Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Chadian Recipes

Map from worldatlas.com

This month I have been featuring recipes from Chad - a landlocked central African country which is one of the poorest countries in the world. It has been a bit challenge to explore cuisine from Chad, as countries which struggle so much to feed their people don't often feature a haute cuisine! However, I managed to find reference to many ingredients and vegetables which would be eaten by Chadian people - although never having been to Chad I wouldn't be able to comment on how authentic the things I made were! It anybody has been or knows more about this area I'd love to hear from you! 

Despite the challenging theme I had a really fun time coming up with dishes! Here is a quick summary of what I made:

~Breakfast~
Breakfast Bouille (Rice and Peanut Porridge)
I loved having the chance to do a breakfast dish for a featured country! I'm always looking for great new vegan breakfast ideas and this was certainly different to anything else I've had. I recommend using it as a base recipe and adding your own favourite things to flavour it. Check out the recipe here.


~Savoury~
Millet Balls with 3 Dipping Sauces
I found a lot of references to Chadians eating millet balls dipped in sauces but I found no recipes or references to how it was made or even what sauces! So this is what I devised for it! The millet balls are baked with a lovely crunchy outside and the three sauces were great. Peanut Sauce, Saka Saka Sauce (Spinach & Okra) and Harissa Sauce. All the sauces are nice on their own served over rice as well. The peanut sauce from this recipe is one of my favourite things from this month's recipes!! Check out the recipe here.

Sweet Potato Fritters
You'll have to excuse the very average photo of this one! We were so keen to get in and eat them straight away that I didn't have time to style or photograph properly - but don't let that deter you because they were fantastic. They were my favourite of the savoury dishes from this month and were even more perfect eaten with the peanut sauce (recipe above). Check out the recipe here.

Irio
This dish of mashed beans, vegetables and potato is very versatile. It makes a delicious meal by itself when topped with Chadian Peanut sauce (above), it also makes a great and healthy side dish of vegies for any dish. Leftovers make great vegie burgers or bubble and squeak. All delicious options! Check out the recipe here.

Kachumbari
This refreshing and easy salad is eaten in many countries in Africa. It's simple but delicious and goes perfectly with almost any meal! Check out the recipe here.

Maharagwe I
This was a delicious dish or creamy coconut kidney beans. It is very easy to make and it was a big hit with the dinner guests I had around to help me eat the food. It's a perfect dish for a potluck or a group dinner. Check out the recipe here.

~Sweet~

Loz (Almond and Orange Blossom Water Bites)
I don't know if this is an authentic Chadian recipe! It seems more Middle Eastern to me but I found it and I wanted to make it anyway. They were INCREDIBLE. I cannot recommend this recipe enough - and my dinner guests agreed! Check out the recipe here.


I hope you have enjoyed this journey with me! I'm excited to announce that next month I will be featuring:
Bosnian Foods!
 

Chadian Recipes: Maharagwe


We've saved one of our best Chadian dishes 'til last!! I hope you have enjoyed exploring the Chadian cuisine as much as we have!!

Mmm, Chad...is what you shall be saying once you taste this hearty, flavoursome and deliciously creamy dish! Not only is maharagwe great by itself, it is also mighty fine as a side dish or served over rice/quinoa/another grain of awesome. This dish was an amazing hit at our Chadian diner party - one of the most popular dishes of the whole night. It's very easy to make and keeps and reheats well which makes it perfect to bring to potlucks or family gatherings. Feel free to drizzle this with lime juice, you know you want to!

Ingredients:
2 cups of dry red kidney beans, soaked in water for 8 hours or overnight
400ml of coconut milk
½ tsp of ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 red onions, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped.
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 Tbsp of peanut oil
1 green chilli
fresh coriander for garnish.

How to make:

1. Rinse your previously soaked kidney beans and bring them to the boil in a large saucepan with plenty of water. Simmer, covered, for an hour or until the beans are tender. Drain and put aside.
2. In a large saucepan heat the oil and add the onion, garlic and chilli. Saute on a medium heat until the onion is transparent.
3. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add coconut milk, beans, curry powder, salt and cardamom. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
5. Serve, topped with fresh coriander, and enjoy!

Serves 6-8


Check out our other Chadian recipes as well: 

Chadian Irio (Mashed beans, potatoes and vegetables)
African Loz (Almond and Pistachio Bites of Amazingness)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Rainbow Banana Pancakes with Bourbon Syrup


This weekend is the Sydney LGBTI Mardi Gras! A celebration of how far we have come in our acceptance of other people's life choices and a reminder of how far we still have to go to deliver full equality to all people regardless of sexual preference or gender! To celebrate Mardi Gras I've made incredible rainbow pancakes - it's pretty much like eating a rainbow! A delicious rainbow.

This recipe is part of the Holiday Recipe Club's Mardi Gras Blog Hop. Each blog hop participants are given three ingredients and a holiday to celebrate with the challenge of making a dish for this occasion using at least one of the ingredients. Last month's valentine's day blog hop I used the theme ingredients of Strawberries and 'Heavy Cream' to make an amazing Vegan Strawberry Cherry Sago Trifle

I always try and use at least two of the three ingredients and this month the ingredients include banana and bourbon. So - I decided on rainbow banana pancakes with bourbon syrup. You might think bourbon syrup sounds a bit odd, but actually when you think about it bourbon is a very sweet spirit -it basically tastes like whiskey with a couple of tablespoons of sugar added. In fact the guy at the bottle shop when I bought the bourbon told me that somebody had once given him whiskey with sugar added and he couldn't distinguish it from bourbon. Unfortunately, this proved an expensive theme ingredient for me because I can tell you that bourbon is not the kind of thing I keep around the house so I had to go out and buy some! It made an absolutely delicious syrup though.


Ingredients
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups soda water or mineral water
2 cups wholemeal flour
1 banana, mashed into a smooth paste
Red, yellow, green and blue food colouring
6 tbsp nuttelex (or other non dairy margarine)
1 cup bourbon
4 tbsp raw sugar
Fresh blueberries and banana, to garnish



To Make:
1. Whisk the soy milk and vinegar together and set aside to curdle.
2. Add the soda water and mashed banana to the soy milk and whisk together.
3. Slowly add the flour, whisking as you go until a thick pancake mix is made.
4. Get 5 small bowls and ladle equal amounts of the pancake mix into each of them (should be about 2 full ladles).
5. In the first bowl mix 1/2 tsp of green food colouring.
6. In the second bowl mix 1/2 tsp of yellow food colouring
7. In the third bowl mix 1/2 tsp blue food colouring
8. In the fourth bowl mix 1/2 tsp pillar box red food colouring
9. In the fifth bowl mix 1/4 tsp yellow food colouring and 1/4 tsp red food colouring to make orange.


10. In a frypan melt 2 tsbps nuttelex and divide the first coloured mix into 3 pancakes. Fry on a medium heat until bubbles start to appear in the pancake and then flip over and cook the other side.
11. Repeat with the other colours, adding 1 tbsp nuttelex to the pan between each batch.
12. Whilst the pancakes are cooking heat the bourbon in a small saucepan and then add the sugar. Stir until it is all dissolved and then lower the heat and simmer for about 10 mins. Then turn off the heat and allow the sauce to stand for at least 5 mins before using - this will allow it to thicken.
13. Pile the pancakes into a stack (I did red, orange, yellow, green, blue - but it's really up to you!)
14. Pour the syrup over them and garnish with fresh banana slices and blue berry.

Serves 3.



~This recipe is dedicated to A-dizzle~


Monday, 20 February 2012

African Loz (Almond and Pistachio Bites of Amazingness)


I've been reading a lot of blog entires lately and have noticed a lot of Valentine's Day bashing going on. It's mostly along the lines of "why do we need a special day to be shown love when somebody who loves you should show you every day". My answer to this question is: we don't - but what's wrong with taking a moment out to appreciate how lucky you are to have love in your life and celebrate it a little?

I'd like to put forward two points on this matter (before I get to the delicious point of this post): Firstly, if you are in a relationship in which your partner (he or she) ONLY shows you love on Valentines Day then you shouldn't be in that relationship full stop - so that shouldn't even be an issue! Secondly, although there is no need to get commercial or expensive on Valentine's Day, there is nothing wrong with taking a moment out to appreciate the people in your life that you love and who love you. I'm not just talking about partners/spouses, but about the friends and family who love you and want to spend time with you - having people in your life who love you makes you the luckiest person in the world - so celebrate it!

I have to admit, I'm not the kind of person who does Valentine's Day. I don't buy into all the commercial stuff they push at you to try and make you believe that "she" (notice how all the push is on giving gifts to women on Valentine's Day? Highly sexist - why not give flowers and jewellery to the men??) won't love you unless you  buy her a really ugly diamond bracelet costing $1999. However, I think that people immediately jump in to hate Valentine's Day because of the commercial side - but Christmas is very commercial too and do you hate Christmas??? (I hope not because Xmas is awesome).

As a final note in this opinion article, I'd like to point out that you could apply the logic of "why do we need a special day to be shown love when somebody who loves you should show you every day" could be equally applied to any other 'special' day of the year. Do you expect people to only be nice to you and be happy that you are alive on your birthday? No, you expect that all year round but you still celebrate your birthday! Do you only appreciate living in a great country with amazing first world problems on Australia Day? No, if you have any sense you realise how lucky you are all year round but you can still appreciate the public holiday and have a celebration with friends and family if that is your tradition. Do you only eat chocolate on Easter? No, chocolate is for all year round but that doesn't mean you can't indulge on Easter! (As you can see from that I am not religious and the only think Easter means to me is chocolate). In SUM! Of course Valentine's Day shouldn't be the only day that your lover/friends/spouse show you that they love you - but what's wrong with it if they want to show you they love you on Valentine's Day as well?

After that very long intro - let's get to the recipe. When the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop girls announced that this month's theme was to be Love At First Bite, I thought that it was a pretty easy topic because it's so broad you can really post whatever you want, so I though this month I would combine it with the theme for this month on our blog: Chadian Food. Here on Gormandize with A-dizzle and K-bobo we like to take a different  country each month to explore their foods and learn as much as we can about recipes and ingredients from that country (if you'd like to check out our past months posts or to suggest a country for us to feature then hit up this post here!). This month we are featuring food inspired by Chad (to learn more about Chad and Chadian food check out this post here!) and we are continuing that this month with these incredible little African/Middle Eastern sweetmeats called Loz.


This is the second 'Valentines' themed blog hop I've participated in this month - check out the other hop too by checking out my entry - Vegan Strawberry Cherry Sago Trifle!

In my opinion there are 3 flavours which just ooze the idea of love: rosewater, orange blossom water and raspberries. These three ingredients always make your food so sensual! In this case these little babies are laced with orange blossom water and their aroma will make you fall in love at first smell whilst their incredible taste will be love at first bite!

I mean, look at it! What's not to love??



Ingredients:

230gm almond meal
120gm icing sugar
7 tablespoons orange blossom water
30gm shelled pistachio nuts finely chopped
30gm caster sugar
Icing sugar for dusting
Extra pistachio nuts for garnishing

How to make:

1.Combine the ground almonds and icing sugar with enough orange-blossom water to
form a stiff paste.
2.Knead until smooth and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
3.Combine the finely chopped pistachio nuts and caster sugar, grind in a mortar and  
pestle until fine, and set aside.


4.Roll the paste into balls the size of a walnut, and using a teaspoon handle, make a small hole in each ball and and fill it with the combined pistachio mixture, then close the hole over the filling so it is once again a ball. This takes a bit of technique, as the powdery sugar filling makes it difficult to close over the hole - after a few tries I perfected a method of sort of pinching the seam together and smoothing in over by tapping it repeatedly with my index finger. It worked really well, but sadly I don't have a YouTube channel so I can't really show you how I did it!


5.Roll the balls in icing sugar and place in small paper cups or on a serving plate.
6.Decorate the top of each ball with a pistachio nut and serve.


Makes approx 13.



Check out our other Chadian recipes as well: 
Chadian Irio (Mashed beans, potatoes and vegetables)
Kachumbari 
Maharagwe 

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Chadian Recipes: Irio


Keeping up with the Chadian food we're now offering you this delicious Irio! Irio is a staple base to a meal common in Chad and Kenya, where it is generally served with a sauce such as our delicious Chadian Peanut Sauce. It is essentially mashed beans, potatoes and vegetables and as far as I'm concerned you can't really go wrong with that! It tastes delicious on it's own, and even better when eaten with peanut sauce and our Chadian Sweet Potato Fritters - a perfect meal!!

This recipe makes quite a lot, so if you don't want to have a big dinner party so that there are plenty of people to help you eat it (like I did), you can still make the full amount because the leftovers make a delicious vegie burger! Just shape the leftovers into patties, roll in breadcrumbs and fry for quick, easy, healthy and delicious vegie burgers.

Ingredients
1 cup dried lima beans, soaked over night
1 cup dried peas (or use fresh or frozen)
5 potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cobs corn
1/2 bunch fresh spinach (silverbeet) - or use more to taste
1 tbsp salt
Black pepper to taste

To Make:
1. Boil lima beans in plenty of water until completely cooked (you can even over cook a bit) and the skins have split. Drain and set aside.
2. Bring a really big pot of water to the boil and add the salt. Add the dried peas and boil for about 15 mins (if using frozen peas forego this step).
3. While the peas are cooking cut the corn off the cob (give the cobs to your guinea pig - they'll love gnawing on it).
4. Add the corn, potatoes and spinach to the boiling pot. Boil, covered, until the potatoes are well cooked.
5. While it is boiling, head back to your drained lima beans. The skins should be loose and split so just peel the skin off the outside and discard (this will give your Irio a smoother consistency). Add the middle bits of the lima beans back into the boiling pot and remove from the heat. 
6. Once the potatoes are well cooked, drain the whole pot of vegies into a big colander and then immediately put back into the pot.
7. Use a potato masher to mash the whole mixture together into a thick paste/mash. Obviously the corn won't mash down and the spinach will only mash up to a degree. But the rest of it should mash into a nice thick mash. Taste and add salt and cracked pepper to taste.

Serves about 8 as a side dish, serves 4-5 as a main accompanied by a sauce.


Check out our other Chadian recipes as well: 
Chadian Sweet Potato Fritters
African Loz (Almond and Pistachio Bites of Amazingness)
Kachumbari 
Maharagwe 


Sunday, 12 February 2012

Vegan Strawberry & Cherry Sago Trifle


Trifle has been something that has been on my to do list for a while - I have been working out the easiest way to veganise all the different elements for a while. The cake is easy, the cream is easy, the fruit is already vegan. So that leaves jelly and custard. I am currently still experimenting making my own vegan jelly - and have not yet perfected it, so for this trifle I used a packet of vegan jelly which I bought online (I've included a photo later on), the brand I used wasn't really that good - as the jelly set very runny. This is ok for trifle as it's all in there together anyway - but it certainly wasn't a very good substitute for jelly and definitely wouldn't have worked in molds or just to eat straight. I will keep working on my vegan jelly recipe using agar agar and keep you updated! The custard I found difficult until I had an epiphany one night when eating a big bowl of sago - sago is a very similar consistency to custard plus it's beautiful and creamy and actually easier to make than custard.



Fortunately all these trifle thoughts I was having coincided with 2 events: firstly a surprise birthday party I was holding for a friend, and secondly, the Holiday Recipe Club Valentine's Day Blog Hop. For this blog hop our host, Erin, chose the theme ingredients of beef, strawberries and heavy cream. Now, if you've read this blog before then you'll know you're going to be getting a recipe with strawberries - because beef and heavy cream just aren't a party of my vegan diet! However, this trifle is piled with delicious fluffy cream so is quite appropriate in the sense that it is really the closest thing to heavy cream a vegan is ever going to get.

Trifle is actually the perfect party dessert because it's generally huge by nature and also because almost all of it is done the night before. For a totally stress free party you should prepare the cake, sago custard, jelly and cherry mixture the day before and remember to put your coconut cream in the fridge minimum overnight (the more time the better so if you can do this a couple of days in advance then even better - I just keep a couple of cans in the fridge at all times). Then all you need to do is assemble it and whip the coconut cream for the top. You can then put it together a couple of hours before your guests show up and put it back in the fridge and it is totally amazing!


Strawberry and Cherry Sago Trifle

The Cake
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange extract (optional)
1 ¼ cups wholemeal plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarb soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp arrowroot
Strawberry jam

Sago Custard
2 x 400ml tins coconut milk (or cream is fine too)
4 cups water
1 ¼ cups sago (tapioca pearls)
½ cup sugar

Fruit & Jelly
1 packet Vegan strawberry jelly
3 punnets strawberries, washed
600g cherries, washed and pitted
1 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch

Coconut Cream
2 cans coconut cream, chilled in the fridge overnight (minimum- a few days is optimum)
2 tablespoons soft confectioners sugar


To Make:
The Cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. Combine the soy milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside for a few moments to curdle.
3. Add the sugar, canola oil and extracts and mix well (I use a whisk for this).
4. Sift in all other ingredients and mix well to combine.
5. Line a medium sized lightly greased square baking dish with baking paper. Pour in the cake batter.
6. Bake for 20 minutes – or until golden on top and a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
7. Set aside to cool completely (you can work on one of the other trifle components while you wait).
8. Once cooled, cut into smaller, more manageable sections and slice in half lengthways.
9. Spread strawberry jam between the 2 halves and stick them back together. Cut into cubes that are about 2cm squared and set aside for later.



The Sago Custard:
1. Heat the water and coconut milk in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer.
2. Add the sugar and the sago. Reduce the heat as low as it goes and allow to simmer gently (with you stirring frequently) for about 30 minutes, or until sago is cooked and the custard is starting to thicken (it will thicken even more on cooling so don’t worry if it is a bit runny).
3. Pour into a bowl or container and allow to cool.
4. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (optimum is over night).

Fruit and Jelly:
1. Prepare the jelly to the directions on the packet. Refrigerate overnight.
2. Halve and pit the cherries.
3. Place the cherries with ½ cup water and the sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
4. Mix the cornstarch with ½ cup cold water until you have a smooth and watery mixture.
5. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the cherries and simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Allow to cool and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (best over night).

The brand of vegan jelly I used - it set pretty runny and I probably wouldn't use it again.


Coconut Cream Topping:
1.  Refrigerate the 2 tins of coconut cream over night.
2. When you open the tin you will notice that the top is a very solid thick cream. Scoop out all of the solid thick cream on top (you can reserve the rest of it to use in another meal – like a curry).
3. Put the thick cream into a bowl and mix well using a hand held electric mixer. Move the beaters up and down to try and get as much air into the cream as possible. Add the sugar and beat until it pretty much resembles thick cream.



To Assemble:
1.  Wash and trim the strawberries. Cut in half (if they are big strawberries you may need to slice them).
2. Layer the bottom of a large glass bowl with the squares of cake.
3. Cover with the jelly.
4. Press strawberry halves around the outside to make a layer which is visible through the glass (see the pics if you’re not sure what I mean). Sprinkle a few bits in the middle as well.
5. Next, layer half of the sago custard over the top.
6. Next, layer the cherry mixture over the top of that.
7. Spread the rest of the sago mixture over the cherries.
8. Spread a punnet of strawberries over that (or however many strawberries you have left – remembering to keep some aside to decorate the top).
9. Finally, the last layer is the coconut cream topping.
10. Decorate with the remaining strawberries.
11. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

Serves about 15 (with no seconds – so serves about 7-8 people with seconds!).





Thursday, 9 February 2012

Cabbage, Pasta & 'Feta Cheese' Salad with Balsamic Mustard Dressing


Salads are super convenient and so fresh and tasty! However, I never recommend my patients to eat too many salads because they are very cold and can weaken your Stomach and Spleen Qi. Because salads are so cold and raw, the body uses up extra warmth and energy digesting them. In people with already weak Qi (due to poor sleep, prolonged or frequent illness or several other lifestyle factors), cold and raw foods can really exacerbate your weak Qi and make it difficult for your body to function properly. If you want more info on this you can read this previous post on salads. Despite this - I am a lover of salads and I never advocate cutting them out of your diet completely, in fact everything in moderation is the way I roll. So, there are three steps I usually take to mitigate some of the effects of salads:

1) Don't eat too many salads. Try not to eat salad every day (unless it is an accompaniment to a cooked meal). If you have salad for lunch then DON'T have salad for dinner.
2) Try to incorporate some cooked elements into your salad - lightly steaming carrots and broccoli before putting them into salads reduces their cold nature and makes it easier for the body to digest them. If you are eating cooked or steamed salads then rule one doesn't apply because you can eat them as often as you like! (Try my Marinated Tofu, Broad Bean and Broccoli Salad)
3) Drink a cup of green or herbal tea with or after your salad, this will help the Stomach warm and digest the raw vegetables you've just put in it!

This salad recipe takes all of these thing into consideration. It incorporates cooked spelt or soy pasta to help offset some of the cold aspects and it is recommended to be had with my delicious Cabbage-Is-My-Friend Tea. This tea not only warms the Stomach and aids digestion, but it also has a carminative effect so is perfect to have with the raw cabbage. In fact, this tea is so good for aiding and easing digestion that my partner now asks me to make it for him whenever he feels any slight digestive upset.


Ingredients
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
2 cups shredded green cabbage
2 vine ripened tomatoes, diced
1 green cucumber, diced
1 cup soyaroni or spelt pasta spirals
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup crumbled vegan feta (see this recipe for this delicious home made vegan feta)
2 generous tsp wholegrain mustard
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
Cracked Pepper to taste

To Make:
1. Preheat the grill/oven to about 180 degrees.
2. Cook the pasta according the directions on the packed (in my experience you usually need to cook for a minute or two less than the time listed on the packet to get it al dente). Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside in a strainer to drain properly.
3. Combine the cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and pasta in a big mixing bowl and mix well.
4. Spread the sunflower seeds and the crumbled feta evenly over a baking tray and toast in the grill for about 3 minutes. Keep a close eye on it!
5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
6. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard and balsamic vinegar and stir well until they form a smooth dressing.
7. Add the toasted sunflower seeds, feta cheese and dressing to the salad and toss well. Eat immediately.

Serves 3.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Chadian Millet Balls with 3 Dipping Sauces (Peanut Sauce, Saka Saka Sauce & Harissa Lime Sauce)


So... let's continue to explore Chad shall we? As I mentioned in our first post about Chadian food, millet is a staple grain in Chad. Whilst trawling through websites for precious mentions of any form of Chadian food I cam across a lot of websites with the same regurgitated piece of information: in Chad they often eat millet balls which are dipped in sauces (if you want to see what I mean see these websites here, here and here). Yet, despite this piece of information being repeated on many different websites I couldn't find any recipes for this, pictures of this dish or any description of all of what these 'sauces' might be. So, essentially I was left to my own imagination in creating this dish. As a result I am sure that it isn't very authentic Chadian fare, however, it was most certainly inspired by my efforts to find a recipe or description of the elusive Chadian millet balls with 'sauces'.

This recipe uses whole hulled organic millet from my local co-cop, however, I gather that the more traditional Chadian millet balls would most likely be made of millet flour made into a paste. I like to keep my grains whole where possible, though, so I decided to make mine with whole millet. I also chose to bake them to make it more healthy, instead of frying them in oil. For my sauces I decided to go with: Chadian Peanut Sauce, Saka Saka Sauce (Spinach and Okra) and a Harissa Sauce with corriander and lime.

1) MILLET BALLS:

Ingredients
250g millet
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
5 tbsp millet flour
1/2 tsp salt
100g silken tofu
Olive oil spray

To Make
1. Cover the millet in plenty of boiling water and bring to the boil. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until cooked. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside to cool.
2. Toast the sunflower seeds in a frypan or oven for 1-2 minutes or until slightly browned (keep your eye on them as they burn really fast!).
3. Mix the millet, flour, sunflower seeds, salt, tofu and 1 tbsp water. Mix well into a thick pasty mix.
4. Take a bit of mix about the size of a walnut and press it gently into a ball (don't roll them too firmly or they will break up). Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Continue until all the mix is done.
5. Spray the millet balls with a bit of olive oil and bake at 180 degrees for about 30-35 minutes. (Every oven is different, so you might want to taste one when they come out to make sure they're not too doughy on the inside - if they are give them another 5 minutes).
6. Serve immediately with sauces (below).


2) SAUCES:

Peanut Sauce
Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup shelled unsalted peanuts
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water

To Make
1. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan. Saute the onion and garlic until softened. Add the chilli.
2. Chop the peanuts very finely.
3. Add the nutmeg and peanuts to the onion and garlic. Sauté for a further few minutes.
4. Add the tomato paste and water. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce is thickened.

Saka Saka Sauce
Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
4-5 okra, chopped
5-6 leaves of spinach (silverbeet)
Salt to taste
2 cups water

To Make
1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion, garlic and chilli until the onion is softened.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
3. Process with a hand held blender or in a food processor until smooth.

Harissa sauce with Coriander and Lime
Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 tbsp Harissa spice mix (available in most health food or you can buy it online at Herbie's Spices)
1 tsp soy sauce
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup finely chopped coriander
The juice of 1 lime

To Make
1. Heat the olive oil in a small pan and sauté the onion until softened. Add the harissa spice mix and saute a further 2-3 minutes.
2. Stir in the soy sauce and water. Bring to a simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the stove.
3. Add the coriander and lime juice. Serve.


Check out our other Chadian recipes as well: 

Chadian Irio (Mashed beans, potatoes and vegetables)
African Loz (Almond and Pistachio Bites of Amazingness)

Friday, 3 February 2012

Vegan Chocolate Cherry Cobbler


The idea for this post came from this amazing recipe from The Littlest Anchovy. As soon as I read the recipe I knew I had to veganise it and try it! I've never thought of adding chocolate to a cobbler topping before but now that I've tried it it makes sooooo much sense! These little cherry cobblers are particularly decadent and very rich so are perfect for a special occasion when you want to impress and indulge. The other thing about cobbler is that it is so easy to make but so special to eat! This one makes a slightly more cakey-style cobbler than the traditional American ones, so has more of a pudding-y texture to it. I love the crunch of the top and the soft rich pudding and fruit underneath!

First - let's mention chocolate and veganism. You might think that they are incompatible but you would be wrong. Chocolate and Vegans are a match made in heaven and I'm NOT talking about substitutes (by which I mean 'dairy free' milk chocolate etc.), what I'm talking about is dark chocolate. Any dark chocolate which is over 70% SHOULD NOT contain any milk or any butter fat. I'm not saying that they all don't, however it should be. If you pick up a block of dark chocolate and you read the ingredients and it says 'butter fat' on the back then you know the company is being cheap and it is not good quality chocolate (and I'm talking about Cadbury and Lindt and a lot of others). Butter fat is used in dark chocolate as a cheaper alternative to using cocoa butter. 

Having said that the Lindt 70%+ varieties are all vegan friendly (however the flavoured ones are not). I still wouldn't buy Lindt though because it isn't fair trade and I don't like to think that I am putting money into child slave labour. My pick of the chocolates is Green & Black dark chocolate. It's incredibly delicious, it's fair trade and it doesn't have any cheap butter fat in it - and that's my holy trinity of chocolate!

Ingredients:
500-600g fresh cherries, halved and pitted
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp cherry brandy or kirsch
1 tsp flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bi carb soda
1/4 cup caster sugar
7 tbsps nuttelex (or other non dairy butter or margarine)
100g dark chocolate (check to make sure it's vegan)
2/3 cup soy milk
1 tsp lemon juice

To Make:
1. Mix the first 4 ingredients in a bowl and set aside to macerate for at least 30 mins (preferably about an hour).
2. Add the lemon juice to the soy milk and set aside to curdle slightly. 
3. Mix the flour, baking powder, bi carb and sugar together. Cut the butter into the mix and mix with an electric hand mixer. 
4. Add the soy milk. Mix well again.
5. Finely chop the dark chocolate into small pieces Add this to the mix as well and fold in using a spoon.
6. Distribute the cherries amongst 6-8 ramekins (depending on the size of your ramekins) - or alternately use one big baking dish.

7. Distribute the topping evenly amongst the ramekins, just blob it on top and don't worry about spreading it our evenly as the topping will expand while it cooks to form an even smooth crust.

8. Place the ramekins on a large baking tray and bake at 180 degrees C for about 30 minutes.

Makes 6-8 mini cherry cobblers (serves 6-8).

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Chadian Breakfast Bouille (Rice and Peanut Porridge)


Welcome to February on Gormandize with A-dizzle and K-bobo! We're pretty excited about all the incredible and fascinating foods we'll be offering up for you to devour with your eyes and it's certainly going to be a journey into the unknown for us because this month we are exploring the cuisine of Chad. Thanks to our reader, Sophie, for requesting Chad as our feature country this month. Firstly - it must be said that neither of us have been to Chad (yet!) nor do we know anybody from Chad with whom we could consult on these, so any comments on authenticity would be welcomed! If you have been to Chad or have a knowledge of Chadian cuisine we'd be over the moon if you contacted us!

First, a bit about Chad for those who aren't very familiar with it. Chad is a landlocked country in Northern Central Africa. It borders Libya, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic and Sudan.

(Map from worldatlas.com)


Chad has a chiefly dessert climate and is one of the poorest countries in the world. For these reasons the Chadian diet consists mainly of grains, beans, vegetables and meat. Often dried vegetables are used with grains as the staple foods for Chadians. Millet, rice and sorghum are commonly consumed grains, whilst okra, cassava and peanuts are often used to flavour and thicken dishes.

To start Chad month off I've made a breakfast dish called la bouille - a rice porridge flavoured with peanuts. I found a base for this recipe on this website, however, this exact same recipe is on a dozen sites over the internet and none of them credit a source so I can't be sure where it actually came from. My version is veganised and slightly altered to my personal tastes. Even so, I found it very nice but a touch bland. I'm guessing this might speak to it's authenticity, but it would be even nicer used as a base to which you can add anything you like. I ate mine with fresh banana and a sprinkle of brown sugar and it was quite a delicious breakfast and a very healthy way to start the day.


Ingredients
1 cup rice
4 cups hot water
3 tbsp millet flour (you can substitute other flours)
1/2 cup soy milk
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup peanuts (no skins, unsalted)

To Make
1. Bring the water to boil and add the rice. Lower the heat to a simmer.
2. Finely chop the peanuts while the rice is simmering and set aside.
3. Mix the millet flour with 3/4 cup warm water until dissolved completely. Add this mixture to the simmering rice.
4. Once the rice is cooked and the porridge has thickened, add the soy milk, lemon juice and salt.
5. Remove from the heat and stir through the chopped peanuts.

Garnish with any toppings you choose - I suggest fresh fruit, tinned fruit in syrup, chopped nuts and/or brown sugar.

Serves 3-4.


Check out our other Chadian recipes as well: 

Chadian Irio (Mashed beans, potatoes and vegetables)
African Loz (Almond and Pistachio Bites of Amazingness)
Kachumbari 
Maharagwe