The food in Newtown, Sydney

Newtown, Sydney, 2012, photo (c) John Tranter
Newtown, Sydney, 2012, photo (c) John Tranter

I spent an hour wandering around King Street in Newtown, Sydney, today, with my camera. I bought a pastizzi, a Maltese pastry with filling, for two dollars. I used to buy them from the original cook in Crown Street in 1965 for two and sixpence, a roughly equivalent amount. The contemporary Newtown versions have a slightly tougher pastry, or maybe that’s my older teeth. And I called in to an Indian grocery store I know of for some rice flour and some dhal flour, to attempt a version of dosai rice pancakes (thosai in India, dosa in South-east Asia, and dosai in Singapore where my wife Lyn and I had a masala dosai for breakfast with an old friend, poet and scholar Edwin Thumboo, recently.) (Lyn, a good cook, laughs at my foolish hopes.) The ‘masala’ refers to a filling of spiced potato which I already know how to make from a recipe, also from the 1960s, by Sydney cook Doris Ady, though she calls it “Potato curry with green peas”. The only spice used is turmeric, and a touch of garam masala at the end. (“Garam masala” = mixed pungent spices, highly flavoured but mild).

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