Category Archives: Fermentation

Fermentation tips and tricks for the beginner or experienced culturist.

Culturing Recipes For the Week…

curd chillies
Yoghurt curd chillies use in many dishes for a tart and spicy taste

Curd Chillies From India

For an easy cultured condiment that may be added to many dishes, try curd chili. The name makes it sound hot; however, the addition of fermented curd cools down the chilies heat. Any type of traditional yogurt style starter will make the curd needed for the recipe.

The finished product is a pickle of sort, as the curd softens the chili and ferments it at the same time. It goes very nice with curd rice (see recipe below).

Recipe Ingredients:

– 1 kg fresh red chillies
– 3 tbsp sea/rock salt
– 1 cup very thick, drained yoghurt, Fil, or Viili
– 1 cup tamarind juice (soak golf ball-sized lump of tamarind in 1 cup water for 15
minutes and squeeze out juice or use tamarind paste)

Pre-heat oven to 100 Deg C or 220 Deg F

Mix salt, yoghurt culture, and tamarind in large bowl.  Add chilies until coated with mixture.  If mixture will not stay on chilies, try coating chilies with flour or thicken mixture with a thickening agent.

Place coated chilies on a baking tray and heat until chilies are dried.  Turn chilies to cook even and coat all the area.

Store the dried cultured chilies in a air tight jar. Use as is or fry in some oil.

HINTS and TIPS:

  • Use as is or fry in a little oil
  • When making the curd, drain the whey off by hanging in cheesecloth.
    The thicker curd will sick better to the chilies.
  • Add to lentil dishes, curries, or other dishes for a tart, sour, and hot taste!

 

Curd Rice Recipe

Curded Rice is a nice way to use leftover rice or add some punch to an entrée

– 3 tbsp vegetable/coconut/sunflower cooking oil
– 2 cups cooked rice (day old rice may work better)
– 2 1/2 cups water – Salt to taste
– 1 cup cultured yoghurt (your choice on type)
– 1 tsp mustard seeds (toasted)
– 3 dry red chillies
– 5 to 6 curry leaves
– Coriander leaves to garnish

In a large pot, mix cooked rice with the yoghurt and salt.
In hot pan heat oil and fry off mustard seeds, curry leaves, and chillies. Cook until chillies blacken in colour.
Mix this into the rice and serve topped with fresh coriander/cilantro leaf.
This makes a great addition as a side dish to the meal.

We hope everyone enjoys these recipes and Happy Culturing!

The Never Ending…Cup of Life Updated 2/8/15

Making Pro-biotics Part of Your Daily Life and Health

Probiotic Beverage
A Cup of Living Probiotic Beverage

As we move into the new year, many people strive to make healthier choices through ‘resolutions’. Intake of living foods is vital for great health and proper digestion. Consuming living foods/pro-biotics is an easy resolution anyone can follow to increase health and wellbeing. Ways to obtain living foods can include eating a RAW food diet, fermentation of foods, or by capsule form. Capsule forms of pro-biotic are very expensive over traditional cultured foods and beverages, like live kefir cheese or ginger brew. We believe eating a diet of raw foods is as close to nature and a natural way to ingest the highest degree of nutrients. Adding fermented foods into the diet allows a higher degree of pro-biotics intake over a standard a raw diet, assists in absorption of nutrients, and provides a much greater array of healthy foods.
 
  Here at Organic-Cultures, we use a method that insures daily pro-biotic intake. We call it ‘The Cup of Life’! Without beneficial yeast and bacteria, human life would not subsist. This method would fall under fermentation and RAW food choices. Using the ‘Cup’ method is very simple to implement into your daily routine. First, you will need a drinking container, water bottle, etc. A quart size vessel seems to work best. Next, fill your container with your favorite water type cultured food drink. Liquid type cultures work better than dairy culture starters. Your choices range from any type of water kefir grains, kombucha tea or JUN, and ginger brew. One may mix different types/strains of fermented beverage to increase the pro-biotic array
(Be careful not to contaminate your pure culture strains).

Water Kefir Grains
Choose your mix of probiotics to produce a fizzy beverage.

Decided on a pro-biotic source(s) and simply add some fresh pieces of fruit and/or juice along with the active cultivated source. One may add pieces of the water kefir grains or other culture, if desired. The next part is where the real action begins! As the cultured beverage sits, the active bacteria and yeast strains will start to consume the sugars within the fruits/juice. As you drink this mixture throughout the day, keep refilling the container with fresh juice and water mixture. At night, loosely cover and in the morning there should be a nice fizzy beverage ready to consume throughout the day. Since the ingredients are cultured, the beverage can stay out for several days with no worries of contamination or refrigeration.

Photo updates 2/8/15
IMG_0297 Photo updates 2/8/15

Tips:

– Keep at room temperature to keep the cultures producing and fermenting

– If stored in a container with lid make sure to open slowly in case of pressure buildup –
or leave your drinking vessel open.
– Cut fruit into larger pieces to prevent a chocking hazard

– Make sure to change out the container from time to time for hygienic reasons

– If you like a colder beverage…just add ice.

 As always…

Happy Culturing through the New Year.      Live, Grow, Share Cultured Foods!

Update on the living cultured drink…10.31.2015

It is been many months of drinking with this same culture sample.  It is providing a great fizzy beverage every day without much work.  This glass of never ending life filling probiotics is done with the grape kefir grains which are larger then traditional water kefir grains.  Just add some fresh juice,  cut fruit, water kefir, or even a little kombucha tea.  It’s been working for many months and provides a drinkable beverage day or night.  If made before going to sleep, the beverage will be fizzy by morning, with a head like beer does.  Carry this around throughout the day and people will ask what is floating in your drink.  A great way to tell them about living beverages and probiotics!
Happy Culturing!


 

 

What is Tempeh and Tempeh Starter?

What is Tempeh?

tempeh spore cake Tempeh is made from cooked and slightly fermented soybeans and formed into a cake, similar to a very firm veggie burger. Traditional tempeh is a soybean cake that has a rich smoky flavor and aroma, with a firm nutty texture. The soybeans are fermented and inoculated with the mold spores of Rhizopus oligosporus. Use the cooked TPS cakes as a replacement for meat in many recipes.

Tempeh works well for making tacos, hamburgers, and our favorite…the grilled Tempeh Reuben with raw sauerkraut! If you live in Indonesia, you can buy tempeh starter easily.  In the USA, buying the starter spores can be a bit difficult; however, to make tempeh is not too hard.  Many commercially prepared brands add other grains, such as barley, also adding spices and extra flavors.  All this you can do yourself at home by adjusting the recipe.  Although tempeh is a soy product, it has a unique taste and a mildly smoky flavor, unlike tofu.

Description

Making tempeh  Tempeh is fermented soy food that originated on the island of Java in Indonesia and is fermented with the mold
Rhizopus oligosporus. Fermentation of tempeh can involve a period of several days or longer, and fermentation is
usually carried out at temperatures of 85-90°F/29-32°C. Tempeh is usually purchased in a cake-like form and can be
sliced in a way that is similar to tofu. However, tempeh has a less watery texture than tofu, and in comparison to non-
fermented tofu, a more distinct flavor as well. Steaming, baking, and frying are all popular ways of preparing tempeh
in many countries. Tempeh is also commonly incorporated into stews, soups, and grilled kebabs.
To understand more about tempeh’s health benefits, it can be helpful to think not only about the fermentation of soybeans into tempeh but about the fermentation of foods in general.

How to Use Tempeh

Because it is a low-fat and high-protein food, many vegetarians choose to include tempeh in their diet on a regular basis. Try adding some to a stir fry instead of tofu, or crumble into soups or meatless chili for added bulk and protein.  Because of the tempeh cakes firm texture, the tempeh should be sliced into small dices, cubes, or slices as the recipe calls for.  Find tempeh in the refrigerated section of most health food stores and in the natural foods aisle of well-stocked grocery stores.  However, for the best and cheapest tempeh, one should make a fresh home-made tempeh product.

With a fresh tempeh cake, the finished product is cut and prepared for the entrée desired.  Cutting it into ¼” strips and marinating is great for sandwiches, tempeh bacon, or the feel of cut steak.  Dicing and marinating work well for stews, soups, and stir-fry dishes and recipes. Just like tofu, tempeh cakes will take on the flavor of the marinade.  The trick is two panfry or grill the prepared tempeh (tempeh should never be eaten raw) then wait until the last to add the tempeh to the entrée or recipe.  If added too soon, the flavor of the marinade will become lost to the dish.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas for Tempeh

  • For a twist on the traditional reuben sandwich, place broiled tempeh on a slice of whole grain bread, layer with sauerkraut, top with cheese or non-dairy “cheese” and then broil in oven for a few minutes until the sandwich is hot and toasty. Top with Russian dressing made by combining ketchup and mayonnaise, and enjoy.
  • A vegetarian option to spaghetti and meat sauce is spaghetti and tempeh sauce. Just substitute tempeh for ground beef in your favorite recipe.
  • Add extra flavor, texture, and nutrition to chili by adding some tempeh
  • Check out our site for some of the best recipes including…Tempeh Reuben sandwich w/ raw sauerkraut

Making Tempeh From Spores

tempeh in banana leafMaking tempeh is not a hard process for those with some cooking skills or background. The basics are boiling and de-hauling the soybeans, letting this cooldown, and inoculate the cooked soybeans with the tempeh spores. The finished result is a firm white cake ready to slice and cook.
The detailed instructions are at our main website http://www.organic-cultures.com/tempeh instructions

Tempeh soy cakes are a traditional Indonesian food made by fermenting soybeans with a starter culture.  Traditional tempeh is a soybean cake that has a rich smoky flavor and aroma, with a firm nutty texture.  Tempeh or TPS is one of the Indonesian traditional foods full of protein made by fermenting soybeans with the Rhizopus mold spores.  It is high in nutritional value, providing nutrients such as protein, riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese.  It is also low in Cholesterol and Sodium. If you live in Indonesia, you can buy tempeh starter easily.  In the USA, buying the starter spores can be a bit difficult; however, to make tempeh is not too hard.  A meatless choice is great for vegans or those looking for a healthy probiotic alternative for an animal-based diet.  Cooks up like ‘bacon or steak’ when sliced thin and fried.  It is recommended not to eat tempeh products raw. Soy should only be consumed after fermentation and not raw.  The ragi tempeh spores will break down the soy into an easy to consume food.

Want to know more about tempeh – PTS? Checkout our Main Site.
Need tempeh starter spores – Visit our store

Happy Culturing!  Live, Grow, Share Cultured Foods