Saturday, 13 September 2014

Plum Chutney with Tamarind

Making jams and chutneys is one of the great pleasures of late Summer/ early Autumn
This year there have been lots of plums; but it seems like there is a very short window in which to pick and use them before they turn mushy and the bugs and wasps move in. Fortunately for us, our lovely neighbours had more plums than they knew what to do with so they gave us lots. We made this tangy chutney and there was enough to give them a jar too.

2kg ripe plums
2 tabs cold-pressed sunflower oil
250ml agave
1/2 cup soft light brown sugar
3 tsps Himalayan pink salt
2 tabs powdered ginger
2" of cinnamon stick
2 tps compound hing
1 tsp tamarind concentrate
1 large dried bayleaf
6 whole cloves
  • Wash, stone and halve the plums and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a sturdy, shallow pan and add the hing, ginger, bayleaf, cloves and cinnamon. Stir briefly.
  • Add the plums and simmer.
  • When they are just beginning to break down, add the salt, agave, sugar and tamarind. 
  • Cook until reduced to a chutney-like consistency (this doesn't take too long).
  • When the chutney is cooked, removed the cloves, cinnamon and bayleaf before bottling in sterilised jars. Keeps for at least two weeks in the fridge.
What fruits grow abundantly where you live? Do you ever swap produce with your neighbours? 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Pumpkin and Fresh Coconut Soup

You can't go wrong with fresh and wholesome ingredients like these!
Every once in a while I rediscover the fact that when it comes to flavour good quality, fresh ingredients will deliver every time, with the minimum of effort. This thick and creamy soup was one such reminder: my husband made it after a trip to the allotment and the greengrocer's and although we didn't record the exact recipe, we can give you the ingredients:

fresh pumpkin
grated fresh coconut flesh
the juice of half a coconut
grated fresh turmeric root
grated fresh ginger
a little seasalt and a little black pepper

  • The pumpkin was cooked in water until soft and the other ingredients added. For enough to serve 6-8, use about 1kg pumpkin, 2 litres of water and the juice and flesh of half a coconut.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Autumn Berries Icecream

Who cares that Summer's nearly over ? We still have ice cream...
Continuing our series on vegan ice cream flavours: some blackberries growing in a wild patch next to our garden caught my attention that other day, but unfortunately luckily there weren't quite enough for a crumble or jam so I just had to make icecream instead, helped out by some raspberries and blackcurrants we had in the freezer. (Not strictly Autumn, I know, but you could use whatever berries grow locally at this time of year.) The result was a fresh and fruity ice cream... enjoy!

Makes around a litre:
2 cans coconut milk (standard size)
1 3/4 cups coconut palm sugar (1 cup = 250ml)
2 tsps natural vanilla essence
2 cups berries

  • Mix all the ingredients together and freeze.
  • From time to time, take it out of the freezer and whisk plenty of air in. This will result in a softer ice cream.
  • Alternatively, use an ice cream maker.