Montag, 14. Juni 2010

curried potatoes and vegetables; "middle-eastern" tofu and cabbage

Amazing, how well Thai curry paste and potatoes go together! The veg are variable, peppers and mushrooms really go well.

app. 750g potatoes, boiled, peeled and cut into large pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch spring/salad onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green and 1 red pepper, chopped
1 courgette
3 large portobello mushrooms or 8 normal mushrooms
1 heaped tbsp (green) Thai curry paste
2 tbsp lemon juice
chopped parsley and coriander to taste

Heat the oil. Briefly fry onions and garlic. Add the vegetables and fry until they are as crisp or done as you prefer. Stir in the potatoes and add the seasoning. Garnish with the chopped greens.

For the tofu-cabbage dish:
2 tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped
200g tofu, cubed
1/8 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp allspice, ground
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
3 cups chopped raw cabbage (like spring cabbage at the moment)
1 can chopped tomatoes
salt, brown sugar and pepper to taste

Heat the oil. Fry the onion till it starts to soften. Add the tofu and spices. Slightly brown the tofu pieces, then add the cabbage. When it starts to soften, add tomatoes and some water (about a cup). Season and allow to simmer till done. Serve with couscous. May be garnished with fresh mint or coriander leaves.

Dienstag, 8. Juni 2010

Courgette Dhal with Dill

Yesterday I made this easy dhal which turned out lovely. For once, I didn't rely on a recipe book for inspiration but remembered a dhal I had eaten at a friend's house in Bangalore some years ago. I think his cook was from Andhra, and I'm still very partial to Andhra cuisine. I didn't ask her how she made it at the time, but my result comes close to the taste I remember. The amounts make a nice big pot for lots (around 6) of people or 2 days worth of eating!

1 1/2 cups chana dhal
1,5 l water
2 tbsp ghee or oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp chopped ginger
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp asafetida
2-4 dried red chilies
4 medium courgettes, sliced thickly
1 tbsp jaggery or brown sugar
juice of half a lemon
2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
half of a large bunch of dill, chopped

Heat the ghee or oil and fry the cumin till it starts to brown, then add onion, ginger and chilies. When the onion starts to soften, add the asafetida and fry briefly. Add the courgettes and dhal and the water. Cover and (pressure) cook till the dhal softens (10 min under pressure are enough with most types of dhal and cookers I reckon). Add salt, lemon juice, jaggery and tomatoes. Continue to simmer as long as you like, really. Turn off the heat and stir in the dill. Serve with plain white rice and Gongura pickle.

Dienstag, 1. Juni 2010

more inspired: millet pulao, oriental aubergines and stuffed peppers

Towards the end of national vegetarian week and over this BH weekend, our cooking has been much more inspired. I've liked this millet pulao ever since I first made it, and dh did a great job at cooking it the other night. Do try it, it is as easy as it is tasty and goes well with a salad.

Millet pulao

300g millet
2 tbsp ghee
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, cut in pieces
3 potatoes, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 walnut-sized piece ginger, minced
1 piece cinnamon stick or bark (5 cm)
salt and pepper
50g raisins
50g flaked almonds

Dry roast the millet in a large pan over moderate heat until fragrant and some grains start to jump. Transfer to another container (otherwise it may burn quickly!).
Heat the ghee and fry the onion in it. Add vegetables, ginger, garlic and cinnamon. Roast for a bit. Add millet and 750ml of (boiling) water, salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to the boil and simmer covered until all the water is absorbed and the millet soft.
Mix in raisins and almonds before serving. It is also nice to dry roast the almonds before adding them.

The oriental aubergines here are adapted from Bettina Matthei's "Würzen". They are so lovely and succulent and rich that you really wouldn't miss meat. This time, I substituted some of the aubergines with mushrooms, with great success. I've also added paneer cubes (fried briefly before adding the aubergines) for extra protein, texture and taste balance. Otherwise, I'd recommend serving with Couscous, Bulghur, rice or wholegrain pasta and some greek yoghurt or creme fraiche.

500g aubergines (and/or mushrooms)
a large onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp oil
4 tbsp water or stock
2 tbsp unsweetened pomegranate concentrate (or balsamic vinegar)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
a dash of chilli powder
50g raisins (optional)
50g roughly chopped pistachios (other nuts would also work, but do give pistachios a try!)

Heat the oil. Fry the onion till soft, add garlic, aubergines and ground spices. Fry, stirring well, until aubergines are nicely browned and quite soft. Add water/stock, pomegranate concentrate and brown sugar and chilli powder if using. Cover and simmer. Add salt to taste and stir in raisins and pistachios just before serving.

Last night, I made these stuffed peppers. They were nice and kept warm until all the children had decided to go off to sleep... I'd recommend serving with roasted tomatoes or a tomato sauce, and possibly a green salad.

4 peppers (colours to taste)
110g pudding rice (or other)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
1 medium tomato, chopped
some mild to medium cheese, grated (a large handful)
a little bit of grated parmesan (optional)
4 tbsp ricotta (or soured cream/creme fraiche)
generous amounts of chopped basil and parsley or other herbs to taste

Halve the peppers lengthwise and put on a baking sheet covered with baking parchment - or in a large oven-proof dish so that you can arrange tomatoes around it to bake!
Preheat oven to 180° C.
Boil the rice in water for 12 min. Drain.
Heat the oil in a pan and fry till golden. Add the garlic and fry briefly.
Mix all the ingredients well, season with salt and generous amounts of freshly ground black pepper.
Stuff into the peppers and bake for about 30 mins until peppers are soft.