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Veggie delights

Butternut and chickpea curry. Picture: Steve Lawrence

Butternut and chickpea curry. Picture: Steve Lawrence

Published May 24, 2011

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The Meat Free Monday environmental campaign was launched last October.

The aim is to make consumers more aware of the environmental impact of producing a kilogram of beef compared with the cost of producing a kilogram of vegetables. Consumers are encouraged to give up eating meat one day a week in order to reduce our carbon footprint on the world (see www.supportmfm.co.za)

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And wating vegetarian one day a week is no hardship with these delicious recipes from Angela Day.

Mushroom and spinach risotto

15ml olive oil

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30g butter

1 onion, chopped

10ml chopped garlic

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250g mushrooms, sliced

300g risotto rice

160ml white wine

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750ml hot vegetable stock

80ml sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and sliced

80ml grated Parmesan cheese

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100g baby spinach leaves, washed

salt and pepper

Heat the oil and butter and fry the onion and garlic until soft.

Add the mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the rice and cook for a minute.

Add the wine and cook until the liquid has evaporated. Add the stock a ladle full at a time, stirring continuously until the rice is just soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Stir in the tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and spinach. Cook until the spinach is limp.

Season to taste and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Butternut and chickpea curry

15ml oil

2 onions, finely chopped

30-40ml Thai green curry paste

750g butternut, cubed

250ml vegetable stock

400g can of reduced fat coconut milk

3 stalks lemongrass, bashed with the back of a knife

6 cardamom pods

400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

30-40ml lime juice

30-40ml fish sauce

15ml sugar

large handful of coriander leaves, chopped

large handful of mint leaves, chopped

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions.

Add the curry paste and cook until fragrant.

Add the butternut and cook for a minute.

Add the stock, coconut milk, lemongrass and cardamom pods.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the chickpeas and simmer until the butternut is soft.

Add the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar to taste.

Just before serving, add the coriander and mint.

Serves 4.

Pea and paneer casserole

Paneer:

2 litres of full cream milk

80-90ml white vinegar or lemon juice

1 red chilli, seeded and chopped

15ml grated ginger

150g Greek yoghurt

10ml brown sugar

5ml garam masala

5ml ground cumin

45ml chopped fresh coriander leaves and stems

juice of 1 lime

50ml tomato purée

250ml water

250g frozen peas

10ml cornflour

30ml water

1 quantity of paneer cut into 2cm cubes

2-3 firm red tomatoes, cut into wedges

50g roasted cashew nuts, chopped

PANEER: Put the milk in a large saucepan and bring slowly to the boil. Stir in the vinegar and turn off the heat.

All the curds will float to the top of the saucepan. Using a draining spoon, scoop the curds into a sieve and press down to remove the excess water.

Turn the mixture into a clean kitchen cloth or piece of muslin and shape into a rectangle. Put it into a shallow container and weigh it down. This will compact the cheese, making it easier to cut into cubes. Leave for a few hours or overnight.

Combine the chilli, ginger, yoghurt, sugar, spices, coriander, lime juice, tomato puree and water in a blender and puree until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a saucepan and add the peas. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Mix the cornflour and water and add to the pea mixture, stirring until the mixture boils and thickens. Add the paneer and tomatoes and heat through.

Serve sprinkled with cashew nuts. Serves 4.

Brinjal and ricotta bake

2 large brinjals

olive oil

250g ricotta cheese

45ml chopped basil

30ml currants

50g pine nuts, toasted

45ml grated Parmesan cheese

80ml fresh breadcrumbs

1 egg

salt and pepper

500ml tomato passata

extra Parmesan for sprinkling

Slice the brinjals lengthwise into 6mm-thick slices.

Brush both sides with olive oil and cook in a griddle pan until tender.

Remove and drain on a paper towel.

Combine the ricotta, basil, currants, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs and mix well. Add the egg and seasoning.

Place a spoonful of the cheese filling on a slice of brinjal and roll it up to enclose the filling.

Repeat until all the filling and brinjal slices are used.

Pour half the passata (sieved tomatoes) into an ovenproof casserole and lay the rolled brinjals on top. Pour over remaining passata and sprinkle liberally with extra Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 180°C for about 10-20 minutes until the cheese is golden brown. Remove and serve.

Serves 4.

Spiced vegetable breyani

1 small cauliflower, broken into florets

500g sweet potato, cubed

1 large onion, sliced

30ml oil

500g basmati rice

1 litre of vegetable stock

50-60ml korma curry paste

2 cinnamon sticks

4 cardamom pods

1 star anise

pinch of saffron

salt and pepper

140g green beans, cooked

100g cashew nuts, roasted

60ml chopped coriander

Combine the cauliflower, sweet potato and onion with the oil. Put these into a roasting pan and roast at 180°C for 15-20 minutes until just tender.

Soak the rice in water to cover for 30 minutes. Put the rice in a sieve and rinse under running water until the water runs clear. Drain well.

Combine the stock with the curry paste.

Combine the roasted vegetables, drained rice and stock mixture and mix well. Pour into a large ovenproof casserole.

Add in the spices.

Cover with a lid or foil and return to the oven for 30-40 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.

Season well and mix in the green beans and cashew nuts.

Serve sprinkled with coriander.

Serves 8-10. - Daily News

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