black bean and tofu burrito bowl

I finally got down to making this burrito bowl. It’s super healthy and I felt full for the rest of the day. Plus you get your quota of proteins and vitamins. Really delicious! It’s also very satisfying to make your own bowl from scratch. It looks so colourful and appetising.

I often make this turmeric-coconut rice. I usually make a spicy curry to go with it. I used basmati rice as usual and added some fresh coriander at the end.

You might think that it takes a lot of time to make this dish. But it’s quite simple, with some planning and multi-tasking. I especially loved the flavour of the tofu. So, are you going to make this at home?

This burrito bowl consists of the following:

Turmeric-Coconut rice – A very flavourful rice with the goodness of turmeric.

Grilled Tofu – Pan fried and tossed in a combination of honey and sriracha – please refer to my earlier recipe Crispy Honey Sriracha paneer.

Black beans – Cooked beans with a touch of cumin and red chili powder.

Grilled peppers, jalapeno and fresh tomatoes.

Mint and coconut chutney – Mint leaves ground with some coconut and green chilies.

PREP: 50 minutes COOKTIME: 40-50 minutes

Ingredients

1/2 cup black beans, cooked and drained

1 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp red chili powder

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

4 tbsp jalapenos, chopped

2 fresh tomatoes, chopped

400 gms tofu, frozen and thawed

Salt to taste

Vegetable oil as required

For the turmeric rice:

11/2 cups basmati rice, washed and drained

3 cups water

11/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 large onions, sliced

2 sticks cinnamon

3 cloves

2 cardamoms

1 cup coconut, grated

1 cup fresh coriander, chopped finely

For the mint and coconut chutney

1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped

1 green chili

1 tbsp fresh ginger

1/4 cup coconut, grated

Instructions

Soak the basmati rice for 15-20 minutes in the three cups of water.

Meanwhile, heat three tablespoons of oil in a wok and add the spices for the turmeric rice. When they smell fragrant, add the onions and cook until they become golden brown. Place the rice and water in a rice cooker and add the fried onions with salt and turmeric. When the rice is almost cooked, add the grated coconut and mix well. Add the chopped coriander and mix well. Set aside.

To prepare the black beans, add the cumin powder, chili powder and salt to the beans and mix well.

Cut the red and yellow peppers in half, remove the seeds and rub some oil on both sides and grill for about 20 minutes in a medium oven. Remove the skin and slice thinly.

Place all the ingredients of the mint chutney in a small blender with salt and blend into a fine paste with a little water.

To prepare the tofu, squeeze all the water out of the tofu. Please refer to my earlier recipe Crispy Honey Sriracha Paneer. I made it the same way, except that I didn’t slice the tofu before cooking. I fried the entire block in the pan and then sliced it as I found this much easier.

To assemble the bowl, place the turmeric rice about halfway up the bowl and arrange all the ingredients on top.

Poached Mangoes with Strawberry Coulis

My friend Beryl was an amazing and passionate cook who was very generous with her time and her recipes. She was warm and friendly, and really loved to feed people. She was one of my earliest food influencers. I got this recipe from her.

She passed away some years ago, but I continued to cook the recipes she gave me. Beryl used a thinned down version of her own blueberry jam as a topping, but I decided to try it with a strawberry coulis instead. The combination of the luscious mangoes cooked in spicy sugar syrup and the strawberries are amazing. It’s a dessert that can be put together very easily, even if you’re tired and pressed for time; serve it and watch the compliments flow in.

four ingredient spiced caramel fudge

This wickedly delicious and fattening fudge is an ideal recipe to make at this time of the year. Packed in attractive boxes or other imaginative containers, they make great gifts, to indulge your friends and loved ones.

This recipe is very quick and easy – just four ingredients and no sugar thermometers! The sugar might seem excessive, but it’s all good. In the end, the taste is just pure indulgence. I love fudge and making confectionery has also been a passion with me. The aroma of this fudge filled up the entire kitchen.

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Since Carnations Caramel is not available here, I made the caramel by immersing the can in water and boiling it for three hours. I made this on the previous day. Please refer to this link if you want to do the same – https://www.taste.com.au/recipes/caramel-sweetened-condensed-milk/9005d4ff-d063-43da-9fc6-509cc50ae771.

I know there are so many amazing fudge recipes without any cooking, but I love making it the old-fashioned way. I did try a peanut butter fudge recipe once which required no cooking and it was delicious. One of these days, I must try out the no-cook fudge recipes and I will be sure to blog them. I hope that you enjoy making this fudge as much as I did.  This recipe makes around 20-25 pieces of fudge.

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PREP:  10 minutes  COOK TIME:  20 minutes 

Ingredients

400 gms condensed milk can

100 gms butter

500 gms sugar

2 tsp pumpkin spice

! tsp vanilla essence (optional)

Instructions

Line an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment.

Place the butter, caramelized condensed milk and sugar in a large heavy bottomed pan and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for about five to ten minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture starts to come away from the sides of the pan and a little dropped into a pan of cold water forms a soft ball. Remove the fudge from the heat and add the spice and vanilla essence (if using) and beat with a wooden spoon or hand mixer until the fudge becomes grainy and starts to set. Pour into the prepared tin and mark into squares when the mixture has cooled slightly. cut into squares when it is completely cold.

Cabbage rolls

I’m sure that anyone who is serious about cooking will have made this recipe at some time. I have been wanting to make these Polish Golabki rolls for quite some time. Cabbage rolls are delicious. Instead of the meat, I used mushrooms and soy (TVP), with some spices to make the filling. This filling goes very well with naan, flatbreads etc.

The core of the cabbage has to be carefully removed, so that the leaves easily come apart after it has been steamed. A large sized cabbage weighing around 3 pounds is best which makes it easier to work with, though you can use a smaller one as well. Another trick is to trim the veins of the cabbage leaf if they are too thick. Just use a sharp knife to trim it slightly. That makes it easier to fold over the filling.

It really doesn’t take too long to make this recipe and the cabbage leaves are quite easy to roll. It’s best to leave the rolls overnight in the fridge and then fry them the next day just before serving. You have to be careful not to add too much liquid before baking as that makes the rolls soggy.

This recipe makes around 16-20 rolls.

PREP: 40 minutes COOK TIME: 25 minutes

Ingredients

1 large cabbage, core removed

2 cups soy chunks (TVP)

1 cup fresh button mushrooms, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

2 tsp coriander

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp garam masala powder

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 cup long grain rice

2 tbsp olive oil

3-4 tbsp tomato puree

Salt to taste

Instructions

Lightly grease a 13×9 inch baking pan.

Bring a large pan of water to a rolling boil and immerse the cabbage, core side down in it and simmer for 10 minutes. Using two large flat ladles, take the cabbage out of the water and place it on a baking tray core side on top. Using two forks, separate the leaves near the top so that it cools off. Keep the water in which the cabbage was cooked. If the core is not soft enough, you might need to cook it for a few more minutes.

Soak the TVP in hot water for 15-20 minutes. Drain and squeeze well. Process briefly to a flaky consistency.

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the garlic and onions. Saute for 4-5 minutes until they just start to brown. Add the ginger and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are slightly softened. Add all the spices with about 2-3 tablespoons of water and mix well. Add salt and the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are mushy. Add the soy meal and keep it covered until it is cooked thoroughly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Add the rice and mix well.

At this point, preheat the oven to 180C.

Separate the cabbage leaves reserving the outermost ones to use as a topping. As you get toward the centre, you may want to use a sharp knife to cut the core to separate the leaves. If you find the leaves at the centre too firm to roll, just pop them into the boiling water for another 5 minutes and let it simmer gently. Meanwhile, lay the cabbage leaf on a marble slab and place about 3 tablespoons of the filling toward the edge of the leaf, roll once and fold in the sides and roll once more (like a burrito). Make all the rolls this way and place them seam side down in the baking pan in a row.

Take about half a cup of the cabbage water and mix the tomato puree in it. Pour this over the rolls and cover with the broken cabbage leaves. Cover with foil and bake for about 11/2 hours. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Remove the cabbage leaves and brown them in a little olive oil just before serving. Serve with sour cream.

yoghurt and matcha swirl with mango

This modern and elegant dessert shows how well matcha goes with yogurt, chocolate and fruit. I was surprised when I tasted this lovely dish. It was wonderful to taste the silky combination of mango with the white chocolate and yogurt and I could get the subtle flavour of matcha too. It’s the perfect ending to a special party! Keep your guests wondering  what actually goes into making this super easy and delicious dessert.

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This superb dessert recipe is from http://www.epicurious.com and was created by Meryl Rothstein.

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PREP: 30 minutes SERVES: 4

Ingredients

1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, cut into small cubes

4 tsp sugar divided

31/2 oz high-quality white chocolate

11/2 cups Greek yogurt

1 tsp matcha powder

Instructions

Mix the mango with two teaspoons of the sugar and macerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the white chocolate in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until melted. Remove from heat and whisk until smooth. Cool slightly and gradually whisk in the yogurt. Divide the mixture between two small bowls.

Whisk the remaining two teaspoons sugar and matcha powder in another small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon hot water and whisk to form a smooth paste. Add the paste to one bowl containing the white chocolate-yogurt mixture. Whisk to blend well.

Divide the mango into four and place them in attractive glasses. Make a well in the green yogurt mixture and pour the white yogurt mixture into the centre. Fold gently once or twice just enough to create swirls. Spoon over the mango, dividing equally. Chill until you are ready to serve.

Potato Pizza with Pumpkin Pesto

This pizza is for potato lovers’ – that includes everyone, I think! I haven’t yet come across anyone who doesn’t like potatoes. The wafer thin slices of potato is such a sensation to eat with the pumpkin pesto. Even people who don’t like pumpkin much will absolutely love this pizza. It’s a refreshing change from the usual tomato sauce.

Just as I skipped the tomato sauce, you can also experiment with a variety of shapes. It’s fun to try different pizza shapes and I chose to go with a rectangle shape. Pizzas are so versatile and you can try so many different variations on them.

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I made the pizza dough from scratch as I always do. Please refer to my earlier post Paneer Tikka Pizza for the recipe. However, if you’re pressed for time, you can always use a refrigerated dough or a readymade base.  I also made the pumpkin puree by steaming the pumpkin and then pureeing it. Whipping up the pesto just takes a few minutes and it tastes so good. I also used a mandoline to slice the potatoes wafer thin.

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I layered the cheese under the potatoes and the result was a lovely, creamy mouthful of pumpkin pesto, cheese and potatoes in every bite. I hope you try this out – it’s perfect for family get togethers. This recipe is suitable for one 12 inch pizza.

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PREP:  30 minutes  COOK TIME:  30-40 minutes 

Ingredients

1 pre-baked pizza crust

500 gms potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly

200 gms mozzarella cheese, grated

2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp salt

For the pumpkin pesto

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup cashewnuts

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt to taste

Instructions

Place a pizza brick, unglazed terracota tile or baking sheet in the oven. Preheat the oven to 220C.

Place all the ingredients for the pesto in a blender or food processor and process until thick, about 30 seconds.

Place the pizza base on the heated brick or pan. Brush the base with a little oil and then spread the pumpkin pesto on it. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top and season with a little pepper. Place the potato slices on top and garnish with the thyme. Drizzle some olive oil on top and bake for 30 minutes until the pizza is cooked (if the dough has not been pre-baked). If it’s pre-baked, then 15-20 minutes should suffice.