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

Potato and Swiss Chard Curry

Here’s a delicious and easy dish that seems, incidentally,  to touch on all the reasons why I write this blog!

Firstly, I’m not writing a ‘cheffy’ blog…there are people who do that incredibly well already, and I’m not one of them.  I hope that I’m offering recipes that provide ordinary, everyday, tasty, nutritional, economical solutions to cooking vegan in a varied and interesting way.

As far as I’m concerned, I’m vegan for life, and this blog helps me so much, and I just hope that it helps anyone else from time to time too. 🙂

Secondly, if there’s one style of cuisine that shines the light for vegan cooking, it has to be Asian style, and particularly Indian cooking.  I love Indian spices, they turn the simplest and most modest ingredients into something absolutely fab!

Thirdly, I do grow a lot of my own veg. and my line of chard (which has been giving all winter) has finally bolted, so I picked the last of it the other day, and will be sowing more very soon.  I’ve used it here in an adaptation of the classic, Saag Aloo : Spinach and Potato Curry, so please feel free to use spinach instead of Chard.

Also, I want to say that I’m not a nutritionist, although I know a lot more about what I eat than I ever did before I was vegan, and Swiss Chard, this beautiful, dark green, leafy vegetable seems to be up there, packed with vitamins and minerals. I think it would be great raw in a mixed salad too.

So here’s my take on a healthy, nutritious, delicious, inexpensive meal …hope you enjoy!

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POTATO AND SWISS CHARD CURRY

for 4

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Potato and Swiss Chard Curry”

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Curries, Gluten-Free, Quick Suppers For Two, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Spiced Cauliflower Steaks + a Quick Green Bean Curry.

I know I’m not the first to slice up a cauliflower and roast it, but, I just want to say how fantastically delicious it is!  And I never knew.

Until now.

In the UK, Cauliflower has slowly fallen out of favour in the last few years, but I think that vegans are doing amazing things with this humble vegetable.

My childhood memories revolve around Cauliflower Cheese, (cauliflower baked in a cheese sauce) and I always just prayed I would get lots of sauce and not much of the flavourless, watery cauliflower, which, sadly, was rarely the case.  Now I think Cauliflower Cheese vegan style is definitely worth a go, but right now I’m in love with the way cauliflower soaks up a lovely spicy marinade such as the one I’ve described below, and brings amazing texture to a dish.  It’s just another one of those combinations that seems to transcend the sum of its parts!

I served it with basmati and a quick green bean coconut curry , mango chutney and coconut yogurt.

And. It. Was. Just. So. Good.

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SPICED CAULIFLOWER STEAKS

+ a Quick Green Bean Coconut Curry

For 2

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Spiced Cauliflower Steaks + a Quick Green Bean Curry.”

Curries, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Tofu and Mushroom Molee

Molee is a light, fresh curry sauce, from the Keralan region of India,  consisting of a delicately flavoured coconut sauce.

It’s quick and simple, shouldn’t be cooked for too long, and is open to all sorts of variations.  I’ve used tofu and mushroom here, but I think it would be fantastic with all sorts of vegetables, such as finely sliced carrots, peas, baby broad beans or a traditional Indian vegetable such as okra.

Hope you enjoy 🙂

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TOFU AND MUSHROOM MOLEE

Serves 3-4

Ingredients: Continue reading “Tofu and Mushroom Molee”

Burgers and Patties, Curries, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan Snacks

Cauliflower Bhajis

Cauliflower just seems to revel in Indian spices.  It comes alive every time.

These ‘healthier’ Bhajis are a take on the classic onion Bhaji…but with cauliflower 🍃 …and they’re baked … so less oil …

Moreover…they’re gluten-free… what joy 💚

Bhajis are traditionally deep-fried in ghee,  (and these Bhajis can be fried too) … and baking means you’re bound to lose a little crispiness around the edges …but they’re still delicious.

Hope you enjoy ! 💕

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CAULIFLOWER BHAJI

makes 12-16 small to medium Bhaji

Ingredients: Continue reading “Cauliflower Bhajis”

All About Beans, Curries, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring

Sri Lankan Style Green Bean Curry. Bonchi Maluwa.

Young fresh fine green beans are a joy.  I’ve been looking for a recipe to show them off and I think I’ve found one.  Sri Lankan Green Bean Curry is a traditional recipe, which inevitably has many versions.

Here’s mine.

I’ve used what I believe to be a traditional spice combination, which is quite an unusual one, and I’ve thickened the sauce with ground sunflower seeds to make it a little richer.

The sauce is mellow, with a sharp background hit of cloves and fenugreek.

This recipe is gluten-free.

Hope you enjoy.

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SRI LANKAN GREEN BEAN CURRY

BONCHI MALUWA

Serves 2-3

Ingredients: Continue reading “Sri Lankan Style Green Bean Curry. Bonchi Maluwa.”

Bread, Cook's Tales, Curries, Vegan

Stuffed Naan Bread + a cautionary tale…

I don’t go to restaurants much.

But the other day we went to a restaurant/cafe before going to a show.  It was a celebratory evening for 2.

We did our preliminary investigations, and found a simple sweet looking cafe (not far from the theatre, and not long opened), that did Asian food, and had on the menu displayed in the window, as clear as day, a vegan option.

An interesting looking aubergine curry with a peanut and jaggery sauce, with pilau rice and mango chutney.  Just the ticket.  I love Indian food and am always looking for inspiration.

We got there as the cafe opened, as we only had about 75 mins. before we needed to leave to get to the show. (We’d explained about the time thing and the vegan thing when we booked.  ‘That’s fine,’ they said).

We ordered drinks, and got on with relaxing and enjoying ourselves.

Waiter comes: ‘we’ll have the vegan option,’ we declare, pointing vaguely at the menu.

Off he goes.

Food arrives, and we notice that there’s naan bread rather than rice.

We might’ve asked why, but we wanted to enjoy ourselves, not get in a bother with the restaurant … and moreover we needed to get to the show on time…. and we just wanted a really nice evening….no hassle etc.

The curry was delicious.  Lovely spice mix, and the aubergine was cooked to perfection.  Sort of crispy on the outside and soft on the inside…

I began munching on the naan bread….. and after a little while my taste buds kicked in.

I said to my partner, I think this naan has got milk…or even cream in it.

He expressed disbelief…and reached for the menu.

‘That’s funny,’ he said, ‘this menu is different, but the naan is still included in the vegan option…’

‘Hmmm… not so sure,’ I said.

I didn’t eat any more of it.

When we paid, I asked the front of house manager about the bread….in a diplomatic sort of a way, and hoping I was wrong.

She looked oddly at me and confirmed what I’d thought.  Yes, the bread had milk in it.

‘Why is it described as vegan then?’…I asked, as calmly as I could.

To cut a long story short, they got rather defensive.  Confusion reigned, for us at least….

Which was a shame, because all we wanted a peaceable outcome.

The waiter came back from the kitchen muttering : ‘it was only the curry that’s vegan.’

Not helpful.

‘Err, have you heard of the trade descriptions act?’ we asked.  There was no doubt that the naan was included in the vegan option on the in-house menu.  It even had a little box around it.  Asking why there was no rice (like it said on the menu in the window) seemed irrelevant by now ……

It all got a bit heated.  At no point did they offer a real, unconditional apology.

I explained to them that they were very lucky neither of us was lactose-intolerant /allergic.  This did quieten them down a bit.

We left, determined despite everything, to enjoy the rest of our evening.  Which we did.

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Here’s a recipe for a naan bread they could’ve served us.

Cooking for Peace.

NAAN BREAD, FILLED WITH A SPICY MIX OF ONION, GREEN PEPPER AND GREEN CHILLI

Makes 6

Ingredients: Continue reading “Stuffed Naan Bread + a cautionary tale…”

Curries, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring

Tandoori Aloo

Potatoes marinaded in a spicy, lemony, creamy sauce and then baked until tender.

What could be simpler?

An economical, minimal-effort midweek meal that ticks the comfort-zone box too.

Have to say that I grow my own potatoes which have started appearing around now, but any firm, floury potatoes will do just fine. They just need to be roughly the same size.

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TANDOORI ALOO

for 4 (depending how hungry you are 😕 )

Ingredients: Continue reading “Tandoori Aloo”

Curries, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Mixed Lentil Dal with a Sizzling Sweet Pepper and Onion Tarka.

The fact is, that when I go into the kitchen to cook, I’m only ever a step away from making a curry. I always seem to have the right sort of ingredients, and the lines of jars of indian spices draw me like a magnet……because I just love a curry. There’s a magic in those spices that is endlessly enticing.

So. In a word (or three), here’s another curry 🙂

A mixed lentil dal with a sweet pepper and onion sizzling tarka.  Irresistible…….

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MIXED LENTIL DAL WITH A SWEET PEPPER TARKA

for 4

Ingredients: Continue reading “Mixed Lentil Dal with a Sizzling Sweet Pepper and Onion Tarka.”

Curries, Quick Suppers For Two, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring, Vegan Quick Suppers

Cauliflower Korma

Delicately spiced cauliflower florets cooked gently in a creamy sauce, consisting of cauliflower puree, ground sunflower and white poppy seeds and soy cream. This is a sauce that could be adapted for different vegetables.  Mushrooms would be good I think, or winter squash….to name but two.  Although cooking times would vary.

Cauliflower Korma

According to Wikipedia:

“Korma (from Turkish kavurma), also spelled kormaa, qorma, khorma, kurma, or qovurma, is a dish originating in South Asia consisting of meat or vegetables braised in a spiced sauce made with yogurt, cream, nut or seed paste.

Korma (قورمه in Persian) has its roots in the Mughlai cuisine of modern-day India and Pakistan. It is a characteristic Moghul dish which can be traced back to the 16th century and to the Mughal incursions into present-day Northern India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Classically, a korma is defined as a dish where meat or vegetables are braised with water, stock, and yogurt or cream added. The technique covers many different styles of korma.”

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A light simple curry, with clean, fresh flavours, the gentle heat of green chilli and the delicate fragrance of rose water.

Hope you enjoy….

and it completes a trilogy: cauliflower 3 ways…here’s the other 2:  bharta and pakora    (click image for link)

 

CAULIFLOWER KORMA

FOR 2

Ingredients: Continue reading “Cauliflower Korma”

Curries, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring

Kadala Curry. A dish from Southern India.

My heart is truly with Asian Cooking, particularly Indian cookery, as, over the years,  before I became vegan, it is how I learnt that meat and dairy are not necessary ingredients.

Ever.

Whenever I visit my local Asian shop, I always come out with something I haven’t tried before. It’s like an Aladdin’s cave for me.

This time, it was Kala Channa.  Black chickpeas.   They are small, and dark brown in colour.  They are prized because of their high protein and fibre content.

When I finally got around to searching for what I might do with them, this dish came up again and again.

It’s a speciality of Kerala, Southern India.

Often eaten for breakfast.

It’s delicious.  The sauce is creamy, spicy, hot and mellow.

Kadala Curry with Steamed Basmati and Flatbreads

I hope you enjoy.

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I soaked the chickpeas for 3 days (changing the water twice daily),  and then cooked them in one big batch.  What I didn’t use in this dish, I froze for future use.

Makes life easier…..

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KADALA CURRY

For 4

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Kadala Curry. A dish from Southern India.”