Month: June 2015

59. Egypt: Falafel

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So Egypt, land of mummys, pyramids, pharaos and old legends. I have been to Egypt twice. Once with my parents and once with my entire family when my grandfather turned 80. Both times were very memorabele vacations, eventhough we spent most of oud time inside a resort. However we did take a daytrip to Luxor! I still was very young back then and i couldn’t understand everything the guide was talking about, but i remember thinking: How did they make al this by hand without machines, how did het those massive stones all the way up those pyramids? I was so impressed that when a few weeks after we tot back home and my teacher asked me to write an essay about a subject we would like to learn more about. I write a 10 page essay about my fascination with Egypt, pretty remarkable for a 10-year-old! My teacher gave me a bad grade because she thought I didn’t write all of it myself (really unfair because i really did).

Egypt
Things you didn’t know about Egypt:

  • The title of longest ruling pharaoh goes to Pepi II (2246-2152 B.C.) After becoming king at only 6-years-old, he commanded the longest reign in history—94 years! Pepi II was also known to be flanked by naked slaves smeared in honey to attract flies away from him.
  • Fashion now is, understandably, light-years away from fashion in ancient Egypt. Fly swatters made from giraffe tails, for example, were very popular back then. There’s not much chance of them appearing in Vogue, though. (Yeah I guess animal rights organisations would have a probleem with that nowadays!)
  • Women had rights – Women in ancient Egypt had more rights and privileges than most other women in the ancient world and, in some cases, even more than in the modern world. Among their rights were the right to own property, the right to initiate business deals and the right to divorce. Some women – usually from wealthy families – could also become doctors or priestesses.
  • They invented the calender – The ancient Egyptians were also exceedingly smart. They first people to have a year consisting of 365 days divided into 12 months – it helped them predict the annual flooding of the Nile. They also invented clocks
  • The oldest known pregnancy test can also claim Egypt as its home. The Berlin Papyrus (c. 1800 B.C.) contains directions for a test involving wetting cereals with urine. If the cereals grew barley, it meant the woman was pregnant with a boy. If they grew wheat, she was pregnant with a girl. And if neither grew, the woman wouldn’t give birth.

Falafel the only time it comes in my mind to dat falafel is when i am hungry after a good night out! Such a shame because it’s delicious! 

falafel

 

Ingredients: 1 cup or tin of white broad beans, 1 tin of chickpeas, 1  small onion, 3  garlic cloves, 1  leek stalk, 1  tea spoon of baking soda, 1  tea spoon of flour, 1  tea spoon of cumin, 1  tea spoon of cayenne pepper, 3  table spoons of sesame seeds, 5  sprigs of fresh coriander , 5  sprigs of fresh dill, 5  sprigs of fresh parsley, olive oil, 1 tea spoon of salt to taste

1. If using fresh beans, soak overnight in cold water. If using tinned beans, empty into a sieve and rinse thoroughly.

2. Chop the onions, garlic and leek and place in a mixing bowl.

3. Pull the leaves from the sprigs of dill, coriander and parsley and add to mixing bowl.

4. Add the flour, baking soda, cayenne pepper, cumin and salt to the bowl. Please note that if using tinned beans you will need to add less salt than if using fresh beans.

Recommend you add ½ a tea spoon initially and then add more as required to taste after blending.

5. Add the beans to the mixing bowl and blend into a green paste. Then gentle kneed. If two moist add a little flour, if too dry add a couple of spoons of water.

6. Heath the oil until it is bubbling.

7. With a wet spoon shape the mix into flat discs 4cm x 2 cm. Sprinkle lightly with sesame seeds and add to the hot oil. The falafel is ready when it has turned brown on the outside. If you find your falafel is breaking apart upon contact with the oil it is too moist. Add some flower and roll it in flower before placing in the oil.

8. Serve with hot pita bread, salad and hummus.

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58. Ecuador: Locro de Papas

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Aah Ecuador, the middle of the earth, literally! The equator runs straight through the capital city, Quito. What’s in a name right? (You see ecuador-equator :D) Although one of smaller countries in South America it has a lot to offer: Amazone rainforest, Andes mountains and just of the coast the Galapagos Islands where Charles Darwin developed his world changing Evolution Theory. Food wise Ecuadorians are known for eating guinee pigs, but don’t worry no guinee pigs in my house, it’s not even available here. Quito is divided in two parts old town (more then 600 years old) and new town (100 years old) is more modern and represents how people live now. Ecuador has Incan ruins too. While neighboring Peru, home of Machu Pichu, is best known for its Incan ruins, Ecuador also has a powerful Incan legacy. Most of the Incan sites were destroyed by the Spanish, but there are still Incan and pre-Incan ruins scattered across the country. The best-preserved Incan ruin is Ingapirca

Schermafbeelding 2015-06-07 om 13.09.03

Things you didn’t know about Ecuador:

  • Spanish isn’t the only language Ecuadorians speak. Quechua is an indigenous language that is widely spoken. It was here long before Europeans arrived and has no relationship to Spanish. Don’t worry: most people speak Spanish as well.
  • The summit of Ecuador’s Chimborazo volcano is one of the highest points in the world. Due to the curvature of the Earth, it’s actually the point on the Earth’s surface furthest from the center of the planet.
  • Don’t bother hitting up the currency exchange! Ecuador’s official currency is the US dollar. The country traded in their old currency, the Sucre, for the dollar in the year 2000.
  • Perhaps more than any other South American nation, indigenous culture is alive and well in Ecuador. All South American nations include elements of both Spanish and indigenous cultures, but in Ecuador, many positions of importance are held by indigenous persons and indigenous culture is widely celebrated and preserved in dress, beliefs, language, and folklore.
  • While you might believe that the panama hat is from Panama, it is not. While these hats were sold in Panama, they were traditionally made in Ecuador, and the finest Panama hats still come from this country.

Locro de Papas also known as cheese and potato soup is, the thought of putting cheese and potato in one soup didn’t really appeal to me at first but that was before I tried this! you really need to ad stuff to it to make taste epic because on it’s own it can be a little bland.

Locro de papas

Ingredients: 10 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped into small and large pieces, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 white onion, diced, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp achiote powder, 7 cups of water, 1 cup of milk or more, 1 cup grated or crumbled cheese (quesillo, queso fresco, mozzarella or monterey jack), 1 bunch of cilantro, leaves only, minced, Salt to taste

  1. Prepare a refit or base for the soup by heating the oil over medium heat in a large soup pot; add the diced onions, minced garlic cloves, cumin, and achiote powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the potatoes to the pot and mix until they are coated with the refrito. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring a every couple of minutes.
  3. Add the water and bring to boil, cook until the potatoes are very tender. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes in the pot, don’t mash all of them, the consistency of the soup should be creamy with small tender chunks of potatoes.
  4. Turn the heat down to low, stir in the milk and let cook for about 5 more minutes. You can add more milk if the soup is too thick.
  5. Add salt to taste
  6. Add the grated cheese and cilantro, mix well, and remove from the heat.
  7. Serve warm with the avocados, scallions, queso or feta cheese.

57. East Timor: Caril Dos Pescadores

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Welcome letter E! The continents of Asia and Oceania are the home of thousands of some of the most amazing species on earth. Here between these two continents there is an island where this couldn’t be more evident ‘East Timor’. Living it’s first few ages of independence this small territory is located on the far east of southern Asia between Indonesia and Australia, it is the home of an ancient civilization. They are descendents from Malaysian, Polynesian and Papuan people. They have strong believes that everything is connected to the nature in some way. The land changes from high tropical forests to savannah or to the incredible pristine beaches on the coast.

Schermafbeelding 2015-05-26 om 14.41.10Things you didn’t know about East Timor:

  • Over 16 different languages and more then 30 dialects are spoken in East Timor, a lot of them have a strong Portuguese influence.
  • There is a legend among people from East Timor that only a man with a bad soul will get eaten or bitten by a crocodile. This why most people aren’t terrified of crocodiles.
  • There are a least 9 bird (probably more) species that are exclusive to the island.
  • There are places in the mountains where scientists have never been. And it is almost certain that when scientists start researching there new species will be found.
  • During the ice age the islands stayed separated from the Asian continent, so there were nog big animals like tigers or elephants. Only the ones man brought for farming can be found on the island.

This is soon good the sweet and sourness of the tamarind is really good!

Ingredients: 6 spoons of tamarind paste, 1 liter coconut milk, 500 grams of shrimp, 1 onion, 1 dl oil, pinch of salt, pinch of pepper, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, tiny bit of saffron

  1. Heat the finely chopped onion in pan with some olive oil until it’s a little brown.
  2. After adding tamarind sauce, coconut milk mixed where the saffron and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens.
  4. Join the peeled shrimp, but his head, and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Serve warm and serve with white rice