Pumpkin curry with wined chestnuts, cilantro falafels


A deliciously flavored soup curry, with kabocha, wine flavored kuri chestnuts and hanamame giant beans. And a side of cilantro falafels. Some people are genetically designed to hate cilantro/coriander and it takes a really bad taste in their mouth. That’s really sad. I have to luck to appreciate this herb and I never have enough of it.


Soaked chick peas, mixed with onion, coriander (root, stalk, leaves), chili flakes, Sichuan pepper, salt.


Served with a dip of harissa… well it’s mixed with tomato sauce. Cucumbers, cilantro (the leaves) and shikwasa citrus salad.


Mmm… a dream if you love both falafels and coriander.


Kabocha pumpkin curry :
A cut of steamed kabocha, steamed with skin. Pasted with 1/2 block of tofu, 1 tbs of Japanese curry spice mix, 2 tbs of sakekasu sake lees, salt, water. I simmered the mix till it became thick. Garnished with hanamame beans and wined chestnuts :


White wine chestnuts :
That’s ideal if you have chestnut that start to dry a little.
Soak them 2 hours, then you can easy cut out the hard shell.
In fresh water, soak overnight, you can then take away the inner skin. Most of it. A large part of it. Actually, you want to leave a small amount for flavor. Break them in 2 or 3 parts.
Then I’ve drained the chestnuts, put in rice cooker, added a glass of white wine, a little sugar, a pinch of salt, 1/2 glass of water (to cover). Switched on. That stopped when the liquid had evaporated. You can do it in a pan or a crock-pot, simply simmer very gently.
They are good to add to sauces and dishes, just a few to pinpoint. You will discover the refined taste.


A nice meal, rich in legumes and fragrances.



Kabocha nems


A free variation of nems (Vietnamese fried Spring rolls) to empty my fridge and rejoice my tastebuds.


I had green soy beans (read more here) to use.


Steamed kabocha, boiled green soy beans, onion… plus a good amount of turmeric and curry spices.


Rolled in rice-paper, painted with oil all over.


Grilled in the oven toaster, served with parsley.


A dip of black rice vinegar, chili pepper, a little soy sauce.


Spicy chick peas and water morning glory sprouts

Another delicious and simple plant based lunch with hot spices.

I stir-fried this mirepoix with ajowan and mustard seeds.

I’ve added these soaked and boiled chick peas. And powdered curry spices.

Then on top some salt, chili powder and garam masala spice mix.

Kushinsai, water morning glory. Here, it’s the sprouted version.

Steamed only one minute.

The plate ! Mmmm…

Dark green curry with bean balls and hana mame

A green curry soup garnished with big and small tasty bites…
Made on the model of Indian spinach curry, but using komatsuna greens, it’s quick to prepare, and deliciously spicy.

Made some more black soy bean balls (like here), fried some onions, reheated the balls, some big beans (hana mame), then added the liquid mixed in the blender :
-lots of komatsuna greens, a few slices chunks of green lemon, a 1 tbs of Japanese curry spices, turmeric, black pepper, 1 tbs of potato starch and salt.

Garnished with green and red togarashi chili pepper, wedges of lemon and some garam masala powder on the balls.

I had a kaki persimmon for dessert.

Sure you want to gnaw your raw carrot like a rabbit ?

Yes, yes, I want to eat the rabbit. But that’s not done in Japan.
Here is my second choice, a curried carrot soup and onigiri. They were onigiri at some stage… I need a quicker camera, that’s all.

June 1944, London. On the BBC radio :

Les carottes sont cuites… les carottes sont cuites…

“The carrots are cooked” they were repeating in French. You know why ? During all those years, we believed that was an ancestor of Jamie Oliver trying to teach some basics of French cuisine to his compatriots. We were wrong. They reveal it now : Why the carrots are cuites !

Sky my carrot ! Shocking !!! Today, I’ll have blended boiled carrots.

I added Japanese curry mix and salt.

Maybe the next thing is they demonstrate I don’t get nutriments from my garden herbs… It’s good I can’t see the show. I don’t want to know. I’m joking about it, but that’s not the first time science contradicts the claims of the hip raw diet gurus.

Onigiri. That means shaped in the hand. It’s a ball of rice.
Well on a scale zero to ten, the onigiri are super solid to super breakable.
10 : onigiri of steamed mochigome (sticky-rice), shaped in the box. You can play tennis with them, they don’t break
7 : onigiri of white Japanese rice, freshly cooked in rice-cooker. It is the standard style.
5 : brown rice
4 : parboiled rice
3 : cold rice
2 : cold brown rice, like today’s
0 : raw rice, they don’t stay in shape even 1 second

These onigiri are filled with a mysterious leafy pickled… It’s a secret, I work for the NASA. I will tell you some day. It has flavors of sansho (Japanese Sichuan pepper). And with flakes of dry fish (kezuri bushi) usually used to make dashi fish stock. Plus salt.

Then reheated in a frying pan brushed with cooking oil and at the end I poured in a few drops of fragrant sesame oil (not for cook, that degrades its taste).
It’s also possible to grill them under the broiler. Or in a waffle-maker with an onigiri plate (I have that, I remembered later).

Oki… call it fried rice if you prefer. It’s very good.