Category Archives: Lentils

Spiced broccoli stuffed parathas..

 Following on from my previous post, I continued to play with some more broccoli last week, and made these spiced broccoli stuffed breads..they were a huge success, and another great way to get my son to eat vegetables he other would not! 

Before I go any further, can I just make a note here: 

My esteemed Indian food blogging friends make a much better job of putting these breads together than I did, but it worked, so I’m not complaining, they’re just not as pretty as many of yours are! This is what I did as a result of reading your many wonderful recipes.. 

Check out Sonals blog for lots more stuffed flatbread recipes including tutorials on how to make them. 

But before you do that…here’s mine..

 Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole wheat/atta flour 

2 tsp oil (I used rapeseed)

Pinch of salt

Warm water as needed

For the filling:

1 tbsp oil of your choice, I used coconut oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 cup broccoli, chopped into florets

1/2 tsp ginger paste

1/2 tsp garlic paste

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp garam masala or Kitchen King masala (I used the one I made recently)  

 Method 

Boil or steam the broccoli florets as you would normally, without letting them get too soft, then leave them to drain well. I used the tops of the ‘trees’ as much as possible

Once cooled, blend or chop roughly 

Heat the oil in a pan then add the cumin seeds, and when they start to sizzle, as the broccoli and all of the ground spices and cook for a few minutes

Leave this to cool whilst making the dough..

Mix together the flour, oil and salt, and add enough water to bring together a dough. It should be soft and not sticky, knead it for a few minutes, then place it in a covered bowl for 15-20 minutes

To put the breads together, I split the dough into 6 portions, and on a floured surface, rolled them into a ball and rolled them out into as much a round as I could

I then placed a heaped tablespoon of the broccoli mixture in the middle of the dough and brought the dough together around it like a parcel, then rolled the breads out again. 

(I could probably have done with chopping the broccoli mixture up finer as it broke through the dough in lots of places) 

I floured them and placed them on a plate ready to cook

I heated my tawa, you can use a wide flat frying pan, to a medium heat, then placed the bread into the pan.

Once the surface started to bubble, I daubed the top of the bread with rapeseed oil using a pastry brush, then turned it over to cook the other side. I then daubed the new side with some more oil, and once both sides had some healthy brown spots on, I placed them on a kitchen towel and wrapped them up in a tea towel whilst I cooked the rest of the rounds and until we were ready to eat 

  See what I mean..they’re not very round and not very even, but they tasted good! 

I enjoyed these with a special friend that I made lunch for on Friday, along with with a collection of dips that I’d made, plus the leftover salad and broccoli crumb from my previous post. 

 Red pepper and sriracha homous, mutabal with Aleppo chilli flakes, roasted broccoli & garlic homous, homous with my broccoli crumb, chermoula pimped goats cheese and the rest of my toasted broccoli crumb, all sitting pretty on a beautiful olive wood board gifted to me by the lovely Linda from La Petite Paniere, who I was recently extremely lucky to meet up with in London.  

Later that evening I heated the last couple of parathas in the oven and added some cheese to the top to make a quick pizzette and took this very quick photo of it, which has turned out to be the most popular photo I’ve ever posted on Instagram!!! How curious is that?  It was very tasty though! 

Making your recipes..

 Me cooking cauliflower is nothing new, you’ve seen me share many cauliflower recipes, and I roast cauliflower several times a week, but when I saw Lizs post including her pan roasted cauliflower steaks, I knew it would become a new way of cooking cauliflower in my kitchen. I’ve pan cooked cauliflower before, but not as whole ‘steaks’ like this and it was great – and so pretty! 

I enjoyed it with some lovely creamy homous – again, something I make regularly, but this time, I followed Jhuls ‘easy microwave homous’. This was a new method for me to try and involves peeling the chickpeas first, which was fine, except that the tin that I opened held the smallest (and most yellow!) chickpeas I have ever seen!!!! So of course, there was loads of them! But peel them I did..you then microwave them briefly, which shows up just how many skins you’ve missed, and so the peeling continues…

  The method generates a lovely creamy dip and I’m so glad I tried it, and definely recommend it. 

I also served it with sprinkled sumac, toasted flaked almonds and chopped parsley. 

I also made a new spice mix recently; I follow Tanvee on Instagram and her lovely blog, and she told me about Kitchen King Masala, a spice mix used widely in India. You know me, I always like a new spice mix, and I loved making this one too..

 All ready to toast..

I ground this all up and have been using it ever since 🙂 

I have also made the Cajun spice mix from Mollies blog, which the blogs have liked on their chicken and in their quesadillas. And Andreas honey chipotle chicken, another winner with the boys – and eaten far too quickly for me to photograph. Trupti’s spinach dal was also very tasty – but again, no photo, sorry!! Visit Trupti’s blog for the details. 

And finally…more stuffed baby aubergines, this time following Prachi’s recipe..I experimented with purple baby aubergines and little green round Thai aubergines.. 

 Going in

  

 Coming out (they never look as pretty but they sure taste good!) 

 Such great flavours 🙂  

Pictured here with some of an aubergine quinoa bake I recently devised (more about soon). 

I do love making so many of your recipes – thank you for the inspiration x 

Pumpkin seeds, rye berries, oats and spelt sourdough..

 I’m afraid bringing you more sourdough bread, but it’s too good not to share! If you were here right now, I’d share it in person too, but we’ll have it make do with a virtual share..

So, before I tell you about the actual loaf, let me tell you how it came about..I recently met another blogger: the amazing baker and cook, Ginger from Ginger and Bread. She was visiting my part of the world and I made a quick visit to meet her and it was lovely. Having read her blog and seen her on television, we didn’t really need any introductions, and launched straight into a discussion about food. We had each brought each other food gifts and Ginger gave me a large bag of ‘rye berries’, something new to me.. 

Rye berries are whole rye kernels, and can be used in baking and dishes once they’ve been soaked and cooked. They can be eaten like any grain as an addition to a meal. Having soaked and cooked some this is how they looked.. 

And they are very tasty! 
Ginger brought them specifically as she had been talking about them on her blog and her suggestion was for me to use them in a loaf of bread. And luckily for me, she even developed a recipe for me, which is what I used yesterday (only substituting sunflower seeds for pumpkin seeds, no other changes) and baked the loaf this morning. I followed the recipe, which calls for many folds and lots of nurturing, and it worked beautifully, creating a huge tasty loaf. It includes spelt flour, oats, seeds and cooked rye berries.. 

This is the dough after several hours of being lovingly folded every half hour

 All tucked up and ready for bed: I then left it to prove in a floured tea towel, in a bowl, and in the fridge overnight  

And baked it first thing this morning…
 It grew so much, even more as it baked, it literally filled my roaster 
I then waited a painstaking 5 hours before cutting into it!!! (But I have cut into sourdough bread too soon before and if it’s still too warm, the steam makes the bread all gummy, so I have learnt my lesson) 

And when I finally cut into it it was worth the wait.. 
  Look at all those berries and seeds!

Lunch is served! I don’t eat bread very often but when I do, my favourite choice would always be with a good strong cheddar and fresh tomato 🙂 

Bon appetit! 

Thank you Ginger xx

A vegetarian ‘mujaddrah’ inspired lentil & quinoa dish..

 “Mujaddrah” is a typical Lebanese dish made with lentils and rice and topped with caremalised onions. It’s something I’ve wanted to make for a while, but as I started to do so, mine evolved into something else with more ingredients in it…I’ve read several versions of the recipes, some with spices and some without, and I used these various recipes as my inspiration, as well as my own ideas for pimping it, when I made this dish, which turned out really tasty, although not that colourful to photograph! 

  Ingredients 

250g green lentils, washed, soaked overnight and cooked as per instructions on the pack 

100g quinoa, uncooked

3 red onions, thinly sliced

2 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped

2 medium aubergines, cubed

2tbsp olive oil plus more to drizzle over aubergine 

1tsp cumin seeds

1tsp ground cumin

1tsp ground coriander

1/4tsp cayenne pepper

1tsp ras el hanout

Salt to taste

Water as needed

Lemon juice to serve 

 Method 

Heat the oven to 200C, drizzle a little olive oil over the chopped up aubergine and roast for 25-30 minutes until nicely cooked through, then take out and keep to one side until you need them 

Heat oil in a wide pan over a medium heat and add the cumin seeds

Cook on their own for a brief time until the pub start to sizzle then add the sliced onions 

Cooked them over the medium heat for 10-15 minutes until they start to caremalise and get all lovely 

(If you were making Mujaddrah this is when you would remove some of the onions from the pan to save for later to garnish the dish but I forgot to do that for my dish!)

Add the garlic after about 10 minutes and give it a chance to cook without getting burnt 

Add the roasted aubergine cubes and all of the spices and stir them all through 

Cook together for 2-3 minutes

Add then lentils and again stir through and cook together for a few minutes but don’t let lentils break down

Add the quinoa, stir it in and add 100ml water – you may feel that you want to add a bit more, but don’t overdo it – I used my quinoa cooking method here which is 1:1 ratio of uncooked quinoa:water plus there will be moisture in the pan from the vegetables and this is a good way of soaking some of that up 

Bring the pan to the boil and turn down the heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes

Turn off heat, and leave with lid on and allow the steam to finish cooking quinoa

And serve!

I ate mine with a handful of cashews that I’d roasted myself. I also enjoyed it again the next day by heating a portion in a frying pan with some olive oil and added some nuts in at the same time. 
  
Happy Weekend! I hope the partygoers at Fiesta Friday like my dish 🙂 

Red lentil dahl and an experimental gluten free flatbread…

  

Having recently had fun with spices that I purchased from Spice Kitchen and throughly enjoying their curry paste/marinade recipe, I have been chatting to Sanjay from the company and asked him what he and his Mum, Shashi, would feed me if they took part in my ‘What would you feed me?‘ series..he sent over this red lentil dahl recipe of his Mum’s and is very happy for me to share it with you. 

Firstly, meet Sanjay and Shashi from Spice Kitchen…I love these photos; theirs is a new company, with an online shop and social enterprise, and the whole family is working together to build it and share their love of high quality hand blended and home ground Indian spices…’always sold with love’…

   

So, onto the recipe..

 

Red lentil dahl

Ingredients – for the lentils 

200g red lentils

750ml water (approx)

1tsp salt

For the masala

1tbsp ghee or vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)

1tsp cumin seeds

1 onion, chopped (I used a red onion)

1 clove chopped garlic

2 chopped tomatoes (in the absence of fresh tomatoes, I used 2tbsp tomato purée) 

1tsp ginger, grated

1tsp turmeric

1 chilli, finely chopped

1tsp fenugreek leaves

1tsp garam masala

Handful coriander 

   

 Method

1. Wash the lentils throughly, ideally leaving them to soak. When the water runs clear you know the lentils have been washed properly.

2. Place the lentils in a pan with the salt, cover with the water and bring to the boil. 

3. Remove the froth if there is any, reduce the heat and put the lid on the pan – leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Check the lentils are cooked by squeezing them between your fingers. Once soft remove from the heat. 

4. In a frying pan heat the oil or butter.

5. Add the cumin, onion, chilli and gsrlic and fry until lightly browned. Reduce the heat and add the tomatoes, ginger, turmeric and fenugreek. Gently let the ingredients cook down for about 10 minutes to make a thick masala paste.

6. Add the masala paste in the frying pan to the lentils. It should have the consistency of a thick soup but if it’s too thick just add a little boiling water and remove from the heat. If you prefer it thicker just leave it on the heat to reduce until you get the consistency you want.

7. Check the seasoning and add a little salt if required. Stir in the garam masala and coriander. Add extra chilli powder if needed. 

 

I ate this across two days, and, as is often the case, the flavour had developed even more by day two. I ate it with some roasted cauliflower and a ‘flatbread’ that I had had an idea about whilst walking Bob!  


The ‘flatbread’ was basically, a couple of tablespoons of natural yoghurt mixed with almond flour, coconut flour and gluten free baking powder to make a dough, then cooked on a tawa over a medium heat until cooked through. It’s definitely a success in the making…this first attempt held together quite well in parts, but not as a whole. As you can imagine, I’ll be working on it! It tasted good though 🙂 

I hope you like the recipe and enjoy meeting the face behind the Spice Kitchen – please note – I have not been paid or recompensed for the post in any way. 

I am bringing my red lentil dahl and flatbread to this week’s Fiesta Friday – yes, it’s that time, let you hair down and join the party (that’s a bit hard for me with so little hair, but I’m sure some of you can make up for me!!!) – this week co hosted by the fabulous Jhuls and Justine, both great ladies,with great blogs. Have fun! 

A couple of shots from my week to make you smile.. Enjoy xx

    

Chana Dal/Yellow Lentils With Spinach

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On Tuesday I was puppy sitting the lovely Murray again ☺️ After a long walk in freezing fog that literally got right through to your bones, I then got two big pots of lentils cooking on the hob to make some food for my freezer as well as some portions for another lovely friend of mine – I am aiming to nourish all of my friends with healthy, home cooked food!!! (I hasten to add, it is at their request, not just forcing my food on them!!)

This one is a dry curry and my first experience with chana dal…if you like something a little bit smoother or sauce-like, my understanding is that you can cook the lentils a bit longer and stir them up a bit with a whisk to break them down, but I haven’t tried that myself yet..

Ingredients
250g channa dal
water as necessary
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon ginger paste/minced
A big bag of fresh spinach
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder depending on the strength of your chilli powder
2 tablespoons tomato purée
1 teaspoon salt

Directions
Wash the lentils and leave them to soak – I left them to soak overnight then washed them through again several times!
Drain the lentils and place them in a large pot with enough water to cover them, bring them to a boil and let them simmer for 20-30 minutes until the lentils have softened (you may have to use additional water to do this).
Cook uncovered to let the cooking liquid evaporate – but be careful not to overcook so that they don’t become mushy.
Heat the oil, add the bay leaves and cinnamon, add and fry the mustard seeds until they sputter, then add the ginger, garlic and chili and fry a further 5 minutes.
Add the spinach and cook for 5 minutes until it wilts down.
Stir in the remaining spices and salt and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Finally add the lentils, stir and cook a further 5 minutes then add the tomato purée and stir through.
If you feel that the lentils need more water, add a bit at a time and keep an eye on the consistency and make sure that the lentils don’t break up.

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And just for the heck of it, here’s how Murray is looking, now 8 months old and with a posh new hairdo…such amazing green eyes!!!

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Urid dal and soya bean curry

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The other lentil dish I made for my friends freezer was this urid dal curry with soya beans. It tastes best with butter stirred through it before eating, which might not quite fit the healthy aim of the dish, but it tastes good and you don’t need much!!

Ingredients

500g urid dal
500g soya beans
Chopped garlic
2tsp cumin seeds
1tsp brown mustard seeds
1/2 asafetida
1.5tsp turmeric
3-4tsp ground coriander
1tsp cumin
Salt
Chopped fresh coriander
Butter

Method

Soak the lentils and change the water a few times to clean them. On this occasion I I didn’t pre cook the lentils, I just kept adding water as it cooked later, but you could pre cook it then add the rest of the ingredients.

Add some oil to a large saucepan and when it’s warm, add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and heat until they start to sizzle, then add the rest of the spices and chopped garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, taking care not to burn them.

Add the urid dal and soya beans and cook until the beans are defrosted and the lentils are as soft as you’d like them to be, adding water along the way if necessary.

To serve, add the chopped coriander and stir through, and for an added bit of loveliness, stir butter through just before eating.

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All portioned up and ready for my lovely Susie-Sue to collect 😀

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