Spicy tangy flavors seem to make everything better for me….the sense of the spice, the heat and the sour is a dance on the taste buds.
In a quest to make gluten free tostadas I have experimented with flours quite a bit which have resulted in as many fails as successes. A combination of coconut flour with some almond flour added in seems to hold it’s own for me. I have seen people add xanthan gum so the dough becomes pliable but I did not have any so went without.
There are layers of flavors in this recipe.
With the dough in place, I started with grated beets and carrots and marinated them with lemon juice and salt for 5 mins.
The steak is grass fed organic and turns out just amazing
The Cilantro sauce is a staple in my kitchen and I have used it as a marinade and topping. You can find the recipe below and another version here.
Now to the fermented red cabbage….just delicious and so good for you. This add the right amount of tanginess and crunch.
This dish is topped with fresh watercress and a sprinkle of goat cheese.
Coconut Flour Tostadas with Cilantro Steak
a gluten free tostada layered with steak and fermented vegetables
- 1 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 2 organic eggs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- Cold water for the dough
Beet and carrot salad
- 1 beet and 1 carrot – grated
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp grated lemon peel
- Pink salt
- 1-2 portions of organic grass fed steak
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro ( 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 serrano chilies
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Watercress leaves and goat cheese for garnish
Cabbage Pickle: Recipe can be found here
- Blend the ingredients for the Cilantro sauce adjusting the salt to taste
- Marinate the steak in the cilantro sauce for an hour or overnight if you have the time.
- Combine the ingredients for the beet and carrot salad and set aside
- For the tostadas, combine the flour, oil salt, pepper and eggs. Add water in small increments, just enough for the dough to come together. It will be crumbly.
- Using a tortilla press between plastic wrap, press the tostadas out gently. You have to be careful as the dough is crumbly with the gluten and it may take a couple of tries.
- Pan fry in olive oil until both sides are browned.
- Grill the steak, 5 mins on each side and let it rest for 5 mins. Slice in 2 inch pieces.
- Using the tostadas as a base, top with the beet mixture, steak pieces, red cabbage pickle, cilantro sauce and watercress
- Top with goat cheese or any other cheese you prefer.
- Serve with a side of the cilantro sauce.
Fermented foods are just beautiful not only for the taste buds but also for your gut. Ancients culture have propagated fermented foods for preservation and taste through the centuries. The souring action if microbes that produced fermentation have been critical in our diets throughout the globe. Similar foods can be found in every culture, just called something different.
Indian “Achar” or “Kanji” are great examples and so is the fabulous “Kimchi” from Korea.
My personal story takes me back to the late 1970’s where as a young girl spending lazy winters vacation in Lucknow, India I would watch my grandfather ferment and pickle various vegetables in earthenware and produce the probiotic liquid called “Kanji” in India. It was delicious, tart and healthy and the joy of helping my grandfather while he worked on these beautiful foods is a memory that is permanent ink in my soul.
True to foods that nourish your soul and help you remember your history, in this series I am sharing different fermented food s I am experimenting with.
Click here for a previous recipe of Kashmiri Achar
In this edition: Fermented Beet tonic – Kanji
This fermented beet pickle and tonic fascinates and mesmerizes with its deep violet color and tangy taste. There many health benefits of both the beets and these are just amplified through fermenting.
“Kanji” is usually a pungent combination of water, mustard seeds, beetroot and carrots and is full of digestion-boosting friendly bacteria and enzymes. I have only used beets here so the color is quite intense. Beets are high is sugar but the fermentation breaks the sugars down and makes this drink a healthy tonic. Very similar to Kvass which is an eastern European fermented beverage commonly made with rye bread.
Fermented Beets - Kanji
a zesty beet fermented drink and pickle
- 3 – 4 large organic beets
- 3 tbsp mustard seeds
- 3 whole red chilies ( Serrano)
- 2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
- 6–7 cups filtered water
- Wash and Slice and dice the beets in bite size pieces. I like to leave to skin on for organic beets.
- Crush mustard seeds with mortar and pestle just to a coarse grind
- Place the diced beets and carrots into a half-gallon glass jar.
- Add the Serrano pepper, mustard seeds and salt.
- Add the water, leaving one-inch of air space between the top of the water and the top of the jar. Tightly cover the jar.
- Ferment the kanji for 2-3 days at room temperature.
- Stir with a clean wooden spoon and taste. If it’s tangy – it’s fermented and ready
- You can transfer the jar to the fridge and store for a few weeks.
Enjoy a cup or bowl of this delicious liquid and eat the pickles beet and add them to your salad.
Sharing this at Angie’s Fiesta Friday
Fermented foods are probiotic powerhouses boosting the good bacteria in your gut and helping with overall health and immunity
“Achar” is a form of fermented food in the Indian subcontinent and essentially is a pickling process. It is one of the oldest methods of food preservation, sustaining communities through changing climate and seasons where the life of the crop could be extended by preserving it.
Kashmir with it’s cold winters is very conducive to pickling a variety of vegetables such as Kohlrabi, carrots, radish, peppers etc. There is no vinegar in these pickles. Mustard oil is the main carrier in which fermenting agents like mustard and carom seeds are added. This will last a long while on your shelves.
The basic recipe was for Monji Achar ( Kohlrabi pickle) from which I strayed a bit and added the crunchy turnips and carrots. The Kohlrabi leaves I had already cooked in another dish, otherwise I would have chopped and added them.
The key would be to dry out the cut vegetables in the sun for a day or so just to reduce the moisture. I am in the dead of winter here in Virginia so sunshine is scarce. I left it out for another day….48 hours.
Kashmiri Achar - Pickles
Beautiful fermented winter vegetables
- 1-2 large bulbs of Kohlrabi ( Monji is Kashmiri)
- 1-2 large turnips
- 2 carrots
- 1 table spoon sea salt ( adjust to taste)
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon carom seeds ( Ajwain).
- 1 cup mustard oil.
- 2 table spoons red chili powder
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- Peel and cut the bulbs of kohlrabi into 1 inch pieces.
- Do the same with peeled turnips and carrots
- Wash the veggies and spread them on a cloth to dry out in the sun for one day. This can be 2 days if there is no sunshine.
- In a large glass bowl mix the spices with the oil.
- Add the vegetables and mix well..
- Put it in a large glass pickling jar and seal tight.
- You need to leave the jar in a sunny place for a week to ferment. If you are in a cloudy wintery place like me, then it will take another week.
Sharing at Fiesta Friday which is be co-hosted this week are Jhuls and Ginger