Potato stuffed dosa with veggie curry

The Dosa was a new discovery for me – I found a packet in the ‘Ethnic Foods Aisle’ at Tesco’s and picked it up, as I was intrigued.  For those that don’t know, it’s a lentil-flour based pancake type thing: In the pack is a powder which you mix with water, then fry in a pan until it goes slightly crunchy whilst still being bendy! It has a lovely subtle but warm flavour and interesting texture.  And the brand name is rather amusing ‘Gits’! tee hee!

Anyway, the filling I put in was based on an Aloo Masala for Dosa (Potato masala) found on Manjula’s kitchen website: The only difference was that I added onion for more flavour and cut down on the green chilli (as I’m a bit of a spice coward!). Oh and I pre-cooked the potatoes so it wouldn’t take so long.

The curry was a simply paste-and-veg jobbie (usually best when you’ve spent time on something else and are suddenly very hungry!).  Ingredients as follows:

Simple veggie curry: (use what you have in the fridge!)
1 onion,
1 Yellow pepper, chopped into largeish chunks
1 Red pepper, chopped into largeish chunks
A few mushrooms, sliced
Rogan Josh curry paste (Patak’s – but whatever flavour takes your fancy)
Tin of Chickpeas
Tin of chopped tomatoes
Chopped fresh coriander
Squeeze of lemon

Method:
1. Fry your onion in a little oil.
2. When softened, add curry paste (according to pack instructions) and fry for a short while.
3. Add the veg (start with the one that needs most cooking, like the peppers, and gradually add the others allowing each to cook a little before you add the next.
4. Add the chickpeas and tinned tomatoes
5. Cook until all veg is tender.
6. Squeeze over and stir in a little fresh lemon juice (optional, but gives it a lift) and garnish with coriander, unless your husband doesn’t like it!!


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Tamarind Dal

Tamarind Dal with Rice

Why has it taken me sooo long to make a dal? Especially when they are so simple? And sooo tasty!

Inspired by the dal I had eaten at the Coco Diner (see post “Coco Delights“) I wanted to recreate it as closely as I could.  Though in the menu it said there was cream in the dal, I chose not to do this, wanting to avoid unnecessary dairy… Knowing the recipe had curry leaves, mustard seeds lentils and was a South Indian dish, I did some searches online, found some recipes and modified them to make my own.  Here’s what I did:

Ingredients:
1 cup red split lentils
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup tamarind water *
a few curry leaves (I used dried)
1 tsp turmeric
chilli powder (to your preference – I had just a sprinkle for a mild dal)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
good pinch of hing (asafoetida)
2 medium sized ripe tomatoes, chopped

Method:
1. Put the lentils in a pan with the water/tamarind water, turmeric, chilli powder and curry leaves.  Cook until lentils are soft (approx 30 mins, but may vary).  You may need to add more water if the lentils get dry, but don’t let them get too watery, as red lentils go all mushy, so it’d be hard to drain, off: you’d probably have to cook down.
2. Whilst the lentils are cooking, chop the onion very finely.  Heat some oil in a non-stick pan and fry the onion along with the hing and mustard seeds until the onion is thorougly softened, starting to go a little brown.  When nearly done, add the chopped tomatoes and cook these down until soft.
3. Once the lentils and the onion mixture is cooked, add everything in the frying pan into the lentils, stir, taste, season if necessary, then serve.

*Tamarind water: It can be hard to get real tamarind pods but you can find tamarind paste in quite a lot of supermarkets now. Because I work for them, Blue Dragon tamarind paste was on hand.  You just mix a teaspoon of paste with hot water to get 100ml of tamarind water. Easy as pie!

Lentil & couscous-but-much-better-than-just-that-salad

My plan is that this yummy salad lasts me for three lunches at work. I bought in loads of ingredients and made up a large bowl of the stuff at work. Really easy:

Lentil & couscous-but-much-better-than-just-that-salad

I bought the following and mixed them together in a bowl and garnished with crispy onions (bought in a tub):
Roasted tomato couscous (from the section where you get the hummus and other cold salady stuff
1 tin green lentils (drained)
some cucumber
tomatoes
1 avocado
spring onions
pickled beetroot

dressed with garlic infused extra virgin olive oil and juice of half a lemon. No seasoning necessary as couscous was quite salty.

Very tasty and the addition of the crispy onions at the end added that extra bit of texture and rich roasted oniony flavour that really took the biscuit. so to speak!

Puy lentils and bean puree on mushrooms

Puy lentils and bean puree on field mushrooms

Puy lentils and bean puree on field mushrooms

Mmmmm – this was a lovely dinner: one for entertaining, methinks….

Based on a recipe from a new book I picked up called “Great Tastes Vegetarian” published by Bay Books – who, I have to say may have  been a little hasty throwing this together, as I have already spotted one recipe calling for chicken stock! I have adapted this recipe to suit my cooking style.

The lentils are cooked in red wine and onions and work really well with the garlicky cannelini bean and potato puree.  This is almost a meaty, beefy dish! Without the meat, of course….

Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients:
2 Big Field or Portabella mushrooms

For the lentils
some vegan spread and some olive oil
1 Onion, slice thinly
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Handful of finely sliced mushrooms
1 tin of puy lentils
1 tbsp tomato puree
mug of vegetable stock
mug of red wine
1 dessert spoon of soft brown sugar
Chopped fresh parsley to garnish

Bean Puree
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tin cannelini beans, drained
2 cloves garlic, crushed
seasoning
some vegetable stock
olive oil

Method:
1. For the bean puree: Boil the potatoes as for mash (10-15 mins).
2. Meanwhile, start frying your onions and garlic in the spread and oil until soft.
3. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook a little more.
4. Add the lentils, stock and red wine and cook on low until the sauce cooks down.
5. Add tomato puree and brown sugar. Taste and season.  Keep warm and stirring whilst you make the bean puree:
6. Empty your canellini beans into a food processor.  Add two cloves of garlic and a splash of veg stock.  Process until smooth.
7. Drain the potatoes (if not already done) and add to the bean puree in the processor.  Add more stock if necessary and blitz, pouring a little EV olive oil through the hole in the top (assuming you have one!).  Mixture should be smooth and moist, but not too wet.
8. Return mixture to potato pan and put on v low heat to keep warm whilst you fry your big field mushrooms in some oil in a frying pan.
9. Serve by placing big mushrooms on bottom, spooning bean puree on top, then the lentil mixture on top of that. Garnish with parsley.  (I recommend serving this with at least one green veg – I used stringless beans).