Fermenting Grains and Beans

Lessons learned in my dosa-making adventures led to a recipe for beginners living in cold climates. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
When it’s midwinter and the fermentation bug hits you, where do you turn? The logical choice to expand beyond sourdough and cheese, and the perfect pairing with this month’s Indian-Inspired Sweet-and-Sour Potatoes and Indian-Inspired Shrimp in Yogurt, seemed to be dosas. But these thin, crisp rice-and-bean pancakes offered as many challenges as advantages in my Northern Rocky Mountain kitchen.

So what I offer this week are the lessons I learned as I began my dosa-making adventures, with big nods to fermentation expert Sandor Katz and writer and cook Chandra Padmanabhan. These lessons led to an Indian-inspired dosa recipe ideal for beginners living in cold climates, with plenty of ways to creep closer to the traditional texture and flavor as you become more confident in your dosa-making skills.
Learn to ferment grains and beans and make Red Lentil and Basmati Dosas

Spiced Potatoes

Potatoes readily absorb anything you add to them, making them perfect vehicles for all sorts of spices. Get potato recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
We grow and eat lots of potatoes, especially ones we’ve stored for winter: waxy reds and bright purples ideal for salads, starchier white varieties I use in gnocchi, and yellow potatoes that go into soups, curries, mashers—really, almost anything. Each variety tastes subtly different, but all readily absorb any flavor you add to them, making them perfect vehicles for all sorts of spices.

I often bring potatoes when teaching Twice as Tasty Indian Spices workshops, but we keep the workshop recipes simple so that the participants’ newly created spice blends can shine. At home, I sometimes reach for a homemade masala but just as often grab separate ground or whole spices. Because I’m generally rich in pickle brine, that often lands in my potato dishes for a sweet-and-sour effect. Keep reading after the recipe for more flavoring ideas.
Learn to make Indian-Inspired Sweet-and-Sour Potatoes and other variations

Quick Food Preservation

Refrigerating, freezing, and dry storing are the trifecta of quick preservation. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Preserving your harvest often seems like a daunting, time-consuming task, involving pounds of produce, stacks of jars, and boiling kettles on some of the hottest days of the year. Large-batch canning can operate that way: as a project, albeit one that fills your pantry. But it’s not the only way to preserve what you grow. Preservation can happen every time you come in from the garden with a little more than you and your family will eat at the next meal.

Refrigerating, freezing, and dry storing are the trifecta of quick preservation. As I mentioned while describing their pros and cons last week, produce preserved in these ways requires minimal prep and handling. Most of the tools and packaging you need are likely already in your home. Storage times can vary widely with these techniques, but some tips and tricks will let you get the most out of each. Best of all, a wide range of food can be preserved simply and easily with these quick preservation techniques.
Read more about quick food preservation

Prepare to Preserve

Whatever your type of produce, storage space, or free time, you can save your harvest. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
How’s your garden growing? If it’s anything like mine, you’ve moved beyond planting to weeding and harvesting—and harvesting, and harvesting. With so much food coming ripe so quickly, it’s time to dig out the canning kettle, dehydrator, crocks, and other preservation tools that will let you enjoy homegrown (or farm fresh from a CSA) produce the rest of the year.

Later this month, I’ll be teaching a free online workshop through Free the Seeds that focuses on preparing to preserve your harvest. It’s a big topic, with far more information than I can share in one session, so I’ll be expanding on that topic all month here at Twice as Tasty. Be sure to join me online July 15 so that I can answer your questions directly (sign up for the Free the Seeds mailing list to receive a registration email), and then check back here for additional tips, tools, and recipes that save your harvest. You’ll also find pages of information on basic tools and techniques here.
Read more about preparing to preserve