By: Danya Weiner
I have an old friend, since the age of 2, who throughout the years has come in and out of my life, but I seemed to always know two things about her: 1. She’s the most talented person I know and 2. We would always be friends.
One enlightened morning I thought to myself that we should collaborate somehow through this blog.
My friend is an extremely talented fashion designer, celebrating a year now of her line of the same named after her- “Aluma“. She started her line in 2001 in London, where she sold to high-end stores such as Selfridges and Harrods. Since her return to Israel, she and her business partner, Karin, opened their first store in the trendy Bazel area in the center of Tel Aviv. Aluma’s clothes are almost always adorned with hand-made stitching, embroidery, lace and appliqués which make each piece one of a kind.
In the past year Aluma has accomplished the unthinkable- giving birth and raising twins, and starting a fashion line from ground up.. That sentence that young mothers always say to each other “how does she do it?, I have been saying about Aluma for quite some time now. She does with such grace and professionalism, and with a drive I haven’t quite seen before.
So the question you are probably asking is how can a food blogger and a fashion designer collaborate? I was also unsure, until I simply closed my eyes and began to imagine a dish that would provoke the same senses that Aluma’s designs evoke. Immediately I imagined pearly tapioca with mango and passion fruit, and you can see from the photos how they (the food and her clothes) interact. I believe that inspiration for cooking and photography should come from all forms of art and if we simply open our eyes to the mounds of talent surrounding us, we can find unique kinds of inspiration.
Enough with this poetic chat, let me tell you about this incredible dish. Tapioca is the perfect dessert for any meal. It’s light, fruity and milk free for the lactose intolerant or kosher. Tapioca is kind to the creative mind and will happily take on your additions. You can add any fruit you please, whether it is berries, tropical fruit or citrus fruit, and even just a vanilla bean cooked with the coconut milk. In short, this is a dessert where you can let your creative minds run free.
Tapioca is a starchy root that comes in the form of white balls. Once you cook them in water, they become clear and the water turns gooey. You can find tapioca today in any Asian market and in large chain supermarkets.
Ingredients for 6 servings:
½ cup tapioca
4 cups water
½ cup sugar
1½ cans coconut milk
7 passion fruits, juice and pulp removed and reserved
1 large mango, cubed
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
3 sprigs mint or lemon verbena, leaves removed
1. Place the tapioca, water and sugar in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the tapioca becomes clear, about 20 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and refrigerate mixture for at least 2 hours.
3. Remove from fridge and stir in the coconut milk, passion fruit juice and pulp, mango, lemon juice and mint leaves. (If the mixture is too thick, add a bit of water).
4. Serve cold. Add ice cubes if you like it really cold.
– Like I wrote in the post, the sky is the limit here for what you can add. I made this dish for my family this week and I added berries, lychee and grapes and it was delicious! At the Thai House (one my favorite restaurants in Tel Aviv), they serve tapioca with melon, candied fruit and ice cubes.