Category Archives: Vegetarian

Focaccia

If you love bread like we do, you’ll know there’s little else that can give you as much satisfaction as the smell & taste of freshly-baked bread, still warm from the oven.

This recipe is adapted from Paul Hollywod’s book. We’re so happy with the result, and it’s easy to make too.

What you need:

  • 250 g bread flour (strong white flour)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (or 3/4 tsp table salt)
  • 7 g instant yeast
  • 20 ml + 25 ml olive oil
  • more olive oil for coating & drizzling
  • 135 ml + 45 ml cool water
  • Few sprigs rosemary
  • Flaky sea salt

How to put this together:

  1. Generously oil a large glass bowl
  2. In a clean mixing bowl add flour and make a well in the middle. Add salt to one side of the bowl. Add yeast to the other side of the bowl.
  3. Add 20 ml olive oil + 135 ml water in the flour well.
  4. Using dough hook on slow speed, start to mix the ingredients together.
  5. Slowly add 45 water, a little at a time, until all the flour from the sides of the bowl are picked up. The dough should be very soft.
  6. Add 25 ml olive oil, and keep mixing on low speed for 5-7 minutes, or under the dough is soft and smooth. The dough is supposed to be very stick – do not add more flour.
  7. Coat the dough in olive oil and place in oiled glass bowl. Cover with damp tea towel, and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour. The dough should double in size.
  8. Line a rectangle baking tray with baking paper, and drizzle with olive oil. You’ll notice I forgot to do this in the photo, oops.
  9. Carefully tip the dough onto the tray. Gently stretch the dough by scooping underneath the dough with your fingers, and gently “carry” out the edges to make it bigger. Try to retain as much air as possible.
  10. Scatter rosemary sprigs over the top, and gently push them in with your finger tips, creating some dimples in the dough.
  11. Cover with damp tea towel, and leave to prove for 1 hour. The dough should double in size.
  12. Pre-heat oven to 220 C
  13. Make deep dimples on the dough with your fingers, pushing down all the way through the dough to the bottom.
  14. Drizzle with plenty of olive oil, and sprinkle with some flaky sea salt
  15. Bake for 15 minutes. Tapping the bottom of the focaccia should give hollow sound.
  16. Brush with some more olive oil.
  17. Cool on a wire rack, but start eating while it’s still warm!

 

Mapo Tofu, Vegetarian version

Serves 2

What you need:

  • 300g Silken tofu, cut into 12 chunks
  • 6 Shiitake mushroom, stem removed, diced (I use fresh ones if available, otherwise soak dry ones overnight then squeeze out water before dicing)
  • 1 tsp Roasted peanut oil, or vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic, pounded
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger, pounded
  • 2 Tbsp Chilli Bean Sauce. I use Lee Kum Kee brand.
  • 1 cup Water (or 1 cup water mixed with 1 tsp Bouillon powder)
  • 1 Tbsp Shaoxing (Chinese cooking wine)
  • 2 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Tapioca powder, mixed with 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp Spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame oil

How to put this together:

  1. Heat roasted peanut oil in a pan, add garlic + ginger + chilli bean sauce. Fry until fragrant.
  2. Add shiitake mushroom. Fry for a few minutes until mushroom is cooked.
  3. Add water. Bring to boil.
  4. Add Shaoxing + soy sauce + sugar. Taste & season.
  5. While continuously stirring the sauce, slowly add in tapioca powder water. You must be stirring constantly, otherwise the sauce will become lumpy
  6. Add in tofu chunks. Gently cover the tofu with the sauce. Be very gentle so you don’t break up the tofu too much.
  7. Serve with spring onions to garnish & drizzle with sesame oil

Serve with steamed Thai jasmine rice

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Mapo Tofu, Vegetarian version

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese, Vegetarian
Keyword Chinese, Tofo, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 300 g Silken tofu cut into 12 chunks
  • 6 Shiitake mushroom remove stem & dice
  • 1 tsp Roasted peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic pounded
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger pounded
  • 2 Tbsp Chilli Bean Sauce. I use Lee Kum Kee brand.
  • 1 cup Water or 1 cup water mixed with 1 tsp Bouillon powder
  • 1 Tbsp Shaoxing Chinese cooking wine
  • 2 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Tapioca powder mixed with 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp Spring onions finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame oil

Instructions

  • Heat roasted peanut oil in a pan, add garlic + ginger + chilli bean sauce. Fry until fragrant.
  • Add shiitake mushroom. Fry for a few minutes until mushroom is cooked.
  • Add water. Bring to boil.
  • Add Shaoxing + soy sauce + sugar. Taste & season.
  • While continuously stirring the sauce, slowly add in tapioca powder water. You must be stirring constantly, otherwise the sauce will become lumpy
  • Add in tofu chunks. Gently cover the tofu with the sauce. Be very gentle so you don’t break up the tofu too much.
  • Serve with spring onions to garnish & drizzle with sesame oil

Greek Coconut Cake with Orange Syrup (Ravani)

We ate plenty of these beautiful cakes while travelling around Greece. I personally find them slightly too sweet & syrupy, and have adjusted the recipe accordingly.

Recipe based on:
http://www.mygreekdish.com/recipe/ravani-greek-cake-with-syrup-and-almonds/
http://cookmegreek.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/coconut-ravani-coconut-semolina-cake.html

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Greek Coconut Cake with Orange Syrup (Ravani)

We ate plenty of these beautiful cakes while travelling around Greece. I have adjusted the recipe to reduce the sweetness to my preference.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Vegetarian
Keyword Vegetarian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 24 pieces

Ingredients

What you need:

  • 23cm x 33cm pan
  • 150 g butter at room tempurature
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 200 g lukewarm milk
  • 250 g self-raising cake flour or 245 g plain flour + 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 200 g desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • zest of 2 oranges

For the syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 170 C
  • Line baking pan with baking paper
  • Beat egg whites until shiny with stiff peak
  • Cream butter + sugar + salt until light & fluffy. Gradually add egg yolks, one at a time, beating continuously
  • Add milk + vanilla. Beat until well mixed.
  • Add baking soda + dessicated coconut + flour + orange zest. Mix with spatula.
  • Add in half egg whites. Fold gently until all incorporated.
  • Add remaining half egg whites. Fold gently.
  • Pour batter in the pan. Bake for 50-60 mins or until clean skewer inserted come out clean. Leave the cake to cool completely.
  • When the cake is fully cool, cut them into squares
  • Heat orange juice + sugar on medium heat and bring to boil. Boil for 10-15 mins until the syrup slightly thickens.
  • Slowly ladle the HOT syrup over the COOL cake. Allow each ladle to absorb fully before adding more syrup.

Tadka Dal

Dal is one of my all time favourite dishes. It’s such a delicious comfort food. I can eat bowls and bowls and bowls of them (with rice of course).

Serves: 4-5
For dal
  • 1 cup Moong dal, soaked overnight
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Green chilies, cut lengthwise
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger, pounded
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/8 tsp Asafoetida/hing
  • 1/4 tsp Garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp Kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves), crushed
  • 1 Tbsp Coriander leaves, chopped
  • Salt
For tadka
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic, pounded
  • 3 Dry whole red chilies
  • 10 Curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Red chili powder
How to put this together
  1. Wash the soaked moong dal a couple of times.
  2. Heat 1 tsp oil, add onions. Fry until fragrant.
  3. Add green chillies + ginger + turmeric powder + hing. Fry until fragrant.
  4. Add moong dal + water + onion mixture to pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 5 minutes. The consistency should be like a thin pumpkin soup
  5. Add garam masala powder + crushed kasuri methi. Mix with hand whisk.
  6. Season with salt. Taste
  7. Take off heat. Add coriander leaves, mix well.
  8. Heat 1 Tbsp oil on low flame in a small pan.
  9. Add cumin seeds + dry whole red chillies + garlic. Fry until the cumin seeds crackle, the garlic brown, and the chillies change colour. Be patient, don’t increase the heat – you don’t want to burn them.
  10. Add curry leaves, fry for a few seconds
  11. Add red chilli powder. Mix well and turn off heat.
To serve
Serve dal in a bowl topped with tadka. Serve with basmati rice

Green Tea Lava Cake

When we dine out and eat something that hits the spot, we will come home and religiously try to replicate the dish.

This happened when we had dinner at Tatsumi (see blog here: Tatsumi, Auckland) and the green tea lava cake was so incredible we could not stop thinking about it.

So I got googling, and found a few recipes. Crystal’s recipe is the most promising one and has the prettiest photos: Valentine’s Day: Matcha Green Tea and White Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

I’ve made lava cakes before but it was always a bit of hit and miss. However, I’ve made many batches of Green Tea Lava Cake using this recipe, and all have been successful (fingers crossed this continues!) – so this is pretty fool proof to me.

Please try this at home – you will not be disappointed. It’s so easy to make and tastes amazing.

p.s. I amended the recipe slightly because we find the original recipe slightly too sweet for our liking

p.p.s. Ours don’t turn out as pretty as the original one, but we cannot fault the taste. Amazing result. See how beautiful it “can” look from the original blog post.

Serves 2-3

What you need:

  • 40 g butter
  • 80 g good quality white chocolate
  • 20 g castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 34 g all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp good quality matcha powder

To make the batter:

  1. Lightly butter the insides of 3 ramekins, lightly dust with flour, and line the bottom with baking paper. Chill in the fridge.
  2. Melt butter using double boiling method.
  3. Take melted butter off the heat. Add white chocolate, mix with a hand whisk until smooth.
  4. Sift in matcha powder. Mix well using hand whisk.
  5. In a separate bowl, gently beat together eggs + sugar until sugar has melted
  6. Add egg mixture to chocolate mixture. Mix well.
  7. Pour mixture into the chilled ramekins. Put plastic wrap over the ramekins and freeze overnight.

To bake:

  1. Preheat oven at 180 C
  2. Bake for 16-20 minutes (varies depending on your oven). At the 15 minute mark, sit and watch it. Timing is very important in making this. The surface will cook from the outside in with the center remaining dark glossy green, while the outside start to become more matt and become a lighter green colour. As soon as the center fully seals up take it out from the oven. The center will still wobble a little bit – this is fine.
  3. Leave to rest in the ramekin for 2 minutes
  4. Run a clean sharp knife around the edges. Put the serving plate over the top, and gently inverting it
  5. Serve immediately.

Green Chilli Chutney

What you need:

  • 1/4 cups Coriander leaves
  • 1/4 Onion, chopped
  • 1/4 inch Ginger
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Green chilli
  • 2 Tbsp Water
  • Lime juice
  • Salt

How to put this together:

  1. In a food processor (I use Magic Bullet), blend together coriander leaves + chopped onions + ginger + garlic + green chilli + water
  2. Season with lime juice + salt

Chocolate Brownies

Don’t be put off by how unhealthy this recipe looks. It is overloaded with butter, sugar, flour, and chocolate (more sugar) – but that’s why it’s super yummy.

It’s also easy to make and is a great crowd pleaser.

What you need

  • 165 grams butter (unsalted)
  • 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp Cocoa (= 10 Tbsp)
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp flour (= 10 Tbsp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

How to put this together

  1. Preheat oven at 150 C
  2. Melt butter and pour onto cocoa in a mixing bowl – mix well with whisk
  3. Add sugar, eggs, vanilla
  4. Mix on high speed until colour lightens slightly (approx 5 mins)
  5. Add flour, baking powder, salt
  6. Mix until just combined
  7. Pour onto flat tin lined with baking paper
  8. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top
  9. Bake for about 50-60 mins
  10. Should crack at edges

Serve this with

  • Coffee, tea, hot chocolate. Make them with less sugar than normal – the brownies are already sweet enough
  • A massive glass of cold milk

$250 Cookies

Here’s the story behind why it’s called “$250 Cookies”:
http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/fooddrink/a/cookie_recipe.htm

Ingredients below is based on half the recipe.

I find the original recipe a bit too sweet, so I would suggest halving the sugars. Also, I couldn’t be bothered with grated Hershey Bars, so I substituted with more chocolate chips (but not exactly weight-for-weight). Direct substitute would call for about 450g chocolate chips, but our local supermarket sells chocolate chips in small packets of 100g each, so I rounded it down to 400g. It is still a lot of chocolate chips!

Also, the original recipe asks for the oatmeal to be blended into fine powder. I prefer them coarse because it makes the cookies chewy. I love chewy cookies.

The ingredients list below includes my tweaks, so if you want the original recipe then use the above link.

What you need

  • 225 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar (can be reduced to 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (can be reduced to 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2.5 cups blended oatmeal
  • 400 grams chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (can be omitted if you’re using salted butter)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1.5 cups chopped nuts (I used a mixture of almond, walnuts, and cashew nuts. Hazel nuts would also be nice, and I’ve made ones with pumpkin seeds in the past – also very nice)

How to put this together

  1. Preheat oven to 190 C
  2. Sieve together flour + salt + baking powder + baking soda
  3. Blend the oatmeal to a coarse consistency
  4. In a large bowl, cream together butter + sugar + brown sugar
  5. Add eggs + vanilla essence. Mix well.
  6. Add blended oatmeal. Mix well.
  7. Add flour mixture. Mix well.
  8. Add chocolate chips + chopped nuts. Mix well.
  9. Roll into 1 inch balls, and place them 1 inch apart on baking paper
  10. Bake for 10 mins, or until golden.

IMPORTANT: When you first take these beauties out from the oven, leave them on the tray for a few mins first before attempting to remove them. Otherwise they’re still too soft and you’ll end up ruining them (like I did)

Serve this with:

  • Coffee, tea, hot milk
  • Heart attack booklet

Banana Cake

This recipe makes very light, moist, and fluffy banana cake. Quick and easy too. My absolute favourite recipe!

Makes: 18 cup cakes (or in one batch in 9″ square tin)

What you need

  • 200 grams plain flour or cake flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup oil (this can be reduced to 1/2 c)
  • 180 grams caster sugar
  • 200 grams ripe banana
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

How to put this together

  1. Preheat oven 200 C
  2. Sift together flour + baking powder + baking soda
  3. Mash banana and add lemon juice
  4. Put eggs + sugar + salt in a bowl
  5. Beat on high speed for 7-8 mins
  6. Add flour
  7. Beat on on low for 1 min
  8. Add oil & vanilla essence
  9. Beat on medium for 2 mins
  10. Add banana
  11. Beat on low for 1 min
  12. Put mixture into muffin tray (or cake tin)
  13. Bake for 20-25 mins
  14. Leave to cool

To bake this in cake tin:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C instead
  • Line the bottom of the tin with baking paper
  • Bake for 30-40 mins (or until a clean skewer inserted come out clean)

This tastes even better and more moist the day after!

Serve this with

  • Tea of your choice