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Autumn Fire Buddha Bowl


With some wet weather ahead for the time being, I thought that perhaps a warming, spicy and comforting bowl of veggies would be a good idea for the blog to make things warmer if outside is not!


The bowl is made up of a potato and spinach dry curry (I used leftover cavolo nero from my fridge instead of spinach), spicy roasted chickpeas, raw cauliflower florets, khatti dhal made with red lentils tomato and spices, crispy aubergine slices, cucumber raita and a couple of tablespoons of kimchi (bought from the supermarket). A bit of a mix but one that works well I think!


There is no concise order in which to prepare and cook each section of food, apart from soaking red lentils for the khatti dhal first and foremost for 40 minutes. I started with the spicy roasted chickpeas which cook for about 25 mins in the oven. Then I turned my attention to making the dry curry which is essentially cooked in an iron pan with a lid for about 30 - 40 mins. Cucumber raita is cold and quite simple to make in minutes. It can be left whilst cooking the other recipes for that lovely chopped fresh mint to infuse. The khatti dhal was quite easy and took roughly the same time as the curry to cook. (I gave the iron pan a wipe around with a clean damp cloth after cooking the curry and reused it immediately for the lentil mixture to cook and soak up the aromatic liquid). I chose not to temper the khatti dhal this time as it was to be amongst a lot of spicy and sharp dishes and I did not want to override the other flavours. The crispy aubergine slices were last on the list for me as they are fried in oil and served straight up.


You could cook the more complex recipes first and pop them into the microwave for a few minutes when it comes to arranging the bowl at the end.


Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:

2 cups of dried and cooked chickpeas (or one 400g tin of chickpeas would suffice)

Oil of choice for roasting pan

1 tbsp curry powder (I used Korma)


Method:

  1. Put the chickpeas into a clean drying up towel and pat them dry

  2. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of curry powder of choice into the oil (a bland tasting oil is better) and mix together with a spoon

  3. Place chickpeas into pan and coat with the oil, mixing them into the mixture with your hands

  4. Chickpeas in pan into the oven at around 170 degrees for around 20 – 30 minutes


Spinach/Greens and Potato Curry

Ingredients:

1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil or equivalent

2 cups of peeled and roughly cubed potatoes

1 green chopped chilli

1 tbsp grated ginger

Half tbsp cumin seeds

½ tsp Garam Masala

1 clove chopped garlic

Quarter of a tsp turmeric

1 handful of roughly chopped spinach or Cavolo Nero


Method:

  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan with a lid

  2. Add cumin seeds, grated ginger, chopped chilli and cook for about 3 minutes on medium heat

  3. Add the rest of the spices, mix and reduce to a lower heat

  4. Throw in your chopped potatoes and cook them in the spices for about 20 minutes with the lid on checking and turning frequently so as not to burn

  5. Add in chopped greens, chopped tomato and fresh coriander and stir well into potatoes

  6. Cook for a further 5 – 10 minutes with lid on and check so as not to burn

  7. Add squeezed lemon juice and mix in, cooking for another 5 minutes

  8. Turn off heat and place into a bowl for later on


Khatti Dhal (your choice to temper with lots of heat or not, this Buddha Bowl recipe does not)

Ingredients:

2 cups red split lentils

2 fresh tomatoes chopped

Thumb sized piece of ginger chopped

2 garlic cloves crushed or chopped

1 Green chilli

½ tsp turmeric

2 tbsp tamarind paste

1 tsp hot chilli powder

2 tsp ground coriander


Method:

  1. After you have soaked the red lentils for about 40 minutes, rinse them and put them in a large heavy bottomed pan with the ginger, garlic, turmeric, chillies and tomatoes

  2. Add 1 litre of water to the pan and then bring to the boil.

  3. Turn the heat down and cook until the lentils soak up most of the water or you have a kind of lentil puree. Thick or runny like a lentil gravy, up to you. Add more water if required.

  4. Add the tamarind, ground coriander and chilli powder and season. Cook for another 5 mins.

  5. Turn off heat and leave to one side.


Cucumber Raita

Ingredients:

½ full length cucumber chopped

1 cup of chopped fresh Moroccan mint (or equivalent fresh mint)

250g plain Greek yoghurt

Seasoning


Method:

Place all ingredients in a bowl together. Mix and leave to one side for at least ten minutes for the mint to infuse


Crispy Aubergine Slices

Ingredients:

1 Aubergine sliced lengthways into roughly four slabs (remove ends and skins on outside slabs)

2 cups crushed cornflakes on a large plate

2 tsp garam masala

1 cup of almond milk or equivalent milk in a large flat bowl

1 cup plain flour on a large plate

Salt for seasoning

Hot oil of your choice in a frying pan


Method:

  1. Sprinkle aubergine slices on both sides with salt and leave for about ten minutes

  2. Wash carefully and pat slices dry with a clean tea towel

  3. Sprinkle garam masala on one side of each slice

  4. Dip each slice into the flour, coating each side

  5. Dip the floured slice into the milk both sides

  6. Dip the milk and flour covered slice into the crushed cornflakes both sides

  7. When you have four slices covered in cornflakes, lower into hot oil and cook on both sides till almost dark brown and crusty. Careful not to burn but the flesh of the aubergine should not be as creamy coloured as it is when raw. Around 10 mins in all.


Arrange all your ingredients including a handful of chopped raw cauliflower florets and a couple of tbsp of kimchi into a beautiful bowl (heating curry and khatti dhal in microwave if desired) and place the crispy aubergines to the side of the dish. They are great for scooping up the dhal and curry!


Leftover bits and pieces from your weekly meals can be saved to create more tasty bowls. The sky’s the limit!


Mel x

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