Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

‘Masak Merah’ Vegetables

I promised I’d cook the Teen something spicy for dinner. When I looked at my recipes and on line, I knew I wanted to try something different – not the usual coriander-cumin mix or something with coconut milk. After much searching, I came up with a veganpic version of ‘Ayam Masak Merah’ – without the Ayam! Quite simply, it is a recipe with roasted vegetables served with a spiced tomato sauce from Malaysia.

This recipe is a milder version than the traditional ones. It is still not for the faint hearted! I decided to make the sauce in advance and let it stand so that the spice could cook out and come through more evenly. In keeping with the style of cooking the original chicken component, I roasted the vegetables before adding to the sauce. All of this was served up with boiled Jasmine rice.

I used whatever vegetables I found in the fridge and larder. I cut them into sizes so they would cook at the same time. Putting them in a large bowl, I drizzled them in enough sunflower to coat them lightly and seasoned with sea salt. Placing them on a pre-heated baking tray, I roasted them in an oven pre-heated to 180c for about 20 minutes. I give the selection I used plus I threw in some spinach at the end of the cooking time.

Serves 4

Ingredients
Paste
1 stick lemongrass, roughly chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 bulb garlic, chopped
3 hot chillies, chopped (with seeds in)
1½ inch, ginger, chopped finely
3 star anise
½ tsp, black cardamon seeds

Sauce
3 tbsp., sunflower or vegetable oil
1 stick, cinnamon
1 tsp, turmeric
1 tsp, fennel seeds
1 tsp, ground coriander
1 tube, tomato puree
½ cup, tomato ketchup
3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tin, chopped tomatoes
6 kaffir leaves
1 tsp, sugar
1 tbsp., lime juice
Sea salt

Vegetables
Sunflower oil

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size cubes
2 large carrots, cut into batons
2 bell peppers
2 large handfuls of spinach (added 5 minutes before the end of cooking)

Method
1. With a pestle and mortar, crush the star anise with the cardamon seeds
2. Put in the blender with the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, onion and chillies
3. Blitz into a rough paste
4. Heat the oil and fry the paste for 2-3 minutes
5. Add the cinnamon stick, fennel seeds, coriander and turmeric and cook for 2 minutes
6. Add in the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, tomato ketchup, sugar, kaffir leaves and lime juice
7. Bring to the boil and simmer at a low heat for 30 minutes
8. Season with salt to taste
9. Add the roasted vegetables, coat in the sauce and cook for another 15 minutes

 

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Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Roasted Cauliflower Curry

Fresh cauliflower in the supermarket makes me love when vegetables are in season.  With the Teen working flat out at the moment, I promised her something tasty for dinner. With the cauliflower, I thought I’d make my usual Aloo Gobi but when I went to prepare it, I decided I wanted to do something new. So off I searched for a new recipe. As always, I came across a lot I liked but none I loved. Time to mix and match.

I love the idea of roasting vegetables instead of cooking them simply in the sauce. While this can all be cooked at the same time, I decided to cook it in stages. This was partly due to the way my day was structured and partly because I wanted the sauce to be as deepcauliflower and as rich as it could be. So I made the sauce and left it aside for a few hours and I prepped the vegetables so it could all be put together later. I also combined the vegetables with the spices rather than simply sprinkling over and left to stand while the oven was heating. This worked very well as the flavour was even throughout.

And it all worked so well. Hands up, I am not too keen on Aloo Gobi as I find the cauliflower can often be bitter but with this recipe, it tasted delicious. We ate it with homemade flatbread and it was ‘a hug in a bowl’ as the cliché goes. This will be the recipe I use going forward as a main meal or as a side dish.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients
I small cauliflower
1/2 lb potatoes, peeled
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 chilli, chopped finely
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 lemon, juiced
6 dried curry leaves
4 tbsp, sunflower oil
1 dessertspoon cumin seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp sugar

1. Cut potatoes into chunks and break cauliflower into small florets
2. Crush the cumin, coriander and caraway seeds together with a pestle and mortar if possible
3. Add these to the other spices and combine with half the oil
4. Coat the potatoes and cauliflower completely in this spice mix and leave to stand while the oven heats to 180c (fan)
5. Heat the other half of the oil in a pan
6. Cook the onions until soft
7. Add garlic, chilli and curry leaves and cook for another two minutes
8. Add tomatoes, lemon juice, sugar and tomato puree and cook on a low heat for 30 minutes
9. While this is cooking, heat a tray in the oven
10. Place the spiced vegetables on the tray and cook for 30-40 minutes
11. Combine with tomato mix
12. Serve with flatbread or rice

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