All posts tagged: beans

Mandazi Barazi

Swahili Breakfast: Mandazi and Barazi

I spent some time in Mombasa almost five months ago. It’s safe to say I’ve missed sipping on fresh madaf (coconut water) on Bamburi beach, eating fried cassava crisps doused in lemon juice and chilli on the side of the road, and feasting in mind-blowing authentic Swahili restaurants by moonlight. I ate a lot that week. For me, the most incredible thing about East African food is the simplicity of ingredients that go into a dish and the unbelievable flavours that are produced. Basic seasonings like salt, sugar, lemon and chilli are paramount to everyday cooking. Spices like cardamom and turmeric are also popular, although they are used sparingly. Whilst cassava, beans and ground rice make up the majority of the diet, fruit and veg are showcased in such a simple, yet delicious way that vegetarian food is an absolute pleasure to eat. My wonderful aunt and uncle in Mombasa are blessed to have a garden full of palm trees, banana trees and fresh herbs, which allow them to indulge on the freshest exotic ingredients …

black-bean-chilli

Black Bean and Chocolate Chilli

Don’t give me that look – I know what you’re thinking. This weekend has been rush, rush, rush. I was panicking all day yesterday wondering what on earth I was going to present to you. I annoyed other people into helping me think of something, which has never really happened before. Shall I let you in on how this whole blogging shebang works for me? I wake up on Monday mornings, droopy-eyed and full of bitterness about how quickly the weekend flew by, why it’s so damn cold and why I’m wearing two coats (yeah I know, what the hell, right?) Around lunchtime I start to wonder what could possibly sweeten up my mood.   Thinking about food usually does it for me. I couldn’t tell you why – although my belly, bingo wings and thunder thighs probably could. Figuring out what to eat by ingredient is much too complex for me, so I usually work out what would hit the spot by cuisine. I do a hi-tech international Matrix-styleè brain scan of what I’d …

mung-bhaat

Gujarati Mung Bhaat- Mung Bean and Rice Soup

Join me in a moment of nostalgia with my recipe for a classic Gujarati Mung Bean Soup. This is nothing like my playful recipe for Spinach and Mung Bean Soup – it’s an untweaked and deliciously traditional soup loved by the Gujarati peoples. Can you believe I didn’t stray from the recipe?   Did you know? Many Indians consider the mung bean to bring luck and so it is used in rituals and offered to the Gods along with grains of raw rice. Like most Gujarati recipes, every family has its own secret version of this mung bean soup, with probably the only similarity across all variations being that it’s always, always served with rice. The rice is boiled separately from the mung bean soup and usually mixed in just before serving. Check out my tips on how to cook perfect basmati rice. I topped mine with sweet, golden onions and fresh coriander. You can also stir in a spoonful of creamy natural yogurt for a mild tang. If you’re feeling lazy and are craving …

dill-honey

Greek-Style Soya Beans with Dill & Honey

Woah, what a week; I’ve been as busy as a bumblebee at a flower festival. I can’t help but feel that I should be creating more, posting more and spending less time doing other, time-consuming yet necessary things. Has anybody got a pause button I could borrow for a little while? Well, I haven’t been a total blog slacker this week. Honest. A couple of weeks ago one of KO Rasoi’s Facebook fans requested some vegetarian Greek recipes. Can I tell you a scandalous yet unsurprising secret? I know nothing about Greek food. Shock, horror. You can start throwing rotten olives at me now. By nothing I mean everything apart from the obvious yummies the Greeks have introduced to us through their simple, flavourful cooking like moussaka, dolmades and baklava. Due to my culinary roots being embedded in the soil of Gujarat, I can’t help but feel a kinship towards cultures that embrace simple spicing and maximum flavour. The Greek culinary culture is definitely one of these. I’ve seen numerous recipes similar to this one …

vaal-peanut-sauce-fi

Fresh Field Beans (Vaal) in a Peanut and Yogurt Sauce

Graduation was fantastic! Thank you for all of the congratulations and good luck wishes you left for me. As always, your support is invaluable. Time to start a fresh, new chapter of my life, and the only way to fire up such chapters is with fresh, innovative food. This dish combines firm field beans with a creamy, clean tasting yogurt sauce. Perfect for those who like subtly spiced dishes or those who simply fancy a change from heavily perfumed concoctions.   You can buy field beans from all good Indian grocery or health food shops; they can be found fresh, dried and frozen so keep your beans eyes peeled. Their texture is best described as a cross between white soya beans and cannellini beans. Delicious in soups and stews, they are more popularly added to curries in Gujarati cuisine. The famous young field bean (whole) and aubergine curry (vaalore ringdra) is evidence of its popularity; it has dominated wedding menus for years. And I ain’t gonna question that! Vaal- Mature field beans with the pod removed …

mung-bean-curry-slide

Gujarati Dry Mung Bean Curry

As promised, here is a recipe for a traditional, flavour-packed dry curry which pairs brilliantly with Gujarati Kadhi. If you know someone who is notorious for complaining about ‘boring old lentils’- or indeed you are that person, then I very much doubt you will feel the same way about this dish. Traditionally, the predominant flavours are garlic and a little cinnamon. Have I ever told you how amazing cinnamon is with lentils? I have now. The strong flavours of this Dry Mung Bean Curry completes a meal when paired with mellower dishes like Kadhi and plain rice. I really hope you give it a try… It’s one of my favourites! Ingredients (Serves 4) 1 ½ cups mung beans 1 small pinch baking powder 1 tbsp sunflower oil 1 tsp mustard seeds 2 tsp cumin seeds ¼ tsp asafoetida (optional) 5-6 curry leaves 1 tbsp garlic, minced 2 medium hot chillies, minced 1 medium tomato, chopped ½ tsp turmeric 1 tbsp lemon juice or to taste 1 tsp cinnamon powder Salt to taste Sugar to taste ¼ …

Spinach and Mung Bean Soup

Secretly Decadent Spinach and Mung Bean Soup

A little twist on an old Gujarati classic   Iron-rich foods are essential for vegetarians who without it, may feel constantly lethargic, tired and run-down. I speak not from formal education in food nutrition, but from experience. We all need iron in our diets to keep us strong like Popeye (Popeye, if you’re reading this, I have an inkling that you will LOVE it!) Since having iron-deficiency problems, spinach has been my number one best friend. Although I’ve been eating mung bean soup since I was a child, I was never really a fan of it (perhaps because it was a staple in the house and I probably got bored with it). I eat mung beans now because I finally realised how good they are for my health. So here is an iron-packed soup that is both rich in vitamins and flavour, that even I, (a former arch enemy of the cute lil mung bean) enjoy to the max!   Growing up, I never had mung bean soup pureed; the beans were simply served whole in …