. When they look crispy, sprinkle with salt and scoop out. My pot is then ready for the next dish.
Use some recipe for kale chips, these are less coarse and their surface spreads evenly in a pan and they don’t stick. I love their taste plain salted but if you don’t quite want them plain, they’d go best with a pinch of garlic and chilli or mustard powder? Dr Greger suggested using mustard with greens that you don’t leave to stand after chopping, we’re finally learning the science behind traditional cooking. These don’t need chopping. I’d suggest using them quite fresh (in my old fridge that frosts, takes about 2 days til it withers) or pan-fried they end up being stir-fry consistency. I don’t like the stalks and I’m yet to try the curls, the actual dragon whiskers I suppose. No one I know eats that part.
Traditionally used spices with greens cooked otherwise are garlic or onion or simply a dried chili or a few mustard seeds.
Nutritional value and bonus home remedies: The plant is a rich source of amino acid and vitamin C. It is diuretic and has anti-inflammatory properties. The leaf is used for treatment of arteriosclerosis and hypertension and kidney stones. According to Stuartxchange, the fruit is laxative, raw pulp is used for soothing of skin rashes and roasted leaves might help in suppuration of boils.
Yeah, that remedy for boils is the closest thing I found to the chips! Must be a tasty remedy.
A post featuring, among others, an original KVARM curry recipe with two of my favourite ingredients – kohlrabi (AKA knolkhol, jiddra, nookal, rutabaga, chou-navet(?) ) and depodded broad beans.
Recipes are something I *hardly post, read or follow (edit: *used to, I’m thinking of a separate recipe blog now, when I have time). I keep a list of basics and links to refer folks to (end of page). Aside from unfamiliar cuisine foreign to me, I personally only need recipes for baking but there are good bakers in Capetown (like Jen) and soon bake, I will have to import grain, other ingredients and grind my own flour maybe !! I’m used to having many food options in spite of allergies, and eating organic and seasonal here.
I prefer to only spend time cooking once a day and often not more than 15 minutes because I also need to wash dishes and do a zillion things. I’ll make a post with quick recipes one day if ever others are worth posting. I’ve compiled links below and directions for two staples follow.
Jen’s porridge (above) is different from my usual polenta. Mine (gets firm when cold) goes 1:2x water and a bit of soy milk or 1.5 water and more milk. Soak polenta for 30min. Add plant milk when soaked, add salt or sweeten. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and stir continuously until it sticks to the spoon quite a lot. Pour in mould, with sesame seeds, grated coconut, almonds or whatever you wish at the bottom of mould to make pretty and nutritious polenta squares. This is a Mauritian favourite you’d find sold in the streets or markets, albeit with dairy and sugar.
Sassy Knutson‘s super easy rice-cooking technique:
First, soak your rice in fresh water for 6-8 hours (or overnight), pour off the water, rinse, and add the rice to a pot with a lid (a medium-sized pot works best for this method).
Then turn your thumb upside down and touch the tip to the very top of the rice layer as you pour in water or veggie broth until the liquid reaches the first knuckle of your thumb (yes, the one just past your nail). Cover, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.
Try not to lift the lid while it’s simmering, but after about 30 minutes start peeking in. When the water/broth is absorbed and you see holes beginning to appear on the top of the rice, your rice is done (cooking time should be about 30-45 minutes depending on the rice you’re using). Remove the pot from heat and let sit with the lid on it for 10 minutes. Fluff. Let me know how it turns out because I’m so ‘lazy’ I use kettle-boiled water so the rice would hurry up.
Here’s a quickcurry recipe let me know how it compares to what’s in the curry bible (free book) because local fresh organic produce have me biased. That and the organic curry powder makes it the best curry I’ve had ever (I had many Indian aunts and grannies who make their own, so I’m an expert, ok!).
Kohlrabi-Fava curry (serves 2)
1 large potato, parboiled and diced
1-2 peeled and chopped kohlrabi
1 cup depodded broad (fava) beans (or canned fava beans/cannelini)
1 onion chopped, or dried onion flakes, or pickled onions, chopped.
1 clove garlic, finely grated/ crushed
1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger or 1/2 tsp of dried ginger
1-2 peeled and chopped kohlrabi
2 tbs cooking oil (not olive or sesame)
1 tbs Good life Organics curry powder (because it’s better than your or my mum’s home-made)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp each cumin, coriander powder
1 piece of dried chilli
1-3 curry leaves.
A pinch of mustard or cumin seeds maybe (then less cumin powder),
Himalayan salt or salt, to taste.
Ground pepper can replace chilli.
*1 small tomato, some tamarind pulp in water OR 1 tsp lemon juice or
Heat oil in a pot. Saute onions and curry leaves/chilli (then mustard). Add curry powder, spices and kohlrabi together with broad beans (if fresh) followed by potatoes [or canned beans go here]. Saute for a couple of minutes on low-medium heat. Then add enough water to cover all veggies and add last ingredient*, reduce heat to lowest, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender or soft – depending on desired thickness. Occasionally check that the liquid does not simmer away. Add water accordingly. Once the kohlrabi is done, spoon-mash a few potato pieces to make the sauce creamy. Stir, remove from heat and enjoy hot with basmati rice or whatever you’d replace couscous with or cold with polenta sticks or some such. Kohlrabi is also excellent in stir-frys, just dis the fibrous centre if it is too fibrous like green or big ones tend to be.
NB use only one of the last-mentioned* ingredients, lemon and tamarind lower blood pressure so when I don’t have a tomato, I sometimes use Bragg liquid aminos. The latter two would add umami to the dish.
Here’s some basics and links (plant-based), more extensive list on Ovnivores (in note and comments):
Sweet condensed milk: (can be completely local and ethical!) In sauce pan, combine 2 cans coconut milk and 1/2 cup agave nectar. Warm mixture over medium-low heat until mix begins to bubble. Continue to cook over low heat, mixing continuously until sauce is reduced to ½ , is slightly golden and is the consistency of a light syrup. Cool to room temperature. Store refrigerated in glass jelly jar until ready to use.
Vegannaise : Makes one cup – 1 x 12oz block soft tofu, 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice,1 teaspoon prepared mustard, 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, pinch of Saffron or Turmeric powder for colour…optional, 3/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup sunflower or canola oil. METHOD: Process all ingredients in blender EXCEPT the oil. At high speed TRICKLE the oil into the mix until smooth and creamy looking. CHILL for an hour before serving to allow flavour to “rise”. (Add 1 tbs good quality Tomato Sauce if you want 1000 Island dressing!)
Soy yoghurt (soghurt?):
500ml sweetened soya milk – 4 vegan acidophilus capsules (like Solgar) – or 2 tablespoons live soy yogurt (unpasteurised)
1. Sterilize the soya milk by heating to just below boiling point. Let it cool a bit.
2. rinse a large glass jar or vacuum flask with boiling water to sterilize it.
3. Once the milk has cooled to lukewarm, pour it into the glass and stir in the yogurt or break the capsules open and empty the powder into the glass. Put the lid on.
4. Place container near a contant souirce of low heat, e.g. an airing cupboard (?? in the sun or in warm water, keep it at about 40degrees by pouring in hot water every so often), or wrap in a towel or newspaper and put it on a hot water bottle (but you do have to keep changing the hot water!). The yogurt should set within 12 hours. (If the temp. drops too low, process stops or takes longer. If the temp too high, the bacteria will be killed).
5. Once set refrigerate and use within 4-5 days. Keep 2 tbsp for next batch!
‘Cheese’ sauce 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes – 1/2 cup unbleached flour – 1 tsp salt – 1/2 tsp garlic powder – 2 cups water – 1/4 cup oil – 1 tsp prepared mustard. Mix nutritional yeast flakes, flour, salt, and garlic powder in a 2-quart saucepan. Whisk in water. Cook over medium heat, whisking, until mixture thickens and bubbles. Cook 30 seconds more, then remove from heat and whisk in oil and mustard. Sauce will thicken as it cools but will thin when heated.
Debbie’s Chocolate tofu mousse: 2 packages soft tofu (regular or silken) – 16 ounces bag of semi-sweet choc chips – 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Let tofu sit on the counter until it’s at room temperature. This is VERY important. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or saucepan over medium-low heat. Place the room-temperature tofu in blender or food processor and blend until creamy. Add chocolate mixture and vanilla to tofu, and mix thoroughly. Chill 1 hour, and serve. Variation: Slice bananas and layer with chocolate mixture in either pudding cups or pie crust.