Tag Archives: aubergine

07Jan/16

Lasagne with tomatoes, aubergine & green lentils

Lasagne

This is a rich, creamy and very saucy lasagne, simply oozing with flavours of the Mediterranean and you can be assured it will go down very well with your family and all your friends.  You could prepare the tomato and aubergine sauce in advance as well as the cheezy sauce and layer and bake the next day.

Ingredients

Approximately 12 sheets of pasta
Oblong ovenproof dish (mine is 11x8x2½ inches)

1 large aubergine, cut into cubes
1 tin chopped tomatoes with chopped olives (or add a few of your own olives to the chopped tomatoes)
3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
A little salt to taste
1 tin green lentils

Cheezy sauce

1 litre unsweetened soya milk
1 tablespoon plant based butter
2 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
1 teaspoon onion granules
3 tablespoons cornflour mixed with a little cold water or some of the soya milk

Method

Tomato & aubergine sauce

  • Heat the oil and add garlic. Fry until pale golden.
  • Add tin of tomatoes, a little salt, oregano and 1 tin of water
  • Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, add aubergine
  • Cook on low for 15 minutes – set aside

Lasagne tomato aubergine sauce

Cheezy sauce

  • Bring the soya milk to boil on medium heat
  • Add butter, onion granules and Nutritional Yeast
  • Stir on low heat for a few minutes until well blended
  • Add the cornflour paste and cook on low – stir the sauce with a wooden spoon for a couple of minutes on low heat

Lasagne cheese sauce

Layer the lasagne

  • Cover the bottom of the dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce and cheezy sauce
  • Cover with lasagne strips and top this with more tomato sauce, green lentils and cheezy sauce
  • Continue to layer as above until you get close to the top of the dish
  • Top with cheezy sauce
  • Bake in pre-heated oven at 200C, 400F or gas mark 6 for about 45-50 minutes
  • Serve with spinach and mushrooms – click here for recipe

Spinach Mushrooms

31Jul/15

Spicy aubergine bhaji

Aubergine bhaji(3)

Apart from potatoes, aubergines are second on my list of most used vegetables.  You can curry them, stuff them or dip in flour and fry them – I have even used aubergines in my vegetable biryani with very good results and of course aubergine pickled in vinegar with garlic and a some mint is delicious.

This is a spicy aubergine bhaji where I have used a mix of whole spices generally known as Panchporan – it is a mix of black mustard seed, fenugreek seed, fennel seed, cumin seed and black onion seed and is available in most Asian stores, some large supermarkets like Tescos or buy it online – click here)

Ingredients

1 large aubergine, cut into large cubes
3 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons panchporan (a mix of black mustard seed, fenugreek seed, fennel seed, cumin seed, black onion seed, available at Asian stores or online here)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 inch piece ginger, chopped finely
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
½ tablespoon tomato puree
Chopped fresh coriander (optional)

Method

  • Heat oil and add panchporan
  • Let the spices brown for a minute or so until the seeds begin to pop – add all the other ingredients except aubergines

Aubergine bhaji

  • Cover and cook tomatoes on low heat for about 15 minutes – you shouldn’t need water, but if you do add a small splash
  • Add aubergines, cover and cook for another 15 minutes
  • Sprinkle fresh coriander and serve with rice or any flat bread

 

24Jul/15

Crispy potato based rice

Rice with roast potatoes

 

This is a variation of one of many Iranian rice dishes and this crispy potato based rice is simple to prepare and delicious with salad or a light curry.

So we just boil the rice as usual, pop it on a layer of sliced potatoes and steam to create a fabulous dish of crunchy and moist potatoes with rice – a simple, appetising dish of rich to be served with either a salad or a light curry – we had it with aubergine with chana dal cooked with soya mince and it was a huge success!  Click here for the aubergine recipe

Aubergine, chana dal & mince

4 good servings

Ingredients

300 grams Basmati rice, soaked for 1 hour at least
4 large waxy potatoes, sliced
1 cup frozen peas
3 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon salt

Method

  • Rinse rice, add salt and boil in a large deep pan with lots of water
  • Good quality basmati rice will take about 3 minutes from boiling to cook – keep it al dente
  • Strain rice in colander and add the peas and gently stir to mix
  • In the same pan, put the oil and 4 tablespoons of water
  • Layer the potatoes on the base of the pan
  • Top it with rice, cover the lid with a clean tea cloth and steam on med/high for 5 minutes, reduce heat to low and steam for further 15 minutes.
  • To loosen the potatoes, place the saucepan in an inch of cold water in the sink for 3 minutes
24Jul/15

Aubergine with chana dal and soya mince

Aubergine, chana dal & mince

Mince and chana dal (split peas) cooked in a rich tomato sauce and whole dried lime, split in two is a very popular dish in Iran.  Dried lime can be bought at Middle Eastern or Asian stores or online, click here.   I have successfully added aubergines to this dish as aubergines go very well with soya mince and tomatoes.  Served with plain boiled rice or flat bread this makes a very satisfying and healthy meal to serve to the family! 

I tend to add a pinch of baking soda when cooking any tough legume or bean as this hastens the cooking time – a trick I learnt from my dear Laxmi, who was a loving and gentle second mother to me and my family.

Ingredients

Half cup chana dal, preferably soaked for an hour but not absolutely essential
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 large aubergine, cut into large cubes
1 cup frozen soya mince (you could use dried soya mince too, click here to buy online)
1 medium onion, sliced
3 tablespoons oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
1 level teaspoon turmeric
3-4 tomatoes, chopped (or 1 tin of tomatoes)
½ teaspoon salt
1 dried lime, split in two (optional, click here to buy online) 

Method

  • Rinse and cook chana dal with a quarter teaspoon of baking powder – baking powder will expedite the cooking process! Be careful you don’t overcook the chana dal and keep it whole, strain and set aside
  • Fry onions in oil until golden
  • Add tomatoes, turmeric, garlic, ginger and salt
  • Aubergine, chana dal & mince(2)
  • Cover and cook on low with a small splash of water until tomatoes are softened, about 20-25 minutes
  • Add aubergine, soya mince, cooked chana dal and dried lime.  Add a cup of water, cover and cook on low heat for a further 20 minutes until the stew is thick and aubergines cooked
  • Serve with boiled rice or flat bread – why not try this Maneesh I made the other day!

Maneesh(2)

17Jun/15

Mixed vegetable curry

Mixed vegetable curry(2)
I haven’t posted recently and am sorry about this…been so busy with the garden and other things which took priority.  Anyway, here is a simple mixed veg curry you could rustle up with any vegetable you have available.  I had a medium size aubergine (which believe it or not was half rotten so only used the good half), potatoes of course, and some frozen spinach which I put together to make this super delicious curry.

Ingredients

1 medium onion, sliced
3 tablespoons oil
3 tomatoes, or 2 large tablespoons tomato puree
3 medium potatoes, diced
1 medium aubergine, cut into chunks
100-150 grams spinach, about 3 handfuls fresh or frozen leaf spinach
4 cloves garlic, finely minced or chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced or chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste

Method

  • Fry onion in oil until pale golden
  • Add spices, garlic, ginger, tomatoes and a little salt
  • Fry on low/medium heat for 2 minutes, cover and cook on low for 10 minutes – add small splash of water if required
  • Add vegetables and about 300ml of water, bring to boil, lower heat and simmer covered for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are cooked and the sauce is thick