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Tag Archives: vegetarian

Sprouted Mung Bean Curry in Coconut Gravy

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I felt that this recipe would benefit from a bit more tomato. However the main difficulty for me was that the taste of the sprouts came through too clearly.

 

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Laganophake Dal

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Origin

I wanted to make use of horse gram outside of Indian cuisine. Laganophake is a Roman lentil and wine stew typically made with Puy lentils. It seemed like a good opportunity for a fusion dish. There was no reason wine couldn’t be used in place of tomatoes, and the seasoning could borrow from both traditions.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup firm lentils, such as horse gram or Puy (I used horse gram)
  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil (I used peanut oil)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 1 cup red wine, such as Burgundy
  • salt (I used Himalayan pink salt) to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 20 curry leaves
  • cilantro or parsley, to garnish

Recipe

If you are using horse gram, soak it overnight then rinse it well when ready to cook. Other varieties of lentils can simply be rinsed.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a deep pan over medium heat. You can use a pressure cooker to reduce cooking time for the lentils. Meanwhile, chop the onion. When the pan is hot, reduce the heat and cook the onion in it, stirring frequently, until it is completely soft and partially caramelized. Remove and reserve some of the onion for garnish.

Return the heat to medium and add the cumin seeds, thyme, oregano and anise seeds. Cook until the cumin seeds are lightly browned, then add the lentils, wine, a few cups of water, a little salt, and black pepper.

If you are cooking it in an ordinary pot, put the lid on. Cook until the lentils can be squeezed between a thumb and a finger, stirring from time to time and adding more liquid as needed. With horse gram this can take one and a half hours. Alternately, pressure cook for approximately 25 minutes.

When the lentils are cooked, remove the lid and allow them to simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed.

While the lentils are reducing, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Cook until the seeds sputter and the curry leaves have darkened. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves to the lentils. Taste after the liquid is absorbed and add additional salt if needed.

Serve with rice or bread (I used methi paratha), garnished with the reserved onion and cilantro.

Note

If preparing this as a vegetarian dish, ensure that you get a vegan wine. Isinglass is often used in wine production.

 

Bonus Post: Upside-Down Plum Cake

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I wanted to bring a cake to the office, and while I was picking up ingredients I spotted plums on sale. So naturally I thought of making a plum cake. I wanted to make Rose Levy’s plum cake because I never actually got to taste it when I made it, due to it falling on the ground in transit. But I didn’t have the recipe any longer, so I used another cake batter. I remembered that the plum-blueberry torte had caramel on top, so I made caramel and poured it in the bottom of my (lined) cake pan, then put the plums on top, then added the cake batter and cooked it as described in the recipe I had. The result was pretty and tasty.

Mung Bean Sprout Salad

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This is a Chinese variation of mung sprout salad. From trying this I have concluded reluctantly that I really only like bean sprouts when they are cooked into a sauce. The flavour is too strong for me to appreciate in a salad.

Fava

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The Greek dish known as fava is not made from fava beans, but from yellow split peas. I used a recipe from Plenty More by Yotem Ottolenghi, but recipes are not hard to find. I decided to try this as an alternative dip for pita, in place of my usual hummus.

This was absolutely delicious. The yellow split peas are puréed with garlic, boiled onion, olive oil, salt and lemon juice, then mixed with caramelized onions and chives.

 

Melitzanosalata

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I’m fond of mutabal and baba ghanoush, but I’m even more fond of trying new recipes. I made a Greek eggplant/aubergine dip for a change. It isn’t my favourite of all aubergine dips, but it was pretty good.

Mustikkakeitto

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In making this Finnish blueberry soup, I used only 1/4 cup of sugar, and used stevia to add to the sweetness. I did not include lemon zest. I served it with oat cream.

Instead of throwing away the fibre, I ate it warm with a dash of stevia as a snack.