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

Buckwheat

I’ve found many reasons to love buckwheat: it’s gluten free, packed with protein, and easy to prepare. Get buckwheat recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
My first memorable encounters with buckwheat grouts were in Russia. In the United States, roasted buckwheat grouts are typically sold as “kasha,” but in Russia, all the каша I ate as a hot breakfast cereal was a mix of grains. My Russian friends tended to cook buckwheat on its own—traditionally in an oven until it softened to a porridge—and serve it as a savory meal more than a sweet one.

I’ve since found many reasons to love buckwheat. Despite its name in English, it’s not a type of wheat: it’s actually a gluten-free seed in the same plant family as rhubarb. So if wheat isn’t on your diet, buckwheat is your friend. Unlike some gluten-free grains, it’s packed with protein and amino acids. Soaking it removes some of its phytic acid, which can make it easier to digest. A presoak also speeds up the cooking process—instead of a slow bake in a low-temp oven, you can have it ready from the stovetop in 5 minutes for a modern take on каша сименуха, a traditional Russian breakfast, or for an easy dinner with roasted vegetables.
Learn to make Buckwheat Porridge with Mushrooms and Eggs and Roasted Vegetables with Tofu and Buckwheat

Fall Beverages

Need cold and hot nonalcoholic beverages for your next gathering? Look no further than Golden Milk and Switchel. Get beverage recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
I first tasted golden milk at a yoga retreat in Costa Rica. Who knew that a warm beverage would be so delicious in that hot, tropical climate? But it was the perfect drink to follow an intense day of working our bodies.

When I moved from just writing about good food on the Twice as Tasty blog to making it for live events, I needed cold and hot beverages, alcoholic and nonalcoholic, to fit every season and occasion. Golden milk immediately came to mind as a warm, alcohol-free brew. I enjoyed it under the hot sun, but it’s just as delicious for fall holiday family gatherings and parties when snow is coming down. For home use, I make just the paste and keep it on hand so that I can make a mug or two at a time. For a gathering, you can prepare a full batch; place it on the table next to a chilled switchel, and you’ll find people happily swapping between the two.
Learn to make Golden Milk and Switchel

Scallions and Radishes

These scallion pancakes are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, easy, and tasty. Get savory pancake recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
When the summer harvest hits its peak, one of my favorite meals is a batch of Zucchini Pancakes with Fresh Asian Salad. I enjoy these so much that a freeze grated zucchini so that I can make them all year. But the salad, with its freshy harvested tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil, is really a summer thing. So I’ve been craving a combination I could enjoy earlier in the season, while my tomato plants are still seedlings.

For a quick spring variation, I hit upon the pairing of scallions and radishes. You can easily find scallions, or green onions, at the grocery store year-round, but if you grow a garden you can harvest scallions or young perennial walking onions in spring, the tops portions of full bulb onions in summer, leeks in fall, and chives from pots all year. Each can be used in this pancake recipe. To make this recipe even more accessible, I decided to keep the pancakes gluten free, dairy free, and vegan.
Learn to make Scallion Pancakes with Chickpea Flour and Lemony Radish Salad