Wednesday, January 21, 2015

grey days // golden milk

Ayurvedic golden milk is a wonderful beverage to have in the evening on grey January days like these. It's not only warming and nourishing but also extremely healthy due to its main ingredient turmeric.

Turmeric is part of the ginger family and its yellow powder is widely used as a spice in Asian cooking. It has high concentrations of curcumin which has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties. It helps to prevent or relieve symptoms of arthritis, Alzheimer, high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, heartburn, jaundice, liver problems and menstrual pains. In ayurvedic and Chinese medicine it's called the anti-aging spice.

Großteich Moritzburg

How to prepare the golden paste

1 cup water
3 tablespoons turmeric powder

Cook water and turmeric in a sauce pan until you have a creamy and smooth paste. This will take about 15 minutes. The cooking process makes the turmeric taste less bitter. You can store the paste in the fridge for 2 -3 weeks.

How to prepare the golden milk

1 1/2 teaspoons unrefined coconut oil (or almond oil)
1 teaspoon golden paste
5 cardamom pods, peel removed, crushed (or cardamom powder)
a pinch freshly ground pepper ( increases your body's absorption of turmeric)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
2 cups milk ( I use hemp seed milk , almond or oat milk)
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup

Combine all the ingredients except the honey in a sauce pan. Turn the heat on medium. While heating stir constantly and do not allow the mixture to boil. Before serving add the honey or maple syrup.

Stir gently with a spoon or a cinnamon stick because the spices tend to sink down.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Ottolenghi's hot and sour mushroom soup

Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbook Plenty More and the filters of VSCOcam : two things I enjoyed spending time with during the Christmas holidays . The hot and sour mushroom soup, photographed with the VSCOcam app in F3 filter, is a little taster for you. My family loved both of it!

Hot and sour mushroom soup (slightly adapted)
(serves six) 

1 tbs sunflower oil
3 small onions (roughly chopped)
3 medium carrots (peeled and sliced)
6 celery staks (sliced)
6 garlic cloves, peel and left whole
a chunk of fresh ginger root /peeled and sliced)
3 lemongrass staks, roughly chopped
6 prunes
1 red chili
(6 star anise; in brackets, because I didn't use any)
2 tbs tamari soy sauce
6 lime leaves
1tbs coriander, pestled
2 tbs red Tandoori paste ( instead of Tamarind paste, which I had not in my pantry)
toasted sesame oil to finish

a choice of mushrooms ( I used brown champignons, dried and soaked cèpes, chanterelles, shitaake and and chinese tungkow), sliced

juice of about 2 limes
coriander leaves
basil leaves
some peas ( green beans in the original recipe)

I also added a tbs of vegetable stock and I didn't discard the vegetables as Ottolenhi suggested. As we wanted a more filling meal I added some rice noodles to the soup. Perfect for a warming lunch. 

Begin by heating oil in a sauce pan and add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and ginger. Cook on a high heat for about 5 minutes until the edges begin to colour. Pour in 2 2.5 liters of water and add the lemongrass, prunes, chilli, soy , lime leaves and coriander. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a low simmer and cook for 45 minutes.

Add the Red Tandoori paste , followed by the mushrooms and cook for 1 minute.Then add the remaining ingredients apart from the sesame oil, along with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt - and some instant  vegetable stock, if necessary. Allow to heat for a further minute.
Ladle into bowls and finish with a little drizzle of sesame oil in each bowl.