Delicious Japanese Dashi Ramen

Ramen

Delicious Japanese Dashi Ramen

I have spent a lot of time in Japan over the years for work and for pleasure and I marvel at the way Japanese chefs elevate simple pure ingredients. Whether it is Sashimi, Tofu or Dashi, there is always a simple elegance in preparation and presentation, making sure the ingredient is the star of the plate!

Dashi is a baseline broth; the equivalent of chicken stock in Japanese cooking. It is used in its simplest form as a cleansing broth but it is also added to multiple dishes as a base umami flavour

I love it in it’s purest form and love to have it on its own or use it as a base for ramen, adding some combination of noodles and vegetables. This dish takes less than 10 minutes, so after a long day at work, it is a great way to warm up and get some dinner at the same time

Ingredients

  • 5g Kombu
  • ½ cup bonito flakes
  • 2 cups water
  • One head purple broccoli
  • 2 tbsp. Coconut aminos*
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 handful buckwheat soba noodles

*Coconut aminos comes from the sap of the coconut tree, it has very low glycemic levels, 17 amino acids and in plentiful in minerals and vitamins. Use it as a substitute to soya sauce/tamari

Method

  • Bring the cold water to the boil with the kombu, once you have reached a gentle boil, remove from heat and remove the kombu
  • Sprinkle bonito flakes in and let stand for 3 minutes, sieve and place back on the heat
  • Add the coconut aminos and sesame oil
  • Add the soba noodles and simmer for 3 minutes
  • In the mean time, lightly steam the broccoli, chop and add to the soup
  • Serve steaming hot, for a ramen facial

Here is a picture of Me and Mr B in Kyoto, Japan, as it would be amiss to leave him out of the post and he is not a fan of Ramen!

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Vegan Chorizo Empanadas

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Vegan Chorizo Empanadas

This was the most popular dish at my vegan Mexican feast and my guests didn’t believe the filling was not actually made with chorizo. I made 24 for six people and we had just a couple left over. Mr B, said he was dreaming about these all night and so we ended up having the rest for breakfast the next day!

The trick to this dish and any meat substitute is to impart the flavours of the dish you are impersonating. For the chorizo therefore the balance of smoky paprika and chilli for the subtle smoky spicy undertone, is the key. Don’t be afraid to be bold with the spicing as you’ll be wrapping these babies with a blanket of puff pasty and so will have to get through that first to get to the flavor

These are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner, as Mr B will attest, as well as holding up well during travel, for a picnic or packed lunch

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 lb. vegan mince
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp. oregano dry
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. chilli powder
  • ½ tsp. salt or more to taste
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ cup. Vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. raw sugar
  • 4 sheets of puff pastry
  • Water and almond milk for glazing

Method

  • In a medium skillet heat the coconut oil
  • Add the vegan mince, sauté for a few minutes, add onions and garlic and continue cooking until the onions are soft and translucent
  • Add the oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, chilli powder, salt, pepper, vegetable broth and sugar
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes till the broth is gone
  • Add more smoked paprika or chilli powder to taste
  • Preheat the oven to 350f/250c
  • Working with one puff pastry sheet at a time, roll it out so it is long enough to cut 6 circles in with a pastry cutter
  • Fill each with a tbsp. of the mixture, brush half of the inside of the round with water and pinch shut, use a fork to seal again on the outside which also creates a lovely picture
  • Brush with almond milk on the outside to glaze
  • Repeat with the remaining ingredients,
  • Poke wholes in the empanadas and place on a baking tray
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown
  • Serve warm or cold

Fancy Four Ingredient Chocolate Tart (Vegan)

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Fancy Four Ingredient Chocolate Tart (Vegan)

A friend of mine wants to make this before the weekend, so you get an extra recipe this week. You should all make it, as it’s an easy blender recipe with only 4 ingredients!

I served this at my Mexican dinner party as a light dessert and my guests thought it was made with cream. If you want to create more of a Mexican accent, add a pinch of chilli powder to the blender to end your night with a bang!

Needless to say, Mr B ate his portion and all the leftovers!

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of silken tofu
  • 100g vegan chocolate
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Vegan pie shell

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 350F/250c. Cook the pie shell till golden brown
  • In the mean time, press the tofu against a sieve and squeeze as much water as possible out of it
  • Melt the chocolate in a bowl over some hot water
  • Put the tofu in a blender and when you get a silky texture (like cream) add the melted chocolate and vanilla extract and blend until fully combined
  • Once the pie case is baked, let it cool down, once cooled add the chocolate mixture
  • Place in the fridge for a couple of hours to set and decorate in whatever way takes your fancy
  • (If you want to make the base yourself, mix a cup of walnuts and a cup of dates in a blender with a pinch of salt and press down in the tin)

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