About seven years ago, Léo found an abandoned baby turtle dove under an oak tree. I have fond memories of him/her sharing our mealtimes, sitting and pecking in a cardboard nesting box on the kitchen or terrace table. Léo fed him different grains, but he had a particular penchant for couscous. The baby dove grew big and strong (all the couscous), and upped and left us in September to migrate with his family for the winter.
Turtle doves come back to their birthplace, and every Spring I imagine I see our grown-up baby, especially when one approaches the house. Today I’m pretty sure my wishful inkling is spot-on; this lunchtime, while we were enjoying lamb tagine on the terrace, a very self-assured adult dove perched himself at the end of the table and looked pointedly at my plate. It was a look that definitely said: ‘and where is my couscous?’
Turmeric (more information here), or Indian Solid Gold’, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 4,000 years for its wound-healing and anti-inflammatory properties. It is prevalent in Indian cuisine and is believed to be one of the reasons that cancer rates in India are significantly lower than in Western countries.
Curcumin is poorly absorbed by the body, but research show that cooking it in liquid, with added fat and black pepper facilitates absorption.
Ingredients (serves 3-4)
150g chickpea (gram) flour
1 pinch of salt, freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (or better, crushed fresh turmeric root)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
150ml lukewarm water
4 medium-sized cauliflower florets
Sift the flour, seasoning and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl, and add the water, mixing well to form a batter. Leave to rest for about 30 minutes. If the mixture thickens too much, add more water.
Rince the cauliflower and slice into pieces roughly 4mm thick. Coat well with the batter and fry in olive oil until golden.