Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Vegan Malaysian Butternut Squash and Lentil Curry

Even though I am a cookbook hoarder, I am more than happy supporting our local libraries, especially as libraries all over the country are being threatened with closure and some have already sadly closed their doors. 

Well the most recent cookbook to fall into my mitts is by Hemsley Hemsley.  It's not a vegan or vegetarian cookbook, but it does have some stylish recipes that appeal to the eye.  But the one that I chose to make was down to earth and homely.  It was the Squash, Red Lentil and Coconut Curry.  The other reason I wanted to make this was that I wanted to use my own home-made Malaysian spice mix.  The recipe had been given to me by my Malaysian neighbours when I lived in Scotland.  It's very similar to this one by  A taste of memories - Echo's Kitchen.
Anyway, back to the cookbook, I have to admit I did not follow the original recipe as instructed. For a start the recipe in the cookbook uses bone broth and the recipe for this features in the cookbook, of course this can easily be substituted for vegetable stock, but once I started reading the recipe I  decided to approach it the way I would do an Indian style vegan curry, sauteing the onion and garlic in vegetable oil, then adding in the spices. I have linked to the original recipe below, as well as my own adaptation.

It made for a nice, warming and filling dish.  Even though the flavour of the star anise and fennel seeds (from the Malaysian spice mix) came through, D said it was one of 'the most curried dishes' that he had had in ages.  This golden stew-like curry recipe makes a large portion, so we have been enjoying it over 3 days, first with rice, then crusty bread and today, rice again.   

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Vegan Welsh Cakes for St Dwynwen's Day

I have a great fondness for Scotland.  It was home for over 10 years.  I went to University there, got married there, I began my gardening and cooking blogging journey there and so much more, so celebrating Burns Night in our home has become a bit of a tradition,just take a gander at some of these vegan and vegetarian meals that I created at home with vegan haggis: both home-made and shop bought.

I also have an affinity with Wales.  It was where I was born and raised and its my home once again. Today, the 25 January not only marks Burns Night, in Wales its St Dwynwen's Day -Welsh Day of Love .  Follow this link to read more about Wales Patron Saint of Love.   

So what Celtic tradition to celebrate? well both of course!
A simple Burns Supper for the evening that will look something like this Vegan Tower of Haggis, Neep and Tatties served with some greens, followed later with some home-made Welsh Cakes.  
With Veganuary in full swing, I thought why not make a vegan version for St Dwynwen's Day. I've made Vegan Welsh cakes many many times, but surprisingly it has never featured on my blog, the only version has been the one made with butter - the vegetarian version.   I know there is no shortage of vegan welsh cake recipes on blogosphere.  Search and ye will find, but this is my offering.  My husband has had the vegan version many times and has never complained.  There is a small variation in taste, the vegan version is not as 'melt in the mouth' as the traditional ones made with butter, but these are still very good.   And if your wondering what I love you is in Welsh it's Dwi'n dy garu di '.  

Dydd Santes Dwynwen Haput!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Chocolate Habenero Black Turtle Bean Chilli

Another one pot dish and one that relies on store-cupboard ingredients, except of course for the chocolate habenero chilli that I picked up when I was in the big city a few months back, around the same time when I picked up dried marigold petals for my vegan Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake.  
I had not intended to buy any dried chillies, let alone Chocolate Habenero but whilst staring at spice filled glass jars it just seemed to leap out at me and I was tempted.  

It does have subtle chocolate undertones, and an earthy and spicy chilli kick , but and here is the but, it did not blow me away as I had expected.  My chilli tolerance is quite high, my reasoning - I am of South Asian heritage and chilli runs through my veins - but I found this particular brand of chocolate habenero chilli was not overly spice hot.  The only thing that I can think was that the chillies were, well perhaps not the freshest, perhaps on the shelf too long and therefore may have lost its vava voom, still the home-made chilli was very, very nice and I would a happily make it again, I will just check the sell by date next time. 
This was just going to be a straight-forward Black Bean Chilli made simply with black turtle beans so called because of the black shiny dark shell like appearance, but I also decided to throw in some winter greens (such as sprout heads, but any type of kale will do), and a can of sweetcorn for colour. It worked out lovely giving more body and texture to the dish.  
So far, we have had this dish with plain boiled Basmati rice.  D suggested that this would be good as an Enchillada filling, I agree but I don't have any tortilla wraps, so it will be more rice or perhaps even potatoes.  

I am sharing this recipe with January's edition of My Legume Love Affair #79 which was created by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook.  It is now run by Lisa of Lisa's kitchen who happens to be this months host too. And Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary for this months No Waste Food Challenge, as the last lot of winter greens got used up in this dish.