Vegan Chicken PEAlau Rice

My Vegan Chicken PEAlau has been a mega hit at home. Even my mother-in-law wants the recipe…which is a first. All the depth and meatiness without the meat! As you’ve guessed by the name of the dish, I have replaced the chicken I usually use to make my pilau with the surprisingly meaty textured plant based Lazy Vegan Pulled Pea Chunks from Sainsbury’s. I cooked the pea chunks with caramelised onions, ginger, whole spices & basmati rice to create a super flavourful one pot dish. It will help turn Veganuary into Vegebruary!

Vegan Chicken PEAlau Rice

Servings: 3 people

Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cardamoms
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 ginger grated
  • 2 cloves garlic grated (I combined the ginger & garlic & blitzed in a processor)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp tomato pasata
  • 2 green chillies very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 3/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • handful fresh coriander
  • 2 handfuls peas I used frozen
  • 180 g Lazy Vegan Natural Chunky Pulled Peaz available in frozen section in Sainsburys
  • 1 cup/180g Basmati rice I used a measuring cup, washed well
  • 2 cups water Again using same measuring cup used for rice

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a pan. When hot, add the cumin, cloves, bay leaves and cardamoms. Once the spices sizzle and splatter, add the onions and 1 tsp salt.
  • Cook the onions for 3-5 minutes until translucent. Then add the ginger and garlic. Cook on medium heat for 10-12 minutes until everything is completely soft and golden brown.
  • Now add the tomato puree, pasata and chilli. Mix well then reduce the heat and add the remaining 1 tsp salt as well as all of the dry spice powders. Cook for 20 seconds on a medium heat.
  • Add the fresh coriander, frozen peas as well as the pulled pea chunks and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Taste for salt and chilli at this point and adjust accordingly.
  • Now add the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling add the washed rice. Bring to a boil once again.
  • Now reduce to a simmer and place a lid on top. Cook on a low/medium heat. Keep an eye on the pan and when you see that the water has completely evaporated, turn the heat off. (Place the wooden spoon into the rice and also check to make sure there is no water at the bottom of the pan).
  • Place the lid back on the pan and allow the rice to finish off cooking in its own heat for a further 25 minutes. (Don’t remove the lid before then!).
  • Fork and mix the rice and before serving. Garnish with fresh chillies and coriander. Serve with fresh lime and your favourite yoghurt raita! 

Notes

The wider the pan you use, the better! This will ensure the rice has enough space to cook, yielding perfectly cooked individual grains!

South Indian Style Paneer Mattar

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Yesterday was one of those days. Yes one of *those* days. I woke up early, feeling amazing with a big smile on my face, leapt out of bed with a huge bolt of energy and drew back the curtains to see…oh what have we here? Grey skies, rain, a sodden garden and general wetness and dullness…everywhere. I immediately let out a long grunt type noise, that phonetically spelt out, would be something along the lines of UGGHH. My first thought was to jump straight back into bed and stay there. I mean, Wednesday is nearly Friday which is practically the weekend…right?! I spent a few more minutes trying to rationalise the idea but then opened up my reminders app on auto-pilot, and saw my epic “To Do” list staring at me. Grave error – my dreams of returning to a quilty haven shattered in a single click of the Home button. 

Some may call me over dramatic (my other half regularly does) but I’m a huge believer that weather can truly affect your mood. I knew that I needed something to “pick me up”. After a quick visit to the gym, (they say you only start burning fat after 20 minutes of cardio – I thought 21 minutes on the step machine was as a solid time) I decided I would make lunch before I started my day. Cooking generally puts me in a good mood and I figured it would give me something to look forward to!

This brings me to today’s recipe. Have you ever made paneer before? I make it ALL the time. It’s so quick to cook, a good source of protein and super versatile. Paneer Mattar is a dish I cook regularly at home – it’s lovely and comforting. Imagine a creamy and chunky casserole but with a depth of warm spiciness and just a cheeky little kick.  This time round, I decided to “pimp” my usual recipe by giving it a South Indian twist with mustard seeds & curry leaves. Let’s just say my pre-lunch frown was quickly turned upside-down!

If you have never used curry leaves in your cooking before, you must try. They’re beautifully warm and fragrant and bring any dish to life.

Give it a go!

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South Indian Style Paneer Mattar
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 220g paneer, chopped
  2. 5-6 tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 tsp cumin
  4. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  5. handful of curry leaves, washed, dried & roughly chopped
  6. 2" ginger, grated
  7. 2 cloves garlic, peeled & grated
  8. 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  9. 1 1/2 tsp salt or according to taste
  10. 1/2 tsp paprika
  11. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  12. 1 tsp garam masala
  13. 2 tbsp greek yoghurt
  14. 2 plum tomatoes & 2 tbsp tomato juice
  15. 1 cup peas
Instructions
  1. Heat 1-2tbsp oil in a non-stick pan. Once hot, add the cumin seeds. When they begin to splatter, add the paneer and a pinch of salt. Cook for 2-4 minutes or until golden on one side. Turn over the paneer pieces and cook until golden on the other side. Remove paneer from pan.
  2. Add remaining oil to a non stick pan. Once hot, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. You will see them begin to splatter immediately. At this point, add the ginger, garlic and chilli. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until golden.
  3. Now add the salt, paprika, turmeric powder & garam masala. Add the yoghurt and stir quickly. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the yoghurt blends well with the masala.
  4. Add the tomatoes and juice and mash well into the masala. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Now add the peas and 2 cups of water. Bring to boil. Now add the paneer and cook for further 2 minutes. Check for salt and adjust accordingly. Remove from heat.
  5. Serve with hot chapattis or naan bread!
Notes
  1. You can leave the skin on ginger, before grating - just make sure it's washed and clean. This way you have zero wastage from peeling!
  2. You can sauté the paneer in cumin before hand and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge until you want to use it. This paneer can also be used in salads as a tasty topping!
Monica's Spice Diary - Indian Food Blog http://spicediary.com/
 

 

Band Gobi Mattar (Spicy Cabbage, Potatoes & Peas)

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This is a great Punjabi recipe that is full of flavour, healthy and easy to cook. Typically eaten with chappatis, this dish goes down a treat with the little ones and adults alike! It’s also a fantastic way of using up vegetable you may have in the fridge.

Band Gobi Mattar (Spicy cabbage, potato & peas)
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 3 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1/2 tsp asafoetida (optional)
  3. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  4. 1 chilli, finely chopped
  5. 1 potato, diced
  6. 1 carrot, diced
  7. 1/4 cup peas
  8. 1 tomato, diced
  9. 2 tsp tomato puree
  10. 1 cup green cabbage, finely sliced
  11. 1 tsp salt
  12. 1/2 tsp paprika
  13. 1/2 tsp garam masala
  14. 1/4 tsp amchur/mango powder (optional)
  15. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  16. Handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in non stick pan. Once hot add asafoetida, cumin and chilli and stir. When they begin to sizzle slightly, add the potatoes, carrots and peas into the pan.
  2. Cook for 3-4 minutes and stir continuously.
  3. Now add the fresh tomato and puree and mix well. Continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  4. Now add the cabbage and the remaining ingredients. Mix well and place a lid on the pan, stirring every couple of minutes. Cook for a further 5 minutes or until the potatoes or completely cooked (if a knife goes through the potato easily, it's cooked).
  5. Check for salt and adjust accordingly.
Monica's Spice Diary - Indian Food Blog http://spicediary.com/