๐Ÿ”ฅ Fire, Family, & Koftas In Clevia, Suriname ๐Ÿง†๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ง It's Almost Like Camping โ›บ

in ASEAN HIVE COMMUNITY โ€ข 2 months ago

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The propane shortage continues in Suriname, so we have moved out of the chicken coop kitchen and we're cooking on a three-rock fire.

Nostalgia For Cambodian Camping

ย  ย  ย We finally stopped wasting time searching for a place to exchange our propane tank and decided to set up a three-rock fire closer to our own kitchen. This allows us to do our food prep closer to where the cooking takes place, and also to cook when the landlord is using the chicken coop kitchen.

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ย  ย  ย Away from the smell of feces and caged animals, we actually enjoy cooking on an open fire, although the smell it imparts on our clothes isn't exactly ideal. It has actually made us nostalgic for past camping tuk-tuk adventures in Cambodia.

ย  ย  ย I decided to make my legendary cabbage kofta for the family, a dish the whole family loves very much. When editing the photos for this post, I noticed Srey-Yuu was looking over my shoulder in this shot, perhaps taking some culinary pointers.

ย  ย  ย Monkey-B claims this is her second favorite Dad recipe, so she hung out with me during the cooking process, albeit a little impatient and always cheeky. As we are near the sea, the direction of the wind and speed changes often, so @sreypov fashioned a wind blocker made from cardboard.

ย  ย  ย With impeccable timing and efficiency, my wife cooked the rice after I finished the koftas and while I was preparing the onion paste, tomato puree, and spice mix for the tomato gravy. Like clockwork, the rice was done just as I finished all the tomato gravy prep.

ย  ย  ย The ever-changing winds made me eat a lot of smoke, but I persisted with mission cabbage kofta, taking time here and there to engage in a little witty banter with the family. Don't mind the mess on top of my head, I didn't put my turban on because I didn't plan on going out today.

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ย  ย  ย With the tomato gravy on its way, the family began getting anxious for a proper dinner. Everyone always imagines themselves being able to eat more koftas than they actually can because these fried balls of deliciousness are very dense and filling.

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ย  ย  ย That is the end of my pleasant temporary distraction from my family's migration/immigration problems. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse of my fire, family, and koftas.

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I had a look at the link to your cabbage kofta recipe - looks like the koftas get soaked in tomato sauce and are then full of flavour. I had to google what besan was, and it turns out that it is gram flour, which you can get from most Indian supermarkets.

I might try making this in winter - feels like proper filling winter food.

Yep, koftas are fried then eventually put back into a simmering tomato gravy. The key is to leave the koftas in long enough to soak up some flavor, but not so long that they begin to turn into chewy dumplings.

A tip in case you don't have besan or want to buy it...........at our restaurant in Cambodia we ground lentils in a food processor, then sifted, and this was a perfect besan replacement, and in my opinion, even tastier.

I am so happy you guys moved from the chicken poo kitchen. The fact that you mention that lately gives a bigger picture of why it sucks where you are.

I really like the idea of that kind of stove but I know it would be a pain after a while. I just went back to your kofta and realized that this is a must for me to make. I can't think of a tastier way to use cabbage. Oh that Monkey B haha.

Another bonus is the new outdoor cooking area is closer to our kitchen, so food prep and transport is now much easier too. Cooking outside on a fire near the equator without shade is only fun after sundown, shame we don't eat after dark.

Anyhow, yes the koftas are versatile. You can use the same recipe to make an out of this world veggie burger too.

You cook maybe delicious. I want eat it and you are really good for cooking food in family. For me I always cook food for family in the free time. Can you give me taste it?

Someday we'll meet in Cambodia and I can cook for you my friend. We eat only vegetarian food, but I think you might like some of our dishes.

Thank you I think so brother. I'm really happy for meet you.

ย 2 months agoย 

Yes Rasta, mek it work. Yuh know how to survive. That meal probably taste better than anything I had all week. Cherish the moments!


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Give thanks, this meal is kind of special even when cooked outdoors. I think I just needed to show the kiddos what's up, and that Babylon isn't going to hamper any Ital chefery, no matter the circumstances.

ย 2 months agoย (edited)

Those photos I took, so I should get 50% of this post lol ๐Ÿ˜†. There was no gas for a weekend, now there is no water, and the shop does not have too many vegetables, there are too many problems here. No gas itโ€™s okay but no water what we can do for living? I feel like shouting loudly now, maybe my feelings are better.

You took some of the photos ๐Ÿ˜, but I thought we were a team. Can I pay you in koftas? I am so tired of this country's lack of vegetables, fruits, water, cooking gas, and social living. I will send you and our daughters to Cambodia soon for a better life so you can be happy again like before.

It is fun cooking outside with family. ๐Ÿ˜Š So nice to see you all there. ๐Ÿ˜Š Your wife and the kids are waiting for the food Mr. Chef! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Monkey-B is particularly impatient during kofta cooking. I think if it were up to her, she'd just eat the koftas after they're fried and not wait for rice or the tomato gravy.

Reading this, as if I can smell your cooking already!

This might be a rabbit friendly meal that even a guy like you might find satisfying. The koftas are very filling, and they were the favorite dish of meat-eaters at our former restaurant.

back to basics. It's probably fun for a little while but I am sure it gets old fast. Monkey B sure takes advantage of photo ops! Makes me smile every time I see it.

You nailed it, fun at first, especially when there's some clouds in the sky. But now it's a matter of trying not to turn into human jerky before the meal is finished. Monkey-B is our Chief of Cheekiness, always ready for photos or an inappropriate comment.

Hmmmm, it looks very tasty! What a nice way to cook! It's cool that you have an outside space to do it... I can't afford that luxury where I live in. The outside is full of asphalt and parked cars. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

Most urban environments would be too crowded for this, but as we are a good distance away from the city center, it's bit like the countryside here, at least houses are far enough apart to not have to worry about smoke. Although I must say cooking on an open fire near the equator at noon without shade is far from pleasurable. Dinner is a whole different story because we have a nice cool ocean breeze and the sun isn't cooking us as we cook the food.

Watching you cook gave me a trip to memory lane. Back in the day, this was how my late grandmother cooked in her kitchen at my late father hometown. My late grandparents was using firewood stove until the late 90s.

My favourite chores would be starting up the fire ๐Ÿ˜ my face would be black due to ashes ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Bt the way, ur cabbage kofta must be amazing!! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Haha, I got a good dose of ashes and smoke while fanning the fire to get it started. We are very close to the sea here, and the constant breeze is nice, but it makes outdoor cooking without walls very challenging. Cabbage koftas are a family favorite and a nice soulfood meal to escape the problems of daily life in Suriname.

Hi hi Justin.. Cabbage Kofta, something new for me. How did you light up the rocks and do you usually use normal wood ? I've never done any cooking like this before so I might as well learn how to do. Are you used to eating rice? Is monkey - B a nickname or a real name? hahaa.. sorry, lots of questions to ask.

No problem at all, I love questions. I like to think of "three rock fire" as the most basic and simple way to cook in a hurry with limited materials. All you need is three level rocks placed at even height and spaced so that they support your pot near the outer edges. Once you have that set up, you can then start a small fire below and feed the firewood in from three sides.

I really like this cooking style because you can quickly control your heat by pulling out some of the sticks and/or pushing them in further.

Rice, I am very used to eating rice and/or some kind of Indian bread with every meal. I like couscous and bulgur a bit too when I'm going Mediterranean or Arabic style foods, but that's not very often. What I don't like is white rice, but now brown rice is almost impossible to find, and there is only one company in Suriname that produces it, limited to 1kg bags.

I got my wife and kids hooked on brown rice shortly after we met, because that is the only kind of rice I like to eat. It's still not common in Cambodia because it can't be kept for as long as white rice. For this reason we started a microbusiness in Cambodia, selling brown rice by the kilo that purchased from an organic farm and sent to the mill ourselves. This provided us with the freshest rice I have ever eaten in the world, and boy do I miss that.

I guess I should say I am more of South Asian chef, and my wife is easily the SE Asian chef, although we both can cook some of each other's dishes. Monkey-B's real name is Sakana, and our older daughter's name is Sakada. We've given Sakana the name Monkey for obvious reasons, and added the B to give it some hip-hop flair. Sakada was given the name Srey-Yuu since before she came into my life, and it means "female long duration," not exactly a beautiful name in English.

Huge fan of kofta. Nice little set up. Glad you worked out a solutoin though it's not ideal as you say. Neccessity is the mother of invention!

We did find a gasifier twig stove works well as you don't need a lot of wood and the fuel burns clean - it's the gas from the wood that provides the heat and you don't get covered in smoke. I'm sure you can fashion one from a tin or a can? Haven't watched the entire video but this is what I mean

Rockets stoves bring back camping memories. I used to use and make little stoves like this back in my backpacking days. If things stay like this much longer, I'll have to go in search of materials like bricks or paint cans to make a hotter stove than what we're using now. The Cubans across the alley have now teamed up with us, saying we shall run out of propane together first. Now they want us to prepare all of our meals at their place.

I boiled some water at their place last night, so it was nice to taste non-smoky water. Unfortunately for stir-fries, we need some super high heat from biggish logs, so it would turn a tincan rocket stove into a bright red inferno ready to crumple at any moment. If I can find three more concrete blocks like the ones we already have, I could fashion a large high-heat rocket stove.

Time is the most pressing issue each day, like dealing with heaps of bureaucracy, the lack of water, fruits and vegetables, etc. It's getting harder and harder each day to prioritize things, so ready to get the flock out of here.

that is bad news , lack of gas in a country, by the way we may have to back to the old way of living. no gas no problems ..lol just joke

The good side is I've realized my daughters need to learn firestarting skills, and important thing lost in a modern world of Tik-Tok and smartphones ๐Ÿ˜.

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