Recipe: Tukkir

IMG_2977How I love this dish. I’ve blogged about it during my trip. I wrote about it countless times over Facebook to Berta in between visits. I ached for the dish every day in Timor Leste, hoping one day, soon, there would be the kind of celebration that called for Tukkir to be prepared.

I’ve said before that making Tukkir is about as wonderful as eating it. For me that’s because the entire family gathers to prepare the dish, kicking back while they work methodically and slowly, telling tales and joking throughout. People appear relaxed. At their finest. Day turns into night, and the fire is lit as the sun drops out of sight. After 2 hours on the fire, the edible part of Tukkir is removed carefully from bamboo. There’s anxious silence as the Tukkir is revealed. Sudden laughter cracks in the air and seats are taken anywhere they can be to tuck into the wonderful, the very special, Tukkir.

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Recipe: Seaweed Salad

To get straight to the point — yes, seaweed is underrated. I loved this dish! The seaweed was carted back from Atauro Island where it was sold at the Saturday market for $1. The bag, bigger than the backpack I’d brought for 3 weeks in Timor Leste, weighed enough to topple me when I first picked it up. Nonetheless, I carried it home, just, as I thought about Berta and other friends telling me that seaweed from the Atauro market was a must.

The seaweed is washed to remove some of the salt, given a quick dunk in boiling water, and dressed with chilli, vinegar, onions and tomatoes. Sour, but like the simple Portugese Pasta, a perfect match for the other platters of flavours spread across the table for a festive night.

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