Monthly Archives: April 2014

Fisherman’s Masala

One of the best things about living on an island is the abundance of fresh seafood.  Even better, on this island you can find a plethora of whole and ground spices in the souk for pocket change.  Even though I know they won’t keep forever, I’m already daydreaming about what I will ship home when it comes time to leave (spices only…not the fish!).  And, since I can find all those whole spices, why not try my hand at making my own curry powders, like this machali masala.

Fresh tomatoes, on the other hand, are harder to come by since it’s so hot here, especially tomatoes that haven’t been refrigerated.  So, the other day made a chutney out of them, which I’ve been eating on pretty much everything until I can find a mold to make idlis.

Now, back to the seafood and spices…  Thakkali chatni is also a perfect complement to mild flavored seafood.  Put them all together, and you have a healthy, quick, and tasty weeknight supper.

Curry Dusted Scallops with Spicy Tomato Chutney

Love and peanut butter

Sweet and Salty Peanut Butter Cookies

I’ve been living in the mideast for a month now, and I’m slowly starting to get my bearings in the kitchen.  I’ve been able to find gluten free food pretty darn easily, but dairy free and egg free has been a nightmare, especially when I’ve got a craving for sweets.  No problem.  I’ll just bake.  …Except, I’ve been to nearly every decent sized market within 25km of the capital, and I can’t find xanthan gum or guar gum to save my (baked goods’) life.  And for some reason, the fact that I haven’t been able to bake (edible, non-disintegrating) cookies has made me miss my loved ones even more than usual.

I could just order xanthan gum online or have my parents ship some, but I need to bake now.  My first attempts at baking without xanthan gum were tasty but otherwise disasters.  I’m still trying substitutes like chia, but I need a lot more practice…and patience.

Then last night I remembered  that peanut butter cookies don’t need flour, and if they don’t need gluten in the first place, then I wouldn’t need a substitute.  And, since I’ve found peanut butter (and sugar) in every country I’ve ever been in, I may have just found a connection back home, regardless of where my oven is.

Sweet and Salty Peanut Butter Cookies

BTW, these make awesome sandwich cookies.  Try layering them with strawberry jam or chocolate spread just before serving.

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