Tag Archives: Vegetarian

Lentil soup

Basmala

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp fresh, chopped coriander
  • 100g orange lentil
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cummin
  • 1.5 litres water

Saut the onion until soft and then add the garlic and cook for a further minute or two. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to boil then simmer for about 45 minutes.

I like to blend the soup quickly for a smoother consistency.

Ramadan Day 4

Basmala

Felt rather tired today but personally I find keeping busy in the kitchen helps the time to pass quicker so I am happy to stay there making a few things.

Today there was Algerian shorba again, vegetarian as it was last time but this time with tiny Orzo pasta (or Tli-tli as the Algerians call it) instead of burghul or vermicelli. There were some leftovers as well as mini pizzas that came out soft as little pillows, vegetable samosas as I made a double batch yesterday and cheese and potato Borek. A tip for the potato borek that I picked up from my dear sister-in-law is to use instant potato! Yes… the powdered stuff in boxes – remember the adverts for Smash in the 1970’s or early 1980’s??! “For mash get Smash!” So, I used about 120g of Tesco instant potato and about 550ml of boiling water, stirred well with a wooden spoon and then added a knob of butter and about 150g grated cheddar. I used this to fill the spring roll pastry and folded into logs. I slightly over-cooked them as you can see in the photo. 🙄

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Dessert was Eve’s pudding but made with strawberries and raspberries instead of apples – this was served with rich chocolate ganache. It didn’t turn out quite as planned because I took a shortcut and used a supermarket cake packet mixture which was a bit too runny for this recipe. It was very tasty though with the tart, tanginess of the raspberries and the soft, sweetness of the cake. I didn’t think it really needed the rich chocolate sauce but my 15 yr old and 13 yr old daughters disagreed. Nice to have pleased someone!

Tofu Chocolate mousse

Basmala

I had a carton of tofu in the fridge and wasn’t sure what to do with it until I stumbled upon this recipe.

It’s a fantastically simple chocolate mousse dessert with minimal ingredients and tastes amazingly rich. You’d never believe that it contains tofu and NO eggs or cream.  If you love rich chocolate desserts, this really is a ‘must try’ even if you are not vegan. The other big bonus is that it contains no raw eggs.

Technically it does not set to a mousse-like consistency but the consistency is very pleasant and thick; just the way a cold chocolate dessert should be.

You need:

  • 1x 12 ounce package of silken tofu (I used ‘firm’)
  • 10 oz milk or dark chocolate (check that it is dairy free if you are making it for someone who is vegan)
  • 3 tsbp maple syrup (I used 2tbsp as I used milk chocolate which was sweet enough)
  • 1tsp vanilla essence (optional)

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave.

Blend tofu (preferably at room temperature) in food processor, blender, or with hand mixer until just smooth.

Scrape the melted chocolate into the food processor with the tofu and continue blending, add maple syrup and vanilla and process until creamy.

Pour into individual serving glasses or one large bowl and refrigerate until set.

I finished mine off with a grating of white chocolate but it would be gorgeous with something like chocolate curls or fresh raspberries, strawberries or mandarin segments.

Hummus

Basmala

 

Like the mutabbel in the previous post this hummus was fantastically easy to make and there really is no excuse for buying it ready bought! I followed this recipe as a guide and will certainly make this again and again… and again! It’s delicious with almost anything dipped in it; bread, pizza, carrot sticks or other crudites, even french fries!

I used:

1 tin chick peas, drained
75ml Tahina
1/2 teaspoon or so of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon of salt (to taste)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Juice of half a lemon

Throw all the ingredients into the food processor and WHIZZZ!

I garnished mine with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of sumac.

Mutabbel

Basmala

We like to eat Syrian/Lebanese style food quite often but it’s something we always eat out at restaurants. I was really happy when I found this Syrian food blog recently and challenged myself to make some of the mezze we most enjoy. I chose to make Mutabbel, Hummus, Baba Ghanoush, Waraq Inab, and Fatayir. Apart from the Baba Ghanoush, everything was a roaring success and we actually preferred my mezze to those which we normally eat out.

I’ll start with the mutabbel today which was unbelievably easy and took less than 5 minutes to make. We had a barbeque a couple of days beforehand so I had already prepared the aubergines (eggplant) by grilling them on the barbeque for about 15 minutes and placing in a plastic tub with a lid until cooled and peeling off the blackened skin.

I used:

Aubergine x2
2 tablespoons Tahina
1 pot yogurt (approx 1 cup)
1 level teaspoon minced garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
Olive oil to drizzle over the mutabbel if desired

I started by roughly chopping 2 aubergines and then placing into a bowl with the tahina, yogurt, garlic paste and salt which I then mixed together well with a metal spoon. I then used the handheld stick blender to blend the ingredients roughly. The mutabbel should remain a little lumpy and rustic looking, it shouldn’t be smooth like hummus. Taste, and add more tahina, yogurt, garlic or salt as desired – it’s all down to personal taste, we personally don’t like the mutabbel to have too much tahina and we prefer not to drizzle olive oil over the top as is traditional.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Basmala

Blended soups are so easy to make and so versatile. They hardly need a recipe as they are very forgiving – if too thick, just add more water, if too runny you can thicken up with a little cornflour and water. Butternut squash makes a great soup but if you roast the squash first, this adds another flavour dimension. I like to add a handful of quick cooking oats to my soups as I feel that they make the texture of the soup smoother and creamier once blended.

Ingredients

1 small butternut squash
1 chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 small potato thinly sliced
1/4 cup quick oats
1 tsp vegetable stock powder (I like Marigold Swiss Bouillon as it is all natural, no msg)
salt and pepper
1 litre water

Directions

  • Slice the squash in half, drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven on 350F/180C/gas4 until the flesh starts to soften.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool a little.
  • Saute the onion in a tbsp of olive until translucent, add the garlic and stir well.
  • Scoop the flesh from the butternut squash from the skin and add to the pot along with all the remaining ingredients.
  • Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat simmer, cover and cook for 1/2 hour.
  • Using a handheld blender, puree the soup until smooth. Add more water if necessary.
  • Serve with a swirl of cream if desired and on the side, have some crusty bread ready.
  • Chickpea curry

    Basmala

    This dish is a big favourite with my children which is strange as they tend to pick the chickpeas out of every other dish we have! I often get special requests to make this curry which is fine by me as it’s cheap, cheerful and very nutritious!

    I like to start making the curry in the early afternoon and then once the chickpeas and water have been added to the pan I leave it to simer very gently for two or three hours so the chickpeas are soft and the sauce flavoursome.

    Click here for printable recipe

     Ingredients

    • 2 large onions finely sliced
    • 1 inch chunk of cassia bark or cinnamon
    • several peppercorns
    • 2 black cardamoms 
    • 3 bayleaves
    • 1/2 tin tomatoes and some of the juice
    • 1tsp turmeric
    • 1/8 tsp of chilli powder
    • 3 cloves garlic minced
    • 1 inch chunk ginger, minced
    • 1 whole green chilli
    • 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds
    • 2 tins of chickpeas
    • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
    • 1/4 tsp ground cummin

    At the end add:

    • pinch of garam masala
    • chopped coriander leaf
    • 1 whole green chilli
    • generous pinch each of cumin and coriander

    Directions:

    Throw the two chopped onions and the whole spices (cassia or cinnamon, peppercorns, black cardamoms and bayleaves) into a heated wok with a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil.

    I didn’t have black cardamoms this time but they are interesting to try as they impart a distinctive but not overpowering, smokey aroma to the dish.

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    Lightly caramelise the onions… this should take around 10 mins on a medium heat. Be sure to stir regularly to prevent burning.

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    Add 1/2 tin (about 3 medium tinned tomatoes) and some of the juice, 1 tsp turmeric and 1/8 tsp chili powder (more if you like it spicy).

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    Stir well and allow to cook for about 10 mins…

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    Soon you’ll be able to see that the oil separates from the rest if the sauce…

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    Add the ginger and garlic and stir fry for a couple of minutes before adding the 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds and the whole green chili (I omitted the chili this time as I was cooking for my children).

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    Now it’s time to add the two tins of drained chickpeas and the 1/4 tsp each of cummin and coriander.

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    Add 500ml of hot water, give a quick stir and then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low-medium, cover the pan and simmer for at least 45 minutes.

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    The sauce should reduce somewhat and the chickpeas soften.

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    When the chickpeas are soft enough, bring the heat up and reduce the sauce to your desired consistency.

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    At the end add:

    a generous pinch of garam masala
    chopped coriander leaf (I omitted as my children don’t like to see the ‘green bits’ on their curry)
    1 whole green chilli (Again, omitted for the sake of the children)
    generous pinch each of cumin and coriander

    Put the lid on and leave on a very low heat to allow the flavours to infuse.

    I served this with vegetable pilau and tandoori chicken.

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