Cauliflower and chickpeas

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I think this is one of my favorite dishes this summer! Although I don’t particularly like cauliflower, the combination of its slightly roasted flavor, the fruity sweet and spicy flavor of the curry and tomato paste, the soft saltiness of feta cheese and the freshness of lemon, make this dish such a delight on hot summer days. The recipe is from here and I first saw it here as part of the veggie-day initiative.

  • 1 head cauliflower, separated into bite-sized florets
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 cups boiled and drained chickpeas (*)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 teaspoon curry past (**)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce (**)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 150g feta cheese (goat and/or sheep)
  • hand full of parsley and/or cilantro
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Mix the cauliflower with olive oil, salt and cumin seeds so that the cauliflower is well coated and spread it on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender, but still a bit crunchy, and golden brown. Add the chickpeas and roast an additional 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile heat some olive oil in a pan. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cover the pan and cook over medium heat until the onions are soft. Stir in the curry paste and tomato sauce and add 1-2 tablespoons of water.
  4. Combine the cauliflower with the onion mix in a bowl. Add lemon juice, feta and chopped greens and mix well.

(*) This is probably equivalent to a can of chickpeas. However, it is so easy to cook them yourself and they taste so much better. Soak dried chickpeas over night in water (I usually soak them for close to 24 hours, changing the water halfway through). Then rinse and boil in plenty of fresh water for ca. 45 mins or until tender (in a pressure cooker it takes only 15-20 min). I usually cook more chickpeas than I need for this recipe. The leftover chickpeas I turn into hummus, recipe will follow.

(**) The original recipe calls for Harissa paste, which I could not get. Therefore I am using a mild Indian red curry paste and add some tomato sauce.

mmmmhhhhhh!

Veggie Day: vegetable curry

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Oh – give me a break. It is snowing again. Everything is white and it is cold. I am so done with this. I so badly needed a bit of color and the freshness of better days, so I made one of my favorite dishes today. Yes, the ingredients are not quite seasonal yet, but I hope you forgive me for giving in to my yearning for summer. When I was a student I would eat this dish several times a week (whenever I had time to cook instead of being stuck in the lab for most of the night…). I love this dish because it is very versatile, you get a big portion of mixed vegetables, you can vary the spices to your taste, which keeps the flavor interesting, and it is relatively quick (a small portion can be put together in about 30 minutes). This dish is great on its own, or you can add cashew nuts or shrimps. The vegetables listed here are my favorite combination, but you can add/substitute any vegetables you want.

One word about the curry: you can use any curry powder of your choice. I personally like to use a mild Thai curry paste and/or I mix turmeric, ground ginger, ground coriander, paprika with my standard curry powder, which allows me to vary the flavor a bit depending on my mood (and the kids’ liking). Just don’t overdo it with the spices, you still want to taste the vegetables.

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You’ll need:

  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • curry (*see comment above)
  • 3 carrots
  • 1-2 red and/or yellow bell peppers
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 can coconut milk (or heavy cream)
  • small pack of frozen peas
  • if desired: cashew nuts / shrimp (for a non-vegetarian version) /feta / some freshly ground ginger root
  • fresh parsley or cilantro
  • salt to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large deep pan over medium heat and very gently brown the garlic together with salt and curry – don’t let it burn!
  2. While the garlic and curry brown, cut the carrots in fine slices and add to the pan. Cover the pan and let all simmer on medium heat.
  3. Meanwhile cut bell pepper into small cubes and add into pan.
  4. Cut zucchini once length wise then cut small slices (you’ll get half circles) and add to the mix.
  5. Add coconut milk. Bring to boil and let simmer on medium heat.
  6. When the zucchini start to get soft, add the peas (and shrimps or nuts). Increase the heat until the mixture boils again, then continue over medium heat.
  7. Let simmer until vegetables are soft (or shrimps are cooked through), but not overcooked. I personally like my vegetables al dente, therefore I add peas etc. relatively early. After you turned off the heat you can also add some freshly ground ginger root, this adds some light freshness to this dish. I didn’t do it today, because I forgot to buy ginger.
  8. Serve on rice and sprinkle with finely chopped parsley or cilantro. I like to add some crumbled feta to the non-shrimp version.

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How I cook my rice: In a small pot heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seed, three cloves and three cardamon pods. Add the washed basmati rice and let everything fry a little, but don’t let it get brown, just dry and crispy. Then add twice the amount of water, steer the rice once so that none sticks to the pot. Bring to boil, then turn down heat to small, cover it and let it simmer until all liquid is gone. I usually switch the heat off when the rice is almost done and let it just sit until done.

Enjoy!

This is my contribution to Veggie-Thursday, following siebenhundertsachen‘s example.

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Und nun noch auf deutsch:

  • Olivenoel
  • 2 Zehen Knoblauch
  • Curry (Paste oder Pulver)
  • 3 Karotten
  • 1-2 rote und/oder gelbe Paprika
  • 2 Zucchini
  • 1 DoseĀ  Kokusnussmilch (oder Sahne)
  • Schachtel gefrorene Erbsen
  • je nach Laune: Cashew Kerne / Feta / frischen Ingver
  • Frische Petersilie oder Korreander
  • Salz
  1. Brate Knoblauch mit Salz und Curry bei milder Hitze in Olivenoel an.
  2. Fuege die in feine Sscheiben geschnittenen Karotten hinzu und lass alles bei milder Hitze zugedeckt duensten.
  3. Fuege die gewuerfelten Paprika hinzu.
  4. Fuege die in Scheiben geschnittenen Zucchini hinzu.
  5. Fuege Kokusnussmilch hinzu, lass alles kurz aufkochen und lass es dann bei milder Hitze koecheln bis die Zucchini anfangen weich zu werden.
  6. Fuege nun die Erbsen hinzu. Lass alles nochmal kurz aufkochen und lass es dann bei milder Hitze weiterkoecheln bis alles gar ist.Ich mag mein Gemuese al dente und nehme die Pfanne vom Feuer, wenn die Zucchini noch Biss haben.
  7. Serviere ueber Reis, streue fein gehackte Petersilie oder Korreander drueber und wenn Du magst noch ein bisschen zerbroeselten Feta.

Guten Appetit!