Baked Samosa with Tamarind Chutney

Baked Samosa with Tamarind Chutney 

I love appetizer 🙂 I would , if I could, order 5 different appetizers instead of main course when I eat out. I like it that much!  The other day, I was craving indian appetizer Samosa. In india, samosa is a snack that you can find on the road side. It is cheap and you can get just a few to snack on. Similar to other asian countries, such as Thailand where I came from, there are a lot of street side food that you can buy when you want to snack on something but do not want to eat a lot.  However, there is no cheap street food in the States, at least the kind I want to eat unless you go to international restaurant.  That is not a problem because I can make it myself cheaper. The problem is that I can’t make just a few pieces. So my husband and I ended up having samosa for dinner 🙂 and left over for lunch the next day!  It would be perfect appetizer recipe for a party though. It make about 16 samosas.

Samosa stuffing usually made of potatoes, onion, green pea and indian spices. I modified the ingredients a little bit using lemon juice instead of mango powder ( because I don’t have it in the pantry) I also choose to bake my samosa instead of deep frying them, which is how it is usually prepared. Though deep frying food tastes good, I try to stay away from it for health reason. It is still does taste good without all the extra fat. Here is the recipe.

samosa

Ingredients 

Samosa Dough
2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2/3 up warmed water
1 package of active dry yeast

Filling
3 1/2 cups dice potatoes, boiled ( about 4 potatoes)
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup frozen green pea
3 tablespoons oil
2 tsp green chilies, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger, grated
1 tsp cumin seed
1/2 tsp garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste

Tamarind Chutney

1 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garam masala
3 tbsp tamarind paste
5 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup water

Instructions

  • To make the dough,; mix warm water, sugar and active dry yeast together and let it stand for 10 minutes . In the medium bowl, mix together the flour and salt . Add olive oil and rub the mixture with your fingers to evenly distribute, Continue rubbing until the flour is evenly coated with oil. Add the water mixture a little bit at a time, and work until the dough comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a firm dough. Divide a dough into equal size balls ( about 8 balls)  and cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • To make the Filling; in a saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and coriander powder, stir for 10 seconds. Add the onions, ginger, garlic and green chili, stir for another 5 minutes until onion is soften. Add garam masala and curry powder, and stir until fragrant about 1 minute. Add the potatoes, stir and use spatula to mash the potatoes to reach the texture of a little chunky and a little mashed potatoes. When the potatoes become dryer, add the peas and cook for 1 minute. Add the cilantro and lemon juice. Stir to combine, then season with salt and sugar. Remove from heat and let the filling cool down. 
  • To make the samosa; roll each ball into thin oval shape. use the knife to cut the rolling dough into semi-circle. Rub a little bit of water onto the cut side and seal it together to make a cone shape. Hold it between your thumb and your index fingers with your palm holding the bottom of the cone and fill the cone dough with 2-3 tsp of filling. Wet your finger and run it along the edges of the dough with water and press the end firmly to seal the stuffing. The sealing lines should resemble “T” and make a triangle shape samosa. Brush the samosa with olive oil and bake in 400 degree F preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy it hot with Tamarind Chutney.
  • To make the Chutney ; Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, ginger, cayenne pepper,and garam masala; cook or about 2 minutes to release the flavors. Stir the water into the pan along with the sugar and tamarind paste. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat until the mixture is thick about 15 mins.
Advertisements

Thai Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice (ข้าวผัดสัปปะรด)

On Vegan Pizza Day, I bought two pineapples, it was on sale, to make hawaiian pizza.  After making pizza, freeze some for smoothie and ate it raw as fruit, I still have some pineapple left.  I don’t like to waste anything and always find my way to use every bit of leftover possible (before it goes bad). I also have some leftover brown rice from our dinner the night before. Leftover rice is perfect for fried rice because it become drier and will not turn mushy when stir fried with other ingredients.  So I have ingredients just perfect for Thai Pineapple Fried Rice! Did I mention I am Thai ? 🙂

Pineapple fried rice is one of the well-known one dish meal in Thai cuisine. The combination of sweet and sour from pineapple, the aroma of curry powder and the crunchiness of toasted cashew will satisfy your palate. To make it very authentic, make a soy chili sauce to go with fried rice. You will be dining exotic food at the comfort of your own home.

pineapple fried rice

Prep Time: 10-15 mins
Cooking Time: 8-10 mins
Yield : 2 servings

Ingredients

2 1/2- 3 cup cooked rice ( white or brown) I used brown in the photo
3/4 cup diced pineapple
3/4 cup dice carrot*
1/2 cup dice onion
1/4 cup chopped green onion*
1/4 cup raisin/dried cranberries (optional)
1/2 cup toasted cashew
1 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil ( I used coconut oil)
3 1/2 tbsp of low sodium soy sauce/tamari
2 1/2 tsp of sugar
2 tsp of curry powder

*The idea is to have at least 4 colors of vegetables in your stir fried ( yellow, orange, green, white, brown, red) you can add colored vegetable such as mushroom, green and red bell pepper. 

Directions

  • Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium to medium-high.
  • When the oil is hot, add the garlic and onion, stir until onion turn translucent ( about 1 mins or so)
  • Add carrot and other ” take time to cook” vegetables such as mushroom and bell pepper, stir for few minute till half cook
  • Add rice and pineapple and season it with soy sauce, sugar and curry power, continually stirring and tossing for about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if desired.
  • Add green onion, raisin(if using) and cashew. ( You don’t want to cook green onion too much and you want to keep cashew crunchy) Give it a few good stirs, turn the heat off and serve hot!

pineapple fried rice 2

Tip for eating like Thai People 🙂 Mix some soy sauce with lime juice and dash of sugar. Put some chopped thai chili (or other spicy chili) into the soy mixtures. Drizzle on top of fried rice. Enjoy! and don’t forget to eat the rainbow 🙂 

Miso glazed eggplant

If you are following my posts, you can guess that I like making Japanese food. Though I enjoy  almost every international food, Japanese is one of my favorite and it is easily made vegan. This miso glazed eggplant is my favorite appetizer to order at japanese restaurant. I didn’t like eggplant that much when I grew up but the flavor of this one has changed my mind, little sweet and salty with an aroma of sesame.

I had been searching for the recipe and tried to make this at home. The traditional recipe would normally require Mirin, a sweet cooking alcohol that is commonly used in japanese cooking, and sake ( Japanese Alcohol Beverage). Those two ingredients are very pricey and I do not want to spend too much to make one simple dish.  So here the simpler version of mine with a few ingredients that you probably already have in you pantry. I couldn’t tell the major difference in flavor and I quite like the result. Now, I can enjoy my favorite appetizer at home, at the fraction of a cost of dining in restaurant, and you can too.

Mizo Glazed Eggplant

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 35 mins

P1000871

Ingredients

1 eggplants
2 tbsp miso
2 tbsp agave or maple syrup
1 tbsp sesame oil + some for blushing
sesame seed and green onion ( for garnish)

Directions

  • Preheat oven 350F
  • Cut eggplant in half lengthwise
  • Brush sesame oil on cut side and baked eggplant cut side down for about 30 mins
  • In a small bowl, mix together miso, agave and sesame oil. Stir to mix well. Set aside.
  • Once eggplant is cooked and soft ( fork can be easily insert into eggplant meat) take it out of the oven. Turn cut side up and brush it with prepared sauce and drizzle with some sesame seeds.
  • Change setting from Bake to Broil (High), Put eggplant back into oven cut side up for a few minute until sauce turns dark brown ( I like it a little burnt 🙂
  • Remove from the oven, garnish with slices of green onion. Serve hot and enjoy!

P1000870

Eating Tip: Though skin can be eaten, enjoy only the meat for this recipe. Skin can be tough and the meat is easily came off the skin.  

Vegan Spinach Lasagna

Everyone loves lasagna for its rich cheesy creamy flavor but eating vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up all those taste you love. I have adopted this recipe I got from my step mother in-law (who is vegetarian) and put my own twist to create a hearty comfort food without using any dairy products and no compromise on taste. Instead of ricotta/cottage cheese, I use cashew and use vegan mozzarella cheese in addition. My husband said it turns out really good and I agree. It is rich, creamy and cheesy. The secret to delicious lasagna is the tomato sauce ( in my opinion) and this recipe nail it for me. I like it a lot. It has become my go-to tomato sauce recipe.

This recipe is quite time consuming ( mostly waiting for it to cook) you might want to plan ahead. It would be perfect for a dinner /brunch party as it is enough for 6-8 people. I made it the other day just for two of us, it last us for a few days ( for both lunch and dinner).  It is a good idea to make it on sunday and you will save time making meals for the next few working day.

Vegan Spinach Mushroom Lasagna

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Yield: 6-8 servings

P1000841

Ingredients

Lasagna Tomato Sauce (Recipe Below)
12 Lasagna noodles ( you can use GF noodles) half cooked, drain and rinse in cold water
Filling:  3 cups Spinach cashew ricotta cheese  ( Recipe Below)
1 package of Daiya Mozzarella cheese

Directions

  • Preheat oven 375 F
  • Spread a little tomato sauce over bottom of 9 x 13″ pan
  • Cover with a layer 4 lasagna noodles
  • Put 1/2 of  spinach filling
  • 1/3 of remaining sauce
  • 1/3 of mozzarella Daiya cheese
  • Another 4 noodles
  • Remaining filling, followed by
  • Sauce (another 1/3), which gets covered by
  • Another 1/3 of mozarella cheese
  • Every last noodles
  • The remaining drop of sauce
  • last 1/3 of mozarella cheese
  • Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes ( uncover the last 10)

Lasagna Tomato Sauce 

3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped carrot
1 tbsp of chopped fresh basil
1 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
2 tsp salt
1 can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 can diced tomato or 2-3 chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp red wine ( optional)
2 1/2 tbsp agave or maple syrup
1/2 tsp of black pepper

Directions

  • In a large kettle, saute’ first 9 ingredients
  • When onions are clear and very soft, add the next 5 ingredients
  • Turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for about 35 mins, stir occasionally
  • Add chopped mushrooms, cook for a few minutes

Cashew Ricotta with Spinach ( Filling)

3 cups raw cashew ( soak overnight or at least 3 hours)
1/2 – 1 cup of water
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt

5 oz of  baby spinach

Direction

  • Drain soaked cashew and put in blender
  • Blend soaked cashew with little bit of water at a time until reach a consistency of a ricotta
  • Season with lemon juice, salt and nutritional yeast. Blend again for all ingredients to combine.
  • Put cashew ricotta in a large mixing bowl, add spinach and stir to combine

Chickpea “tuna” sushi roll

Chickpea “tuna” sushi roll

This recipe is one of my favorite. It is so quick and easy to make. It taste so good you won’t believe there is no tuna in it, only protein goodness from chickpea. You can make a big batch and use them in many dishes. It is very versatile and perfect grab and go kind of meal. You can use them in  sandwich, dipping, put on cracker, salad or in sushi roll.

P1000816

Ingredients for “tuna” 

1 1/2 cup cooked or 1 can of garbanzo bean (chickpea), drain and rinse with water
1 rib of celery, finely chopped
1/8 of sweet onion, finely chopped
5 tbsp of homemade mayo
2 tsp of dijon mustard
2 tbsp of sweet relish
lemon juice
salt
dill

Direction

  • Drain chickpea and mash it throughly with fork
  • Combine chopped onion and celery
  • Add homemade mayo, mustard and relish.
  • Season it with a little bit of salt and lemon juice, mix well
  • Taste it, add more lemon and salt, if needed.
  • Sprinkle with dill

Ingredients for sushi

Chickpea “tuna” ( recipe above)
2 2/3 cups cooked japanese rice, I used Calrose Rice BOTAN
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp of sugar
1 tsp of salt

seaweed nori sheet
vegetables, cut lengthwise (such as carrot,cucumber, avocado, pepper, shred cabbage etc)
bamboo rolling mat

Directions

  • Rinse to clean the rice  until the water runs clear. Cook rice in rice cooker according to instruction. If you don’t have rice cooker you can combine 2 1/2 cups of water and cook in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Rice should be tender and water should be absorbed. Cool until cool enough to handle.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the rice vinegar,  sugar and salt  then stir into the cooked rice. Keep stirring and the rice will dry as it cools.

Now it is time to assemble the roll, watch this tutorial video on how to roll sushi  and start making your sushi roll with chickpea “tuna” and your choices of vegetables. Remember not to layer rice too thick and do not over stuffing your ingredients, it will be difficult to roll.

If you do not have a bamboo rolling mat (it is not expensive ) and do not want to get one, you can also make chickpea”tuna” sushi bowl instead! the taste will be equally delicious as it contains the same ingredients, just present in different form.  To do that ,put in a bowl seasoned sushi rice, top with chickpea, diced (instead of lengthwise cut) vegetable and seaweed nori that is cut into small stripe on top. Drizzle with some soy source and enjoy ! I made sushi bowl the other day because I ran out of nori sheet and have only seaweed snack. So I thought why not make a bowl! It taste just like sushi. I just ate it with spoon instead of chop stick 🙂

Other idea of meals that I have made with chickpea” tuna” are grilled daiya cheese with cucumber, hummus chickpea sandwich and  chickpea”tuna” on cracker. Here are some pictures of dishes I made. Hope you get some inspiration and make your own favorite dish with this recipe.

P1000804 P1000806

A Dash of Love