Onion and Thyme Tart

Simple to make and infused with thyme, this attractive tart makes for the perfect lunch along with a mixed leaf salad. The onions gives it a lovely flavour and the topping is creamy and delicious.

The dough for the base is not very firm but rather more pliable so that it can be patted out into the baking pan. No need to roll out the pastry etc. It’s really easy.

I used a little ghee to sautè the onions but you can just use olive oil or butter. This recipe is from Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes.

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PREP: 20 minutes COOK TIME: 30-35 minutes SERVES: 6

Ingredients

1 tbsp ghee

1 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, sliced thinly

2 tsp fresh or dried thyme

1 egg

½ cup sour cream

2 tsp poppy seeds

¼ tsp ground mace or nutmeg

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the base

1 cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

3 tbsp cold butter

6 tbsp milk

Instructions

Grease and flour an 8 inch round deep baking pan.

Heat the ghee and oil in a frying pan. Add the onions and cook over low heat until soft and golden. Season with thyme, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and cool. Preheat the oven to 220 C.

For the base, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the milk and stir lightly to make a dough.

Turn the dough on to a floured surface and knead lightly.

Pat the dough into a 8 inch round and transfer to the prepared baking pan. Press the dough into an even layer and cover with the onions.

Beat the egg and sour cream together and spread evenly over the onions. Sprinkle with the poppy seeds and mace or nutmeg. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until the egg topping is puffed and golden.

Leave the tart to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Slip a knife around the sides and unmould on to a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

Madras Omelette

Every country has their own version of the omelette – the Italians have their frittata, the Spanish omelette is very popular, etc. India has it’s own version too and it differs slightly from region to region. Everybody has their own spin on it.

The recipe featured here is the one my family has been making for years. It’s extremely flavourful with the addition of the herbs and onions. I also like to add curry leaves in a lot of my cooking as it’s very good for health.

Some people add the onions and chillies raw, but I find that sauteing it in a little vegetable oil takes it to the next level. It’s tastier this way.

It’s so easy to make and makes for a really satisfying breakfast.

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PREP: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 10 minutes Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 green chillies, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped finely
  • Handful of curry leaves, chopped finely
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a small pan and add the onions, chillies and ginger. Saute for a few minutes until the onions are just cooked. Add the herbs and salt and mix well. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for 10-15 minutes.

Add the onion mixture to the beaten eggs. Heat a frying pan, add about two ladles of the egg mixture and spread it around the pan. Add a little oil around the edges. When the omelette is half cooked, fold about a third of the omelette into the centre. Do the same with the remaining one third. Flip the omelette over and cook until both sides are golden and the inside is cooked through. Serve hot with toast.

Vegan Zucchini Frittata

I made this frittata for my daughter who’s turned vegan for some years now. A light and tasty dish – it’s ideal for a light summer lunch or supper. It can also be served cold. A refreshing tomato salad would be perfect to go with it.

The oatmeal gives this frittata a moistness and the addition of some spices and herbs makes it delicious. The vegan cheese works wonderfully well on this frittata.

You can also substitute the zucchini with other vegetables such as Broccoli, Cauliflower, Mushrooms or a combination of mixed vegetables.

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 50 minutes SERVES: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchinis, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3/4th cup chickpea flour
  • 3/4th cup oatmeal
  • ½ tsp asafoetida powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup greek yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2/3rd cup vegan cheese (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

Grease a round 8” pan or line with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Grind the oatmeal in a food processor or blender. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the cumin seeds. Add the garlic, onions and green chillies. When the onions are transparent, add the spinach and salt. Do not cook the spinach. Mix well and remove immediately. Set aside.

Mix the chickpea flour with the ground oatmeal and add the asafoetida, turmeric, chilli powder, baking soda and yoghurt. Add salt to taste and enough water to make a thick batter as for pancakes. Add the fresh coriander and the spinach mixture to this batter and mix well.

Line the zucchini slices in the buttered pan and spoon in the prepared batter on top. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out almost clean. Sprinkle the cheese on top (if using) and grill until the cheese melts. Remove from the oven and let it sit in the pan for 30 minutes. Invert gently on to a serving plate.

 

 

 

Buttered Eggs

Nothing could be simpler than this breakfast or brunch dish. Green chillies, ginger, onions and herbs combine with eggs to give this recipe quite a strong flavour kick. Hot toast is all that is needed to make this really special.

It may seem like scrambled eggs, but it tastes quite different. Butter elevates this simple recipe to a new level. The herbs and chillies provide a vibrant colour and it’s so easy to make.

The perfect way to start the day with a nutritious and protein packed meal. It will boost your energy levels through the morning, ready to face the day. It’s delicious served with wholemeal toast or even bagels.

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PREP: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 15 minutes SERVES: 4

Ingredients

  • 10 eggs
  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • 4 green chillies
  • 2 tbsp ginger, chopped finely
  • 4 tbsp curry leaves, chopped
  • 4 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

Heat a large pan of water to a boil.

Whisk the eggs with enough salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions, green chillies and ginger. When the onions are cooked through, add the curry leaves and coriander. Mix well and take the pan off the heat. Cool for about 10 minutes and add it to the eggs.

Reduce the heat and place the bowl of eggs in the boiling water (double boiler method of cooking). Add the butter. As the eggs begin to set, stir gently until they form large soft curds. Keep lifting and folding the eggs until they start to thicken. Cook the eggs until they are soft and creamy. Pile on hot toast and serve immediately.