The secret to making a good dal is to make a temper and the secret to a really good dal is to make a really good temper!
Tempering a dal is the act of adding the cooked dal to a pan containing a mixture of fried vegetables and spices and heating it through before serving. This imbues the rich flavours into the dal in a way that can never be achieved though cooking the dal with the spices from the start.
This recipe is really quick and simple to make and can be done with red lentils just as easily as with the moong dal used here. I can personally guarantee that it is exceedingly delicious!
I created this recipe in an attempt to replicate the best meal I had in India (in the few days before I got ill). They were chilli parathas, circular fried flaky breads with fresh chilli slices all the way through them, and I had them for breakfast in Haridwar!
Haridwar is an amazinig vegetarian city in North India and I arrived there in the middle of pilgrimage when it was packed and people were making offerings and chanting by the ganges. I ordered the chilli parathas at a cafe that had no menu, as I saw them being served to somebody else and thought “Yes! That’s what I want to eat!”
I couldn’t find any recipes online for what I’d experienced, so I adapted this plain paratha recipe to make it my own, and added fresh chillis of course.
Makes 4-6 parathas. Continue reading
Tonight I set out to make a cookie that resembled marzipan, using only what I had in the cupboards (i.e. not marzipan)!
The result is light, fluffy, soft and squishy, deliciously almondy and sweet.
Makes 6-8 cookies.
Layered and dusted liberally with cocoa powder
I made up this recipe last night, as I was in the mood for tiramisu but I didn’t have ladyfingers. Instead, this recipe is a sticky coffee and syrup sponge cake layer topped with lush coffee and amaretto flavoured cream and dusted with cocoa powder.
The most interesting element for me in making this recipe was my first experience of making coffee-flavoured tofu, an experiment which worked brilliantly!
Despite being one layer, the cake looked fairly big, however we are about to polish it off just 24 hours after making it. You can get 8 reasonable slices or 6 generous ones out of it. For an even more impressive cake you could add additional layers of cake and cream filling.
We used a jug blender, but you could use a hand blender or food processor.
This sauce is quick, seriously yummy and because it’s not reduced you get loads of it – it’s great!
However, I have with a confession: the way that this sauce is normally made by me probably wouldn’t satisfy the standards of someone who is a “raw foodist”. However, it can be easily modified to meet the most stringent of raw standards and I’ll talk you through it. I don’t make it raw because, well, it’s quicker and easier not to and I’m fond of the taste of shop-bought chopped tomatoes!
We like to treat ourselves to good quality olive oil like this one. The second bottle ows an infusion of chilli, garlic and mustard seeds.
Mmm, tasty oil! There are two ways to add delicious flavours to your oil; flavouring by infusion and flavouring by cooking. Infusion can take quite a while but, for delicately flavoured oil such as basil, it’s the only way. It’s also much better suited to drizzling as it has fresher flavours. Creating flavoured oil by cooking, on the other hand, can be done as an adjunct to normal cooking to provide a steady supply and allows a rich palette of vegetable flavours such as roasted onion oil or roasted aubergine oil.
Best eaten fresh from the oven!
We made these yummy crumbly flaky pastry hearts to celebrate John’s birthday and valentines day falling in the same week. They are quick, easy and yummy, and make a great snack, starter or accompaniment in place of bread.
This was so simple. I just took 1 batch of my home made vegan pastry and rolled it out. I then folded it over a couple of times (this gave them a lovely flaky layered texture, which led them to rise slightly), and rolled out to a thickness of about 1 cm. It was then ready to cut into heart shapes using a plastic cutter, and brush with olive oil. I included some garlic powder with the olive oil for extra tastiness. They took about 15 minutes in the oven at 180°C, but check them after 10 and take them out when they look golden and lovely.
Happy valentines day! ♥