We picked up a hitchhiker. A Buddha. I mean a Buddhist. He was from Northern Russia, travelled all over Asia for 5 years and he decided to hitch the length of South America. We found him by a lonely road in a remote village in Northern Peru. He said 2 kg’s of his 30 kg backpack was a carefully packed bag full of spices.
Buddha loves cooking.
side note: Strangely enough John and I just finished reading (we read together) a great recommendation of a friend “Breakfast With Buddha” by Roland Merullo which was about a food writer’s travel across the US with a Buddhist monk. I thought our situation was remarkably close.
So every evening the Buddha wanted to cook something for us and he pulled off a couple really great stuff that captured my taste buds.
The Buddha’s Thai-style noodle soup
First night he got out a packet of instant noodle soup, (which I, with squinted eyes thought “where is this going?”) he borrowed ginger, onion, chilli pepper, tomatoes, some broccoli, limes and a couple of eggs.
– He lightly fried the ginger, onion and finely chopped chilli pepper, added the tomatoes and the broccoli.
– Added water.
– Cut 2-3 limes in quarters, squeezed them in to the soup and dropped in the skin as well
– He added the dry noodles and the powdered flavour stuff that comes with and simmered it for a few minutes
– Broke the two eggs in to a bowl and beat it for a few minutes then slowly added it to the simmering soup stirring constantly so the eggs cooked in even small bits.
It tasted very nice; sour and spicy.
My Mango-Tomato Chutney
One evening we find a fine camp spot for ourselves in a mango grove. We ended up with more-than-we-can-eat amount of mangoes so I made chutney.
Lots of mangoes (these were ripe but half-ripe are the best)
2 spring onions (You can use more or/and stronger onions, but John can’t eat onions so I had to sneak these in without him knowing about it)
2 cloves of garlic (I left these out for the same reason as the onion. It works with or without)
half of a fresh chilli pepper (it is up to your taste, if you like hot stuff use more)
a thumb size ginger
handful of raisins and prunes (the prunes chopped in quarters)
3-4 heap tbs of brown sugar
1-2 tbs of curry
1/2 – 1 cup of vinegar (I used mango vinegar but apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar will do)
pinch of salt
– I chopped up the mangoes, tomatoes and the prunes and put them aside
– I finely chopped up the onion, chilli (garlic if I had) and the ginger and lightly fried them in olive oil.
– Once the above was light brown and soft I added the curry
– Then added the raisins and the chopped prunes, the sugar, the vinegar, the tomatoes and the mangoes.
– Brought it to the boil then I simmered it for about an hour without the lid, stirring it occasionally.
It was exceptionally good, if I may say so myself, and it just gets tastier as the flavours ripe together after a day or so in the fridge. It’s great with cheese, with any type of meat or with just plain rice.
The Buddha’s homemade chilli paste
This went really well with the chutney too. The one he made was seriously hot but of course it depends on how much and what variety chilli pepper you can/want to use.
– He finely chopped up the bucket of chilli peppers, lots of garlic, ginger then added lime (juice and zest), salt and freshly ground black peppers.
– He was delighted to find that we had a hand-blender so then the paste was done in seconds.
Keeps for ages in the fridge.
P.S. After the Buddha cut the chillies he touched John’s tea mug to measure rice for the dinner. Now, John is not a morning person; he usually needs two mugs of coffee, or often three mugs of strong tea (made with 2-3 tea bags) But it wasn’t the coffee nor the tea that made John jump out of bed the following morning…