10:00 AM EST
Read more about BK’s Kuro Burger from the folks at Dangerous Minds.
6:23 AM EST
Indian Curd (Yoghurt) Rice
Think of Curd Rice as a savory rice pudding. Made with overcooked rice and yogurt (in India yogurt is referred to as curd) and seasoned with oil tempered with mustard seeds and other spices, it is especially popular in South India where it provides contrast to spicy curries and fiery pickles.
Each kitchen will have its own method for preparing curd rice. We slowly add water to a pot of leftover basmati rice set over low heat until the rice can no longer absorb any liquid. Next, we combine rice with yogurt, making the mixture as smooth as possible. Separately we temper a bit of oil with mustard seeds, curry leaves, finely minced jalapeño and asafetida which we then combine with the rice and yogurt mixture.
Consider our recipe as merely a template. Full fat yogurt will produce a sumptuous, rich curd rice but 2% or fat-free yogurt will also taste good. Other kitchens might add ingredients such as fresh ginger, cumin seeds, cilantro, pomegranate seeds or nuts. Use what’s fresh and on hand.
• 1½ -2 cups cooked basmati rice*
• Water, preferably filtered
• 1½ -2 cups Greek/Indian-style (i.e., thick) yogurt
• 2 tablespoons neutral-tasting oil (e.g., grapeseed, canola or peanut oil)
• 1 teaspoon whole brown/black mustard seeds
• 4 fresh curry leaves
• 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely minced
• 1 pinch of asafetida
• Salt, to taste
*We prefer day-old rice that has been refrigerated.
Prepare the Rice & Yogurt
Add the rice to a saucepan set over medium-low heat, breaking apart any clumps. Add 1 cup of water and stir. When the water is absorbed add another quarter cup of water and stir. Continue adding small amounts of water and stirring until the rice becomes very soft and bloated and the long grains begin to crumble. When the rice seems unable to absorb any more water, transfer it to a bowl. Fold the yogurt into the soft rice, making the mixture as smooth as possible.
Temper the Oil
Pour the oil into a pan set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (test by adding a single mustard seed – it should pop) add the mustard seeds, giving them a quick stir. Ten seconds later add the curry leaves and jalapeño. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute then add the asafetida. Reduce the heat to low and cook for another minute.
Finishing the Dish
Some folks completely fold the tempered oil into the rice-yogurt mixture but we like to add it as a sort of garnish. Your call!
6:48 AM EST
Buckwheat is a great grain to work with. Except buckwheat is not a grain, it’s a seed, which is good news for folks limiting their gluten intake. But bread made only from buckwheat flour will have the density and texture of a brick. However, a mixture of 10% buckwheat and 90% white (wheat) bread flour will have produce a light crumb. What about the remaining gluten? Sourdough’s extended fermentation ensures that the existing gluten develops a lofty crumb structure while the sourdough cultures themselves significantly break down the gluten, making the bread a reasonable choice for those who are gluten-sensitive. With that said, it should be noted that commercially made sourdough bread may not be so tummy-friendly.
Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum), a relative of sorrel and rhubarb, is cultivated for its seed. Because it is not a grain, it does not contain gluten.
But we did not create our Seeded Buckwheat Sourdough recipe to cater to gluten-sensitive diets. We created this recipe because buckwheat has a wonderful earthy, nutty flavor and produces baked goods with a beautiful pumpernickel color. We like the combination of buckwheat and caraway – the flavor most people associate with rye bread – but feel free to use your favorite seeds. This bread bakes rather dark so don’t be alarmed if it looks finished after only baking for half the required time.
- 670 g non-chlorinated water
- 2 tablespoons (~30 g) white vinegar
- 200 g levain
- 900 g white bread flour
- 100 g buckwheat flour
- 20 g salt
- 50 g olive oil
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- Additional bread and rice flour for dusting
- Cornmeal (~1 tablespoon)
You will also need the following pieces of equipment: digital kitchen scale, bench knife, large non-reactive container for bulk fermentation, tea towels, cast-iron or Dutch oven-type baking vessel (we use either an Émile Henry clay Dutch oven or a Le Creuset enameled cast iron Dutch oven), spray bottle filled with water, and a razor blade, ceramic knife or baking lame (it’s pronounced “lahm”, in case you were wondering).
Combine the water and vinegar and warm to around 80°F (25°C). Whisk in the levain. Separately, sift together the flours in a large non-reactive (plastic, ceramic, glass) container. Add the levain mixture to the flour and mix/fold until cohesive. The dough will be a bit sticky. Cover the container loosely and place in an unheated oven; this is a draft-free space and the slight heat from the pilot light will encourage the yeast. Let rest for 25-40 minutes.
Sourdough starter (left) and sourdough during bulk fermentation (right)
After 25-40 minutes rub half the salt on the surface of the dough and massage it in with half the oil. Flip the bread and repeat with the remaining salt and oil. Next, fold the dough onto itself (like closing an open book) with a spatula or bench knife four times: left to right, top to bottom, right to left, bottom to top. This doesn’t have to be perfect. It is a very gentle method of kneading which will maintain pockets of air and give your bread a nice crumb. Keep the dough in its container in the unlit oven and repeat this folding every 30 minutes for 2 hours. Sprinkle in the caraway seeds during the second folding. After 4 folding sessions (i.e., 2 hours) let the dough rest 1-2 hours.
After the bulk fermentation, remove the dough onto an unfloured surface and divide into two even portions with a bench knife. The unfloured surface will create tension which will allow you to gently shape the loaves (we use a silicone Silpat mat on my counter to create a neat work surface). Use the bench knife to fold the edges of the dough under itself just enough to create a taught surface. Cover with a heavily floured tea towel (you may want to dust the loaves with flour if your tea towel isn’t completely saturated with flour) and let rest 20-30 minutes on the counter.
Flour your work surface. With the help of your bench knife, very gently pull the right side of the dough out and fold to the middle of the dough. Perform the same folding technique as you did during bulk fermentation: left to right, top to bottom, right to left, bottom to top. Use the bench knife to fold the edges of the dough under itself, shaping the boule as you go. Repeat with other dough portion. Dust loaves with a 50/50 mixture of rice flour and bread flour.
Place a heavily floured tea towel in a bowl roughly the same shape as your baking vessel. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of cornmeal over the towel. Gently flip your boule into the bowl so that the folded-under bottom is now the top. Don’t worry that it is wrinkly and looks misshapen: you will flip the dough once more before baking. Sprinkle the remaining cornmeal over the dough and drape the overhanging towel on top of the boule. Let rest 3-4 hours on your counter or unlit oven (or 8-12 hours in the refrigerator).
Thirty minutes before the bench rest is complete, remove the rising bread from the unlit oven and preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C) with your baking vessel(s) inside. When the oven is completely preheated, carefully remove the vessel and take of its lid. Fold back the tea towel from the rising dough and gently flip the bread inside the hot vessel (the bottom is once again the top). Quickly make deep slashes into the surface of the bread with your razor blade. This will allow steam to escape while baking which will create a better texture and hey, it looks great, too. Mist the surface of the bread with the spray bottle and sprinkle additional caraway seeds over its surface. Place lid back on the vessel, place the vessel in the oven and immediately lower the heat to 450°F (232°C). After 20 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 20 minutes. Remove vessel from oven and immediately place bread on a wire rack. Be patient: allowing the bread to cool completely before slicing will ensure a perfect texture. If you have only one vessel, begin baking the other boule.
10:00 AM EST
Know Your Ingredients: Black Cumin (शाही जीरा)
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
Actually, Shakespeare, it’s a bit complicated. Black cumin, a spice used throughout Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India’s Kashmir and Punjab regions goes by a host of names, some of which also refer to an entirely unrelated spice – Latin name, Nigella sativa – which is known by its own series of confounding monikers.
Though it looks like caraway, the black cumin (Bunium bulbocastanum) we’re referring to is related to common cumin (Cuminum cyminum). Black cumin (Hindi: kala jeera, काला जीरा; Urdu: kala jeera, کالا زیرہ), however is also used to describe Nigella sativa. More commonly it is called shahi jeera (Hindi: शाही जीरा) or Syah Jeera (Urdu: سیاہ زیرہ) which translates to imperial cumin. In English, black cumin is also labeled blackseed, black caraway and Kashmiri cumin, the actual name of the spice in the Kashmiri language (kashmir zireh, کشور زور). Finally, in several languages including Urdu, Persian and Farsi, black cumin is also known as jeera kuhi, “wild” or “mountain” cumin. Got that!?
The cuisine of Northern India has been greatly influenced by Moghul cuisine, itself characterized by a great number of highly aromatic rice (e.g., biryani, pulau) and meat dishes, many of which are perfumed by black cumin. Black cumin, like its common cousin, can be described as smoky and earthy. However, in place of “white” cumin’s defining pungency, black cumin has slightly sweet notes of fennel and caraway. We also detect the pleasant fragrance of wet hay. Because black cumin seeds are so fine, they are often used whole. Black cumin is an excellent choice when you want to give a dish a delicately nuanced earthiness.
6:33 AM EST
Kkakdugi (깍두기), cubed radish kimchi, will forever be the “other” kimchi though it is no less delicious than its famous cabbage cousin. We make ours with a variety of Korean radish known as cheong du (green head) that we grow from seed. You can prepare kkakdugi with any type of large Korean white radish – just avoid Japanese daikon radish which lacks the satisfying density of Korean varietals.
Making kkakdugi is relatively straight-forward. First, salt the cubed radish to extract moisture (this improves their ability to absorb introduced flavors). Next, create a spicy seasoning paste. Finally, mix everything together (use your hands!) and let the kimchi rest, unrefrigerated, for a few days. During this time seafood ingredients and naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria begin the process of fermentation which gives the kimchi its characteristic funk.
Wonderfully crunchy kkakdugi can be served on its own as a side dish – it traditionally accompanies mild dishes like ox bone broth soup (seolleongtang, 설렁탕) – or is used as an ingredient in marinades, stir-fries or stews.
- 3-4 Korean radishes (mu, 무)(include greens if very fresh and tender)
- 5 scallions (pa, 파), green parts only, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup coarse sea salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar (optional)
- 1 teaspoon glutinous rice powder/flour (chapssalgaru, 찹쌀가루)
- 1/3 cup water
- 3/4 cup Korean hot pepper flakes (gochugaru, 고추가루)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce (aekjeo, 액젓)
- 1/4 cup Korean salted shrimp (maleun saewoo, 마른새우), finely ground
- 2 raw shrimp, very finely minced
- 3 tablespoons very finely minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons very finely grated ginger
- 1 carrot, peeled, very finely grated (optional)
Korean salted shrimp (maleun saewoo, 마른새우)
- Salad spinner or colander
- Sterilized glass jar with lid
- Small plate
- Kitchen gloves (optional)
- Plastic wrap
Prepare the Radish
Scrub and cube (approximately 1”x1”) the unpeeled radishes. Roughly chop the greens. In the bowl of a salad spinner (or any other bowl), toss the radish with the salt and sugar. Transfer to a salad spinner’s basket (or a colander) and allow the radishes to rest until liquid releases and cubes soften (30-60 minutes). When ready, spin the radishes (or give the colander a good shake) but do not rinse the radish. Salt crystals will remain on the cubed radish – this is fine.
Prepare Seasoning Paste
Combine rice flour and water in a small pot set over low heat and stir until a thin paste forms. Allow it to cool (especially if using raw seafood) and mix in the remaining seasoning paste ingredients. Taste the paste and adjust according to your preferences.
Putting It All Together
In a large bowl mix together the radish, scallions and seasoning paste, ensuring that the cubes are evenly coated. Pack the mixture into a glass jar, removing as many air pockets as possible. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the radish to prevent contact with air. Loosely tighten the lid on the jar and place the jar on a plate to collect liquid that may leak from the jar as the kkakdugi ferments. Leave the jar out on a counter for 2-3 (summer weather) to 3-5 (fall/winter weather) days before transferring to the refrigerator. Kkakdugi is now ready to eat but best after an additional week in the refrigerator. Be patient.
Thanks, Kayte, for the exemplar assistance in the test kitchen!