The Desert Rain Cafe is a project of the Tohono O'odham Community Action group, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a healthy, culturally vital and sustainable community. 100% of all proceeds support TOCA's educational programs for this tribal nation's approximately 20,000 people living here in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, 60 miles west of Tucson.
Despite the cultural richness and the community's many assets, there are extraordinary challenges to be faced, one of which is health. More than 50% of all adults have Type II (adult-onset) diabetes, the highest rate in the world, with children as young as 6 years old suffering also.
The Cafe is dedicated to preparing traditional, healthy foods with each dish containing at least one local product such as cholla buds, tepary beans or saguaro fruit syrup, using techniques that have been handed down for countless generations that also help regulate blood sugar levels and control diabetes. Agave syrup is used as a sweetener, mesquite flour in baked goods and olive oil for cooking.
|Standing room only|
|Prickly Pear Glazed pork ribs|
We use a pressure cooker instead of a slow cooker since we boondock so frequently and depend on solar power rather than being plugged into electricity. Two cups of beans in 10 cups of water cooked under pressure for 30 minutes, then sitting covered for another 20, yielded a perfect texture and doneness.
All of the above; beans with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, capers, a shot of hot sauce, salt and pepper went into the food processor for maybe a minute and....Voila'!
There is a large vacant lot next to the plaza on main street, perfect for parking the motorhome. We'll definitely be returning and hope you will, too!
|Parking on north side of Plaza|