Tag Archives: spiced

Carrot and Courgette Pakoras with Coriander Lime Chutney

9 May

Okay so I might have overcooked them slightly. They are a little bit dark but that means that they are really crispy on the outside, which is a good thing. I think I had my oil too hot for these. The ones I did for dinner the night before were perfect. This is what I do before blogging a recipe. I make dinner, making sure I write down the recipe while I’m cooking it so I don’t forget anything and I make enough so that I have some left over for lunch and to photograph the next day in the light. It’s all about the natural light you see. Taking photos of food at night with artificial light just isn’t the same.

So that is what happened, I only had enough mixture for two pakoras left, and then I burnt them a little bit. You get the idea though, they taste great and the chutney is the perfect mix of light and zesty and good and fiery. And if you do overcook them you can pretend that they are supposed to be like that. You can use words like caramelized or chargrilled (even though they are fried).

Carrot & Courgette Pakoras Recipe

makes about 8 small balls, vegan, gluten-free

  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium courgette (zucchini)
  • 1/2 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • about 25 gr gram flour/chickpea flour/besan
  • salt & black pepper
  • vegetable oil for deep-frying

Wash and trim the courgette and peel and trim the carrot. Grate both on the long side, put in a bowl, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Then squeeze as much liquid out of the mix as possible (this is a lot of liquid). Put the squeezed vegetables back into the dry bowl and mix in the chilli, onion, ginger, spices and coriander. Sieve the chickpea flour over the mixture, season with salt & black pepper, mix together well and then form into about 8 small balls. Sprinkle over some more chickpea flour if they are not sticking together, but not a lot.

In a deep frying pan or wok heat about 4cm oil over a medium (not high) heat. When the oil is hot drop in about 4 or 5 balls at a time (off a slotted spoon). Fry for about 1 1/2 minutes, turning them occasionally until they are a dark (but not too dark) golden brown colour. Remove with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on kitchen paper in a warm place while you cook the rest.

And try not to overcook them…..!

Coriander Lime Chutney Recipe

vegan, gluten-free

  • a big bunch of coriander, including stalks, chopped
  • 1 (or more) green chillis, chopped
  • I lime, zest and juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Put everything in a food processor or bowl and blend until smooth. Taste and add more lime, chilli, salt or sugar to taste.

Serve the fritters hot with the coriander lime chutney and another wedge of lime to squeeze over if you like.

Enjoy!!

Lentil and Spinach Dhal with Cashews and Coriander

9 Apr

This is my kind of comfort food.  All the flavour of a take away curry with none of the fat. It is easy, quick to cook (after the chopping) and really delicious. You could serve it with some whole grain rice if you like or poppadoms but on its own is just fine and filling enough. The soft spicy lentils with the irony richness of the spinach are topped off with toasted crunchy cashews, fragrant coriander and all the flavours are brightened by the zingy lime juice.

Lentil & Spinach Dhal with Cashews & Coriander

serves 3, vegan, gluten-free

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  •  1/2 tsp panch pooran (an Indian whole spice mix) use fennel seeds if you can’t get any
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • salt & black pepper
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • about 250 ml veg stock
  • a 400 gr jar/ tin cooked lentils, rinsed
  • a tin of chopped tomatoes 400 gr
  • about 150 gr fresh spinach leaves (about half a bag)
  • 125 gr cashew nuts, toasted in a dry pan
  • 1 tbsp lime juice (about 1/2 a lime) and some wedges to serve
  • a handful of fresh coriander, chopped and leaves for garnish

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and panch pooran/fennel seeds until they start to pop. Then stir in the onions, celery, carrot, a big pinch of salt & grinding of black pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes until softened but not browned then add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for another minute being careful not to burn the garlic. Add in the ground spices and a splash of stock if it seems dry and cook for another minute.

Tip in the lentils, tomatoes, veg stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes then add the spinach, put the lid on and cook for another few minutes until the spinach has just wilted.  Season with salt, stir through the chopped coriander and lime juice and taste for seasoning.

Serve in warmed bowls sprinkled with a handful of toasted cashew nuts and coriander leaves with some extra lime wedges on the side.

 From the lentils you get an excellent balance of protein and complex carbohydrate as well as iron, B vitamins and soluble fibre that provides sustained energy and balance blood sugar levels. The carrots & spinach are super rich in beta carotene, which helps to protect the body from cancer and benefits the skin. The spinach also provides lots of vitamin C, folate and iron. Tinned tomatoes contain lycopene, another powerful anticancer nutrient and the cashew nuts supply protein, zinc & fibre.

I really didn’t know it was this easy to eat more healthily. I thought it would be a lot more difficult to give up cheese but I really don’t miss it and, as I said yesterday, I am not hungry, which is amazing if you know me. I am always hungry!! If you are not interested in the health benefits just ignore the paragraph above and enjoy the food. I just think it’s surprising/interesting how many good nutrients you can get from food and how good it tastes. And I haven’t even started on the health benefits of turmeric yet…..

Buen fin de semana!!

Ruby Beetroot and Pear Chutney with Squash and Chickpea Curry and Flatbreads

18 Feb

It’s all about the Beetroot Chutney for me. I don’t even like beetroot. Well I don’t like the beetroot you get in jars, all pickled and vinegary. Leaching it’s dark pink juice everywhere and contaminating whatever else is on the plate. 

I am always willing to be proven wrong and to make a complete about-face and this is one of those occasions. I love this beetroot chutney. I love the colour, it’s ruby-red shining jewels flecked with intriguing dark spices is a beautiful thing. I love the flavour, it’s a sweet, spicy, dark and mysterious blend that enhances any curry (or cheese sandwich for that matter)!

The other thing I love about it is that it is really easy to make. I just bought some cooked beetroot (it comes vacuum packed). You can roast or boil it and peel it yourself  if you like.

Ruby Beetroot & Pear Chutney Recipe

makes about 1 jar, vegan

  • 2 cooked beetroot, diced
  • 1 pear, peeled, cored & diced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp punch pooran*
  • 4 tbsp white or white wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp white sugar

* Punch Pooran is a whole spice mix available from Indian supermarkets that gives a balanced flavour to any Indian dishes. Mine is from East End Foods.

Heat some oil in a pan over a medium heat and add in the whole spices. When they start to splutter add in the onion and ginger and cook for about 2 minutes. Add in the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until it has thickened and looks like chutney. Pour into a hot sterilised jar (just put it through the dishwasher), seal immediately, leave to cool then refrigerate.

Serve with mini poppadoms as an informal starter  to an Indian meal alongside a coriander & lemon yoghurt raita. Or pile it on a sharp cheese like a Lancashire Crumbly( thanks Joan & Terry) in a sandwich, as part of a cheese board or as a new jacket potato filling: Lancashire Crumbly & Beetroot & Pear Chutney. It’s the way forward. You could also serve it with your favourite curry dish which is what I did on Tuesday night when we had friends for dinner.

Now Rhian, who doesn’t cook, has promised to make this, because she enjoyed it so much and has been inspired. Okay Rhian, here’s the recipe, no excuses now………..

Butternut Squash & Chickpea Curry Recipe

serves 6 – 8, vegan

  • 1 large butternut squash, cut into 1 inch chunks
  •  1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  •  1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp onion seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 or 2 tsp punch pooran*
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 large red chilli, chopped
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes 400 gr
  • 3 or 4 tbsp tomato puree (tomate frito)
  • 1 400 gr jar/tin cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 500 ml – 1 litre veg stock
  • salt & black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • a big handful of fresh coriander, chopped. Plus leaves for garnish
  • * Punch Pooran is a whole spice mix available from Indian supermarkets that gives a balanced flavour to any Indian dishes. Mine is from East End Foods.

    In a big deep pot, heat some oil over a medium heat. Throw in the whole spices, when they start popping, add in the onion with a big pinch of salt and cook for about 4 minutes until softened. Add in the garlic, ginger, chilli and the  rest of the powdered spices and cook for another minute. Tumble in the squash chunks and stir well to coat with the spices. 

    Pour in the tinned tomatoes, rinsed chickpeas and the tomato puree. Stir again so everything is well-distributed. Season well with salt & black pepper then add in 5ooml veg stock. Stir and bring to the boil. When boiling reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 20 – 30 minutes depending on your squash.
    When the squash is cooked/tender take the lid off and cook for another 5 minutes to reduce/thicken the sauce if necessary. If it is dry add some more veg stock until you get the consistency you are looking for. If it is too liquidy you can take out a ladleful of the curry, blend it to a puree and add it back into the pot.
    Just before serving squeeze over the lemon juice and stir in the chopped coriander. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lemon juice to taste.

I served this with my Leek & Fennel Seed Flatbreads, some mixed wild rice and the beetroot & pear chutney. I used strong bread flour to make the flatbreads this time and had a much better result…..

Good luck & enjoy!!!

Fabulous Cabbage Recipes

12 Oct
 
 

We walk past these cabbages every day and see them growing. I love the silveryness of their leaves in the sun. After the rain we have had they are definitely looking ready to me so I am finally accepting it is now Autumn and am going to cook with cabbage tonight…

 
 
 

 

Our Broccoli & Cabbage

 

Indian Spiced Cabbage & Potato Samosas Recipe 
 Makes about 8 samosas Vegetarian/Vegan

Indian Spiced Cabbage Samosas wih Fig Chutney

 For the Samosa Pastry

makes about 8/10 samosas

  •  225 gr plain flour (I use wholemeal, you can use white or a mixture of both)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or veg oil
  • 110 ml water (You may need a little more but start with this)
    1. Mix the flour, salt, cumin seeds & turmeric in a large bowl until combined.
    2. Add the oil & water, stir with a wooden spoon then use your hands to bring it together to form a ball of dough. (You may need to add a little more water if it’s too dry).
    3. Wrap the ball of dough in clingfilm and put it in the fridge while you make the filling.

    For the cabbage

  • 1/2 head cabbage cut in half & finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp punch pooran*
  • 1 small fresh chilli chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • a pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  •  a squeeze of lemon/lime juice
  • a handful of fresh coriander chopped
  •  2 tbsp veg stock
  • some leftover cooked mashed potato or chopped cooked potato whatever you have.

*Punch pooran is a whole spice mix made up from cumin, fennel, fenugreek, black mustard & onion seeds. It gives a great rounded flavour to any indian dishes & is available from East End Foods.

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok to a medium heat. Add the punch pooran, cooking until the seeds start to pop, then quickly add the rest of the spices, garlic & ginger cooking them for about a minute but do not burn them.
  2. Add in the cabbage and salt and stir to coat the cabbage in the oil & spices then add the veg stock to loosen it slightly and stir fry the cabbage until it is cooked how you like it. (I like it cooked but still a bit crunchy about 5 mins).
  3. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice & the chopped coriander and check for seasoning.

You can serve it like this as a side dish its delicious..

Indian Spiced Cabbage

4. Now add your cooked mashed potato or cooked chopped potatoes (As much as you like) and stir to combine well.

Cabbage & Potato Samosa Mix

5. Now take the dough out of the fridge, flour your board & rolling pin and start to need the dough for about a minute to make it stable.

6. Cut the ball of dough into quarters then into eights and roll out one of the pieces of dough to about 2 or 3 mm thick. Then trim it into a square about 10 or 12 cm.

10 - 12 cm Samosa Square

7. Now take a heaped tablespoon of the mix and put it on one half of the square, leave the edges clear

8. Now fold the empty side over the filling to make a triangle and press down the edges then seal them again with a fork.

9. Repeat with the rest of the pastry.

I baked mine in a preheated oven 210 degrees for about 10 – 12 mins. I brushed them with a little oil first & oiled the baking tray. You can deep fry them in hot oil for about 2 minutes on each side.

I served them with some of my fiery fig chutney (see recipe) but you can serve them with any chutney you have or a raita either way they’re great.

 I love potato, especially mashed potato, and I also love Indian food so this next idea is an Indian spiced version of Colcannon (An Irish dish with mashed potato & cabbage) or Bubble & Squeak, an English dish made with leftover potatoes & vegetables (usually Brussel sprouts or cabbage) which is made into patties and fried in a pan. Heaven….

Indian Spiced Bubble & Squeak with a Poached Egg

serves 2 vegetarian

Brunch Heaven
  • leftover Indian spiced cabbage (see above)
  • leftover mashed potato
  • 2 eggs
  • coriander or chives to garnish
  1. Mix the cold mash and cabbage together well

2. Press the mix into two chefs rings or cookie cutters to make patties ( Or just shape them by hand). Then heat some oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the patties to the hot oil and cook them until well browned on both sides and hot in the middle

Bubble & Squeak

3. Meanwhile put a large pan of water on to boil with a squirt of vinegar. When it’s boiling turn off the heat, stir the water and carefully crack the two eggs into the water (Break them into the surface of the water). Put the lid on and leave them for 3 minutes.

Serve the poached egg on top of the Bubble & Squeak and garnish with chives or coriander. 

Enjoy!

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