Thursday, 29 April 2010

Mmmm curry. Nothing betters you!

Indian cuisine has to be my favourite. Growing up in Wembley (one of the largest Indian communities in London), meant weekly visits to one of the many Indian restaurants in the area.

However, although I developed a palate for hot, fragrant curries at a young age, it was not until I visited India a year and a half ago that I really started to appreciate the art of Indian cooking.
The food I ate on this trip was the most delicious, memorable, and inspiring I have ever eaten, and as soon as I returned home, true, home-made Indian food started to make up for the majority of my diet.

Tonight I cooked two of my favourite Indian dishes;

Stuffed baby aubergine and potato
Black eyed bean curry

Black Eyed Bean Curry


2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
pinch asafoetida powder
1 onion
1 table spoon ginger - garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 tea spoon chilli powder
1 400g tin black eyed beans
3 large tomatoes
1 teaspoon Garam masala
1 teaspoon sugar


1. Add the sunflower oil to a heavy bottomed saucepan
2. Add the cumin seeds and leave to cook for around one minute before adding the onion and asafoetida.
3. Once the onion begins to brown stir through the ginger-garlic paste, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder and salt and leave to cook for a few minutes.
4. Add the black beans and chopped tomatoes, followed by the sugar and garam masala.
5. Place the lid on the saucepan and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with fresh coriander before serving


Sunday, 25 April 2010

Sunday Bruschetta Brunch

Summer is well and truly on its way, and for me this means regular visit to London's Borough Market. Yes, Borough Market tends to be far too touristy and slightly over priced....but....if you time it right and arrive at the very end of trading on a Saturday you can nab yourself a few bargains. On Saturday I did just this.

My Borough (reduced price) shopping bag:

  • One wholemeal loaf
  • Variety of wild mushrooms
  • Red and yellow beef tomatoes
  • Fresh red chillies
  • Fresh herbs: basil, oregano, thyme

So, after spending the morning debating on what to do with my fridge full of fresh ingredients I settled on two types of bruschetta:

  1. Classic tomato, red onion and basil with an extra virgin olive oil and balsamic dressing
  2. Wild mushrooms cooked with chilli, garlic, thyme and oregano with a basil and rocket oil dressing

Perfect for a warm spring afternoon!

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Maple Pecan 'Cheesecake'

OK, I got a bit carried away and removed it from its baking tin whist still hot. So it may not be the prettiest of cheesecakes but if I do say so myself, this vegan maple syrup and caramelised pecan cheesecake tastes pretty good!

Maple syrup cheesecake
with caramelised pecans and caramel sauce



1 packet of hobnob biscuits
50 grams vegan margarine (melted)
1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 x 255 gram packets dairy free cream cheese (I used Original Sheese)
85 grams maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon corn flour


1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and lightly grease a 10-15cm round cake tin.
2. To make the base place the biscuits in a food processor, process until crumbled and add the melted margarine and maple syrup. Press down into a prepared tin.
3. For the topping, place the cream cheese into a mixing bowl and stir through the maple syrup, vanilla and cornstarch.
4. Once thoroughly mixed, pour the topping onto the base and place in the oven to bake for 45 minutes.


Caramel Sauce:


50 grams dairy free butter
125 grams raw brown sugar
70ml soya milk
1 heaped table spoon cornflour


1. Melt the butter in a small pan
2. Once melted, add the sugar and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly.
3. Remove from the heat and immediately add the soya milk and corn flour. Stir until evenly mixed.
4. Return the mixture to heat and cook for a couple more minutes to thicken.


Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Hazelnut Banana Bread

Hazelnut Banana Bread


250 grams spelt flour (use plain flour if preferred)
150 grams soft brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
6 tablespoons warm water
4-5 ripe bananas
75 grams vegan margarine (melted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons maple syrup
100 grams hazelnuts


1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
2. Sift the flour and baking powder in a large mixing bowl
3. In a separate bowl mash the bananas and mix in the margarine, sugar, vanilla and maple syrup
4. Place the ground flaxseed and water in a small bowl, whisk vigorously until it forms an egg like consistency and add to the wet ingredients
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold together.
6. Stir in the hazelnuts
7. Pour the mixture into a greased loaf tin and transfer to the oven
8. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes


Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Indian Spiced Sweetcorn Fritters

I became addicted to sweetcorn fritters whilst travelling around New Zealand when I was 18.

Unfortunately there are very few café's in the UK who's menu feature corn fritters...but they are easy to make and are perfect for a warm evening.

Indian Spiced Sweetcorn Fritters
with guacamole

Serves 2



2 fresh sweetcorn cobs
1/2 a courgette
100 grams Gram (chickpea) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika
salt & pepper
125 ml soya milk
60 ml water

1 ripe avocado
1 red chilli
2 small spring onions
small handful of cherry tomatoes
juice of half a lime
2 tea spoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste



1. Peel the avocado and remove the stone.
2. Place the flesh of the avocado in a bowl and mash with a fork
3. Finely chop and de-seed the chilli, cherry tomatoes and spring onion and add to the mashed avocado.
4. Mix through the lime juice and oil olive.
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper

1. Shave the corn kernels off the cob
2. Grate the courgette and add to the corn kernels.
3. In a mixing bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, spices and seasoning
4. To the dry mixture add the soya milk and water and mix until combined
5. Mix the corn kernels and courgette into this mixture
6. Add one large spoon of the fritter mixture into an oiled pan
7. Cook the fritter over a medium to high heat until both sides begin to brown

Top the fritters with the guacamole and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lime


Sunday, 18 April 2010

Sunday Spelt Pancakes

Spelt Pancakes with blueberry compote


Pancake batter:
120 grams wholemeal spelt flour
250 ml soya milk
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

Blueberry compote:
1 Punnet blueberries
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
juice of half a lemon



1. Sift flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
2. Add soya milk and whisk until fully combined
3. In a lightly greased pan add one ladle of the batter.
4. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake, flip and continue to cook until both sides are lightly browned

Blueberry Compote:

1. In a small saucepan heat the blueberries over a small flame
2. When the blueberries start to burst add the sugar, maple syrup and lemon juice
3. Continue to cook until the mixture has reduced and thickened