Vegan Potato Chickpea Stew (from "Crazy for Curry" Night with The Alberni Veg Supper Club)


This lovely Indian Vegan Chickpea Stew makes 4 generous servings and takes only 30 minutes to prepare once you have all the supplies in order.  Delicious spiced vegetables simmered in a savory gravy with spinach and raisins.  Toasted cashews and fresh lemon add crunch and zest!

Vegan Potato Chickpea Stew
Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled, sliced in to 1/2" OR use Sweet Potatoes (same cut) 
  • 1 Tbsp Garam Masala *
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped Garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Yellow Onion
  • 1 1/2 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 (14 oz) can of Chickpeas (or 2 cups cooked and drained)
  • 4 Tbsp. Raisins
  • 1/3 Cup Cashew Pieces
  • 3 Cups Spinach Leaves
  • 1/4 Cup Cilantro Leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed Lemon Juice

METHOD

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Once the oil is simmering, add the carrots, potatoes, garam masala, and cumin.  Sauté for 1 minute.
  2. Add in the garlic and onion and stir well.
  3. Pour in the vegetable broth and allow the mixture to boil for 2 minutes.  
  4. Add the chickpeas and the raisins, cover the pan and turn the heat down to medium-low.  Simmer for 10 - 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  5. Meanwhile, place a dry sauté pan over medium heat and toast the cashews, stirring frequently for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Once the stew is done simmering, stir in the spinach and allow it to wilt for 1 minute.
  7. Stir in the cilantro leaves and lemon juice.
  8. Sprinkle the cashews over the top before serving.







Tofu Amritsari Masala (Vegan Recipe- from "Crazy for Curry" Night at the Alberni Veg Supper Club)

This Tofu Amritsari Masala recipe is baked tofu in a smoky, spicy Punjabi Tomato Cream Sauce.  The total time to make it is 40 minutes.  Add chickpeas, veggies or veggie meat for variation.

Tofu Amritsari Masala- with Plain Coconut Yogurt and Naan Bread

BAKED TOFU:
INGREDIENTS:

  • 14 oz/400g Firm Tofu, pressed for 15 minutes, and then cubed
  • 2 tsp. minced Ginger
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Apple Cider
  • 2 tsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1/3 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. ground Coriander
  • 3/4 tsp. ground Cumin
  • 1/3 tsp. Cayenne (or use Paprika for less heat)
  • 1 tsp. Oil (or omit for Oil-Free)
  • 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
SAUCE:
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 tsp. Oil (or water if using oil free)
  • 1 tsp. ground Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. each: ground Cumin, Cayenne or use scant 1/4 tsp. for less heat, Smoked Paprika or Kashmiri Chili Powder (use Sweet Paprika for less heat)
  • 1 Tbsp minced Ginger
  • 1/3 C. finely chopped Onion
  • 1 green Chili, chopped (use 1/4 Cup Bell Pepper for less heat)
  • 3 lg. Tomatoes, pureed or 15 oz. Can, diced Tomatoes with juices
  • 1/4 Cup Water to rinse out the Blender
  • 1/4- 1/3 Cup Cashews blended with 1 Cup Water or Soymilk (or other nut-free non-dairy milk)
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt, less or more to preference
  • 1 tsp. Sugar or Sweetener
  • Cilantro to garnish
METHOD:

For the Tofu:
  1. Blend together the ginger, garlic, vinegar and lemon, or mince and combine in a bowl.  
  2. Add the above to the cubed Tofu, along with mixing in the spices and oil (or no oil).  
  3. Add cornstarch and toss lightly to coat the tofu.
  4. Spread the cubes on a parchment-covered sheet and Bake at 400 degrees F/204 degrees C for 20-25 minutes.  (For a quicker recipe, skip the spices -- add additional spices to the sauce-- and pan fry the Tofu until golden and use.)
Find links to other Crazy About Curry recipes at the bottom of this post.


For the Sauce:
  1. Heat the skillet over Medium Heat.  Add oil.  Once hot-- NOT smoking-- add the cayenne or paprika and cook for a few seconds.
  2. Add cumin and coriander and cook for a few seconds.  It should be bubbly and you should smell or sneeze the spices.
  3. Add ginger, onion, chili (or bell pepper) and mix in.
  4. Add a pinch of salt.
  5. Cook for a minute until the chili is golden.
  6. Add the pureed tomato, salt and sugar and mix in.  
  7. Cook until the tomato puree thickens.
  8. Add cashew milk and bring to just about a boil.  
  9. Add baked tofu and mix in.  Simmer 6 to 8 minutes to thicken and for the flavours to develop.
  10. Taste and adjust salt and sweet.  Remove from heat.
  11. Let it sit for a few minutes for flavours to meld.  
  12. Garnish with Cilantro and Chili
  13. The sauce thickens as it sits.  Add 1/2 Cup Water or Non-Dairy Milk if needed when reheating.
  14. Serve with flatbread or rice or add to a bowl.

 
OTHER RECIPES FROM THE 'CRAZY FOR CURRY' NIGHT:
Please click HERE   If you try this recipe, we would love to hear how it turned out and will share your questions or comments (below) with the Alberni Vegetarian Supper Club crew and organizers!  God bless!








Vegan Turmeric Latté Recipe (from "Crazy for Curries" Night by the Alberni Veg Supper Club


This is such a soothing and healthy drink to have a little while before bedtime.  I have begun to use the fresh organic Turmeric root that our local health store, Edible Island, carries, but the recipe is written for the dry ground turmeric, so you have your choice.  I would suggest plastic gloves to handle turmeric-- I had a thumb nail that was fluorescent yellow for a day after my first venture (in spite of lots of scrubbing). This drink has anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties! 

VEGAN TURMERIC LATTE RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:


  • 1 Cup   Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Full-Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 Tbsp.  Coconut Oil
  • Optional: 2 Tbsp. Protein Powder (boost for those with poor appetites)
  • 2 Cardamom Pods, crushed open
  • 1 1/2 tsp. powdered Turmeric (or 1 Tbsp grated fresh Turmeric)
  • 1 tsp. Ceylon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. powdered Ginger or 1 tsp. fresh Ginger, sliced thin
  • Optional: 1 Tbsp. Honey

Whisk all ingredients over Medium Heat for 5-10 minutes, strain, and serve.  

(Alert: If you have not used coconut oil previously, you might expect a slightly laxative effect-- some constipated folks use it for this purpose).





See another Healthy Beverage from the "Crazy for Curry" recipes: Pink Grapefruit- Ginger Smoothie

Get some great recipes from the "Crazy for Curry" Night and learn more about the Alberni Vegetarian Supper Club HERE



Curried Chickpeas with Spinach and Tomatoes (From "Crazy for Curry" Night at the Alberni Veg Supper Club)

Curried Chickpeas with Spinach and Tomatoes  (image by Cynthia Zirkwitz)
Indian cuisine is, in my experience, fragrant, delicious and satisfying to eat.  For vegans, an Indian restaurant always offers a variety of dishes to meet their religious or ethical requirements.  When I first mentioned the upcoming "Crazy About Curry" Night hosted by the Alberni Vegetarian Supper Club on March 21, 2019, many folks responded with "I love Indian food!" on social media.

Happily for you lovers of Indian vegetarian recipes, I have scored this and many other sumptuous Indian recipes that I will share over the next few weeks until the NEXT Supper Night, which will likely be foods from another ethnic or cultural community.  If you live near Port Alberni, B|C (on Vancouver Island), you are very welcome to drop in and share the dining pleasures with the Supper Club-- every third Thursday of the month (except for July/August) at 4109 Kendall Street in the Basement Kitchen of the Port Alberni Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Find links to other Crazy About Curry recipes at the bottom of this post.



CURRIED CHICKPEAS WITH SPINACH AND TOMATOES
**Serves 4-6  Preparation Time: 30+ Minutes Total**

INGREDIENTS:


  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil, divided
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 1 Fresh Red Chili Pepper (Jalapeno or Fresno), coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh Ginger
  • 1 pound/16 oz./454 g flat-leaf Spinach, tough stems trimmed
  • Kosher Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Curry Powder
  • 1       tsp. Chili Powder
  • 2 X 15-oz/425 g tins of Chickpeas, rinsed (about 4 cups)
  • 1 X 24 oz/680 g tin of Whole Peeled Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • Flatbread or Steamed White Rice

Notes: I was eager to try this "easier homestyle dish" last night and didn't have the opportunity to shop for the exact ingredients listed above so did some subbing: 
  1.  I try to cook without oils, so used water-- worked out fine for the two of us. A small amount to begin the cooking and more as I thought it was needed.
  2. No red chilies in our house, so I used a standard red bell pepper.  
  3. No spinach, but I did have fresh Chard-- you can probably tell in the photo-- I chopped up the stems and used them as well.  It was delicious.
  4. I used a locally-made Curry Powder, but if you like, you can make your own Garam Masala  I do plan to do that.  
  5. I made Organic Basmati White Rice (used 2 Cups, soaked for 30 minutes, soak water discarded).  I do love Naan Bread and will eventually include a link to a recipe.
  6. If you tried this recipe, are there substitutions you made?  How did it work for you?  Drop a line in the COMMENTS at the bottom of the post.  

 METHOD:


  1. Heat 1 Tbsp. Oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
  2. Add Garlic, Chili, and Ginger.  Cook until fragrant and softened (about 4 minutes)
  3. Working in batches, add Spinach by the handful, tossing to wilt between additions.  Cook until full wilted and bright green, stirring often (about 15 minutes)
  4. Transfer mixture to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.  
  5. Season, to taste, with Kosher Salt and Black Pepper.
  6. Wipe out the skillet.
  7. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. Oil in same skillet over medium-high heat.  Add Onion and cook until softened (5-6 minutes).
  8. Add Curry Powder and Chili Powder and cook until toasted and fragrant (about 1 minute)
  9. Add Chickpeas and Tomatoes with juices.  Squeeze tomatoes with your hand as you add them in.  Add about 1/2 Cup of Water.
  10. Season again with Salt and Pepper and simmer until Tomatoes are broken down and sauce has thickened (about 10 minutes).
  11. Fold in the Spinach puree.
  12. Serve over rice or with flatbread.

OTHER RECIPES FROM THE 'CRAZY FOR CURRY' NIGHT:
Please click HERE   If you try this recipe, we would love to hear how it turned out and will share your comments (below) with the Alberni Vegetarian Supper Club crew and organizers!  God bless!

Make Your Own Spice Blends and Pastes for Indian Recipes (From "Crazy For Curry" Night, Alberni Veg Supper Club)

Indian Spices
Is there any more fragrant and welcoming place than an Indian Restaurant-- especially in the company of friends!  The fragrance and the diversity of spicy flavours come from the various blends of spices and pastes that are used in the cooking and serving of these delightful dishes.

The Alberni Vegetarian Supper Club has collected recipes for making the following Spice Blends, Pastes, and Spice-infused Oils from friends and family all over the world!  I am very grateful for their generosity in offering us the precious "family recipe collection" for those of us who can't come to their monthly Supper Clubs (Third Thursday 6PM every month except July/August in the Seventh-day Adventist Church Basement Kitchen, 4109 Kendall Street, Port Alberni, BC).

Find Recipes for the following on this page below the list:

SPICE BLENDS AND PASTES YOU CAN MAKE YOURSELF

  • Homemade Garam Masala
  • Sambar Podi (typical Southern Indian spicy coating or gravy mix)
  • British Curry Mix (milder)
  • Poudre de Colombo (French Carribean fragrant curry blend for stews and soups)
  • Homemade Tandoori Paste (Medium spicy Yogurt Paste)
  • Homemade Tikka Masala Curry Paste (Creamy, Medium Spicy Curry Paste)
  • Homemade Korma Paste (Medium Tomato Curry Paste)
  • Homemade Jalfrezi Paste (Medium Sweet Tomato Paste)
  • Homemade Vindaloo Paste (Spicy Tomato Sauce)

TADKA: SPICE-INFUSED OILS

  • Palya (Cabbage-Coconut-Lemon)
  • Smoky Dal Tadka- Restaurant Style
3 Finishing Tadka:
  • Chili and Garlic Oil
  • Rosemary and Black Pepper Oil
  • Turmeric and Ginger Oil
HOMEMADE GARAM MASALA
**Makes 8 Tablespoons; can be reduced by half**
4 Tbsp. ground Coriander
2 Tbsp. ground Cumin
1-2 tsp. each: Black Pepper, Ground Cinnamon, Ground Cloves
1    tsp. ground Cardomom
1/2 tsp. ground Nutmeg

Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

SAMBAR PODI
**Typical Southern Indian spicy coating or gravy mix**
**Makes 2/3 Cup**
3 Tbsp. each: ground Coriander, Besan (Chickpea) Flour
1 Tbsp. ground Cumin
1 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground Black Pepper
1 tsp. each: Salt, ground Fenugreek Seeds, Amchur Powder, Dry Mustard, Hot Red Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. each: ground Cinnamon, Turmeric
8 crumbled dried Curry Leaves
1/4 tsp. Asafetida

Combine all ingredients in food processor, spice/coffee grinder or with a large mortor & pestle (2-Cup size).  Grind to a powder.

BRITISH CURRY MIX
**Milder curry**
**Makes about 3/4 Cup**

5 Tbsp. ground Coriander Seeds
2 Tbsp. ground Cumin seeds
1 Tbsp. ground Turmeric
2 tsp. each: ground Ginger, Dry Mustard, ground Fenugreek seeds
1 1/2 tsp. ground Black Pepper
1 tsp. ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. each: ground Cloves, ground Cardamom, ground Chili Peppers

Combine all ingredients in food processor, spice/coffee grinder or with a large mortor & pestle (2-Cup size).  Grind to a powder.

POUDRE DE COLOMBO
**French Caribbean fragrant curry blend for soups and stews**
**Makes about 1 Cup**

1/4 Cup White Rice
1/4 Cup Cumin seeds
1/4 Cup Coriander seeds
1 Tbsp. each: Black Mustard Seeds, Black Peppercorns, Fenugreek Seeds
1 Tbsp. Whole Cloves
2 tsp. Turmeric

Toast white rice in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking frequently, until light brown (about 5 minutes).  Remove to a dish to cool.
In the same skillet, toast together the Cumin seeds, Coriander seeds, Black Mustard seeds, Black Peppercorns, Fenugreek seeds, and Cloves, about 2-3 minutes, until lightly toasted and fragrant.
Cool the spices, combine with the rice, and grind to a fine powder.
Stir in Turmeric and store in a jar with a lid in a cool, dry location.

HOMEMADE TANDOORI PASTE
**Medium Yogurt Curry**

1 tsp. each: Salt, Cayenne, ground Coriander, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Dry Mustard, Ginger, Turmeric, Fennel, Cumin, Paprika
1/2 Cup Yogurt
2 Tbsp. Lime Juice

Mix together salt, cayenne, coriander, chili powder, garlic powder, dry mustard, ginger, turmeric, fennel, cumin, and paprika in a food processor.
Add lime juice and yogurt when ready to make a paste.  Store in a jar with lid in the refrigerator.
Use as a rub or a marinade.

HOMEMADE TIKKA MASALA CURRY PASTE
**A creamy, medium spicy Curry Paste- store in the refrigerator and pull out to make a tasty meal in under 15 minutes**

1 tsp. Coconut Oil or other vegetable oil
6 Green Cardamom Pods
3 Cloves
1-inch stick of Cinnamon, broken into pieces
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp. Cumin seeds
2 Tbsp. Coriander Seeds
1 medium Red Onion, chopped
8 cloves of Garlic, crushed, roughly chopped
1-inch knob of Ginger, peeled and chopped
Pinch of Salt
1 tsp. Sugar
2 Tbsp. Kasoori Methi or Dry Fenugreek Leaves
2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
2 medium Tomatoes, chopped
1/4 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Cashews, soaked at least 30 minutes

Heat the oil in a nonstick pan.  Add the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves.  Stir until the cardomom begins to turn lightly golden (about 2 minutes.)
Add the cumin and coriander seeds and stir-fry for a few minutes until the coriander starts to darken slightly.
Add the onions, ginger, garlic, a pinch of salt, and sugar.  Stir-fry over medium heat until the onions start to turn brown.
Add the kasoori methi, tomato paste and tomatoes.  Mix well.  Add 1/4 cup of water, cover, and let mixture cook about 15 minutes or until the tomatoes are really mushy and most of the water has evaporated.
Let the mixture cool and then transfer to a blender along with the soaked cashews.
Blend into a smooth paste, adding a little water, a tablespoon at a time, if necessary, to keep the blades moving.
Scrape into an airtight jar and store in the refrigerator if you plan to use it within a week, or in the freezer if you want to keep it for longer.  Thaw out before using.

HOMEMADE KORMA PASTE
**Medium Tomato Curry**

2 Tbsp. Groundnut (substitute Peanut) Oil
1 tsp. Coriander Seeds
2 tsp. Cumin Seeds
2 cloves of |Garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh root Ginger
1 tsp. Garam Masala (see 1st Spice Blend on this page, above)
1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1 Tbsp. Tomato Puree
2 fresh Green Chilies
3 Tbsp. Desiccated Coconut
2 Tbsp. ground Almonds
1 small bunch fresh Coriander

Heat oil in pan and toast coriander and cumin until fragrant, then cool.
Combine all ingredients in food processor and grind to a smooth paste.
Put into a glass jar and store in fridge.

HOMEMADE JALFREZI PASTE
**Medium Sweet Tomato Curry**

2 Tbsp. Groundnut (substitute Peanut) Oil
1 tsp. Fenugreek seeds
1 tsp. Coriander seeds
1 tsp. Brown Mustard seeds
2 tsp. Cumin seeds
1 small bunch fresh Coriander
2 cloves Garlic
1 thumb-size piece fresh root Ginger
1 tsp. Turmeric
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
2 Tbsp. Tomato Puree
1 Fresh Green Chili

Heat oil in pan and toast fenugreek, coriander, mustard and cumin seeds until fragrant.  Add chili and cook for one(1) minute, then cool.  Combine all the ingredients in food processor and grind to a smooth paste.  Put into a glass jar and store in the fridge.

HOMEMADE VINDALOO PASTE
**Spicy Tomato Sauce**

3 Tbsp. Vegetable or Groundnut (Peanut) Oil
1 tsp.     Green Cardamom Pods
2 tsp.     Coriander seeds
1 tsp.     Black Peppercorns
1 Tbsp.  Mustard seeds
1 tsp.      Cumin seeds
1 tsp.      Fenugreek seeds
4            Cloves
2            Bay Leaves

2 cloves  Garlic
1 thumb-sized Fresh Ginger
4 dried    Red Chilies
1 Tbsp.   Turmeric
2 Tbsp.   Tomato Puree
2              Fresh Red Chilies
1 small bunch Coriander
2 tsp.       Fennel seeds

1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  When it begins to shimmer, add: cardamom pods, coriander seeds, peppercorns, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, cloves and bay leaves.
Stir the spices continuously until they become fragrant and start to turn golden (1-2 minutes).
Remove from the heat immediately.

2. Add the spice mixture to the blender with the rest of the ingredients.  Puree until a smooth paste forms.  Put in a glass jar in the fridge.


INFUSED OILS:
TADKA OR TARKA- Sizzle your Spices, but don't Scorch them!
**Sometimes called "Spice-Infused Oils" and a technique to temper spices to release maximum flavour.
1. Tarka to start flavouring a dish:
Once your spices have released their perfume into the oil (and your kitchen smells wonderful), it's time to halt that super-intense cooking right away, before your spices over-cook.  You've got a few strategies here: if you are making tarka as a foundation for a dish, the next step usually is to add an aromatic like ginger, onion, or garlic to the pan-- so make sure you have them on hand BEFORE you start your tarka.

2. Tarka to finish a dish: Make sure the dish is finished and ready for topping BEFORE you start your tarka!  That way you can immediately pour the tarka into the dish rather than have it over-cook in its pan!

PALYA
**Hot Starting Tarka: Cabbage Stir-fry with Coconut and Lemon.**
**4 Servings.  Total Time: 25 minutes**
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened grated Coconut
  • 2   Tbsp Vegetable or Canola Oil
  • 1    tsp.   Yellow or Black Mustard seeds
  • 2    tsp.   Chana Dal (the split kernel of a variety of chickpea) and/or Urad Dal (black gram beans)   OR   2 tsp. lightly crushed Yellow Split peas
  • 1-2   Dried Red Chilies, broken in half
  • 1    small head Green OR Savoy Cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed, cored, finely chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 3/4 tsp. or more Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground Turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped Cilantro Leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. or more Fresh Lemon Juice
  1. Thaw frozen coconut or soaked dried coconut in a little hot water to plump it up
  2. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium until shimmering.
  3. Add 1 mustard seed.  When the seed sizzles and pops, add remaining mustard seeds, cover, and cook until all seeds start popping (about 10 seconds).  When popping starts to subside, immediately add Chana Dal.  Reduce heat to Medium-Low and cook, tossing constantly, until dals are reddish golden brown and smell nutty (about 2 minutes).
  4. Add chilies and toss to coat.  
  5. Add cabbage, salt, and turmeric.  Cook, stirring, until cabbage wilts but still has a little crunch, (3-5 minutes).  
  6. Add coconut and cook until heated through, (about 1 minute more).
  7. Remove from heat.  Stir in cilantro  and lemon juice.  Taste and add more lemon juice and salt if needed.


SMOKY DAL TADKA
(Smoky Restaurant Style)
**4 Servings, Total time=30 minutes**
**A North Indian favourite. Smooth and creamy dal tempered with Indian spices with a smoky charcoal flavour.**


  • 1 Cup Arhar Dal (Tuvar Dal or Split Pigeon Pea Lentils) OR 1/2 cup each: Arhar Dal (yellow lentils), Massor Dal (split pink lentils)
  • 1 or 2 Green Chilies-- diced or split lengthwise (hari mirch)
  • 1 medium-sized Onion, diced
  • 1/2 inch Ginger- finely diced or grated OR about 1/3 to 1/2 tsp. of grated or chopped Ginger
  • 2 medium-sized Tomatoes- diced
  • 2.5 Cups water for pressure cooking
  • (optional) 1 tsp. Turmeric powder (haldi) and a pinch of Asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp. Garam Masala (see 1st recipe item at top of page to make your own)

  • 1 teaspoon crushed Kasoori Methi (dry Fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 tsp. chopped Coriander leaves (dhania patta)
  • 1 tsp. Salt or to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Oil or Ghee or butter
  • 1 tsp. Cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 5-6 Garlic cloves (lahsun)-- finely chopped
  • 2-3 dry Red Chilies (sookhi lal mirch)
  • a generous pinch of Asafoetida (hing)
  • 1/2 tsp. Red Chili Powder (lal mirch powder)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped Coriander Leaves (dhania patta)
  • Small piece (1 " or so) wood charcoal
  • 1/4 tsp. Ghee or Oil

PREPARING THE LENTILS FOR THE SMOKY DAL
  1. Rinse the lentils and add them to the pressure cooker (Instant Pot?) or cook in a pot.  Just soak the lentils for an hour or two before you cook them in the pot.  Cooking lentils in a pot will take more time than cooking them in a pressure cooker.
  2. To the lentils add: green chilies, chopped onions, ginger, tomatoes.
  3. Pour 2 1/2 cups of water into the pressure cooking.  If cooking in a pot, pour in about 4 to 4 1/2 cups.
  4. Add Turmeric Powder and pinch of Asafoetida.  Stir well.
  5. Pressure cook the lentils for 7 to 8 minutes until they become soft and creamy.  Mash the dal with a wire whisk or a spoon and keep aside.  If the dal looks thick, then add some water to get a medium consistency.  Simmer the dal for 3 to 4 minutes. 
  6. Once the desired consistency is reached, add 2 tablespoons of Cream (optional), garam masala powder, crushed kasoori methi, chopped coriander leaves and salt. Switch off the heat.  Please note that crushed kasoori methi can also be added in the tempering later at this step.
  7. Mix well so that everything combines uniformly.  Check salt taste before you add the tempering.  Adjust salt to taste.
Adding Smoke Flavouring
  1. The Dhungar method of flavouring the dal is with the smoky fumes of burnt charcoal.  This is an optional step so if you wish, you can skip directly to the tempering method.  Using tongs or a grill pan, place a small piece (about 1") of natural wood charcoal (not a briquette!) .  Burn the charcoal until it becomes red hot.
  2. Place the red hot charcoal in a small steel bowl.
  3. Pour about 1/4 teaspoon of oil or ghee on the charcoal.  Fumes rise as soon as pour the oil on the hot charcoal.
  4. Place this bowl on top of the dal in the pot.
  5. Cover the pot with a lid and let the dal get infused with the charcoal smoke.  Keep covered for 1 to 2 minutes.  The longer it is covered, the more smoky the dal will become.  Remove the bowl carefully with the tongs and keep the dal covered. 
Prepare the Tarka using Vegetable Oil: 
  1. Next, heat the oil or ghee in a small pan.  Fry the tempering ingredients at a low flame, so it doesn't burn.  First add cumin seeds and crackle them.  Keep stirring in spices to prevent burning.
  2. Add in the red chilies, the asafoetida, and chopped garlic.  Keep stirring until the garlic is lightly brown and the last red chilies change colour.  
  3. Add the kasoori methi if you have not added before tot he dal, and red chili powder.  Stir for 10 to 20 seconds, and then turn off the stove.
  4. Pour the entire tempered tadka/tarka into the dal.
  5. You can mix the dal or serve the dal tadka with the tempering on top.  Garnish dal tadka with coriander leaves.  Serve dal tadka hot with steamed basmati rice, jeera rice or rotis.
Prepare Tarka Using Vegetable Ghee
  1. Instead of oil, you can temper the dal with ghee / clarified butter.
  2. The dal tadka with ghee consistency is medium rather thinner, but if you want a slightly thicker dal consistency, soak the dal for 3 hours before cooking them.
3 FINISHING TARKA OR SCENTED OILS: 
**Use for dipping or add to cooked rice or potatoes before serving**


CHILI AND GARLIC OIL
2 fresh Chilies, slit down the middle
4 large garlic Cloves, smashed
1 sprig Rosemary
1 1/4 cup Neutral Oil (eg., Grapeseed Oil)
**Over medium-low heat, gently warm all ingredients in a large saucepan for 5-10 minutes (depending on your stove).  Remove from heat & let cool.  Transfer to an air-tight jar.  Store in a dark cool place.

ROSEMARY AND BLACK PEPPER OIL
3 sprigs Rosemary
2 tsp. whole black Peppercorns
1 1/4 cup Neutral Oil (eg., Grapeseed Oil)
**Over medium-low heat, gently warm all ingredients in a large saucepan for 5-10 minutes (depending on your stove).  Remove from heat & let cool.  Transfer to an air-tight jar.  Store in a dark cool place.

TURMERIC AND GINGER OIL
2" piece of fresh Turmeric root, peeled & thinly sliced, OR 1 tsp. ground Turmeric
2" piece of fresh Ginger root, peeled, thinly sliced
1 1/4 cup Neutral Oil (eg., Grapeseed Oil)
**Over medium-low heat, gently warm all ingredients in a large saucepan for 5-10 minutes (depending on your stove).  Remove from heat & let cool.  Transfer to an air-tight jar.  Store in a dark cool place.

To find out where all the other Alberni Vegetarian Supper Club "Crazy for Curry" Recipes can be found, please click HERE   If you try these spice blend recipes, we would love to hear how they turned out and will share your comments (below) with the Alberni Vegetarian Supper Club crew and organizers!  God bless!

The Alberni Vegetarian Supper Club



The Alberni Vegetarian Supper Club is a culinary treat and then some.  Beginners or "old hands" at cooking are delighted with the international and local recipes.  

Who attends?  People from different cultural backgrounds and all age group.  
What do they have in common?   They all want to made eating healthier a daily habit.
What if you cannot cook but want to sample?  We have several folks who love attending but don't cook.  Join us for dinner with a $3 donation to help us out with the food and rental costs.  

Each month, a suggested Vegetarian/Vegan themed recipe list is sent out (e.g., Crazy for Curries or Turning Japanese or Eat like a Canuck ) and  attendees select a recipe or 2 to make and share at the Supper Club meeting.  

Are you an absolute beginner?  No worries, vegetarian cooking tips and help is just an email away.  For demos and hands on experiences, feel free to come an hour earlier on the meeting day and learn some cooking techniques as we prepare sample dishes at the kitchen.  

Cooking demonstrations are held as requested and often get lively as folks happily jump in and participate,  Children and teens find it great fun and interesting to be able to easily create delectable dishes and wholesome treats.

Nutritional Nuggets and Healing Food Recipes are shared as seasonal and health concerns arise.  For example, during colder months, a Turmeric Latte (recipe following) is served for its anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties.  And if you’re feeling under the weather, a hot drink often feels great going down and the bonus is it helps you feel better faster!

Interested?  Join the fun every 3rd Thursday of the month (except summer break in July and August) at 6 p.m. at the Basement Kitchen of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, 4109 Kendall Street, Port Alberni, BC V9Y 4H9.  If you want to look over the monthly recipe list, simply send an email to pasda75@gmail.com 

Be blessed, know and enjoy your foods, boost your life!  
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The following recipes are from the Indian Cuisine Night: "Crazy for Curry"   (March 21st, 2019)

 @ the Alberni Vegetarian Supper Club 

(if not showing up as active links, please check back later!)

DRINKS

TADKA: SPICE-INFUSED OILS

VEGAN ENTREES

  • Coconut Korma
  • Vegetable Jalfrezi
  • Chickpeas Vindaloo

EASIER HOMESTYLE DISHES

  • Aloo Gobi (Cauliflower, Tomato)
  • Aloo Gobi Matar (Cauliflower, Peas)
  • Curried Chickpeas with Spinach and Tomatoes
  • Spicy Vegan Potato Curry
  • Vegan Lentil Curry
  • Coconut Curry
  • Tofu Amritsari Masala 
  • Vegan Potato Chickpea Stew, #1
  • Kadai Chole/Chana - spiced
  • Chickpeas and Potatoes #2
  • Instant Pot Lentil-Butternut Squash Curry
  • Vegan Palak Paneer (Tofu)
  • Curried Carrot Fries
  • Bombay Potatoes
  • Madras Lentils
  • Red Lentil Dahl
  • Indian MullIgatawny Soup

FLAT BREADS

  • Naan
  • Aaloo (Potato) Paratha
  • Gluten-Free Moong Dahl Poori

HOME STYLE DESSERTS

    • Malai Ladoo (Cardamom Fudge Balls)
    • Kheer (Rice Pudding)
    • Payasam (Cardimom Rice Pudding)
    • Unniyappam (Fried Banana Dumpling)
    • Roti Ladoo - Spiced Cake Balls
    • Baath Goan - Coconut Cake
    • Vegan Mango Lassi








Sweet Potato Stew- Vegan- Gluten Free- Low Fat


  I attempt to cook my vegetables to maintain the most nutrition possible, via the cooking process.  Dr. Michael Greger of NutritionFacts.org, one of my go-to vegan nutrition gurus, states that sweet potatoes maintain the most nutrition if they are boiled vs. baked.  Sweet potatoes, believe it or not, are classed as a Superfood because of their anti-cancer properties.  So, boil them for the best maintenance of nutrients.

INGREDIENTS: (Serves 6 as a one-pot meal, serves 12+ at a Potluck)

1/2 C. Water 
2 C.    Chopped Onions
1 T.    Chopped Garlic
4        Bay Leaves
2 tsp.  Dried Thyme
1 C.    Sliced Celery

14.5 oz/412 ml/ 1 1/2 C Stewed Tomatoes with Juice
4 C.    1/2 " Cubed/Peeled Sweet Potatoes (immerse in cold water to prevent discoloration)
6 C.    Vegetable Stock (or 6 cubes of Best Golden Soup Bouillion and 6 C. Water)
2 C.    Green Beans
2 C.    Fresh or Frozen Corn kernels
(Please feel free to include other vegetables and/or greens that you have on hand-- this IS a stew!)

1 T.    Soy Sauce
2 T.    Fresh-squeezed Lemon Juice
          Salt and Pepper to taste
          Chopped Fresh Parsley as Garnish


METHOD:


  1. In 1/2 C. water on Medium heat, cook Onions until translucent (about 5 minutes)
  2. Add Garlic, Bay Leaves and Thyme, COVER, and cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring if necessary and adding 1/4 C. of the stock if needed to prevent sticking).
  3. Add Tomatoes, Sweet Potatoes and Stock.  
  4. Increase the Heat slightly.
  5. Stir in the Green Beans.  When the stew begins to simmer again (will take longer with frozen veggies), stir in the frozen or fresh Corn kernels.  Cook until the Green Beans are tender.
  6. If adding other vegetables, like squash or bell peppers, do that now and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until all vegetables are fork-tender.
  7. Stir in the Soy Sauce and Lemon Juice. 
  8. Add Salt and Pepper to Taste.
  9. REMOVE the Bay Leaves before serving (IMPORTANT)
  10. Sprinkle with Parsley
  11. Serve with Corn Bread or Corn Muffins-- Recipe for a Simple Corn Muffin can be found at this article on Classic Adventist Potluck Recipes (scroll down the page)

 I made this delicious, colourful stew in my electronic pressure cooker (Instant Pot) boiling them under pressure using less fluid and less time than required to boil them up in the stew recipe above.  My basic method was:

  1. Saute the items in the first group until tender.  
  2. Stop the process.  
  3. Stir together items from #2 Group (i.e., Stewed Tomatoes down to Corn kernels) but add only 3 C. of vegetable stock or Bouillion with 3 C. Water, unless you prefer a soup-ier stew.  No worries.  It all tastes great.  
  4. Place on the lid with the vent in lock SEALED position, and set on MANUAL for 15 minutes.  
  5. I add in the soy sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper after I have gently released the steam (throwing a tea towel over the release valve is not a bad idea-- keeps steam from fogging the kitchen lol). 
  6. Remove to serving dish and garnish.  I generally cut up a lemon so eaters have their own lemon squeeze.  Sometimes I omit salt (or salt very lightly) if taking to a fellowship meal since many folks are on sodium-restricted diets.  People can add their own salt and pepper. 

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