Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Black bean salad

My continuing relationship with black beans is, er, continuing, and rather than making a dish that involves mashing the beans, I opted for the simplicity of a salad.

This recipe is based on the one in La Dolce Vegan, substituting white onion for red because the ones at the supermarket are always rotten. 1 tsp of cumin, a Tbs of oil and 2 tbs of balsamic vinegar ensures the salad will be dressed for success. The pic will show you what else goes in.

This may not be of interest to those who are not etymologically inclined, but the word "salad" comes from the Latin word for salt, sal, so I encourage you to add plenty to this dish.

Required soundtrack - Salad days by Minor Threat

Friday, November 19, 2010

choc ripple cake

At WVD I saw a cooking demonstration by Yahvinah from soulveg, who also has the website, The cheapest Vegan. She cooked up quite a few tasty dishes, with many that included tofu cream. After tasting some of this cream, I knew I had to make some for myself. You can find the recipe on her site. Basically it involves blending a soft tofu and adding sugar and vanilla to taste. If it is still too thin, add some oil. I used the Joyce silken firm tofu and this was perhaps too soft as no matter how much oil I added it wouldn't thicken up enough.

As you may have guessed by the blog title, I was looking to make a choc ripple cake. Arnott's choc ripple biscuits are vegan and convenient for someone who doesn't feel like making a bunch of chocolate biscuits. They also come with a handy recipe on the back of the packet that is easily cruelty-free-ified so there is no real reason to post the recipe as it is fairly self-explanatory.

Since my cream wasn't quite thick enough, I assembled the cake in a small plastic container, making little cream sandwiches with all the biscuits and pouring the left over cream on top. After leavin it in the fridge over night, I raised the classiness of the dish by sprinkling raw cacao powder on top of it.

I don't think I've ever had a choc ripple cake before, so I had nothing to compare it to, but it was pretty good and I could have eaten all of it in one sitting if it were not for my strict discipline in controlling my calorie intake. It probably could have had more sugar though.

Recommended soundtrack - "Cream" by Prince and The New Power Generation from the album Diamonds and Pearls

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Eggplant Bharta and Roti

K's tweet about her search for roti a couple of days ago got me thinking about Indian food and when I think about Indian food I think about eggplants. I flicked through my cookbooks and found a recipe for eggplant bharta in La Dolce Vegan. I also made some roti bread.

Eggplant Bharta


  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 5 cm ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 small hot pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (Excluded as I couldn't remember what cilantro was (coriander leaves according to wikipedia) and couldn't be bothered looking it up)
Combine eggplant, onion and stock in a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes, until eggplant starts to soften and reduce. Add everything else, except tomatoes and simmer for 2 minutes. Reduce heat and add tomato and cilantro, re-cover, simmer for 5 minutes.

Kramer suggests serving over rice, but I just ate it with roti bread.

Roti bread

  • 2 1/2 cups wholegrain flour
  • 1 1/4 cup water
Make a well in the flour and gradually pour in the water and mix until dough is formed. Knead for about 8-10 minutes, or less if you can't be bothered. Cover and let dough rest for about 30 mins.

Heat up your frying pan. Put a handful of flour on a plate. Break dough up into about 6 balls. Dip ball of dough into flour and roll out into a thin circle, about 15cm in diameter. Place rolled out dough into your frying pan. Start preparing your next roti. By the time that one is ready, your roti should start bubbling a bit which means it is time to flip it over. Same deal on the other side, but now you can press down firmly on the edges of the roti with a spatula to make the roti puff up (This is the coolest part of making roti bread). The bread is done after that. Set it aside and brush with margarine.

Perhaps the coriander leaves would add more to the flavour, but it wasn't that bad without it. Eating it with the roti was the ideal combination and I'll definitely be making roti more often.

Soundtrack - Bob Dylan at Budokan