Rye Pasta with a Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce and Goat Cheese

Though I rarely eat pasta, preferring instead unprocessed whole grains and legumes, it has proved to be an ideal meal solution on more than one occasion when I failed to plan dinner the night before and found myself with mostly just staples on hand. An added bonus for busy cooks is this dish comes together in about 30 minutes but it tastes exquisite enough to be served at a fine restaurant. The tangy sun-dried tomatoes pair elegantly with the sharpness of the creamy goat cheese. I'll certainly be making this again, and next time I would add some Kalamata olives or perhaps some sauteed mushrooms. You might even consider substituting some balsamic vinegar for the red wine. Serve with a mixed green salad and you will have everything you desire.
Rye Pasta with a Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce and Goat Cheese

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 - 3 jalapenos or hot chilies, finely chopped
5 1/2 ounce tin of tomato paste
splash or two of red wine
6 - 8 sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
1/4 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
sea salt to taste

8 - 10 ounces of uncooked pasta (I used organic rye pasta)
3/4 cup of crumbled goat cheese

Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in 1 1/2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Reserve the soaking liquid and chop the soaked tomatoes. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and fry, stirring occasionally, for roughly 5 minutes. Now add the garlic and jalapenos (or chilies) to the pan and stir and fry for another minute. Add the tomato paste and cook and stir for a minute or two. Add a bit of wine to the pot, along with the sun-dried tomatoes and spices and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Gradually add the reserved sun-dried tomato soaking liquid, simmering, until you end up with a thick sauce. Add more water if desired. Add the parsley and some salt near the end of the cooking time.

While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente, roughly 10 minutes, depending on the type of pasta you use.

Drain the cooked pasta, return to the pot and pour the sauce over the pasta and toss well. Top each serving with crumbled goat cheese.

Serves 4.

I'm sending this along to Presto Pasta Nights, a popular event started by Ruth. The founder is the host this week.
More pasta dishes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Penne with Indian-Style Tomato Sauce and Mushrooms
Pasta with Goat Cheese and Mixed Mushrooms
Pasta and Feta Cheese Casserole
Penne with Fennel, Tomato and Blue Cheese

No Croutons Required - The Winner of the May Berry Challenge

The winner of the May Berry Challenge is Frances of Crunchy Green Things. Her winning recipe is Red Groats. Congratulations Frances! I can't wait to try this beautiful berry combination.

Jacqueline (otherwise known as Holler) will be hosting the June edition of No Croutons Required. The challenge this month is to make a soup or salad featuring leaves. Think leafy green veggies, earthy herbs ... if it's leafy, and its a vegetarian soup or salad, we encourage you to submit your creation.

Wasabi Roasted Asparagus

Wasabi Roasted Asparagus

It's difficult to imagine a better way to revive palates starved of local produce for months than the first appearance of asparagus in the markets, and as long as this noble and elegant vegetable is available locally, I'm never without a bunch or two on hand.

Sweet, tender and delicious all on its own with just a little sprinkle of sea salt, one of the many charms of asparagus is its demand to be treated in the simplest fashion with a minimum of fuss, bother or cooking, and paired only with a small handful of other classic flavours like eggs, cheese, butter, lemon, fresh herbs or black pepper.

Inspired by SusanV, this simple dish is ready from refrigerator to plate in just 15 minutes, with tamari, wasabi and sesame serving as a basic Asian-style flavour companion for the asparagus as well as performing a delightful spicy contrast with the natural sweetness of the vegetable. The tamari and wasabi collect to an especially strong effect at the tips of the asparagus, which you'll want to save for last when you're eating them.

If you don't have some already, I urge you to buy a traditionally brewed tamari sauce made from slow-fermented soy beans instead of anything marketed as just soy sauce, which are usually made with 40-60% wheat as well as quick hydrolyzed soy protein and caramel colouring. Good tamari sauces are wheat-free, contain more digestible proteins, and taste so much better than ordinary soy sauces that you'll never go back. Fortunately, they're also widely available these days from reputable suppliers like San-J or Eden Foods.

This is my contribution to Tried and Tasted, a monthly event started by the lovely Zlamushka. Each month a different blog is featured and bloggers are encouraged to cook from the archives to show their appreciation for the featured blog. This month Susan's FatFree Vegan Kitchen is the focus of attention and Holy Cow is putting together the May edition.
Wasabi Roasted Asparagus

1 bunch fresh asparagus
1/2 tablespoon water
1/2 tablespoon tamari sauce
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
3/4 - 1 teaspoon wasabi powder, or to taste
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Preheat an oven to 425°. Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus and arrange the spears on a baking sheet.

Mix the water, tamari sauce and toasted sesame oil in a small bowl. Stir in the wasabi, a 1/4 teaspoon at a time to create the desired spiciness. Brush the sauce over the asparagus, making sure to coat all the sides.

Roast the asparagus for 10 minutes, turning the spears over once and sprinkling over the sesame seeds after 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.
If you liked this recipe you may also enjoy these asparagus suggestions:

Asparagus and Oriental Tamari Dressing with Pine Nuts
Wild Rice and Asparagus Salad
Fried Halloumi Saganaki and Asparagus
Asparagus and Feta Cheese Frittata

Chickpea Paneer Kofta in a Creamy Cashew Tomato Sauce

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Often when I have a day off from work with nothing particularly pressing to attend to, I spend the afternoon in the kitchen cooking up a special treat for dinner. Not only is it a good way to burn off stress, the result is a particularly satisfying and delectable meal. I'm a modest gal, but honestly, if a local restaurant served this spicy combo, I'd spend way too much money eating out and much less time in my own kitchen. Truth be told, warm sunny days tempt me away from the kitchen besides.

Somewhat like a falafel, these baked koftas are roughly based on these Spicy Chickpea Kofta that have always been enjoyed by anyone I've served them to. I added paneer this time, along with eggs, and served them smothered in an heavenly cashew tomato sauce. I'll be thinking of more uses for this winning sauce in future.

Serve with rice and a side vegetable dish to complete the culinary experience.

Chickpea Paneer Kofta in a Creamy Cashew Tomato SauceChickpea Paneer Kofta in a Creamy Cashew Tomato Sauce
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on May 27. 2009

These soft, fragrant and spicy baked chickpea and paneer cheese koftas or patties are dressed with a rich and delicious creamy cashew and tomato sauce

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  • 1/2 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1 large potato, cooked
  • 14 oz of paneer cheese
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 fresh red chilies, chopped
  • 2 fresh green chilies, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/3 cup fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • sesame oil for your hands
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or a mixture of butter and oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 2 - 3 fresh red or green chilies, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 large tomatoes, finely choppped
  • 1 cup dry-roasted cashews, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons cream
To make the koftas:
  • Soak the chickpeas in water overnight. Drain, transfer to a medium pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low and simmer until tender - roughly 1 hour. Drain and transfer to a food processor. Process the chickpeas until they resemble coarse crumbs.

  • Mash the cooked potato together with the paneer. Add to the chickpeas in the food processor, along with the ground coriander, paprika, ground cumin, cayenne, turmeric, asafetida, chilies, egg, coriander leaves and salt. Process until well combined and the mixture resembles a smooth dough. Transfer to a large bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

chickpea koftas
  • Stir in the sesame seeds and the whole wheat flour. Rub your hands with some sesame oil and shape into small patties. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 15 - 20 minutes. Remove the koftas from the oven, flip, and brush the tops with a bit of oil. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown.

chickpea and paneer koftas

To make the sauce:
  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. When hot, cook the onions, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown. Now add the garlic, ginger, chilies, coriander, cumin, cayenne, and paprika to the pan. Stir and fry for a minute or two.

  • Next add the tomatoes, cashews and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 20 - 30 minutes until you have a thick sauce. Puree the sauce with a hand blender or in a food processor. Add the cream, salt and garam masala and cook over low heat until warmed throughout.

cashew and tomato sauce
  • Spoon some sauce over each serving of koftas.

Chickpea Paneer Kofta in a Creamy Cashew Tomato Sauce

Makes 20 koftas and 3 - 4 cups of sauce (4 - 6 servings)

This is contribution to "My Favorite Things" event, started by Bindya and hosted this time by Poornima. The theme is cheese, and I know cheese is certainly one of my favorite foods.

Split Pea and Vegetable Miso Soup with Seaweed and Dried Mushrooms

Not so long ago, I resolved to incorporate more seaweed into my diet. Realizing I wasn't actually doing so, I decided to cook some into a soup again. Inspired by my Mushroom, Miso and Seawood Soup, this time I added some legumes and vegetables to load it up with extra nutrient power. Happily, the temperatures are quickly rising, meaning I will be making more salads and fewer soups for the next few months, but one of life's greatest pleasures is still a steaming hot bowl of soup.
Split Pea and Vegetable Miso Soup with Seaweed and Dried Mushrooms

1 cup of yellow split peas
14 grams of dried mushrooms
1/4 cup of dulse seaweed, crumbled or cut into pieces
4 - 5 strips of wakame seaweed
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
2 shallots, cut into thin strips
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 large potato, diced
7 cups of water
3 tablespoons of dark miso (I used Hatcho)
a generous splash of tamari
freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoons of sea salt

Rinse the yellow split peas well, transfer to a bowl and cover with water. Let the beans soak for at least three hours. Drain the beans and set aside.

In a small bowl, soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup of hot water for 20 minutes. In another small bowl, soak the wakame in 1 cup of warm water for 20 minutes. Drain the mushrooms and wakame seaweed, reserving the soaking liquid. Chop the mushrooms and wakame and set aside.

In a large pot, bring the reserved soaking liquid, along with the remaining 5 cups of water, and the ginger, shallots, garlic, potato, carrots, drained split peas and a teaspoon or two of the dulse seaweed to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover and simmer until the split peas are tender - roughly 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the miso in a small bowl with 1/2 cup of warm water and mix with a fork until the miso is dissolved.

Add the remaining dulse seaweed to the soup pot, along with the wakame seaweed, the mushrooms, the miso, tamari, salt and black pepper and gently cook for another few minutes.

Serve with brown rice for a healthy and balanced vegetarian meal.

Serves 6.

If you like this recipe, you will also want to try these healthy miso soups from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Vegetarian Miso Soup
Mushroom Miso Seaweed Soup
Miso Soup with Wild Mushrooms

Coconut Rice with Cashews and Spices

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
When I have the luxury of spending a few hours in the kitchen, I like to dress up my grains. There is no reason why legumes should get all the attention. A definite staple in my kitchen, rice is delightful with a dab or two of butter, some lemon or lime juice, perhaps a sprinkling of fried mustard seeds, asafoetida and methi leaves. With a little more focus, the flavour of this treasured fluffy grain can be transformed into a winning dish that will assert its presence as more than just a side.

This coconut rice dish comes from Dakshin, a favoured cookbook featuring traditional South Indian creations. I've written about and cooked from this indispensable book on more than one occasion in this space, and it most certainly won't be the last time. I served this with spicy Toor Dal and Green Bean Poriyal and the dish tempered the heat perfectly.

This is my contribution to Meeta's Monthly Mingle hosted this time by the Edible Garden. The theme is Ravishing Rice.

Coconut Rice

1 cup of basmati rice
2 tablespoons of ghee or sesame oil
3 tablespoons of cashews, halved
3/4 cup of dried coconut
2 - 3 green chilies, finely chopped or cut into thin strips
1 teaspoon of sea salt

For Tempering:

2 teaspoons of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of urad dal, rinsed
1 teaspoon of chana dal, rinsed
1 dried red chili, broken in half
1/2 teaspoon of asafoetida powder
a small handful of dried curry leaves

Rinse the rice well in a fine strainer. Transfer to bowl, cover with water, swish it around a few times, drain and repeat until the water is relatively clear and no longer cloudy. Drain, cover with water and soak the rice for about 20 minutes or longer. Drain and set aside to air dry for 15 minutes or so. Transfer to a small pot along with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed - roughly 15 minutes. Let sit for five minutes and then fluff with a fork. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee or sesame oil in a large wok over medium heat. When hot, saute the cashew pieces until they are golden brown. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

In the same pan, saute the coconut until it turns a reddish brown colour. Remove from the wok and set aside.

For the tempering, again in the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of oil. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad and chana dal, red chili, asafoetida and curry leaves. Stir and fry until the mustard seeds begin to pop and then add the green chilies, cooked rice, salt and coconut. Stir until well combined and then serve with the fried cashews as a garnish.

Serves 6.

Other Indian rice dishes from Lisa's Kitchen:
Lime Flavoured Rice with Split Peas
Lemon Rice with Toasted Cashews
Mushroom Pulao Rice

No Croutons Required - Berries

One of the earliest springtime treats are luscious ripe berries. Though the image of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries readily come to mind, the term berry refers to small edible fruits, such as tomatoes and grapes. Packed full of vitamins and minerals, asides from being good for you, sweet berries can be enjoyed just on their own but like any of our favorite foods, berries are a source of culinary inspiration. The challenge for May's No Croutons Required was to come up with a soup or salad featuring berries. A special thanks to all who contributed their lovely creations! Though the choice is never an easy one, please vote for your favorite in the comment section, or via email so we can crown a winner. Please note that neither my contribution, nor Holler's, is eligible for voting.

Our very first entry is this summery chilled Gazpacho Soup from Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen. A perfect soup to prepare when you want something easy but refreshing to beat the heat, this nutritious blend of cucumber, tomatoes, green pepper, onion, almonds, lemon juice, cilantro, basil, cumin and red pepper flakes is light but satisfying, especially served with some crusty bread and you don't even need to turn on the stove. (Goa, India)

Next up is Astra with this inspired Chilled Blueberry-Cocoa Dessert Soup. Another no cook soup for your repertoire, combined are the raw goodness of blueberries, bananas, yogurt, cocoa and honey. Chocolate and blueberries. But of course! I'd be delighted to eat this for breakfast. lunch or dinner. (The Deep South, USA)

Priya contributes this gorgeous Gingery Berry Soup. Yogurt, strawberries, raspberries and orange juice are blended together and then combined with honey, cinnamon, ginger, and star anise. This delightful summer soup is then garnished with a bit of nutmeg and whipping cream. Easy, elegant and good for you! (Paris, France)

Parita comes up with this lovely Strawberry and Tomato Soup that proved to be a satisfying and quick meal solution after a long day at work. Pureed tomatoes and strawberries are boiled together with a wee bit of sugar, chili powder and some salt. This colourful and refreshing soup can be served with a side salad and some bread. (Basel, Switzerland)

Soma of eCurry goes gourmet and submits this stunning Spiced Strawberry Soup with Mint Cream and Choco-Nut Crisps. Inspired by a recipe she found in a magazine, Soma's soup consists of strawberries, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange juice, ginger and mint. The simmered and chilled soup is then served with a dollop of mint yogurt cream and some delightful pieces of almond chocolate crisps. (Texas, USA)

My own contribution is this Fresh Fruit and Berry Soup. Plump cherries, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, apples, plums, dried apricots, and freshly squeezed lemon juice are simmered together and then whirled into a smoothie like soup with freshly squeezed orange juice and some goat cheese. Packed full of vitamins, this refreshing soup can be served chilled or warm, for dinner, breakfast or dessert. (London, Ontario, Canada)

Happy Cook offers up this tempting Rhubarb Soup with Strawberry Ice Cream. This dessert soup is made by simmering together rhubarb, sweet wine and sugar. This pureed mixture is then served over fresh strawberries and topped with a healthy dollop of homemade strawberry ice cream. Who could resist this summer treat? (Belgium)

My co-host Holler came up with this delightful Strawberry and Fruit Soup for this month's challenge. Strawberries, blueberries, pears, freshly squeezed lemon juice, honey, balsamic vinegar and ground cinnamon are quickly pureed together and served with some Greek yogurt. This delicious dessert soup will satisfying your sweet tooth without adding extra pounds to your waistline. Clearly a winner! (Scotland, UK)

This unique Stamnaggathi, Strawberry and Cashew Salad, our first fruit salad of the roundup, comes from Ivy of Kopiaste. Stamnaggathi is a wild green that is native to Crete. Ivy tells us it is mildly bitter with a hint of sweetness. For this salad, some raw stamnaggathi is combined with rocket, strawberries and honey and dressed with a strawberry vinaigrette consisting of olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar, pomegranate molasses, a bit of garlic and strawberries. As if I needed yet another reason to want to go to Greece! (Athens, Greece)

Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe is very busy these days with a newborn baby girl, but she still found the time to come up with this healthy and satisfying Cauliflower, Cranberry, Feta and Walnut Salad. Steamed cauliflower, fresh herbs, cranberries, walnuts, feta, fresh lemon juice and olive oil are tossed together and served with some heavenly Polenta cups with Pea Puree. Sounds like a mighty fine meal to me. (Melbourne, Australia)

From Jennifer of Savor the Thyme we have this refreshing Pepita and Cranberry Salad. Romaine lettuce, baby spinach, tomato, dried cranberries, feta, sunflower seeds, toasted pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds are all tossed together resulting in a beautiful salad that would make a fine accompaniment to any lunch or dinner. (Rhode Island, USA)

Frances of Crunchy Green Things cooks up these gorgeous Red Groats. German in origin, and a cross between a compote, stew and pudding, this soupy combination of cherries, grape juice, sugar, lemon zest and juice, wine, corn flour and mixed berries can be served for dessert with some warm vanilla custard, or even for breakfast. Irresistible! (Australia)

Sweatha of Tasty Curry Leaf sends along this delightful and refreshing Strawberry Pepper Salad. Strawberries and onion are marinaded in soy sauce, garlic, pepper, salt and chili flakes and then pan fried and tossed with cucumber, paneer and a bit of cilantro. This tangy and tart salad is a perfect accompaniment to a spring or summer meal. (Bangalore, India)

Last, but certainly not least, Chow comes up with this mouthwatering Berry Soup with Cake Croutons. Strawberries, blueberries, orange juice, agave nectar and fresh mint are whirled together and then chilled. No croutons are required, but how creative to serve this soup topped with cake croutons to add a bit of extra sweetness to this bowl of goodness! (San Francisco Bay Area, USA)

Holler will be hosting the June edition of No Croutons Required. Check back at the end of the month for the theme.

Chocolate Cocoa Brownies with Dried Cranberries and Chickpea Flour

I'm a savory type of gal, so it's not often that I bake sweet creations. Still, it's fun to share tempting treats with friends and besides, I am still on a quest to make the perfect moist and fudgy brownie. I must say my latest creation comes close. These brownies are actually made with chickpea flour instead of wheat flour, meaning they are gluten-free. You honestly won't be able to tell they aren't made with traditional flour. Serve them up to some friends without telling them if you doubt it. I based the recipe on this one that I found at Lucullian Delights. I'm not fond of nuts in brownies, but I have discovered that I rather like dried fruit in brownies, so I added some dried cranberries. The cranberries proved to be a pleasing accompaniment to the chocolate and added some chewiness besides.

But brownies really need no introduction; without further ado, onto the recipe.

Chocolate Cocoa Brownies with Dried Cranberries and Chickpea Flour

2/3 cup of butter
1/3 cup of dark chocolate
3 large eggs
1 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
2/3 cup of dried cranberries
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
4 tablespoons of cocoa
2/3 cup of sifted chickpea flour (besan)

In a medium heavy saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate. Let it cool for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar. Stir in the melted butter and chocolate. Add the salt, cranberries and vanilla and stir to combine. Now add the flour and cocoa and stir until well combined.

Transfer the batter to a buttered 9 X 9 baking pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 - 35 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

More brownie recipes from Lisa's Kitchen:
Brownies with Dried Fruit
Cocoa Brownies with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Icing
Peanut Butter Brownies
Quick and Easy Fudgy Brownies

Spicy Vegetable Korma with Chana Dal in a Cashew Coconut Tomato Sauce

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Regular readers will know that I like to experiment with various types of Indian cooking. I use different spice mixtures and ingredients, and also enjoy trying dishes from various regions of India. This vegetable korma is a fusion of Northern and Southern cooking styles. Starting with a South Indian dish in mind based on the idea of coconut blended with cumin, I then shifted to ingredients common to North Indian dishes and so made the paste with cashews, garam masala, coriander and chilies along with the coconut. The dish ended up tempered South Indian style.

I wanted a legume component, so chana dal got incorporated into the korma, and I added some hot dried red chilies because I wanted more heat. This is one of the tastiest kormas I have ever made and a fine way to get your vegetables on the table.

Serve with rice for a healthy and balanced vegetarian meal.

Spicy Vegetable Korma with Chana Dal in a Cashew Coconut Tomato Sauce

2/3 cup of chana dal (or yellow split peas), soaked for at least three hours
2 tablespoons of ghee, or a mixture of butter and oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
2 1/4 cups of water
1 large potato, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2/3 cup of peas (fresh or frozen)
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne
1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
handful of dry curry leaves (optional)

For the paste:

1/2 cup of dried coconut
1/4 cup of cashews
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
1 teaspoons of cumin seeds
3 - 4 whole dried red chilies
2 green chilies, seeded and chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

For the tadka:

1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
2 teapoons of urad dal, rinsed
pinch or two of asafoetida
2 - 3 whole dried red chilies

Begin by making the paste. Soak the coconut in 1/2 cup of hot water for 10 - 15 minutes. Drain. Soak the cashews in some warm water for 10 - 15 minutes. Drain. Dry roast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and dried red chili over medium heat for a few minutes. Transfer the coconut, cashews and roasted seeds to a food processor or blender along with the ginger and green chilies. Process until you have a fairly smooth paste. Add a bit of water if desired.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. When hot, toss in the onion and stir and fry until it is translucent. Add the tomatoes to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes or until they thicken up and have a sauce-like consistency. Now drain the chana dal and add to the pot along with 2 1/4 cups of water. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the chana dal is just tender. Add the carrots, potato and peas (if fresh), turmeric and cayenne. Continue to simmer until the vegetables are tender. You can add more water to achieve your desired consistency.

Now add the ground paste to the pot and the sea salt. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for another 10 - 15 minutes. If you are using frozen peas, add them, and the curry leaves, to the pan near the end of the cooking time.

To prepare the tadka, heat a few teaspoons of oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When hot, toss in the mustard seeds, urad dal, dried red chilies and the asafoetida. Stir and fry until the mustard seeds begin to pop and the urad dal turns a reddish colour. Immediately pour into the vegetable pot, stir and cover and let sit for 5 minutes to allow the flavours to blend.

Serves 6.

If you like this recipe, you might also enjoy:
Curried Indian Vegetable Soup
Chopped Cabbage with a Crumbly Chana Dal Sauce
Scalloped Potatoes with Coconut Milk and Mushrooms

Potato, Onion and Stilton Frittata

Potato, Onion and Stilton Frittata
Loaded with almost any kind of vegetable, herb or cheese according to the season or taste, frittatas are not only a delicious solution for empty stomachs, they're fast and easy to make too. Blue Stilton cheese gives this frittata a sharp, pungent tang that blends gracefully with the milder flavours of potato, onion and egg … but be careful not to load much extra Stilton on, it can be quite overpowering!

This is my contribution to Blog Your Omelet, an event hosted by Nuria of Spanish Recipes.

Potato, Onion and Stilton Frittata

Potato, Onion and Stilton Frittata Potato, Onion and Stilton Frittata
Recipe by
Published on May 15, 2009

A sturdy Italian frittata with potatoes and blue Stilton cheese

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  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 oz Stilton cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • Heat a large wok over medium heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, wait a few seconds, then swirl around to coat the pan. Toss in the onions and potatoes. Sauté for 5 minutes, then cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the potato slices are tender and brown on the edges. Add the thyme, stir around for a minute or two, then remove the pan from the heat.

  • Break the eggs into a large bowl, add the salt, and beat well with a whisk. Crumble in the Stilton cheese and mix.

  • Preheat an oven to 350°. Meanwhile, heat a 10-inch frying pan with straight sides over medium heat. When hot, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, wait a few seconds, then swirl around to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Spread the onions and potatoes over the bottom and pour in the egg mixture over the vegetables. Let the frittata cook undisturbed for 4 minutes to let the bottom set.

  • Transfer the frying pan to the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the eggs are set in the centre, which you can test with a cake tester. As soon as the frittata is set, turn on the broiler and move the oven rack up to the top level. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the top is browning nicely.

  • Remove the pan from the oven. Run a rubber spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the sides, then slide onto a large serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot with a black pepper grinder on the table.

  • Wrap any leftovers in aluminum foil and reheat later at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes.

Makes 4 – 6 servings
Potato, Onion and Stilton Frittata
More frittata recipes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Greek, Feta and Olive Frittata
Asparagus and Feta Cheese Frittata
Molly Katzen's Winter Frittata

Quick and Easy Ricotta Cheese Biscuits

Quick and Easy Ricotta Cheese Biscuits

Soft and moist, this is an excellent all purpose biscuit to serve with soup for a filling lunch. I whipped these up in less than an hour, including prep and cleanup time. I served the biscuits with miso soup with wild mushrooms for a delectable dinner that in no way betrayed the short time I spent preparing it.

Read this recipe »

Fresh Fruit and Berry Soup

Fresh Fruit and Berry Soup

When I announced the theme for May's No Croutons Required was going to be berries, I had no idea what I was going to make. I originally thought of making a salad, but never having made a soup with berries, I was up to the challenge and came up with this luscious blend of fruit and berries. The cherries cost a small fortune just now, as it is early in the season, but they are a choice addition, even considering the messy and rather time consuming process of pitting them all. Goat cheese was tossed in at the end of the cooking time to add a bit of tangy creaminess. Almost like a smoothie, this soup can be served hot or cold for dessert, or as a course for dinner or lunch.

Read this recipe »

Scrambled Chickpea Flour with a Fiery Red Chili Paste

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Forgetting to soak some grains and beans the night before, I figured on making some eggs for dinner, but after browsing through my treasured copy of 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer yet again, I decided it was time for a short vegan cleanse after my recent paneer cheese binge. I am addicted to cheese, but honestly didn't miss the diary in this dish.

Iyer's recipe calls for a ginger chili paste, but the Red Chili and Vinegar Paste that I prepared for a Spicy Scalloped Potato recipe from his treasured cookbook, also heavily laden with ginger and chilies, turned out to be an ideal substitute.

Rolled up in some warmed tortillas, this is a most satisfying on the fly vegetarian meal solution.

If you want to incorporate some veggies to the cooked scramble, heat some more oil in the pan, toss in some chopped onions, fry for a bit, add a chopped chili, tomato, and any vegetables of your choosing. Add the chopped chickpea flour scramble to the pan and cook until heated throughout.

I'm sharing this with Mahimaa who is asking for recipes that can be prepared in 15 minutes.
Scrambled Chickpea Flour with a Fiery Red Chili Paste

1 cup of chickpea flour, sifted
2 teaspoons of ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of garam masala
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
2 tablespoons of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon of asafetida
1 tablespoon of red chili and vinegar paste
2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro, chopped

In a medium bowl, combine the chickpea flour, coriander, salt, garam masala, cayenne, and turmeric. Pour in 3/4 cup of water and whisk together. Pour in another 3/4 cup of water and whisk in until you have a smooth, thin batter.

Heat the sesame oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and cook until they turn grey and begin to pop. Sprinkle in the asafetida, stir and add the red chili and vinegar paste. Stir and fry for a few minutes.

Lower the heat slightly, and pour the chickpea flour batter into the pan. Stir constantly, and cook until the mixture turns into a soft ball - roughly 5 - 8 minutes. Make sure you scrap any bits of dough from the sides and bottom of the pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and leave to sit for 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a cutting board and sprinkle with cilantro. Slice the dough into bits, taking care to incorporate the chopped herb into the dough. The chopped scramble will resemble fluffy scrambled eggs.

Serve wrapped in warmed whole wheat tortillas or with any Indian flatbread.

Yields 4 servings.

More recipes using chickpea flour:
Chickpea Flour Fritters with a Creamy Ricotta, Sun-dried Tomato and Olive Filling
Chickpea Flour Pancakes with Crushed Peas and Cilantro
Chickpea Pumpkin Burgers