Friday, 13 September 2013

Aromatic Mung Dal- vegan

Comforting and warm without being stodgy, this gently spicy dal will ease the transition from Summer to Autumn. 
There's nothing quite like a steaming bowl of dal to cheer up a drizzly September day, especially when  it includes fresh produce from the garden! This recipe is my husband's, which he dictated to me and I then cooked. He prefers it a bit heartier, made with half chana dal (split chickpeas) and half mung dal, but split yellow mung dal cooks very quickly, which makes it practical for a quick supper or lunch. We ate ours with brown rice and spiced vegetables, but you could have yours as a soup with a chunk of bread or chapatti. This recipe serves 8-10. Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients; it's actually quite simple once you've amassed everything.

1 cup yellow split mung dal
7 cups water (or 6 if you like it really thick)1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 cup chopped seasonal vegetables (we used courgette)
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp turmeric
1/4-1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1-2 tsps powdered ginger (or 1 dsp grated fresh ginger root)
4 bay leaves
a 4" cinnamon stick
1/2 tab coconut oil
1 dsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp compound hing
1 dsp cumin seeds/ freshly ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp sweet paprika
3 tsps gour/ raw cane sugar
  • Wash the dal and put in a saucepan with the water, salt, veggies, turmeric, chilli, ginger, bay leaves and cinnamon. If you are using chana dal, you may want to pre-soak it or use a pressure cooker to reduce the cooking time.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer with the lid on.
  • Meanwhile, gently heat the coconut oil and pop the mustard seeds. Remove from the heat and add the cumin, which should toast lightly just to release the aroma, but not scorch. Stir in the hing once the bubbling has stopped.
  • Add the oil and spice mixture to the boiling dal- it will fizzle and splutter a little as it goes in.
  • Continue to simmer with the lid off until the dal is soft.
  • Lastly, stir in the garam masala, paprika and gour/ sugar. Make any adjustments to the seasoning.
  • The dal is now ready!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Recipes Revisited 1: Plum and Almond Clafoutis- vegan, gluten free

This closeup shows the crispy texture of the crust contrasting with the soft plums inside.
This post is the first in a series in which we revisit recipes we posted here before and give them a makeover to get them even yummier! This dessert caught my attention because we've only ever made it the one time (last October) and we recently picked some particularly delicious red plums at the allotment that were crying out to be showcased in something other than jam or crumble. Plums are also said to be Srimati Radharani's  favourite fruit, so as we have Radhastami, Her appearance day, coming up this Friday (13.9.13) it seemed appropriate to post a plum recipe in time for that.
The original recipe is here; this version is basically the same except that I added a flax egg (1tab ground flaxseed to 3 tabs water, whisked together) and more plums. I used a shallower dish, too, so that the plums showed up better, as the batter rises slightly when cooked. If I had had any vanilla, I would have also added that to the batter mix.We didn't have any flaked almonds for the top, so I used some ground almonds instead. The clafoutis was delicious served warm with a scoop of vanilla Swedish Glace (vegan icecream) on the side. -Oh, and the other thing is a little demerara sugar sprinkled on top just before putting it in the oven, just to add some extra crunch.
Happy Autumn!

The original version!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Summer Squashes Event: The Roundup

In August we featured Summer squashes as our Ingredient of the Month, and provided a linky so you could add your own squash recipes to the collection. Here, as promised, is a quick roundup of what we ended up with:

A big thanks to both of you for participating :)

... Don't forget to join in our September event, Brown Rice Bonanza! (details here.)