Athena Lamberis

How to make South African beer – uMqombhothi from Maize Meal

In Friend's Kitchens, Recipe on February 3, 2015 at 19:34

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Sip Sip sippin on uMqombhothi: A nutritious beer made from maize meal which can transform into a sweet or savoury porridge when cooked known as Idokwe. how to make south african beer maize umqombhothi

 The thing is, a recipe is a map – but your destination is your own alchemy.  With naturally fermented foods, it’s an all element creation.  Whether you are in the tropical swamps, humid concrete jungle or a dry desert land, your fermented food/drink will react and grow in different ways (just like my hair does when it rains :)
 I’ve got bottles of experiments, from pineapple wine to apple cider scobys growing by the day.  However, uMqombhoti is a recipe to inspire you to learn various food traditions from all over the world while bringing your own kitchen alchemy and culinary linguistics to the table.
South African beer-maize meal umqombhoti idokwe recipe -
 Alongside pineapple and ginger beer, uMqombhoti has an enhanced pungent taste, high in Vitamin B and most often shared communally from a ceramic bowl, gourd or pot used for the fermentation process.  It’s tradition and magic has been celebrated in South African homes for years – so when I asked my friend, @noksangoma to share her method for making one of the famous fermented drinks, she went on to say:
I dont have a ‘recipe’ for umqombhothi, I just follow an intuitive process in preparing it, because nobody actually told me how to make it. My ‘recipe’ is a mix of how my maternal grandmother makes umqombothi and how the eldest wives in my dad’s family make it.

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 Ingredients
maize meal
sorghum – king korn umthombo (green packet)
water
brown sugar (optional)
 How to make South African Maize Beer-Umqombhoti - via The Culinary Linguist
2.
mix equal quantities of imithombo with maize meal.
make a paste using boiling water.
place in a container (a bucket or big jar or jug. preferably use ukhamba, if you dont have a clay one, a plastic one will suffice)
store the mixture on in a dark corner or on the floor. overnight, or for 2 or 3 days – depending on how hot it is.
3.
when the mixture smells a little fermented, boil water in a pot and add the paste slowly while stirring continuously (like how you make custard)
lower the stove’s heat as the mixture thickens. let it simmer for about an hour. once this is cooked, it’s called idokwe and is delicious as a porridge with lots of sugar.
4.
cool idokwe – this may take a few hours.
once cooled down, mix the idokwe with cold water and mush it up with your hand til it’s drinking consistency
the potency of the umqombhothi depends on the magic of your mixing hand. my left hand is my mqombhothi mixing hand. my left side is my grancestor/feminine side – they are with me when I make umqombhothi.
How to make South African Maize Beer-Umqombhoti - via The Culinary Linguist
5.
once youve mixed idokwe with cold water, add more imithombo to the mixture and mix with your hand, and if you wish, some brown sugar to help the fermentation process along :)
again, place in a dark corner for about 3 days while it ferments.
6.
once the umqombhothi is fermented, it smells a little pungent, and little bubbles will be popping on the surface
strain the fermented mixture. the solid sorghum bits are called izinsipho. you may freeze a handful of izinsipho to use in a new batch of umqombhothi (izinsipho help to ferment a batch quicker, since theyve already fermented before)
 Food-Recipes-How to make South African Maize Beer-Umqombhoti - via The Culinary Linguist
7.
pour a cupful of umqombhothi as an offering, place in a sacred space in the home. this is for amaDlozi (spirit elders/ancestors/spirit guides)
8.
enjoy the rest!
rules for umqombhothi:
it is considered rude to drink umqombhothi while standing.
umqombhothi is best enjoyed with others. preferably while sitting in a circle, before a meal or after
umqombhothi is used as an offering in ceremonies and rituals. it is an integral part of cultural and spiritual ceremonies.
 Thanks Noks!  xx  Love, The Culinary Linguist

How to Make Easy Feta Cheese Puffs Recipe with Greek Yoghurt

In Recipe on January 16, 2015 at 16:57

During the holidays, we get those family season’s greeting cards, pictures of new babies, a synopsis of people’s year  – but my mom, she’s different.  In my Greek-American-South African family, most events and conversations revolve around food, even season’s greetings.

Below is a tried and tested recipe, a season’s greetings -written by my mom.

An easy snack you can make with delicious Greek yoghurt and a sense of humour.  Lucky you, this is a secret family recipe revealed.  Enjoy!

” Wishing you a Gastronomic, Festive, Joyous New Year, with lots of New Experiences.  May this recipe be one of them.
GREEK CHEESE PUFFSHow to make Greek feta yogurt bread balls recipe-The Culinary Linguist
(From the hands of Thea Koula,
My only living, wonderful Auntie,
Who is still the best baker)

•DOUGH•

1 medium tub Greek yogurt

1&3/4 sticks butter – (yeah! I said good puffs, not slimming) – you may cut back on the butter, and add half butter – half extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil.  I wouldn’t – when you SIN – you SIN!!!

One t. Salt or less depending how salty your FETA is.

One tablespoon Vinegar – DO NOT FORGET THIS STEP!!!

1/2 kilo  ( 1 lb ) of self rising flour  (more/less) depending on the weather – (you can use wheat FLOUR and 1 t. baking soda)

Mix above ingredients and let the mixture rest for one, or couple of hours. After some gentle manipulation, (we all need to rest, and fluff up).

•FILLING•
200 gr feta cheese ( 3/4 lb)

1/4 of c of good Ricotta cheese (optional) 

One egg white ( save yolk for glazing the puffs)

Pepper / if you like a peppery taste like I do.

 
Mix well – at this point add whatever other cheeses are hiding in your refrigerator shelves.  Waste not!!!

(OPTIONAL)You may add some spinach or sausage or whatever you wish.

Cayenne pepper, etc.

Take a tablespoon of dough in your hand – spread it with your other hand to an open “like” shell to receive the heaping teaspoon of filling on one side. Then close the other end over the filled end, and pinch the ends together.

Sounds delicious, right? Good eating is a religious experience!!!

Place in a well greased pan, brush some egg yolk (diluted with a sprinkle of water) and use either sesame seeds on top, black sesame, or Nigella seeds to give it a finished touch.
We all look better with some finishing touches.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown at 180 (350) degrees.

Enjoy the homemade goodness that you just created with your hands. (it is almost like birth, only easier, faster, and sometimes more satisfying, and does not talk back to you). OOPS, forgive me my darling offsprings.

How to make Greek feta bread balls recipe-The Culinary Linguist

FYI – if you are in need for some carbs after a hard day’s work- use above dough. Fry it in butter and olive oil. While it is hot, sprinkle some (lots) sugar and cinnamon.  Enjoy the fried fritter with a cup of coffee as you listen to the clouds open up and the angels “sing to thee”.

From the Greek Gypsy
Or, Nomad Retiree a.k.a Mom of The Culinary Linguist  ”

**  If you grew up in a Greek family, you often find yourself giggling at food trends and fads that hype what your grandma’s been feeding you for years.  It’s the way food product companies like to colonise homemade traditional foods and ‘discover’ the next best thing to tortilla chips. ViVA Greek yogurt.

The history of your Favorite Foods: Pizza, Ice cream . . .

In Stories, Travel on November 3, 2014 at 18:30
 So how do we track back in time to find the origins, the stories of how our favorite foods began?
  Who put fortunes in cookies and tomato sauce on spaghetti?
 Food pairings and cultural dishes have a long history.  From spice trades, to climate regions, culinary history continues to evolve.  Natural food traditions complement what was in season – what was in season also supports exactly what our immune system and our overall physical nutritional health.
 Steamed winter greens such as spinach drizzled with olive oil and a lot of lemon juice is a Greek food staple known as Horta.   If the greens were eaten with cheese or just salt, for example, you wouldn’t get the benefit of  absorbing the high levels of Calcium and Iron in the vegetable.  When lemon juice or other foods high in Vitamin C are added to the greens, this assists the body for absorption – plus spinach is delicious with lemon juice anyway! Win-win.
So that’s just the nutritional side . . . on the history side, this info-graphic produced by Cheapflights.ca tells it how it is.  Anthropology of Food . . . .  I love it!  Appetite for variety – I celebrate all things real food.  Enjoy!
the history behind your favourite foods 53cd2cdd68e9e w640 How and Where the Worlds Most Beloved Foods Started (INFOGRAPHIC)

Sushi photo (slider) via Shutterstock
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