Rare Foods Series : Ash Yoghurt 

Some communities of West Poker County of Kenya make this Yoghur. They add the ash of cromwo tree known in local dialect as “mala ya kienyeji” or “kamabele kambo. The ash acts as a disinfectant and gives Yoghurt a unique aromatic taste and bright Grey color.

Yoghurt for men is made from Cow’s (crosses between local breeds and zebù) and for women and children is made from local galla goat’s milk which is rich in nutrients.

Raw milk is collected in a calabash, a traditional container made from pumpkin and gourd varieties, and let stand for at least three days. Cromwo tree ash is added when the milk is fermented. Flavor depends upon the degree of fermentation.

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Rare Foods Series : Reed Salt

Can we imagine any food without salt? In addition to the taste it adds, Salt is an essential nutrient for the human body. It is an electrolyte which helps the transmission of the messages from different parts of the body to the brain and vice versa. It is present in the cells. Any imbalance in its concentration whether in the form of deficiency or excess can play havoc with our body. When dehydration occurs, the salt has to be replenished by the intake of oral rehydration solution. It is lost from our bodies during perspiration and blood becomes thicker and our bodies require water.

In addition salt is used as preservative for pickles and other foods. It acts as a barrier to the bacteria which attack the food and decompose it.

Salt comes from the evaporation of the seawater collected in the salt pans. After water evaporates the salt is left behind which is then made to undergo the processes of purification. Those who live in the urban areas and especially near sea coasts never feel it’s importance.

But still there are people living in the remote areas where access to this commodity is impossible. Some of such communities live in Kenya. These tribes, as the saying goes : “Necessity is the mother of invention ” has developed a way to compensate this by extracting the salts from the REED STALKS.

Method

Bunches of river reed are cut into smaller pieces and dried on the hot stones for about a period of 3 days to reduce the inherent moisture. Then the stalks are put on very slow fire. When organic ingredients burn, the ash is left behind. Ash is collected and boiled with water and filtered to get pure salts dissolved in the filtrate while impurities are left behind.

The filtrate is then boiled till only the salt is left behind. Sometimes they add a pinch of pepper powder to add flavor to it.

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This picture has been taken from the beautiful website from Luke Duggleby an ace photographer. URL to his website is given below.

http://www.lukeduggleby.com/

(if the picture is not for free use, I will delete it)

The 7 million dollar cameraman

Legendary photographer and film producer, Mohinder Singh Dhillon, who is now eighty years old is fondly fondly called “The seven million dollar cameraman” due to his moving coverage of the Ugandan famine. His short clip has profound effect and instantly help raising 7 million dollars aid.
He is Kenya’s leading film maker, Mohinder Dhillon, was knighted by the Order of Saint Mary of Zion during a ceremony at the Royal Artillery Headquarters in Woolwich, U.K. on November 12th 2005.
Now he is writing his autobiography which is named aptly as “Death wish Dhillon” because of his daring exploits in the battlefields during Yemen’s struggle for liberation from British colonial forces.

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He hails from Baburpur in Patiala district of Punjab. His father was first literate person in their village and went to Kenya to work in the railways. He joined him in 1947 when he was a 17 year old boy fresh from the village who has not gone anywhere till then and loved the cock fights.
His father bought a camera from stock clearance sale, a basic second hand Brownie having a fixed speed and aperture. It was the beginning of the life long photographic career and fame spanning 60 years.
Although he was called Death wish Sir Dhillon, he says laughs away saying “no one wants to die”
Another of his sensitive exploits is his 1984 Ugandan famine expedition. It moved the world and helped collecting 100 dollars help.
He is also called Mo lovingly.

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Dhillon clicks Kenya’s founding father President Jomo Kenyatta beings interview