Spicy Lentil Burgers

March 22, 2009 Leave a comment

This recipe is inspired by a veggie burger I had at an airport ~25 years ago (and much thinking about it since) coupled with something of a eureka moment I had while making dhansak a few weeks ago.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 chilli
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (or ½ tsp fenugreek powder)
  • 75g puy lentil
  • 75g green lentil
  • 25g red lentil
  • 75g stale breadcrumbs
  • 2 large pinches of salt
  • 1 large pinch black pepper

Method

Slice the onions and the chilli and crush the garlic. Heat a pan with the oil over a medium high heat and fry the onion, chilli and garlic for 3-4 minutes. Add the lentils and fry for another 3-4 minutes then add the salt, pepper and spices. Add a splashes of water as needed if the mixture is too dry (abut 125ml of water in total over the entire cooking time). Grate the carrot and stir into the mix. After about 5 minutes turn off the heat and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. Stir in the breadcrumbs.

The burger mix should be dry and quite sticky when it has cooled. The burger should bind well and be either shallow fried for 3-4 minutes each side or baked in the oven for 15-20 minutes with a dusting of polenta.

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Categories: Burgers Tags:

Chana Daal Curry

March 18, 2009 Leave a comment

We went to the Indian spice shop at the bottom of the street for an overdue nosey. The keen eyed and generally awesome Kerri spotted bags of Chana Daal . . . I’ve been going on about it for an age (since I read this article) and we’ve trawled various cities in search of the stuff. I also got some amchur and black mustard seeds to add to my arsenal of spices. <3

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 green finger chilli
  • 1 potato
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 green pepper
  • 150g chana daal
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tsp black mustard seed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1tsp dried chopped fenugreek leaves (or ½ tsp fenugreek powder)
  • 1 tsp amchur (dried green mango powder)
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 large pinches of salt

Method

Finely chop the garlic, ginger and chilli (or use a tablespoon of the green paste) and roughly chop the onions. Heat the ghee (or 4 tbsp of oil) in a stir-fry pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they start to pop add the onions and fry off for 5-7 minutes on a medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and fry for a further 5 minutes.

Add the remaining spices and one large pinch of salt and stir. Reduce the heat to medium after 3-5 minutes. If the mixture is becoming too dry or catching then add small quantities of water. Chop the carrots, sweet potato, potato and green pepper and add to the pan. Stir well to coat with spices.

Wash the chana daal well, add to the pan and stir in. After 5 minutes add half the can of tomatoes and stir. Add the remaining tomatoes when the first lot starts to simmer. Add the second large pinch of salt.

Add the stock in two batches making sure the pan returns to the boil between each. Simmer on a medium heat for 45 minutes to an hour until the chana daal is tender. Add small amounts of water if the sauce becomes too dry during cooking.

Categories: Curry Tags: , , ,

Potato and Leek Soup

March 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Another of my favourite soups . . . one of the rare occasions I feel butter is warranted over an oil. It helps the leeks’ flavour come out and also gives the creamy texture to the end product.

Ingredients

  • 50g butter
  • 4 leeks
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large pinches of black pepper
  • 5 large white potatoes
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock

Method

Melt the butter in a pan large enough to hold about 3-4 litres of liquid over a medium heat. Chop the leeks and crush the whole cloves of garlic and add to the pan. Add the salt and pepper, stir and cover. Let the leeks sauté for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat a little if they start to catch the bottom of the pan.

Wash and dice the potatoes into ½cm cubes and add to the pan. Chop the parsley and stir into the mixture. Cover again and let stew for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add little amounts of water or stock if it starts to catch.

Add 250ml of stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Every 15 minutes add a further 250ml. Keep covered while simmering and allow to cook for about an hour. Stir regularly throughout as the butter makes it more likely to catch than if using oil.

Finally, set aside to cool and purée in a food processor. For best reults store overnight in the fridge to allow the flavour to develop.

Categories: Soup Tags: ,

Moroccan Stew

March 6, 2009 Leave a comment

This recipe combines the exotic appeal of North African cuisine, as imagined by this vegetarian, with the comfort and homeliness of a simple stew to make an aromatic and invigorating dish.

Ingredients

  • 4 onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 8 small anya potatoes
  • 2 peppers
  • 4 finger chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp pimento powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 25g fresh coriander
  • 125g brown rice
  • ½ tsp honey
  • 2 large pinches salt
  • 1 large pinch of black pepper
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp toasted almonds

Method

Soak the rice in the vegetable stock along with the honey and salt and pepper for at least an hour before preparing the rest of the dish. Roughly chop the onions and peppers, crush the garlic cloves whole with the flat of a suitably broad knife and slice the potatoes in half lengthwise. Cut the carrots in quarters lengthwise and halve leaving you with 8 sticks per carrot.

Preheat a large stirfry pan with 5-6 tablespoons of olive oil and add the cumin seeds. Once they start to fry, add the chopped vegetables (including the chillies, whole) and stir until all are coated with oil. Add the spices and stir well. Next, add the chickpeas followed by the lemon juice. Chop the coriander roughly and stir into the mixture.

After 5 minutes add the chopped tomatoes and stir. When they start to simmer, add the rice and stock to the pan. Stir and let simmer for 5-10 minutes while preheating the oven to 150°C.

Pour the mixture from the pan into a preheated oven dish and place in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until most of the stock has been absorbed by the rice.

Categories: Stew Tags: , , , , , ,

Chickpea Patties

February 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Nirvana, for many vegetarians, is the humble burger. Over the past few months many experiments have been conducted to find the right blend of texture and taste.

Ingredients

  • 2 onions (finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 1 green finger chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • ½ red pepper (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp pimento powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • A large pinch of black pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can of chickpeas (or 300g of presoaked)
  • 150g of stale breadcrumbs
  • 50g of fresh parsely (chopped)
  • 1 egg

Method

Combine all the ingredients except the egg in the order listed into a large mixing bowl and stir well. Transfer to a food processor and crack the egg over the mixture. Process for no more than 10 seconds on lowest speed to retain texture. Leave to stand for at least half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C and divide the mixture to make 4 patties. Coat with flour or polenta, if desired, and lightly coat with olive oil before placing on a preheated baking tray in the oven for 20 minutes.

Half way through cooking, remove the tray from the oven and spoon the excess oil over the patties to help the crust develop.

Categories: Burgers Tags: ,

Spicy Lentil and Tomato Soup

February 21, 2009 Leave a comment

A delicious and hearty thick soup, an ideal lunchtime snack.

Ingredients

  • 250g red lentils
  • 1 can of tomatoes
  • 4 small onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 red finger chillies
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp pimento
  • 1 tsp salt
  • large pinch of black pepper
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 litres of vegetable stock

Method

Halve and deseed the red peppers and place skin side up on a baking tray under a grill on maximum heat. Chop the onions, carrots and celery while heating the oil in a large saucepan (that can hold 3-4 litres of liquid) at medium-high heat. Keep checking the peppers while chopping the other vegetables and make sure they blacken evenly over their skins.

Add the onions to the pan and stir, after a few minutes add the balsamic. Once the onions have softened and most of the balsamic has evaporated, add the remaining chopped vegetables and whole chillies and stir. The peppers should be done by now; remove the blackened skin and dice the remaining flesh and add to the pan. Add the pimento and basil along with the salt and pepper and stir. After 5 minutes add the lentils and stir well. Reduce the heat and add the can of tomatoes. Cover and let the mixture simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Add the first 500ml of vegetable stock. The lentils will quickly absorb the liquid at the start. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low so the soup simmers gently on the hob. Add more stock 250-500ml at a time as needed. Simmer for 1½-2 hours.

Finally, set aside to cool and purée in a food processor. For best reults store overnight in the fridge to allow the flavour to develop.

Categories: Soup Tags: , , ,

Veggie Chilli (with Kidney Bean Marinade)

October 22, 2008 Leave a comment

My chilli recipe has been evolved over recent weeks in an effort to increase the character of the dish.

Ingredients

The marinade:

  • 250g soaked (or canned) kidney beans
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp pimento powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 10g 85% cocoa dark chocolate
  • ½ tsp honey dissolved in 2 tbsp warm water

The base and sauce:

  • 1 medium white onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml vegetable stock

Method

Finely chop the onion and combine all the marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl in the order listed and stir well. Cover and and set aside for at least half an hour.

Dice the onion, carrots, celery and peppers and add to a stir-fry pan with 4 tbsp olive oil preheated to a med-high heat and fry for 10 minutes.

Pour in the marinade and fry for a further 10-15 minutes until the mixture is quite dry.

Add the tomatoes in three batches allowing the mixture to return to the boil each time.

Add the stock in two lots allowing the mixture to return to the boil each time.

Simmer briskly for 15-20 minutes until the sauce has reduced and started to thicken.

Turn down the heat and simmer gently for a further 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.