(tahanji tayu yatimbani uçoñi mesa kaçi)

pitani (yuno atambat kuna-kunambo):

hambos ri ango-- ri enjiñi yam uñoni, ciki-lendup yara, petip i apis tamit umit kuça fasan, anjuni 1-2 nasa (tikasti, yanda niç yanji!)-- tiyanju hambos pakivakilan, lendu-lendup vara yufasan, kunani 2 nasa lavi-- hambos akambos poren, lendup yuno iyanjuwe re kasi natawu-- lulusni hambos susuç nayipañ, pirit, hambiciç, lendup cis mesa-roanju i harep enjiñ alo kuçayi-- yaharam. ñupindi milalu yam uku iti holap.

Spicy-hot Sea Spiders

(Also known as Shrimps, Szechuan style*. This is HALF the real recipe and will serve one generously, as sole entree. As part of a Chinese-style dinner, it will probably serve 3 or 4-- the original full recipe uses 1 lb. shrimp and is said to serve 8.)

You need (all quantities are approximate):

In a bowl or cup, mix up Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat, add 1 Tb. oil, throw in the onions, ginger and garlic (and fresh pepper pieces if used) and stir-fry about 2 mins or so till the onions turn dark green; be careful not to burn the garlic and ginger-- if the pan seems too hot, lift it off the heat for a while (easier than trying to adjust the burner; and the point is to work fast).

Add the shrimp (and water chestnuts etc. if used) and stir-fry over high heat for another minute or two (pre-cooked shrimp only need to get hot-- if you are using raw shrimp, obviously cook them a little longer). Add the wine/soy/sugar mixture (and a little salt if desired) and stir a few times as it boils up. Quickly add the ketchup, chili sauce and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, stir to mix-- and that's it. Remove from heat and serve with rice, of course, and whatever else.

You may need to experiment to find your preferred level of hotness-- this version is maybe about 7 to 8 on a scale of 10.

You can also let it cool to room temp., then serve as an hors d'oeuvre with cocktails. Provide tooth-picks or forks.

(If you make the larger recipe, with a full pound or so of shrimp, it is only necessary to increase the other ingredients by 50% or so.)

This English version is not, of course, a direct translation; it goes without saying that the Cindu ingredients are only vaguely analogous to ours, and the instructions are a little more detailed than the average Kash cook would need...

* I confess, this is not entirely an original recipe; it's adapted from one in Grace Zia Chu's "The Pleasures of Chinese Cooking" (1962, pb. reprint 1967-- probably still in copyright), one of the first popular introductions to appear in the US, I think. Many of the "exotic" ingredients that were so hard to find in those days are now available in any good supermarket. (The original recipe calls for the shrimp to be deep-fried first-- an unnecessarily messy procedure not allowed chez moi, I just boil them first. On the use of ketchup and chili sauce, Ms. Chu commented that these "were introduced into Chinese cooking during this century. [We] find that with the addition of these two sauces food still tastes Chinese but even more flavorful.")

Basic Kash weights and measures are given on the Cindu page.


The Argentine version of a turnover filled with meat, typical of the Salta (far northwest) region.

You will need to make some ordinary pie dough-- you know, flour, shortening, a little cold water, etc. etc. rolled out to about 1/8 inch thick, same as for a fruit pie. Personally, I have no success with the stuff, so I use the frozen variety, which should be thawed enough to be flexible, but still cold...

I'm not accustomed to cooking in large quantity, so the measurements here are somewhat ad lib...but let's assume 1 lb. (~500gm) of meat.

Make the following meat mixture:

In a good size skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in oil over medium heat until transparent; you could add the chopped pepper toward the end, just to coat with oil and start cooking (they'll cook more in the baking process); remove from pan and set aside. Fry up the meat (more oil is probably not necessary), breaking up any lumps, over higher heat until it browns nicely; when that's done, turn down to low heat, add the onion mixture, the raisins and olives, season with salt and pepper, about a tablespoon each of cumin and oregano, and a shake or two of hot sauce or red pepper flakes if desired-- mix it all up well, cover, and let cook for 5-10 mins. to blend the flavors and let the raisins plump. Then set aside and let it cool somewhat. Drain off any excess fat or liquid.

Cut circles from the pastry dough, about 6in. in diameter (or smaller, for appetizers.) Put a mound of meat a bit off-center, fold the dough over it, moisten the edges and seal them well-- crimp them with a fork, you don't want them to leak. Bake on a cookie sheet in a preheated 350° oven, probably for 15-20 mins. or until nice and golden-brown. (Or at whatever time/temp. the frozen dough calls for-- probably best to keep a close watch on them. I'm sorry to be vague about this, but I've only done it once, long ago, and it could be that the oven should be hotter, maybe 400°. Those who are more accustomed to baking turnover things probably already know.) They should be eaten while still hot.

The reason I'm vague about the baking part is that I've discovered a much simpler procedure: cut pita breads in half, then open up the pocket with a table knife (being careful not to punch holes anywhere, it doesn't really matter, but will leak and be messy)-- then fill the pocket with the meat mixture. With rice and black beans, a salad, a glass of red wine, it makes a very nice meal, albeit heavy on the carbs....

Yet another variation: arroz cubana, or picadillo. Forget the pastry dough. You'll need to cook up some rice, plain white or flavored yellow (see below). While the meat mixture is simmering, cut some bananas in half crosswise, then lengthwise, and put the pieces in the covered skillet to get hot. To serve, either make a rice ring on a platter and put the mixture in the middle, or simply mound the rice on a platter and put the mixture over it, with the bananas along the side as garnish. Black beans, again, go well. (Real Cubans probably use plantains, not bananas, but I've never dealt with them.)

It's really amazing how many changes you can ring on ground beef and onions; I once considered writing a cookbook, "101 Fun Things to do with Hamburger"-- but thought better of it. However, since I'm on the subject, here are--

A FEW fun things to do with hamburger:

Everything starts with Mixture No. 29 (your basic chopped onions/garlic and ground beef).

1. A la mexicaine-- include chopped tomatoes in the cooked mixture, season liberally with cumin, cayenne pepper and some red pepper flakes (or commercial chili powder). You can put this into pita bread too, or if you're feeling more authentic, wrap it up in corn tortillas. If you add canned pinto beans, it becomes chili, of course-- let it simmer a long time for the flavors to develop. It's even better on subsequent days.

2. A l'indienne-- season the mixture with curry powder; serve with rice and as many accompaniments as you like-- mango chutney, chopped peanuts, raisins, cucumber, yoghurt, tomato, banana etc. etc.

3. A la grecque:-- chopped onion/garlic as always, but use ground lamb instead of beef. Put it in pita pockets and garnish with chopped cucumber mixed with yoghurt, and chopped tomato. Tasty but a little messy...

4. A la chinoise: this is another adaptation from Grace Zia Chu's book; even she admits it's far from echt Chinese...I call it "Sloppy Chou"...

Prior to cooking, marinate the ground beef for about 10 mins. (Ms.Chu calls for ground round, but chuck works just as well) with about a tablespoon each of rice wine (or sherry) and soy sauce, plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Meanwhile slice onion as thinly as possible into rings, and cut some water chestnuts into small dice. In a wok with some oil, over high heat, quickly stir fry the onions until they're limp, season with salt, remove and set aside. Then put the meat in the wok and stir fry until browned. Add the onions back into the wok along with the diced water chestnuts, mix, cover, reduce the heat to low and let cook for 7-10 mins. C'est ça. Serve with rice and maybe a stir-fried or steamed veg or two.

It's an immensely variable recipe. Along with, or instead of, water chestnuts, you can use chopped bamboo shoots, chopped or sliced Chinese mushrooms, broccoli flowerets, etc. etc. On occasion, I've also added bean sprouts just shortly before serving. Yet another thing you can do with it: season the mixture with a tablespoon or so of Hoisin Sauce; let it cool. It can now be substituted for the roast pork filling in steamed buns (bao); not the same, of course, but still quite tasty.

YELLOW RICE (po' folks' version, that doesn't involve expensive and tricky saffron): In your rice pan, put a little oil, or oil+butter, on low heat and throw in about 15 annato (achiote) seeds-- some supermarkets carry these, otherwise find a Hispanic store (annato imparts color, and a vaguely saffron-like flavor). Let the seeds soak about 10 mins. in the oil until it is a nice reddish-yellow color-- keep an eye on it, as you don't want them to burn. Discard the seeds, all of them-- this is important, as they're unchewable and might break a tooth. Now increase the heat to medium-hot, add some chopped onion, or chopped scallions including the green part, sauté them a bit, then add rice; stir it around till it's hot and well covered with oil, then add hot stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and cook about 17 mins. Ordinarily, one uses 2 cups of liquid per cup of raw rice; here, since the rice is coated with oil, the liquid can be reduced to about 1-3/4 cup.

Some supermarkets carry ground achiote/annato; in that case I suppose you'd add it to the rice along with the liquid to get the color. If you're feeling flush, and are accustomed to using saffron, I suppose you would soak the threads in the liquid beforehand; I've never quite figured out how much to use-- too little saffron is blah, too much tastes medicinal. For even more pronounced yellow color, you can add a bit of turmeric to the cooking water-- but too much will give a too-pronounced flavor.

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