Tag Archives: Food

Down on The farm… Thai Potatoes…

Thai potatoes which in Thai are called Man sam Palang but are also known as Cassava, Yuca or Tapioca root. It is widely grown throughout the east and north-east Thailand as cattle food  and also for starch and Tapioca flour.

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It is a very drought resistant vegetable and there are two main sorts sweet or bitter with a hard brown outer shell and yellow or white flesh. It is the bitter one which contains more of the chemical bound cyanide.

The smaller sweet rooted varieties which are used for desserts here in Thailand like the famous Khanom man sampalang where cooking is deemed to be enough to break down the cyanide.

There are a lot of warnings about eating raw roots and how they should be prepared carefully before eating as it can cause death.

Modern thinking is that it is not as dangerous as it was originally thought to be  however it is always wise to err on the side of caution.

This root should NOT be eaten raw.

Cooking is said to cause the cells to break down and the cyanide to be broken down which renders it safe to eat.

Thailand is the worlds largest importer of dried Cassava.

Down here on the farm it is grown for animal feed and to make flour. The potato is harvested when it is around 3-4months and the roots 30-45cm, harvested by hand although now some farmers use mechanical means generally the lower part of the stem is raised and the roots pulled from the ground.

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It is then cut into approx 15cm pieces and sun-dried for 2 days. As cattle feed it is high  in proteins and contains tannins and is  valued as  a good source of roughage for cattle food.

The cassava root which is going to be used for next seasons crop is soaked and treated for termites before planting prior to the next wet season.

The remainder of the outer shell from which the flesh is extracted is sometimes used for wood or just burnt as it has no further use. The picture below is the empty root with the flesh extracted.

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Other uses for the root  are:

To make starch for clothing.

To make tapioca, the tapioca beads are balls of Cassava. When fermented it is called garri.

Crackers for frying as in a previous post can be made from Tapioca flour. Thai pancakes

It is used in the making of MSG ..Monosodium glutamate.

Boiled as a vegetable it is similar to British potatoes.

Now for a recipe:

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Khanom  man sampalang is cross between a cake and a dessert and is very popular here in Thailand. It is thick, hearty, smooth and sticky. A steamed tapioca cake.

You will need:

2   cups of grated Cassava

6 tbsp of tapioca flour

1 tbsp of mung bean starch

1/2 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of coconut milk

1 cup of shredded coconut.

Food colouring

Let’s Cook!

 

Put all ingredients except salt and shredded coconut in a bowl. Mix well for 5 minutes get your hands in there and work it until the sugar has dissolved.

Add the colour and mix well to combine. Add 1/2 cup of the shredded coconut and salt and mix together. Set to one side.

Put small cups into a steamer and pour some mixture into each cup. Steam for 15 minutes then either stir in the remainder of the shredded coconut or spread over the top of the cake. before serving. If you spread over the top then it is lovely toasted before spreading over the top of the cake.

Enjoy!

It was also time to plant some more banana trees as the land has been built up and there are lots of bananas for frying and making Somtam..A thai salad where banana is used instead of green papaya. These ones are for eating and the trees don’t grow as tall as the other banana trees the bananas are lovely eating ones and a nice sized banana.The rice has just been planted also and it is fingers crossed that this last down pour didn’t wash all the rice away…Time will tell.

I hope that you enjoyed this trip down on the farm. Some more posts on life in rural Thailand can be found on  my Niume posts.

I do hope that you enjoy my tales of life on the farm. This weeks post was going to be about our new baby turkeys which we went to collect on Saturday . Unfortunately there was very high winds and very heavy torrentail rains during this last week and the chicks got too cold and died. I was so sad as we were looking forward to getting them and settling them in their new home. The plus side was we got to see the baby calves one which had only just been born which will be our next acquisition. He was so very cute and beautiful.

Down on the farm..Star Apple

Down on the farm Snake Gourd Raita

Down on the farm our 1st Passion Fruit

Until next time stay safe and laugh a lot …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Down on the farm…… Snake gourd Raita.

snake gourd

Everything in the garden is coming up roses as the saying goes it looks like we will have fruit and vegetables galore.

Some of the fruit and vegetables I am familiar with as you can get them almost everywhere.

Others are very new to me and I am having to do a little research as sometimes there isn’t an English pronunciation for the Thai word.

This one looks quite creepy I think and I was quite expecting to see a snake so I go along quite gingerly watching where I tread.

snake gourd 1

Snake Gourd Riata.

2 cups of natural yoghurt.

2 small snake gourds diced.

The snake gourd has a naturally occurring waxy white surface so rub some salt on the surface before cooking or using to remove.

4-5 green chillies

2tbsp grated fresh coconut

10-15 shallots finely chopped.

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp urad dal powder/paste

A handful of coriander leaves chopped

Salt to taste

Oil as required.

Let’s Cook!

Heat some oil on a medium flame and fry the mustard seeds and urad dal for 20 seconds.

Add green chillies and chopped shallots saute for 2 minutes, add diced snake gourd cook 1-2 minutes and add grated coconut and mix well.

Remove from the heat allow to cool slightly, stir in yoghurt and add salt to taste.

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Garnish with coriander and serve.

Here are some more facts about the fascinating Snake gourd.

The snake gourd or Buap nguu, serpent gourd, chichinga or Padwal are some of the other names it is known under.

Native to south-east Asia it is a vine which grows around a tree or trellis and then unfurls its large white frayed flowers. Then fruits which grow straight down towards the ground.

Can grow up to 5 feet in length sometimes a stone is tied to the small gourd to help it grow straight down as it can grow into all sorts of shapes.

Also because of its length, it is used to make the traditional didgeridoo in Australia.

It turns orange when it is fully ripe but this is when it is very bitter so it is usually used in curries and raitas before it ripens fully. When ripened the flesh is sometimes used as a replacement for tomatoes.

The leaves, tendrils and other leafy parts are used as vegetable greens lightly steamed or raw.

It’s strange names and appearance have often caused it to be overlooked for its health benefits. It is proven to be very effective at improving the strength of the body’s immune system, reducing fevers and treating diabetes. Currently there much medical research into other health benefits of the Snake Gourd.

Until next time thank you for reading this.

Update on the farm: There was a slight delay with the building of the enclosure for the Turkey chicks due to the weather but work started today so it should finished by the time we pick the chicks up in 2 weeks.

Exciting times and I will be guaranteed a turkey for the xmas table this year.

Pasta wih sausage and tomato sauce.

sausage and pastaMy pasta recipes seem to go down very well so I am having a bit of a change from Thai Food maybe it is not to everyone’s taste. I love pasta and it always goes down well although my love is Thai or Indian food as yoou all know.

 

Pasta and sausage with tomato and cream sauce.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp Olive Oil.

1/2lb of sausages skinned and broken into pieces. I use a spicy sausage but you cann use any sausage of your choice.

1/4-1/2 tsp of red chilli flakes

2 garlic cloves finely  chopped.

Diced and skinned red onion.

I can of tomatoes diced or if like me you have a glut of fresh tomatoes then I also use them skinned and chopped.

3/4 cup of cream

1/4 tsp salt  I use  pink Himalayan salt.

2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leafed parsley.

Parmesan to serve.

Let’s Cook!

For quickness you can put your pasta on now in boiling salted water or if you are making the sauce in advance then cook pasta when you are ready as per instructions on the packet.

To make the sauce.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the crumbled sausage. Cook until sausage is no longer pink about 7-8 mins then add the onions and garlic and cook for a further 5-6 minutes until sausage is nicely browned and onions are soft.

Add the tomatoes, cream and salt and simmer..do not boil for a further 4 minutes or until the sauce has slightly thickened.

If you are making the sauce in advance then cover and store in the fridge until later or the next  day.

If you are using the sauce immediately then put pan to one side and cook pasta in boiling water. When ready, drain and add the sauce and stir to combine. Bring the pasta and sauce back to simmer and make sure it is heated through.

Serve in serving bowl or individual bowls , sprinkle with chopped parsley and grate parmesan over the top.

Serve with green vegetables or salad and garlic bread.

Enjoy!

 

Tuna and Linguine # Fish Friday#

Tuna and linguine

Tuna & Linguine # Fish Friday#I   It’s # Fish Friday# and I am doing one of the kids favourite meals today. It’s quick and easy to make and I can add chillies…Oh Yes!

You will need a can of Tuna in spring water, drained.

2 tbsp Olive oil

1/4-1/1/2 tsp of red chilli flakes. or 1 fresh chilli finely chopped.( you can omit this step)

2/3 large cloves of garlic, crushed.

2 small shallots finely chopped.

The zest of 1 lime you can use lemon.

3/4 tomatoes chopped.

Chopped parsley.

Fresh parmesan as desired.

400 gm of Linguine or pasta of your choice.

While you are cooking your pasta in boiling salted water as per the packet instructions.

Heat your oil in a pan, add the garlic and the shallots and chilli if you are using cook for 2-3 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic.

I often just add a small piece of butter to this..it stops the burning.

Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for two minutes then add the drained tuna, the lime zest and parsley and cook for a further 2/3 minutes.

Drain the pasta and reserve 70 ml of the cooking water.

Add pasta to the tuna mix and gently combine. Season and add some freshly grated parmesan cheese..this is where I can get a bit over zealous as we love parmesan, also adjust seasoning if required. Stir in all or some of the reserved pasta liquid and sprinkle with parsley to serve.

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I serve with a green salad and lots of garlic bread. I also sometimes if I have them throw in some green olives.

Enjoy!

I will be posting a different food dish each Friday as when I was a child we always had Fish on Fridays and I suppose I am being nostalgic…So please humour me…lol

Who else could burn hard boiled eggs?

What a week I have had in the kitchen…You couldn’t make it up….

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Firstly…I love black rice but no one else in my family does, well except for Saangchai. So I put a small amount in a pan with some water ..I was not cooking  enough to use the rice cooker..checking and checking it didn’t appear to be cooking so I kept topping up the water again and again, it was drinking it…mmmmm

Then the lights when on!

 

It was glutinous black rice aka ( sticky rice) ……Plan B….so I soaked it.

Popped it in the Sticky rice basket to steam ….

rice-steamer

.Where was my head that day it just exploded ( not my head)…..I had all this really swollen rice to more than twice its size….At least the dog ate it…..So I do have kitchen disasters you will be pleased know…lol

But the bright side of my week was ….The Thai family came over and I said I would cook….I decided to make Nam Doc Moo which is  sliced BBQ pork/beef with Coriander/mint and shallots and the requisite chillies, lime and fish sauce.

I was asked do you not use Msg..shock , horror from me Nooooooooo!

So I presented my plates of Nam Doc and it just went to Ooohs and Ahhhs and a demonstration of how much Msg they use and the translation was that mine was much better than theirs when they didn’t use msg.They loved it!

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To say  that I wasn’t just a tiny bit pleased is an understatement..from a Thai?…It’s taken at least 6 yrs to get this good at making Thai food and now I have cracked it..Yehhhhhh

I was stoked…so happy!

That euphoria didn’t last, yesterday I burnt the boiled eggs….Now those you who are writers will understand how engrossed we get in our work….won’t you?

An hour later…I came down as I was summoned…He shouted at me!

One of the eggs had exploded over the kitchen and the other two were burnt as was the bottom of the saucepan……Oooooops

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So a mixed week in the kitchen with more disasters than I have had for a while.

Oh and after 6 years, juggling with the heat and the different flours I have finally made the PERFECT DUMPLING!

Until next time.

Stay safe, laugh a lot and be happy.

 

 

 

 

 

Brocolli and Cauliflower Cheese.

Week two in my lonely challenge….but it’s fun!   You could still join me? Oh Yes! you could! Well, I discovered a few things and recipes in my search for anything beginning with A and at the end of this post, I will attach my favorite from last week. Bet you can’t guess what it is and no chillies! But next week….Oh Yes!  is C…. Do you think I could go a week without using a chilli??????brocolli-and-cauliflower-chesse

Source: Brocolli and Cauliflower Cheese.

Thai Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango( Khao Neow Mamuang)

One of my favorite foods…Kow Neow aka sticky rice and my faithful rice pot can be found most days on the barbi the water simmering away or on the hob.

Which is why the pot looks pretty well used on the outside.

This desert is almost an iconic Thai desert…sticky rice soaked in coconut milk with luscious ripe mango. A match made in foodie heaven.

The rice is soaked in water for at least hour and then just put in the rice and steamed this takes about 15 minutes.

To prepare the milk:

 Heat 1 cup of coconut milk in a pot over medium heat. Stir constantly and let the coconut milk simmer. DO NOT let it boil hard as  coconut milk will curdle.

 Add  2 tbsp of sugar and 2 pinches of salt. Remove from heat. Pour 3/4 of the hot coconut milk over  1 cup of the hot sticky rice. Let it sit for 5 minutes. The hot sticky rice will absorb all the coconut milk. The rice should be a little mushy.

 Spoon the rest of the coconut milk on top of the rice at serving time.

Enjoy!