Beetroot Chutney (Vegan, DF, GF)

Beetroot Chutney (Vegan, DF, GF)

Beetroot Chutney

‘A chef must think like a scientist, organize like an accountant, plate like an artist and cook like a grandma’

I am always looking for fun ways to add flavour and colour to my plate and this dish is really an expression of my soul, as it combines my core philosophies of what I want my food to be – Delicious, Nutritious and Beautiful

This chutney from Vineet Bhatia, a famous British Indian chef, he has an amazing way of combining new and old flavors and there are always many exciting elements to his stunning dishes. I tagged Chef Vineet on Instagram, with this dish and he replied asking about the taste – highlight of my year 🙂

I loved this so much I made two different versions, a yellow and a red to play off each other on the plate. You can serve it with anything you like as it is elegant and subtle, so won’t overpower the dish

Ingredients

  • 1 Beetroot
  • ¼ tsp. fennel
  • ½ tsp. ginger, chopped
  • ½ tsp. garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. vegan mayonnaise
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  • Place beetroot into a pot of boiling water and simmer for approximately 40 minutes, or until cooked through
  • Peel when cool enough, dice
  • Place the beetroot and all the other ingredients in a blender, blend until well combined
  • Sieve to form a smooth chutney
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Easy Masala Sauce (DF, GF, Vegan)

Easy Masala Sauce (DF, GF, Vegan)

Masala Sauce

The classic ‘Indian’ dish, Chicken Tikka Masala, was apparently invented by a chef in Scotland as a hybrid dish for the English palate. This has since become a very popular dish both in the UK and US normally made with a decent amount of cream.

In Indian cooking, we call this cheating, anything that doesn’t take three days of you sitting next to the stove and gets it richness from dumping fat in at the end, would definitely not meet with generations of grandma’s who have passed these recipes down.

Needless to say therefore, this is not a grandma approved recipe, but since the last few weeks have been busy and Mr B loves masala, I decided to make a quick masala, which can be used for multiple dishes, vegetarian (e.g. served with charred cauliflower as above) or meat, used as a sauce for a breakfast bowl or a dip for some nachos. I make it in bulk and store it in the freezer. Coconut milk here is the vegan substitute for that added richness that my hubby loves so much!

Ingredients

Masala Base

  • 2 onions
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 inches grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tbsp. chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • A handful of cashews

Masala Sauce

  • 5 cups of tomato puree
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup water

Method

  • Pulse all the base ingredients in a blender until smooth
  • Heat a drizzle of oil in a pan and scoop ¼ of the mixture into the pan. Fry gently until fragrant
  • Add the puree and water and simmer for 5-10 minutes
  • Add the coconut milk, simmer for another 10 minutes
  • Serve over grilled vegetables, use as a sauce for a rice bowl, or even over pasta

 

Easy Peanut Butter Curry (GF,DF,Vegan)

Easy Peanut Butter Curry (GF, DF, Vegan)

Peanut Butter Curry

This is a lovely, tasty, protein dense vegan curry and takes no time at all

I have been spending my weekends learning and adapting complex multi layered recipes to get a better understanding of Indian cooking, how to temper and mix the spices, which ones are for savory versus sweets, smell versus taste. Sometimes however I need to cook something really quickly (in a jiffy, as the British would say!) and this curry is the perfect, in a jiffy dish!

The original recipe didn’t have peanut butter, but since I have an American husband who thinking anything with peanut butter is ‘the bomb’, I thought this was a good way to get him to eat an entire bag of spinach and peas. Sneaky wife!

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. curry powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Pinch red chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp. organic peanut butter

Method

  • Mix the curry powder and two tablespoons of coconut milk, heat and then add the spinach
  • Let the spinach wilt and when reduced in size add the salt and chilli flakes
  • Add the rest of the coconut milk
  • Add the peas and peanut butter and mix in until it is merged into the sauce
  • Allow to reduce down a little
  • Serve with rice

Indian Arancini (GF, Vegetarian)

Indian Arancini (GF, Vegetarian)

Arancini

This is a fusion of my Italian and Indian heritage. Think about it as an Indian Tikki and Italian Arancini doing a little dance with the spice from the Tikki kissing the melted cheese from the Arancini.

Mr B told me that Arancini in fact isn’t the name of the dish, but what the dish looks like, a little orange. Cute right?!

I served it at my American Classics with an Indian twist dinner party and Mr B’s classic American friends loved. Quite honestly, Mr B’s American friends, love anything with melted cheese or spice, but what better to do than combine them.

Ingredients

  • 300g potatoes
  • ½ tsp. red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp. coriander powder
  • ½ tsp. cumin powder
  • ½ tsp. minced ginger
  • ½ tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. corn or rice flour
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tbsp. coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp. Mozzarella
  • 1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
  • Oil for frying

Method

  • Peel and cook the potatoes until you can put a knife straight through, then leave to cool. Once cooled, grate
  • Add the spices, salt, egg white and flour, mix well
  • Put a tbsp. of the potato mixture in your palm and flatten, take a little piece of the mozzarella and place in the middle. Close the potato around it
  • Roll in the breadcrumbs
  • Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and place in the fridge for 5 minutes to firm
  • Heat your oil to 350f and fry until golden
  • Serve with tomato or coriander chutney

Paneer/Tempeh Lollipop

Paneer/Tempeh Lollipop

IMG_9898

This was a canapé that I served at my Indian Fusion Tapas party

It can be made using paneer or tempeh if you want to make a vegan version. It is super easy and fun visually – we all have a little artist in us, trying to get out!

You can also increase or decrease the spice levels, depending on who is coming to dinner. Mr B likes the highest spice levels possible and if he had it his way, this dish would be just a chill pepper covered in sesame seeds!

Ingredients

  • 1 block paneer/tempeh, cut into rectangles
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. organic ketchup
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha
  • ½ tsp. tamari
  • 2 tbsp. white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 2 tbsp. black sesame seeds
  • Hand full of bamboo skewers

Method

  • Cut the paneer/tempeh into rectangles, important for the sesame layering
  • Mix the ketchup, Sriracha and tamari, marinate the paneer in the mixture for 10 minutes
  • Heat the oil and sear the marinated paneer/tempeh on all sides
  • Let cool and place on bamboo skewer
  • Paint with leftover marinade to act as an adhesive
  • Sprinkle white sesame seeds on half the piece, turning as you go
  • Do the same with the black sesame seeds
  • Serve as a lollipop for a fun canapé

Methi Matar Malai (GF, DF)

Methi Matar Malai (GF, DF)

Mattar Malai

This is a beautiful fragrant vegan curry from the north of India. It is made with Methi, which is Fenugreek, Malai which is cream, which I substituted for tofu cream and Matar which is green peas

It is a beautifully balanced dish, due to the bitterness of the Fenugreek and sweetness from the onions, almond milk and sugar

Fenugreek is good for liver function, cholesterol and digestion and is therefore used a lot in Indian and Ayurveda cooking

‘When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use, when diet is correct, medicine is no need’

I served these as a canapé at my Indian inspired dinner party, but it is good with rice or a flatbread also

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups of Fenugreek/Methi
  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • 1 cup tofu cream cheese
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 1 chilli, chopped
  • ¼ cup cashew nuts

Method

  • Blend the onions, cumin, garlic, ginger, chilli and cashew nuts into a smooth paste
  • Heat the oil and fry this mixture for 5-10 minutes until the raw taste is gone
  • Add the fenugreek, cook for 2/3 minutes
  • Add ½ cup almond milk, mix well and cook for 3-5 minutes
  • Add the cooked peas, tofu cream cheese, garam masala, salt, sugar, mix well and cook for 5 minutes on a low flame
  • Garnish with the coriander leaves and serve with roti, rice or in tart cups as a fun canapé

Chicken 65 (GF, DF)

Chicken 65 (GF, DF)

Fried Chicken

This is an amazingly addictive dish and very popular at my Indian Inspired dinner party. It is real mash up of flavours, with spiced chicken and cooling yogurt or my favourite way of serving, with a little smoked maple syrup glaze for contrast

I don’t usually cook much meat and when I do, it is organic, free range and listens to opera when indoors, but fried chicken is such a classic in the USA that I had to give it a go. I did a cauliflower version (Gobi 65), which I will post another week

Mr B liked both versions and noted that it was the spicing and contrast of flavours that really elevates either one

Go Mr Foodie B!

Ingredients

For the chicken marinade

  • 1 tbsp. chilli powder/smoked paprika (dependent on spice preference)
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

For the coating

  • 4 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp. rice flour
  • 5 tsp. chilli powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Neutral oil, for frying

For the yogurt sauce

  • ¼ cup. Almond yogurt
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the smoked maple syrup glaze

  • ¼ cup. Maple Syrup
  • Pinch of smoked salt, to taste

Method

  • Cut the chicken into bite size pieces
  • Whisk together the marinade ingredients and cover the chicken, allow to sit for at least an hour/overnight if possible
  • To make the seasoned coating, stir together the coating ingredients and place in a bowl, beat the egg and place in another bowl
  • Heat the oil in a deep pot to 375f. Dredge the chicken pieces in the egg, then in the coating. Carefully deep fry the pieces, 4-5 minutes each
  • Remove from the hot oil, using a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel lined plate
  • To make the yogurt sauce, whisk together the yogurt, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper
  • Serve on the side or stir fry with some curry leaves
  • Instead of the yogurt sauce, I like to brush the chicken with smoked maple syrup, giving a spicy, smoky, sweet flavour
  • Either way is great