Soul Cocina

Eco Chef Roger Feely

Filtering by Tag: hip hop

Cashew Harvest in Sindhudurg



SOUL COCINA MOTION PICTURE Cashew Harvest in Mutt

I was lucky to visit Mutt in Sindudurg, Maharashtra (home of Malvani Cuisine) with Sachen, one of the students from ACE during cashew season last year. The cashew fruit is a great treat when it is ripe. You can't eat too much though because they make your mouth tingle and sting a little. There are many theories about cutting one end or the other first, or just adding salt to the fruit to take away the sneaky astringency, but I didn't find it to make much of a difference. A small price to pay for such a treat.

Where the real damage comes is from the shell of the nut. When you break the shell it lets off a bitter juice that can burn your finger... or as I found out the hard way, your mouth and tongue. There are people in the village who specialize in opening the shells of cashews. They grow their fingernails specifically for the annual process, and it leaves the fingers stained for weeks. You can see in the video above how hard it is to open a single nut.
The young greener nuts are soft and vegetablelike, almost like a fresh pea or bean. But if picked too young, the nut is bitter. These young green cashews would make a great salad. But it is the fully matured ripe nut that is highly prized. As soon as the fruit is harvested the nut is seperated from the fruit by hand and the fruit is sold to makers of Feni, while the nut is taken back to the village to be opened by hand. Everyone knows the going rate for cashews and mangoes in Sindhudurg.
Seperating the fruit from the nut is a family affair.
Tune: Family Affair by Doctor L and Antibalas from Mind Records 2006 7"


Sachen cuts the cashew fruit for an afternoon snack in the shade.
Cashew nuts, attached to the fruit at a market in Goa


Next to the cashew orchard, which has hundreds of trees, is a mango orchard just as vast. I was visiting just a month too early for mango season. These are the trees of the mighty Alphonso mango.

Tune: Wylin Out (Kutmaster Kurt Remix) by the Mighty Mos Def and Chitown's Diverse from the BBC 12" EP vol 2 from Bobby Friction and Nihal

Tune: Botallan Sharab Diyan by Bally Sagoo also from the BBC 12" EP vol 2 from Bobby Friction and Nihal

Here is a view of the well behind Sachen's family's home seen through a mango tree.

Talking a break from the heat, a cup of water from the well can't be beat.

Tune: Water No Get Enemy by Fela Kuti from the LP Expensive Shit

Tune: I Thirst by Dillinger from the album Cup of Tea

Exclusive Mix: Estoy Seco After 12:12AM Thirsty MIX in the Soul Cocina
This mix starts off with Estoy Seco by Conjunto Los Bucucos off the Salson LP then moves on to more salsa dura with La Reina Celia Cruz backed by La Sonora Poncena from the Lp La Ceiba released in 1979, the year of Chicago's great blizzard. Then the mix moves on to two modern cuts, the first is Mi Swing es Tropical by Nicodemus and Quantic then onto a song called Julieta by Oreja remixed by Seiji from Bugz in the Attic on a Candela label 12". From here we move on to the big song Magalehna by Sergio Mendes from the Brasileiro LP as the triangle takes us to the opening triangle from Willie Colon's Ghana E from the Gran Fuga LP. Then we drop a fun 7" from the glorious year of 1975. This '75 gem is a cover of Fela's Shakalao by Lizandro Meza y Su Conjunto from Colombia. The African vibe gets stronger and stronger as we cross the Atlantic to Ghana for a song from the Hedzoleh Soundz LP produced by the mighty Hugh Masakela. Then Back to Brasil for some beats from Marcelo D2's instrumental LP of A Procura Da Batida Perfeita. Next up- More beats with flavor.. this time from Spain with a little vibraphone action for all the newborns from Zeta, off of the 1999 LP Guateque. next a tune from Orishas Emigrante LP before we move into Mala Rodriguez chatting on Jota mayuscula's LP Hombre Negro Soltero Busca. Then we step into some heavy duty old school hipi hopi from Brasil by Filosofia de Rua and Duck Jam with nacao Hip Hop. The mix ends nicely with a tune from the Nia LP by Blackalicious
There are also jackfruit trees in Mutt.Jackfruit for sale in Mumbai above, and below in a market in Goa


They got chiku too!
Bells on the road back to Goa

Tune: Road to Goa from Vijay Raghav Rao's LP Festival Time
This song is typically Goan. It has that friendly childlike sound that I associate with a lot of Goan music. Similar to the instrumentation that backs Lorna or the music of Alfred Rose.


But pt Vijay Raghav Rao's music on Festival Time is not all so soft and simple.
Check out this tune from the record:
Tune: Sarod Dhun also from Vijay Raghav Rao's LP Festival Time

Thanksgiving Pie Tart


Instead of baking a pumpkin pie, sometimes I'll bake sweet potato pie in the fall. This tradition comes from my time in South Carolina. But while at Citizen Cake I designed my own fall favorite. It's not a pie but a tart, but it feels like a pie! I revisited this favorite again this year.
Pomegranate and Persimmon Pie
vanilla scented hachiya persimmon custard topped with fuyu persimmon slices, pomegranate seeds and pomegranate gelee in a brown butter-vanilla tart shell
I made this pie tart tonight for tomorow's Thanksgiving feast with the H.O.G. posse. I am also making something else. The "something else" ingredients are pictured on the left and they will be in the oven on low heat overnight (except for the apple in the bowl with the limes, that's my midnight snack.) And I will add tomatoes and cilantro tomorrow. What's This? ... or rather, what will this become? I'll post the final picture after Thanksgiving.
I give thanks to all the musicians and DJs who have contributed food themed music to Soul Cocina for the Beatwalla Vs. Hunger Mix. I plan to put it together in early 2008 and I am still requesting music with a food theme at Musica@soulcocina.com to build up the library before I begin. Special thanks so far for participation from Wayne and Wax, Terrakota, DJ Gaetan Fabri, El Chavo, DJ C, Slim Rimografia, The Singleman Affair, and DJ Franko from Discos Unicornio

My food mix is in the works. While you wait, check out my favorite mix of all time over at Fufu Stew. It is a Thanksgiving mix dedicated to turkeys, soul food, grits, chitt'lins, corn bread, and all things funky! It is the fufu stew mix number 8 and it is not to be missed. Get it while it's hot and play this mix on Thanksgiving for your family and friends. I know I will.

Tune: Life's Pie by Don Will, Fresh Daily and Finale with Beats by the mighty Oddisee. The 101 Mixtape by Oddisee is the best Hip Hop has to offer in 2007

Tune: Shoo fly Pie by Dinah Shore
Dinah also put out a few cookbooks.

Tune: The Thanks I Get for Loving You by Candi Stanton

Tune: Give Thanks and Praises by Bob Marley

Tune: Give Thanks by Lee Dada and produced by Echo Sound System

Tune: Thank Ya by Jean Grea from Attack Of The Attacking Things.

buy music and books from today's featured artists here.

Christmas in Goa

Although Jesus was not born on Christmas, and probably not even in the wintertime, Goa, along with the rest of the Christian world, celebrates his birthday on December 25th. It may seem a little late for a Christma post, but in Goa Christmas celebrations continue until the end of winter break in the begining of January. In the USA christmas time starts in the begining of December and ends shortly after Dec 25, but here, Christmas celebrations start a few days before Dec 25. Many Xmas parties are after Dec 25th in Goa.Christmas is a very festive time in Goa that brings many special dishes to the table. Sans rival is a Goan cake that makes many appearances during the holiday season. It is a cashew cake with sugar icing. The baker, Raju, at Nostalgia in south Goa baked about 20 sans rival cakes in two days, and each cake has about five layers. Bebinca is another layer cake that takes about 6 hours to cook. Talk about slow food. The coconut batter is baked one layer at a time with a little ghee between each layer until there are 8 to 12 layers. the resulting cake becomes a dark translucent color with layers that peel apart. Everyone has there own way of eating bebinca. Another festive Goan classic that Chef Fernando and his team creates for the Christmas season is Dedos De Dama, cashew frangipane coated in sugar caramel. For the Goan parties last week we cut a watermellon in half and stick the dedos de dama (maiden's fingers) onto decorated skewers, which are then dipped into hot caramel (like making crouquembouche) then the skewers are stuck into the watermellon, making a funky spiked dome. Guests pull a stick from the watermellon and enjoy the dedos de dama like lolypops.I also enjoyed making Neuros with the hardcore Goan chefs at Nostalgia. Neuros are addictive sweets that are made for Christmas in Goa. They are fried pastries like empanadas that are filled with semolina and coconut. The first Neuro is shaped into a cross to bless the rest of the batch which are shaped like half moons using a special spoon that has a fluted pastry wheel at one end and a spoon for the filling on the other end. I found some of these spoons in Mapsa for 15 rupees each.

Tune: Spoon by Cut Chemist

Tune: Spoonful Blues by Charley Patton

Vasco de Gama arrived in Goa in 1498 to set up a Portuguese colony to control the spice trade since the land routes were cut off by the Ottoman Dynasty. Half a century later the Christian Missionary, St. Francis Xavier, tried to start an inquisition in Goa. The Goan Inquisition started about a decade after his death. His body (most of it) is in a glass couffin in Old Goa at the Basilica of Bom Jésus. It has resisted decay and they say that his fingernails continue to grow. Every ten years his body is displayed to the public and people make a pilgramige to see his corpse.One year a lady from bombay bit off a piece of his fingernail and brought it back to Bombay with her, but when her family found out they made her return it. St Francis Xavier's right arm was sent to the main Jesuit church in Rome where it is on display. His right hand was the hand he used to bless and baptize his converts.

Tune: I Had Me Hands In Me Pocket at the Time by George Formby Senior who was born one hundred years before I was. He colapsed durring the run of a Christmas performance which led to his death a few months later.

Tune: Hands of Fate by Lakim Shabazz

Many Jews who fled the Iberian Inquisition landed in Goa. The Hindu rulers of Kerala helped many Jews escape the Goan Inquisition by allowing them to move to Cochin. They were soon chased out by the Goan Inquisition. By the end of the 16th century, many Hindu Goans had converted to Christianity. It became illegal for Hindus to practice in public, and most temples were destroyed. The Portuguse built churches all over Goa. They outlawed many soulcocina staples, like Hindu instruments, food, and paan.
My computer is down, so my gospel and Jesus tribute mixes are not available. (anyone with the mixes can email them to me please). So for now, I offer some great tunes about Jesus that I have collected from some of my favorite audioblogs like Moistworks and Wayne and Wax.

Tune: Jesus Gave Me Water by The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi

Tune: Me and Jesus the Pimp in a "79 Granada Last Night by The Coup



Tune: I Heard The News (Jesus is Coming Again) by Sister Wynona Carr

Tune: Sexy Jesus by Wayne & Wax

Under the Inquisition, Hindu names were also banned. People would take the name of the priest who christianed or baptised them.
Tune: Baptise Me in Wine by Screamin' Jay Hawkins

The Missionaries did allow the recently converted Goans to keep the tradition of the caste system, which convieniently helped to keep control of the people. In 1623 the Pope, Gregory XV passed a decree that allowed all converted Hindus to keep the caste system.Another aspect of Portuguese culture that has survived in Goa is the love of booze. These kids (above) are lined up outside the Viva Liquor Shop in Panjim on Christmas day.Another part of Portuguese culture that lives on in Goa is the Siesta. These kids decided to stay awake during siesta time near the Panjim market on Christmas day while some of the ladies that sell vegetables at the market decided to take a cat nap.

































There were some Hindu Brahmins that resisted the Portuguese rule that occupied the islands of Divar and Chorao, the two largest islands on the Mandovi River. They gaurded the islands against Portuguese invasion and even raided some of the Portuguese garrisons along the river. The Indo-Portuguese monk, Fr. José Custódio de Faria, (AKA Abbé Faria) was one of the leaders of a revolt against Portuguese rule in Goa in the Conspiracy Of The Pintos in 1787. Abbé Faria was one of the pioneers of the scientific study of hypnotism.

Tune: The Hypnotic by The Roots

I can't share the recipe for Chef Fernandos nueros, which are filled with roasted semolina and coconut and fragrant with cardamon. But I will share another popular versian of the Christmass Nuero. The dough for the outer crust is made from boiled sweet potatoes. This recipe comes from a book of Goan Saraswat Hindu recipes called Ishtann that I picked up in Goa.

Sweet Potato Nueros

4-5 sweet potatoes, boiled then cooled to room temp
1 1/4 cup grated coconut
3/4 cup Goan jaggery (jaggery from coconut palm)
8-10 cashewnuts, crushed
a pinch of cardamom powder
salt to taste
ghee

Put potatoes in a stock pot, cover with enough water and cook until done (they should be mushy to the touch). Drain and let cool.

Mix grated coconut, cashew pieces, salt and cardamom powder. Add jaggery and cook on moderate heat until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Keep aside.

Peel the potatoes, mash them and form a dough. Flatten into circles with your fingers. Spoon a little filling on one side and fold over into a crescent. Make ridges with a fork, press lightly and keep aside.

Heat a griddle on moderate heat. Fry the nuero using ghee until GBD. Turn over gently and fry on the other side.
Drizzle with ghee and serve hot.