zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)
( Mar. 4th, 2012 10:28 pm)
 A little bit ago, [personal profile] commodorified  held a Food Security carnival, with lots of lovely posts on cooking, shopping, and eating. I've posted a lot about cooking in the past, but missed out on this one. Tonight, though, I tried a new recipe and I was pretty happy with the results. It occurred to me that being relatively simple, relatively inexpensive, filling, and yummy, it would be a good one to share.* 

Herewith, then, I present to you White Lady's Aloo Channa. It's based on this recipe,  but because I don't have a have a pressure cooker, and I was short some ingredients, I created a simplified version. This goes nicely over rice, so put a cup of rice on to cook when you start chopping, and it should be done by the time you're ready to eat. 

Ingredients
1 tbsp cooking oil, 1 tbsp butter
1 cooking onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
2 heaping tablespoons prepared Indian curry paste (or follow the instructions in the linked recipe to make your own). I used Patak's mild, and it was fine, though next time I'll start with spices and work from there. 
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 – 1 tsp red pepper flakes. If you want it hotter, you can used chopped hot peppers of whatever variety you like, but I didn't have any to hand. 
1 tsp ground cumin
 2 potatoes (fist-sized, roughly)
1 large fresh tomato, chopped OR 1/2 can tomatoes
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed
Chopped cilantro (optional)

Instructions
Chopping:
Chop the onion into roughly 1/4-inch pieces. Scrub and chop the potatoes into 1-inch cubes
Heat the oil and butter in a deep frying pan over medium heat.

Cooking:
1. Heat the oil and butter in a deep frying or medium-sized saucepan pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, curry paste, and mustard seeds, and cook until the onions are clear, about 10 minutes (but go by the clarity of the onions, not by the clock. If the onions start to brown, turn the heat down).
2. When the onions are clear, add the ground cumin, and cook for 30 seconds. 
3. Add the chopped potatoes, and stir to coat with all the fragrant curry goodness. Add the tomatoes. If you're using whole canned tomatoes, smoosh them with a wooden spoon to break them up. Add the chickpeas. 
4. Cover your frying pan, and let everything cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20–30 minutes. When it's ready, garnish with the chopped cilantro, if you're using it. 

This makes enough for two or three people, but it scales up quite easily. If you're being very economical, use a cup of dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked in place of the canned. It tasted pretty good this way, but I imagine it would be even better with turmeric, garam masala, and curry leaf, instead of prepared curry paste; I just didn't have the spices on hand, and I did have a jar of Patak's, so that's what I did this time.



Not, nothing, really. But vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free, which is a tall order. I tried each of these recipes last Friday, and they were all super tasty!

Recipes behind the cut. )


For human_loser, who recently bemoaned the lack of good chili recipes on the Web. This is how I make chili, in a Crock Pot. You can use a pot on the stove, but if you do, you probably should go off to yoga class or to sleep while it's simmering. This makes a lot of chile. You can make less chile by halving the recipe. You can also get creative with the additions. I have added chopped carrot, green pepper, various types of hot pepper, and cubed firm tofu. I really like the way red lentils make the chili thick and hearty, especially if I'm not adding fake ground round.

Ingredients
1 medium sized cooking onion, chopped reasonably fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 2 tbsp chili powder (yes, you can make your own, but this is just simpler)
Optional: 1 package fake ground round, with or without Mexican seasoning*
3 or 4 chipotles, chopped
2 or 3 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 cup cooked red kidney beans)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 cup cooked black beans)
(You can also use chickpeas, red lentils, and/or pinto beans)
1 can chopped tomatoes (you can also peel, seed, and chop 8 large tomatoes, if you really want to or think tinned foods are evil)
Salt
Oil for cooking the onion

Optional additions:
1 chopped red or yellow bell pepper
1 cup frozen corn niblets
A few handfuls of sliced button mushrooms
Spicy pepper sauce
Tomato paste

Process
Start your slow cooker warming up. Add your tomatoes and chili powder.

In a large-ish frying pan, heat the oil (about 2 tbsp) on medium heat. Add the onions and cook them until they are soft and transparent. Add the garlic, and fake (or real, if you must) meat, and turn down the heat, cooking until the garlic is cooked and the fake meat is "browned." Remove the frying pan from the stove (turn the stove off!), and put its contents into your slow cooker.

To the tomatoes, onions, optional meat (fake or real), and garlic, add the chili powder, chipotles, jalapenos, beans/lentils, optional mushrooms, and a bit of salt. Cover. Turn the slow cooker up to high if you have not already done so. If it looks too full of beans and stuff and not sufficiently sauce-y, add a tin of tomato paste and some water. If it looks too watery, add a handful of red lentils.

Go away: go to sleep, or to work, or to yoga class, or to anyplace that will take you away for several hours while your kitchen and home fill with the smells of cooking chili.

When you come back, peep into your burbling slow cooker. Taste the results. If you like it hotter, add some chili sauce. About 20 minutes before you want to serve it, add your corn or bell pepper, if you're doing that.

Serve with warm corn bread.





* If you want meat in your chili, substitute ground beef. Brown it after you've clarified your onions.

Friday night saw another cheerful round of culinary hijinks.

Dramatis Personae
[personal profile] sabotabby — Veggie soup
[livejournal.com profile] corbet — dip! With crackers
The Happy Seamstress — Chevre-stuffed figs fried in honey (plus a vegan version!)
[livejournal.com profile] curgoth  — lentil patties
[livejournal.com profile] chickenfeet2003 — quinoa with peppers
Yours truly — quinoa with roasted butternut squash, cranberries, and toasted pecans and gluten-free pumpkin cake with maple glaze
[livejournal.com profile] thegiantkiller — saved us from the abundance of quinoa with her yummy eggplant-tomato-rice dish
[livejournal.com profile] captainmushroom — pear-cranberry crumble
[livejournal.com profile] mycrazyhair — hazlenut chocolate chip cookies
[livejournal.com profile] tormenta — raw date, mango dessert-pudding-thing

Some Notes on the Foodz
Honey-fried cheese-stuffed figs FTW! 

I really liked the maple and squash in the red quinoa recipe. That one may become part of the standard supper rotation—it was easy to make, involved all things I like, and didn't require a lot of different steps. For the pumpkin cake (also a success) I used flax seed for the egg replacer, and Namaste baking mix for the flour. I did not make a cream-cheese frosting, because I wanted to avoid dairy and soy, so instead I made a glaze of icing sugar, almond milk, and maple syrup, which was pleasant, but lacking in body.

We have a lot of yummy leftovers.



If these things get any bigger, I'm going to have to rent a church kitchen. Since I love having everyone over to cook, I think this might actually be worth it. When we rented this place, we thought the lovely kitchen would be big enough, but, well, not for 12 people, 7 of whom are actually cooking, and the rest of whom need burners to warm their offerings, oven space, and a place to sit. We used every plate Sabot and I own, as well as most of the bowls, pots, and pans. Clearly, I need more dishes.

Sabotabby has posted pics and her recipe.

Dramatis Personae:

Yours truly: Quinoa stew and gluten-free vanilla cupcakes with raspberry glaze.
[personal profile] sabotabby : Chipotle lasagne
[personal profile] mycrazyhair : Mushrooms with rice noodles
[personal profile] curgoth : Moroccan lentil stew
[personal profile] neeuqdrazil : dumplings!!!!!!
[personal profile] toft: ... something else with lentils (???)
captainmushroom: baked garden veggies
picturegal (non-lj work friend): something with carrots, something with beets
thegiantkiller ... I'm sorry! I don't remember!
craftygal (other non-lj work friend): portobello burgers with onion jam and some sort of yummy yoghurt dressing
[personal profile] graydon : chocolate nemesis, with raspberry sauce; also maple-garlic-orange sauce (not part of the nemesis dessert!) (he has made Nemesis before, but hey, someone wants to make a decadent chocolate dessert and feed it to me and my friends and I am going to complain whyfor?)

If I've missed anyone, please comment and I'll correct!

My recipes:
Recipes hereunder! )
* Karina's blog, Karina's Kitchen, is my new favourite food blog. Gluten-free, soy free, often vegan recipes by someone who loves food and loves cooking. Baked goods that are not about penetance! I feel like sending her (gluten-, soy-, dairy-free) cookies!

.

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