Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Curry Dip

Crispy and sweet-salty, you can snack on these fries without feeling guilty; Dip them in flavourful curry and runny egg yolks – yummy!

Sweet potatoes are really good for you. They contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. They are easy to add to your diet and very delicious.

You can toss them in whatever spices you have on hand after they have been baked. I just added sea salt because the curry dip had a lot of spices. We had them for dinner with fried eggs and bread. A simple and filling meal.

It’s very important to slice the sweet potatoes as thinly and uniformly as possible. They will crisp up more. Tossing them in the cornflour is essential as it adds to the crispness. These fries are great with burgers, soup and Mexican food.

PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients

500 gms sweet potatoes, sliced thinly

3 tbsp+ 2 tsp olive oil

2 tsp cornflour

Sea salt to taste

4 tbsp fresh curry leaves, chopped finely

For the curry dip

2 cinnamon sticks

2 cloves

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp black pepper

2 tbsp coriander powder

1 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

5 tbsp fresh coconut, grated

5 tbsp shallots, sliced thinly

1 large onion, sliced thinly

1 large tomato, chopped

Vegetable oil

Salt to taste

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 220 C. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.

Toss the sweet potatoes in the olive oil so that they are well coated. Sprinkle the cornflour over them and mix well so that they are evenly distributed. Place the sweet potatoes in the baking tray without overcrowding them too much and bake for 15 minutes. Flip the fries and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes until they are crispy and golden brown. Cool slightly and sprinkle a little sea salt on them and toss well so that all the fries are coated with the salt. Reserve some salt to sprinkle on top just before serving.

Heat 2 tsp of olive oil and fry the chopped curry leaves until they turn crispy. Add half to the fries and mix well. Reserve the remaining for garnish.

To make the curry dip, heat two teaspoons of oil in a small frying pan and saute the cinnamon, cloves, pepper and cumin. Add the shallots and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add the coriander powder, red chili powder and turmeric powder and mix well. Add the grated coconut and remove from the heat. Cool and grind to a fine paste with a little water.

Heat three tablespoons of oil in a wok and add the sliced onions. Saute until they are cooked and add the tomatoes. Cook them until they are softened and add the ground paste and salt to taste. Mix well and add about 2-3 tablespoons of water. Cook the paste for about 5 minutes and add 1cup of water and mix well. Cook for some time and simmer on low heat until the oil floats on top. Adjust the consistency by adding more water if necessary.

Serve the fries with fried eggs and bread. Sprinkle the remaining salt and curry leaves on top before serving.

Spicy Mushroom and Cheese Omelette

Happy New Year everyone! I was travelling and I am back to posting some tasty recipes that I made recently. This recipe is great for breakfast or brunch and even if you want to prepare something quickly for dinner.

Mushrooms and cheese are great together and as a filling in this omelette, they are an extra-special combination. The spicy mushrooms make this omelette different. They should be cooked until they are just al dentè. If they become mushy, then the result will not be the same.

I used Cheddar but you could use any strong melty cheese. I often make this omelette and if you try it, I guarantee that you would also do the same.

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients

6 eggs, beaten

150 g tasty cheese, grated

2-3 tbsp butter

Salt to taste

Filling

400 g button mushrooms

2 onions, cut into large pieces

11/2 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp butter

Salt to taste

Instructions

Add enough salt to the eggs and set aside.

To make the filling, cut the mushrooms into large pieces and transfer to a large pan. Add all the other ingredients except the butter and cook over moderate heat until the mushrooms are just cooked. Do not overcook them. Remove from heat and add the butter. Set aside to cool slightly.

Heat a skillet or frying pan and add some butter to it. Pour in a third of the egg mixture and cook until the egg is almost set and golden underneath. Spoon some of the mushroom filling on one side of the omelette and sprinkle a third of the cheese. Fold over and cook for a few minutes until the cheese has started to melt. Remove from heat and set aside. Make the remaining omelettes in the same manner and serve hot with toast.

Cauliflower and Mushroom Gougère

Choux pastry is really delightful to work with – the moisture in the dough becomes steam in the oven and expands along with the air beaten into the dough during the mixing process. This causes the choux to swell up to three times its unbaked size and the result is an airy, feather-light pastry filled with lovely fresh vegetables.

This dish is perfect for special occasions – it looks wonderful as a party dish. The combination of cauliflower with mushrooms and spices makes it really delicious. It’s really rich but you end up wanting to eat more.

This recipe has been adapted from Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes.

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 1 hour SERVES: 4-6

Ingredients

8 tbsp butter

11/4 cups plain flour

4 eggs

1 cup Gruyère/Cheddar cheese, finely diced

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the filling

1 small cauliflower

200 grams tomatoes

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp butter

1 onion, chopped

11/2 cups button mushrooms, halved if large

11/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric powder

11/2 tsp chilli powder

Fresh coriander, chopped

Salt to taste

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Butter a large baking dish.

Place 11/4 cups water and butter together in a large saucepan and heat until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and add all the flour at once. Beat well with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time and continue beating until the mixture is thick and glossy. Stir in the cheese and mustard and season with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture around the sides of the baking dish, leaving a hollow in the centre to take the filling.

Cut the cauliflower into small florets, discarding the woody stalk in the centre.

To make the filling, purèe the tomatoes in a blender and add water, if necessary to make up to 11/4 cups of liquid.

Heat the oil and butter in a large pan and add the cumin seeds. Add the onions after a few seconds and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the salt, turmeric and chilli powder. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the cauliflower and stir-fry for a few minutes. Add the tomato liquid and coriander. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes.

Spoon the cauliflower mixture into the hollow of the baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes until the pastry is risen and is golden brown on top. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

Spaghetti Bolognese

Being a vegetarian, it’s always a challenge to re-invent a meat-based dish. I used tofu to substitute the meat balls and the spices were just perfect. That’s what I like about tofu – it just soaks up the spices like a sponge. And so easy to make. This dish was a great project for a rainy afternoon.

The spaghetti sauce is one I make all the time. It has some red chilli powder in it for some extra flavour and zing. The brown sugar balances it out evenly. If you like, you can blitz the sauce in a food processor to get a smooth texture.

Recipe:

For the tofu balls:

450 grams tofu, mashed

1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder

1/2 teaspoon ginger paste

1/2 teaspoon garlic paste

1/4 cup onions, chopped finely

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

For the tomato sauce:

1/4 cup olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium green pepper, chopped

2 carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

4 cups tomato puree

1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped finely

2 tablespoons tomato ketchup

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Salt to taste

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Mix together all the ingredients for the tofu balls except the olive oil and marinate for 30 minutes.

Spread a baking sheet with the olive oil. Form the tofu mixture into 16 balls and arrange them on the tray. Bake about 30 minutes turning the balls after 15 minutes until they are browned and set.

To make the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, onions, pepper, carrots and celery. Sauté for about 5 to 10 minutes and then add the red chilli powder. Mix in the tomato puree and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Add the ketchup, salt, brown sugar and the fresh coriander.

Boil some egg noodles until they are al dente and drain. To serve, heap the noodles on a serving plate and spoon some tomato sauce over it. Place the tofu balls on top. Enjoy.