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BBC – Travel – The star legume of southern France

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The chickpea has long played an important role in the cuisine of the south of France

In the past 12 months, seven tons of chickpeas have gone through Nadia Sammut’s kitchen in the south of France. The protein-rich legume was ground into flour and kneaded into bread, pulsed into milk and cooled as ice cream and even fermented into a miso-like paste. She has separated her bowls for muesli and played with the binding ability of her restrained cooking water as an alternative to eggs in desserts like chocolate mousse and sauces like mayonnaise.

“I like the taste, so I use the chickpea in all of its forms,” ​​she said.

As the third generation of celebrated chefs at L’Auberge La Fenière, her family’s seven and a half hectare estate on the outskirts of Lourmarin, a postcard-perfect village in the Luberon region of Provence, Sammut’s rise through the French cuisine was predetermined. Although she was born of celiac disease and lactose intolerance, for a long time it was associated with pain rather than pleasure. When it was time to take up her position as head chef in 2015, Sammut brought her commitment to local, natural ingredients and an allergen-free menu with her.

In 2018, under the direction of Sammut, La Fenière was awarded a Michelin star, making it the only gluten-free restaurant in the world to receive such an award (the restaurant received its first star in 1995 when Sammut’s mother Reine was head chef). An advocate of what she calls “cuisine libre” or “free cuisine” – her philosophy of inclusion, she is also the co-founder of Kom & Sal, a gluten and lactose free bakery and pastry brand based in nearby downtown Cavaillon and on Organic shops distributed in the region. The chickpea is a staple in all of her endeavors, with Sammut estimating it appears in 50% of her recipes. “It’s as important an element in my kitchen as olive oil.”

The chickpea has long occupied an important place in southern French cuisine, particularly in Nice, the fifth largest city in France, which is just over 200 km east of Lourmarin. Cooking historian Alex Benvenuto notes that Lou cèe, as the chickpea is called in the local Niçois dialect, was first mentioned in the Middle Ages. The legume, widely recognized as originating from Turkey, thrives in the Mediterranean and is one of the few crops that can grow in the barren and arid soils of the French meridian coast.

“Chickpeas were akin to a simple kitchen or one that relied solely on locally grown produce,” said Benvenuto. “But it is not an easy kitchen because it is elaborate and respects the flavors.”

Typically, the legume is used in two ways in southeast France: First, whole, especially in salads and dishes like Le Grand Aioli, where it is served alongside other regional flavors such as cod, eggs, potatoes and green beans. It also has a place in religious celebrations: on All Saints’ Day (November 1st), many Niçois families come together to eat la salada de cée à la ceha (recipe below) or chickpea and onion salad, followed by la soupa de cée , or chickpea soup, on All Souls Day (November 2nd).

Grinding the chickpeas into flour is the second common use: Together with water, olive oil and a pinch of salt, chickpea flour forms the basic ingredient for socca, a large hearty pancake and the classic Niçois street food snack. The recipe may seem simple and requires the marriage of just a handful of ingredients, but it’s “difficult to get right,” according to Sophie Budoia, who, along with her husband Jean-Luc, is the current owner of Chez Theresa. is, a restaurant in the narrow pedestrian zone of the old town that has served local specialties since 1925.

“Real socca is made in a wood stove,” she said. Their oven dates back to 1870, when the place was still a bakery, and is one of only three in town that are used for the dish today. The dough is poured into a piping hot, round cast iron pan and then cooked for 10 minutes. “You have to control the fire to control the temperature,” said Budoia. The choice of wood is crucial: “We use hornbeam and beech for the heat and fire that both create.”

A handful of other closely guarded secrets are what make Budoia’s socca so popular with locals and tourists, but they will stay that way. On a busy summer day, the couple can make 30 or more 70 cm wide trays of socca, mostly freshly transported on a bespoke rickshaw to their stand a few blocks down the busy Cours Saleya market.

Benvenuto explains that the best examples of socca are only millimeters thick and crispy, two characteristics that set them apart from regional equivalents found further west along the coast. In Toulon, for example, Kade is a thicker and stickier relationship; In Marseille, on the other hand, panisse is a saucer-sized slice that can be cut into French fry-like slices and fried, baked in the oven or even sweetened and eaten as a dessert. According to Benvenuto’s research, both were introduced through the migration of Niçois to their respective cities; Panisse can still be found in some of Nice’s delis today.

Although there are versions of socca around the world, from farinata found across the Italian border in Liguria to Algeria’s Karantika, Benvenuto believes one key difference is that socca in Nice is a dish that comes with the identity of the city. “It’s part of our heritage,” Budoia agreed. This meaning was reinforced in 2017 when the word “socca” first appeared in the French Larousse dictionary.

In addition to its place in the kitchens of the region, the chickpea is also experiencing a renaissance on the farms of Provence, especially in the lavender-scented plains of the Vaucluse region. “It’s a crop that is on the rise,” said Felix Droin, one of a growing number of farmers who are growing the legume. Six years ago he turned his back on 9-to-five corporate life in Marseille and returned home to remake the farm he grew up on in Venasque, a village on a rocky outcrop at the foot of the dominant Mont-Ventoux to start. The six hectare property, which has been renamed Le Jardin de Nos Grand-Mères (Grandmothers Garden), is certified organic in all practices.

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• How to properly prepare ratatouille
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• Anne Sophie Pic: The cook who rules France

Along with spelled and certain aromatic plants such as lavender, chickpeas are one of the few useful plants that arrive on Droins’ soil, a dense, compacted, light brown clay limestone that he describes as “difficult”. Like other legumes, chickpeas also improve soil health by being enriched with nitrogen from the atmosphere. The growing season of Droin begins at the end of April and ends, depending on the weather, at the end of August or the beginning of September. “The pods must be dry,” he said. Every last grain of his annual harvest, which varies between one and a half and three tons, is valued and turned into homemade falafel, hummus cups, fresh pannis and vegetarian burgers, which is served in his open-air restaurant Plein Air – Restaurant. are served paysan, or sold at local farmers markets.

Good for the earth and good for our health, at a time when herbal alternatives are becoming mainstream, it’s easy to appreciate the growing popularity of this humble legume. For Sammut, who partnered with an agricultural school in nearby l’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue to ensure sustainable, locally grown supplies, the cultural ties are another incredibly powerful draw.

“As soon as I started exploring the possibilities of the chickpea, I realized that there is a culinary universe of flavors that is already burned into people’s memories,” she said. “It’s an ingredient that plays such a big role in our Mediterranean culture and culinary traditions.”

The onion salad with onion (Chickpea and onion salad)
Alex welcome

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 30 minutes (plus overnight soaking for the chickpeas)

250 grams of dried chickpeas
1 piece of pork rind
1 carrot
1 white onion, diced
Olive oil, for seasoning
Vinegar, for seasoning
Salt-
pepper

Soak the chickpeas the day before, then cook with the carrot and rind in the pressure cooker for 30 minutes.

Drain after cooking, then season with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add the diced raw onion.

Enjoy it while still warm. For 4 people

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

17 vegan pie recipes that are practically perfect

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Plant-based desserts are just as important in our repertoire as their buttery, egg-like counterparts. Take those Genius chocolate chip cookies, that fudgy banana brownie cake, that richer mousse, those scotcheroos that’ll stick to your palate. . . in the right sense! They are one of our favorite desserts of all time.

Vegan pies deserve to be in this pantheon too – after all, how could we resist a flaky-crunchy pie filled to the brim with fruit, custard, chocolate, or all of the above? We have put together our 18 best plant-based cakes for our own edification and yours. All you need is a scoop of ice cream (without dairy products).

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Our best vegan cake recipes

1. Perfect vegan cake crust

Before we dive into fruit fillings and creamy puddings, we need to talk about the perfect vegan pie crust. Ours is made with coconut oil (instead of butter or lard or shortening), which makes the crust super flaky and just a little bit sweet.

2. Vegan apple pie

This classic apple number is minimalist (maybe shocking?) – the filling is just apples, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cornstarch and a pinch of salt. That means it has a lot of apple flavor and you should use the sweetest, tartest fruit of the season.

3.Ginger apple crumble pie (gluten and dairy free)

If you love the idea of ​​the apple pie but are looking for a grain-free rendition in search of a grain-free rendition, your search can stop now. A tender sorghum-based crust and an oat-like crumble loaded with brown sugar accommodate a spicy ginger and apple filling in between.

4. Raw Mini Key Lime Pies

A grain-free, no-bake version of Key Lime Pie that’s perfect for the summer months. The secret of the creamy, dreamy filling? A ripe avocado.

5. Vegan clementine cake

Fluffy coconut whipped cream, juicy clementines and bittersweet orange jam combine to create a sophisticated dessert that can be put together in no time at all. If you’d rather have one larger cake than several small ones (but who can resist those little cuties ?!), you’ll need to adjust the baking time accordingly. Instead of clementines, summer fruits like peaches or plums would also work well here.

6. Rawsome Treats’ summer fruit cake

Cashew nuts work twice in this recipe, creating a nutty crust and creamy filling ready to be topped with your favorite summer fruit.

7. Vegan coconut lime ice cream cake

Velvety coconut milk ice cream, macerated strawberries and a touch of fresh lime sit on a thick, sweet graham cracker crust. As a shortcut (or if you don’t have an ice cream maker – yet!), You can use your favorite dairy-free ice cream instead of rolling your own.

8. Frozen vegan coconut chocolate almond bars

Coconut, chocolate, and almond. . . Tofu? Yes, you will find all four of the components in these frozen cake bars piled high on a sweet and salty graham cracker crust. This dessert tastes like your favorite hilly, blue-coated chocolate bar. . . catch my drift?

9. Raw, vegan pecan cake

Pecan cake like you’ve never eaten before – you don’t even have to turn on the oven (which is a real boon for Thanksgiving!). Medjool dates and coconut oil make a sticky, caramel-like filling that is peppered with whole pecans.

10. Vegan chocolate cake

Graham crackers and silken tofu come to the rescue again, this time with a deliciously rich, custard-like chocolate cake.

11. Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Tart

If you’ve been as big a fan of (sadly non-vegan) Reese peanut butter cups as I have been, this recipe is for you. It has a creamy, mousse-like filling and a shiny chocolate ganache backed by a crumbly, cocoa-rich crust.

12. No-bake pumpkin pie bars

Another Thanksgiving-ready recipe that doesn’t take up precious oven space. Dates and nuts are our best friends once again.

13. You won’t believe it’s a vegan pumpkin pie

Here’s a vegan pumpkin pie that you probably didn’t even know is vegan. A tender, flaky crust is topped with a thick cashew-based filling that goes wonderfully with pumpkin puree and warming spices.

14. Coconut rum cream cake

Let yourself be carried away to Margaritaville with this delicious coconut cake that happens to be vegan. The Biscoff biscuit crust is the work of the baking king and a few generous tablespoons of dark rum in both the filling and the whipped cream will immediately transport you to the Caribbean island of your choice.

15. Vegan pot pie with herb biscuits

You thought we were just talking about dessert pies, right? No, no, there are also hearty vegan pies for dinner, like this herb pot filled with a mixture of frozen vegetables (don’t judge! You will thank us later if you can easily find this recipe in the dead in winter).

16. Raspberry and white chocolate tartlets with cocoa crust

Instead of using gelatine, recipe developer Amy Chaplin had the super smart idea of ​​using agar-agar flakes for the fruity filling in this vegan cake recipe. The flakes give the berry-chocolate mixture a lot of body and still make it an accessible dessert for everyone.

17. Vegan apricot and cherry galette

OK, it’s not a cake, but it’s not a cake. It’s like every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square. . . to the right? Ignore the math class and focus on this vegan cake recipe. Or galette. Whatever you want to call it, there is certainly no way to ignore the stunning division of sliced ​​apricot wedges and pitted cherries on a gluten-free crust.

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Gujarati chef Helly Raichura on challenging Indian cuisine stereotypes

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— Discover the convenience of Indian home cooking with Adam D’Sylva, Helly Raichura and Sandeep Pandit on India Unplated, Thursdays at 8 p.m. on SBS Food and streaming on SBS On Demand. Visit the program page for recipes, articles, and more. —

People in the west can limit their experience of Indian cuisine by sticking to popular dishes like butter chicken, tandoori, and tikka masala. But India Unplated’s chef and co-host Helly Raichura is determined to redefine the taste of a plate of Indian food. Her company Enter Via Laundry, based in Victoria, offers curated home dining experiences that combine influences and flavors from different regions of India.

Raichura’s personal food journey began in Ahmedabad, Gujrat, a state in western India, where she belonged to a Vaishnav community.

“The food was the highlight of the day for me,” says Raichura. “When I look back, I feel like we were extremely spoiled and I’m happy that I grew up in a household that celebrated good food.”

Sitting together at dinner was a family tradition and a time to enjoy the delicious food her mother had prepared. Most evenings this included a platter of basic vegetarian Gujarati dishes such as chole bhature, khichdi, and bharthu, followed by a glass of chaas.

“When I was allowed into the kitchen in my early youth, I was given responsibility for the preparations,” recalls Raichura. “Me and my brother helped mom soak rice or dahls or cut vegetables or prepare the dough. We weren’t allowed to cook anything just to watch.”

Over the years, Raichura’s love for cooking grew and she dreamed of a career in catering. However, her parents encouraged her to move abroad to study at the university. This led Raichura to Australia in 2007, where she completed a bachelor’s degree and worked as a personnel consultant for the next ten years.

Raichura’s passion for food stayed strong all these years, and the extra time on her first maternity leave led her to start a small cake business. The excitement about this quickly subsided when she found that customers were more focused on the aesthetics than the taste of their creations. This caused Raichura to look for new ways to express her passion and so Enter Via Laundry was born.

At first, Enter Via Laundry was just a hobby and an opportunity for Raichura to cook for family and friends. She served food from a variety of cuisines, simply trying to recreate the atmosphere of family gatherings and celebrations at home.

Inspired to learn more, Raichura sought guidance from Gaggan Anand, owner of the now-closed, Michelin-starred Gaggan restaurant in Bangkok, and Shaun Quade of Melbourne’s Lûmé. These professional kitchens taught their discipline and the importance of making any course a theatrical experience. They also encouraged them to experiment with new ingredients and challenged their technical skills.

The first dish Raichura tried that defined the future of Enter Via Laundry was Khandvi. These silky so-called crpes made from chickpea flour batter were her favorite childhood snack and something her maternal aunt prepared for special occasions. Raichura was drawn to the level of difficulty required to prepare Khandvi and looked forward to showing a more technical side of Indian cuisine.

Khandvi is now Enter Via Laundry’s signature dish and has helped shape the message of the menu.

“Indian cuisine wasn’t represented the way it should be, so I switched from the cooking I learned to being pure Indian,” she explains. “It was more about doing authentic cooking and showcasing and sharing the heritage, influence and culture of Indian cuisine, rather than just being commercially viable.”

“It was more about being able to cook authentically and presenting and sharing the heritage, influence and culture of Indian cuisine.”

The menu at Enter Via Laundry is constantly evolving, as is Indian cuisine. Raichura uses ancient techniques and recipes and combines them with native Australian products such as lemon myrtle and finger limes.

“At the moment I’m just diving in and enjoying every little bit of learning the history and diversity of national kitchens at home,” she says. “Indian cuisine is so diverse, so varied and can still evolve to give way to many different ingredients and locals.”

Raichura dreams of opening a cooking school where she can pass these age-old techniques and educate people about the rich history of Indian cuisine. Now her children are happy students, and she loves that they are curious to learn about her legacy and interested in keeping these traditions alive.

Do you love the story? Follow writer Melissa Woodley here: Instagram @sporkdiaries.

Photos provided by Helly Raichura

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Healthier Ingredient Swaps for Desserts: Tips and Recipes

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OK, we’re in favor of enjoying the most decadent, slimiest, richest dessert of your dreams in all of its greasy, sugary glory. But don’t indulge yourself often and keep your portion size moderate. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? Well, the last two suggestions aren’t easy for everyone, especially those of us with a daily dessert habit. Instead of discipline and willpower, we bring you healthy dessert ideas with some of our favorite ingredient swaps. Then you can not only post your you-know-what on Instagram, but also eat it.

“I try to feel like I’m not missing out when swapping ingredients,” says Sarah Galla, who started the recipe and wellness blog The Nourished Seedling from her Chicago home in 2015. She is a holistic nutritionist, recipe developer, certified yoga teacher and mother of three.

Galla doesn’t like to say no to dessert because she’s on a diet. That approach won’t work. She loves food too much.

“I don’t like restrictions. It makes me want to do it more, ”says Galla. “If I know that it is doing something good, then it will help me. I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself and I get all of these nutritional benefits. “

Galla keeps a jar of ground seeds – pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, chia, or flax – to add to her baked goods or oatmeal for added nutrients.

She trades fruit for vegetables, for example beetroot, which are sweet anyway when roasted. Instead of rapeseed or vegetable oil, she uses avocado and coconut oil. She’s also cutting down on sugar and looking for ways to use more natural sugar from fruits or maple syrup, which has the benefit of added vitamins and minerals.

With sweets, it’s always a good idea to increase the fiber as it will make you feel full and keep your blood sugar levels stable, which prevents the crash and the quick cravings that come back afterwards.

“It’s about balance,” says Galla.

These are some of our (and Galla’s) favorite ingredients in desserts.

The percentage refers to how much cocoa is in the bar of chocolate. Cocoa iron, magnesium, and calcium nutrients are the reason chocolate can be good for you. The lower the percentage, the higher the amount of sugar. And don’t use white chocolate if you can avoid it. White chocolate is simply chocolate that has all antioxidant benefits removed and all negative aspects left. Instead of chocolate chips, you can also make cocoa nibs.

If you want to do without eggs, you can still enjoy the cloud-like fluffiness thanks to the bean liquid, also known as aquafaba. Bush’s Beans gave us a recipe for a simple meringue that basically whipped 2 cups of whipped garbanzo bean liquid (this other name for chickpeas) with 1/3 cup of powdered sugar, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/8 of a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Use the meringue as usual in any meringue dessert or simply top a spice cake with it.

Galla likes to soak her dried dates, then puree them and use them as sugar. The fruit is quite sugary by nature, but you are also getting more fiber and nutrients like potassium. You never need to add sugar or honey to a smoothie or non-dairy ice cream when you have a frozen banana on hand. Always keep some of them in the freezer, already peeled.

You can use whole wheat flour in a 1 to 1 ratio in some dishes, but it is better to use less whole wheat flour for pastries as it is heavy and won’t flake. It is usually good to swap about ⅓ to ½ of the white flour for whole wheat flour. Then you will get more fiber and nutrients. You can also get more protein and other nutrients by using all sorts of alternative flours, from beans and oats to quinoa and amaranth. (See our beginner’s guide to gluten-free flour.)

Try it in: Whole Wheat Almond Blueberry Muffins

And sometimes instead of some eggs and sugar. You should reduce the liquid in the rest of the recipe, if any, because of the liquid in the applesauce, or use a flour that holds well.

Some recipes call for full-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt, and the ratio is also up for debate, but often it’s a 1 to 1 up to 1 cup ratio. However, due to its thickness, the yogurt must be Greek.

This is such an easy swap for whipped dairy and fillings for people with lactose allergies, vegans, or anyone who wants a more tropical taste. Just chill your can of regular coconut milk and then skim off the heavy coconut cream that solidifies on top. Then beat it with an electric mixer for a few minutes in the same way as heavy milk cream.

Brownies and black bean cookies are a staple at Galla’s home. Take the beans out of a can, rinse and puree. Don’t necessarily make a 1 to 1 ratio with flour, but be sure to cut down on the other liquids in the recipe. “I always pay attention to the consistency,” says Galla.

See how you can incorporate these ideas (and more) into these healthy dessert recipes:

These damp blondies don’t look finished when you take them out of the oven, but resist gratinating. You definitely don’t want dried out blondes. With a little mottled darkness, like a bottle blonde whose roots are showing, but in an intentional ombré way. Style. Get the Recipe for Flourless Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies.

This rich, creamy, chocolatey dessert from The cookbook “The Love and Lemons” has so many exchange options. It’s sweetened with maple syrup instead of sugar, uses almond milk instead of milk, dark chocolate instead of semi-sweet or whole milk chocolate, and whipped coconut cream instead of whipped cream. Oh, and of course there is avocado puree to make it fluffy and silky without dairy. Get the Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse with Coconut Cream recipe.

Like their traditional cousin, these cookies aren’t difficult to make. All you need is a good food processor or blender to puree the almonds and oatmeal, which are then mixed with spelled flour. Instead of butter or other oils, there is coconut oil. Maple syrup and cherry jam sweetened with fruits add their natural sugar. You don’t have to use a cherry. Go with whatever your jam is. Get the Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Biscuit Recipe.

Cake lovers, rejoice. Eat them in your hand using this recipe that includes a little over 1/4 cup of cane sugar, 1 cup of white flour, and 7 tablespoons of butter. But there are so many more nutrients out there, from the 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour to the 1/2 cup golden beets that are great for your liver. Get the recipe for apple, pear and golden beet sales.

This can be a great choice if you have crazy cookie cravings. We would know. It has lots of swaps in one, from applesauce and Greek yogurt to honey and whole wheat flour. There is no sugar, egg, butter, or white flour in this recipe at all – and you get oats, too. Get the Guilt Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe.

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