Moroccan baked eggs

We have been eager to try a baked egg dish for quite some time and the recent purchase of an oven proof frying pan provided the right impetus to experiment.   We have come across several recipes with different ethnic twists and interpretations and so here’s ours with Moroccan flavours.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 green pepper cut in squares
  • 5-6 closed cup mushrooms sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 green chillies chopped
  • 1 tsp of Ras-Al-Hanout spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp harissa paste
  • 400 gm tinned brown chick peas drained and washed (smaller variety but could use regular chick peas)
  • Handful fresh coriander chopped for garnish
  • Knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 2 main portions or 4 sides

How do I make it?

Heat oven proof pan and melt butter and olive oil before tossing in the garlic – stir for thirty seconds before adding onions, green pepper and chillies.   Cook on medium heat for ten minutes till the onions soften.   Add the cumin powder and Ras-Al-Hanout spice mix and stir for a minute.   Toss in the sliced mushrooms and cook for five minutes.   Add the chopped tomatoes, brown chick peas and harissa paste with a bit of water.   Continue cooking on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes till the raw smell of spices disappears.  Adjust the seasoning and garnish with fresh chopped coriander.   Take off the heat.   Make four cavities in the sauce and crack an egg into each (ensure you don’t break the yolk).   Place the pan in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes till the white is cooked through and the yellow is at your preferred consistency.  Enjoy.

Spicy pancakes and prawn salad with coconut sambal

Having made some fresh coconut sambal for dinner last night we were trying to find ways to use the leftovers in our meals today.   We first used it this morning to spice up some pancakes and finished off the remaining sambal with a spicy prawn salad.  We have posted the recipe for the prawn salad in an earlier blog.   Once the prawns (marinated in blackened cajun seasoning) were cooked we added 2 heaped tablespoon of the sambal and served it on bed of rocket and ripe mango.  We’ve added the recipe for the pancakes below if you prefer savoury options for breakfast versus sweet.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 3/4 cup chestnut flour
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp sambal
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt to taste

How many will I make?

Around 6-8 pancakes depending on size

How do I make it?

Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk in the egg and milk till the batter coats the back of your spoon.   Add in the sambal and give it a good mix.  Cook pancakes on both sides with a knob of butter and serve it with some Thai sweet chilli sauce (works really well).

Savoury chestnut flour pancakes

We have been having sweet pancakes with chestnut flour as a base and Anna has been challenging me to come up with a savoury alternative.  We had some delicious savoury pancakes for breakfast this morning and it’s worth trying if you are tired of sweet pancakes.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 cup chestnut flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 small green  chillies chopped
  • 1 small shallot finely chopped
  • Handful grated Cheddar cheese
  • Handful grated Red Leicester cheese
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Butter to cook
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How many will I make?

6-8 depending on size

How do I make it?

Use a whisk to mix the flour, egg and milk.   Once blended add the onions, chopped chilli and cheeses with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Heat a frying pan and add a knob of butter, pour in a ladle of batter and cook on both sides to a nice golden brown colour.   Enjoy on its own – we want to try it with some chilli jam or Thai sweet chilli sauce next time.

 

Ragi (red millet) uthappam

Following yesterday’s post I decided to try Anna’s recipe for ragi uthappam.   I must admit my preconceived notions on ragi (based on childhood years in Bangalore) have not done this flour justice.  It is quite filling and based on the two dishes I have made so far appears to be fairly versatile.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 cup ragi flour (red millet)
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 2 small shallots
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 medium tomato
  • Handful of fresh coriander chopped
  • Salt to taste

How many will I make?

Depending on size around 4

How do I make it?

Chop all the vegetable into fine pieces.   Mix the ragi with 1 cup of water till you get a medium consistency batter.   Add the chopped vegetables and season to taste.   Heat a frying pan or dosai pan if you have one and spoon a ladle of the mixture, drizzle some oil around the uthappam.   Cover with a lid and cook for a couple of minutes before turning over and cooking on the other side.  Enjoy on its own or with a chutney/sambar of your choice.

Millet (ragi) flour pancakes (gluten and lactose free!)

Having successfully made pancakes with chestnut flour last week I tried making a batch using a gluten free flour which has long been a staple in the state of Karnataka in southern India.  I loved the taste and texture which is probably more akin to a crepe than a fluffy pancake (don’t be put off by the darker colour either).  Anna makes a spicier uthapam and dosai with some instant batter using millet flour and water (great alternative for those too busy to grind fresh dosai dough).  The hazelnut milk/drink is available in most UK supermarkets but I am sure you can substitute it with a non lactose option of your choice.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 cup red millet flour (ragi)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp Manuka honey
  • 1 cup hazelnut milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (we used 1/4 tsp vanilla paste)
  • Butter to grease the pan
  • Pinch of salt

How many will I make?

6-8 pancakes

How do I make it?

Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk till you get a nice smooth batter that coats the back of your ladle or spoon.   Use a little butter in a frying pan and spoon in some batter.   Cook on both sides and enjoy with topping of your choice.

Gluten free chestnut flour pancakes

We are loving the discovery of chestnut flour (singoda) which we probably never would have used had we not started experimenting with gluten free flour options.  We are still trying to perfect the sweet potato/chestnut flour “churros” but tried using the flour today to make some delicious pancakes – they are not as fluffy as traditional pancakes but taste divine.   So for all those who want a gluten free breakfast option this recipe is for you.  Enjoy!

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 cup chestnut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp fruit sugar (sweeter than normal sugar)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (we used 1/4 tsp vanilla paste)
  • Butter to grease the pan
  • Pinch of salt

How much will I make?

6-8 medium sized pancakes

How do I make it?

Beat the egg and milk in a bowl and then add the chestnut flour and baking powder.  Use a whisk to beat further to ensure no lumps.   Add the remaining ingredients, whisk further and batter should coat your ladle.   Heat frying pan on medium heat and add a knob of butte,r some batter and cook on both sides,   Serve hot with topping of your choice – we had three different toppings today – icing sugar, Greek honey and Agave nectar (amazing alternative to sugar – natural and tasty).

Gluten free upma

Upma is a simple traditional South Indian breakfast and tiffin dish which is normally made of coarse or fine semolina.  Since getting on the Paleo journey Anna and I have abstained from eating upma as its made from a  wheat derivative.   On one of our recent shopping trips to an Asian grocery store Anna spotted some cassava powder (gari) which resembled broken wheat in texture and picked it up.  Last night was a voyage of discovery and we think we have found a suitable alternative to semolina and cannot wait to make some of our traditional breakfast fare and sweet dishes that we have avoided off late.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 1/2 cups of cassava powder – dry roasted in a pan till light brown
  • 2 mushrooms finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick finely chopped
  • 8 Indian button onions sliced
  • 2 sprigs of spring onion chopped
  • 3 green chillies finely chopped (de-seed if you want to make it less spicy)
  • 1 small yellow courgette finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh coriander finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1″ piece of ginger minced
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • Few curry leaves
  • Pinch of asaefotida
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp split urad dahl
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Few curry leaves
  • 3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 2

How do I make it?

Heat pan and add 2 tbsp of ghee before adding the mustard seeds.  Once the seeds start crackling add the urad dahl and stir till they turn golden brown.  Add the curry leaves, ginger and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.  Then add each of the vegetables in sequence giving each a couple of minutes to cook before adding the next (first the onions and celery, then the carrot and courgette followed by the mushrooms and finished off with the spring onions and chopped coriander.  Next add the turmeric powder, garam masala and salt and mix for a couple of minutes.   Add 250 ml of water and bring to a boil and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.   Finally add the roasted cassava powder to the pan while mixing it vigorously to avoid clumps forming.  Cook for 5 minutes while constantly stirring and then remove off heat.  Serve hot with a fresh coconut chutney.

 

Garden fresh – mushrooms and celery

Not exactly the start I’d imagined for a Friday morning.  Our little girl Lola decided to wake up at 4:45 and wanted me to get her morning milk.  As I could not go back to sleep I decided to treat Anna and myself to a cooked breakfast before the school run.  Anna’s garden is in full bloom and the celery plants were ready to be picked.   Breakfast comprised of sauteed mushrooms and celery with scrambled eggs (spiced up with green chilies and spring onions).  The combination of mushrooms and celery is divine – if you love each individually you will love the taste of them combined.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 200 gm assorted mushrooms thickly sliced
  • Small bunch of celery chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chili
  • Knob of butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

2-4 servings

How do I make it?

Heat the butter in a pan and saute the garlic for a minute.  Add the crushed red chili and saute for another 30 seconds before adding the mushroom and celery.  Saute for ten to fifteen minutes till done – adjust the seasoning and serve hot as an accompaniment with eggs or as a topping on toast.

Gluten free bread

Since going on the Paleo diet Shiv and I have not touched bread in the last four months.  As I have been experimenting with gluten free baking of cakes and cookies I decided to give bread baking a shot.   The base recipe is borrowed from “The Best Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes” by Grace Cheetham with some tweaks.   We made some fresh mint and coriander chutney with a twist to go with it.

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Gluten Free Bread

What do I need to make it?

  • 450 gms gluten-free bread flour (we used Dove’s Farm)
  • 2 eggs
  • 350 ml almond milk
  • 1 tsp malt vinegar
  • 6 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp quick acting yeast
  • 3 tbsp mixed seeds (pumpkin, sesame and sunflower)
  • 1 tbsp unrefined sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

How much will I make?

1 kg loaf (medium loaf about 12 slices)

How do I make it?

Mix together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar.  Warm the almond milk and then beat eggs into it with the malt vinegar.  Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and then add the milk mixture and mix into a sticky dough.  Add 2 tbsp of seeds and oil and continue to mix till all the ingredients are bound together.  Pour into a greased loaf tin and sprinkle remaining seeds on top and cover with moist cloth and  set aside for an hour to allow the dough to rise.  Place loaf in a pre-heated oven at 220 degree Centigrade for 40-45 minutes.  Crust should turn dark brown and centre cooked through (check with skewer to ensure it comes out dry).  Remove and cool loaf on wire rack before slicing.

Mint & Coriander Chutney

What do I need to make it?

  • Small bunch fresh coriander
  • Handful fresh mint leaves
  • 3 stalks of basil leaves
  • 2 sprigs of green onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • 3 green chilies
  • 1 bird’s eye red chili
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp unrefined sugar
  • Salt to taste

How do I make it?

Place all ingredients in a blender and grind to a fine paste.  Add lime juice and adjust seasoning before serving.  This chutney can be used a marinade for barbecued fish/chicken or as an alternative salad dressing without oil.

Gluten/Lactose Free Almond milk pancakes

I  have always struggled with breakfast as I do not have a sweet tooth and do not usually like something sweet for breakfast.   Our breakfast options have become rather limited after we started our gluten free journey.  I can no longer bolt down a slice of toast before rushing off to drop the kids off in school.  I have found a breakfast idea which I enjoy and can be made really quickly and the great thing about this is I can have a sweet or savoury option.

 What do I need to make it?

  • 1 ½ cup gluten free all-purpose flour (we use Dove’s Farm)
  • 1 tsp unrefined cane sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 250 ml Almond milk
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Dash of vanilla essence (optional)
  • Butter or oil to grease the pancake while cooking (just a little)

How many will I make?

Around 8-10 small pancakes

How do I make it?

Whisk all the ingredients together to make a smooth batter.  Heat non-stick  frying pan and then pour a ladle of batter and spread evenly by moving the pan in a circular motion.   Add butter/oil around the pancake.  Serve the pancakes hot with a traditional maple syrup or fresh seasonal fruit.  Alternatively, chop up some overripe bananas and heat them through with a knob of butter and 2-3 tsp of honey (if allergic to honey buy a bottle of Agave nectar which is a fantastic alternative)  to get a warm banana compote.

For a savoury option, chop up some spring onion, a red Thai chilli, coriander leaves and a couple of tablespoons of sweet corn.  Drop all the ingredients in the batter before making the pancakes.