Porcini Cracker with Chives (GF, V)

Porcini Cracker with Chives

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The wonderful thing about dehydrating food is that there is very little method involved (blend, spread, dehydrate), the food retains it nutrients due to the low temperature and the flavors of whatever you are cooking intensify

This is my second attempt in the dehydrator, adapting a recipe from Matthew Kenney’s Plant Food, to create an umami savory sweet cracker. I offered these crackers to my tasters, without telling them about the method, and they loved them. It is hard to believed that there is no grain or flour in them, just almond and flax seeds and a little seasoning. If you don’t have a dehydrator, an oven, whilst you are in the house on a cold afternoon does the trick just as well

I liked these crackers with a little tofu cream cheese and fresh chives (see previous recipes) but Mr B is quite fond of them on their own, as a portable snack

Ingredients

Porcini crackers

  • 1 cup almonds, soaked overnight
  • ½ cup water
  • 5 tbsp. tamari or coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp. porcini powder
  • 1 tbsp. agave
  • ¼ cup flax seeds

Toppings

  • Tofu cream cheese
  • 1 bunch chives, chopped to ½ cm pieces

Method

  • Mix the porcini ingredients together in a blender. Spread 1.4 inch thick on parchment paper and dehydrate for 4 hours at 115f. Punch out shapes with a cookie cutter. Return to dehydrator on screens until dry and crisp, approximately 12 hours. If you don’t have a dehydrator, use the oven on the warm setting.
  • Pipe or spread on the tofu cream cheese
  • Top with chives
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Baingan Bharta (Eggplant, Onion and Tomato Curry) (GF, V)

Baingan Bharta (Eggplant, Onion and Tomato Curry) (GF, V)

This is a beautifully smoky dish, with the smokiness coming from the quick charring of the eggplant in the pot. There is a similar dish in Greece and Italy, with different seasoning, in both of those it is eaten cold. This dish can be served hot or cold, alongside or as the main dish.

Mr. B and I debated my posting of this recipe, as I couldn’t seem to get a blog worthy picture out of this, but in the end we decided to post it, as the it really is an amazingly deep and smoky curry and we wanted to make sure you got the chance to taste it

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Ingredients

  • ½ tsp. peanut oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 large eggplants
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Almond yogurt (optional)
  • Coriander/cilantro to garnish

Method

  • Heat oil in a pan, layer on the onion and tomato (make sure you do this first as it supplies the moisture)
  • Add the eggplant next and then the spices
  • If you have a pressure cooker, cook for 5 minutes
  • If you don’t have a pressure cooker, put a lid on the pot and cook on medium high for 20 minutes
  • When eggplant is cooked through, add in the yogurt if using and stir, top with coriander, and serve

Easy Delicious Mango Chutney (V,GF)

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Easy, Delicious Mango Chutney (Vegan, Gluten Free)

I love Mango, to me it tastes like nectar from the gods and I honestly prefer it to candy. Whilst I have always been a fan of the mix of sweet and salty, fruit in savoury recipes just doesn’t work for me. I do however think, fruit and spice goes well together, almost a counter balance of fiery and cooling (similar to me and Mr B)

This is a quick recipe for mango chutney that can be used as a condiment on anything, from Indian samosas to grilled vegetables/chicken. The best thing about this recipe is that it gets better with time, as the longer you leave it, the more the flavours infuse, so you can make a big batch and use it to spice up your dishes for months to come.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peeled and grated unripe mango
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 2 tsp. honey or raw sugar (more or less to taste)
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper (increase if prefer more spice)
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. almond oil/neutral oil
  • ¼ tsp. black mustard seeds

Method

  • In a small bowl, combine the mango and onion and mix well
  • Add the sugar, cayenne, cumin and salt. Taste the mixture. You want a good balance of hot, salty, tart and sweet so adjust accordingly as the tartness/sweetness of the mango may vary
  • In a small saucepan, over a high heat, heat the oil and when it starts to shimmer, add the mustard seeds. Once they have popped take them off the heat and add the seeds and infused oil to the mixture
  • Let the flavours blend for 10-15 minutes before serving
  • The longer the flavours sit together the more infused they become, so I tend to make this a few days ahead
  • Refrigerate and you should be good for at least a few weeks/months

Carrot Halwa (GF, DF, Vegan Dessert)

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Carrot Halwa (GF, DF, Vegan Dessert)

This dessert is usually made with lots of cream and sugar but this is a more natural version using almond milk, walnuts and dates. It is a northern Indian dish normally made with red carrots over a couple of days, during the colder months

Due to the lack of fat in this dish, it is a lot less sweet and indulgent than a normal dessert (just the way I personally like it), so for those with a sweet tooth add more sugar or pour over some simple syrup (just the way Mr B likes it)

I served this with almond milk Indian Chai, my guests loved it, but since I am still perfecting the recipe, I’ll post the recipe for this at a later date

I only recently realized that one of the common flavors in Indian desserts is cardamom. Most of the recipes I have seen, call for the addition of cardamom powder or seeds, which I like as it reminds me of tastes from my childhood, but isn’t everyones cup of chai. I can only describe it as a herbal spice. If you find you don’t like this, add a little cinnamon and nutmeg as a substitute

Happy New Year to you all from Tasha. Kitchen! May this year bring you love, beauty and balance

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp. crushed cashews
  • 2 tbsp. cut up dates
  • 2 tbsp. chopped walnuts/pecans
  • 5 cups grated carrots
  • ¼ cup almond meal
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1-2 tbsp. raw sugar (optional to taste)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. crushed cardamom and/or saffron strands

Simple Syrup ingredients

  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1.5 cups water
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp. crushed seeds from a cardamom pod or cardamom powder
  • ¼ tsp. saffron

Method

  • Heat oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the cashews, cooking until golden, c. 2minutes
  • Add the dates and walnuts/pecans, c.2 minutes
  • Add the grated carrots to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Add the almond meal, almond milk, mix and cook until the milk has been absorbed, c. 15-20 minutes
  • Add the sugar (if using), salt, cardamom and saffron
  • Continue to cook until fully combines, c.8-10 minutes
  • Serve warm or chilled
  • For the simple syrup add all the ingredients into a saucepan, heat over a medium heat until all the sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to become a little thicker
  • Pour over hot, or let cool a little if you’d prefer a cold dessert

Gluten Free Chia Flatbreads

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Gluten Free Chia Flatbreads

There isn’t a lot of gluten in Indian cuisine apart from breads and since everything can be served with rice, you can just choose to avoid it. I personally like being able to scoop up the sauce with a nice piece of roti or naan and so went on a hunt for healthy, gluten free version. Well my treasure hunt turned up something great, so much so that I thought it deserved its own blog

This recipe is packed with ancient superfoods, some of which you may not have come across, so allow me to explain

Chia seeds – Chia is nutrient dense and energy boosting, the Aztec’s said one spoonful could sustain them for 24 hours. The seeds are rich in fiber, omega 3-fats, protein, vitamins and minerals

Psyllium Husk – Psyllium is derived from a herb mainly grown in India. It is a great source of fiber, helping to regulate high cholesterol and blood sugar levels

Amaranth – This is an ultimate ancient grain, it is full of whole grain nutrition but naturally gluten free. It contains all nine essential amino acids and lysine, a protein missing in most grains. It is also a good source of iron, magnesium and phosphorus

These ingredients come together to give you a nice springy mixture, which roles out well and can be cooked in a dry pan, similar to roti. Feel free to slather the roti with vegan butter or ghee if vegetarian, to keep them moist and add a little richness

Mr. B likes these with Indian food or on their own as a portable breakfast

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds or flax seeds
  • 5 tbsp. psyllium husk
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup amaranth or sorghum flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch or corn starch
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. gluten free baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. garam masala
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • ½ cup amaranth or rice flour for dusting

Method

  • Blend or grind the chia and psyllium husk into a coarse meal. Combine them with the water in a large bowl and mix. Let sit for 5 minutes. The mixture will firm to a gel
  • In another bowl mix the dry ingredients; flour, starch, salt, baking powder and garam masala
  • Add the dry mixture to the gel mixture, add the oil and knead to combine
  • Once combined, let sit for 5 minutes under a towel
  • Grease your hands and divide the mixture into c. 10-12 parts. Roll into balls, flour a surface and rolling pin and roll out
  • Heat a frying pan, when hot, place the flatbread in the pan, cook until a few bubbled appear and then flip. Repeat until cooked through with a few dark brown spots on each side
  • Place on a towel when ready and cover till ready to eat

Tempeh Tikka Masala

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Tempeh Tikka Masala

I believe food can unite people from all walks of life, all cultures, all religions. Food brings compassion and harmony to the table and creates a deeper understanding of each other

Although I grew up in my Grandmothers Indian Kitchen, Tikka Masala was not on the menu. This is because this is one of the infamous dishes where the origins or the recipe are fiercely debated all around the world. My favorite story is one that originates from 1960’s Scotland, when a customer asked for some sauce for his Chicken Tikka and the chef inventively added some Heinz Tomato Soup and Yogurt and thus the masala was born. You’ll be interested to know that the Glaswegians tried to get the European union to recognize this in the origin of the masala and have it designated as so, but alas lost they campaign in 2009. I find this story so heartening in a world of devision, to see the Scottish so proud of their Indian hybrid dish that they would try and preserve it as part of Scottish culinary culture

This version of Tikka Masala is made with Tempeh. I had no idea what could be done with Tempeh until this wonderful book, Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen. Tempeh is a traditional soya product, originally from Indonesia and unlike tofu it has it’s own unique taste. In the west people like to cut it up and add it to salads as if it was chicken or cook it in large pieces and substitute it for steak. I personally think it works really well as a substitute for paneer (Indian cheese) and the double flavoring process here, allows it to take on a depth of flavor not usually associated with the product.

I made gluten free chia roti to go with this, but will save that for the next blog. In the meantime basmati rice is a great substitute.

Mr. B. loves Tikka and Tikka Masala, so this was an attempt to bring him a healthy version of one of his favorite dishes that was also dairy free and vegan, so we could eat it together. Suffice to say he gave it five nods.

Ingredients

Tikka Masala

  • 8 oz. Tempeh, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 3 tsp. oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped or one can
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 green chilli (optional)
  • ½ tsp. brown/coconut sugar
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup non-dairy yogurt
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped

Steamed Tempeh

  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. garam masala
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. smoked paprika

Method

  • Combine the steamed tempeh ingredients in a pan with the tempeh, cook over a medium heat until most of the water is absorbed. Let the tempeh sit for a few minutes. For best results, marinate the tempeh for a few hours in the mixture before cooking. The reason to do this is before tempeh can be a little bitter when used raw and this takes the bitterness away, in addition to imparting more flavour
  • Add the steamed tempeh and 1 tsp. oil to a frying pan over a medium heat, cook until the edges are starting to go golden, set aside
  • Heat the remaining oil over a medium heat, add the onion and cook until golden, stirring occasionally, c. 7 minutes. Add the garam masala, paprika, ground coriander, turmeric and mix well. Cook for a few minutes to temper the spices
  • At the same time, combine the tomatoes, chilli, ginger and garlic in a blender until smooth
  • Add the puree to a frying pan and cook until thickens, 10-20 minutes
  • Add the tempeh, sugar, salt, yogurt and non-dairy milk and mix well. Stir in the vinegar and bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until you reach the desired thickness
  • Don’t forget to taste and adjust to your own palate, adding chilli and salt as desired

Sweet Coconut Rice (Narali Bhat)

Sweet Coconut Rice

Sweet Coconut Rice (Narali Bhat)

This is a beautifully fragrant dish, with warm inviting spices that will fill your imagination with spice markets and heritage

I made this dish the first day it started to snow in Boston and it was rather comforting sitting inside eating this as we watched the snow, inviting it to settle as we welcomed the first signs of Christmas

Mr. B. loves Christmas and I like to encourage the joy and playfulness he takes from the season. So as we count down the days, I hope yours are filled with merry and bright and that this sweet rice pudding brings some warmth on those colder days to the nights.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ cup dates
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 green cardamom pods

Method

  • In a small bowl, combine the coconut and hot water
  • In a pot, add the rice, sugar, dates, saffron, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom pods
  • Drain the coconut and add it to the rice
  • Add two cups of water and bring to a simmer
  • When the rice is cooked add 1 cup almond milk
  • When soft and well combined, take off heat to let cool
  • Try and take the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom out before serving or warn your guests