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1  Pea and Pomegranate Samosas in Vegetarian / Vegan by foodieandthechef on: March 14, 2011 04:12:05 AM
For more pictures and the full post I'd love for you to visit me at my blog http://foodieandthechef.com/2011/03/pomegranate-and-pea-samosas/ (Website no longer exists - jungrrl)


I thought I loathed samosas - greasy packets of stodgy dough filled with a scant amount of potato-heavy filling.  So when my (not so) little brother asked me to make them for his next dinner at my place, I was hesitant.  Far from the oily take-away counterparts that dear Tom had in mind, these made for a surprising light and fresh Indian treat.  The vibrant pomegranate seeds offset the sweet peas and savoury spices, all encased in a fine golden pastry.

I love pomegranate in salads, desserts and as a lovely pair to game meat (try to get your hands on some pomegranate molasses - or make some yourself).  That being said, my favourite way to devour the wonderfully tangy fruit is to simply roll the whole pomegranate on a hard surface to crush and loosen all the seeds, poke a straw through the crimson red skin and slurp up the fresh juice straight from the source.

pomegranate and pea samosas

makes 12 samosas

    * vegetable/ sunflower oil, for deep frying

for the dough

    * 500g (4 cups) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
    * 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
    * 2 tbsp ghee or rice bran/ vegetable oil

for the filling

    * 100g (2 small) potatoes
    * 150g (1 cup) frozen or shelled peas
    * 4 tbsp ghee or rice bran/ vegetable oil
    * 1 tsp cumin seeds
    * 1 5cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
    * 4-5 green chillies, chopped (de-seed them if you don't like things too hot)
    * 1 tsp chilli or cayenne pepper
    * 1/4 teaspoon ground tumeric
    * 1 tsp ground coriander
    * seeds from one pomegranate
    * 1 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
    * salt, to taste

the dough

   1. Put the flour and ground tumeric in a large bowl and mix with the ghee and just enough water to form a stiff dough.
   2. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and roll into balls.  Cover with a damp cloth.

the filling

   1. Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling water for 20 minutes, or until soft. then drain and allow to cool.
   2. Peel off the potato skins, return to the pan and mash.
   3. Cook the peas in another pan of boiling water for 5 minutes, or until soft.
   4. Heat the ghee in a deep, heavy-based pan.  Add the cumin seeds and fry over medium heat for about 15 seconds.
   5. Add the ginger, chillies, chilli powder, tumeric, coriander and season with salt.  Stir fry for about 1 minute, add the potatoes and peas and stir fry for another minute.
   6. Add the pomegranite seeds and coriander and stir.
   7. When the filling is cool, divide into 12 equal portions.

to finish

   1. Place the balls of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into relatively thin rounds, 20cm in diameter.  Cut in half.
   2. Place a portion of the filling on the center of the dough.  Bring the two corners of the dough together and overlap their edges (using a little water so that they stick) to form a cone.
   3. Fold over the open top of the cone and stick down with a little water.  If you'd like a visual guide, here's a great tutorial.  Repeat for the remaining samosas.
   4. Heat enough oil for deep-frying to 180C in a deep-fryer or a deep, heavy-based pan.  When hot enough, a cube of bread should brown in 30 seconds.
   5. Working in batches, add the samosas carefully to the hot oil and fry for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown.
   6. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
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2  summer's end: aubergine, courgette and spinach terrines in Vegetarian / Vegan by foodieandthechef on: March 07, 2011 05:32:48 AM
For the full blog post and more photos, you can visit me at http://foodieandthechef.com/2011/03/summers-end-aubergine-courgette-and-spinach-terrines/ (Website no longer exists. - jungrrl)


I have always been fascinated by the many claims that a vegan/ macrobiotic/ veg-aquarian lifestyle boast.  Despite having grown up in a thoroughly meat-and-three-veg household, I try to give my body a break from meat and other hard-to-digest foods from time to time.  Did you know that humans actually started out their existence as herbivores?

The delicate, vegan terrines can easily be made ahead of time and would be perfect for a summery picnic or as a Sunday lunch entre.  More than just a pretty face, this individual terrine is incredibly satisfying.

individual aubergine, courgette and spinach terrines

serves 4

    * 45mL (1 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
    * 1 red pepper/ capsicum, stem cut off and seeds removed
    * 16-20 small heirloom or cherry tomatoes
    * 1 large aubergine/ eggplant
    * 2 courgettes
    * leaves from 1 sprig of thyme

for the filling

    * 4 large tomatoes, chopped roughly
    * 4 fresh basil leaves, finely sliced

for the spinach

    * 15g (1/2 oz/ 1 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
    * 275g (10 oz) baby spinach leaves
    * 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
    * pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

to serve

    * a drizzle of balsamic vinegar

   1. Preheat the oven to 190C.  Line the base and sides of four 6cm (2 1/2 ") muffin rings (or four cavities in a muffin tray) with cling film.
   2. Place the red pepper and small tomatoes in a tray and drizzle over 1 tbsp of the olive oil.  Place into the preheated oven and roast for 25 minutes or until soft and slightly charred.
   3. Slice the aubergine into four equal-sized rounds.  Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the aubergines on both sides until brown.  Place the aubergines on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 10 minutes.
   4. Heat half of the remaining oil (1/2 tbsp) in the same frying pan and fry the courgettes for 2 minutes, then drain on kitchen paper.  Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the thyme leaves.

the filling

   1. Place the tomatoes and the rest of the oil in the same frying pan and cook over a medium-high heat until the juices have evaporated and the mix thickens (can take up to 20 minutes).
   2. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper.

the spinach

   1. Cook the spinach and garlic with 1 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan, allowing all the water to evaporate.
   2. Drain, add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.

to assemble

   1. Line the base of the muffin rings with the spinach leaves (about 1cm thick), making sure the leaves overlap, leaving no gaps.  To make the aubergine terrine pictured above, use an aubergine slice for the base as well as the top.
   2. Place the courgettes around the edges of each ring, overlapping slightly.
   3. Divide the tomato mixture equally among the ring, pressing down well.
   4. Place the aubergines on top, trimming the edges to fit.
   5. Seal the top with cling film and pierce the base to allow any liquid to escape.  If you are using a muffin tin: pierce the top of your terrines and, holding a paper-towel-lined tray on top of the muffin tin, flip the tin upside down.
   6. Chill overnight.

to serve

   1. Remove the terrines carefully from the rings (or simply lift the muffin tin up) and serve with diced roasted pepper and the roasted tomatoes, drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
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3  sesame soba with edamame/ asparagus and sweet potato tempura in Vegetarian / Vegan by foodieandthechef on: March 04, 2011 08:23:12 AM
For more photos and the full post you can drop by my blog:
http://foodieandthechef.com/2011/02/sesame-soba-with-edamame-asparagus-and-sweet-potato-tempura/ (Website no longer exists. - jungrrl)


A Japanese lunch: nutty sesame soba noodles with edamame (vegan) served alongside light-as-air asparagus and sweet potato tempura (vegetarian).

sesame soba with edamame/ asparagus and sweet potato tempura
serves 4

for the soba

1 packet (250g) dried soba/ buckwheat noodles (or any Asian thin noodle)
1 tbsp olive oil
4 purple Asian eschalots, finely diced
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
450g packet of frozen shelled edamame beans (from any Asian grocer) use fresh if you can get your hands on them !
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds or seven-ingredient red pepper powder (nanami/ shichimi tohgarashi)

for the tempura

2 bunches/ 18 sticks of asparagus
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into thin slices
1 egg
1 cup (240 ml) chilled soda water
cup (70g) plain/ all purpose flour
cup (70g) cornflour/cornstarch
teaspoon (2.5g) baking powder
oil, for deep frying (preferably vegetable)

for the dipping sauce

cup soy sauce
cup mirin
1 tbsp sesame oil
pepper to taste

the soba

1. Bring 6 cups of water or kombu stock to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the noodles a small bundle at a time, stirring gently to separate.
2. When the water returns to a full boil, add 1 cup of cold water. Repeat this process two more times.
3. Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse well under cold running water until the noodles are cool.  Drizzle a little olive oil over the noodles to prevent them from sticking.
4. In a medium saucepan, cook the eschalots, ginger and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until lightly golden.
5. Add the edamame beans and stir to heat through.  Add the soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil, remove from heat.
6. Toss the soba noodles with the edamame mix and sprinkle the nanami tohgarashi or sesame seeds over the top.

the tempura

1. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer, wok or large heavy-based pan until it reaches 170C.
2. Place the chilled soda water into a mixing bowl. Lightly beat the egg and gradually pour into the iced water, blending well.
3. Add flours and baking powder all at once and mix lightly until the ingredients are loosely combined. The batter should be runny and lumpy.
4. Place the bowl of batter in an ice water bath to keep it cold while you are frying the tempura.
5. Coat the vegetables in the tempura batter and gently slide into the hot oil, making sure to do the frying in small batches in order to maintain the correct temperature.
6. When batter turns a golden colour, carefully remove the tempura pieces and place on a wire rack in a low oven while you finish frying.

the dipping sauce

1. Whisk all the ingredients together.  Dig in !
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