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

IMG_8030

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
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Easy Delicious Mango Chutney (V,GF)

IMG_MangoChutney

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

Chana Dal

Channa Dal

Chana Dal

This is a lentil dish for beginners with little process and just a few of your everyday spices.

These lentils are sweet and nutty and come from black chickpeas that are split and the outer cover is removed. There are different ways to make this dish, with this one being northern Indian inspired.

My grandma made this without the tinned tomatoes so hers would have been more traditionally yellow in colour. I like the addition here of the tomatoes as it combines my Italian and Indian family roots and makes the dish a little more tart, to be served with rice or pasta

This dish is natural and healthy, gluten, dairy free and full of herbs and spices that have multitudes of health benefits. It is also high in protein and low calorie

Mr B and I took great pleasure eating this on a snowy day, sitting in our home near the window and pretending we were in our own snow globe!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chana dal
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli (optional)
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • ½ tsp. garam masala
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander/cilantro to serve

Method

  • Pick and rinse the chana dal well in running water
  • Soak the dal in water for an hour
  • Drain the lentils, add to the pot with the water and turmeric and bring to the boil
  • Boil until the lentils are soft, skimming any white foam off the top as you go
  • In a frying pan, heat the oil
  • Add the cumin first and fry for a few seconds
  • Add the garlic and fry for 20 seconds
  • Add the onions and fry for another 30 seconds
  • Add the tomatoes, ginger and green chilli
  • Stir and add all the dry spices, stir
  • Once thoroughly combined, add to the lentils
  • Simmer for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to combine
  • Add salt to taste
  • Serve with coriander

Butternut Squash Carpaccio

Squash Carpaccio

Butternut Squash Carpaccio

I found this recipe in a raw vegetable book, in which everything looks more like art than food. This dish is no exception, with it variety of vegetal colours including the deep orange from the butternut squash, the garden fresh green from the arugula and the beautiful vibrant pink from the pomegranates that look like jewels on the plate

This is a light starter and super healthy, it will impress your guests but hardly has any process or time involved. Mr. B as always is my primary taster and I wasn’t sure he would like my raw art adventure, however to my surprise he gave quiet a few nods, noting it as ‘a light and refreshing dish with a nice variety of textures and tastes’

Ingredients

  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 tbsp. virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic glaze
  • Cracked black pepper and sea salt, to taste
  • 1/4 butternut squash, sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp. pomegranate seeds

Method

  • Peel the butternut squash
  • Use a mandolin to slice the butternut squash
  • Place the slices in the olive with salt and pepper and leave it in the fridge for 20 minutes to a few hours depending on when you are to serve
  • Once the slices have softened place them on a plate
  • Mix the arugula with the balsamic glaze and place on top of the Carpaccio
  • Sprinkle the pomegranates over the top and serve

 

Kitcheree (rice porridge) and Oyster Mushrooms

Rice Porridge

Kitcheree (rice porridge) and Oyster Mushrooms

I lived with my maternal grandmother (Bigmama) for the larger part of my childhood and she influenced so many parts of my personality in those former years, including my love of food. For my grandma food was a tool. A means to show love, a way of bringing her family together, a way of connecting to the community and a way of retaining the parts of her heritage she had left so far behind.

One of the first memories I can recall from living with Bigmama was the incense she used to use with prayers at 4am in the morning. Scents of earthy sandalwood would enter my dreams, taking me to enchanted places as the sun started to rear its head over the horizon.

At 6am, the smell of poppy seeds being tempered in ghee (clarified butter) would start making it’s way up the stairs and into my coax me awake, signalling the start of a new day. By the time I got down the stairs the table would be set with chutneys, all different type, spicy carrot, sweet mango and sour tamarind, as well as different types of poppadum’s, fried, baked, flat, round, all giving a different texture when mixed in with the kitcheree. As we sat and mixed up our porridge my grandma would talk about her life before coming to the UK, bringing up her children and the shop she had run, where she would import food from all over the world, creating a liturgy of foodie children.

This is an ode to that wonderful warming porridge, with a modern twist using mushrooms, since I haven’t quite developed my chutney or poppadum recipes. I’ll never replace the conversations, but Mr. B tries pretty hard and I love him for that.

Ingredients

Porridge

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • ¼ cup split green moong dal
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. Ghee or oil
  • 2 tsps. Mustard seeds

Oyster Mushrooms

  • ½ pound oyster mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

Method

  • Soak the rice and dal together for an hour
  • Bring to the boil with 4 cups of water, skim the white foam off the top
  • Add salt and leave to simmer, c. 30 minutes
  • Cook till you get a soft texture and taste to add more salt if needed
  • Mash with a potato masher or the back of a spoon
  • Heat oil/ghee in a separate pan and add the mustard seeds, when they crackle add them to the cooked porridge
  • Mix it and serve hot
  • For the oyster mushrooms, heat the oil with the garlic to infuse the flavour into the oil
  • Place the oyster mushrooms in the pan. Keep in one place in the pan for 3-5 minutes until to braise and add colour, flip once near the end of cooking to cook the other side
  • Serve with the porridge, providing a different texture and flavour profile

Raw Vegan, Beetroot Ravioli

Beetroot Ravioli.JPG

Raw, Vegan Beetroot Ravioli

I love this recipe from vegan food and living by Juliette Bryant. It is raw and so takes little time to create. It tastes super luxurious and creamy due to the cashews with the nutritional yeast creating the sensation of a silky cheese sauce.

Beets are best eaten raw as they loose some of their vibrant color and nutrients when cooked. This marinade softens them, making the texture more like pasta than beet.

Ingredients

2 large beetroots

For the marinade

  • 60ml olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. tamari

For the filling

  • 300g pre-soaked cashews
  • 115ml water
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • Chives and parsley (optional)

Method

  • Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Finely slice the beetroots into thin disc shapes and place them into a bowl with the marinade and leave covered for 4 hours. This will soften the beetroots.
  • Place all the filling ingredients into a high powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth
  • Place a dollop of filling onto the beetroot and then cover with a second piece of beetroot to make the ravioli
  • Garnish with a sprig of parsley

Sprouting broccoli with sweet tahini dressing (Goma-dare)

Green Veg with Sweet Tahini

Sprouting broccoli with sweet tahini dressing (Goma-Dare)

Goma-dare is a Japanese sesame sauce, normally used in Shabu Shabu. It is the most popular of all the sauces, is salty sweet and can be used for many dishes.

Mr. B and I like to use the sauce when looking for something light and quick in the evening, just adding it on top of some broccoli or raw/blanched spinach

The sauce takes 5 minutes and will keep in the fridge for a week or two. This recipe is an adaptation by Ottolenghi, hence the added tahini. I think it is a wonderful interpretation giving the sauce an added layer of depth

Ingredients

  • 250g purple sprouting broccoli/head of broccoli
  • 180g snow peas

Sauce

  • 50g tahini
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • ½ tsp. tamari
  • 2 tbsp. honey/maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • Pinch of sea salt

Method

  • In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce, you want the consistency to be smooth and tick but pourable
  • Trim off the broccoli leaves, bring a pot of water to the boil, salt and blanch the broccoli and snow peas for 4 minutes, running under icy cold water to stop the cooking and leaving to drain
  • Once the vegetables are drained, mix with the sauce
  • Add the sesame seeds over the top and serve