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ROASTED SEEDS, MINT-INFUSED GRAPE SEED OIL & SEED MASALA*

THE CENTER FOR GENOMIC GASTRONOMY USA/NORWAY

This is a fun and simple recipe that reminds us that ‘We Have Always Been BioHackers’. Humans have selectively bred and propagated preferred genomes since the dawn of agriculture. Many cooks who are not also gardeners or farmers have never saved seeds, and this recipe gives cooks an excuse to learn the basic process of seed saving for a range of plants. If you shop at large supermarkets, the vegetables you buy will likely be hybrid varietals and their seeds won’t necessarily be good for growing. As one culinary challenge you may want to seek out non-hybrid vegetables for this dish at a farmer’s market. Serving this dish is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the unnamed biohackers who have been selectively breeding the [mutant] vegetables we eat today.
Ingredients

HOME-SAVED SEEDS
Select your own variety of seeds, from the following:
PLANTS such as tomato, squash, pumpkin, aubergine
and cucumber.
NUTS such as almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts.
SPICES such as celery seed, dill seed, caraway, fennel
seed and cumin.

MASALA SPICE MIX
7 tbsp cumin seeds
10 tsp coriander seeds
5 tsp fennel seeds
5 tsp caraway seeds
4 tsp black pepper
4 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp dried mint

MINT-INFUSED GRAPE SEED OIL
1 bundle fresh mint
1.5 L virgin grape seed oil
1 package Chaat Masala [available at Asian food stores]

Instructions

_To prepare the home-saved seeds, remove the seeds from each of the vegetables, clean and allow to dry. This can be done well in advance of serving. For more information on how to save seeds, the innumerable videos available online made by farmers and gardeners are a great place to start.
_To make the masala spice mix powder, heat a pan over a medium flame. When hot, add the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds. Stir often while roasting, to prevent the seeds from burning. Roast these ingredients until they begin to turn slightly darker and to release their aromas. Having cooled all of the on a plate, blend in a coffee grinder or food processor until you get a fine powder.
_To make the mint-infused grape seed oil, first chop the mint. Place the oil in a pan, and add the mint. Heat until the oil just starts to bubble and let cool. Once cool, strain the oil to remove the mint pieces.
_Before serving, toast the home-saved seeds in batches in a dry frying pan. Place a row of each kind of seed on the plate. Drizzle some of the infused oil on the plate and add a pinch of the Chaat Masala.
_Serve with a pair of tweezers on the side, so eaters can pick up the smaller seeds.