Katsu Curry Soup – Vegan, Gluten Free, Lactose Free

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Katsu Curry Soup.  Photo taken by CJ during a live tv show

‘The inspiration for this soup came from the irresistible Chicken Katsu Curry at Wagamama.  Home made healthy comfort food that you can make quickly at home.   Amazing flavours and perfect for January. It takes 35 minutes to prefer from start to serving it but it is even more delicious the day after’

You will need:

1 tablespoon oil
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1/2 kilo carrots or butternut squash or a mix of both
2 tablespoons mild curry powder
300-500ml water
1 all natural stock cube
1 tablespoon agave or use stevia [or honey if not vegan]
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon tomato puree
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon garam masala

fresh coriander to garnish

Roughly chop the vegetables.  Remove the seeds from the butternut squash but leave the seeds on.
Place the oil in a pot over low heat and add the curry powder, garam masala and grated ginger and allow the spices to infuse.  Add the onion, garlic, water and all-natural stock cubes.  Add the butternut squash and/or carrots.  Stir and bring to a boil.  Add the soy sauce and tomato puree and simmer for 25 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add the agave or honey [or stevia] and blend it until it is smooth and consistent.
Chop up the fresh coriander. Add half of it to the soup and mix in.
Garnish with the rest of the chopped fresh coriander and serve.

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Katsu Curry Soup.  This photo was taken during a live tv show.

I use Kallo all natural stock cubes from good earth, organic butternut squash and carrots from Barbuto, fresh vegetables, ginger root and herbs from Big Fresh, spices and herbs by Schwartz, sunflower oil by 3 Leaves

Vegan curry with coconut milk

black eyed bean coconut curry

Black eyed bean curry finished off with coconut milk and roasted veggie balls  Photography: Illumina Media Services

‘I like using when possible dried beans.  The flavor and texture of cooked dried legumes is far superior to canned ones and you can control the amount of added salt.  This coconut flavored curry makes an ideal weekday winter meal’

You will need:

  • 200g black eyed beans, soaked and cooked
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • a pinch of chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons cold pressed coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 500ml water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves
  • juice of one lemon
  • 150ml

Melt the coconut oil on very low gentle heat and add all the spices and stir continuously for a few minutes so that they flavours are released. The mustard seeds will start to pop and then add the onion, garlic and fresh ginger. Stir and add the black eyed beans. Add the water, bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes again on very low heat. Add the lemon juice and the coconut milk. Heat through and leave to rest covered for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and some more coconut milk.

We served ours with some roasted veggie balls and perfect basmati rice.

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Perfect Coconut Basmati, as seen on TV.  Photography: Illumina Media Services

Pumpkin harvest and a pie

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‘A traditional local pie associated with the northern village of Manikata and the town of Mosta’

 

For the Sesame seed crust you will need:

800g plain flour
A pinch of salt
125g butter
125ml olive oil
2 eggs
25g sesame seed.
cold water to bind

1 egg for pastry egg wash

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Sift the flour and add the salt. Add the chopped up bits of butter and rub in. Mix. Add the olive oil and rub in. Add the eggs, in eat a time and if necessary add cold water, a spin each time to bind the dough. Knead in the sesame seeds. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.

For Elizabeth’s filling you will need :

1 kilo partially boiled pumpkin, cut into cubes
1 medium onion, chopped up
1 garlic clove, chopped up
12 olives, stone removed, chopped
25g raisins
25g anchovies
169g canned tuna
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
200g rice
1/2 tablespoon good oil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Heat up the oil and sauté the onion and garlic. Add the pumpkin and cook on low heat. Add the rice, cook for two minutes and mix in the anchovies and olives. Cook for 20 minutes on low heat until the pumpkin softens up. Do not let the mixture dry up and add more water if necessary, a few spoonfuls at a time.

Take out pastry from fridge. Roll it out on a clean floured surface.

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Grease a deep pie dish. Roll the pastry round the rolling pin and drop into the pie dish. Press it in gently. Trim it. Scatter a spoon of raw rice onto the bottom of the pie dish so that the pastry remains crispy as the raw rice will absorb any liquid.

Spoon the filling into the dish. Flatten. Cover with pastry.
Beat an egg and brush on some egg wash onto the exposed pastry parts.
Bake at 160 C for an hour, the first 30 minutes on the bottom shelf so that the bottom of the pie cooks to a crispy texture, otherwise it will end up being soggy. Transfer to middle shelf after half an hour.

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My flour comes from St Georges Brand, sesame seeds from Schwartz and organic pumpkin from Barbuto in Sicily.

Spinach and Orange Curry

This week’s paper

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We had a simple supper tonight, a quick and easy meal but it was delicious. I was inspired this afternoon when I visited a friend’s Indian Restaurant to make naan bread with the indian cooks. One of them was from Mumbai and the other from Kerala…what a long way from home but these boys have adapted well and can even speak a bit of the language !

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I came back home and I used frozen spinach tonight; this is really a store cupboard dish which you can whizz up in under 10 minutes.

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You will need :
500 g frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
1 orange, rind grated and juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
250 ml Yoghurt, i use the local one
2 spoons simgle cream
sea salt
1/3 teaspoon garam masala
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
1/3 teaspoon chili powder
1/3 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
1/2 teaspoon fresh coriander, finely chopped.
150 ml water
1 teaspoon oil

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Lightly fry the onion and garlic in the oil. I use a non stick pan. Add all the spices and ginger and cook and stir for a minite. Add the spinach, stir and then add the water and orange juice. Stir and bring to boil. Lower heat and add the yoghurt and a quarter of the orange zest and stir for half a minute, then add the cream and finely chopped coriander and cook for another half a minute. Turn off heat. Leave covered for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with half the orange rind. This can be reheated the next day and it is usually even more delicious as the flavor in the spices improves.

I served ours tonight with some fluffy couscous with fresh finely chopped coriander and half the grated orange rind. You can also do the same with basmati rice.

And this is the finished naan in the restaurant

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