Vegetable Jalfrezi

Vegetable Jalfrezi

Vegetable Jalfrezi – served here with a second curry made of lentils and spinach with fenugreek.

It didn’t seem to matter what I added to my curry, it never seemed to come out quite like the restaurants. So in desperation one day, I tried a new approach to really maximise the flavours, and it worked!

This recipe captures the tangy flavours of curry house jalfrezi. It’s so tasty… but beware it is laced with raw chillies!  The trick is adding lots of the flavoursome ingredients right near the end of cooking…

Serves 4 if accompanied with rice and/or breads.

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How to make extra tasty spiced dal

Extra tasty spiced dal

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!

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Tasty quick raw tomato sauce

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!

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Delicious flavoured oil

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.

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Spiced garlic roast aubergine

When it’s done it will be brown and squishy and melt in the mouth!

Inspired by a gorgeous meal out at Lebanese restaurant Kambis for John’s birthday earlier this week, tonight we decided to roast the aubergine that we had in the fridge and created this tasty recipe.

We used garlic, chipotle powder, coarse sea salt and olive oil, and it was divinely melt in the mouth! You could also experiment your own favourite flavours e.g. smoked paprika, ras el hanout, za’atar or lemon and herbs.

One large aubergine makes enough for two, when served with cous cous, salads, and tasty sauces, and is quick, simple and scrummy!

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Tahini sauce

Enjoy drizzled on roast vegetables, salads, grains, or with bread.

I am obsessed with tahini. I buy it in massive tubs from middle eastern shops, not those piddly jars they have in the supermarkets. When John first met me, he thought all of my recipes were basically tahini soup.

Luckily that’s not the case. However, there is always a place in my heart for a quick and simple tahini sauce, and tonight we made some to go with our roast aubergine, and included chilli sesame oil. It’s really versatile, here’s the basic method for mine…

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Tofu Ayib (Ethiopian lemony cheese)

When creating our very own Ethiopian feast, we adapted this Ayib recipe that is usually made with cottage cheese, to make a tasty vegan version.

Lemon rind is what makes this dish distinctive, while soy sauce adds depth of flavour. We didn’t add soya yoghurt because John hates it, but you could try adding some when you make it – let us know how you get on!

This alternative to cottage cheese is crumbly and fresh

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