Sunday 10 February 2013

if you ever ask me.

I don't know about you, but I tend to do most of thinking in the car on my way to work.

When I was first learning to drive, I never though I'd be able to do anything other than just driving.
At that time, everything felt like such an effort to remember. Changing gears, minding the road and fellow drivers, steering left and right whilst making the correct turns, it felt like an impossible mission for someone who doesn't have much space awareness. I quite literally bump into everybody everywhere which often drives Toby mad, and it can be embarrassing when it happens too frequently.
When my instructor assured me that one day, it will all make sense and indeed it will become a second nature, I didn't believe him. 
I think I gave him the look as if to say, 'yeah... right.'.
It didn't take me long to realise, that he was right.

Most of the latter part of last year, I spent a lot of time thinking, on my journey to work in the car.
I am not exactly certain whether it was the marriage thing that got under my skin, or the pressure of work load, but I was very, very emotional. 
Thought of making changes to our lives when things were going alright definitely scared me. I was sure that I wanted to be with this person that I shared past almost 9 years of my life with, but I wasn't sure if we had the strength to make the marriage a right thing.
We came out with little cracks in our souls, sort of wounds that perhaps needed an unconditional loving and caring.
I don't know why the focuses were on the negatives, and neither of us knew how to deal with it. The more I tried to fight my corners, the more it went wrong. The more I tried to talk, the more we argued with defence. It was really hard. It was all far too much of an effort for very little rewards that felt so unreasonable.
I think we both were learning.

Earlier this year, however, was altogether the different story.
It felt like the moment that I realised I could drive whilst listening to the radio, planning my day ahead and even having a sip of drink, had come.
We were the same people doing the same old things except, that everything felt so much more respected and grounded, as if we had finally found the peace within ourselves.
It all started to make sense.

You know, I don't know what happens to other people, or my next door neighbours.
What I know is that, all our lives sometimes takes its unexpected turns. For better or for worse, it is the turn we just have to get through one way or the other.
As much as I couldn't stand the moments that we constantly argued like we were two enemies on the mission to kill each other, now I am on the other side seeing the light, for me it was that moments of continuous efforts to fight, made us to be who we are. And I am very, very glad we never gave up that fight.

Looking back, I think that's what I was most scared of.
What if one day, we just couldn't be bothered to care. What if giving up becomes a preferable option than trying. What if, if we ever forget how we got here.
But then I remembered, I used to say to Toby, we can't live our lives in what ifs.
Silly me.

Roasted Sweet Potato Taco
Serves 2

for the flat bread taco shells
70g rice flour
70g plan flour, plus little extra for dusting
2tbsp natural yogurt
some olive oil or softened butter
pinch of salt
some luke warm water

for the sweet potatoes
2-3 sweet potatoes, cubed
1 tsp cumin seed
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
some olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper

for the spicy slaw
1/2 small red cabbage (about 200g)
1 medium carrot
1 small red onion
1inch ginger, grated
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp palm sugar
1 fresh lime juice
1/2 fresh orange juice
pinch of salt and white pepper
small fresh chilli to taste

for the crushed avocado
1 ripe avocado, crushed
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 small tomato, finely chopped
1/2 fresh lime juice
handful of fresh coriander, chopped
some olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper
small fresh chilli to taste

for the garnish
some natural yogurt
lemon juice
pinch of sumac

Okay, here's the thing.
Like those moments I've been babbling about, mastering my own taco shells took me few errors in making. To get to the point where it felt effortless to produce such an outcome, I must say, there had been quite tricky. But don't be put off by it at all.
By all means, the beauty of this dish is that, you can make it as easy and as fuss free as you like. You can just buy ready made taco shells, simply opt for an ordinary coleslaw, and use shop bought guacamole.
It doesn't have to be just so. But do roast the sweet potatoes yourself, because for me, lightly spiced sweet potatoes are just to die for.

First of all, put all ingredients for sweet potatoes into the baking dish, and roast them for 35mins or so at 200ยบ.

Mean while, make your spicy slaw. You can do this by chopping up all the ingredients really fine by hand, or pushing them through the food processor to shred them.
Once the cabbage, carrot and onions are shredded, add salt and put them into the colander for about 20mins or so to remove excess water. Once all the excess water is drained, put shredded vegetables into a large mixing bowl and add ginger, sugar, pepper, fish sauce, lime juice, orange juice and chilli to taste.

For the avocado, I crush my avocado with fork because I prefer the texture it gives. When you blitz them with the hand blender, although there's nothing wrong with it at all, I found the whole thing a bit too mushy for me.
So it is entirely up to you to decide how you want to have them.

To make the taco shells, mix all ingredients, and work the dough until it becomes supple.
Divide the dough into four, and roll them out on to the floured surface to make into four small discs.
Once rolled, brush them with little oil, heat heavy based pan, and cook them for two minutes or so on each side on medium heat.
The trick here is to make sure not to over cook them. Take them off the heat immediately, and gently mould it into the shape whilst it's still warm. As it cools down, it will become harder to shape.

As I think this is a great sharing plate, I will probably put all the components on the table and get people to help themselves. Although I am serving mine with natural yogurt, you could throw in some sour cream instead.
Hope you enjoy.

Hope you are not giving up that fight any time soon.
Because, as much as it may sound corny, in the end, it will all be worth it.


  1. Beautifully written as always. (And reminds me I need to get back into driving again.) Tacos look so vibrantly stunning.

  2. I love the way you write and I am a fan of your pictures!

    Greetings from Vienna

  3. Awesome, your pictures are unbelievable.:-)Thanks for sharing.

  4. Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

    I love sweet potato tacos, and yours are BEAUTIFUL. Great toppings!

  5. Fabulous colours in your roasted sweet potato tacos. Great pictures, too.

  6. Not corny at all. Would love to share a plate with you one day. Beautiful pics, as always. x s

  7. I got drawn in by the recipe, and captivated by the story. Glad you were able to turn the corner. I'd love to say it's giving me hope, but at least it's making me think.

    Looking forward to making this

  8. This recipe looks wonderful. Your writing is so gorgeous, too.

  9. This looks so yummy! And I absoloutely love the style of your photography!
    If you have a moment, do you mind checking out my blog please? Thank you! :)

  10. i LOVE this recipe and just posted my own version... hope you enjoy :)