chilli

spicy avocado yoghurt puree

11th January 2010

There are two things I missed most when I was in India. My beautiful quiet, calm, abundant, green garden which gently holds my heart when I spend time in it.  And the most wonderful fruit existing…..avocado!

They are also a part of our garden, as we have at least 10 trees. This is the season for them. So when arriving home from India at 5 o’clock in the morning, I waited and waited and waited, until the first morning, golden light appeared, and went out and picked a basket full from the trees. That week I had to wait patiently for them to ripen.  After enjoying them daily, I remembered this wonderful dish that my friend, Anna had created.  It goes so well with this kichadi, Donna’s baked potatoes, roasted vegetables or any rice dish.

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The avocado is one of the world’s most perfect foods.  At their peak, they contain a high amount of fruit oil, a relatively rare element that gives the avocado its smooth mellow taste, nut-like flavour, and high energy value.  They have a perfectly balanced pH, being neither acid nor alkaline, are easily digested, and are rich in mineral elements that regulate body functions and stimulate growth. Especially noteworthy are it’s iron and copper contents, which aid in red blood regeneration and the prevention of nutritional anaemia.  One of the most valuable sources of organic fat and protein, avocados, as a regular part of your daily diet will improve hair and skin quality as well as soothe the digestive tract.

spicy avocado yoghurt puree

Lately, I have been making a dairy-free version by omitting the yoghurt and increasing the avocado’s to four, adding a big handful of coriander and mint, the juice of a lemon or two, half a chilli, salt and pepper to taste and blend to the desired consistency.

ingredients 

2 large ripe avocados

½ – 1 cup full-fat yoghurt

¼ cup coriander, chopped

¼ cup mint, chopped

½ small red chilli – stalk removed, seeds intact (whole chilli if you like spicy foods)

preparation 

1.  Seed the avocados and scrape the flesh into a bowl.

2.  Add the yoghurt, mint, coriander and chilli and blend until creamy using a hand blender.  If you prefer, all ingredients can be blended in a mini food processor or blender, whatever you have available.

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Avocado health benefits from ‘Whole Foods Companion – A Guide for Adventurous Cooks, Curious Shoppers & Lovers of Natural Foods’ – Dianne Onstad

Shared goodness from Stacey

red pepper & tomato sauce with chilli

9th September 2009

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Cherry tomatoes, green and red capsicum and red chillies are what is abundant in my garden at the moment, so when stuck for a quick dinner this was a welcome inspiration.  The recipe was inspired by a wonderful cookbook that Donna gave for me for my birthday called ITALIAN KITCHEN by Maxine Clark.  I cook with chillies often, but mostly I keep them whole and safely intact…that is until today.  This recipe wanted them halved and deseeded!  Now I was under the impression that if you took out the seeds, out goes the fiery heat, well, this is not the case as I found out the hard way, or at least not with these garden chillies.  And having undertaken this with my fingers, they are still a little warm and fuzzy this morning.  So what I had to do after chopping the deseeded chillies and adding them to the sauteing capsicum, was to fish them all out again.  Having successfully recovered 90 percent, the sauce was still fiery, but pretty amazing as well.  So when cooking this, you will have to use your own judgement and knowledge of the chillis available and your limitation of fiery spice.

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fiery red pepper sauce

Serves 2

ingredients

1 sweet red pepper (capsicum)

1 large fresh red chilli, halved and deseeded

4 Tbsp  extra virgin olive oil

15 cherry tomatoes (or two ripe big tomatoes)

2 Tbsp freshly chopped basil

1 tsp jaggery/sugar

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

a handful of green olives (deseeded)

freshly grated parmesan cheese

preparation 

1.  Dice the pepper (capsicum) into medium pieces and finely chop the chillies (be careful and use your judgement as noted above).

2.  Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the chillies and peppers, cook slowly for 20 mins or until really soft.

3.  Meanwhile, dunk the tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds, slip off the skins, and chop the flesh coarsely.

4.  Add the tomatoes, jaggery/sugar and season with salt and pepper – half cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes until well reduced and soft and thick.

5.  Stir in the fresh basil and toss with your chosen cooked pasta.  Throw in a handful of roughly chopped green olives and parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

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Shared goodness from Stacey

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