baby aubergine curry with coconut

I love trying new ways of cooking tasty vegan food, and I particularly love aubergines. Because the aubergines are babies they cook differently to large aubergines, they are tender but at the same time they stay firm. I adapted this recipe from an Indian cookbook called 50 Great Curries of India by Camellia Panjabi.
I have cooked this for dinner parties with basmati rice, salad and papadums and it is always a huge hit. It looks impressive and it’s tasty, sweet and savoury and has all the lovely flavours of delicious Indian spices. I sometimes serve it with a dollop of dairy free yogurt or kefir too.

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vegetable tajine with harissa

This tajine has all the flavours of a tasty Moroccan dish.  It’s perfect for a warming supper or dinner party now it’s colder.  It has that lovely combo of savoury and sweet because it’s got delicious spices and dried apricots in it. It’s super easy as it’s sll baked in the oven and needs little attention. Perfect if you are busy. I serve it with saffron couscous, garlicky yogurt (Alpro have just started doing a sugar free plain yogurt) and my Moroccan orange salad, recipe in the index, and it’s a big hit with vegetarians and non vegetarians.

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pickled cucumber

This delicate pickled cucumber is sweet crunchy and savoury and simply flavoured with dill. It’s a simple classic recipe that is super easy. I have always love dill pickles and pickled veg and always have them in my fridge to add to tartines, sandwiches and with cold boiled eggs, with humus on rye, poached salmon, tinned tuna, smoked salmon and cream cheese and in a potato salad. Do try them..although I love shop bought sweet pickled cucumber… these are just that bit more delicious and you can’t beat home made.

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quick pickled red cabbage

This recipe makes the most of the crunchiness of a red cabbage and it’s natural pinky red colour that ends up a stunning and glamorous bright fuchsia. It really adds colour and crunch to salads, tortillas, tacos and sandwiches or with cheese. Perfect with humus on rye or in a burger. It can be made on the day you are going to use it and it is much much nicer than the shop bought version. Plus it’s super healthy as the vinegar is great for the digestion.

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caramelised roasted red onions

These onions are roasted until they are caramelised and sitting in an unctuous balsamic syrupy sauce. This recipe pays tribute to the humble onion as a vegetable in its own right. They are fab with a roast dinner or as a side dish and they are also great at room temperature along side salads and bread. But apart from being delicious, studies  have shown that rosemary has amazing anti ageing properties, ten percent of the population in the town of Acciaroli in Italy are over 100 years and scientists are putting it down to the rosemary in their diet and scientific studies have also shows that rosemary helps maintain and improve brain function and memory. So I’m adding Rosemary to my diet whenever I can, which is easy as I love the taste and smell.

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vegan laksa bowl

I love this bowl of coconutty deliciousness. Laksa is a comforting Thai coconut broth with vegetables and noodles. It’s spicy, creamy and noodley. I find a lot of vegan recipes are trying to emulate meat dishes, which is not great because vegan ingredients can be fantastic and with imagination don’t need to pretend they are something they are not. There are a lot of sumptuous vegan dishes that don’t shout deprivation of any kind. Hopefully you will try my vegan recipes and agree that they are just as good as any recipe using animal products, I try to make them look delicious too, and full of colour and not just a load of beige-ness.
This recipe is my take on a Laksa I hope you like it. It’s healthy and delicious.

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sweet and sour okra

This okra recipe is taken from my first ever Madhur Jaffrey cookbook my then boyfriend was given by someone he worked with because he loved curries and he loved cooking. We often used to argue about who cooked the dinner because we both loved to cook so much. Which led me to realise that theres’s room for only one domestic goddess in a relationship. The book has inspired me ever since then although I change the recipes to contain much less oil, and I use coconut oil instead of ghee. It is one of the most delicious ways to eat okra because it’s full of flavours which are sweet and fragrant and it has the gentle perfume of cumin and coriander. I also replace the sugar in her recipes with maple syrup, but you can use sugar if you prefer. I often serve it with other Indian dishes like dhal or just with plain basmati rice and an Indian pickle. One of reasons Indian food lends itself to vegetarian and vegan cooking so well is because it’s very, very tasty and has great textures and colours. I usually cook Indian food if I’m having my friends over for a vegetarian feast as I know everyone loves it.

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japanese broccoli

A few weeks ago my godson had his thirteenth birthday dinner at a Japanese restaurant in Mayfair called Roka. We went with his mum and his godfathers, Ralph and Tim (Ralph, who is the genius blog creator on here) The food was amazing, we ate lots of amazing dishes including a Japanese risotto, but weirdly the dish that bowled us over hugely was their stir fried broccoli. It was beyond delicious. It was a  perfect combo of savoury and sweet and the broccoli wasn’t over cooked, but just tender enough. I tried to recreate it from memory for last night’s dinner and we all thought it was as good as Roka’s. I could live on it, and it’s perfect if you want to eat broccoli but you aren’t that keen. Brilliant with just plain basmati rice and my Asian sea bass.

Recipe

Serves 2.

Ingredients:
1 bunch of tender stem broccoli
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce or vegetarian  oyster sauce
1 teaspoon of sesame seeds (I use black ones)
1 tablespoon fish sauce or a teaspoon of tamarind paste
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ tablespoon Soya sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon ginger cut into tiny matchstick pieces (optional)

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maple roasted root vegetables

You can use other root vegetables for this recipe like sweet potato, but I use carrots and parsnips because I love them. The maple syrup makes them sweet and sticky which work really well with the flavours of the carrots and parsnips. They also become soft on the inside and sticky and crunchy-ish on the outside,  which as you know is always a great combo in my book. I don’t peel the parsnips and carrots as I think all the flavour and fibre are in the skin, and life’s too short.

Recipe

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:
1 kg of assorted root vegetables
3 tablespoons of olive oil
5 tablespoons of maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste

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red cabbage

This red cabbage recipe is full of Christmas flavours and tastes super fab with the Christmas roast. It is my favourite combo of sweet and sour with orange, apple, spices and port, which work really well together. It doesn’t have to just be for Christmas or thanksgiving, but you can eat it all year round. It’s also delicious with sausage and mash or baked potatoes and perfect with ham. Everyone I know who has cooked this really loves it as much as me. Its origins are loosely based on a Danish recipe and traditionally in Denmark it is served with rich meats, such as duck and pork. I spent many a Christmas in Denmark or with Danes as a child so this tastes very comforting to me and no one does Christmas better than the Danes. It is also fab with the Boxing Day leftovers the next day and its flavour improves with age.

Recipe

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:
1 small red cabbage, shredded
1 apple, grated
1 chopped onion
1 orange, zest and juice
3 cloves
150ml Port
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
A handful of sultanas
2 tablespoons butter (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

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