Friday, December 31, 2010


I've never been a big New Year's resolution-maker.  When I was young I could never think of anything, and then when I went to uni I declared stupid things that didn't really apply to me -- to quit smoking, even though I've never smoked, to eat less pork, even though I was a vegetarian, and other hilarious (to me) pledges.  Last year I decided to be a bit realistic, but also to set resolutions for things that I genuinely wanted to do.  So my resolutions last year were to avoid plastic whenever possible, practice sleeping in, and learn to make gnocchi.  I did manage a few sleep-ins, though my day still typically starts before 7am on its own.  I haven't cut plastic out of my life, by any means, but I think I have cut down on plastic-purchases.  And by the middle of last year I had learnt the art of gnocchi

Before I move on to this year's resolutions, I thought it was worth a quick review of 2010 - it has been a big year in the Tropical Vegan house.
  • I submitted my PhD
  • Andy and I got married (posts here, here, here, and honeymoon posts here and here)
  • We spent a long weekend in Sydney for a wedding and ate so much food (posts here, here, here, here, here, and here)
  • I took a pottery class, which was fun and a totally legitimate form of playing in the mud
  • I started teaching, and found myself with a crazy-busy second semester - for one six week period I found myself teaching 4 classes, across 5 separate disciplines
  • We got a soymilk maker, and started saving HEAPS on Andy's soymilk habit.  And we started getting a little creative with the leftovers from soymilking, okara
  • I started keeping track of my cycling kilometres and got up to 500 kms from April to August.  In August I decided that I would repeat my 500 kms, but within 3 months.  I never posted about the second challenge, but I did end up meeting my goal, but I fell short of my time limit by one day.  I decided to give myself an extension, though, because...
  • I got appendicitis, which pretty much sucked
  • Andy and I went to PNG, which was loads of fun (posts here, here, here and here)
Whew, so it was kind of a crazy-cakes year.  I made a few silly mistakes, particularly in the second semester, in terms of not taking very good care of myself and as a result I was mildly sick for weeks on end, and just altogether run-down.  So my main resolutions for 2011 are related to self-maintenance!
Nacho spent 2010 being cute (and mean, but that's just how she is)

First, I will start every morning with a few sun salutations (at least, more yoga if I'm feeling energetic), followed by a round of dry brushing.  This was something I had started to do in about August this year, but then I got sick, and busy, and never got round to picking it back up again.  But since mid-December I have begun again, and I'm happy I have.  Some sources suggest dry brushing is good for your immune system, and that it may reduce/prevent cellulite.  Even if those claims aren't true, it's a cheap and effective way to exfoliate without fancy scrubs and potions, and it makes my skin really soft and clear, so I'm going to keep this up all year.

Second, Andy and I would really like to buy a house soon-ish (2012 maybe?), and we are planning a trip to the US to visit my family in mid-2011, so we need to do some serious saving.  Now that I have a part-time, but permanent job(!!!), this will be a bit easier.  But, my second resolution is to not buy anything new, aside from consumables (food, shampoo, etc).  This is something I've been mulling over since reading about textual bulldog's shopping diet (I can't seem to access her blog to link right now, oh no!  I loved reading it, so I hope she comes back!), but avoided committing to because I was so uncertain about potential moves for jobs which would have necessitated some purchases.  Now that I have some certainty, I am going to attempt this one - I'll still buy secondhand clothes, but appliances and things will have a 30 day waiting period before purchasing, to decide if we really want/need the thing.  That way, I suspect, we will avoid the purchase of several things.  This won't be too hard anyways, because we are fairly indecisive about purchases, and don't buy much stuff to begin with.

So that's what I hope to be up to for 2011.  What are your resolutions?  Was 2010 a good year, or are you happy to see the end of it?

Monday, December 27, 2010


Our Christmas dinner in the past few years has been a stuffed seitan roast, and thankfully they have been steadily improving every year.

In 2007 it was a bit chewy, made with nothing but gluten flour and liquid.
In 2008, I incorporated pumpkin into the mix, and the texture was a bit less chewy but still fairly heavy.
For 2009 we had two roasts - one with friends in Townsville, and one with Andy's family in New South Wales.  Both incorporated chickpea flour, which made the texture much lighter and, I think, more pleasant.

Andy and I both agree, though, that this year's roast was heaps better.  First of all, it used okara in the seitan mix, which makes the texture less gluten-y and chewy.  Second, it was steamed, so it was nice and firm, and the stuffing became a part of the seitan instead of falling out.  And finally, we wrapped it in yuba before the final roasting, so it got a crunchy-chewy skin on the outside. 

Here's a step-by-step guide to how we created the best seitan roast yet.

First, make the stuffing.  We were out of onions, so this was a no-cook stuffing, which was fine with me considering the heat and humidity on the day I did the cooking.

Orange, Date & Almond Stuffing
8 to 10 slices of multigrain bread, stale, and torn into small pieces
1 c. vegetable stock
1 T. cointreau (or orange juice)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 orange, peeled and diced (try to save as much of its juice as possible, too)
1/4 c. toasted almonds, roughly chopped
1/4 c. dates, roughly chopped

In a large bowl, pour vegetable stock and cointreau over the bread pieces and stir up.  Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, then mix with the remaining ingredients.

Then make the seitan.  Andy printed out this recipe and can't remember where he'd gotten it from, but we've changed it up so I'll repost here - sorry I can't credit it!  This can be made in advance, making it a great recipe for a busy christmas.

Seitan Turkey Roast
1/3 c. almond meal
250g. okara (or crumbled firm tofu)
2 tsp. vegan chicken-style stock
1 T. soy sauce
3 T. vegetable oil
5 T. water
1 tsp. onion powder
2 T. nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. fresh thyme
160g (about 1 1/4 c.) gluten flour
1 tsp. cornflour (corn starch)

In a large bowl, combine almond meal, okara, stock powder, soy sauce, oil, water, onion powder, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme.  Blend until completely smooth with a stick blender (or put all of this into a blender or food processor and do it that way). 

In a separate bowl, stir together gluten flour and cornflour, then add this into the okara mixture until fully combined into a soft dough.  On a plastic mat, or a sheet of baking paper or cling wrap, roll out the seitan dough into a rectangle, a bit less than 1cm thick.

Place a mound of stuffing in the middle of the dough and compress this with your hands so it is pretty firm.
Fold up the sides of the seitan dough, closing any cracks that break.  Press the seams together well.  Make sure the log is short enough to fit inside of a steamer.

Wrap the log in baking paper, and then muslin or cheesecloth.  Place into a pressure cooker filled with 2 inches of water and a steamer basket.  Bring up to the highest pressure and steam for 15 minutes (or steam in a regular pot for about 2 hours, turning every now and then and refilling the water when necessary).  Let cool, still wrapped up, and then store in the fridge until needed.

When you're ready to roast the seitan, unwrap it.

Take a few sheets of yuba, soak briefly in warm water, and wrap this around the roast. 

Our yuba was a bit fall-aparty, and not a great size, so it kind of looked like a dog's breakfast.  Just do what you can to wrap the whole log and tuck in any stray bits around the edges.  Baste the roast with a mixture of 1 T. oil and 1 tsp. soy sauce.  Roast at 200 (400F) for 40 minutes, basting every 15 minutes or so.  We added cranberry relish to the final baste, to give the skin a fruity flavour.

Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

The result is a firm, flavourful roast with a great texture and a crispy skin.  And, really, it wasn't that hard.  I think this is something that won't just be relegated to Christmas dinner in the coming years...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Boxing Day

Andy and I aren't particularly attached to Christmas, especially in years like this one when we stay in Townsville with no family around.  But, we like any excuse to eat, and I like any excuse to cook elaborate meals, so we took Friday off from uni and cooked up two feasts: Christmas Eve Dinner, and Christmas Breakfast.

For dinner, we had a stuffed seitan roast with yuba skin (recipe to come in its own post soon);
 Saffron Potatoes, based on a recipe from Vegan Planet, which were only okay;

Sweet potato, Orange & Mango Salad, a tester recipe for Carla's One Dish Wonders;

Cranberry and Orange relish;

and little ramekins of Orange, Date & Almond Stuffing.

It was such a big meal that we didn't have room for dessert.

On Christmas morning we woke up to lots, and lots, and lots of rain, thanks to a sneaky category 1 cyclone that crossed the coast a few hours north of us.  It was the perfect morning for a hot cooked breakfast, and luckily I had done most of the work the day before.

I had pre-made a quiche that just needed warming up, filled with sausages, spinach & sundried tomatoes.

I made dough the night before for Noosa Morning Rolls, a tester recipe from One Dish Wonders, which are gently spiced ginger & macadamia rolls.  Really good on their own, or with leftover cranberry relish.

The only thing I had to make on the morning was Potato Latkes, following almost exactly a recipe from Bittersweet blog.  The only change I made was to use garlic chives instead of spring onions, and I was generous with oil, but my latkes totally burnt, and stuck.  They were edible, in a very crunchy way, and actually weren't too bad with tomato sauce.

For lunch, we took the easy way out - cocktails & potato chips.

After a phone call from Andy's mum, we churned some ice cream to make Chocolate Candy Cane Ice Cream Pie.

Then for dinner we had a little bit of everything that was leftover, along with some fresh spinach from the garden.

With still more leftovers to go, I'm looking forward to a day of grazing, but hoping that the rain clears for long enough today that we can go for a quick bike ride, or even just a walk!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Holiday for the Rest of Us!

Those of you who are Seinfeld fiends will probably already be familiar with Festivus, and if you're not you can quickly get caught up with this video. 

Festivus has become a bit of a hipster holiday lately, I think, with the publication of a book by a former Seinfeld-writer, whose father actually invented Festivus in 1966.  There is even a website now where you can buy dedicated Festivus Poles, but I think that goes against the spirit of the holiday, which is a reaction to the commercialisation of most religious holidays (and, $40 for a pole?).

Anyways, fake holidays are, in my opinion, a perfect excuse to eat lots of food and hang out with people, so Andy and I hosted a vegan festivus feast to 'celebrate' with some friends.  I always, always intend to take photos during potlucks/group dinners, but I always, always forget.  So I have some photos from before people arrived, and some photos of the leftovers, but unfortunately missed out on most of the mains!

To start off with, though, I laid the table with vegan candy canes (from Coles, which I discovered thanks to K's post).

Our Festivus pole did not cost $40, and in fact was free.  I taped together some toilet rolls and then covered with aluminium foil.  Easy!

We spent nearly an hour snacking before we actually began the meal, enjoying some sourdough bread from the new Three Loaves Bakery in Idalia along with Pepper Crusted Cashew Cheese, and Brandied Tempeh Pate, a tester recipe for Carla's One Dish Wonders cookbook.

And some cracker biscuits with Roasted Garlic Cannellini Bean Dip.  All the entrees were pretty good, if I do say so myself.  That cashew cheese is a revelation!  I highly recommend that you go make it now!

For mains, Andy and I threw together some satay skewers, using Mark-style seitan, and topped with Spicy Peanut Sauce, another (delicious) tester recipe from One Dish Wonders.  Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos of that, as there were no leftovers.  Likewise, there is no photographic evidence of the really yummy Potato Salad that Mel brought, with perfectly tender potatoes, green beans, and carrot.  The only leftovers we had from the mains was the creamy cucumber & bean salad I made, with a dressing of cream cheese, cider vinegar, and celery seeds.

A small main left room for the ample desserts that came our way.  I had a feeling that both Matt & Mel would both bring desserts, so I only made a tiny snack of Dark Chocolate Covered Brandied Cherries.

Mel made the most delicious Caramel Cream Pie, which was beautiful when she brought it, but which melted a bit before making it back into the fridge.  The leftovers might look a bit funny but they were every bit as delicious as the original pie.

And Matt & Emma brought along a tray heaped with sweets.  I wish I'd gotten a photo of the tray, which really was mountainous.  But here are some of the leftovers.  There were: White Chocolate and Cranberry Balls; Rum Balls; Cherry Ripe Balls; Toffee with Nuts; Bacardi and Apricot Cake; and underneath the toffees are some White Choc Crackles.  All so good!

We were left with a bit of a sugar hangover, but it was totally worth it to celebrate Festivus in style.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Peace Harmony

As I mentioned in my recent post about Sydney, I headed into the city on Thursday night for dinner with Andy's brother. I sort of tricked him a little - I told him, via text message, that we'd meet at a yummy Thai place, but I didn't mention it was a vegan Thai place.  When we met up in nearby Wynyard Park, I gave a token "Do you mind that it's a vegan place?" -- knowing that he was very hungry, and it was too late for any change of plans.

When we walked into Peace Harmony (at 44 Erskine Street, between Wynard Park and Darling Harbour), Michael remembered that he had eaten there before and really like it.  So I probably didn't need to sneak around, but I didn't want to take any chances!  It was pretty stuffy inside, so we grabbed a table on the tiny back balcony, where we caught the slightest breeze, and proceeded to order masses of food.  Michael only took one photo, which shows some of the food but not that well, but I do remember what we ordered, and it was all delicious so I wanted to give a proper plug to Peace Harmony here.

We started with a mixed entree, which came with:
  • A satay stick - seitan, I think, on a skewer with delicious peanutty sauce.
  • A spring roll - filled with veggies and something proteiny, crunchy and delicious.
  • A curry puff - just spicy enough.
  • Tod mun - a kind of veggie fritter
  • A money bag - this was the only thing that looked too hard to split in half, so I let Michael go for it.
Then our main meals arrived and there was barely room on the little table for everything.

Michael ordered the first item on the Chef's Suggestion list, Hor Mok, which is described as "veggie fish mixed with mushroom and vegetables cooked in thick red curry and coconut milk".  This bowl of curry was so fragrant & coconutty, filled with veggies and all kinds of mock meats of a variety of textures.  The curry didn't taste too spicy at first, but built up in the back of your throat so that after a few bites it was noticeable.  But I could still distinguish fresh flavours like kaffir lime amidst the spice.

The other two dishes you can just make out in this photo. 

I ordered Gai Larn Stir Fried, thinking some greens as a side dish would be good.  When this came out, it was much more than just greens - it also had tofu and TVP, making it very filling.  And my main was the Cashew Nut Stir Fry - "Veggie meat, tofu with Harmony sauce, vegetables and cashew nut".  This, again, had several different kinds of mock meat, some chickeny, some tofu-y.  It was all really delicious, and after clearing all of these plates we didn't have time for dessert.

I highly recommend Peace Harmony to anyone who finds themselves in Sydney.  Newtown is obviously a great vegan destination, but if you're in the city then Peace Harmony is definitely worth a visit.  Everything is vegan, and there is even vegan propaganda in the restaurant (which I find endearing!), the range of choices is huge, and the food is fresh and flavourful.  We gave it four thumbs up!

Friday, December 17, 2010

I scream!

Summer in Townsville is hot, humid, sticky, and sometimes a little unpleasant.  Don't get me wrong - I kind of love it, but sometimes you need a little relief.  On really hot weekends, we head along to the cinema, or the library, or the museum, where the airconditioning is cranked up so much that you can almost see your breath.

But I think we'll need fewer trips like that now that we have our very own ice cream maker.

I have been noticing all of K&Toby's ice cream posts and thought it would be a wonderful addition to the house.  I didn't seriously consider getting one, though, until Andy's mum gave me a gift certificate to the bookshop for my birthday.  As I browsed books online, I noticed that Vegan Scoop was just the right price for my gift cert.  I mentioned it to Andy, jokingly at first, but then we started investigating ice cream makers.  I did some googling, and fell in love with the looks of the Cuisinart - at around $120 they're more expensive than some ice cream makers around, but they have a 1.5 litre capacity so we rationalised that it was worth the extra.  Then we found a place online selling them for $90, but alas, they were out of stock.  The next weekend, we got a flyer from a kitchenwares shop in our mailbox with the Cuisinart ice cream makers splashed across the front, for $99.  It was exciting timing, so we hopped along to the obnoxious shopping centre (and later vowed never again to enter Stockland's in the month of December...) and picked one up.  It's orange!

And we placed our order for Vegan Scoop.  Unfortunately, it has yet to arrive - I guess they weren't overestimating when they said it would be 10-15 working days.  In the meantime, I did some googling and came up with a recipe for vanilla ice cream using coconut milk, sugar, cornflour, and a vanilla bean.  Simple but delicious, and a great way to inaugurate our new machine.

It churned away for 30 minutes while I chopped veggies for dinner, and then we tipped it into a tupperware and put it in the freezer for later.  Served up with a bowlful of mango, it was a delicious end to a hot night (though our dessert was interrupted by Nacho yowling and growling at a neighbour cat, who keeps coming round to harras her - does anyone have any tips for keeping cats away?).

Our plans for christmas now involve an ice cream pie of some kind, and I can't wait for Vegan Scoop to arrive so I can spend the summer playing around with different ice cream flavours!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


As I mentioned in my last post, I was just in Sydney for a few days at a sociology conference.  There were about 400 people at the conference, and a fair chunk had a yellow sticker on their name tags indicating some kind of special dietary preference, mainly vegetarian (and a few gluten-frees).  Probably nearly half of the people I saw had this yellow dot.  But instead of having half the food be vegetarian, they had a separate table set up, with a volunteer guarding it to ensure that no one without a yellow dot took any food from it.

On one hand, I appreciate having a separate table, so there is no question of the vegetarian-ness of the food.  But on the other, if so many people want to eat vegetarian sandwiches, regardless of their dietary preferences, I kinda think that indicates a need for more vegetarian food all around. 

The other really very annoying feature was that it was unclear if any of the sandwiches and wraps were actually vegan.  I did some investigating, and some questioning, and found a few wraps at each lunch that were vegan.  Except, on the last day of the conference, there were a total of zero vegan options.  What the hell?  I paid a lot for conference registration, and all I got to eat was fruit!  And morning and afternoon tea breaks were full of cakes and pastries, but none of them were vegan, either.  I ate a lot of fruit while I was in Sydney.

On the last day, in frustration, I went over to the food court at Macquarie Uni, where there is an Iku Wholefoods.  Andy and I got some Iku food when we were in Sydney in February, and you can read other reviews from K&Toby and Lisa.  When I went previously, I thought it was overpriced, and I felt rushed in ordering because we were at a crowded city food court.  This time I was much happier with it - I ordered the two snack plate, which was a giant rice ball and a tofu, noodle, and veggie-stuffed rice paper roll, for $6.90.  I didn't take photos, because I brought the food back to the conference, so these are from the Iku website.

 The rice paper rolls and rice balls are pictured on the left of the plate.
I also got a marabba, a sort of pistachio-biscuit, the triangular item at the front of this plate.  It was not that good, really - a bit dry.

Aside from the food, the conference was good - I met lots of people, heard some interesting talks, and had lots of wanders through the Macquarie Uni campus.  It was full of adorable creatures, like this bunny (I realise these are pests, but they're still cute).

And this family of ducks.
And on Thursday, when the conference had finished, I went into the city and had dinner at Peace Harmony with my brother-in-law.  He snapped a photo, so I will wait until he sends that to write a proper review of the excellent, magnificent meal we ate there.  While you're waiting, you can read reviews of Peace Harmony from Toby or Michael.  It was a gorgeous night in Sydney, so we continued down the hill to Darling Harbour and found a bar stool with a nice view and had a drink.

Then it was back to Townsville bright and early the next morning!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


I recently responded to a call-out for help from Carla, the author of the soon-to-be-released cookbook Quick & Easy Vegan Bake Sale (I think that is the title).  She is preparing another cookbook, One Dish Wonder - easy vegan one-dish meals. 

We've made a few things from this so far, including Orange Cranberry Polenta Cakes, which were delicious.  Peanut Potato Salad is a combination I never would have thought up, but which totally works, and lets me eat lots of peanut butter.

The recipe for Tempeh a la King appealed to me, possibly as a result of seeing cartoons as a child where various characters attempted to cook one another and always seemed to open their cookbooks to "Chicken a la King" -- did anyone else watch those cartoons?  Only, we don't really like the tempeh which is sold at the supermarket here, so I made mine with mark-style seitan.  Served up with brown rice, it doesn't look too pretty but it was amazingly tasty.

But our favourite recipe yet is easily Carla's Spiced Oven Wedges.  They are fluffy inside, crunchy outside, and the spice mix is delicious.  We've made them twice in about a week and a half, and Andy has plans to nom on them several more times while I'm in Sydney for a conference (now! thanks to the wonders of scheduled posts, I'm actually in Sydney while you're reading this).

I'm looking forward to lots more testing from Carla's recipes, and I can't wait till both of her cookbooks hit the shelves.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Ethiopian memory lane.

In 2005, I was amazingly lucky enough to travel to Ethiopia. It wasn't a place I had ever considered visiting, but when the offer presented itself, I couldn't get it out of my head. It wasn't just that it was a free trip, paid for through a travel grant from my undergrad university, which was won by my Ethiopian-raised but 20 years American sociology professor.  It was the mystique of the place - I knew almost nothing about it.  I'd never eaten the food, never heard the language, never seen the flag.  I set about learning as much about Ethiopia as I could, through history books, mainly, because the internet didn't have much to offer about the country when I was looking.  Still, I was surprised and awed the whole trip.

From the capital city, Addis Abeba -- which means 'new flower', and is between 2300 and 3000 meters (that's up to 9,800 feet) above sea level, and packed with both shanty towns and flash new developments...

And where thick traffic, spewing black exhaust which coats your face, competes with animals for right-of-way...

 To the country-side, where the noise comes from birds (and mosquitoes!), and the slippery-feeling water of the volcanic Lake Langano washed all our city-stress away...
 And the beauty of the Great Rift Valley took our breath away. 
We were fortunate in our timing, as the little rainy season (as contrasted to the much rainer "big rainy season", later in the year) had just ended, leaving everything lush and green.  Less fortunate about our timing was that Lent had recently ended.  During Lent, the largely Orthodox Christian population of Ethiopia observes fasting rules which means that they eat an almost vegan diet.  Afterwards, they gorge themselves on animal products for a few months, striking their veggie dishes from restaurant menus and home kitchens alike.  But wherever we went, they were able to rustle up some veggies, legumes, and injera, and I fell in love with Ethiopian cuisine.  Different customs left us eating lots -- I grew up learning that you need to clear your plate before the meal is finished, but in Ethiopia a clear plate is a sign of an un-generous host.  Every time I cleared, more food appeared.  As a result, I ate lots and gained weight (the many beers we drank probably didn't help this, either).

This trip was more than five years ago now, but my love of Ethiopian food is forever.  But, a severe lack of Ethiopian restaurants in North Queensland has led me to create my own versions of the delicious meals I ate far too much of in my month in Ethiopia.
This is mesir wat, or Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew, served with Ethiopian spiced vegetables from Fat Free Vegan.  The rice and tortilla are a poor substitute for injera, the slightly-sour, spongy flat bread that normally accompanies Ethiopian meals.  But the mesir wat tastes as good as I remember, thanks to a slightly complex recipe involving a homemade spice mix, and homemade spiced oil.  If you refrigerate this stew, it gets very thick and wonderful, and the flavours develop even further, so I recommend cooking a day early and then re-heating. But if you don't have the forethought, or patience, or whatever else is required for this, it is still very delicious on the day it's made.

Mesir Wat

1 c. red lentils
1/4 c. netir kibbeh (or vegetable oil, but the spiced oil makes a big difference)
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 T. berbere, separated
1 small tomato, cored and chopped
4 c. water
salt to taste

Rinse and drain the lentils.  Heat netir kibbeh in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Cook the onions until they go golden brown.  Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.  Then add lentils, 1 T. berbere, tomato, and water.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until stew is thick and lentils are tender, about 45 to 50 minutes.  Add remaining berbere, season with salt, and serve hot.

Netir Kibbeh

3/4 c. ricebran oil (or other un-flavourful oil)
4 cardomom pods, seeds removed from husks
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds

In a mortar&pestle, spice grinder, or Jamie Oliver Flavour Shaker, grind together cardmom seeds, fenugreek, and nigella.  They can be coarsely ground for this, just break them up a bit.  In a small saucepan, heat oil gently, stir in the spices, and then remove the oil from heat.  Let the mixture cool to room temperature, and then pour into a glass jar, straining if you don't like chunks, and store in the fridge.


2 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
6 cardomom pods, seeds removed from husks
4 cloves
5 dried chillis (or more or less, to taste)
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 c. onion powder
3 T. paprika
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

In a skillet over medium heat, toast coriander, fenugreek, peppercorns, cardamom and cloves for several minutes until they smell fragrant and toasty.  Remove from the pan, let cool, and then add to chillis and grind to a fine powder.  Stir in remaining powdered ingredients, store in an airtight container.  Also delicious on potato wedges, tofu scrambles, etc.