Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Keralan Vegetable Stew

Keralan Vegetable Stew, Vegan
This South Indian vegetable curry is made with a thin, aromatic, spiced coconut-milk sauce so it's more like a soup or stew than a traditional, British curry. The flavours are also more akin to Thai cuisine than a North Indian-style curry, but this recipe utilises seasonal, British vegetables, so it's very economical.

Although it's not exactly fat-free or low in calories, it makes a delicious, warming and vegan start to the New Year, especially if you're doing Veganuary.

Serves 4
  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 4 green cardamoms, pierced with a knife or lightly crushed with your thumb
  • a sprig of fresh or dried curry leaves
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp. grated, fresh ginger
  • 2 thin, green chilies, slit in half
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into batons or slices 
  • 1 cup of green beans, cut into 1"/2.5cm pieces
  • 2 cups of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets or 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • ½ cup boiled water, optional
  • 1 tsp sugar, optional
Heat 1 tbsp. vegetable oil in a large saucepan.
Add the onion and whole spices and cook for a few minutes on a medium heat.
Add the garlic, ginger and chillies and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Throw in the green beans and potatoes along with the coconut milk.
Simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on, until tender.
Add the mushrooms and broccoli/peas and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
Season with salt, black pepper and sugar, to taste.
Add some of the water to thin the sauce if needed.

Serve with rice, appam, roti or paratha.

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Thursday, 1 December 2016

Ricotta and Amaretti Cake - Suma Bloggers Network

Christmas is just around the corner, so I wanted to create a new, festive recipe for the Suma Bloggers Network.  I decided on a dessert dish, which had to and taste special enough for the festive celebrations, without being too rich or heavy. As I had some amaretti biscuits from Suma, I wanted to use them in something other than a tiramisu and felt that they would add both texture and flavour to a cake.

My Italian-inspired Ricotta and Amaretti Cake is a cross between a cheese cake and a sponge pudding and has quite a  dense texture. It provides a seasonal alternative to the traditional Christmas pudding, which my daughters are not keen on it.

Serves 10
  • 50g/2oz softened butter
  • 1x250g/10oz tub ricotta
  • 150g/6oz soft brown sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 150g/6oz self-raising flour
  • 100g/4oz ground almonds
  • 200g/8oz amaretti biscuits, roughly broken (from Suma)
  • 100g/4oz good quality chocolate (I used Montezumas Dark Chocolate, Bean Machine, from Suma), chopped into chunks
  • 2 tbsp very strong, cold coffee (2 tsp coffee granules to 2 tbsp. boiling water)
Preheat the oven to 150C/140C Fan/Gas 2/300F.
Grease and line a loose-bottomed 20cm round cake tin.

Put the butter, ricotta, sugar and eggs into a large bowl. Whisk for 5 minutes until thick, smooth and creamy. Then gently stir the coffee, flour and ground almonds.

Fold in most of the chocolate and biscuit pieces, but retain and handful of each.
Pour the cake mixture into the lined tin. Scatter with the remaining biscuits and chocolate and press lightly into the cake mixture.

Bake for around 45 minutes or until golden brown, firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before turning out.
Dust with cocoa powder or icing sugar before serving.

Serve warm with cream, ice cream or custard. tips: Swap the coffee for 2 tbsp of  Tia Maria or Amaretto liqueur. For a more traditional Christmas flavour, omit the chocolate and add the equivalent weight of dried fruit, pre-soaked in the liqueur.
Gluten free option: Check that your amaretti biscuits are GF. Swap the flour for GF flour and add some GF baking powder if needed.

Integrity Statement As a member of the Suma Blogger's Network, I will receive a selection of complimentary products from Suma every two months, to use in recipe development, and will blog an original recipe for the Network.   

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