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

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!!


Harvest-stuffed mushrooms and maple roasted sprouts

Dinner last night was delicious and exciting.  I’m exploring more and more vegan recipes and find Chef Chloe is very inspiring – I shall be dipping in her recipe collection regularly, I feel!  I know my presentation isn’t as nice as hers, but hey, I’m just cooking dinner here! Here is the link to Chloe’s recipe for these Harvest Stuffed Portabello mushrooms and Maple Roasted Sprouts.

Harvest Stuffed mushrooms

Chef Chloe's Harvest Stuffed mushrooms and maple roasted brussel sprouts served with Jacket Potato.

My hubby and I both love the nutty texture of the mushrooms and the sprouts were awesome!  I’ve never roasted them before, and this way made them soooo tasty! My sprouts were quite small, so I think 30 mins would have been just enough, but I did them for 45.  Still the ‘burnt bits’ added a smoky taste that actually went very well with the syrup! The addition of the hazelnuts at the end really took the biscuit! I’m going to try maple roasting other things now I’ve invested in a nice bottle of maple syrup (I love the stuff – reminds me of our honeymoon to Nova Scotia, when we visited the sugarbush farm near our holiday home and where everything was made of maple syrup!).

Thanks Chloe!

Roasted Portabellos and butternut squash

I’ve just bought a few vegan cookbooks in an effort to find more recipes without cheese, as  I have developed an intolerance to it. This is a good thing in most ways, since cheese is the product of an unethical milk industry; it is addictive and fattening and it predisposes you to all sorts of illnesses as you age, including osteoporosis, ironically.  For more info on my milk is not the wonder product the industry claims it to be see this website: Not Milk

Anyway, so far the star player in my cookbook collection is “Veganomicon” a really interesting Vegan book the writers claim to be the ‘ultimate vegan cookbook’.  This post charts my first cooking adventure: Roasted Portobellos served with Roasted butternut squash with coriander seeds: a pretty tasty and satisfying meal.

Roasted portabellos served with roasted butternut squash with coriander seeds, steamed broccoli and spinach

First I got the squash going – oven about 200C:

1. Cut your butternut squash into bite-size pieces, put in an oven tray and toss in some olive oil until all pieces coated lightly.
2. Crush in a pestle and mortar about 1tbsp of Coriander seeds (don’t grind too small, as the texture is nice), then mix in with the squash, and place in the oven.
3. Cook squash for about 35 minutes, tossing occasionally.  Make sure your squash is starting to go a bit brown – this is when it starts to caramelise and taste really sweet and smokey. mmm.

3 portabello mushrooms (for 2 people to share)
1/2 cup cooking wine
1tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed

1. Mix marinade ingredients together and bathe mushrooms in for about 20mins, then cover and cook in oven for 30mins.
2. Take cover/foil off then flip them over before returning to oven for a further 10 mins.

This recipe leaves your mushrooms tasting quite rich and meaty, so they can be used for all sorts including burgers, salads or served like a meat in a meal like we did.

Okra Curry, mushroom and peas served with cumin roasted carrots

So, with Indian meals I’m really getting into cooking more than one curry dish to keep my palate interested.  So far a great way to keep a meal fresh is to prepare a kachumber, but this time, I opted for something else, as I had none of the ingredients!

Okra Curry, Mushroom and Peas curry and roasted carrots with cumin

Okra Curry, Mushroom and Peas curry and roasted carrots with cumin

The recipes for this I found elsewhere on the internet, so instead of taking credit I will provide links to the relevant sites.  The first site I recommend is “Manjula’s kitchen” – brilliant for vegetarians that love Indian Food because that’s what it is all about, and to make it easy to follow Manjula has filmed herself cooking and talking through the recipes.  She’s not as charismatic as Ainsley Harriet, but that makes her much more watchable!
Mushrooms and peas was her idea: Manjula’s mushroom and peas
This recipe was has the tasty addition of Kasoori Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) – really worth getting into for that genuine Indian flavour (although it makes your clothes stink!).

The Okra (otherwise known as ‘bhindi’) Curry recipe is to be found here. This is the first time I cooked okra – a friend warned me not to be put off by any oozing the okra might do – it didn’t ooze but was very slightly slimy in the main dish, but I didn’t let that put me off.  It tastes very ‘green’ and fresh – I quite enjoyed it.  I added a yellow pepper instead of a green one to this recipe, which in retrospect, I think was a good thing to do, as it might have tasted all a bit too green for me.  The sweetness of the pepper tempered the greenness of the okra, if you get what I mean?

The carrots were so simple: just clean and slice in half lengthways some small carrots, place in an oven dish and poor over some oil, then sprinkle on some cumin seeds and roast for about half an hour or so at 200degrees.