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    The Colorado Plateau, above 7,300 feet
  1. Hello, I do a lot of fusion cooking. I do this not out of perversity but because of a host of alergies, some messed up kidneys (ADPKD), and some ethical qualms (with which I will not trouble you). I would prefer to eat the food I was raised with, but that is not an option. Even so, I have found many tasty (if novel) things to eat despite some rather annoying limitations. I am inspired by Mexican, Indian, and Thai flavors and techniques.
  2. Your crepe-like dish reminded me a bit of a dosa, although dosas are thinner, but your spicy bean filling is similar. If you wanted to go "fusion" I think you could make a soured masa-based batter instead of soured/fermented rice in the batter. However, without the urid beans one puts in a dosa batter, it might not hold together well. A fermented batter of pintos is tasty, but they do not (I know from sad experience) have the binding abilities of urid beans. That was a do once. I am terrible at crepes anyways... it is a skill. Sometimes I do make an "idli" of fermented/soured pintos and fresh masa (not soured). After I grind the nixtamal, I add some oil, baking powder (could probably be baking soda if using fermented pintos), and then I add a batter of ground fermented pintos instead of water until I have a thick soft "cake" batter---this is like the dough (almost batter) one makes for real tamales. I do not add salt because I put salt in the ground pintos to help them ferment/sour instead of putrify. To make the fermented pinto "buttermilk" I first wash the pintos, soak them overnight, drain and wash them the next morning, grind them (in a food processor or in the plate mill one uses to grind the nixtamal). To the ground pintos, I add a bit of water to get a batter-like consistency, and then salt, 1 to 2 percent by weight of the batter (it turns out not to be a lot of salt... teaspoonish, depending on the amount of ground beans). I put that in a warm place (my oven with just a pilot light) to ferment for about 8 hours, after which it is bubbly. If one was concerned about color, I think it is best to use urid beans which have been split and freed of the black hulls. Maybe some other white bean would work, but I never bother much with color. Pintos are cheap (what I can afford), so I use pintos. I would not serve these "idlis" or "unfilled tamales" either to Indians or to Mexicans. They would look like something familiar but still actually be something very different. No matter how good (or bad) they might be, expectations would just make them too weird to be enjoyed. I eat them with a rasam-like soup... that consistency (like a juice or a broth) but using only ingredients I can get locally, such as tomatoes (no tamarind, sadly), onions, chiles, garlic, a bit of toasted chickpea flour, that sort of thing. I do a lot of Indian/Mexican fusion cooking because I am vegetarian with a laudry list of allergies and a very limited food budget (pintos, field corn, and cal are cheap here). Sometimes the result is terrible, and I do not make that again (although I eat it). Sometimes it is wonderful. A mole is not all that different from a curry on the conceptual level. Look at the ingredients... lots of overlap and some interesting divergences.
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