February 11 - 17, 2024: Issue 613
The Food Of Love: Valentines Day Meal Ideas For The Home Cook
500 grams of Besan Flour (chick pea flour – available in health food section of supermarkets or in good fruit ad veg. stores)
4 zucchini (grated)
1 large onion (sliced thin)
4 large mushrooms (sliced)
2 carrots (grated)
2 handfuls fresh green beans - chopped
3 spring onions – chopped
Salt and pepper to season Besan flour
Cold water to mix – or 2 x eggs plus water
Spices as below in Onion Bhaji alternative or omit if making for children
Put oven on to 180 degrees and two flat trays in at same time to heat up (this will keep bhajis hot while you cook others – it is also a way to shallow fry them and finish off cooking process in oven, minimising oil use). Place all your prepared vegetables in a bowl, add in the Besan flour and mix so all ingredients are coated.
1/2 lb tamarind, seeded
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 tablespoons roasted ground cumin seeds
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black salt
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
Break the tamarind into small pieces and soak in boiling water for one hour. Mash it into a pulp and strain, pressing the tamarind into the strainer to remove all the pulp. Add sugar to the pulp. Mix well. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix and taste. Add more sugar, salt or pepper as needed. Chutney can be refrigerated for two to three months.
Tamarind chutney is delicious with samosas, pakoras, and bhajis.
2 Lebanese cucumbers - peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups Greek yoghurt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Stir together the cucumber, yoghurt, lemon juice, mint, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
100g (4oz) chickpea flour or gram flour
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
25g (1oz) fresh coriander, finely chopped
Cold water, to mix
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
Sift the flour, chilli, turmeric, cumin, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped coriander, onions and chillies and mix well. Preheat the frypan and add oil. Gradually add enough water to the flour mixture to form a thick batter, mixing very well so the onions are well coated. Very carefully drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Drain well on paper towels. Keep warm whilst you cook the remaining bhajis on your oven trays. Serve hot.
Chocolate self-saucing pudding
1/2 cup milk
80g salted butter, melted, cooled
1 cup self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra to serve
1/2 cup brown sugar
50-100grams grated dark cocolate
Thick cream or ice cream to serve
2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups boiling water
Preheat oven to 180°C or 160C fan-forced. Grease a 1.5L, 6 cups, capacity ovenproof baking dish. Combine milk, butter and egg and lightly whisk.
Sift flour and cocoa into a large bowl. Stir in sugar. Grate in 50-100 grams of dark chocolate. Slowly add milk mixture to flour mixture, whisking until well combined and smooth. While you're combining those dry ingredients, get your sauce combination ready too: combine cocoa powder and brown sugar for sauce in a bowl.
Spoon pudding mix into baking dish and smooth so it sits evenly. Sprinkle combined sugar and cocoa over pudding. Pour the boiling water over the back of a large metal spoon to cover pudding. Place dish onto a baking tray just in case some spills over into your oven. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until pudding bounces back when pressed gently in centre. Serve hot with whipped cream or ice cream - bliss!
Chocolate is believed to contain high levels of antioxidants with some studies showing chocolate could lower cholesterol levels and prevent memory decline - so, as long as you don't have this winter warmer every week, you are also helping your body to be at its peak.