Archive for February, 2011



February 28, 2011

vegan, gluten-free doughnuts that were instantly devoured by picky gluten-lovers.

a perfectly deep-fried, golden-brown, doughnut-shaped vada was not what we got.

although fermenting the batter wasn’t called for in the recipe, i missed fermented foods so much after being away from them for two months that i sat the batter out for a few hours after grinding it.

i’ll try it unfermented some day, but WOW! these were worshipped by my gluten-free housemates. i just treated it like dosa batter, but made it a little thicker.

2 cups urad dal (bet that’d be better than what we used, which was just plain lentils – but they were still outstanding)
a few T chana dal
a few T rice
(recipe said you can use potato, too!)
spices (i did cloves, allspice, cumin seed, mustard seed, and coriander)

soak the grains and rice for a few hours, blend with not a lot of water, leave to ferment, and just before frying up, add spices and whatever else you want.

we did a few batches savory and we liked ’em, but when i started rolling them in sugar, we discovered they are approximately the best thing ever.

i found a good trick was to make tiny doughnut holes so they’d cook all the way through at a temperature high enough to keep the batter from absorbing all the oil.

just made them for a vegan friend’s birthday, and they were unimpressed. hmm. they all got rolled in sugar and eaten up, anyway. also finally figured out how to make them doughnut-shaped: when grinding the batter, add water a tablespoon-full at a time and only add enough to allow the food processor to do its thing. then just form into a circle and toss it in the oil like that.


lacto-fermented condiments

February 27, 2011

lacto-fermented mayonnaise

lacto-fermented salsa

lacto-fermented ketchup

lacto-fermented mustard



February 26, 2011

my mother has been on a quest to copy her mother’s sweet and savory zweibelkuchen (say “swivel-koo-[ch]a”) recipe for years. she says she’s finally found something that makes the onions as soft and sweet as she remembers.


zweibelkuchen, if you’ve never had one before, is your new favorite comfort food. picture a buttery, flaky crust, filled with a rich, creamy mixture of sweet onions, bacon, and happiness. it is easy to make this vegetarian – just make sure to use a flavorful veggie broth to make up for the missing bacon.


make your own partially-baked pie crust, or use packaged puff pastry.

fry 3 slices bacon cut into 1/2 in pieces til crisp, set aside

mix two T bacon fat with 2 large sweet onions, about 2 lbs, thinly sliced
mix in 1/4c honey and 1/4 c stock or dry white wine with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
bake at 375 for 30 minutes to caramelize, stirring often towards the end
(my mother insisted it was essential to bake them)
then add a few pinches nutmeg, some salt, and 1 t caraway

spread 3/4c creme fraiche on the bottom of the pastry… any mixture of sour cream, thick yogurt, or anything similar in texture and creaminess should be fine. (i use homemade whole-milk yogurt.)

throw everything else in

bake at 375 for 30 minutes




February 26, 2011


• 3 cups gram/chickpea flour (besan)
• 400 gm Sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
• 2 tbsp milk
• 1 cup ghee or butter
• Dry fruits for garnishing

Combine milk and besan in a thali and keep it for half an hour.
Heat ghee in a pan and roast besan on low flame for 12 minutes.
Add the condensed milk and cook for 15 minutes, stir constantly until the mixture thickens.
Remove the mixture from fire and place in a greased plate and garnish it with dry fruits.
Cut into desired shapes when cool.

this was absurdly delicious. two sticks of butter. the consistency is difficult to describe but is very like fudge. creamy? melty? it tastes nothing like chickpeas and is not overly sweet. highly recommended. our house ate 3/4 of a pan full in twelve hours.