Beetroot & Chickpeas Burgers

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This recipe is so easy and can be made in less than 2 hours. A good way to get those veggies into your kids. The beetroot adds a nice raw pink colour to it which we loved. We were surprised by the combination of beetroot with chickpeas. Flavours were subtle but very satisfying.

Servings: 8 to 10 patties

Ingredients:

3 cans of chickpeas

2 big beetroots, cooked & grated (I used precooked from the shop, a pack of 6 to 7 tiny beetroots)

1 finely chopped red onion

3 – 4 cloves of garlic

Handful of chopped coriander

4 – 5 tbsp quick oats

1 tbsp cornflour

1/2 tbsp of grammar flour

2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

2 tsp of chia seeds (optional)

100 grams of walnuts, coarsely ground

1 tbsp of cumin powder

1 tbsp of smoked paprika

Salt to taste

3 tbsp oil to cook

Method:

Take a can of chickpeas and blend it with its water. It will be nearly as smooth as hummus, pour it in a mixing bowl. Drain other two cans and put it in with the ground chickpeas. Now mush up the chickpeas with a potato masher.

Add all the other ingredients and mix well. I would get in with your hands. If it is too wet, add more oats or a sprinkle of cornflour should do the trick.

Once the mixture is ready, form your patties and set them aside in the fridge to set.

In the meantime, chop up all the other fillings you would like to put in your burger: tomatoes, red onions, gherkins, cheese etc.

After about 30 minutes of chilling. I shallow fried the patties until golden brown on both sides and then put them in a preheated oven on gas mark 5 for 20 mins or so.

Check after 15 minutes and cook accordingly. Voila!

Serve with some homemade chips and cold glass of lager! Perfect way to welcome spring.

 

 

 

 

What Makes Me Happy As A Mommy?

I love being a mommy. Period!

Motherhood came to me in two phases. First phase was when I was only 22 years old when my lover brought his two toddlers into the equation we now call ‘family’. Raising two kids estranged from their mother was scary and to an extend mentally disturbing retrospectively speaking. But after a few months of settling into the new life, we all eased into it very well and it became as rewarding as many mothers claim to be.

Last year, I gave birth to our little baby Ro (second phase). He is a darling and this time around it was expected, planned and not shocking at all. I wanted this and being able to participate in raising a baby from birth is such a joy that I always in a way missed or desired when I was raising my stepchildren.

There are many reasons why I like being a mother. Even though there are a fair share of sleepless nights, sick on the stairs, on the bed, in between the wooden floor boards etc there are moments of happiness that outweighs the troublesome ones.

So here are a few reasons why I love being a mommy:

Unconditional Love

There is no love as the love between a parent and their children. I love my children more than I love anybody in this world. I love them more than I love my husband and my parents. Yes! I have never experienced love as strong as my love for my kids.

Also being loved; my children love me without any judgement (at least for now). I am lucky to be loved by a lot of people but the love my kids have for me amazes me. The kind of love you receive for just being their mom.

I love the way my 11 month old wakes up with a beaming smile and bright eyes looking straight at me saying, ‘maaamaaa’ as if he is so happy to have woken up next to me and is so excited that I am still next to him.

Purpose in Life

My kids give me a permanent purpose in life. I never have a single day when I sit and think what do I want to be? What do I want to become? What is my aim in life?

I can always become a teacher, an engineer or a doctor or a hairdresser if I want but I am something already. I am a mommy! And that is a bigger responsibility than anything. Raising kids to be a kind and conscious citizen of the world is a challenging task and an achievement in itself.

Magical World

Kids allow me to build and live in the magical world of tooth fairies, santa clause, gnomes etc. I love to tip toe into my kids room at night to deliver tooth fairy’s letters, I love helping santa claus get through the hot and narrow little chimney and hunt for easter eggs in the woods that the magical bunny hides every easter.

Flowers and a Cuppa

I love to imagine the short bike ride my son has to do from his drum lesson back home which goes through a park full of trees and how he stops and picks a handful of fresh bay leaves because he knows how much I like to use bay leaves in my cooking, or when he sets himself a massive task of building me a wooden boat for my window sill ever since he realised the one I wanted at the shop was far too expensive for my budget.

I live for the times when my daughter spends hours in her bedroom early in the morning, when everybody else is asleep and starts making a loom band necklace for me and wraps it in a homemade envelop made out of scrap paper and taped a hundred times so tight that I struggle to even get into it. Or when she spends the whole afternoon in the garden to make me a disgusting concoction of all sorts of herbs and dirt mixed in warm water, she calls ‘tea’, that I have to drink in front of her.

Pride and Joy

My kids are my pride and joy.

Whether it is getting 10 out of 10 in a spelling test or playing violin in front of 500 people, or how my 11 month old always tries to share everything he is eating; my children make me proud everyday.

Making of Me

My children make me a better person. I want to be a good role model. I try and remind myself to compose myself in a way I’d like my children to be. Not that I succeed in it everytime, but they are my constant reminders!

Improved Relationships

Motherhood has made me realise (at a deeper level) how  hard it must have been for my mother to have raised me all by herself when my father passed away. I am less judgemental of mothers who struggle at times or believe in parenting methods that aren’t similar to mine.

Environment Savvy

Having children has change my entire take on environmental health. Something that I used to take for granted has become an interesting passion now. I want to make environmentally conscious choices so that my children have a better, healthier and safer environment to live in.

Empathy 

I have become a kinder person. I am empathetic and sympathetic towards not only other people but also animals. For example, breastfeeding has changed my perspective on milking cows for dairy.  I want my children to be compassionate human beings and that has influenced a massive change of lifestyle in me (more on that another time).

Watching Them Grow

I still look at Ro and wonder, “Wow did I really make him?”

It is such a pleasure to make them stand against the wall to measure their height or get a glimpse of what kind of a person they might become when they grow a bit older.

What makes you happy as a mommy?

 

 

Baby Ro’s First Holi on Spring Equinox

It was Holi last week – but baby Ro was running a temperature. The mood in our household wasn’t of the celebratory kind. So we decided to postpone any festivities.

But today is Roshan’s first spring equinox (that’s right, winter is officially over!) And since Holi – the festival of colours – is celebrated to welcome spring, it made total sense to combine the two.

Holi has a lot of different symbolic importance in Indian culture. There are various mythological stories in which the death of the devil who tried to kill baby Krishna is celebrated by lighting a bonfire and throwing colours at each other.

I have very fond memories of Holi from my childhood. We’d fill up balloons with coloured water and throw them at absolute strangers, passersby and friends days before Holi. Most people took it in their stride in the spirit of the festival. On the day itself we could throw colours at each other, play with water pistols and go around the community in groups to flush out any of the shy and colour-less. We’d also partake in a massive afternoon feast – lot of sweets are devoured.

The fun didn’t just stop at that. Sometimes we would have community events that locals would have been planning for days. We’d enjoy some amazing performances later in the day.

Also, no matter how much we tried we would never get rid of the colours completely even after several showers. As kids, I remember it being an unspoken competition amongst friends to see whose colours lasted the longest.

Oh how can I forget to mention love! Holi is also a lover’s paradise. The raw engagement of skin to skin in the whole colour application process brings about an air of flirtation, romance and teasing. Oh how I love Holi!

I am so glad I can give my kids a taste of this festival of colours, Holi. They had such great fun. I hope I can take them to India one day to enjoy the real deal. Although perhaps the romance bit can wait a little longer…

Vegan Jalfrezi

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I am bored of this seasons cauliflower! So when this weeks veg box arrived with yet another cauliflower, I wanted to throw it away. But then I had a variety of veg in the house but in tiny portions. I decided to put all of them together along with the cauliflower and make something that turned out to be very similar to a jalfrezi.

Ingredients:

1 cauliflower head, cut into small florets

1 potatoes, cut into slices

1 bell pepper, cut into chunks

1 large onion, cut into chunks

1 tinned sweetcorn

1 tinned passatta or chopped tomatoes

2 carrots, cut into half then sliced

2 tbsp oil

2 tsp turmeric

3 tsp chilli powder

3 tsp garam masala powder

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp ginger garlic paste

Salt & sugar to taste

Coriander to garnish

Method:

Heat oil in a hot wok. Temper the cumin seeds for a minute until they turn brown. Now add the cauliflower, potatoes and the carrots. Mix in the dry spices. Cover the wok and cook the vegetables on low heat for 10 mins. Now add the onion, sweetcorn and the ginger garlic paste. Cook it for 2 mins (add a splash of water if necessary). Now add the tomatoes, a dash of water along with the salt. Cover and cook until all the vegetables are nearly cooked.

Now add the bell peppers and sugar. Cook for further 5 mins without the lid. Garnish with chopped coriander. Serve hot with rice or naan bread.

 

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

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We love chocolate mousse but not eggs, which makes it difficult to make a mousse.

I tried making it with silken tofu but nope, didn’t work. But I found something that works – Aquafaba!

Aquafaba is the liquid you get in a tin of beans. If you get dried beans in bulk then soak them up overnight, drain the water. Cook the beans and the water you get from cooked beans is Aquafaba. Always strain the aquafaba before using.

Servings 2

Ingredients:

Aquafaba from 1 tinned chickpeas

250 gms of vegan dark chocolate (70 %)

2 tsp odourless coconut oil

Method:

Whisk the aquafaba until it forms thick peaks. Be patient, it takes a while. Aquafaba is more forgiving than egg whites which means that even though it takes longer to turn fluffy you can stop and start. It won’t lose it’s thickness.

On the other side melt the chocolate with the oil. The oil prevents the chocolate from turning grainy.

Once your aquafaba is ready, add the chocolate and slowly fold it in. Add vanilla essense if you like or chilli powder (optional).

The aquafaba may seem to collaspe but don’t lose faith. I took my chances and refrigerated it in serving bowls and after a couple of hours it was ready and perfectly smooth and fluffy.

I hope you try it and let me know how it turned out for you.

 

 

Vegan Tuna Crunch Salad

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I have been thinking a lot about kids lunch boxes. It is not as easy as putting a sandwich with a slice of ham and a slice of cheese in it.  So every morning I come up with something new. This is one of those experiment that went right.

Ingredients:

1 tinned chickpeas

3 tbsp vegan mayo

1/2 finely chopped onion

1 tbsp french mustard

2 gherkins finely chopped

A squeeze of sweet chilli sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

A bag of salad leaves of your choice

Method:

Drain the chickpeas and mush them up coarsely with a fork or potato masher. Add all the ingredients apart from the leaves and sweet chilli sauce into it. Mix it all up and have a taste. Adjust the seasoning a cording to taste.

Now serve it on top of fresh salad leaves. Add a dash of sweet chilli sauce.

I put this all together in a tortilla wrap for my kids lunch boxes. It was a total hit.

P.S: Don’t throw away the drained water from the tinned chickpeas. It is called aquafaba and can be used as egg whites in cakes and meringues. More on that in my next post.

 

 

 

Cauliflower Korma, Rice And Purple Cabbage & Carrot Salad

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This is not an authentic Korma recipe but quick and tasy nonetheless! Usually I would make my own korma spice and I might share the recipe sometime. But for now, here is a quick recipe to satisfy your mid-week curry craving!

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets

1 big onion, chopped

5 to 6 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 tin tomatoes

1 tin coconut milk

1 potatoes, cut into small cubes

2 big tbsp of ready curry powder (I used hot, but medium will work just fine)

1 tsp of paprika (for colour)

1 tsp muscavado sugar/coconut sugar or 2 tsp of maple syrup

Salt to taste

2 tbsp of oil

Method:

Heat oil in a hot wok. Saute the garlic and onion until light brown. Then add the cauliflower and potatoes with the spice powder. Let it cook for couple of minutes and then add the tinned tomatoes. Let the tomatoes cook slowly for 20 minutes so that it loses it’s raw flavour and releases it’s natural sugar. Then add the coconut milk and cook on medium heat until the potatoes and cauliflower are cook. I added lime juice in the end but that is option. Garnish with coriander. Serve on a bed of piping hot basmati rice!

Carrot & Cabbage Salad:

Ingredients:

3 Carrots

Quater of Purple Cabbage

Method

This is easy peasy. Simply grate the two ingredients and serve. One could add a dressing of lemon and mint but because I was serving it with curry which has so many flavours, I thought sometimes easy raw and as is, is the best option.

Plating Tips:

Take a bowl and place it upside down on a plate. Now fill up the plate with rice but around the rim of the upside down bowl. Now remove the bowl and you should have a well in the middle. Fill it up with some curry and serve salad on the side.

Or do what I have done. Place rice on the side of the bowl, and curry on the other. Place the salad on one side where the rice and curry meets.