Consultancy at Metro Bodhi

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I served this at a dinner for 18 Buddhist teachers who fell in love with it so much that they asked me to teach the chefs at their restaurant, 一沙一塵MetroBodhi how to cook this. This dish, along with two others they liked haven’t made it onto the menu as yet. I will have to go back and re-teach as the teachers still need to get the hang of it.

The chefs and I in the kitchen

The chefs and I in the kitchen

This dish is devilishly easy but so delicious, anyone tasting it would imagine you spent hours perfecting it. I got it off the website of a great Indian chef. Sanjeev Kapoor. I love his recipes. I loved the idea of beets because first, I NEED them and secondly, you don’t much of beets in Indian cooking. My intention was to show the Buddhist teachers a new way to experience Indian food. I’m tired to hell with the typical, commercialised, washed down dishes of palak paneer, and whatever khorma are selling at the below average Indian restaurants at above average prices in Taipei.

When imagining the flavour, think about peppery mustard, nutty chana and earthy curry leaves.

Here’s how:

1 large beet, cut into cubes (yeah, you can in Taipei;) Mr. Kapoor’s original recipe asks for 3 – 4 small ones

Your favourite cooking oil – enough to stir fry

1/2 tsp mustard seeds (I use 1 tsp)

2 tsp chana dhal (I use more, I’m pretty full-on:D)

2 red chili, split length ways, insides removed

10 – 12 curry leaves (is life possible without curry leaf?)

salt

Now the original recipe asks for 1/4 cup coconut but I don’t dig coconut in food unless it’s Thai so I substituted a nice, dark balsamic to add a but of tartness. If you’re inclined towards coconut, go for it.

1 tbls chopped cilantro (I would freshly chopped mint and basil for some complexity)

Heat the oil in a pan, add the mustard seed. Once they start dancing around like Freddy Mercury is singing right next to you, add your chana dhal. I had no idea one could fry chana. This was a very exciting discovery for me. Stir for a bit then add curry leaves and chili and inhale! My word! Curry leaf is just heaven! Add beets and salt, cover and cook. I like my beets to be a bit crunchy so I won’t cook them right through. Once cooked, add balsamic or coconut and cilantro/ basil/ mint.

Beets Porial in the pan

Beets Porial in the pan

Metro Bodhi - really lovely, modern, clean vegetarian food

Metro Bodhi – really lovely, modern, clean vegetarian food

Great olive oil, vinegars and honey selection

Great olive oil, vinegars and honey selection

Here’s some info on curry leaf: Curry tree – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bon appétit!

Bon appétit!

Sprouted Brown Rice

sprouted brown rice

sprouted brown rice

Brown rice is a vegan’s best friend. It is gluten-free and rich in minerals and B-vitamins. It is a whole grain and compared to other rice, higher in magnesium and other minerals and higher in fibre. 

By soaking and sprouting your rice, you are neutralizing enzyme inhibitors that make grains difficult to digest. Also, the naturally-occuring phytic acid, which prevents grains, nuts and seeds from germinating until they have access to sunlight and water is neutralized by soaking and sprouting.

By soaking and sprouting your grains, nuts and seeds, you are encouraging a higher level of enzyme activity in the rice thus adding to your body, a greater ratio of digestive enzymes than you would with unsprouted rice.

Brown rice takes one day to soak and two days to sprout.

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Here’s how:

Put two cups of organic brown rice in a large bowl of water, cover with a cloth and soak for 24 hours. I just left mine on the counter top. After the 24 hours are up, rinse the rice a few times over and place in a sieve. I use a flat-based sieve that are really easy to get in Taipei. Cover the sieve with cheese cloth or a section of a nut milk bag and secure around the perimeter with an elastic band. Place the rice in a dark cupboard. Every 6-8 hours, thoroughly rinse the rice and make sure no water is left standing inside, then return to cupboard. You don’t want mold to develop so make sure you rinse thoroughly and that there is no water left standing. Also, using the elastic band prevents bugs from getting into the rice. After two days, your rice will be sprouted.

Baked Asian Pear with Mixed Spice and Walnuts

Baked Asian Pears

A favourite Fall dessert of mine, baked pears are delicious. Asian pears in Taiwan are huge and taste like a cross between an apple and a William pear. They are also used to treat lung illnesses as it is known to lubricate the lungs and dissolve mucus.

Even though it’s Spring, the weather often dances between cool and hot. Since the weather was cooler than usual, I made this dessert for my guest last night. His name is Michael Max and he does needle-less acupuncture. He runs the St. Louis Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine clinic in St. Louis, Missouri and often visits Taipei.

Needless to say, we thoroughly enjoyed these baked Asian pears accompanied by some raw mole truffles.

Recipe

Slice the Asian pear in half and core both halves.

Rub generous amounts of good olive oil on the outside and inside.

Sprinkle mixed spice over the sliced surfaces.

Press cloves all around the outer edges.

Fill the cavity with roughly chopped walnuts.

Drizzle honey over the nuts and bake at an average to low temperature for about 2 hours.

Here’s how to make mixed spice:

1 tbsp cinnamon, ground

1 tsp coriander, ground

1 tsp nutmeg, ground

1/2 tsp ginger, ground

1/4 tsp allspice, ground

1/4 tsp cloves, ground

via How to Make Mixed Spice – wikiHow.

You can also add cocoa powder or chili/smoke paprika/ chipotle…the options are endless.

Enjoy!