Soul Cocina

Eco Chef Roger Feely

Bananas over corn

-Veggie vendors, Mumbai

I was surprised to find corn used so widely in India. Barbequed corn on the cob sold on the street is a great way to warm up on a cold winter night. One of our favorite corn dishes we sampled was makki roti, a flatbread made with corn flour. Rotis are usually served with vegetable curries or meats. Makki roti is so good it is a great snack all by itself. In Ajmer we were served makki roti dipped in ghee! ...along w/ dal, 4 or 5 veg dishes, lamb, chicken, fresh churned ice cream, homemade pani puris and other chaat delicacies
Makki roti comes from Punjab, but we tasted it in Bombay and Rajasthan.-Makki roti dough w/ green chillies and cilantro

-We rolled out our makki roti dough and cooked it in a pan on one side, then cooked the other side directly over the flame. (A technique we learned making rotis at Shikshantar in Udaipur.)

Just like in Ajmer, we serve our makki rotis with ghee!

-a roti bakery outside of the Mahalaksmi Temple, MumbaiThe maki rotis are similar to corn tortillas. Corn is used to make a lot more than just tortillas in Mexican cuisine. Chicago's Maiz has plenty of examples.Here is another dish using corn and green chillies

-Green chile tamales w/ pumpkin seeds, roasted corn, and cactus, topped w/ queso cotija.

The tamal masa is wrapped up in banana leaves and steamed for about one hour.
Run out of banana leaves but not masa? ...Make masa fritters!

-In San Francisco, La Palma, 2884 24th St., near the Brava Theatre, is a great place to buy supplies for making tamales. They grind their own corn to make fresh masa and they also sell many kinds of tamales, Mexican, Salvadoreno, and Nicaruagense. Some of the tamales are wrapped in corn husk, some are wrapped in banana leaf.
Banana leaves also make great environmentally friendly plates that impart a nice flavor on the food. Even the banana flour, or blossom is used in Indian cuisine, where it is called kere kafool. In Thailand, where banana blossom is called dok kluai, it is sliced and eaten raw with nam prik,with fried noodles, or simmered in a hot sour soup with chicken, galangal and coconut milk. In the Philippines, banana blossom is a main component of Kari Kari. Plantains are also used in Indian cooking. In Indian English the veggie vendors we met called plantains "vegetable bananas" as opposed to "banana bananas" (I'm sure they have specific names in the native Indian languages though) In Spanish plantains are called Platanos. In The Dominican Republic platanos are served at practically every meal.-Platanos in DR

-Mofongo (mashed plantains w/ chicharones) served in a pilon (molcajete)

-pan de maiz, Republica Dominicana

-In San Francisco, bananas are also sometimes used for fashion statements.

Even birds eat platanos in DR.

-Check out Platanos in San Francisco to sample a world of corn and plantain dishes.
-Empanada party at Platanos

-SF Mission District murals, people, and produce-RogerchilepepperSan Francisco Mission District