Category Archives: Main Dishes

Aloo Gobhi (Spiced Cauliflower & Potatoes)

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I have cooked potatoes and cauliflowers in the microwave before I cooked them with the spices. It saves a lot of time.

1 medium size cauliflower
2 potatoes (cut into medium size chunks)
2 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp chili powder (or more if you like it hotter – add to taste)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp curry powder
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup of water
Salt

Heat oil in a wok or pan. Add all seeds. Once they start popping, add all the dry ingredients and the water. Mix well and then add the cauliflower and potatoes. Stir and turn the heat to low. Cover the pan with a lid and let the water reduce, stirring occasionally.

White rice with roasted potatoes and braised escarole with garlic and lemon

For the braised escarole:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds escarole, roughly chopped
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped shallots
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:
Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. This will create a nonstick effect.

Add the escarole, garlic, shallots and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently until wilted. Add the lemon juice and stock and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook down until tender.

Remove from heat. Drain excess liquid and serve immediately.

Black Pepper Tofu

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One of the reasons I read the Guardian is its food section, and Yotam Ottolenghi is my favourite chef.

This is one of his marvelous recipes. You will definitely surprise yourself with this. It’s quick and straightforward to make, though it looks as if it’s been prepared at a top Chinese restaurant. It is fiery, both from the chillies and the black pepper; you can moderate this by reducing their quantity a little. However, the whole point is spiciness, so don’t temper things too far. Serves four.

800g firm tofu
Vegetable oil, for frying
Cornflour, for dusting the tofu
150g butter
12 shallots (350g), thinly sliced
8 mild red chillies, thinly sliced
12 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
3 tbsp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
3 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp caster sugar
5 tbsp black peppercorns, coarsely crushed (use a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder)
16 small, thin spring onions, cut into 3cm segments

Start with the tofu. Pour enough oil into a large frying pan or wok to come 5mm up the sides; heat up. Meanwhile, cut the tofu into large cubes, about 3cm x 2cm, toss them in cornflour and shake off any excess. Add the tofu to the hot oil in batches (so it doesn’t stew) and fry, turning it around as you go, until golden all over and with a thin crust. As each batch is cooked, transfer the tofu pieces to kitchen paper.

Remove the oil and any sediment from the pan, then add the butter. Once it has melted, add the shallots, chillies, garlic and ginger, and sauté on a low to medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients have turned shiny and are totally soft. Next, add the soy sauces and sugar, stir, then add the crushed black pepper.

Add the tofu to warm it up in the sauce for about a minute, stir in the spring onions and serve hot, with steamed rice.

A Taste of Brazil – Shrimp Stuffed Pumpkin (Camarão na Moranga)

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One of the most delicious dishes of the Brazilian cuisine.

1 medium pumpkin
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimps, peeled and deveined
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups cream cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon wheat flour
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Salt and pepper

Wash and scrub the pumpkin well. Cut the top off to a cover shape; remove all the seeds. Wrap the pumpkin with aluminum foil; place in a baking pan and put it in preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook it until when you stick a toothpick in and it is soft. Set aside.

Season shrimps with salt and minced garlic. In a saucepan heat olive oil, sauté onion until transparent. Add tomato sauce and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in flour dissolved in the milk. Add shrimps and cook for around 7 minutes. Add whipping cream and parsley. Correct the salt if necessary and season with pepper.

Distribute the cream cheese with a spoon into the pumpkin, then pour the shrimp cream inside it. Sprinkle a handful of  Parmesan cheese on top.

Bring the pumpkin back to oven (wrapped with aluminum foil to avoid that the skin of the pumpkin gets scorched). Bake it at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

Serve it with rice.

Breaded Aubergine Slices with Guacamole Filling

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Breaded Aubergine
1 medium eggplant, cut into slices
1/2 cup rice or baking flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1 tablespoon tahini diluted with water to form a liquid batter (non-vegans – 1 egg, beaten)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Cut eggplant into slices. Mix the rice or baking flour with salt, cumin, hot paprika on a plate. Mix the tahini or beat the egg on a bowl. Place the breadcrumbs on another plate. Lay each side of the aubergine slice in rice or wheat four, then in the liquid batter of diluted tahini (or beaten egg), and then at last in breadcrumbs to coat the outside of the aubergine. Heat oil in a heavy pan. Fry the aubergine in batches until each side is golden brown and crisp on both sides and tender inside.
Guacamole
2 medium Ripe Avocados, halved, pitted, and removed from peel
1- 2 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (remove seeds)
1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt
Tabasco sauce (to taste)
Mash avocado with fork (the amount of “chunkiness” is a matter of personal taste). Add the lemon juice, tomatoes, tabasco sauce and salt.  Refrigerate until serving.
Ingredients –
2 medium Ripe Avocados, halved, pitted, and removed from peel
1- 2 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Chunky Medium or Hot Salsa
1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt
Preparation:
1. Sprinkle avocado with lemon juice.

2. Mash avocado with fork.

3. Fold in chunky salsa and sea salt.

4. Refrigerate until serving.

Pumpkin, Sun Dried Tomato & Dates Risotto

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Ingredients:

* 1 onion. diced
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 2 cups Arborio rice
* 4 cups vegetable broth
* 1 cup pumpkin in cubes
* 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes – sliced
* 4 or 6 dates – chopped
* 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
* 1 tsp nutmeg
* salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
Sautee the onion in olive oil over medium heat for three to five minutes, or until soft. Add the rice. Allow to cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Slowly start to add the vegetable broth, 1/2 cup at a time. Allow the moisture to cook off before adding the next 1/2 cup. Stir frequently.

Add remaining ingredients, stirring well, and cook for just a few minutes, until heated through.

Chinese Cabbage with Orange Sauce

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This recipe works fine with other leaves – collard greens, kale, cabbage, etc.

1. Stack several collard leaves atop one another, and roll into tight cylinder. Slice crosswise into strips.

2. Steam or cook greens in large pot of boiling water until softened. Drain, and plunge into large bowl of cold water to stop cooking.

3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Add drained leaves, red pepper grains, and salt, and sauté 3 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, and cook 15 seconds more. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.