Tuesday, December 29, 2009

RECIPE: Chole for the Soul

Since it’s been bone-chilling cold in my apartment these days (damn uncontrollable San Francisco steam heaters), I had a craving for something warm and spicy.  I was cleaning out my cupboards and found a bag full of Indian spices that I bought a few months ago when I went through a Bend It Like Beckham-inspired Aloo Gobi phase…which is how I ended up making a nice pot of Chole Masala last night.  It’s pretty easy, and the fun part is that you don’t have to measure anything exactly.  I’ll try to give you some measurements, but really, it’s all about “season to taste”.

You will need:

1 15-oz can of Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1 T. tomato paste
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large piece of ginger (about as big as your thumb), minced
1 t. ground turmeric
½ t. cumin seeds
1 t. Garam Masala
2-4 chopped green chiles, or red pepper flakes (adjust to your preferred level of spiciness)
½ t. salt
Ghee, or olive oil (for vegan version)
Handful of coriander, chopped

In a heated saucepan, toast the cumin seeds.  Then add some oil and sauté the onions.  Add turmeric and a little water (so the spices don’t stick to the pan).  The add chilies, ginger, garlic, and a little more water.  Then add the tomato paste and tomatoes.  Keep stirring and adding water so you get a sauce-like consistency.  Then add the garbanzos, garam masala, and salt.  Simmer everything for 20-25 minutes (or longer) and add a handful of chopped coriander and stir it through.  Serve with basmati rice!

Monday, December 14, 2009

RECIPE: Vegan Udon Sushi Rolls

One of my favorite things to eat are nori rolls.  These differ from “sushi”, as I don’t put sushi rice into them, but this version of a nori roll was something I modified after eating something similar this past weekend – it has the carb component (like regular sushi).  It’s a pretty simple and tasty lunch item.  You will need:

Nori sheets (you can use roasted for more flavor)
Chives or green garlic shoots 
Cooked organic udon noods (well drained)
Roasted sesame seeds
Umeboshi paste (optional)

Lettuce, spinach, or any other type of fresh greens

Take one sheet of nori and dab a thin line of umbeboshi paste (depending on how strong of a taste you want of the umeboshi) about an inch to two inches from one edge.  Arrange a handful of noodles on nori, and add sliced avocado, slice tomatoes, chives/garlic shoots, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Top with a handful of greens (I prefer spinach, which is rich in iron).  Roll the nori tightly to create a “sushi” roll, and either eat as is, or cut into slices.  It is absolutely delicious, and quite filling.