Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. For me, cooking is not typically of the former.
Nonetheless, this day I committed to an exercise in globalization, creating one of my favourite items from Guyana using Japanese ingredients and equipment.
Dhalpuri is unleavened Caribbean roti (of South Asian origin), with a stuffing of ground yellow split peas along with cumin, pepper and garlic. Lacking a mill and tava, I sufficed with a food processor and a frying pan over a stove. It raises interesting reflections on the geography of cuisine: crowded and compartmentalized Tokyo leaves little room for the great communal cooking devices found in the kitchens and yards of Guyana's houses - the cassava processing apparatus of interior households alone would occupy more space than the average inhabitant of Tokyo lives in. Conversely, the tiny microwaves or toaster ovens here might quite amuse a Guyanese!
The process took two hours and made one heck of a mess, but from the outcome rose the taste of some of the most impressive memories I hold.
With my most honoured friend in Tokyo, I toasted Guyana over this product and dedicated this meal to my students at the Bina Hill Institute in the summer of 2010. May success, good fortune and the best of fulfilments be currently finding the journeys of each and every one of you.