Crispy Spring Rolls with Sweet Chilli Dip

There’s something so comforting about crunchy spring rolls filled with veggies and a sweet chilli dip to go with it. It’s delicious as appetizers or party finger food. The filling for these dainty spring rolls are quite easy to prepare. And the dipping sauce just takes a few minutes too.

You can use any vegetables that you have and also add some bean sprouts too. Just make sure everything is shredded and chopped finely.

I must mention here about Indo-Chinese cooking. If you visit a Chinese restaurant in India, you will be surprised at the amount of spices and chillies used. It is very different from the original Chinese cuisine. I have prepared the filling in the same manner.

You can also bake the spring rolls for a healthier option. This recipe is adapted from Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes.

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 20 minutes

Ingredients

¼ cup rice vermicelli noodles

2 tsp fresh ginger, grated finely

2 tsp fresh garlic, chopped finely

2 spring onions, chopped finely

50 gms carrots, shredded finely

50 gms purple cabbage, shredded finely

25 gms spinach, chopped finely

1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped finely

1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped finely

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp chilli sauce

1 tsp cornflour

1 tsp black pepper powder

Salt to taste

20-24 spring roll wrappers, each 5 inch square

2 tbsp flour

Vegetable oil

Dipping sauce

4 tbsp sugar

¼ cup rice vinegar

2 fresh red chillies, seeded and finely chopped

Instructions

First make the dipping sauce. Place the sugar and vinegar in a small saucepan with 2 tablespoons water. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves, then boil rapidly until it forms a light syrup. Stir in the chillies and leave to cool thoroughly.

Soak the noodles according to the package instructions. Rinse and drain well. Using scissors, snip the noodles into short lengths.

Mix the flour with enough water to make a thick paste.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok and add the garlic, ginger and spring onions. Stir-fry for 15 seconds and add the carrots and cabbage. Sautè for another 2-3 minutes and add the spinach, mint, coriander, soy sauce, chilli sauce, salt, pepper and noodles and sautè for another minute. Add the cornflour and mix well. Set aside to cool.

Place a spring roll wrapper on the work surface and place a tablespoon of filling in the centre. Fold over the wrapper to encase the filling completely. Fold in each side, then roll up tightly. Brush the end with the flour paste to seal the edges. Repeat until all the filling has been used.

Half fill a wok with oil and heat. Deep fry the spring rolls in batches until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper. Serve hot with the sweet chilli dipping sauce.

Vegetable Patè

Is lunch boring? Try this vegetable patè. It’s so delicious and easy to make. It can keep in the fridge for a week, but the batch that I made disappeared within a few days! It’s just the thing when you’re rushed for time and want to eat something healthy. A great alternative to traditional liver patè.

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I have been wanting to make this vegetable patè for ages. I was thinking of putting some lentils in it but then decided to make it veggies only. It’s just vegetables that everyone has in their fridge. You can also try a combination of other vegetables. It’s also got spices, herbs and nuts. I added the chopped nuts at the end which gives it a nice crunch. Fussy children might just enjoy this as sandwiches in their lunch box.

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I love this sunflower seed butter that I have incorporated into the patè. I got the recipe from Sean Sherman who is the author of “The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen” which features authentic Native American cooking. The honey in the nut butter gives it a lovely depth of flavour. You can get the original recipe from http://www.cbsnews.com.

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This is great served as a simple starter at a party. Serve with crispbreads, baguettes and fresh cruditès. This recipe makes about 3 cups of patè.

 

PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients

2 medium potatoes, cubed

1 sweet potato, cubed

3 carrots, sliced

2 onions, chopped roughly

1 whole head of garlic

!/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped

11/2 tsp nutritional yeast

11/2 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp fennel seeds, powdered

3 tsp olive oil

½ cup sunny butter (recipe below)

3 tbsp walnuts, chopped

3 tbsp cashew nuts, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Sunny Butter

1 cup unsalted toasted sunflower seeds

½ tsp coarse salt

½ cup honey

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Place the sunflower seeds in a food processor and grind. Add the salt and honey and process until a ball forms. Set aside.

Cut the ends of the garlic bulb, exposing the cloves but still leaving the bulb of garlic whole.

Place the vegetables, onions, garlic and coriander in an ovenproof dish and drizzle the olive oil over it. Mix well, cover and bake for about 30 minutes until the vegetables and garlic are tender.

Cool and remove the skin from the garlic cloves. Add all the other ingredients except the sunny butter and the nuts. Puree in the same food processor that you used to make the sunny butter. Add the sunny butter and the walnuts and cashew nuts and mix well. Enjoy.

Fried Cream Cheese Balls

I had some cream cheese sitting in my fridge and I wanted to do something savoury with them. These tasty cheese balls are the result. They’re quite easy and hardly take any time at all to prepare.

I liked the cheese in the centre. It gives it an extra cheesy flavour and they were a real hit with my family and friends. It’s quite moreish and a good appetizer for an informal get together.IMG-20200226-WA0007-01

This recipe makes around 15 balls.

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 20 minutes

Ingredients

11/4 cups cream cheese

½ cup paneer, grated

1 tbsp lime juice

½ tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

3 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped

2 green chillies, seeded and finely chopped

1 cup breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper

Cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes

Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

Mix all the ingredients together, except the cheddar cheese and shape into balls. Flatten the centre and place the cheese in the centre. Pinch the ends together and reshape the balls.

Heat the vegetable oil in a small wok or skillet and fry the balls in batches (4-5 at a time), until they are golden brown. Serve hot with chilli sauce or mayonnaise.