Monday, 16 April 2018

Vegan Dhal Makhani

Maunika Gowardhan's Punjabi Dal Makhani popped up on my Instagram feed last night, so I thought I'd try to make a vegan version with cashew nut cream, and minus the butter. I also made it with a combination of green and red lentils, as I didn't have urad dal, and green & red lentils don't require remembering to soak overnight.

100g green lentils
150g red lentils
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 medium onion, finely sliced
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
2cm ginger, finely chopped
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp chilli powder
500ml passata
40g cashew nuts
1 tsp salt

Weigh out the lentils into a saucepan with a lid.  Pour over 600ml water, cover and bring to the boil.  Simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes whilst you prepare the sauce.

Pour 100ml boiling water over the cashew nuts in a jug you can use a stick blender in, and leave to soften.

Fry the onion in the oil until starting to brown (about 5-7 minutes), stirring from time to time.  Add the cumin seeds, garlic, and ginger and stir around until you can smell the spices.  Add the rest of the ingredients with 250ml/half a passata carton of recently boiled water, and the cooked lentils.  Liquidise the cashew nuts and water and add to the pan.  Stir and leave to simmer gently with the lid on for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time to stop it sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Serve with basmati rice.
Twitter: Leesa@sunhillcurry
Instagram: sunhillmakesbakes

Monday, 19 March 2018

Vegan & Vegetarian Swede Biryani

Discovering we had a whole swede still untouched, and were expecting another in our vegbox this week, I searched 'swede' in Riverford's recipes to see if I could find a tantalising recipe for our vegan Monday.

I started off making Riverford's Indian Spiced Swede but then decided to make it into a one pot Biryani to try to hide the vegetables a little better.

Apparently it's "okay" which means they like it but would prefer meat in it. I think it's delightfully (and naturally) sweet.

Serves a greedy 4

2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp hot chilli flakes
1 tsp garam masala
1 onion, finely sliced
3-4cm piece ginger, grated or finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
2 chillies, deseeded & finely chopped
1/2 a medium swede, grated (cauliflower could be used instead
100g puy lentils (optional - added for texture)
400ml tinned coconut milk
1 can recently boiled water
100g kale, shredded (peas or beans could be used instead)
1 mug of basmati rice
Salt & pepper

Fry the cumin and mustard seeds over a medium heat in a casserole dish (with a lid) until they start to pop.  Add the onion and fry until it starts to brown.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients apart from the rice, cover, and bring to the boil.  Turn down to a simmer and leave for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes stir in the rice, cover again and bring back to a boil.  Turn down to the lowest heat and leave to cook untouched for 10 minutes.  Then turn the heat off and without taking the lid off, leave for another 10 minutes for the rice to finish steaming.

Fluff the biryani up with a fork or spoon and season to taste.

Twitter: Leesa@sunhillcurry
Instagram: sunhillmakesbakes

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Kale Oven Crisps

Wow kale crisps, where have you been all my (adult) life?

OH was disappointed to discover a massive bag of kale, his least favourite vegetable, in our vegbox last week.  And it's taken him a week to relay a recipe for kale crisps from his work.

So tonight, after a quick google to establish exactly what his work colleague meant by "a hot oven", I have discovered a new beer snack.

1 large handful of kale, after stripping and discarding the tough stem and shredding
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika, ras el hangout, piri piri seasoning
1 large pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 200C.  Toss the dry kale in the oil and seasoning then spread out on a baking tray, or two.  Bake for 5-10 minutes until beginning to brown at the edges and go slightly crispy.  I was told 5 minutes in the oven, but my small leaved Red Russian kale ended up taking 8 minutes.

No idea how long they stay crispy for as we ate them immediately.

PS.  Our two child testers universally announced them "DISGUSTING!"

Twitter: Leesa@sunhillcurry
Instagram: sunhillmakesbakes

Merguez Burgers

Just chillin'
Merguez are traditionally finger thin North African sausages made popular in France with the arrival of immigrants from Algeria and Morocco.  'Merguez Frites' (Merguez & chips) is a popular fast food served out vans, hole-in-the-wall cafes, and bistros and much loved by our children, and us.

I do have a sausage maker, but time is short, so Merguez flavoured burgers it as birthday treat #2 for my now 15 year old, to be cooked after yet another parents' evening.

500g minced lamb
1 thick slice of bread
1 tsp harissa
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
1 free range egg

Make the slice of bread into breadcrumbs in a mini food processor.

Put all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands.

On a greased baking tray, divide the mixture into half, and then each half into three.  I found it makes 6 burgers weighing just over 100g each which seems a good size for a 'healthy' burger.

Chill in the fridge on the baking tray as long as you can to make them nice and firm for frying.

Fry over a medium heat for about 5 minutes each side for a well done burger.  Or bake at 200C Fan on the baking tray.

Serve in a burger with salad and onion, in a pitta, or with pasta as I will probably do.

Twitter: Leesa@sunhillcurry
Instagram: sunhillmakesbakes

Monday, 12 March 2018

My Watercress Soup

Hastily posting a Watercress Soup recipe, as @allthingsalresford has tagged me in an Instagram post about the Classic Mary Berry BBC series where Mary Berry visits Alresford, where I live, and make Watercress Soup!

Makes 2 litres, serving a greedy 4 (or our family of 5)

3 bunches of Alresford watercress
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
300g white potatoes
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock, ideally homemade
1 tbsp olive oil

Roughly chop the onion and fry gently in the oil whilst you roughly chop the potatoes and garlic.

Once chopped, stir the potatoes and garlic around in the hot oil and add the stock.

Grasp each watercress bunch in turn by it's leaves and snip the stalks, in 3cm lengths into the heating stock (having removed the blue elastic band first!).  Place the leaves into a bowl of cold water to soak/wash.

Cover the soup and bring to the boil. Turn down to and simmer for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes turn off the heat and remove the lid.  Leave the soup to cool for 20-30 minutes before wilting the rinsed watercress leaves in the still hot stock.  Ladle the stock and vegetables into a heatproof blender jug and liquidise for 1-2 minutes.

If not consumed instantly, cool quickly without a lid on.  When reheating, again do not cover, as this will cause it to lose it's vivid green colour.

My Watercress Soup, made with homemade chicken stock is sold frozen at West Lea Farmshop, and with organic vegetable stock at Alresford's weekly Country Market held in the Alresford & Community Centre every Thursday morning 7.30-11.30am

Twitter: Leesa@sunhillcurry
Instagram: sunhillmakesbakes

Moroccan Chickpea & Kale Stew

This is a fancier version of Spicy Kale & Chickpeas I used to make in my first few post student days. A massive bag of kale arrived in last week's vegbox, and as no-one else likes it, I did my best to 'lose' half of it in tonight's tea.

1 large onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, grated or finely diced
1 large stick of celery, finely diced
1 large clove of garlic, crushed or finely diced
2 cans of chickpeas, keeping the liquid
200g kale, shredded
1 500ml pack of passata
500ml just boiled water
1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp hot chilli flakes
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil

Soften the onion, carrot, and celery in the olive oil in a casserole dish.

When softened (5 minutes or so) add the cumin seeds, garlic, and tomato paste.  Stir around, and once you smell the garlic and cumin add the rest of the ingredients, and enough water to make a stewy consistency. 

Cover, bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes.

Season to taste and serve with couscous.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Vegan Khoresh Bademjan - Iranian Aubergine & Tomato Stew

Aubergines are usually reserved for Babaganoush in this house, but having watched Nigel Slater’s Middle East last week, and googled Iranian recipes I thought I’d try to make a vegetarian and vegan version of Khoresh Bademjan.  The traditional recipe contains lamb.

170g yellow split peas, soaked overnight
2 aubergines, cubed
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled, quartered and finely sliced.
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
1 carton passata
2 cartons split pea cooking water

Drain the soaking split peas, cover with plenty of fresh water and bring to the boil.  Boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then cover and simmer whilst you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Fry the aubergines in 1 tbsp olive oil until they brown. Add 1 clove if chopped garlic and fry for a few minutes then remove the mixture to a plate.

Add the other tbsp olive oil and fry the onion until it begins to brown. Add the turmeric and cinnamon, stir around then add all the other ingredients, including the drained split peas and two cartons of the cooking water, and the aubergines back to the pan. Bring to the boil then turn down a simmer, cover and leave to cook for 1 hour stirring from time to time to ensure nothing catches on the bottom and the split peas are tender.  Add more boiling water if if it starts to get too thick.  I mashed mine with a potato masher to give it a dhal like consistency, and hide a new vegetable from wary children.

Season to taste.  Serve with Rice or crusty bread.

Twitter: Leesa@sunhillcurry
Instagram: sunhillmakesbakes