By Lynnie Stein / November 1, 2022

An easy dinner that’s perfect for the season?

Let’s Make Something Good Together!

The theme is Embrace your Metamorphosis

To unite family and friends with widely differing tastes; fermented, artful and simple. Curry feast…more than food – friends to come together and grow.

Keep it artful and simple.
Or for a splendid Feast, plan to prepare with friends.
Have fun with being different.

  • Coordinate a feast or a simple burrito party or breakfast – plan with a friend, decide on the mood and menu you want. Then ask each guest to bring a specific dish that fits your theme (curry dish)
  • Or, prepare and cook together, prepare special ingredients ahead of time (such as soaked cashew nuts, cooked grain, chick peas).
  • Invite a crowd to meet early, and prepare and cook together in teams.
  • Greet your guests with tools and ingredients laid out artfully as if you were setting the table. This makes food prep much more enjoyable!
  • Ask for dish washing volunteers!
  • Chances are you’ll make it so intriguing to cook together that your family and friends may volunteer to help you organize another celebration feast.
  • Grandma would invite the whole neighbourhood to join in for a Spanferkel when the barrel of kraut was ripe, and every family went home with a bottle of kraut.

First we eat, then we do everything else

  • Eat Better, Eat Together Month is celebrated every October.
  • The Gut Academy Club’s theme is Embrace your Metamorphosis 🦋
  • Something Is Changing…
  • “I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday” – Unknown

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.”

George Bernard Shaw

CURRY NIGHT

  • Probiotic Raitas are simple side dishes served with a few varieties of curry + Dosa / injera (recipes in motherhood bread book) and the centre piece of a stuffed pawpaw.

Papaya / Paw Paw Bomb

1.Select a 90% ripe but firm pawpaw or / papaya.

  1. Peel
  2. Cut off the top to remove seeds and connecting tissue Cut a thin slice from the bottom so it will stand up.
  3. Stuff with fave curry filling/s – Dahl, vegetables, quinoa, etc.
  4. Garnish
  5. Bake in a moderate oven for about 45 minutes, basting several times during cooking.
    Surround with roast vegetables and basmati rice.

Choose 2-3 Raitas to soothe the palate and provide a cooling contrast to curry.

  • Fermented coconut chutney, kefir, cucumber pickles, bananas,- add a dash of cinnamon, cardamom and cayenne, activated cashews, Fermented Chutneys – mango, papaya or tomato, lemon pickles, carrot relish, salted orange or lime slices.

Raita (rie-tha)

  • Milk Kefir makes a versatile base for creating an irresistible raita.
  • Keep raita simple -2-3 ingredients.
  • Squeeze all the water from greens and chop vegetables small for best results.
  • Kefir and cumin are an easy raita.
  • Add a little cayenne pepper to the raita if you can handle a little “heat.”
  • Or mix in tiny cubed, cooked potatoes and some chopped mint. Potato raita should not be too thick, with kefir clinging to the cubes.
  • Slice cucumber finely and pop in liquid milk kefir.
  • Try spinach, wild greens, onion and tomato, radish or roasted eggplant.
  • Grind a blend of herbs in a coffee grinder – spearmint, curry leaves, kali tulsi and green tulsi and add to kefir.
  • Wild raita … Kefir + Lamb’s-quarters (Chenopodium album) and wild garlic.
  • 2 cups kefir, 1/2 cucumber, diced or sliced, 1 clove of pressed garlic + a very generous handful of fresh chopped mild greens.
  • Mix all the ingredients, stir well and taste.
  • Add seasoning.
  • Chill and serve.
  • If you can make this several hours or even a day or two in advance, the flavours will be very pleasing!
  • Fruit raitas -. sliced banana rolled in kefir and coconut, add a dash of cinnamon, cardamom and cayenne.
  • Combine kefir with pomegranate seeds, chopped mint, minced shallots and a splash of lime or lemon juice.
  • Try adding grapes and mint for a sweet and refreshing flavour.

Coconut Yoghurt Raita

  • 1 medium-large cucumber (peeled chopped and seeded)
  • 2/3 cup coconut yoghurt / coconut milk kefir
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice, or more, to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (mint, parsley, dill, chives or shallots)
  • Pinch ground cumin
  • Combine kefir and lemon or lime juice in a small bowl.
  • Whisk together.
  • Combine the cucumber and kefir in a serving container along with the remaining ingredients.
  • Stir together gently.
  • Season and Chill before serving.

Choose a variety of curries – & let guests bring a favourite recipe

  • Dhansak
  • A dhansak curry has a distinct “sweet and sour” profile to it with added spice.
  • Often served with a pineapple ring, both as a garnish and to add sweetness.

Tikka Masala

  • The tikka element is the chicken or other meats, while the masala is the creamy sauce that smothers it. The spices lend zest to the dish, but not a great deal of heat.
  • Saag
  • Climbing up on the heat scale is saag.
  • Characterized by the presence of spinach, mustard greens, and other leafy vegetables, this particular curry has a pleasant but noticeable degree of heat.
  • Korma
  • Korma curries are spiced not for heat, but for flavour.
  • Rather than cumin and black pepper, korma goes for flavours such as cardamom and cinnamon.
  • Mixed together with butter and cream, and often combined with yogurt-marinated meats that are slow-cooked, kormas are definitely for those who want zest without the burn.
  • Jalfrezi
  • This particular curry carries a strong but not overpowering heat, owing to the presence of green chilis stir-fried with tomato, onion, and coriander.
  • Vindaloo
  • Vindaloo curries are, by most standards, the true test of one’s constitution with regards to spicy foods.
  • Originally from the Portuguese colony of Goa, vindaloos go with only a few spices in copious quantities to produce an incredibly hot dish.
  • Those with iron-clad palates will find vindaloos to be a delicious meal every time.

Dessert…Who does not scream for ice cream?

  • Coconut Ice-cream with Fruit
  • The fruit choice is up to you.
  • Whatever is in season or whatever you fancy.
  • You decide what is going to look nice…

Coconut Gelato

  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthways, seeds scraped
  • 55 g coconut sugar
  • 375 ml, almond kefir
  • 250 ml coconut milk kefir
  • 325 g chopped coconut flesh
  • 90 g Manuka / raw honey / date syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Whisk the vanilla seeds and coconut sugar together to combine well. Put the vanilla sugar, almond kefir, coconut milk kefir, coconut flesh, honey, and coconut oil into food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Transfer the mixture to an ice cream machine bowl and place in freezer.
  • When mixture is cold, churn in ice cream machine and freeze.
  • Alternatively, transfer to a shallow tray and freeze, whisking every 15 minutes until frozen.
  • Freeze in a covered container.
  • Makes 1 litre

Ice cream without an ice-cream maker

  • 1-2 cups kefir
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 egg whites
  • Blend all ingredients and freeze until nearly set.
  • Beat until thick and then fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.
  • Freeze then enjoy!

Ice cream (using ice cream maker)

  • With the addition of fat …  cream or even kefir cream will help to make a smoother ice cream.
  • Too much cream, though, can make the ice cream have a buttery texture, that does not quiet cut it with most taste buds.

Coconut ice cream

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy /raw cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup light honey
  • 2 tablespoons dried organic coconut or try edible lavender flowers
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 cup kefir
  • Gently heat the honey and lavender together in a small pan until warm and let stand for one hour.  
  • Pour honey into the cream.
  • Pour cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard coconut / lavender.
  • Add rest of the ingredients and place in blender for 20 seconds.
  • Freeze mixture in ice cream maker bowl. Starting with a cold mix helps make for a smoother ice cream in the end.
  • Churn in an ice cream machine.
  • Once you have a frozen dessert of a “soft serve” consistency, you can either serve it right away, or let it get a bit harder in the freezer.
  • We find it is best to move to a new container with a lid before storing in the freezer. Not only does that help with not letting more ice crystals form, but it keeps your bowl free for a new flavour!!

Adding eggs in, even if you do not cook into custard, makes for a very smooth ice cream (the protein in eggs help keep ice crystals from forming).

Vanilla ice cream

  • 1- 2 egg /s
  • 3/4 cup heavy (raw) cream / kefir crème fraiche
  • 1 1/4 cup milk kefir
  • 1/4 cup honey or to taste
  • 1 vanilla bean, split / 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • Mix the egg with the cream and cook in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until you obtain a thick custard consistency.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Cool.
  • Mix in the milk kefir, vanilla, and honey to taste.
  • Cool in freezer and churn in an ice cream machine.
  • When finished, transfer to another container and place in the freezer for a couple of hours to harden a bit more, giving the consistency of ice cream.
  • This is great alone, or you could make a syrup / shrub to drizzle over or add a mix-in.

Variations (mix-ins)

  • You can add many additions from the garden, forest or organic pantry.
  • Add mix-ins while the ice cream is still churning and add before the ice cream is finished.
  • They only require mixing for about one minute.
  • Or, once ice cream is finished use a spatula and fold through.
  • Organic vanilla powder, cinnamon, banana, mango, cacao / nibs, organic liquorice, lavender, lemon thyme, any fresh seasonal fruit – think varieties that freeze well, ginger, turmeric, fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries (berries are best strained through a sieve), fermented flower buds, activated nuts, date syrup, molasses, matcha, native aniseed, wattle seed or foraged treasures (fermented tamarind and turmeric tonic).

There is only one thing better than a scoop of kefir ice cream, and that is two scoops or possible three.

Especially when the flavours mix, fuse and elevate to a new level of toothsome.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

• For cassata, fold in chopped diced dried pineapple, cherries, angelica and kefir-soaked walnuts.

Soaked dried fruit and nuts (organic apricots soaked overnight in orange kombucha and pistachios).

• Himalayan salt (infused into ice cream base or sprinkle on top over best quality olive oil), Flor de Sal Hibiscus.

• Orange, turmeric paste, ginger and cacao nibs

• Vanilla, honey and cinnamon

• Lime stir in zest of 4 limes + 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

• Pumpkin and lavender

Breakfast ice cream – Maple syrup and organic bacon

Organic dark chocolate chips and cherries or add cherries to chocolate ice cream (Cherries, vanilla and cacao / cherries and kefir-soaked almonds)

• Strawberries and coconut kefir whipped cream

• Toasted sesame seed and tahini

Vanilla bean with a hot Mexican chocolate drizzle (add a little chili to the chocolate while melting to spice it up a bit).

The vanilla bean is the perfect smooth, sweet complement to a spicy, slightly bitter chocolate

• Boozy – from beer, wine to spirits (date syrup, raisins, rum and pecan)

Let the raisins macerate for a few days until they absorb all the rum and are quite plump.

Wattle seed

  • Usually roasted and ground, Wattle seed suggests coffee, chocolate and hazelnut flavours.
  • Boil briefly in water use the grounds as a crumb and the liquid extract in ice cream, pavlova, pancakes, bread or in your favourite kefir chocolate recipe.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of ground Wattle seed into a cup / glass jug and add just enough boiling water to cover the grounds.
  • Do not add more water or it will form ice crystals when frozen.
  • Allow to cool. 
  • Add the cooled wattle seed grounds to already made kefir ice cream.
  • Freeze and enjoy!

Matcha

  • Sieve Matcha to remove any lumps.
  • Blend cool custard cream whilst adding kefir matcha slowly.
  • Whisk until soft peaks form then stir in vanilla.
  • Place in a container and freeze overnight / place in chilled ice cream maker bowl and churn.
  • Enjoy a scoop with a drizzle of infused honey and some chopped soaked nuts.

Ginger Ice Cream

  • We love fresh ginger from our tropical garden, especially in desserts, it compliments other flavours so nicely.
  • It is especially welcome with things that tend to be sweet; tropical fruits, and peaches come to mind. We have plenty of left-over ginger after making ginger beer, preserved ginger and turmeric in lime juice and flavouring kombucha and tibicos.
  • The left-over ginger is turned into ginger syrup for ice cream, or patted dry and chopped further, then added to just-churned ice cream.

Honey infusions

  • Vanilla Beans previously used to make kefir ice cream and syrups – let steep for three months in mild raw honey.
  • Calendula, rose petals, mint, anise, chamomile and lavender are other popular choices for flavouring honey.
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of herbs per cup of honey should be plenty.
  • The flavour takes a little longer to permeate the honey, a minimum of a month, although if you are using strongly flavoured herbs, two weeks may be enough.

Berry Infusion

  • Put cleaned wild berries into clip-top bottle, pour over apple cider vinegar and leave to infuse for a week.
  • Kombucha kefir spiders  
  • Scoop kefir ice cream into a tall glass.
  • Pour Kombucha (plain or flavour of choice) directly over ice cream.

NO Moo Here

Kefir grains can also be used to ferment other types of milk like coconut milk and nut milks.

It can even be used to ferment fresh coconut and juice.

  • When making coconut milk kefir, you are essentially starving your grains of the food they need.
  • This is ok for a short period of time (1-2 batches) but, if you want to keep them alive, you will need to put them back into their normal food source.
  • Milk kefir grains eat dairy milk (cow, goat, sheep, etc).
  • Get into a routine if you want a constant supply of coconut milk kefir, 1-2 batches coconut milk kefir, 1 batch dairy milk kefir and so on.
  • Or use the excess grains and then use the grains on your skin or feed to the animals or eat ‘em.
  • Sometimes your coconut milk kefir may be runny.
  • This can be due to changing the kefir grain’s food (for example, from moo milk to coconut milk).
  • You can give the grains a quick rinse first in coconut milk – so it is not such a big shock with the change from mammal milk.
  • Do not worry when straining the kefir grain from coconut milk if it is runny as the coconut milk has fat content, once refrigerated it gets firm like a pudding.
  • Chia gel is your friend if not firm enough for your dessert creations!

Coconut milk kefir (kefir grains)

  • 2 cups coconut milk (can of full-fat organic Coconut Milk or a double batch of Homemade Coconut Milk)
  • 1 tablespoon milk kefir grains
  • Place the milk kefir grains and the coconut milk in a glass jar.
  • Lightly cover and set on the counter /in cupboard for 24 hours.
  • After 24 – 48 hours, (tasting periodically to see if the culture has reached your desired sourness). Strain the grains out of the coconut milk kefir and use.
  • Or 1 cup coconut water + 3 cups coconut milk + 2 tablespoons kefir grain.
  • Place the milk kefir grains and the coconut water + coconut milk in a glass jar.
  • Lightly cover and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.
  • At the end of 24 hours, strain the grains out of the coconut kefir and refrigerate overnight.
  • Add berries, dash of raw honey, vanilla powder. Pour into a pretty re-purposed jar and enjoy.
  • Coconut milk kefir (prepared kefir)
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • ¼ cup of prepared milk kefir
  • Place the coconut milk and the prepared milk kefir into a container.
  • Mix the coconut milk with the prepared kefir then cover and let sit 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, enjoy your coconut milk kefir.

It really is a stunning taste sensation.

It is also lovely with fresh seasonal fruits or a portion of avocado and spice.

• Some freshly grated coconut blended with banana and with either grated apple or passion fruit added.

• Several sprouted blanched almonds blended with sweet pineapple and topped with micro greens.

• Or over seasonal berries for dessert.

  • This recipe is great for any non-dairy milk, almond and hemp etc. Follow any of the recipes and feel free to adjust ingredients and substitute.
  • Coconut milk kefir, any kefir for that matter, tastes sour.
  • Similar in taste to plain yoghurt (not the same but close in terms of tartness).
  • If you do not like plain yoghurt, chances are you will not like plain kefir. That is fine you can still consume coconut milk kefir and get the amazing benefits.
  • Once fermented, add Manuka or local raw honey and vanilla or use in occasional desserts (chia puddings) to make it more palatable.
  • In our kitchen we prefer to skip the honey, taste buds love to be tickled with the lovely sour taste.

• Kefir is a great substitute for yoghurt, buttermilk or sour cream in recipes, of course when using coconut milk kefir, you will also add in a coconut note so keep that in mind.

You will kill the good beasties, however, if you have excess coconut milk kefir, it is delightful in curries.

There are many ways to use this life-rich and diverse food.

We live in the tropics and are blessed with a plentiful supply of free green and ripe coconuts.

Remember to feed the grains to keep them healthy and propagating.

Note on straining kefir when using homemade coconut milk:  The curd/fat layer of kefir can be solid, the straining step can be avoided. 

In our tropical kitchen we carefully spoon the thick top layer into a strainer and push the curd through to separate out the Kefir Grains.

If the curd is thick, it can be thinned with a bit of the whey that naturally separates out to the bottom. If the yoghurt has a bit of a curdled texture, a quick blend in a blender will smooth it out. 

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