Black eyed bean masala and beetroot thoran

I’d had my eye on the FatFree Vegan Black-eyed pea masala for a while – with a photo like that, how could anyone resist? I set it off to cook, along with some brown pilau rice (it looks like plain brown rice in the picture but I can assure you it isn’t – I use a Jamie Oliver version from a Sainsbury’s magazine from years ago). I knew I wanted a vegetable dish to serve alongside it but I didn’t have much in. Then I remembered the beautiful organic beetroots I’d bought for some tester chocolate muffins for Carla (yes, you read that right, beetroot in muffins, delicious!), and I decided to make some beetroot thoran. I’ve blogged about thoran before, so you can probably figure out what to do but here’s a rough idea.

Peel and grate one medium beetroot per person. Heat some oil and add chopped chillies, and mustard seeds, until the seeds start to pop. Then add the grated beetroot, some grated coconut (I use frozen), and a handful of curry leaves. Stir well and put a lid on for a few minutes. keep checking and stirring until the beetroot is soft – about 8 minutes. Serve!

The black eye bean masala was also very tasty, and altogether it made a great meal!

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Ginger infused cauliflower dal

This is another recipe I stashed away during VeganMoFo and hadn’t had time to try yet. Since I’ve stopped getting my organic vegetable box, there are some vegetables that just don’t seem to find their way into my trolley, and cauliflower is one of them. I really like it but since giving up cheese the only way I ever eat it is in Indian food. Any other ideas for it, anyone? If you’ve read this blog before you’ll know that I’m a sucker for any kind of dal dish (and that I still haven’t decided how to spell it), so I was delighted to spot the two things combined in a very different looking dish to the one I’ve tried before.

Anyway, I’d never used French (or puy) lentils before in dal but I would do again. They are nice and earthy but they keep their shape nicely. The ginger  and cardomom are both lovely with the lentils and the cauliflower. I would recommend that you add the lentils before the cauliflower is quite tender because it carries on cooking for a bit longer and mine was just on he edge of being a bit overcooked. It would definitely have been nicer with some fresh coriander too but I didn’t have any this time.

The rice is my favourite way to serve a simple Indian spiced brown rice which I think came from Jamie Oliver in Sainsbury’s magazine, but I grate some carrot in it for colour, sweetness and vitamins.

I’ve said before that one of my favourite combinations for a nice, filling, easy midweek meal is brown rice+spiced lentils+vegetable, and this dish is another one to add to my list of regulars.