Curries, Quick Suppers For Two, Vegan, Vegan Quick Suppers

Super Quick Mushroom Curry

I love a quick curry don’t you?  All you need for a winters’ night.  Mushrooms are ideal because they don’t take long to cook, but you can always use other vegetables : just take note of how long they need to cook properly before adding to the sauce …and vary cooking times accordingly. Think this would also be good with firm sautéed tofu? No?

I think this combination is very tasty though ….

Using classic ingredients and one of the classic cooking methods too…. (to make a simple onion paste – you will need a blender)

mushroom curry4

SUPER QUICK MUSHROOM CURRY (serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion (I used red onion) about 200gms. – roughly chopped
  • 3cm. chunk of fresh ginger – peeled and chopped
  • 4-5 large garlic cloves – peeled and roughly chopped
  • 5-7 tbs. water
  • 450 gms. mushrooms (I used large chestnut mushrooms)  – medium sliced (see pics.)
  • 250 gms. tomatoes ( I used 2 large beef tomatoes – peeled and finely chopped (removing white pith)
  • 2 good tsps. coriander seeds – freshly ground
  • 1 good tsp. cumin seeds – freshly ground
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 20 black pepper corns
  • 0.5 – 1 tsp. chilli powder (depends on your taste) – this curry is nice with some chilli heat but not a crazy amount!
  • 1 tsp. salt (I use Himalayan)
  • approx. 5 tbs. oil (I just use olive oil)
  • 5 tbs. plant-based yogurt (I used coconut yogurt)
  • 150 ml. water
  • Handful of fresh coriander

Method:

  • Put all the spices, along with the salt and peppercorns in a grinder or pestle and mortar and grind until fine.
  • Peel the tomatoes. To do this, incise a small cross at the top and the base of each tomato.  Place the tomatoes in a heat-resistant bowl, and then cover with boiling water.  Leave for 10 mins.  The skin will then slide off the tomato – (avoid burnt fingers!)  Discard tomato skin, and then finely chop tomatoes, removing central white pith.  Set the chopped tomatoes aside.
  • Place the chopped onion, ginger, garlic and water in a blender and whizz until smooth.
  • In a wide pan, add the oil, and place on a hot heat.  When the oil is hot, add the sliced mushrooms and saute for 5-8 mins. until softly golden.
  • Remove the mushrooms to a plate, reduce the heat under the wide pan to medium, and then add the blended onion paste to the pan.
  • When the onion paste is hot (no more than 2-3 mins simmer) add the ground spices.  Simmer for 30 secs. Stir to avoid burning.
  • Add the yogurt, the chopped tomatoes and 150ml. water.
  • Bring to a gentle simmer. Add the sautéed mushrooms.
  • Stir gently to combine.  Taste and adjust flavours accordingly.
  • Simmer for about 5 mins.

Serve immediately – scattered with chopped fresh coriander  – and accompanied by rice or flat breads!

 

Enjoy!

mushroom curry3

Peace

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Breakfast, Smoothies, Vegan

Fresh Tomato Juice

Spent a little time in Spain just recently and the fresh produce is so great! Beautiful tasty tomatoes … and the fresh orange juice! Just WoW!

I came back with a taste for tomato juice, so I thought I’d just whizz some up to see how good it can get!

Fresh Tomato Juice

 

Well … of course, it does depend on the quality of the tomatoes, and if you want to make your own tomato juice, get hold of the best tomatoes you can!

I used about 600gms. of big ‘beef’ tomatoes, and ended up with roughly 500ml. of juice.

Of course … tomatoes and salt are just a match made in heaven!  So I use Himalayan salt which is supposed to be one of the best salt types.

Oh … and btw. … google lycopene ….  and its potential health benefits … tomatoes have lots of it!

Method:

  1. Peel the tomatoes. (This is optional, it’s just my personal preference).

Here’s how to peel the tomatoes:

Cut a little cross in the top and bottom of each tomato maybe 2ml deep. Place the tomatoes in a large heat-proof bowl, and pour boiling water on them so they are covered.  Leave for ten minutes or so.

Carefully (the water will still be very hot!)  ~ slide the skin off the tomatoes and discard.

2. With a thin sharp knife, gouge out the little green nodule where the tomato was attached to the stalk, and then carefully slide the knife down and round to remove most of the central whitish pithy bit of the tomato…  and discard.  Repeat with each tomato.

3.Place the tomatoes in the blender.  Add a good pinch of himalayan salt to taste.  Blend until smooth.

4.Pour into a container/jug and place in the fridge to chill.

5.  The classic accompaniment for tomato juice is Worcestershire Sauce (here in the UK anyway), which is … ridiculously (IMHO) … not vegan!  But the other day I found this delicious Green Tabasco Sauce which is great for all sorts of thing like salad dressings etc. and it works here really nicely with a good dash of proper vegan soy sauce. Add according to taste.

Stirred not Shaken…. 🙂

Enjoy.

 

Fresh Tomato Juice

P.S. There are all sorts of other ingredients you may wish to add … herbs … such as Basil.. … Parsley … Coriander ….

…or Garlic …  Black Pepper … Smoky Paprika …

… and as a last resort there’s always Vodka ! 😉

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Paz

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Bread, Cakes, Vegan

Stollen

Christmas is coming, and Stollen is a favourite German sweet pastry.  A recipe dating back hundreds of years, it’s essentially sweetened yeasted bread with dried fruit, spices  and a layer  of marzipan.

I love it, because I don’t like overly sweet things, and I love to flavour sweetness with spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon.  Keenly aware that sugar is justifiably getting a very bad rap these days, so I thought I’d try coconut sugar, which some vegan nutritionists are giving the thumbs up to.  It’s relatively unprocessed, and therefore retains some nutrients, and it has a nice caramel flavour which works well in this recipe.  it is also less sweet than sugar, so if you want to use cane sugar reduce the quantity by about one third. The marzipan is sugary anyway …. :/

 

INGREDIENTS

Continue reading “Stollen”

Celebration Dishes, Vegan, Vegan on a Shoestring

Butternut and Mushroom Celebration Pie.

Christmas is definitely coming and I thought that this year I’d try and make it simple, economical and quick to put together.  Time is too short to spend hours in the kitchen…

… well I think so anyway 🙂 ?

Here’s a hearty pie that looks great, is very easy to put together and goes a long way.  Delicious hot and cold … no expensive or hard to find ingredients …  and can be made in advance  in less than an hour …. chilled overnight…. and takes 30-40 mins. to bake.

I really wanted to take some of the fuss out of Christmas this time … but check out my seasonal archives in the footer if you’re looking for something more adventurous.

Half way through I had another idea, to adapt a couple of the ingredients in this easy recipe …. which I’ll explain later on.

Hope you enjoy!

 

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Butternut and Mushroom Pie

Serves 4-6

Ingredients and prep:    Continue reading “Butternut and Mushroom Celebration Pie.”

Condiments, Preserving, Vegan

Chilli Jam

I love all things condiment: chutneys, relishes, pickles … spicy… mellow… sharp… sweet… salty… fruity… so many possibilities …

The cuisines of the world offer a myriad of flavours and combinations.

As such things go, this Chilli Jam, which I imagine originates from Mexico, is a simple affair. Like all condiments, you can have Chilli Jam as you like : with veggie-burgers, falafel, in salad sandwiches…or as I’ve done here… with vegan cheese and biscuits. Just too good.

This recipe is bound to be a variable feast, because it all depends on the heat of the chillies you use.  Towards the end of cooking, you can always add a pinch or two of chilli powder if it really isn’t hot enough for your taste…. or just use very hot chillies!

If you prefer a medium heat, then this recipe should work… and while you can always add more heat, you can’t take it away! Although chilli jam should definitely have a bit of a punch! 🙂 

Hope you enjoy!

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CHILLI JAM

Makes 2-3 small jars.

(quantity will vary slightly depending on setting levels)   Continue reading “Chilli Jam”

Cakes, Desserts, Growing things, Vegan, Vegan Treats

Apple and Blackberry Strudel

A classic Viennese sweet pastry with an autumnal twist.  A deliciously simple, vegan version packed with autumnal goodness.  Also sugar-free :).

Great with morning coffee, or served as a dessert with cream, custard or ice-cream. I’ve been collecting blackberries and apples in the last week or two, so I couldn’t resist adapting the traditional version of apple strudel which usually includes raisins, and pack it with the flavours of autumn.

Hope you enjoy!

 

Apple and Blackberry Strudel.

8-10 slices

Ingredients and prep:   Continue reading “Apple and Blackberry Strudel”

All About Beans, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Feijoada. Brazilian Black Bean Stew.

This is a delicious, vegan version of a hearty black bean stew, courtesy of Brazil.  Packed with rich flavours: the warm smokiness of smoked paprika,  the tartness of tomatoes and the sweetness of sweet potato and mango.

As long as you’ve got some pre-cooked black beans (I used Turtle Beans) to hand, this dish is easy to put together and doesn’t take too long to cook.

I love these rich bean stews: check out my category ‘All About Beans’ for bean recipes from around the world.

Hope you enjoy!

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Feijoada.  Brazilian Black Bean Stew.

Serves 3-4

Ingredients and prep:   Continue reading “Feijoada. Brazilian Black Bean Stew.”

Mediterranean Dishes, Vegan, Vegan Cheese, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan Snacks

Caprese Tart

If there’s one country that knows how to bring out the absolute best in tomatoes, it has to be Italy.

Salt.  Pepper.  Basil.  Garlic.  Olive oil.  And Cheese …… One of the best combinations on the planet!

And that’s what you need for this great  seasonal tart.

It’s fabulous hot or cold.  Picnics, lunch to go, a lovely supper with all the tastes of summer …… whichever way you want it!

I used cherry tomatoes (homegrown!), but sliced or quartered tomatoes will be just fine.

I used store-bought ready-made puff pastry, but shortcrust will be just fine … as will your favourite savoury gluten-free pastry too.

I made a simple vegan ricotta-style cheese, but store-bought vegan ricotta will be just fine.

You can find the recipe for soy curd/ricotta cheese (aka Crowdie) right here:

So everything is just fine.  And you get a delicious Italian Tart which has to be on my favourite recipes list! §

CAPRESE TART

Serves 6

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Caprese Tart”

Gluten-Free, Soups, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring

Corn and Asparagus Chowder

Chowder is a simple enough bowl of goodness with a long and interesting history. It’s thought to have French origins, and to have found it’s way to Canada and America via French settlers in those regions over 250 years ago.  There are other similar dishes around the world with similar sounding names.  There are inevitably many variations in recipe ingredients.  One way or another it’s a one-pot recipe of delicious, nutritious and serious sustenance. The creamy sauce is given a wonderful zing using mustard.  It makes the whole dish sing.

In my veganised recipe I’ve added asparagus: it gives such a lovely sharp flavour and adds great texture.  And it doesn’t disintegrate during cooking.

Given the state of the UK summer at the moment, (endless rain and chill winds) it’s exactly what’s needed.  Pure comfort.

I also want to say that one of the joys of cooking, is learning to move away from exact recipes.  Chowder is a great place to start.  Below is a guide-line recipe, with guide-line ingredients and a general idea of quantities and flavours.  Free up your creative cooking and experiment with different vegetables, (keep the potatoes) and tasting the sauce as you go.  I’ve said before that really good cooking relies on spices, seasonings and sauces, and here’s another recipe that proves that 🙂

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CHOWDER

Serves 4

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Corn and Asparagus Chowder”