Rhubarb Crumble and Caribbean Curry

Carnival of Culture in Berlin

I have been all over the place as of late! The end of school (at least, the attendance mandatory portion of it), moving and weddings have kept me incredibly busy. But there is always time for food, even if I've been doing more eating than cooking lately.

I recently moved back to Berlin, just in time for 3 great things: summer, THE WORLD CUP, and the Carnival of Culture! The first two are still kind of on their way, but the Carnival of Culture was a few weekends ago and it was awesome!

When it was described to me I was a little turned off- a few days of the different cultures of Berlin parading their unique aspects sounded a little colonial to me. But it was awesome! And it definitely wasn't just a situation where the Germanz just sat and watched. As dancers, clubs, children, and hula hoopers paraded by, it was clear that everyone was involved and having a great time. And the days preceding the big parade in Kreutzberg were filled with awesome food and lots of live music- from big professional performances to ad-hoc drummers circles and gatherings of singers and dancers around accordians and guitars. The food ranged from Moroccan tagine wraps and Mexican burritos to French Crepes and American funnel cake (ha!). Yet another example of the uniqueness and spirit of Berlin.

Also arriving in Berlin with the advent of summer: tons of fresh rhubarb! I've never made anything with the fruit before (which looks a lot like a hot pink celery stalk) but I decided to give it a shot for a simple desert, rhubarb and strawberry crumble.

The process was simple. I chopped up a bunch (maybe three whole) rhubarbs and a small carton of strawberries. Although there is some contention over whether or not to peel rhubarbs, I ended up doing it because upon chopping them, I noticed a tough, stringy outer layer that was easy to remove. The fruits were then tossed with the juice and zest of one lemon, about 1/2 cup of sugar, and a teaspoon arrowroot powder. I topped it with a mixture of margarine, sugar, flour, a teaspoon baking powder, and oats (+ a pinch of salt) and then cooked it at about 375 for maybe 40 minutes, or until it was browned on top. Couldn't have been simpler or more delicious. The rhubarb adds a great tartness to the super-sweet strawberries, and the whole concoction was just crying out for some vanilla or coconut ice cream on top.

I also made an awesome curry to test out this new Caribbean curry powder I found at bio market down the street. From what I can tell, the addition of star anise and mango powder is what made it more Caribbean than Indian. I intended to add in some plantains and scotch bonnets, but ended up making a milder curry using carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and smoked tofu. It was awesome, and a new chapter in my book "Trying to get S. to eat sweet potatoes in things other than latkes".

Now that I'm relatively settled (at least for the next month) I'm looking forward to more cooking with local specialties! And maybe coming up with some good snack foods for the World Cup!

Song of the Day: Scissor Sisters- I don't feel like dancing


Naomi Rose said...

rhubarb crumble is my number 1 food evereverever!

Mihl said...

Damn, I missed carnival of the cultures! It#s totally awesome. My boyfriend was ther and he was very exited about it. Since you moved back to Berlin, we should think about a meet-up ;)
That crumble looks wonderful!

The Voracious Vegan said...

YAY for Berlin! I love big carnivals and festivals like that. The people watching is so much fun and the electric energy just can't be beat. And if I get to see amazing dancers and hear some great music at the same time, even better!

Do you know...I don't think I've ever eaten rhubarb? I definitely have never cooked with it - but i want to do both! Your crumble looks delicious, like the perfect summertime dessert!

jessy said...

oooh, yay! Berlin is so nice - and i'm glad you're having so much fun, T.! the carnival of cultures sounds amazing and super fun. your photos are so beautiful - i just love how vibrant the colors are and i love seeing all of those happyfaces!

i still have yet to try rhubarb. i always say that i'll get some and then i never do. i guess i keep forgetting to look for it & now i'm really starting to feel like i'm miss'n out. your crumble looks fantastical, and hooray for a rock'n curry and see potato success with S.! i have gotten dan to enjoy mushrooms and eggplant, but i want to see if i can get him to love collards. man, boys crack me up with what they will and won't eat. ah ha ha! looking forward to some World Cup (doublew00t!!!!!) snacks. wahooooooooooo for World Cup fun times!

Bianca said...

That looks like fun! And that's the second rhubarb crumble I've seen today...I think that's a sign that I should make one, right?

Jessica said...

mmmmm-looks so good! I tried a crumble and it didn't turn out nearly as pretty. I've never used rubarb either so thats next on my list!

adriennefriend said...

Wow, I am so glad you made a comment on my blog and brought me to yours. I've been here before and I am glad to be back! Two reasons stick out: 1) You're an incredibly talented cook 2) You're in Berlin--which is where I'm (fingers crossed!) moving next year for a few months before (toes crossed?) starting a Ph.D. here in the US. It's good to read your grad-student-vegan-abroad wisdom.

I was also glad to see that there are still good vegans out there who had only recently tried the oh-so-famous chickpea cutlets. I still haven't yet and have no excuse--all the ingredients are on hand. Though I'm sure mine won't look anywhere as good as yours, you've inspired me to try.

I'm bookmarking you on my front page so I don't forget to come back and visit often.

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Alice said...

Mmm...rhubarb! It reminds me of my London days :)

Gauri Radha गौरी राधा said...

That vegan crumble looks delectable :-)