appetizers spreads & little platefuls

ginger coconut chutney

7th August 2017

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Chutney can be consumed with rotti, chapati, dosa , idli and rice. Recommended to all constitutions. Can be used once or twice a week, at any time during the day and in all seasons. For those suffering from Pitta imbalance, little ghee can be mixed into the food in order to eliminate any aggravation.  One may spice the dish as per his natural inclination adding or lessoning the salty, sweet, sour (tamarind), pungent (chilli) tastes.

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Ginger Coconut Chutney

Makes approximately 2 cups.

Recipe shared by our teacher Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Jivana Yoga Diploma. 

I make this quick and tasty chutney whenever I make dosa or idli.  The toasted chana dāl can be purchased from your local India store and once you purchase this everything comes together within minutes.

ingredients :

1 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut

1 – 2 cups lukewarm water (start with 1 cup for right consistency)

¼ cup toasted chana dāl (bought from your local Indian store)

1 tsp finely chopped ginger

½–1  red/green chilli (according to taste and strength of chilli)

3 sprigs fresh coriander

¼ tsp tamarind paste

1 tsp sugar/jaggery

½ tsp fine rock salt

preparation :

Place in an upright blender/grinder the dried coconut, chana dāl, chopped ginger, chilli, jaggery, salt and tamarind paste. Wash the coriander leaves, remove the thicker stems and place with the ingredients.

Pour in 1 cup water and puree until you have a thick paste, adding more water until you have the desired consistency.  The texture should be a bit coarse.  Taste for seasoning, adding more salt, sweet, tamarind or chilli, as needed.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

sweet parsnip fries

16th November 2016

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Parsnips are a ivory-cream root vegetable, their taste slightly astringent with a gentle earthy sweetness.

Parsnips taste sweeter as the soil temperature drops – the starch in them turns to sugar – so they’ll be at their best just after a cold snap. These tender morsels are lovely as a garnish in a hot soup like this one, steamed, mashed to a puree, roasted in ghee, served like this with a mayonnaise or tossed in a winter salad.

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~ this morning, glorious colours of Autumn, lighting up the mistiest of mornings…

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sweet parsnip fries

Serves 4, as a side dish

When buying organic I usually leave the peel on my root vegetables but with parsnips – the skin tends to toughen on cooking, so it is best to peel. 

ingredients :

7 medium/480g parsnips

2 Tblsp ghee/oil

rock salt

freshly ground pepper

preparation :

Preheat oven to 210C/410F.

Rinse the parsnips and scrub well under running water and peel the skin off them, with a sharp knife cut into fry shapes about 1 cm thick.  Place them in a bowl of water, move them around a few times, allow to soak for 10 minutes, then drain.  This step helps to remove some of the starch and improves the crispness.  Place the parsnip fries on a dry towel and dry them well – very important. Allow them to air dry for 15 minutes.

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Once dry, place in a large bowl, drizzle over the melted ghee/oil and using your hands toss well until well coated in oil.

Pour the parsnip fries on a lined baking sheet, (may need to use two) and arrange them so they are not over lapping. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until golden brown.  No need to flip them halfway during cooking.  Serve immediately.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

roasted red pepper walnut spread

1st July 2016

roasted red pepper

One of the (much well received) additions to our table recently is this roasted red pepper walnut spread.  This is one recipe I have made quite a few times as a wholesome snack, entree, spread or more filling side dish to an otherwise light salad based meal. Whatever the occasion, time of day or audience I can almost always be assured of…’mmm…whats in this?!’. My answer has always been…’oh, I’ll post it on my blog’. So here it is.

If there is one vegetable when roasted that brings it´s goodness, it’s a roasted bell pepper.  After being roasted in the oven, the skin becomes charred, wrinkly and the inside sheds its blistered skin – emerging more succulent and sweeter than the raw version. The transformation is magical and delicious.

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-a garden edging it´s way into Summer

red pepper

roasted red pepper walnut spread

Makes about 2 cups

I  have been looking for a another tasty dip other than the usual hummus or guacamole we serve so often here, and one that satisfies the matured taste buds of young adults.  The roasted pepper adds a distinct sweetness and the toasted walnuts & breadcrumbs balance out that sweetness.  It is great served as a dip, as a spread on sandwiches or over a base for a pizza.

Recipe from 101 cookbooks – Heidi Swanson.

ingredients :

3 medium/450g red pepper  (I like to use the long pepper – I find them sweeter more flavourful than bell pepper)

¾ cup/70g walnuts

¼ cup/25g whole-grain bread crumbs

½ tsp crushed red chilli flakes

½ tsp whole cumin seeds

2 Tblsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve

2 Tblsp honey/pomegranate molasses

4 Tblsp tomato paste

½ tsp fine-grain rock salt

preparation :

Pre – heat the oven to 410F/210C.

Place the whole peppers on a rimmed tray lined with a baking sheet.  Roast, until the skin has become charred, and wrinkled, 50 to 60 minutes.

While the peppers roast, place a few slices of sourdough bread in the oven and toast until crunchy, approximately 20 minutes, place the walnuts into the oven to toast for 5 minutes. Careful not to burn.  Remove and set aside to cool.

When the pepper are ready, remove from the oven and gather up the corners of the baking sheet from the tray and wrap the peppers (use a kitchen towel to help if it is too hot).  This will steam them enabling the skins to easily peel off .

Cool until you can handle them, about 15 minutes, then remove the skin, seeds, and stems.   Keep the liquid from the peppers to add to the processor.  Set aside.

Dry roast the cumin seeds in a small pan, when lightly toasted turn off the heat and grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle.  Set aside.

Using  a food processor attached with an S blade, process the bread crumbs, when coarsely ground, measure out ¼ cup and return to the processor, add the chilli flakes and walnuts and process until the walnuts are roughly ground.

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Add the cumin seeds, olive oil, honey, tomato paste, salt and skinned peppers with their roasting liquid, process until everything is well incorporated and you have a smooth consistency.

Garnish with basil leaves, extra walnuts, and drizzle with olive oil.  Serve with fresh crackers, toasted bread, or with freshly made chapati (my favourite option) and a green, garden salad.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

carrot raytha & an offering

21st June 2016

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There is a spot on this property where three mighty cedar trees root together in a triangle creating a vaulted, protected, central glade below. This space draws you in, inviting a connection, a pause to listen, and quieten our minds and become present in that moment of beauty. One of the trees has a girth of almost two meters and is so tall it makes a visible home landmark from as far as the Moorish Castle lookout. The thick branches welcome you in, reaching out and upwards for the sky. They stand strong against the fierce gales that hurl off the Atlantic in the summer months. On windy nights, they moan, shake and call to us in our cosy beds.

When we first moved here we held fires under those trees, later it became a place to rest, a place to contemplate and gaze up into the branches; still later, a circle of flowers was planted, and one year we hung a swing from one arm, spending hours daydreaming, spinning, soaking up the feeling of being held by them. Now, it has become a place of offering: Abi and her boys created a mandala, a gesture of their gratitude – created from things collected, from the walks we did that week, from the land and sea, and the joyous celebration and wondrous family feeling of coming together in our home. If you create something in nature – a careful image, an honouring of beauty, an act of appreciation – it can help you tap into the inner light and deepen your connection to it.

It also has caught my attention each time I pass by it now, I pass much more slowly. I slow down and bow my head a little; it offers me perspective, a feeling of being filled with light and allowing that light to flow through and out into this world.

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Thank -you Abi, Issac, Aaron & Seth.

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carrot raytha

Use heaped spoon measurements unless otherwise stated.

Serves 2 person

Recipe shared by our teacher Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Jivana Yoga Diploma. 

Raytha is a very soothing dish, with the overall property of being cooling for the body.  It is recommended to serve with 1 – 2 cups of cooked rice, and becomes a very cleansing & satisfying meal to have in the evening.  In Ayurveda it is said to evoke a good night sleep.

For a variation on taste ¼tsp lemon juice can be added and can be made with grated cucumber instead of carrot.  This raytha can be used as a dressing over a salad, or roasted vegetables or accompanied with a spicy rice/grain dish or dal.   Fresh curry leaves can be found at your local Indian Store and when stored in the freezer keep their flavour up to 6 months. After fried briefly in oil they become a uniquely flavourful, and a crunchy surprise, as well as benefiting from their wonderful medicinal qualities.

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ingredients:

1 cup regular yogurt

1 cup filtered water

½ cup finely grated carrot

½ tsp finely grated ginger

¼ tsp rock salt

voggarane:

2 tsp melted coconut / peanut oil

¼ tsp black mustard seeds

¼ tsp cumin seeds

10 fresh curry leaves

2 pinches turmeric powder

preparation:

In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt, add the water and whisk again until well combined. Grate the carrot and ginger using the finer side on a box grater / parmesan grater. Stir into the yogurt, and add the salt. Set aside.

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prepare the voggarane:

Tear each curry leaf into four pieces. Set aside.

In a small pan over medium heat, add the oil and mustard seeds. When the seeds start to splutter and pop (It is important to fry the mustard seeds well otherwise they will taste too astringent), add the cumin seeds, curry leaves and turmeric powder and fry for 30 seconds, swishing the pan around to allow for the spices to fry evenly. Turn off the heat, add ¼ cup yogurt mixture into the voggarane, swishing the pan around to combine.

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Pour into the yogurt mixture, mix well. Serve with 1 – 2 cups of cooked rice, garnish with fresh coriander.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

artichokes with a tahini – sesame dipping sauce

17th April 2016

artichoke

A particular favourite with my daughter.

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mandala edge

This is another recipe which was created for the Holmes Place magazine as an ongoing concept of seasonal ‘superfoods’ through out the year.

Globe artichokes, with their sharp, sometimes prickly edged ‘petals’ are actually the plant’s flower buds and will open up into showy mauve thistle heads.  When picked young as in this recipe, their heads are small and tight, they can be eaten in their entirety.  The real treasure – lies hidden.  This is found by removing all the petals and ‘furry ‘choke within, revealing the grey-green tender heart.

When buying artichokes, choose those which the petals are still rather closed, not open.  They will be more fresh and tender.  Buying in season and buying fresh you will benefit more times over from their amazing health benefits.  Not only being full of fibre, they also have the highest level of antioxidants out of all vegetables, a good source of Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, folate, and iron.   They are also very good for the liver and were used for centuries as a traditional liver tonic.

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artichokes with a tahini – sesame dipping sauce

serves 4

Depending on how big your artichokes are I offer two artichoke globes per person.

to cook :

In a large heavy bottomed pot on medium heat, add enough water to cover the artichokes, add a bay leaf and a slice of lemon. (This adds a nice flavour to the artichokes.) Leave to heat while you prepare the artichokes.

If using large globes, cut the thorn tips off all the leaves using a pair of scissors – not necessary when using smaller globes.  Pull off any smaller leaves towards the base and on the stem.  Trim off the bottom, leaving about an inch on the artichoke stem.  The stem is more bitter than the rest of the artichoke, edible if you remove the tough outer layer using a vegetable peeler.  Cut off one centimetre off the tip of each artichoke.

Rinse the artichokes in cold water.  Open up the petals a little so that the water does get inside more easily.

Add the artichokes to the boiling water.  Cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, (depending on the size of the artichokes) or until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off and a knife tip goes easily into the base of the artichoke.

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to serve :

Artichokes can be eaten cold or hot. Serve them with your favourite sauces, melted ghee, mayonnaise, a simple mix of olive oil, salt & lemon or a sesame dipping sauce – like the one below. I usually choose a few to satisfy each member of my family.

tahini – sesame dipping sauce

2 Tblsp sesame seeds – I used an even amount of white & black

¼ cup tahini

1 Tblsp rice vinegar or umboshi plum vinegar

1 Tblsp tamari

1 Tblsp honey

cup water

In a high-speed blender, add the sesame seeds and grind until they are roughly ground. Add the tahini, vinegar, tamari, oil and water, and blend until well mixed. Depending on the preferred thickness of the tahini, you may need to add more water. I like the consistency quite thick. I tend to double the recipe and use left-overs as a salad dressing or served with brown rice and sautéed vegetables.

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to eat :

Pull off the outer petals, one at a time, starting at the base and dip in the sauce, then bite off the soft part found at the base off each leaf. Discard and compost the tough leaves in a pile as you go.  When all the leaves have been enjoyed, you will come to the choke, with a spoon scrape out and discard the fuzzy part covering the artichoke heart, the remaining is the heart.  The treasure!  Savour, dip and enjoy the journey.

to eat 1

reference : ‘Tender’-Nigel Slater

Goodness shared from Stacey

summer rolls with two sauces

28th August 2015

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I lost track of the days this week…

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Lost in the sound of the rain on the leaves, the colours of the nightfall and in the fullness of the mOOn ..

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summer rolls

When we have this at home, I lay out all the fillings on an extra-large chopping board in the middle of the table, set up two soaking stations on either side for the rice paper, and let everyone construct their own.  Other times I make them beforehand and pack them into little tiffin tins to enjoy out on a walk or for a school lunch.  When the weather cools down, I add sautéed sesame-covered tempeh & sweet potato strips or strips of grilled eggplant glazed with sweet miso & maple syrup. Cooked quinoa is also a nice addition.

ingredients :

8 – 12 round rice paper wrappers

8 – 12 small lettuce leaves

1 carrot, peeled

1 beetroot, peeled

1 cucumber/zucchini

½ red or orange bell pepper

handful of fresh coriander and mint leaves

prepare the fillings –

Using a box grater or the grater attachment on a food processor, grate the beetroot and carrot together. Cut the avocado and bell pepper into slices, and drizzle the avocado with a little lemon. Using a potato peeler, cut thin strips of cucumber/zucchini.  Wash and dry the fresh mint & coriander.  Place all the fillings into individual bowls or lined up on a large cutting board.

assemble the salad rolls –

Fill a deep bowl with hot water.  Dunk one of the rice paper rolls for 5 – 6 seconds, then lay out on a work surface. The paper will be slightly stiff, but will continue to soften as it sits.  Place a leaf of lettuce in the centre of the rice paper roll.  Arrange a thin bundle of grated carrot, beetroot, avocado slices, shaved zucchini/cucumber, bell pepper, then sprinkle a few leaves of coriander and mint over the vegetables.

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Pour a little of the tahini sesame sauce over the top and pull the bottom of the roll up to enclose the filling tightly. Fold one side over, then the other, and continue to roll up snugly.  Repeat with the remaining wrappers.  Serve with both sauces.

 

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tahini-sesame dressing

The tahini can be replaced with your favourite mayonnaise or peanut butter.  A  few finely chopped slivers of mild chilli can give this sauce a lovely spicy kick.

recipe slightly adapted from here

2 Tblsp sesame seeds (I used an even amount of white & black)

¼ cup tahini

1 Tblsp rice vinegar or umboshi plum vinegar

1 Tblsp tamari

1½ tsp toasted sesame oil

cup water

In a high-speed blender, add the sesame seeds and grind until they are roughly ground.  Add the tahini, vinegar, tamari, oil and water, and blend until well mixed.  Depending on the preferred thickness of the tahini, you may need to add more water.  I like the consistency quite thick. Left-overs can be used as a salad dressing or served with brown rice and sautéed vegetables.

tamari – ginger sauce

This is a great sauce to have on hand, the sweetness complements the tahini-sesame sauce.  I usually triple the recipe to use in a stir-fry during the week.

3 Tblsp tamari

1 Tblsp maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)

1 Tbsp finely grated fresh ginger

Grate the ginger and place in a bowl with the tamari and sweetener.  Mix together and set aside for the ginger to infuse into the sauce.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

baked vegetable samosas with a spicy mango chutney (also a quick puff pastry option)

29th March 2015

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I woke with a feeling of peace in my heart….

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all day I breathed softly, moved slowly

afraid it might disappear….

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baked vegetable samosas

Makes 13 half-moon samosas

I made these for a special dinner to have sitting around the fire outside.  I used a good quality ready-made puff pastry for my first attempt, but the second time I made my own pastry, which was a recipe tried and tested from Noa.  Both were great – it just depends on how much time you want to spend making them.  

 I keep the filling mild, as the chutney adds the spark it needs, but if you like strong flavours, increase the spices by ¼ teaspoon each.

for the dough:

350 grams flour (I use 200g white & 150g wholewheat)

½ tsp rock salt

1 tsp sugar

200g unsalted pure butter

100mL very cold water

for the filling:

1 large bulb fennel/2 sticks celery (160g)

1½ cup/220g finely diced sweet potato/pumpkin

1 cup/190g finely diced potato/parsnip

1 cup/90g finely chopped cabbage

1½ cups/180g finely chopped cauliflower

½ tsp brown mustard seeds

1  tsp cumin seeds

1 Tblsp finely grated ginger

½ tsp home-made garam masala powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ cup coconut milk/water

¾ cup/90g frozen peas

to make the dough :

Place the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl and mix.  Cut the butter into hazel-nut size pieces and add to the flour, making sure all the pieces of butter are well coated with the flour.  Cover and place in the freezer for a minimum of an hour or overnight.

In a food processor with a S-blade attached, add the very cold flour and butter, process for 20 seconds (the mixture should resemble fine meal).

Add the very cold water and pulse in short bursts.  The dough will still look crumbly, but if you press it between your fingers, it should become smooth.  If the dough is too dry and is not coming together, add iced water a tablespoon at a time.

Turn dough out onto a clean work surface.  Gather and press the dough together to form a unified mass.

Divide the dough into 12 equal balls, each one weighing roughly 50 – 55 grams each.  Press each ball into a small round disc, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to 24 hours.

to make the filling :

In a small pan dry-roast the cumin seeds, then place in a mortar and pestle and ground coarsely.  Add the turmeric and garam masala into the pestle.  Set aside.

Remove the outer leaf of the fennel and the middle core.  Finely chop into very small pieces.  Set aside.

On another chopping board, peel the sweet potato and finely chop the rest of the vegetables. Remove the thicker stems of the cauliflower and chop into thin shreds.

In a large skillet on moderate heat, add a tablespoon of oil/ghee.  When hot, add the mustard seeds, and then when they pop and splutter, add the ginger and rest of the spices.   Add the fennel/celery, cauliflower, potato and sweet potato, and cabbage, stir in the coconut milk/water and saute covered for 5 -7 minutes.   Add the peas and turn off the heat, cover and allow to rest so that the vegetables continue to soften.  Set aside to cool for 30 minutes.

to assemble the samosas :

Remove one of the discs of dough from the fridge.  If they are very firm, let sit for a few minutes at room temperature until dough is pliable enough to roll.  The dough will soften and become easier as you work with it.  Roll each disc between two pieces of cling film, into a circle of 5½ inches.  (When using the cling film there is no need to use any flour).  Place two heaped tablespoons of the vegetable mixture into the middle of each circle (I like to put as much filling as I can in).  Brush the edges with milk/ghee, and flip the corner over the mixture to create a half-moon.

Press the edges together with a fork and prick the top twice to allow the heat to escape.  Repeat with the remaining pastry.  Brush the top with melted ghee/milk, then sprinkle over black sesame seeds.  If not cooking immediately, cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

Make the mango chutney (recipe below).

when ready to bake:

Place the tray into a preheated 210C/420F oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

If using ready-made puff pastry, they will take longer to bake – about 30  – 40 minutes or until golden brown.

spicy mango chutney (mango gujjo)

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Inspired by South Indian yogic cookbook

I make this quick & easy chutney when I see green mangoes in the stores.  Can be also made with  barely ripe mangos as well.  It is so tasty and deeply fragrant.  I use it as a replacement for pickle in dishes like this one.   It makes a great dipping sauce for these samosas.  Also great as an accompaniment to any rice dish or Indian meal.  Rasam powder can be bought at any Indian Store.

Makes about 1½ cups

ingredients :

2 medium-large/765g green mangoes (half-ripe, green outside & yellow inside)

½ tsp mustard seeds

2 small whole chillies

6 fresh curry leaves (optional)

¼ tsp asafoetida powder

¼ tsp turmeric powder

2 heaped tsp rasam powder

½ tsp rock salt

2 heaped tsp jaggery/brown sugar

preparation :

Peel the mango and cut into tiny cubes, then set aside.

In a heavy based saucepan, heat a little ghee/oil.  Add the mustard seeds, then when they start to pop, add the whole chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida powder.

Saute for 20 seconds, then add the turmeric and mango.  Saute until the mango becomes soft, adding 1/2 cup of water when it starts to stick. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Turn off the heat, and add the salt, jaggery and rasam powder.  Taste, adding more jaggery or salt.  Puree half the mixture with a hand- immersion blender. (I try to puree at least one of the chillies for a really spicy chutney.)

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Update:

I make this version on a regular basis.  I follow the recipe but instead of making my own pastry I buy a good quality organic puff pastry. Brush the outer edge of the circle of the pastry with melted butter or milk.   Take the vegetable filling and scoop inside the circle of pastry leaving a space of one-inch around the outer edge.  I flatten the top of the filling with a back of the spoon so that there is less of a mound. Take the other round pastry from the fridge and gently place over the filling, so that it sits evenly on top.  Roll the edges over itself and press to seal with the edge of a fork.  Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up, then move the pastry back to your work surface. Brush the top with melted butter or milk, slash decoratively, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Prior to baking rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to prevent shrinkage during baking.

Place the tray into a preheated 200C/400F oven and bake for 40 – 50 minutes, until deeply golden.  Serve with a very green Tabouli salad of soaked bulgar, with lots of finely chopped parsley, coriander and lemon zest.  Serve with the spicy mango chutney.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

zucchini fritters with an avocado raytha

13th July 2014

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This is where I am at the moment.

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It really is in these tiny wonders,

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the accidental joys,

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in all this surrounding beauty,

reminding us to breathe, smile and take us back to our true self.

For that I am thankful.

zucchini fritters (without eggs)

 15 – 18 fritters

Zucchinis are funny plants. I wait and wait for their delicious fruit, picking a small one here and there and then, SUDDENLY,  I have more fruit then I know what to do with.

ingredients :

550g/4 cups grated zucchinis (approx 3 medium garden zucchinis)

½ tsp salt – divided

1 Tblsp linseeds

3 Tblsp water

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

¾ cup chickpea flour

½ tsp baking powder

oil of choice for frying

preparation :

In a medium bowl, add the water and linseeds and let soak for half an hour.

In the meantime, grate the zucchinis, either with a box grater, or using the shredding blade of a food processor.  Place in a colander, sprinkle over ¼ teaspoon of salt and allow to stand for 20 – 30 minutes. Squeeze the grated zucchinis dry with your hands.  You will be surprised by the amount of liquid that is squeezed out. This will stop the fritters from going soggy.

Place in the bowl with the linseed mixture and add the remaining salt and freshly ground pepper.

In a bowl, measure out the chickpea flour and baking powder, stir to combine.  Add to the zucchini mixture and combine well.  The mixture will be sticky.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet.  When hot, test by putting a heaped tablespoon of the batter to the hot oil.  Spread a little to make a round, flatter shape.  (If you find they are falling apart, sprinkle more chick pea flour into the batter until they are just right).  Cook them over medium – high heat until the edges turn golden, about 3 – 4 minutes.  Flip the fritters and fry for another  2  – 3  minutes.

Drain briefly on a paper towel.  Best served immediately with the avocado raytha, also delicious with a tomato gojju.

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avocado raytha

ingredients :

3 medium ripe avocados

juice of one lemon

rind of one lemon

½ small green chilli or two pinches chilli flakes

handful each fresh coriander, parsley and mint

salt and pepper to taste

preparation :

Halve the avocados, take out the seeds and with a spoon, scoop the avocado flesh into a bowl.  Add the lemon juice, chilli, and lots of fresh herbs.  Blitz using a hand blender until smooth and well combined.  The mixture will seem quite thick, if you prefer thinner, just add a little water.

Add more lemon, salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle over the the lemon rind. Dollop on each fritter just before serving.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

green garden salad hummus

23rd January 2014

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I have spent the last couple of days transplanting tiny, green, little seedlings of fennel which have self-seeded from the Summer blooms.  Naturally dried, some saved, and some haphazardly sprinkled or wind-carried throughout the garden, which have come up in all sorts of unusual places.  This IS what I LOVE about a garden left to flower and then self-seed.  There is always something to be found where you least expect it, or not expect at all.

I love that it makes me get my hands and knees dirty, so that I notice all the infinite little beauties all around me.  The wild rocket are popping their heads up everywhere.  I have blankets of small parsley seedlings and more green blankets of coriander seedlings, which make the most delicious addition to green, garden salads.

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This hummus goes very nicely with this beetroot salad and served with these sweetcorn and chard pancakes. A perfect light dinner or lunch.

a winter green garden salad hummus

Inspired by a vegetable garden.

It is important for the celery & fennel to be very fresh and very finely chopped.

ingredients :

1¼ cups dried chickpeas

tsp bicarbonate soda

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ cup tahini

juice of ½ lemon (approximately 2 Tablespoons)

salt to taste

½ cup ice cold water

1 cup finely chopped celery

1 cup finely chopped fennel

big handful finely chopped fresh coriander

2 Tblsp finely chopped fresh dill

rind of one lemon

sprinkling spicy paprika powder

preparation :

Soak the chickpeas overnight with double their volume in water.  The next day, drain and rinse.

Place the drained chickpeas with the bicarbonate of soda and water, generously cover.  Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that comes to the surface.  Simmer until the chickpeas are soft, about 1 – 2 hours depending on the type and freshness of your chickpeas.  You will need to add more water as they simmer.  Once done the chickpeas should be quite soft but not mushy.  Drain and set aside.

Dry roast the cumin seeds in a small pan, when lightly toasted turn off the heat and grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle.

Transfer the chickpeas to a food processor, run the machine, stopping and scraping down the sides occasionally, until the beans are crumbly.  Pour in the tahini, ground cumin, lemon juice, salt, and blend again until well combined.  With the machine still running, start drizzling in the ice water, so that the hummus starts to becomes fluffy and aerated.  Depending on the beans you may not use all the water, or you may need more.  Taste and adjust to your own personal taste by adding more tahini, lemon or salt.

Set aside while preparing the vegetables.  Finely chop the fennel bulb, stem and fronds of the fennel, celery and its leaves, fresh coriander and dill.  Place in a large shallow bowl and stir in the blended chickpeas.  Combine well, adjust the seasoning, adding more salt or lemon to taste. Glug a good helping of olive oil around the hummus, sprinkle on the lemon rind  and hot paprika.  Serve as above or with these crackers, vegetable sticks or in sandwiches.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

avocado with a tomato coriander salsa & mustard seeds

8th October 2013

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It seems as though we’ve wobbled back into Summer again after a week of misty, drizzly rain and endless fog which dissolved all my Summer vegetables into a slimy, gooey mess in just under a week…..

But now, these last few days,  and in this moment,  it is warm, golden, sunny and still, perfect beach and garden weather…..

What does one do and say with all this gracious light?  You smile and say thank-you…..

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “Thank you”,  that would suffice.

– meister eckhart…

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avocado with a tomato coriander salsa & mustard seeds

Inspired by super natural everyday

The success of this recipe is buying ripe avocados when in season.  Which they were when I wrote this a while back, but it has taken me this long to add the final touches and to post it here.  It is important for the avocados to be perfectly creamy in texture, as when they are creamy in texture, they meld with the simplicity and subtleness of the rest of the ingredients.  

The second time I made this, I had an abundance of cucumbers in the garden which you see in the photos, but my favourite and preferred way of making this, is with just the tomatoes as in the recipe below.

ingredients :

4 medium ripe avocados

juice & zest of 1 lemon (lemon zest set aside)

sprinkling rock salt

for the tomato salsa :

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 cup finely chopped fresh coriander

½ cup finely chopped fresh mint

1 Tblsp ghee/oil

1 tsp black mustard seeds

salt and pepper to taste

juice of ½ lemon, or to taste

lemon zest from 1 lemon

optional – a small fresh green chilli, finely chopped

preparation :

Cut each avocado in half, remove the pit, and scoop out the flesh into a bowl.  Add the lemon juice and salt.  Mash the avocados a bit with a fork, or for big quantities a potato masher works well.  Don’t overdo it – you want the mixture to be quite chunky.  Set aside.

Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.  Finely chop the fresh coriander and mint, then add to the tomatoes in a small bowl, combining until evenly mixed.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and squeeze generously with lemon.

Place the avocado mixture on a flat plate.  Using a spoon, create a hole in the centre for the tomato salsa to sit in. Scoop the tomato salsa into the centre of the plate.

Heat the ghee in a small pan.  When hot, add the mustard seeds and if using, the finely chopped chilli. When the mustard seeds start to spatter and pop, turn off the heat and pour over the tomato salsa. Sprinkle with the lemon zest.  Find a sunny spot to sit and enjoy with these crackers or with slices of your favourite bread.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

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