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Kitchen alchemy: fine dining


Experimented today with a lentil flatbread (chapatti) to go with my hummus and red cabbage, caraway sauerkraut main meal.


Of course I sprinkled dukkah on the hummus. It’s my current favorite seasoning.


Nothing could be simpler than lentil flatbreads.

Soak lentils for a few hours (at least 2) in a 1 : 2 ratio of lentils to water. I only had brown so used those, but one could use any lentil. My soaking water was boiled, added hot and two bay leaves tucked into the bowl. Because I have bay leaves and because bay leaves are good plant medicine according to the Indian Ayurvedic system of health.


Purée (or mash if your kitchen is low tech) the lentils and soaking water. I added a sprinkle of caraway seed, a twist or two of fresh ground black pepper, a smidgen of chaat masala and the same of garam masala while processing. Any flavoring or none is good.

One of the perks of being a spicewallah is a cupboard full of spices, salts, seeds, herbs and mixes.


My flatbreads were made in a well seasoned cast iron skillet, but one could use any pan suitable for making pancakes.


While only the garlic in the hummus was actually grown here in the Garden of Earthly Delights at the 6th Avenue Shala, the hummus, sauerkraut, dukkah and lentil flatbreads were all made from scratch at various times in recent weeks.

Yes, that garlic used in the hummus is the first of the 2022 season Inchelium Red heritage garlic harvest just coming out of the ground.

It still has to cure a week or two before it is ready to be offered at market, but I couldn’t resist skimming off a clove for today’s kitchen alchemical endeavors.

Hopefully my curing lines in the conservatory are going to be stronger than those of last year where I used old washlines which I found strung under the roof of the outdoor shed area when the hacienda came to me.

That cotton washline cord was ancient, weakened and weathered by exposure to desert conditions. It snapped with the full weight of the garlic harvest bringing the whole almost 20 lbs of braids crashing down. Not good. Some bruising resulted. I learned that fresh garlic needs to be treated real gentle or it will turn brown and shrivel, making puckered up, flavourless scabs where impacted.


There have been some changes made this season in rigging the conservatory up as a curing shed. Little Yoni canoe and the two kayaks grudgingly concede that they do not need all the space.

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