Sunday, May 9, 2010

Recipe: Pretending You're Not in Tajikistan Sauce

This is a spicy Asian-y sauce. It reminds me of the sauce they bring you with spring rolls in Vietnamese restaurants. I like it on fried food and with steamed vegetables. It tastes exotic to me, and unlike anything you would normally eat here in Dushanbe.


1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup cider vinegar (or rice wine vinegar if you are feeling fancy)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 large clove garlic, minced (you're going to boil it, so you don't have to do a great job mincing)


1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan
2. Bring to a boil on medium heat, stirring constantly until all sugar and salt is dissolved
3. Turn heat up to high and boil for ten minutes - sauce will get thicker and sticky
4. Serve warm or cool


1. If it gets too thick, you can thin it with some warm water
2. Stores well in a glass jar in the fridge
3. You can strain it when it's hot if you want to get out the red pepper flakes and garlic bits. I leave them in because I am lazy and they look nice.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Recipe: My Mom's Persimmon Bread


1 ¼ cups sugar

½ cup butter, softened

2 large eggs

1 ½ cups persimmon pulp

½ cup buttermilk (or ½ cup milk + 2 tsp lemon juice)

1 tsp vanilla

2 ½ cups flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup chopped nuts, if desired


Heat oven to 350’

Grease bottom only of two loaf pans 8 ½ X 4 ½ X 2 ½

Mix sugar and butter in a large bowl.

Stir in eggs

Add persimmon, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat until smooth

Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt just until moistened.

Stir in nuts.

Pour in to pans.

Bake about 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Notes: You can use any other kind of fruit puree instead of persimmon.