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.

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.

Korean Barbecue Tofu

This tasty Korean recipe is flavoured with soy sauce, mustard and spices. The resulting dish makes them quite irresistible. Served with rice/rice noodles, they are perfect for a light and refreshing meal.

Tofu is a plant based protein and has about 22 grams of protein per half cup serving. This nutrient powerhouse is rich in calcium, iron, B vitamins, fibre, potassium and magnesium. This vegan dish is a great way to add tofu to your meal rotation.

I left the tofu marinating overnight in the fridge. It just takes a few minutes to make the marinade and it’s ready to be fried whenever you want it. Super easy and delicious.

I used Basmati rice, but you could use any type of white rice. This recipe is from the book Tofu Cookery by Louise Hagler.

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PREP: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 20 minutes SERVES: 4

Ingredients

400 gms firm tofu, cut into ¼ inch slices

½ cup dark soy sauce

6 tbsp sugar

2 tsp dry mustard

½ tsp garlic powder

2 tsp onion powder

Cooked rice

Vegetable oil

Instructions

Mix the soy sauce, sugar, mustard, garlic and onion powder in a bowl. Marinate the tofu slices overnight in the refrigerator.

Heat a frying pan and fry the tofu slices in a little oil on both sides until they are browned. Serve the tofu on a bed of rice or rice noodles. Garnish with chopped green onions. You can also garnish with sliced mushrooms and snow peas. 

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

This recipe has become one of our family favourites – even if you don’t like cauliflower, you will love this dish. It’s really easy to make and tastes incredible. And it’s vegan!

To cut the steaks, wash the cauliflower and cut off the stems as much as possible. Cut off the florets at the end. Cut the vegetable into one inch pieces. You will have about two steaks from each cauliflower. Look for ones that are firm and have the florets firmly packed together.

All the gaps in between the florets and the stems have to be filled with the spice paste. You also need to turn the steak and rub the paste into the florets and the stems. The important thing is to use as little water as possible while grinding the paste. I also pan fried them gently for a few minutes in a frying pan at the end.

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It goes really well with hummus or vegan mayonnaise. Or you can just have it with some Greek yogurt.

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 40 minutes SERVES: 2

Ingredients

1 large cauliflower, washed well

Vegetable oil

4 tbsp almonds, blanched and sliced

4 tbsp raisins

Cauliflower leaves, roasted

Spice paste

1 onion, chopped

1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

2 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

2 pieces cinnamon

4 cloves

2 cardamoms

1 tsp black peppercorn

5-6 red chillis

1 tsp turmeric powder

½ cup coconut, grated

Vegetable oil

Salt to taste

Cut off the stems of the cauliflower and cut them into one inch steaks leaving the ends. You can use these to make many things like soup, cauliflower rice, curry, etc.

For the spice paste, heat about a teaspoon of oil in a small pan and add the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Add the red chillis and pepper after a few seconds and then add the cumin, fennel and coriander seeds. Add the onions and sautè for a few minutes. Add the turmeric powder and coconut. Remove from heat and cool. Grind into a paste using as little water as possible. Add the ginger-garlic paste to the mixture and mix well. Stuff this paste into the gaps between the florets and the stems and also on the head of the florets, turning the steaks once. Grease a baking sheet with a little oil and place the cauliflower steaks on it. Drizzle a little oil on the top and around the steaks. Bake for about 20 minutes on each side, until the steaks are tender.

Heat a frying pan and gently place the cauliflower steak on it with a little oil and fry until they are browned on each side.

Roast the cauliflower leaves in the oven with a little oil.

To serve, place the steaks on a serving plate and garnish with the almonds, raisins and roasted cauliflower leaves. Serve with rice/flatbreads and/or hummus, vegan mayonnaise or Greek yogurt.

Banana Stem Fritters

In India, the entire banana tree is used – the leaves are used to wrap food and to eat from, food is cooked in banana leaves, the flowers and stem are used in cooking. In the recent Masterchef Australia, Gary used banana flower in one of the Masterclasses.

Cutting the banana stem is a fine art in itself, but the effort is really worth it. Only the core of the banana stem is used and it has a mild sweet flavour. It is full of fibre and is highly beneficial for treating ulcers and acidity. The raw juice is combined with buttermilk, salt and lime and is a natural diuretic. It is rich in potassium and vitamin B6.

These fritters are the only way I can get my daughters to eat banana stems. They are extremely delicious. This recipe makes around 20 fritters.

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 30 minutes

Ingredients

11/2 cups banana stem, chopped

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 large onion, chopped

2 green chillis, chopped finely

1 tbsp ginger, chopped finely

2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped finely

1 cup roasted chana gram

2 pieces of cinnamon

3 cloves

2 cardamoms

Salt to taste

Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

Place the banana stem with turmeric and a little salt in a large pan and add ¼ cup of water. Cook on medium heat until they become tender and the water is completely evaporated. The stems cook fast and the mixture should be completely dry. Set aside to cool. Dry grind in a blender to a coarse paste (do not make it into a smooth paste).

Powder the roasted gram dal in a blender and set aside.

Roast the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom in a small pan and powder it.

Add the chopped onions, green chillis, ginger and coriander to the stem paste. Add the powdered spices, enough salt and half of the gram powder and mix well. The mixture should be firm enough to be shaped into small fritters. If it is too wet, add more of the powdered gram dal. Shape into small fritters and deep fry.

Krem

A classic, this Swedish dessert is so simple to make. The flavour of the grapes is so subtle and the combination of grapes and cinnamon is just perfect. The flavours complement each other so beautifully.

Grape juice and cornflour cooked together – just these ingredients produce this melt in the mouth dessert. It was an instant hit with my family and they all just disappeared. A lovely ending to an impromptu get together or after a heavy meal.

A really creamy and delicious dessert minus the dairy – a vegan treat. It could also be made with other fruit juices as well.

This recipe made 5 servings of the dessert.

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PREP: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 10 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups grape juice

3 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp cornflour

Cinnamon

Instructions

Combine the sugar and cornflour with about three tablespoons of water, blending well. Bring the grape juice to a boil over gentle heat and add the cornflour mixture, stirring constantly. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until thickened. Spoon the mixture into individual dessert dishes and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Refrigerate until it’s ready to serve.