A rich red vegan tandoori beetroot curry. Big chunks of beetroot and purple cabbage in a thick curry of tandoori masala and turmeric. And it’s gluten-free.
To bulk it out and add a bit of protein I’ve thrown in some kala chana. They’re delicious and have a firmer, earthier texture than standard chickpeas. Plus, the darker colour works fabulously with the redness of the curry.
I like my curries very hot, so if you want a milder version, substitute the scotch bonnet for for a milder variety or use less for a less fiery equivalent.
The recipe – Vegan tandoori beetroot curry
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 medium onion
2 beetroot (with the greens)
1 beef tomato (or 2 standard)
Half a purple cabbage
1 can kala chana
1 Scotch bonnet chili pepper
500ml vegan/gluten-free bouillon
1 can chopped tomato
1 clove crushed Egyptian garlic
2 tbsp tandoori masala
1 tbsp turmeric
2 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
Sprinkling of fenugreek seeds
Seasoning to taste
500g brown rice
Prepare your veggies. Dice your onion and chili pepper, take the greens off the beetroot and roughly chop. Peel and slice the rest of the beetroot into thick chunks. Shred your purple cabbage, crush your garlic and slice up your beef tomato.
Add your onion, cabbage, beetroot, greens, tomato, chili pepper and garlic to a large pan. Fry for 5-10 minutes on a medium/high to soften the onion and cabbage.
Next add your kala chana, spices and seasoning. Fry for a further 5 minutes to seal in the flavours.
Next, add your stock and your can of chopped tomato. Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for around 25 minutes until the sauce has boiled down to a rich, thick curry sauce.
Serve with a portion of brown rice. The sauce should have a bright red colour from the spices and the beetroot.
If you like a lighter tarter flavour, try swapping out a bit of the turmeric with a glug of lemon juice.
A spicy curry pairs well with a spicy cat. Like this little chili pepper shaped guy on @mycatbelike:
Okay, so it’s not just vegan sushi with avocado and beets. It’s everything purple and everything green. All wrapped up in lovely layers of brown sushi rice and crisp nori. If you use tamari sauce instead of soy it’s also gluten-free!
I’ve gone with maki made from mixes of avocado, cucumber, sprouted beetroot, purple carrot and caramelised mushroom, beetroot, beetroot sprouts and aubergine. I’ve also gone with some nigiri made from the caramelised mix.
Obviously, if you have other preferences to fillings, go crazy. Within reason sushi is pretty good whatever’s in it. (With a cover photo like that, how couldn’t I link to it?)
5 sheets nori (retain a couple of strips of one sheet for nigiri)
4 tbsp mirin (or sherry)
Half a cucumber
1 purple carrot
A few mushrooms
1 beetroot (with the greens)
Half an aubergine
1 clove crushed garlic
A handful of beetroot sprouts
Tamari sauce and balsamic vinegar
Seasoning to taste
Sushi rolling mat and clingfilm
First, cook your sushi rice. Cover with water and bring to the boil for 20-30 min until pretty much all absorbed. Leave aside to steam and then cool. Add your mirin or sherry with however much seasoning your fancy and you’re ready to roll. (Sorry.)
While all that’s going prepare your veggies. Julienne all veg except the mushroom (which you should slice finely). When slicing up your beetroot, retain the greens and roughly chop (as below).
Next, fry up your beetroot, mushroom, aubergine and greens in salt, crushed garlic, tamari sauce and about a tbsp of balsamic vinegar. Lower the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes to caramelise.
Forming the sushi
Once all your fillings are prepared, arrange them all in pretty patterns in bowls ready to make your sushi. Take your rolling mat and wrap in a layer of clingfilm to stop it sticking when making your nigiri.
Start with your maki. Place a nori sheet on your rolling mat and spread with an even, thin layer of rice. Make a small lateral groove and place a strip of filling int the groove. Leave a little space a the edges of the rice for the nori to find purchase when you roll it up (as below).
Roll! Until you almost run out of nori and rice (save some for your nigiri). There are some excellent youtube clips if you’re confident with this step. Like this one. Once finished, slice up your vegan sushi with a really, really, really sharp knife. Blunt knives squish sushi. Fact.
Next, do your nigiri. Make little pockets out of your remaining sushi. Here’s a really good video on how to do this, it can be tricky. Layer it with your carrot and caramelised veggie mix (as below).
Finally, wrap your nigiri in a thin strip of nori for the finished product. be extra careful as nigiri can be very delicate when if wet.
All done! Arrange your newly formed vegan sushi and serve.
If you have a bottle of sherry left over from Christmas or a visit from Grandma, it makes as a great substitute for mirin (and gets rid of the sherry).
Enjoy your vegan sushi with your cat. Not… ‘with’ your cat.
A sunny morning isn’t complete without pancakes. These turmeric and chilli chickpea pancakes are vegan and gluten-free and packed with protein. They’re delicious on their own or with a good dollop of smashed avocado and smoothie.
They’re made using a standard socca batter but with a couple of tweaks to add more flavour and a better, more pancake-like consistency. Ground chia seed is excellent at binding batters in the same way as egg and turmeric gives the mix a lovely omelette-like colour (as well as all the amazing anti-inflammatory health benefits).
For more flavour, I’ve added crushed chilli and fenugreek seeds. The chilli adds a good kick that makes these great with avocado or citrus juices. The fenugreek seeds release a tangy, curry flavour that compliments the turmeric. Feel free to mix it up!
Just remember, if you want chickpea pancakes for breakfast, you have to leave enough time to set the batter. Overnight is best.
The recipe – Turmeric and Chilli Chickpea Pancakes
Ingredients (makes 2 pancakes)
50 g gram flour
5g ground chia seed
1 tsp ground turmeric
Sprinkling of crushed chilli
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Sprinkling of fenugreek seeds
Handful of cubed swede
Handful of sliced and chopped leek
A few spinach leaves
Seasoning to taste
Make your batter (the night before if you want the best results for the morning). A batter takes around 2 hours to finish setting fully and should be mixed well before frying. Take a small pot and add your gram flour, chia, turmeric, chilli, garlic powder and a touch of salt and pepper. Now add as much water as dry mixture (so the mixture doubles in volume in your container). Mix well with a fork and put in the fridge until ready for use.
When you and your batter are ready to make pancakes, prepare your vegetables and heat a glug of oil in a small round frying pan to a high heat.
Add your vegetables, fenugreek and spinach and fry for less than a minute to get a nice sear.
Add half your batter to the pan and swirl around quickly to cover your filling. Turn down the heat to medium low and fry for about 5-10 minutes until you have a firm base that won’t fall apart when you flip it over.
Flip your chickpea pancake! Cook for a further couple of minutes to give a good sear to the top.
Repeat for pancake number two and serve.
Make sure you cook with a high temperature oil like rapeseed oil to avoid smoke when frying.
Mix up your fillings depending on your mood. Mushroom and garlic is especially delicious.
If you’re in a rush, a batter can set in 30 minutes if you stir it a lot and don’t mind a couple of lumps.
If you’re making a few, keep them warm in the oven at a low temperature while you fry the rest.
Great with smoothies and/or a cup of builders tea.
Why not ask your cat to wake you up early so you make lots and lots of chickpea pancakes for you both? Like #missdarcycat here from @cat_shaming: