Jamaican Roots in Darwin

Matumba is a fabulous member of our Darwin community and  has lived in Darwin for 16 years. Matumba smiles2

Matumba grew up in Darliston near Montego Bay in Jamaica in the Carribean with his Grandma until he was eight years old. It was pretty simple living, but food was always important, using whatever was grown on the island and available. A real treat and childhood favourite was Cassava Pone- a sweet desert made of grated cassava, sugar and spices. It is like a cake with no flour- there was a lack of flour and only corn maize was available, or local roots Taro and Cassava, which we are happy to be able to grow here!

Matumba moved to London when he was eight to join the rest of his family, but Jamaican cooking still was an important part of life, but a lot of the ingredients had to come from far, but were available due to a strong Caribbean community in London.

After leaving London and travelling in Greece and Australia Matumba settled in Darwin, where he know lives with his family and is happily growing Cassava and other tropical veggies that are so familiar from his childhood.IMG_3756

Matumba shared his story and cassava pone recipe with the GULP team and a large audience of other Darwin community members, with the help of his son Darliston!

Matumba and Darli

The recipe goes something like this-

500g  raw cassava grated

1 ¼ cups brown sugar
1 cup milk
½ tsp. nutmeg or mace
250 g grated coconut- fresh is best
2 cups hot water
1 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp. melted butter or oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp, ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

  •  Combine cassava with milk, sugar and spices and mix well.
  •  Add coconut, hot water and melted butter.
  • Mix briskly and taste for sweetness desired.
  •  Add more sugar if necessary, pour into greased Pyrex dish.
  • Enjoy with friends
  • cassava pone
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Community Banana Festival

Here it is the fabulous announcement of The Community Banana festival! March 8th at The Mulch Pit in Night cliff.

Join us in our love of the banana and our sadness it is getting destroyed- Come and celebrate how amazing the banana is, join in a weaving workshop and learn about its fibres, see cooking demos of all its parts- trunk, leaves and fruit.

Enjoy some banana inspired songs, banana art. Bring a banana dish to share and be part of some banana theatre/ music

There will also be a space for discussion/ a panel!

Please contact us if you would like to contribute. We are looking for more banana trunk cooks and crafters! More banana info and links soon….banana poster lge

Fair food Week food Share

Fair food Week is all about food produced fairly, locally and with as little waste as possible.

ladies eatingThe GULP project invited community members to join us for a fair food share in conjunction with the Mulchpit to highlight the great food system of local food we grow ourselves. A group of 1local produce cooks met and shared their local dishes on a sweaty Sunday afternoon

georgia chili eggsGeorgia of Alawa made curried eggs from her backyard chooks and garden chillieschili eggs

Penny of Nightcliff brought home made bread to go with locally grown Mango jam, that she made with ginger.

mango marmaladeZohara made a wonderful Garden Greens stir frykang kong dishEmma made a local watermelon, sweet leaf and coconut mint saladWatermelon, sweetleaf and coconut saladLauren bought along some crunchy and delicious home made and grown pickled Okra

okra- pickledThere was a wonderful selection of dishes to enjoy…Zohara eats

All washed down with some garden tea

Garden tea

After a garden tour

in the garden

Fair food is the way forward and Growing and Using Local Produce!

Indian roots- A cassava curry

CassavaEarlier this year we held a fabulous roots workshop at The Mulch Pit (in Nightcliff, Darwin).

The cooks

We had over 30 people attending, some cassava harvesting and wonderful presenters sharing their food stories and recipes of the easily grown roots- Cassava and Taro, they included-

  • Matumba and his Cassava pone and Taro chips
  • Grusha and Cassava gnocci
  • Pascalini and Shirley and wonderful cassava leaf dishes
  • Emma and a Pacific taro leaf dish and
  • Bhavini and her cassava root curry.

So a full update of the day and recipes is being worked on- but for now here is Bhavini’s story. Bhavini has lived in Darwin for over 15 years and is also part of our GULP events team, she grew up in England in an Indian family and was passed on many recipes from her mum. In England many ingredients for these needed to be imported, so she is happy to live somewhere they can be grown, and she eats a lot of local produce, growing it and buying it from Rapid Creek Market.

Bhavini explains

Above Bhavini explains the Cassava plant and how it is grown and used..

Bhavini explains2

Below she explains all of the ingredients used for a cassava recipe learnt fro her family; the recipe has a tomato base, so to keep it as local as possible make this when tomatoes are harvested (August- October)

Bhavinis spices

Indian cooking uses a lot of dry spices and each bride is given this nifty looking tin set to store them in on the time of her marriage! Some of these spices can be grown in Darwin, like turmeric and chilli and cardamon and mustard seeds (dry season), of course many of these are very fiddly to harvest and imported cheaply from Asian countries; others are a little harder (like cloves and star anise) as they are from large trees.

Tamarind features as the zingy flavouring to the curry and is a large tree with a pulpy pod and can be found happily growing in the Darwin region, or bought processed from Asian shops.

The cassava root is peeled and cut into pieces and all of the other ingredients chopped.

Here is the full recipe- 

Ingredients

1kg of cassava skinned and cut into 1inch cubes
4 fresh tomatoes roughly chopped
1 large brown onion roughly chopped
6 cloves of garlic
2 inch piece of ginger
3 bird’s eye chillies (adjusted to taste)
6 curry leaves
2 tea spoons of tamarind concentrate/2 tablespoons of tamarind pulp
2 tea spoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoon of garam masala
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 table spoon olive oil
6 leaves of Thai coriander finely sliced

cassava cooking

 Method

Boil cassava in lightly salted water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 1L of water) until tender.

Drain liquid and reserve.

Pound garlic, ginger and chilli’s into a paste using a pestle and mortar.

Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan, add cumin seeds and wait until they start to “pop”.

Add onions and curry leaves and sauté until softened (5 minutes).

Add curry paste and dry spices and fry until aromatic (you will feel a tickle in your nose).

Add chopped tomatoes, tamarind paste/pulp and sauté until tomatoes have softened, add 500ml of water and bring to the boil.

Add cassava and cook for 30-40 minutes until sauce has thickened.

Garnish with coriander

Serve with rice and riata

Bhavini curry

For PDF version of Bhavini’s recipe click here

Eat Local, Feed Global

We also had a wonderful food share and work shop at the Mulch Pit back in November for Eat Local, Feed Global Oxfam campaign that highlights the craziness of our food systems and how eating local can help others further away!.

talk crowdThe night was a beautiful twighlight evening and raised money  for a great cause and let us share some food and recipes at the same time as show casing the origins of the food- in the gardens!

Penny tour There was a local food dish bring a dish competition which GULP NT (Bhavini and Emma) were the judges of.  It was hard to judge because all the dishes were so excellent.

We loved the use of local eggs in the great frittata style dishes and will be popping some recipes like this on line and in the book-

FrittataThere were also some amazing curries and of particular note was one that used entirely plants from the garden as the paste- lemon grass, Thai basil, kaffir lime leaves, limes and I think even the green paw paw (the main ingredient) was local and the coconut milk. This was made by Sonya and we decided took the prize- a fair trade food package wit local harvest! (Fiona Left, Emma- GULP- right)

sonya wins prize

Louise also made a great curry, but someone at the market had made the paste for her (mainly local though)

And Lucy’s salad was quite remarkable, the use a typical savoury root veg.  (sweet potato) with pineapple, coconut and herbs and a splash of oil. Delicious!

Pineapple and sweet potato salad

A wonderful evening of many in The Mulch Pit…

Below are picture of people explaining their dishes (or eggs)

Egg girlLou explainsOur next workshop is on Sunday, please come along!

Mulch Pit Roots coming up!

PawpawGULP is also working with the Mulch Pit community GArden and they have just installed a new kitchen! On Sunday we are inviting people to a roots work shop and food share. Here are the details-

GULP NT and The Mulch Pit Community Garden 

invite you to a wonderful afternoon of cooking focusing on two easy to grow local root vegetables: Cassava and Taro!

In the relaxing environment of the new outdoor kitchen overlooking the community garden at Nightcliff Uniting Church, we plan to:

* Talk about how to grow, harvest and make use of all parts of these these vegetables
* Have fun watching/joining in a couple of cooking demonstrations
* Talk about a favourite root vegetable recipe of our own
* Share a meal together later in the afternoon

 This is happening on Sunday April 13th from 3:00pm  to 6:30pm at the outdoor kitchen at Nightcliff Uniting Church.

Bring some food to share if possible containing cassava or taro or a root vegetable ( e.g. sweet potato) grown locally.

Children and a sense of adventure welcome

An RSPV to  foodcaredarwin@gmail.com (GULP NT)  would be appreciated but not essential or join our event on facebook

So if you want to know more about local roots or share your ideas come along.

 https://www.facebook.com/events/1408663519400540/

Taro mediumcassava

 

Looking forward to seeing you there

 

 Emma, Lucy, Shirley and the GULP and Mulch Pit teams