Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lentil and Spinach Chapatis

You know when you're making vindaloo and you're thinking "what goes with vindaloo?". My solution to this dilemma is to take down the Bible aka Charmain Solomon's Complete Asian Cookbook. That's what I did today, and I found this recipe for Lentil and Spinach Chapatis. Like a lot of doughs you need to prepare them in advance, but it's worth it.

  •  2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 3 cups finely shredded spinach
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cummin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • lemon juice
  • ghee for cooking
Add oil to the flour and salt, and rub in with your hands. Add the warm water and mix into the dough with your hands. It will form a pliable and slightly sticky dough. Knead for between 10 and 15 minutes. The longer you knead, the lighter your chapatis will be.

Wrap the dough in Glad Wrap and rest in the fridge for at least one hour, and ideally about 3 hours.

Cook the lentils in an inch of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the spinach and stir through until wilted. Heat some ghee in a frying pan. Add the onion and soften for several minutes. Add the lentil and spinach mixture and garlic and stir through the onion. Add the spices, salt and a squeeze of lemon juice and stir through until all the moisture is evaporated.

Remove from the fridge and cut into 8 pieces. Take a piece and press out into a disk, then place a spoonful of filling in the centre. Pull the edges up and pinch them together.

Roll out gently with a rolling pin so that the filling remains sealed, and the dough is about the size of a bread plate. Heat a small amount of ghee in a heavy bottomed cast iron pan and cook each chapati until browned on each side.

Eat with your vindaloo, raita and coconut red rice that you made today. Probably wear loose clothing. You wont be sorry.

Devonshire Apple Gingerbread

My Mum just came home from two months touring around France, England and Ireland (lucky thing!). And knowing me as well as she does, she brought be home several lovely presents, including a quaint little cookbook called West Country Teatime Recipes. I spent this morning pouring over it, trying to find a recipe I could make that didn't involve suet or dripping. And I found this amazing cake! It's caramelly and spicy and sweet and moist and gorgeous. Thanks Mum!

  • 120 g flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon bi-carb soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 60g butter
  • 5 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 3-4 large Granny Smith apples
  • milk to mix
  • icing sugar
  • butter
  • water
  • cinnamon
Sift flour, spices and bi-carb into a bowl. Skin and core apples, and finely chop. Put butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan and heat on a low heat. 

Mix wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and then add apple and stir. Add a splash of milk, just enough to make mixture 'dropable'. 


Spoon into a small tin and bake at 180 degrees for 1.5 hours.

Make icing with small knob of butter and hot water. Add enough sugar to make a stiff mixture, and cinnamon to taste (I add lots).


Pour over the cake and have a slice with a cup of tea.