Cauliflower and Potatoes Curry

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I pondered for a while before calling this dish a curry, as it doesn’t actually use curry powder and for me, this isn’t a curry. But, to keep things simple, I am referring to this dish as a curry. This is one of those staple recipes that we cook at home quite often, specially in the winter as it’s one of my husband’s favourite dishes. His late mum used to make it for him frequently, so it has some pleasant memories for him and when he is tired and cold, its the perfect food-hug he needs.

Its been bitterly cold today and I picked up some fresh cauliflower at the shops yesterday, so it took minutes to put this one together. There’s lots of different versions of making this dish, and this particular one is the quick and easy one, without the tomatoes and onions.

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First, the cauliflower florets would need to be separated and washed under running water. Let them dry in the colander for a few minutes whilst you peel and chop the potatoes. Since the vegetables need to be cooked together, I like to keep the potato cubes smaller than the cauliflower pieces, to give them time to cook faster. I tend to chop all the bits of the cauliflower into my curries, including the stalks, leaves (clean bits only), everything. Why waste parts of this beautiful vegetable? Only, chop the stalks a little smaller, to help them cook evenly and quickly. I don’t like my cauliflower to turn into mush whilst the other things cook, hence the extra attention to the chopping.

Cauliflower and Potatoes Curry
 
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A quick and easy, heartwarming Cauliflower and potato curry made without onions and tomatoes.
Author:
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 medium size Cauliflower (chopped to yield 6 cups of chopped veg.)
  • 4 medium size potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil (I use Grapeseed oil)
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • ½ tbsp ginger powder
  • ½ tbsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder (optional - adjust to your taste)
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large dutch oven, and add the cumin seeds. As soon as they start sizzling, add the ginger and the chopped green chillies. Cook until the ginger starts to turn slightly golden in colour and reduce the heat.
  2. Add the potatoes and all the spices, save the garam masala for later. Stir well, and add just a splash of water using your hands into the pot and cover the pot. Let the potatoes cook for about 3-4 minutes. Stir them well and add the cauliflower.
  3. Mix well but not vigorously - the white cauliflower florets will change colour in the cooking process. Add another little splash of water in the pot, to help build the steam, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot.
  4. Let the curry cook for about 20 minutes, stirring very gently after 10 minutes, and then every 5 minutes until it is cooked. Too much stirring will break all the florets and they will start turning to mush. Overcooking the curry will also have the same effect.
  5. Once the cauliflower and potatoes are cooked, stir in the garam masala and sprinkle a generous amount of fresh coriander. Let the curry sit in the covered pot until ready to serve.
  6. My grandma used to add some extra 'love' to this curry by drizzling some clarified butter on top before serving.
  7. Serve hot, with some fresh chapatis, rotis or naan bread, some raita and a crunchy salad.

 

 

 

 

 

Filipino Spring Rolls

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I don’t often follow recipes really well, as my creative brain kicks in and I end up making it ‘my way’ which is usually a little off the norm. However, there are times when the traditional ‘handed down’ recipes are so good, that even I follow them. These Spring rolls fell into the latter category and I can only but thank Chrestie Diaz Bancos for sharing this traditional family recipe with me.

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These traditional Filipino Spring Rolls are scrumptious and appetising. None of us could stop munching on them and even my fussy 10 yr old son could not keep his hands away from the platter until they had all disappeared. These spring rolls are easy to make and can be frozen for later use. I am going to have to make a big batch next time as they are highly addictive. Whether deep fried or baked, these are equally delicious either way when served with a spicy sweet chili sauce.

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FILIPINO SPRING ROLLS

My son and I made another batch of these today, as he wants to take them to School on Monday in his lunch box. In this version. I didn’t use the carrots but instead I brushed a little Sour cherry chutney on the inside of the spring roll before rolling them out, and they came out fabulous too – albeit, that’s not the traditional recipe.

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Filipino Spring Rolls
 
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A traditional Filipino recipe by Chrest Diaz Bancos who shared her family recipe with me.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetisers, Snack,
Cuisine: Filipino
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Filling:
  • 1 cup pork mince
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • a small bunch of green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp corn flour
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Vegeta seasoning to taste
  • Readymade Spring roll pastry
  • Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Blitz all the ingredients for the filling in a blender.
  2. Using 2 tsp of filling, make the spring rolls, using water to seal the edges.
  3. Deep fry the rolls until golden brown on both sides.
  4. Serve with sweet chilli sauce for dipping.
  5. Freeze the leftovers in ziploc bag and reheat in microwave for 2 minutes before serving hot.

Whilst these little rolls are packed with flavour, their flavour is enhanced when dipped in the Sweet Chilli sauce. The combination is amazing and I would strongly recommend it.

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The pork in the filling can be replaced with any type of meat – whether Beef, Lamb, Chicken, Turkey or even some Tofu, Tempeh or vegetable mix.

 

Supa cu Galuste (Romanian Soup with Dumplings)

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Whilst we were having our Romanian cooking lesson from my friend Cristian, he introduced us to this beautiful delicately flavoured soup made using fresh Chicken soup with wheatlet dumplings. This soup was amazingly delicious and easy to make, so much so that even my fussy 10 year old son loved the soup. It has an amazing power to make you sweat a few minutes after you’ve had the soup so this would be a fantastic soup for when the weather starts getting a little chillier. DSC_1095 (1280x859) I would love to make this soup with a little bit of ginger added to the ingredients, but truthfully speaking this is a dish that is perfect as it is. I would definitely be making this again a few times this winter. This soup doesn’t need a lot of ingredients and for an instant version, you can use ready made store bought chicken stock and simply add some fresh vegetables and the dumplings to the stock, but the flavour of fresh chicken stock in this soup is exquisite. SUPA CU GALUSTE (ROMANIAN SOUP WITH DUMPLINGS) In a large pot put 1/2 a chicken (bone in) to boil along with some roughly chopped carrots and kohlrabi. If possible add some parsley roots to the stock as well and let this boil in a large pot of water. Add some seasoning – salt, black pepper and some vegeta seasoning to your taste and let this simmer away until the the chicken is fully cooked. Remove the chicken from the soup. You can shred the chicken pieces and add them to the soup but traditionally this soup is a clear broth with the dumplings in there along with the carrots and kohlrabi. Whilst this pot is cooking, prepare the dumplings: Take 2 eggs and whisk in some wheatlets to the eggs. Continue to add wheatlet to the eggs, beating them in with a fork slowly until it reaches the point where the fork can rest on the mixture without sinking in. (See picture). DSC_1085 (1280x859) At this point, using a wet spoon drop the wheatlet mixture directly in to the soup in the shape of dumplings and let these cook on high heat. Use up all the mixture by adding it to the soup as dumplings. Serve the soup hot with some crusty bread rolls. DSC_1089 (1280x859) If you want to use ready made store bought chicken stock, then bring the chicken stock to boil with some chopped carrots and kohlrabi and parsley roots. Add the seasoning and drop the dumplings into the soup as soon as it reaches a boil. Sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley on top before serving. This recipe was prepared b my friend Cristian who learnt this from his mother, as a family handed down recipe.

Supa cu Galuste (Romanian Soup with Dumplings)
 
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An exquisite and elegant Romanian Chicken Soup with Dumplings made using a traditional family handed down recipe.
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Romanian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • Wheatlets - ½ cup plus more as required to make the dumplings
  • Half a chicken, with bones in
  • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Kohlrabi, diced
  • A small bunch of parsley with roots
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Vegeta seasoning
Instructions
  1. Boil the chicken along with the vegetables and parsley roots in a large pot. Add the seasoning and let it boil.
  2. Make dumplings batter using the eggs and the wheatlets, until the batter is thick enough for the fork to rest on it without sinking in.
  3. Remove the chicken from the soup.
  4. Using a wet spoon, make small dumplings and drop them directly into the soup whilst it is boiling.
  5. Sprinkle some finely chopped parsley before serving the soup with some fresh crusty bread rolls.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4