This, That & The Other

I could tell you about the lasagna I made with Malabar Spinach, cottage cheese and black beans…


…but this time it’s about incidental things done on the side; events in the kitchen not connected to any particular dish or meal.

There was a good price on mushrooms at the local supermarket so I purchased two punnets. I didn’t have an immediate plan for them, and dehydration was the best way to preserve them for future use.

mushrooms (11).jpg



The dehydrated mushrooms can be reconstituted as is and used as sliced mushrooms, or they could be ground into powder to be added to soups, gravies, casseroles, burgers etc.

mushrooms (13).jpg


The lower leaves on the curry (kari) leaf plants were aging and turning yellow. I figured they still had plenty of flavor, so I made curry leaf paste.

kari leaf paste


It was simply a matter of grinding/blending the leaves with vinegar and kosher salt, putting the paste into a jar, covering it with a layer of oil and storing it in the refrigerator. The vinegar, salt, oil and, of course, refrigeration all serve to preserve the paste for a long time. I recently finished a batch which was made more than a year ago.

I use the curry leaf paste as I would fresh curry leaves, usually by briefly frying with other spices to bring out the flavor before inclusion in a dish.

kari leaf paste

kari leaf paste


I’ve been making a lot of tomato sauce lately, sometimes twice in a week, trying to keep up with production. While simmering the most recent batch I thought, why not continue reducing the sauce until it’s the consistency of ketchup?




I took a dako gander at how other from-scratch ketchup makers were spicing their concoctions and used some of the same spices: cinnamon, cloves, allspice, celery seeds. I wasn’t going for a healthier version of ketchup so mine is just as sweet as commercial brands. For sweetener I used palm (kitul) jaggery and balanced the sweetness with vinegar.




6 thoughts on “This, That & The Other

  1. I love dehydrating mushrooms! I even dehydrated jalapeños and then ground them to a powder and used that in soups etc. I dehydrate all my extra herbs from our garden too. I have never made my own ketchup. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the smell of mushrooms when they are drying. I use the dehydrator for tender herbs but the ones that don’t collapse on themselves when they wilt I just put in paper bags to dry — things like rosemary, thyme etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I do the same with herbs. I have 2 raised beds full of different herbs and I dehydrate them every year, I bought an Excalibur Dehydrator and it’s huge. I also bought the rubber mats so the dried herbs don’t fall through the mesh. I can do a different herb on each shelf that way.

    Liked by 1 person

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