What are beignets — you may wonder. They are french doughnuts. If you are very curious read more here. Perhaps a picture is worth more than all the words you can read on that link.
I know about these doughnuts, or beignets, because I was born in New Orleans, and if you didn’t know — that was a city in the formerly French colony of Louisiana before it was bought from France by America. So much for a short history lesson.
I like them because I have a terrible sweet tooth and am addicted to sugar just as much as almost everyone else is. When I first arrived in Kathmandu last year and was staying with friends, I did start a rooftop garden using straw bale techniques and had grown some Stevia.
What is Stevia — again, you wonder. Well, it is a wonderful herb whose leaves are ten times sweeter than sugar and totally non-addictive. I love coffee, too — another addiction introduced to me by my wonderful grandmother in New Orleans. Beignets, of course, can only be eaten if accompanied by coffee with chicory, a special blend made famous in the local French market there in New Orleans.
On those days when I am bored and want to revisit my childhood, I do silly things like teach my students how to make these silly square doughnuts. Of course, they get covered by tons of confectioners sugar and a new generation is introduced to sweet teeth. I can’t fight it — I love those doughnuts! I suppose I will have to eventually become responsible and start growing Stevia in our school garden. That is a goal for the near future.
Meanwhile, let’s make some more doughnuts and that good Indian sweet tea — thick and rich.