Wednesday, 24 February 2016

In the kitchen

Its been too hot outside this last week to do much in the garden, so I have spent a bit more time in the kitchen instead, cooking up a few different things here and there. Trying out some new arvo snacks for the kids and getting a bit of a ferment on! So I thought I would just share a couple of the recipes I have used this week in case anyone is interested. Firstly I made Eggplant Kasundi. I kinda followed this recipe from Cityhippyfarmgirl with a few changes. This is a delish relish kinda thingy. Goes nice with eggs, steaks, sausages (thats all I've tried it with so far, but you get the gist).

Eggplant Kasundi

  • 1kg eggplants
  • 400g tomatoes
  • 3 medium onions
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 knob of fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp coriander
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • 100ml vinegar
  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • 50ml balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tsp salt

In a large pot add the ginger, garlic, onion and oil. Cook it up, stirring continuously over a medium heat, add your spices and continue to stir for a couple of minutes. Add diced eggplants and diced fresh tomatoes. Continue stirring intermittently, pop the lid on and let the mixture cook down a little further, (you want the eggplant to be soft and cooked through.) 

Add the apple vinegar's, honey and salt, continue cooking (stirring occasionally) over a low heat for approximately 1 hour or until mixture thickens and comes together. Pour hot mixture into sterilised jars. Store in the fridge or water bath to store for longer.

Eggplant Kasundi.

As some of you saw on my facebook page I also made a fresh batch of Kombucha. These are the different measurements I use up to 6 litres.

70-90g sugar
1-2 tea bags
50-100ml previous kombucha 'juice'

140-180g sugar
2-4 tea bags
100-200ml previous kombucha 'juice'

210-270g sugar
3-6 tea bags
150-300ml previous kombucha 'juice'

280-360g sugar
4-8 tea bags
200-400ml previous kombucha 'juice'

350-450g sugar
5-10 tea bags
300-500ml previous kombucha 'juice'

440-540g sugar
6-12 tea bags
400-600ml previous kombucha 'juice'

My Kombucha scoby (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) about to go into its fresh batch of tea.

So, firstly you boil 1L of filtered (dont use plain tap water, the chlorine in it will kill the scoby mother!) and pour into a glass jug with the sugar and tea bags. Stir until sugar is dissolved and let the tea brew until the liquid is room temperature or the same as the scoby. You must make sure they are both at the same temp otherwise the excess heat will kill the scoby as well. Pour liquid into a large glass jar (this really should be glass and definitely not any kind of aluminium or steel as this will effect it and again kill it...Sounds pretty hectic, huh?) - or whatever size you are using and fill with more filtered water. Add the scoby and extra kombucha 'juice'. Cover with a breathable cloth and secure with a rubber band and set aside where it wont be disturbed for as long as your taste desires. I leave mine for 2 weeks to develop a lovely carbonated taste. Be careful not to leave for too long as it will start to turn to vinegar. Dont worry about the sugar content, this is what the scoby feeds on, so by the time you drink it, all the sugar will be 'consumed' by the scoby and minimal if any by you. Then you are left with a delicious fermented probiotic drink that can aid your health in many ways. Check out these pages if you are interested in reading more.
Food Renegade - Kombucha health benefits
Wellness Mama - the Benefits of Kombucha

Apple Cider Vinegar day 1.

And finally I have started to make my first batch of apple cider vinegar. This may sound grose, but I keep the kids half eaten apples, give them a rinse then chop them up and put into a jar. I add the apples to about 3/4 full then top with filtered water. For each cup of water I add a table spoon of sugar. Make sure the sugar dissolves (I gave a good few shakes with a lid on), cover with a breathable cloth and secure with a rubber band. Leave to sit on the bench for a couple of weeks, it should 'grow' a mother on top - this is great, it means its working.  Drain of the liquid (keep it, discard the apple bits) and leave again for another 2-4 weeks until it has a lovely vinegar smell. This can then be stored indefinitely but I am sure it will be used up pretty quickly. 

Hope you all try one of these or all of them, let me know how you go. Talk soon. x

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