Tropical Fruit Chia pudding

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Yesterday I ran a workshop, with a focus all about making sensational sides from Tropical fruit that we can grow right in our backyards, with a focus on Mango, Jackfruit and pawpaw, both ripe and unripe and both cooked or raw.

We actually made this Chia desert with Jackfruit- chopped up and added into layers, after also making a young Jackfruit Vietnamese salad and roasting Jackfruit seeds!

The combination of JAckfruit and coconut (and lime) really is lovely and balances the quite pungent rich flavour of

This great pudding, which I actually eat for breakfast, is super healthy and can use any delicious tropical fruits. I was inspired by a friend who made this camping earlier in the year with some other yummy ingredients.

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This morning I made these for myself and work colleagues and layered ripe red pawpaw from my garden, ripe mango from a local (spray free) farmer in Humpty Doo, Chia and coconut and toasted coconut. If you can get fresh coconuts this is always best- then you can scrape and toast and make your own milk, but this is of course a bit more time consuming. I popped it into old cleaned jars to set. (Now I know that this is trendy- but I have been an old jar hoarder for years and it also makes many things look great and super easy to take to work/ on outings)

Chia is a pretty awesome seed, native of South America, but now grown in Australia (including Athelton tablelands)  and world wide. It is packed with nutrients, low in calories, high in fibre and protein. Check out more info here – Health Line Chia benefits

Greenies Real food (in Rapid Creek) sell these seeds in bulk – Greenies Chia 

The basic recipe to fill about 4 Jars is-

1/2 cup of Chia seeds
2 cups of coconut milk (about a tin, or use fresh!)- you can add a little water if you wish
A splash of real vanilla essence
A pinch of salt
A tablespoon of rice syrup or local honey.

Mix the above together in a bowl. Wait a few minutes until the chia starts to puff, then spoon it into a jar, layering chopped fruit in between.

You can add the toasted coconut into the layers or at the end when served.

Alternatives-

You can puree the fruit and put in layers
You can whizz up fruit with the coconut and have it as one big chia fruity thing.
You can add cocoa and make a choco dream…

 

 

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Pickled fish- Darwin deviants of Namas

So Namas, nummus, or pickled fish is a bit of a Darwin classic and many people have their favourite recipe. In Darwin its origins seem to come from SE Asia or Japan and is another great influence into Darwin cuisine.

Well I don’t eat fish too often, and only if it is caught by a friend or local fisherman, as I also like to keep a lot of fish in the seas, but man this has to be my favourite dishes and I keep it for special occasions- like Christmas and birthdays!

This is also called Ika Mata, Kokonda (Fiji), Poison Cru (Tahiti and surrounds) and Ceviche in South America. I first came accross it in the PAcific Islands when I worked cooking on sailing boats and it came drenched in coconut milk- I loved it. I have since adapted a Darwin version with pawpaw, cucumber, mint and onion in.

Earlier this year a very talented Ashleigh, a travel food and blogger stayed with us and was more into cooking and photographing our local produce than I have been and it was also her favourite dish- so we had a pickled fish “namas off” for a twist on  this Territory favourite. We tried to make as many of the plant ingredients as local as possible.

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I am inspired to write about it as I am just about to run a cooking class in Darwin “Season sides for a Tropical Christmas” and couldn’t go without including this indulgent gem. We also came up with 4 different local roots to accompany and styled it all in the backyard!

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So in Ash’s words- “Here are just some ideas for the endless flavour combinations for pickled fish. So many cultures and countries around the world have their own versions, and it’s so easy to make up your own using your favourite flavour combinations and the accompaniments are also exciting. It’s all about the balance between the acidity of whatever you use to pickle the fish, along with some fresh elements, some sweetness, heat, spice, salt, and a yummy side.”

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Basically the fish is cooked in limed juice or vinegar or a combo or both, so raw but marinated- the acidity “cooks” it. It changes white in colour but stays firm, then the iquid is drained off. I have always covered the fish with lime juice or vinegar for a few hours, but it can be perfectly cooked through- if you leave it too long it will start to fall apart. Fresh fish is best and a firm fish like Jew fish-

Soy, ginger and coriander- Darwin classic

served with Breadfruit wedges 

Soy namas

Marinated with half white vinegar, half lime juice

Combine- Sugar, Garlic Chives, Ginger, Coriander, Chilli, Spring onion, Salt and Pepper

Coconut and Lime served with a pineapple salsa-

served with Taro cakes

Coconut namas

Marinated with- lime juice

Combine-  Coconut Cream, Chilli, Coriander, Sugar, Salt and Pepper

Salsa- Pineapple/Mango/Avocado, capsicum, red onion, chilli, lime juice, salt and pepper

Coriander, onion and chilli-  South American style

with a side of tortillas

Soth American for real namas

Marinate with lime juice

Combine-

Red Onion, Chilli, Coriander, Tomato, Salt and Pepper

Mango, cumber and mint

with a side of cassava wedges

Pawpaw cucumber namas

Marinated with lime juice

Combine-

Papaya, Cucumber, Mint, Chilli, Coriander, Red Onion, Salt and Pepper

All Namas 4

What an addition to a seasonal feast- and using practically 100% local ingredients, including friend caught fish and garden produce.