Aubergine curry and garlic rice

It is cold and raining outside, however things were getting hot and steamy up inside the Palace today (Our student house.) Curry was on the menu, and it was good.

I love a takeaway curry, especially with an onion bhaji! But home cooked curries are just as good and almost as easy. One time I went to a farmers market and bumped into the self named Bhaji Man. He is a big believer in cooking your own amazing curries, and has set up a business around it. You buy a box containing the different spices, the recipe, and when to add them, so you can create your own curry! He also sells onion bhaji mix and its so yummy.

This curry was made without the Bhaji Man’s help, but it is still easy as. Me and my housemate Lou enjoyed it with her amazing garlic rice on a less amazing hangover. It is both creamy and tomatoey, the aubergines go really squishy and absorb loads of flavour, its good. And you can make it as spicy or as mild as you like!

You will need:

  • 1 aubergine cut into wedges
  • 1 sliced courgette
  • 2 chopped red onions
  • 1 crushed clove of garlic
  • 1 tbs mixed spice
  • 1 tbs curry power (whichever strength you like)
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 can tinned toms
  • 1 can coconut milk

For the rice:

  • Basmalti rice
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Splash of olive oil

1) Fry your aubergine in a large heavy bottomed pan for about 7 mins, until it becomes squidgey. Then add the courgette, onions and garlic with the spice and curry powder. Fry all of this together until all the vegetables are soft and cooked!

2) Add the chickpeas to the veg, followed by the tomatoes and coconut milk. Then just leave to simmer for about 30 minutes; simples!

Lou cooking rice in her onesie like a rice munching teletubby

3) Now for Louisa’s genius rice. Mush up your garlic into a paste with a pinch of salt then fry it in olive oil for a few minutes but do not burn it! Burned garlic is not the one. Then add your rice and fry it for 1 minute before adding some boiling water. My mum’s friend Peow is from thailand, and taught her that the perfect amount of water is just enough that it covers your hand on top of the rice. It works every time for me. Leave it so simmer for 20 minutes.

4) Spoon up your rice and pile on the curry! And don’t forget to try the Bhaji Mans onion Bhaji mix with it one time!

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Goats cheese,portobello mushroom, pesto and aubergine burger sandwiches

Sorry for the longest title in the world… But there’s just too much tasty stuff in these babies.

The sun’s been shining and the BBQ’s have been out in full force here, so for me this means portobello mushrooms *Cheers*

I know so many people who hate mushrooms with a passion! They truly believe they are slimy creatures who have crawled straight out of hell… Well they probably dont believe this, but the way they talk about them makes it sound like they do. I am on a mission to defend the mushrooms, because they are toooo yummy!

While we are on the topic of mushrooms, my friend just got back from traveling in Thailand, where she met the “Happy pizza”; a pizza topped with magic mushrooms, tripin’ell. So for the naive people like me who love the title “happy pizza” and would therefore have to get one without even thinking the mushrooms may be magic, think twice.

Barbie-uitiful

YOU WILL NEED!

For the burger:

  • Portobello or large flat cup mushrooms
  • Sliced aubergine
  • 2 red onions sliced and caramelised
  • A soft goats cheese with rind

For the pesto:

  • Handfull of basil chopped
  • 20g parmesan cheese
  • 60g low fat cream cheese
  • 20g pine nuts
  • 1 clove of garlic

1) Set the ovan to 200 degrees and place your aubergine on a baking tray with some olive oil. Bake these for 15 mins.

2) Prepare your pesto! This is a low fat pesto because the body of it is made with cream cheese instead of oil, but you can use olive oil and more parmesan if you wish! Bash the basil, parmesan, pine nuts and garlic together in a bowl with a rolling pin, then add the cream cheese to make a paste. You can add some water or oil to loosen the paste if needed.

3) Now to caramelize the onions. To do this simply heat up oil with 1 tbs of sugar in a pan and add the onions until softened and browned.

4) Spread your pesto on the mushrooms and place some sliced goats cheese on top, then layer on some onion and finally a slice of aubergine before stabbing a toothpick through to keep the tower as one! How very un-vegetarian.

5) Pop the towers in the ovan for 15-18 minutes, or until the mushrooms soften. Then serve! If you’re feeling beastly you can sandwich them between a soft fresh bun, alternatively serve with salad or roasted veg.

Topple topple

How about serving them with those perfect sweet potato wedges I taught you to make, that’s what I did and it was amazing!

If you are one of those mushroom haters, or want something with more kick, you could try my Veggie Bean burgers!

Warm couscous salad

Because salads can be sexier than Jake Gyllenhaal.

Lie!

And he knows it

But it is a little bit sexy.

And it is alliteration, so sexy salad it is.

It is definitly warm though. Promise.

But you can eat it cold.

If you want. Anyway…

YOU WILL NEED!

  • 1 small-ley chopped Aubergine/li>
  • A spring onion
  • Half can of tinned tomatos
  • Pinenuts
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • Courgette or Zucchini as you americanos say
  • Peas please
  • Couscous (as much as you will eat)
  • Mixed salad
  • An egg

1) Fry your small aubergine pieces in a saucepan with the paprika until they are soft and squidgey. Then fry your spring onion off and add your tinned toms.

2) Leave this to simmer for about 10 minites, before adding your couscous.

3) Leave this to cook for 10 more minites before adding your peas and pinenuts

4) Poach the egg. At uni I learned this can be done in a microwave if you’re really rubbish in a saucepan, or don’t have those clever poacher things. Just pop it in a mug, put some cling-film over the top and microwave for 1 min. Genius! It’s not quite as nice though and can go wrong… That is an advisory warning.

3) Arrange your mixed salad on the plate, pop the aubergine couscous mix on top and whack on your egg. Enjoy!