Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Vegan Muffins-update

If you live in the UK, you might like to know about these cute little heart-shaped silicone mini muffin cases, which are £1 for 6 in Poundland. I tried them out for the first time today, and they are a little fiddly, being so small but work just fine and keep their shape well as long as you don't overfill them (like I did!)
Another little tip, with apologies to all you wholefood purists out there: having nothing else to hand, I used white caster sugar in this batch of blueberry and apricot muffins, and I have to admit that it does give the fluffiest results!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

North African chickpeas with ras el hanout

Apologies for the blurry mobile phone pic!
This is more of a cooking memo than an actual recipe. I used kala channa here, as usual. They are an acquired taste, but once acquired, yellow chickpeas are almost flavourless in comparison. Kala channa also helps stabilise blood sugar levels.
There are many variations of the spice mix ras el hanout; the one I have contains dried rosebuds and cardamom as well as the more common allspice,cinnamon and cloves. This really is a quick and easy accompaniment for brown rice and salad if you have already cooked the channa, and a nice change from traditional channa masala. I added the minimum of water, a tin of chopped tomatoes, seasalt,. paprika and hing. To make sure the delicate flavours in the ras el hanout didn't get cooked away I added it just before the dish was finished, over a low heat. I kept gradually adding it until I got the level of flavouring I was after: not too strong, but not too subtle either. The result was aromatic, sweet and spicy.