All posts filed under: Vegetarian

Jackfruit, carrot and green bean curry

Growing up in South Africa we would often pass fruit sellers on the road selling these giant fruit. Although they look similar to stinky durian, jackfruit are not smelly and their fleshy texture is a great addition to vegetable curries. Full of great vitamins including Compex B vitamins and Vitamin A, jackfruit is great for your fibre intake. The humble jackfruit is becoming increasingly popular as a meat substitute for vegans and vegetarians, with it’s fibrous texture being used to replicate pulled pork and other meats. It is used in many Asian countries including  in Indonesian soups and curries – which I have enjoyed in Bali. Recently I discovered frozen green  jackfruit in an Indian grocery store in Sydney and made up this curry which was delicious! So, seek out frozen or canned green jackfruit in brine and try  it out! Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes Ingredients: 150g frozen jackfruit pieces 1 small carrot diced 100g Green Beans cut into pieces 1 onion finely diced 2 teaspoons ginger and garlic paste 3 …

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Roast fennel, broccoli and tomato salad with rocket

Roasted, caramelised fennel has to be one of the yummiest salad ingredients. For this salad I roasted the fennel and cherry tomatoes, adding the broccoli toward the end so it was just tender and tossed with fresh rocket leaves. Delicious with Butterflied Prawns with garlic and chilli  Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 1 medium size fennel bulb 10 cherry tomatoes sliced in half 1 head of broccoli 2 cups fresh rocket leaves olive oil Juice of 1 lemon salt and black  pepper Method: 1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius 2. Cut off top of fennel bulb and slice into half, then into thirds 3. Halve the cherry tomatoes or leave whole if they are really small 4. Remove hard stalk of broccoli and cut into florets 5. Place fennel in roasting pan lined with baking paper 6. Smear fennel with some olive oil and place in oven for 10 minutes 7. Add cherry tomatoes cut side up and drizzle some olive oil over them. 8. Sprinkle salt over fennel and …

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“Uncomposed” Carrot Salad with a hint of chilli

This is my favourite salad to serve with Indian curries. Somehow the sweetness of the carrots (and sugar) with the tanginess of the vinegar based dressing, and the hint of fresh chilli complements Indian food perfectly. Composed salads, or what the French call salade composée, are salads where an “assortment of ingredients are arranged aesthetically on a plate and drizzled with vinaigrette, rather than tossed with it”. (http://www.cookthink.com/reference/836/What_is_a_composed_salad) That’s why I call this my “uncomposed” salad. When I was young, my mum made the same salad but arranged it (or composed it) beautifully in tiers of finely sliced/chopped/grated ingredients. The result was almost a work of art! Of course, you can do this if you have time and want to wow your audience, but I just toss it all together! Tastes the same😁 Also, the rocket can be replaced with finely chopped iceberg lettuce for additional crunch! Prep time: 8 minutes  Cooking time: 0 Ingredients: 1 large carrot grated 1/2 Spanish onion finely sliced 1 small tomato diced 1 small Lebanese cucumber sliced into rings …

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Caramelised Brussel Sprout and Spinach Salad

Crunchy, caramelised Brussel sprouts roasted with tangy pomegranate molasses, chilli and garlic and then tossed with crispy baby spinach and twist of lemon. Will change any non-Brussel sprout lover’s mind! Prep time: 5 minutes  Cooking time: 20-25 minutes Ingredients: 250g Brussel sprouts 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses 1 red chilli finely chopped 2 cloves garlic finely chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil 150g baby spinach (or enough to toss with your sprouts) juice of half a lemon salt and pepper to taste Method: Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius Line baking tray with grease proof/baking paper Chop  hard end off sprouts and split in half or leave whole if very small Place sprouts cut side up in baking tray, sprinkle over chilli, garlic, olive oil. Use rubber glove to carefully smear each sprout with olive oil, then sprinkle pomegranate molasses over the sprouts. Bake in oven until sprouts are tender and crisp and caramelised to your liking. (I like them almost burnt) Add to spinach along with lemon juice, salt and pepper, toss and serve!

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Fried eggplant and pea curry

This curry is delicious with grilled lamb, fish or chicken or as a main served with dhal, rice and roti for a vegetarian meal. Frying the eggplant pieces before putting the curry together makes the eggplant melt like butter in your mouth. Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Ingredients: 1 large eggplant cut into cubes 1 onion diced finely 1 cup of frozen peas 1 tomato chopped into medium chunks 2 cloves garlic and same quantity of ginger pounded into a paste Salt 1 tsp turmeric 1 tsp chilli powder 1 tsp cummin powder 1 tsp cummin seeds Handful of curry leaves 6-8 tablespoons of vegetable oil Optional: 2-3 green chillies left whole but split down the middle (remove seeds for milder outcome) ½ cup of water Handful of chopped coriander to garnish Method: Place eggplant cubes in a colander and sprinkle with salt, allow to sit for at least 30minutes. This allows draw some of the bitter juices from the eggplant rather than it all going into the curry sauce. Drain eggplant …

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Steamed Eggplant with ginger

This is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to enjoy eggplant. You don’t often see recipes for steaming eggplant but I can attest to this recipe, especially if made with smaller eggplants such as “graffiti” striped eggplants or the thin Japanese eggplants. Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 30-40 minutes Ingredients: 2-3 small eggplants small knob of ginger thinly sliced 1 clove of garlic crushed with half a red chillI 2 teaspoons salt Method: Cut eggplant into medium size piece and immediately add salt and place in a colander or strainer over the sink for 15 minutes Meanwhile slice ginger finely, seperately crush garlic and chilli Remove eggplant from colander shaking off excess moisture and place in steaming basket, gently rub some of the garlic and chilli on each pice of eggplant using a teaspoon, then scatter over ginger. steam for 30-40 minutes or until eggplant is tender to your liking  

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Quick Coconut Sambal

This sambal is a delicious spicy, sweet accompaniment to all sorts of Indian meals. Traditionally made with freshly grated coconut, I just use desiccated coconut which I first “rehydrate” a bit by soaking in coconut milk(from a can). If you are a coconut fan, then you will find this pretty more-ish. Very nice as a side as part of an Indian brunch with Mild Potato Curry, Red Lentil Dhal and  Wholemeal Roti Prep time: 30 minutes  No Cooking required Ingredients: 1.5 cups desiccated coconut 1 cup coconut milk for soaking 1 green chilli chopped 1 small eschallot or spring onion chopped 1/2 a finger length of ginger chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt Method Soak desiccated coconut in coconut milk for 25 minutes or so Drain coconut milk from desiccated coconut, pressing down well, reserve coconut milk Put rest of ingredients into a food processor or spice grinder and blend to a coarse paste, add a teaspoon of the coconut milk to loosen slightly and whizz briefly. Serve

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Mild Potato Curry

This mild potato curry is quick and easy to make. Recently on a rainy Sydney day we were in the mood for an Indian breakfast, or more accurately brunch, so I made this accompanied by my Red Lentil Dhal, Easy Wholemeal Roti and Coconut Sambal. The resulting meal took us straight back to the streets of India  where these types of vegetarian combinations are favourites for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This Potato Curry is also a good staple side dish that can be whipped up quickly and is particularly nice with grilled fish. Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Ingredients: 2 medium size potatoes peeled and cut into smallish cubes 1 onion diced 1 tomato cut into large chunks 8 curry leaves (optional) 2 cloves garlic and same amount of ginger crushed into paste 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds 1 stick cinnamon 1 teaspoon cummin seeds 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 teaspoon cummin powder 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 cup of water coriander to garnish Method Boil potatoes first …

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Steamed Pumpkin with salted black bean sauce

This dish is inspired by Australian celebrity chef Neil Perry’s Spice Temple cookbook which features the recipes from his well known Sydney restaurant. Spice Temple features spicy regional Chinese cooking inspired by Neil Perry’s travels and his love of Chinese food. The combination of the sweet steamed pumpkin with the salty black bean sauce and slight spiciness added by the dried chillies makes for a great vegetarian side dish. It’s a perfect accompaniment to pork, like the Crispy Asian Pork Belly Salad, or would be nice with grilled lamb cutlets too. The Chinese ingredients in this recipe are worth adding to your pantry if you don’t already have them as they are commonly used in other Chinese dishes, especially Sichuan dishes. The black beans used here are not to be confused with normal canned black beans which are not fermented. Rather theses are salted and fermented black beans that form the basis of the salty seasoning used in Chinese dishes such as “beef in black bean sauce”. Don’t use readymade black bean sauce which is …

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Indian Spicy Mint and Coriander Chutney

This crunchy, spicy mint and coriander chutney, which is almost like a pesto, goes brilliantly with grilled meats, prawns and fish. It is a great accompaniment for any Indian meal, Aussie BBQ or just spread on toast! I have also used it as a chutney with cheese and biscuits. Easy and quick to make, it will keep well in the fridge for up to a week. Best to bring to room temperature before serving. Traditionally made by roasting and then grinding the peanuts, I cheat and use super-crunchy peanut butter which works very well to bind the herbs into a pesto like texture. Prep time: 10 minutes  Cooking time: 15 minutes Ingredients: 1 bunch mint – leaves removed from stalks and washed well 1 bunch coriander – with roots removed, washed well and chopped into large pieces 1-2 red chillies chopped into large pieces 2 cloves garlic and equal amount of ginger crushed to a paste 1 medium onion finely diced 1 medium ripe tomato finely diced 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds 1/2 teaspoon cummin …

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Okra, corn and tomato fry

If you don’t like or haven’t tried okra because of it’s reputation for being slimy, then this recipe will surprise. Dry frying the sliced okra before sautéeing  with tomato, onion, garlic and corn removes the slime and produces a tasty vegetarian side dish that is healthy and a delicious side dish served with green salad leaves and grilled pork or fish. Okra is full of fibre, antioxidants and vitamin K. Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 2o minutes Ingredients: 1 onion thinly sliced 1 large tomato chopped 2 cloves of garlic crushed 10-12 medium size okra , washed, dried, stalk cut off and sliced lengthwise in half 200g of canned  corn kernels 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or Cajun spice 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves stripped from stalk salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoons vegetable oil finely chopped parsley to garnish Optional: baby spinach leaves or lettuce to serve with Method Heat non-stick fry pan over a high heat, add okra cut side down until it browns and the sticky gel emitted dries up. Cook on …

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Roasted eggplant with cummin and yoghurt

This is a delicious accompaniment served with Indian curries but just as good with roast meats like the Pulled pork or served as a dip. Roasting the eggplant first gives it a lovely texture and a smoky flavour and the cummin and mustard seeds add spice and crunch. Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time:60 minutes Ingredients 1 large eggplant 1/2 brown onion thinly sliced 1 clove garlic minced 1/2 teaspoon cummin powder 1 teaspoon cummin seeds 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds 1/2 cup plain yoghurt Handful curry leaves(optional) 1.5 tablespoons olive oil Salt to taste Method Heat oven to 180 degrees celcius Prick eggplant deeply in a few spots on each side with a fork or small knife to allow steam to escape. (This is important to avoid eggplant explosion in oven!) Roast eggplant for 45-50 minutes, rotating 3 or 4 times to allow for even cooking. Don’t worry if skin blackens or burns. Remove eggplant from oven and place immediately in a plastic bag and tie/seal. Leave for 5-10 minutes. The steam created will …

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Black bean Dhal with ginger, chilli, onions and tomato

This rich and delicious Dhal is made with black beans stewed with ginger, dried chillies, tomatoes and then finished with fried onions and spices. A great accompaniment with other vegetable curries and eaten with rice or naan or rotis. I use canned black beans which you can find in the Mexican section of the supermarket. The key is long, slow cooking adding stock or water until the mixture takes on a thick, soup like consistency and the beans have broken down. Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 1.5-2 hours Ingredients 1 can black beans 1 large piece of ginger, peeled and cut in 2 pieces 3-4 dried red chillies 1 large tomato cut into large cubes 500ml Salt reduced chicken or vegetable stock 500ml water Salt 1 tspoon cummin seeds 1/2 tspoon Turmeric 1/2 tspoon Chilli powder 1/2 tspoon cummin powder Handful curry leaves 1 small onion sliced 1 tspoon ginger and garlic paste 50g butter and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil Chopped coriander for garnish Method Bring water to boil in a medium-large saucepan Strain …

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Easy Spicy Sweet Corn Fritters with onion

These easy and quick to make sweet corn fritters have a spicy twist through the addition of “Slap Your Mamma” New Orleans Spice mix and slow fried onions for an extra touch of sweetness. Served with bacon and rocket and herbs for brunch/breakfast or good for a lunchbox snack, these fritters also pair well with avocado and sour cream. Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 6 minutes Ingredients 1 small can (310g) sweet corn kernels 1 egg beaten 1/2 onion sliced finely and slowly fried until slightly caramelised 1/2 cup wholemeal or plain flour 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp Slap Your Mama or other spice mix to your taste Method Slice 1/2 an onion and slow fry until translucent and slightly caramelised Whizz 3/4 of the sweet corn in a small food processor to form a creamy paste Transfer sweet corn paste to mixing bowl, add remaining corn kernels, egg, spice mix, onions and flour and mix well Mixture should be firm but moist, add more flour as required if too runny Heat frying …

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Easy wholemeal roti

Wholemeal rotis or rotlas as they are known in South Africa are a traditional unleavened flatbread served with curries. Excellent for mopping up curry sauces and Dhal. Also great for creating wraps. Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes 1 cup wholemeal flour 1 cup plain flour 5 tablespoons vegetable oil 1.25 cups of boiling water 1/2 teaspoon salt Olive oil spray Kitchen paper towel Method Put flours and salt into a large mixing bowl Add vegetable oil and water Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon until ingredients form into a smooth dough. Knead dough for 5 minutes until a stretchy consistency is reached Roll dough into a long “pipe” about 10cm in diameter Cut into 8-10cm “slices” To make roti, take one “slice” and roll into a ball, flatten in your palm then use a rolling pin to roll into a circular pancake shape to fit your frying pan. Heat a heavy-based frying pan and spray lightly with olive oil spray. Put rotis one at a time into pan frying lightly until roti …

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Red Lentil Tarka Dhal with turmeric and ginger

Most Indian meals should be accompanied by a Dhal – an almost souplike side dish which can be made from a number of different types of lentils. Dhal is an absolute must to accompany South Indian vegetarian meals adding essential proteins. My version is quick and easy, using red lentils and the flavours featured are inspired by the dhals of Kerala and other parts of South India. Tarka dhal refers to the process of adding a Tarka(seasoned oil dressing with onions, tomatoes and spices) to the boiled lentils which adds flavour and depth to the sauce. Unlike most recipes I prefer to “cook” the boiled lentils in the Tarka at the end to allow the flavours to permeate the whole dish. For a richer and creamier consistency that is truly South Indian, coconut cream can be added at the end or else to make it sinfully delicious a knob of butter. Dhal keeps well in the fridge and can be successfully frozen and reheated. Leftovers are also great on toast. Prep time:5 minutes Cooking time:25 …

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Baked cauliflower with garlic, chilli, coriander and lemon

There’s something very rustic and comforting about baking a whole cauliflower. This version with chilli, coriander, garlic and lemon is delicious as a side for an Indian feast or seved simply with grilled fish or meats and a green salad. Prep time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 1 hour Ingredients 1 whole medium size cauliflower with outer leaves removed 3 small red chillies 4 cloves garlic Zest and juice of one lemon Handful of coriander leaves 3 tablespoons olive oil Salt Method Heat oven to 200 degrees celcius Cut away base of the cauliflower so it will sit flat Cut a cross in the base Crush garlic, coriander, salt and chilli into a paste using mortar and pestle Add lemon zest and lemon juice and then muddle with olive oil Rub paste well all over the cauliflower using plastic gloves Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper Place on middle rack of oven for about an hour or until cauliflower is tender Serve as a delicious accompaniment to meat and fish dishes Seves 4-6

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Cauliflower and Pea Curry

A fabulous accompaniment for spicy lamb cutlets or just as good with red lentil dhal and some freshly cooked basmati rice. This classic Indian dish has many variations and this one is a simple South Indian flavoured version with curry leaves and cummin seeds. Prep time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 25 minutes Ingredients Half a head of a small cauliflower cut into small florets 1 cup frozen peas 1 onion finely diced 1/2 tomato chopped 3 cloves garlic and equal amount of ginger ground together into paste 1 tbspn cummin seeds 1 cinnamon stick (preferably cinnamon bark) 1/2 tspn turmeric 1 tsp cummin powder 1 tsp chilli powder 2 tbspn vegetable oil Handful of fresh curry leaves Handful of coriander leaves chopped for garnish Salt to taste Method Heat oil in heavy based pot over medium heat Add cinnamon bark, cummin seeds, curry leaves and heat until fragrant Add onions and cook slowly over low-medium heat until transparent Add ginger and garlic paste and mix through onions Add cummin powder, turmeric and chilli powder and …

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Zesty stuffed artichokes with orange mayonnaise sauce

Inspired by traditional Sicilian fare, these rustic stuffed artichokes have been a family favourite for many years. When the kids were young this dish fitted into the category of “interactive eating” – as it entails using your hands to pulling off the steamed and stuffed leaves, dipping them in the sauce and then inelegantly sucking the stuffing off them. Messy but definitely worth the effort as you make your way to the tender artichoke heart – the jewel in the crown. The zesty orange flavoured stuffing and unique artichoke flavour team with the semi-sweet Orange mayonnaise sauce to make a delicious entree that never fails to surprise and delight guests. Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes Ingredients 4 fresh artichokes 1 onion finely diced 3 cloves garlic crushed into paste Olive oil – 2/3 tablespoons to thinly cover base of small frying pan Half a bunch parsley finely chopped 6 stale slices white bread torn into fresh breadcrumbs Zest of one Orange Juice of half an orange Half a cup whole egg mayonnaise …

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