Thursday 26 April 2012

Aubergine, butter beans and pea curry

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Canned chopped tomatoes are one of my favourite store cupboard essential. There's always at least 4 tins sitting patiently in the larder, waiting for me to use them. Pasta sauce, salsas, curries are some of my fave ways of cooking with them and today, it's the day of the quick curry!
Feel free to use the basic curry base with whatever ingredients you like and on this occasion, i've chosen to use aubergine, butter beans and pea. I've previously used sweet potatoes, spinach, chickpeas for a delicious and easy dish too! 
So what's your favourite store cupboard essential?
Ingredients (Inspired from Love Food Eat)
1 big thumb of ginger
3 cloves of garlic
1 shallot
1 tablespoon of curry powder
1 tablespoon of tumeric
1 tin of canned chopped tomatoes
1/2 tin of coconut milk
1 aubergine (chopped into big chunks)
1 tin of butter beans
1 cup of frozen peas (thawed)
2 tablespoon of oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Coriander to garnish

1) Place ginger, garlic, shallot, curry powder, tumeric and chopped tomatoes into a blender. Blend them all up into a smooth paste.
2) Heat oil in a heavy bottom pot and cook the paste for a few minutes until fragrant.
3) Add coconut milk and aubergine. Simmer until aubergine is soft.
4) Add butter beans and cook for about 1 min.
5) Finally add the peas and cook for a further 2 mins.
6) Season to taste. Garnish with coriander and serve.

Sunday 22 April 2012

Bruschetta Al Pomodoro

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It was just one of those mornings when I didn't feel like having my normal breakfast foods like cereal or peanut butter/jam sandwich so when I looked into the fridge, I found a box of very pretty and colourful red, yellow and orange plum/cherry tomatoes. It so happened that I also bought some lovely Pane Pugliese (Golden Durum Wheat Bread of Altamura) the previous night so the choice was clear! Bruschetta it would be! Light, healthy, simple, quick yet absolutely delicious! This is one of those easy dishes whereby fresh and tasty ingredients played a big part so be sure to get the best!

I wanted to quickly eat the beautiful Bruschetta before it gets soggy so the only photo I had was taken with my Iphone. ;)

1 big handful of Cherry or plum tomatoes(Sliced in half)
1 tablespoon of good balsamic vinegar (I used Belazu)
1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 clove of garlic (peeled)
A few leaves of Basil
1 slice of good bread( I used Pane Pugliese but sourdough would be great too!)

1) Toast bread
2) Mix tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a bowl
3) Rub one side of the toasted bread with garlic
4) Place tomatoes and basil on the toast.
5) Done!

Sunday 15 April 2012

Vegan Chocolate Coffee Cake

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Before I start on my actual post, I would like to share some exciting news with you! Recently I was asked to do some freelance food photography for Momowich, a South East Asian Cafe located in London. Their beef rendang it totally awesome and authentic so give it a visit when you are in the Liverpool Street area! I got the gig thanks to Wenlin, the founder of Edible Experiences who liked what she saw on my blog and referred Momowich to me. Thanks again Wenlin! For foodies in London and those who plan to come to London for a holiday, do check out her website for a whole host of food related experiences, be it supperclubs, walking tours, tasting, cooking classes etc. You won't have time to get bored once you get on the Edible experiences wagon!
It was a really fun experience to do some food photography other than for my blog so my hubby and I are now available for freelance photography assignments around London. Our portfolio can be found on the Eight Dot Photography facebook page. Do check it out and let us know what you think. There's not too much there at the moment but we'll definitely be building it up. :)
Alright back to my post. I've been trying to cut down on sugar and butter recently so I'm always on the lookout for healthy recipes. One of my fave blog to visit Love Food Eat which not only features healthy Indian food but also healthy baked goodies! Not knowing too much about vegan food, it's pretty interesting to see all the beautiful cakes and cookies usually made without dairy and eggs. Yes! It's possible!! I usually bake without the use of dairy but haven't done so without the use of egg so I was pretty intrigued when I came across this vegan coffee chocolate cake that's also made with wholemeal flour! How much more healthy can it get!!!?  In this recipe, vinegar was used to make the cake fluffy so that's another new thing I've learnt!
The texture of the cake was great and was not dry at all. Chocolate and coffee are of course a match made in heaven!!!! I love drinking coffee and it's perfect to have some coffee cake to go with it! Coffee overdose? I think not! 
Recipe adapted slightly from Love Food Eat.
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
50g dark chocolate(chopped up)
1 cup strong black coffee
1/4 cup light olive oil
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla

1) Preheat the oven at 170 deg C/330 deg F.
2) In a bowl combine all the wet ingredients. Combine all the dry ingredients and mix till everything is combined well.  Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients slowly stirring to mix everything well. Be careful not to over-mix.
3) Pour the batter into a greased pan and bake for around 25 mins . It's ready when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

Thursday 5 April 2012

Assisi, Italy

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Sorry to be a little quiet. Been busy with a couple of things but I'll try to catch up after the Easter Holidays. :) In the meantime, here's a quick one of my trip to Italy before I fly off to Prague for the long weekend!

Assisi, a town in the Italian Umbria region, is well known as the birthplace of St Francis, who was the founder of the Franciscan religious order in the town. Half a day would be sufficient to explore this pretty town however, be sure to wear comfortable shoes as Assisi is located on a hill so there's lots of slopes to walk along. The view is well worth the effort of climbing the slopes though. ;)

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