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

 

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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

Coconut-Lime Avocado Dressing on Kale  (GF, DF, Vegan, Raw)

Coconut-Lime Avocado Dressing on Kale  (GF, DF, Vegan, Raw)

Kale Lime Coconut

I adapted this recipe from Matthew Kenney’s PlantLab – creating the future of food book, which is centred on nutrient dense plant based recipes

It is a beautifully vibrant salad with the coconut and lime reminding you of the tropics as well as doing a good job at breaking down the kale

I had half of this for lunch and served the other half with my lentil tart over dinner to bring something bright and light to the dish

You can use this as a base and add anything your heart desires. I’d also recommend using the coconut-lime dressing on other salads and vegetables, as it really is sublime

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches of Kale, de-stemmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 Avocados
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • Sea Salt

Method

  • Place the coconut oil, lime and sea salt in a blender and blend until well combined, taste and add salt
  • Place the kale and half an avocado in a bowl as well as the dressing, and massage for at least a minute until well combined, add the rest of the avocado and more salt if needed
  • Garnish with anything else you like for colour or texture, I added some California walnuts for crunch

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

Roasted Romanesco with Garlic, Sage Crumbs (GF, DF)

Roasted Romanesco with Garlic, Sage Crumbs (GF, DF)

Cauliflower and Sage Crumbs

This is a stunning dish, fragrant, tasty, textured and healthy

I have a lot of fun cooking vegetables as sides to my southern Italian in-laws dishes. I can not make what would be perceived as a main dish, as it would be seen as disrespectful, even in my own house and since I don’t want to end up sleeping with the fishes, I choose to make vegetable accompliments that I think might compliment the food

This is one such dish, which I made with garlic and sage so as to stay within the Italian lane to compliment the beautiful muscles and shrimp that my in-laws made

Mr B was super happy to see everyone in the kitchen in harmony whilst he sat back and enjoyed his fathers homemade wine

You could use pretty much any cauliflower or vegetable for this recipe. I like Romanesco for its beautiful Fibonacci spirals, its nuttiness and textured crunch!

Ingredients

  • 1 head Romanesco (core and cut into florets)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil or coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. vegan or normal butter
  • ½ cup gluten free breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • ½ cup. minced sage
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper

Method

  • Preheat your oven and get a casserole dish ready
  • Place the florets in a bowl with the oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper
  • Roast for 10-15 minutes until they start to brown at the edges
  • Whilst the cauliflower is roasting, add the butter to a pan on a low heat, add the breadcrumbs and garlic and stir to coat, cook for a few minutes and stir the sage in 30 seconds before finishing
  • Remove from the heat and cover the cauliflower
  • I take it straight to the table, steaming hot and serve it straight from the casserole dish

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