Buttered Tofu Cauliflower Tikka Masala

As always, this is an experiment gone RIGHT!!

We made tandoori kebabs for BBQ the evening before and I had these leftover marinades tofu and veg. I wanted to use them up and hence came up with this recipe.

So in order for this recipe to work, I suppose one has to first marinade the tofu in tandoori spices for a few hours.

Ingredients:

Marinade:

Tandoori Masala (Ready made powdered spice from the shop)

2 Tablespoon ginger-garlic paste

1 Lemon juice

Curry:

2 – 3 tbsp Tikka Powder (Ready from the shop)

Cauliflower

1 Onion

1/2 pineapple, chopped

1 Tbsp Ginger-garlic paste

3 Chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup of soy cream or more to taste

Salt to taste

1 tsbp sugar

1 cup of almond milk

Fresh Coriander to garnish

3 tbsp of butter

2 tbsp of oil

Method:

Start off by making kebab skewer marinade. Marinade tofu, pineapple and some other veg (I added courgette and peppers in kebabs). Mix in all the marinade ingredients mentioned above. Leave it to set for a few hours.

Heat oil in a pan. Cook the onions and cauliflower, cook for a while. Add the tikka masala, salt and sugar. Add tomatoes and cook for a few minutes. If the spices start to stick to the bottom add a splash of water. Then add the milk and some more water until the cauliflower is semi-cooked. At this point add the tofu mix and cool it only for a minute so as to not overcook the cauliflower. Towards the end, add the cream and big dollops of butter and coriander.

Voila!!

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Vegan Victoria Sponge (Basic Yellow Cake)

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One of things I missed since going vegan was baking. I tried and failed at baking good cakes so many times that I gave up. I used to bake some really good cakes before, and I used to find baking very soothing so I have missed it for a while.

Vegan cakes were so difficult to bake that I was this close to baking a non vegan cake for my not so vegan husband on his birthday but I ended up baking nothing. Anyhow, I did not want to do the same for my daughter’s upcoming birthday so I experimented until I nailed it!!

Chocolate cakes seem to be much easier and forgiving than yellow sponge cakes. But here is a recipe for a perfectly soft and moist yellow cake for your victoria sponge.

I am not going to share the recipe for the buttercream because there’s too many online. Just google it and you will find many.

So here it goes:

Ingredients:

300g dairy free margarine (plus extra for greasing)

300g self raising flour

300 g caster sugar (I used granulated)

200g soya yoghurt (I used alpro)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground flaxseed (or xanthum gum)

any vegan milk (optional)

2 teaspoon vanilla extract/essence

Method:

Preheat the oven on gas mark 5/190ºC.

In a bowl, beat the margarine and the sugar for 4-5 minutes (this stage is important, unlike buttery eggy cake vegan cakes require some work). Now mix in the vanilla and the yoghurt.

In a separate bowl mix in the rest of the dry ingredients with a fork.  Once combined, mix in the dry ingredients with the wet. Mix it all in thoroughly so that there are no lumps.

Now grease two 6 inches cake tins with some margarine and dust it with some flour. Now divide the mixture half and half into the two tins.

Bake the cakes for about 20 minutes and then check if the middle is cooked with a skewer. If it comes out clean the cake is ready. The cake must have a light brown hue on it and it should come away from the sides of the tin quite visibly (don’t sweat if they don’t).

Let the cake sit in the tin but outside the oven for ten minutes and then take them out of the tin and cool it completely on a rack.

Once cool, decorate it whichever way you like. You can make your own buttercream or buy some from the supermarket. I simply out some raspberry jam in between the two cakes.

Please try it and let me know how it was!!

Tip: With Vegan Cakes I have learnt that it is best to divide the cake batter into two batches and then place them one on top of the other when ready. If you try and bake one fat cake, it end up very stodgy.

 

 

Bombay Aloo

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“What is that?”,were my thoughts when I saw it on the menu in the UK. In 21 years that I spent growing up in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), I never came across a dish named so. But when I ate it, I knew instantly what it was!

Bombay Aloo will mean different things to different people and just like any curry, every family will have their own version.

Here is my dad’s version. Bombay Aloo served in England tastes closest to what my dad used to make.

Serves 2 – 3

Ingredients:

5 diced potatoes

1 1/2 tsp turmeric

2 1/2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 tbsp oil

Salt and Sugar to taste

Coriander to garnish

Method:

Boil the potatoes. I used the pressure cooker. Two whistles and then I let it rest.

In a pan, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds. Once they pop, add the drained potatoes. Add all the spices and gently fry until everything is mixed. Don’t mix too much, you risk mushing up the potatoes. Cook until potatoes turn slightly golden and spices loose its raw smell. Garnish with chopped coriander. Serve hot!

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.

 

 

 

 

Kohlrabi And Broccoli Stir-Fry

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So last week, Nethergong Nurseries sent me this amazing summer vegetable called Kohlrabi. It is one of those vegetables that you won’t find in the supermarkets easily and so if you are a supermarket junkie (which I was until I found the veggie box), you wouldn’t know what to do with this amazing vegetable.

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Kohlrabi is great either cooked in curries or stir-fry or raw in salads or sandwiches. It has a texture of radish, fresh, juicy and crunchy. Both the stem and the bulb is edible and they have a sweet taste with some kick like that of a radish to it.

Because Kohlrabi is similar to cabbage and broccoli, I decided to toss them together in a healthy stir-fry and served it with some white rice and pan fried salmon fillets. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 whole broccoli, cut into florets

1 whole kohlrabi, sliced

2-3 carrots, sliced

1 large onion, sliced

4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 inches of ginger, julienne

2-3 tsp soy sauce

1tsp honey

handful of chopped spring onions

salt to taste

sprinkle of chilli flakes

2tbsp oil

Method:

Heat oil in the pan. Saute garlic, ginger and onion until translucent. Add broccoli and kohlrabi along with carrots. Fry them for 5 minutes and then add soy sauce, salt, honey & chilli flakes. Cook on slow flame until the vegetables are tender. Do not overcook. Make sure the vegetables have a bite to it. Last but not the least sprinkle some spring onions.

Garnish with some sesame seeds. Voila! Serve hot.

Malaysian Laksa Soup

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I am always intrigued by Malaysian cuisine, as it has evolved from various cultures over the years. It combines the spices from India, China and Thailand. It is so versatile yet unique in it’s own way. A taste close to home yet not. Here is one of the easiest and house special Laksa soup. It is very warming and comforting bowl of goodness on a cold evening. You can use chicken, seafood, fried tofu or all of them in this soup but I am going with seafood and vegetables.

Ingredients:

For the Laksa Paste:

1 chopped onion

5 -6 cloves of garlic

a big chunk of ginger or galangal

2 big tbsp of turmeric

3 to 4 dried (or fresh) red chillies (add less if you like)

2 sticks of lemongrass

1tsp shrimp paste (optional but preferable)

For the Soup:

Handful of cauliflower florets

Handful of chopped spring greens

Handful of beansprouts

1 fillet of cod

1 tin coconut milk

2 tbsp oil

1 lime

1/2 tsp sugar

2 to 3 tsp of fish sauce (or salt to taste)

Few drops of soy sauce (optional)

Method:

Blitz the ingredients together with water to form a nice yellowish paste. Add more turmeric if it isn’t bright yellow.

In a pan, heat the oil. Add the paste and cook it thoroughly for 5 minutes or until the oil separates. Then add cauliflower and water. Cook until the cauliflower is al dente and then throw in the greens and bean sprouts along with the fish. Add all the seasonings (fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and soy sauce). Once the fish is cooked, remove the fish separately. Last step is to add the coconut milk and let it simmer for just a few minutes. Make sure the vegetables are not overcooked.

Serve hot on a bed of rice noodles or jasmine rice. Garnish with fresh coriander.

Tip: If using shrimp paste, please remember to taste as you cook. Shrimp paste is very salty so be careful with the rest of the seasoning.

 

 

Halloumi with Apples and Mixed Salad Leaves

This is a very simple yet tasty and light salad, perfect for days when you aren’t very hungry but wouldn’t mind eating something before going to bed. A wholesome healthy meal!

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Ingredients:

A bag of Mixed Salad Leaves

Handful of Cherry Tomatoes (cut into half)

1 Packet of Halloumi (we cut them into 4 parts for two of us)

1 Apple

Sprinkling of flour

Butter for frying

Dressing:

Olive oil

A sprinkling of Oregano

Balsamic Vinegar

Salt

Sugar

Mustard ( any you prefer)

Lime/lemon juice (optional)

Method:

For the salad, just chop the apples into long thin stripes or julienne as they call it. Toss in the a bowl with mixed salad leaves & tomatoes. Set aside.

Now, prepare the ingredients for the dressing. For convenience, remember the measurement of 2:1 for olive oil and balsamic vinegar respectively. Everything else, add a little bit at a time. Taste and add more until it is perfect. Set it aside.

Now for the halloumi, sprinkle and tap some flour on each side of halloumi and fry it in butter on a hot pan. Let it brown for a minute or two and turn over. Alternatively, you can grill the cheese if you have a grill. I would suggest putting a tinned foil at the bottom of the grill, just incase the cheese sticks at the bottom.

Toss the dressing in with the salad and plate it out with the crispy savoury halloumi on top. Enjoy with fresh glass of orange juice!!

P.S: Please try and use organic and fair trade products as much as possible. We can’t eradicate but can reduce negative environmental impacts on our plant in this lifetime.