Wednesday, 26 September 2018

VeganMoFo 2018 #26: Celebrating Family

26th: Favourite Holiday – What’s your favourite holiday ever? What do you like to make for it?

I don't really have a favourite holiday these days. It was Christmas, but that doesn't have quite the same level of joy and excitement for me these days that it used to. So today I am going to focus on Mother's Day and Father's Day. Basically, I love celebrating people I love. And I love cooking for people I love. Every year for Mother's Day, Father's Day, and their birthdays, I make my parents a special dinner. I've already showcased a few of the Indian menus that I have made for my dad over the past couple of years during my menu week of MoFo. But sometimes there is not handy book menu, and they pick random things from different books. That is what happened for both Mother's and Father's days this year.

Mother's Day

Benedict Pizza from Veganize It by Robin Robertson: My mum loves benedicts (in fact, the reason I now try every vegan benedict I come across is due to her influence), so making a benedict-inspired pizza seemed like a pretty fun idea! This recipe uses a few different components from the book, all put together. Pizza dough, marinated baked tofu, and hollandaise sauce. There is also the option to make a mushroom bacon or hamish loaf from the book, but I took the easier way and used some slices of Tofurky ham. The pizza base is topped with hollandaise, ham slices, baked tofu, wilted spinach, and sliced tomato, and then more sauce after baking. The pizza dough is easy to make, and is pre-baked for 5 minutes before topping. I would bake it a little longer next time, as it was just a little undercooked. The marinated tofu had a good, strong flavour. It is baked in the pan with the marinade, though I took it out and put it on a baking sheet for the final 20 minutes (the marinade was mostly absorbed) to get it nice and firm. I didn't want smooshy tofu on my pizza. The Hollandaise sauce is also very lovely, buttery and lemony, and got my mum's stamp of approval. All together, it was a lovely combination of flavours.
Rating: Benedict Pizza: :), pizza base :), tofu :), sauce :D

Benedict Pizza

Basic Favourite Dressing from 500 Vegan Recipes by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman: I served the pizza with some salad tossed with this simple dressing. White balsamic, nutritional yeast, oil, and some dried herbs. I am not sure about the dried herbs, in all honestly, they kind of stuck in your teeth and gave a weird texture. But the basics of this was easy and yum.
Rating: :)

Basic Favourite Dressing

Chocolate Orange Pots from Cooks Share Eat Vegan by Aine Carlin: These rich little pots are so delicious. They are that classic vegan combination of silken tofu and melted chocolate, with orange extract added. One recipe filled three small little cups. As often with this sort of recipe, I find several hours in the fridge helps the flavours to melt. And also is required by the recipe t set up, so that works well. The topping is a Toasted Hazelnut and Cacao Nib Crumb, which was a lovely texture. I only made a half recipe of the crumb, and still had heaps left over! It was a nice topping for some oats.
Rating: :D

Chocolate Orange Pots

Father's Day

Dad normally picks Indian as the themes for his dinner, but this year he decided to branch out with some Chinese!

Vegetable Sweet Corn Soup from The Asian Vegan Kitchen by Hema Parekh: Sweet corn soup has to be one of my favourite soups. This one is based on stock (a Clear Vegetable Stock is another recipe in the book), creamed corn, and finely chopped vegetables (green beans, carrots, mushrooms, and cauliflower). I halved the recipe, which made three small starter sized bowls. The book suggests making another recipe, Green Chilies in Vinegar, to go on top of the soup, but I declined. The Clear Vegetable Stock was easy to make, though had a very subtle flavour (the only seasoning in it were some crushed black peppercorns), but makes a good base for many of the recipes in the book.
Rating: :)

Vegetable Sweet Corn Soup

Shanghai-Style Chow Mein from The Asian Vegan Kitchen by Hema Parekh: This was fast and easy. I was able to find some fresh wheat noodles without eggs at an Asian grocery store. They were quite thick and chewy, and it was a 500g packet (rather than 400g for the recipe), but I used all of it and scaled up accordingly. I wish I had scaled up the vegetables even more, because I love a heavy vegetable to noodle ratio. It was still good though, with onion, carrot, shiitakes (it says to use fresh, but I used reconstituted dry), cabbage, and bean sprouts (I used canned). Also green capsicum, which I left out and replaced with green beans instead. I left out the chilies as well. I served with some bok choy in mushroom oyster sauce.
Rating: :)

Shanghai-Style Chow Mein

Ispahan Crisp from Vegan Desserts by Hannah Kaminsky: So... not Chinese. But when I asked what sort of dessert he wanted, he was thinking lychees, and I ran with it. This is based on some very famous french chef macaron flavour, but made into an easy fruit crisp. Except I used strawberries rather than raspberries, as my did is not a big fan of raspberry pips (and strawberries are the best). I used fresh strawberries, but tinned lychees. The recipe calls for an 8x8 inch pan, but you can see that it is quite flat. The topping was a bit too dry, I think it needs more vegan butter in it. It was pale and dry after baking, so I spritzed it with some canola oil and put it under the grill to make it got nice and brown. But such a lovely flavour combination, especially the rosewater in the topping. I served this with some So Delicious Strawberry coconut milk ice cream (I can eat their coconut ice cream, it doesn't make me sick).
Rating: :)

Ispahan Crisp

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim and Sahara tails

Red and black, touching! Did I move Sahara's tail to actually rest against Dim Sim's back in this photo? Maybe. Who can tell.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

VeganMoFo 2018 #25: Happy birthday to vegan me! At the Eco Expo.

25th: Birthday Bash – Would you rather others make food for you on your birthday? Or do you like to do it yourself? And what would you like?

I'm taking some liberties with this prompt. While I am not super into birthdays like some of my other friends, I have definitely had some fun birthday times over the past several years. It is about 7 weeks until my birthday this year, and I am have some pretty low key plans. Probably go to my favourite cafe for dinner with my parents on the actual day, and then I also have a few days off afterwards to have some fun times. I suspect some birthday yum cha will also be in order. I generally like to eat out on my birthday.

But for this post I want to celebrate another birth, of sorts. My veganniversary is mid-September, and this year I celebrated my 18th year of being vegan! I had heard about a Vegan Pop-Up market being held inside the Eco Expo. I like vegan food, and I am definitely interested in trying to reduce my waste, so it seemed like a natural fit. Plus a great chance to eat doughnuts to celebrate my veganism being old enough to vote! One thing I really enjoyed about their advertising was the focus on 'small steps', rather than a hard-line zero waste agenda.

Doughnuts, you say? Oh yes. Not only doughnuts, but the BEST DOUGHNUTS EVER. The aptly named OMG Decadent Donuts have been popping up around Brisbane in markets, though I had never had a chance to experience them. I was super excited though, because their doughnuts are all hot and coated in different flavoured sugars. Here's their flavour list.

Menu from OMG Decadent Donuts at EcoFest

As well as selling their delicious, hot, fresh doughnuts, they also sell their doughnut mix and their sugar blends for at home fun.

Sugar Mixes from OMG Decadent Donuts at EcoFest

I immediately ordered the OMG Cinnamon (cinnamon doughnuts are so good) and the Strawberry Patch and they were both SO GOOD.

Strawberry Fields from OMG Decadent Donuts at EcoFest

Cinnamon Sugar from OMG Decadent Donuts at EcoFest

The Vegan Expo was mostly sweet stuff (cupcakes, raw foods, doughnuts, ice cream) and take-home products (sesame cheese, baking mixes), but I needed a bit of savoury as well. There was a small area with food stalls, though only two of them had vegan savoury options. I got a savoury crepe, and also some vegan momos. The momos I have had before. I was particularly excited about the crepe. It was OK, full of spinach, tomato, olives, and dressing, but I wish it had some vegan cheese in it as well.

Vegan Savoury Crepe at EcoFest

Vegan Momos from Tibetan Momo House at Eco Fest

Of course, it wasn't JUST about eating. I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the stalls at the expo were really, really good. There was even more food out on the floor (vegan chocolate, kombucha, other things I am forgetting), as well as lots of great stalls selling awesome reusable products. Being that it was not a vegan-specific expo, there were a few stalls I gave a wide berth. But in general, I was interested to see what stalls were selling. And I bought some stuff! From Flora & Fauna I got some reusable silicon gladwrap, a biodegradable scour pad (made from coconut fibres), and two biodegradeable dish cloths for wiping surfaces in my kitchen (they last for 6-9 months, can go in the laundry, and then can be composted!). I also got three bottles of Tonicka Kombucha - Elderflower, Ginger Beer, and Berry & Spice. I'm pretty excited for these! You also don't need to keep them in the fridge until you open them, which is great for fridge space storage. Even though the weather is heating up here, I am still keen for this Turmeric & Ginger Chocolate powder from Pure Melt Chocolate. Sign me up for anything turmeric! Finally, I also got some reusable cloth panty liners from Hannahpad to try out. I also got some Fenn Foods smoked sesame cheese, in their new glass jars, which is not pictured.

Purchases from EcoFest

My favourite I Should Coco was there, selling their ice cream. And I had every intention of buying one to celebrate veganism. But... I just had to get more doughnuts instead. I can get ice cream at any of the Brisbane Vegan Markets, but due to politics with another vegan doughnut maker at those markets, I can only get OMG Donuts if I go to random markets that are not near me. I had to take the chance! So I got a few flavours to take home. Another cinnamon, a Berry Toasted, and an Eve's Downfall. All of the flavours I tried were amazing, but I think the Eve's Downfall was my favourite. The apple flavour was just the perfect mix of sweet and tart. SO GOOD!

Cinnamon Sugar, Toast My Berry, Eve's Undoing from OMG Decadent Donuts at EcoFest

These are an annual markets, and I'd definitely be keen to go again next year. I just would like there to be some more vegan savoury options, and some more seating around the food areas.

And yay for being vegan for 18 years!

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim and Sahara

Once again, Dim Sim's pinky had been stolen. This time by a cheeky, smug looking Sahara. Dim Sim sits on a cushion, looking bereft.

Monday, 24 September 2018

VeganMoFo 2018 #24: Pot Luck Perfection

24th: Pot Luck Perfection – What would you bring to a pot luck?

Are you having a party? A food party? Can I come? I will bring food! Actually, I am not really one for large parties. More small gatherings. But I am serious about the food. Here are some things that I might bring to your pot luck.

Never underestimate the power of snacks at a potluck, and they don't have to be super fancy made yourself snacks (though that is always fun). If you are short on time, or spending your time making another dish, there are lots of fun snacks you can buy and bring. Here are a couple of things I have picked up recently. I have tried the cheddar snacks before, they are great and tasty and cheesy. Lots of fun. I haven't tried these cauliflower puffs yet, but I have heard good things from Hillary about them. Plus apparently they are probiotic, which always tickles my fancy.


I know a lot of recipe books have hot dishes as potluck dishes, but I always worry about reheating them at the place. I prefer to bring things that can be served at room temperature. Living in Brisbane, it this works pretty well as well. A sturdy salad is a great option.

Sweet and Sour Brown Rice Salad with Fresh Herbs from Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz: I LOVED this salad. But I changed it a lot, using the recipe more as a guide. First up, I changed the dressing. No way was I going to be using a whole cup of sweet chilli sauce, or any amount of sweet chilli sauce. Instead, I used a 150mL bottle of Chef's Choice pad thai sauce that I had got in a CFS mystery box, and adjusted the rest of the ingredients accordingly (I used 1 TBS of lime juice, but I did still use the whole amount of agave as the miso made it quite salty). I also changed the ingredients in the salad a bit, using a large bag of microwave brown rice as my base (about 3 cups, rather than 4). I left out the scallions, used roasted crushed peanuts instead of whole ones, and used a small tin of bean sprouts rather than fresh. I also added some Japanese marinated tofu (instead of the aduki beans), chopped celery, and grated carrots, and served it over some soft lettuce leaves. The fresh herbs were coriander and mint. This was so lovely, and had fantastic and fresh flavours. I only got about three and a half serves, so definitely scale up for a pot luck! I'd also suggest taking the leaves separately if going to a pot luck, so they don't go smooshy under the salad.
Rating: :D

Sweet & Sour Brown Rice Salad

I always like to bring something sweet as well. I love vegan baking!

Spring Fling Muffins from Vegan Desserts by Hannah Kaminsky: These muffins are studded with rhubarb and strawberries, spiced with cardamom, and topped with a crunchy oat and sugar mix. The rhubarb is chopped finely and added raw, so you don't need to fuss around with stewing it first, and it cooks through perfectly. When I first took these out of the muffin tins, they seems pretty soft and soggy on the bottom and I was worried that I didn't cook them long enough, but as they cool down they firmed up perfectly. A great, not-to-sweet treat.
Rating: :)

Spring Fling Muffins

Of course there are many other things I can make and bring to pot lucks, including working to a theme! But these were a couple of things I made recently with this prompt in mind. Invitations can be directed to Dim Sim, who is my social events coordinator.

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Possum, Sahara, and Dim Sim

A blessed event, three kitties on the bed. Possum, Sahara, and Dim Sim. Possum didn't normally sleep on my bed, but he would when my parents were away (he wasn't shy about seeking out snuggles). This photo was taken after my sweet Gizmo had passed away, but when she was alive there were a few magical times when I had four cats on the bed with me! I don't care how weird and uncomfortable I have to sleep, I want them with me always.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

VeganMoFo 2018 #23: Gravy Days

Sunday 23rd: Sunday Dinner – Did you ever have a “Sunday Dinner” tradition? Make a vegan version.

I just realised that I have forgotten to put the MoFo header picture in most of my posts, oh well. Here it is now! For the final week of MoFo, I am joining back in with the prompts!

I don't remember having a Sunday dinner tradition, though I know of traditional Sunday dinners. They often involve gravy, and I love gravy! So I decided to go with grave as a theme. I generally make my own gravies from scratch, but I thought it would be fun to try out a vegan gravy powder from the supermarket. The one I got was the Massel Supergravy Granules Supreme.

The first night I tried it, I made some Potato-Stuffed Portobellos from the No Meat Athlete cookbook. Portobello mushrooms are marinated, then stuffed with Kale-cannon and baked. The mushrooms are marinaded in 1/4 cup of marinade (recipe also in the book), but I found that this wasn't really enough to get my mushrooms properly soaked. I had to thin it a bit. The recipe calls for four large portobellos, and I used three big ones (for three serves), but maybe mine were super big? I also only used less than half of the mashed potato mixture to fill them. The flavours were all a bit mild, so you definitely want a strong flavour like some gravy to complement them. As for the kale-cannon, it is a variation of the colcannon recipe in the book. I used 6 large potatoes and 1 bunch of kale, and got a lot of mash! I didn't have any lemon zest, so added a bit of juice, and I didn't feel like making 1/4 cup of cashew cream so I just used oat milk. The potatoes have a bit of nutmeg in them, but I found that taste to be somewhat overpowering.
Rating: Kale-cannon :), Potato-Stuffed Portobellos


Potato-Stuffed Portobellos

But what of the gravy? I served my mushrooms with some steamed broccoli and gravy. I made the gravy according to the instant directions on the back of the jar - 1 1/2 tbs powder into 50mL cold water and stir, then add 200mL of boiling water. What a let down, it was so watery and thin. You can see how it is more like a gravy-tinted sauce when we poured it over things.

Potato-Stuffed Portobellos

I don't know who wrote those instructions, but they were so very wrong. Not to be discouraged, I returned to the gravy the next night. I did have a lot of leftover kale-cannon after all, and I had some ideas for tinkering with the gravy mix to make something that actually resembled gravy. I served my left over mash with some Vegie Delights Herb & Garlic Sausages that I had picked up on sale at Coles, as well as some green bean casserole. The sausages were super nice, and I would definitely get them again.

Green Bean Casserole Redux from 1000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson was my first time making a green bean casserole. I loved it! I made a half batch, which was enough for three people. Though even with halving the size of the casserole dish called for, it was very shallow in it. Green beans, onions, and mushrooms are in a seasoned non-dairy milk-based thickened sauce. The recipe calls for fried onion rings to be mixed through and sprinkled on top. I had a few of these left over from a time that I bought some at an online shop, but not enough. I didn't mix any of the them through. Instead I mixed the ones I had with some toasted almonds, and used the combination for the sprinkle. I actually think the toasted almonds were way better, adding a lovely crunch while the fried onions just got a bit soggy. Regardless, this was so great.
Rating: :D

Green Bean Casserole Redux

As for the gravy, this time I had a plan. I mixed 3 TBS (these are 20mL Australian TBS) with 50mL of cold water to dissolve, then added 1/2 cup of hot water. And I got a perfect gravy! This is the ratio you are after. It was dark, thick, and had loads of flavour. You can see the difference.

Mash, sausages, green beans, and gravy

So the moral of this story is that the Massel people have no idea how to use their product to make a good gravy, but thankfully I do! Using my ratios, I will definitely be using this again. A great quick product to have on stand-by, as long as you don't read the instructions!

(% 1000 Vegan Recipes blogged: 28.5%)

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Possum and Sahara

Sahara contemplates Possum

Saturday, 22 September 2018

VeganMoFo 2018 #22: Menu: Fall or Year-Round Menu from Japanese Cooking

I love Japanese food, and Japanese Cooking: Contemporary & Traditional, by Miyoko Schinner, has been a great resource to make some simple but delicious food at home. This is another book I have rediscovered by working through some older cookbooks, and I can't believe that I let it languish for so long! The book has a number of menus, organised by suggested season or year-round. The menu today is for 'Fall or Year-Round'. You can see what else I have cooked from this book here.

Miso Soup with Daikon Radish and Tofu Pouches: Think of a Japanese meal, and you probably thing of miso soup being included. This version uses homemade kombu dashi (very easy), lots of miso (I used a blend of red and white), daikon, and abura-age (fried tofu pouches, look for them in the freezer section of your Japanese or Asian food market). I made a half recipe, which was a perfect three small bowls for three people.
Rating: :)

Miso Soup with Daikon Radish and Tofu Pouches

Carrot and Tofu Scramble: I made this with Japanese-style firm tofu, which is softer than the firm or extra-firm Chinese-style I normally use for scrambles. I had a 300g block (rather than 450g), so I adjusted the recipe accordingly. The recipe calls for the same weight in carrots, but 300g of shredded carrots is actually a huge amount. I ended up using about 250g. It is simply flavoured with soy sauce and sesame oil.
Rating: :)

Carrot and Tofu Scramble

Spinach with Sesame Sauce: I couldn't find any bunches of spinach on this particular day, so I used about 350g of baby spinach. Instead of steaming it, I just wilted it in the microwave. The sesame sauce is very easy to make sesame seeds, sugar, and soy. It is quite salty, so definitely use the full amount of sugar suggested. I blitzed my sesame seeds in a mini food processor, rather than using a traditional suribachi or mortar.
Rating: :)

Spinach with Sesame Sauce

Stewed Vegetables: This seems simple, a mix of vegetables and mushrooms simmered in a four ingredient liquid. But oh my god it is delicious! I used a blend of kabocha, carrots, daikon, and dried sliced shiitake (which I just added in dry as they were sliced thin to reconstitute during simmering). The simmering liquid is made from kombu broth, sweetener (I used sugar), mirin, and soy and by the time all the vegetables have simmered, softened, and released their juices it is absolutely drinkable!
Rating: :D

Stewed Vegetables

And here it is all together (minus the soup), served with some steamed white Japanese rice (of course!). Also some pickles that I made from a different book. It was a lovely combination. The sweet, simple scramble was great against the strong flavours of the sesame sauce on the spinach, and you know how I feel about that vegetable dish!

Year Round Menu #1

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Sahara and Dim Sim

I promise there are two kitties in this photo. Sahara is obvious, but can you see Dim Sim?

Friday, 21 September 2018

VeganMoFo 2018 #21: Menu: Greek To Me And You from Veganomicon

This is the second time I've made the main part of the menu, but I hadn't properly documented the individual elements so I wanted to make it again. I knew it was going to be good! The book of course, is the famous Veganomicon, by Isa Chandra and Terry Hope Romero. I have the original edition, but they have also released an updated and revised 10th Annicersary edition. You can see other things I have made from Vcon here. On with the menu!

The menus are set out with a combination of three to four dishes to make up your main plate, then they also have a suggested soup and dessert. I didn't make the soup with this menu, but I had made it previously. I swear I had already blogged it, but I cannot find the post to link to so I shall include it here.

French Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme: This filling soup will serve four as a main. It is full of lentils, carrot, onion, tomatoes, paprika, and - of course, tarragon and thyme. This uses the dry herbs, making it very pantry friendly. Apologies for the photos, according to my records I made this 10 years ago (!!!), when I apparently thought plonking a bowl on top of the TV guide on the table and having people's feet in the background was fine.
Rating: :)

French Lentil Soup

Now, on with the recently made actual menu! Which is made up of three parts.

Lemony Roasted Potatoes: Because I get lazy sometimes, I did not peel the potatoes and these turned out 100% fine! Wedges of potato are bathed in olive oil, garlic, broth, and lots and lots of lemon juice before being baked. I did need to turn up the temperature a bit during the baking, and bake them for a bit longer.
Rating: :)

Lemony Roasted Potatoes

Easy Stir-Fried Leafy Greens: This is a base recipe that you can use for any sort of green. For this menu, it suggests a blend of dandelion and kale. I can't get dandelion leaves here, so I went with all kale. I just tore up the kale, rather than slice it up. It has an Asian flare, with ginger, garlic, rice wine, soy, and sesame oil (I did not use the chile oil option), but it goes well with pretty much everything. I've also included a photo of an earlier time when I made it with baby bok choy.
Rating: :)

Easy Stir-Fried Leafy Greens (Kale)

Easy Stir-Fried Leafy Greens

Mediterranean-Style Baked Lima Beans: I love these huge, creamy beans. You need to start from scratch with dried beans for this recipe. They are soaked, simmered, sauced, and baked. The sauce is tomato based, with some onion and carrot and a range of different seasonings. It all comes together for a beautiful flavour.
Rating: :)

Mediterranean-Style Lima Beans

Everything together!

Greek To Me and You Menu

Lemon Bars: I made a half recipe of this, in an 8x8 inch pan, lined with baking paper. The filling in this uses agar flakes, and sets up really well for slicing. I only needed about 7 minutes instead of 10 for my agar to dissolve. The full recipe, using a 9x13 inch pan, says it makes 12 bars. As you can see, I cut six bars from my half recipe and they are HUGE! But they are lovely and tangy. As a note, this recipe is identical to the one that appears in Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Bars (except they have reduced the size of the servings by cutting it into more bars in that one).
Rating: :)

Lemon Bars

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim and Sahara

Sometimes Dim Sim is willing to ignore proximity if there is sunshine involved.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

VeganMoFo 2018 #20: Menu: Jewels of India from Vegan Without Borders

I made this menu last year for Father's Day for my dad, I have mentioned his love for Indian. It was a bit of an involved menu, though not overly complicated. I made it a bit more complicated though, but adding in an addition recipe. Just for fun, I guess! Vegan Without Borders is Robin Robertson's international recipe book. Complete with menus for each region! You can see what else I have made from this book here.

Tamarind Sauce: This sauce was super delicious, I love tamarind. It comes together super fast as well. I soaked my dates in the warm water for a bit before blending it all together, and I found that a half batch was more than enough for us.
Rating: :D

Tamarind Sauce

Mint-Cilantro Chutney: I made a half batch of this as well, leaving out the chile. I did find it a bit salty at first, but it mellows overtime. So a good one to make ahead!
Rating: :)

Mint-Cilantro Chutney

Papri Chaat: This was a bit fun, making my only little fried crackers. I made a half batch, which made a lot using a 1 1/2 inch cutter. This made very little crackers, so next time I would suggest going with the 2 inch cutter. I get a bit scared frying in a lot of oil, so instead of 1 inch deep frying, I shallow fried in 1cm of oil, which worked fine. And I didn't burn myself or the house down, so great! The crackers are topped with a mash of chickpeas and the mint-cilantro chutney, yoghurt, chopped tomato, more chutney, tamarind sauce, and coriander leaves. It also suggests using chaat masala spice, but I didn't have any so just left it off. I served on a platter at the table, for people to assemble individually. I think this is the best way, as they go soggy if they sit made up for too long.
Rating: :)

Papri Chaat

Chickpea and Potato Patties: These were the extra recipe I added, but they were almost my undoing. I added it in because they are topped also with the chutney and sauce, so why not. I halved the recipe (I am only cooking for three), left out the chile, and made the mixture in advance to set up a bit in the fridge. Then came the frying... were they turned into oily mush and I started wanting to cry a little. But I saved them! I drained them, baked then 200dC for about 20 minutes, let them cool a little, mopped up the excess oil with paper towel, made into proper patty shapes with my hands, and then drained again on a paper towel before reheating in the oven. I ended up with some delicate patties, though it nearly cost my my mind. Oh well, fun kitchen adventures, right?
Rating: :|

Chickpea and Potato Patties

Here are the papri chaat and the patties all dressed up...

Jewels of India Menu: Papri Chaat; Potato and Chickpea Patties

Hakka Noodles: I couldn't find actual hakka noodles, so I used vermicelli as a suggested substitute. This is simple and fast to make, and a nice blend of noodles and vegetables. Onion, carrot, cabbage, and mushrooms... I left out the capsicum. A good, fast dinner.
Rating: :)

Hakka Noodles

Manchurian Cauliflower: Cauliflower is battered in a spiced chickpea flour and regular flour batter, fried, and then tossed in a tasty red sauce (I left the hot sauce out of it). Again, I made a half batch of this with one small cauliflower. I found the batter to be a bit too thick to properly coat the cauliflower, so I added a bit of extra water to thin it. Once battered and fried, the cauliflower keeps quite well in the oven until you are ready to add it to the sauce.
Rating: :)

Manchurian Cauliflower

The noodles and the cauliflower were a great match together, served with some baby spinach for greens.

Jewels of India Menu: Manchurian Caulifloer; Hakka Noodles

Cardamom Chickpea Cookies: These cute little cookies were a sweet way to end the meal. They are made from chickpea flour and ground almonds, spiced with cardamom, and topped with crushed pistachios. I made a half batch, for fifteen little cookies using a 1 1/2 inch cutter, rolled to about 5mm thick. The cookies themselves didn't rise or spread much, and are quite dense and crunchy. They are great to have with tea. I also left the almond extract out of them. I don't know if US almond extract is different to the one we have here, but I find even a tiny bit of it overpowers everything with a very strong flavour.
Rating: :)

Cardamom Chickpea Cookies

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim and Gizmo

A SUPER rare photo of Gizmo and Dim Sim together. Practically touching!