Monday, 11 April 2011

Indian Vegetable Loaf

Kitchen Play List:  B.E.P ~ Pump It
                              Christine Milian ~ Dip It Low
                              Booty Luv ~ Shine
                              Hot Chocolate ~ You Sexy Thing
                              Kelly Rowland ~ Work 
                              Adam Lambert ~ For Your Entertainment
Our friends J & S came to dinner last night and I spend the day pottering about the kitchen cooking a meal for us all. For some reason when they come to dinner I always head to the Indian cookbooks I have. Maybe it's because when we all used to go out to dinner, we always headed straight to one of our local Indian Restaurants. My Love and S love a good curry and I can't say that J and myself ever complain. lol. So it's become our 'thing' when they visit. 

I love cooking Indian food as I love the layers of spices, textures and colour. For the starter I wanted something different from the usual Onion Bhajias and other deep fried offerings. I really enjoy samosas with all their various fillings (except animal fillings obviously!) but last time they came to dinner I had made samosas so I had to find something different. I had recently spotted a Vegetable Loaf recipe and decided that would be good to try. The recipe was in The Low-Fat Indian Vegetarian Cookbookby the excellent Mridula Baljekar. 

Despite my oven doing everything possible to stop this loaf cooking, the results were delicious.  The colour was good, the smell made our mouths water and the taste was divine. I chose to serve it on a bed of salad leaves and I made an Mint & Onion Chutney, Cucumber & Coriander Raita and a Vegetable Raita and the recipes for these will follow in tomorrow's blog.

Indian Vegetable Loaf
(Recipe from The Low-fat Indian Cookbook)

175g/6oz/1 cup chickpea flour (besan), sifted
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 fresh red or green chilli peppers, seeded and finely chopped
3 tbsp fresh coriander/cilantro, finely chopped
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
125g/4oz/ 2/3 cup carrot, finely grated
175g/6oz/ 1 cup white cabbage, finely chopped
1/2 tsp chilli powder
200ml/7fl oz/ 3/4 cup tomato passata

2 tbsp olive oil

NB: I put the onion, cabbage and carrot through my processor on the fine grate attachment and it worked great! Just a handy hint. lol 

Pre-heat the oven to 190'C/375'F/Gas Mark 5. Line a 900g/2LB loaf tin with parchment. 

In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the remaining ingredients except for the tomato juice and oil. Mix until all the ingredients are evenly distributed and then gradually add the tomato passata until the mixture resembles a fruit cake batter. 

Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and smooth across. Bake in the centre of the oven for 50 minutes or until firm to the touch.  Allow to cool in the tin and then turn out and cut into 1 cm slices. 

In a non-stick skillet, heat a little of the oil over a medium heat and brown a few slices of the vegetable loaf at a time until you have finished browning them all. Keep the fried slices hot in a low oven until you are ready to serve.