Spicy Food

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Having a good selection of sauces and dressings is essential in our kitchen. Especially for those busier times in life, when having tasty sauces on hand helps make the simplest of meals taste great. This roasted red pepper sauce is our current favourite - it's fresh, deliciously tangy and adds a perfect amount of spice to food. We've been loving it on salads, potatoes (as a healthier version of patatas bravas), with veggie burgers and roasted portobello mushrooms. We hope you you enjoy it as much as we do! 

Spicy Red Pepper Sauce
Spicy Red Pepper Sauce

Ingredients (makes a medium jar)
1 cup of roasted red peppers (either from a jar or roast your own)
1/2  cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
Fresh black pepper to taste
dried red chilli to taste (optional, if you like it spicy! We use 4-5 de-seeded Kashmiri chillies) 

Method
1. If roasting your own peppers, you'll need to roast them until blackened. Allow to cool and then remove the skin and seeds. 
2. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. The sauce will keep in the fridge for at least five days. 
 

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Roasted Tomato Salsa

After a couple of blissful months travelling, February finally brought us our fair share of generic life problems and 5.30am wake ups. But amongst all the chaos we finally have our own place to call home in Cali, Colombia! Including our own little kitchen for creating recipes (...and for dancing around in our underwear, obviously)

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This tomato salsa is the perfect addition to any Mexican-style meal and always makes an appearance at our table! It's the perfect balance of tangy and sweet, while the charred ingredients give it a delicious, smokey flavour. It's also ridiculously easy to make and has no artificial ingredients (like so many store bought condiments).

We love ours with home-made refried beans and tacos. But it's also a great as a leftover...we stir it into soups, serve it with crispy fishcakes or mix it into a salad for instant freshness.

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Ingredients (Makes 1 small jar- enough for 4 people)

2 large, ripe tomatoes
1 Jalapeño 
2 cloves of garlic (keep the skins on for roasting!)
1/2 Lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (optional)
1 teaspoon of panela (or honey/coconut sugar)
1 tbsp water

1. In a heavy-bottom frying pan, dry roast the tomatoes, garlic and jalapeño until charred. (See the first photo for an idea of how they should look!). Keep turning the tomatoes to get them charred on all sides.

It's likely the garlic/jalapeño will be charred before the tomatoes, so just remove them from the pan and put to one side when ready.

2. Place the tomatoes, garlic and jalapeño in a blender or food processor. Add the juice of half a lime, a teaspoon of panela, a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of water and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.

3. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

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Mung Bean Dahl with a Fennel Seed Tarka

During our recent Indian adventure we ate all sorts of dahl. Often by the bucket load. 

We found it the perfect meal to keep us going while travelling. Not only is it seriously delicious, but compared to a lot of Indian dishes it's pretty light, easy to digest and contains a little hit of protein. This is all true, except if you order a Dahl Makani, which is made with large amounts of butter & cream ... not what anyone needs in 50 degree heat!  

Mung Bean Dahl with a Fennel Seed Tarka (Moong Dal)

Since we've been back, we've been cooking a lot of Indian food. But we've particularly loved experimenting with different types of dahl...this Mung Bean version being one of our favourites. Cherished in ayurvedic cooking, Mung Beans are packed with potassium, magnesium, fibres & vitamin B6. 

The thing that makes the biggest difference to a dahl is the tarka (tadka). For those who don't know, tarka is the tempering of ingredients such as whole or ground spices, tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger etc in ghee or oil.This creates an extra fusion of flavour which is added to the dahl at the end of the cooking process. We've found that the tarka is essential for giving your dahl maximum flavour! 

Mung Bean Dahl with a Fennel Seed Tarka (Moong Dal)

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Mung Bean Dahl:

250g Mung Beans (soaked overnight, drained & rinsed)
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, chopped roughly. 
1 large chopped tomato
1 chopped onion (white or red)
1 1/2 dried red chillies (we leave the seeds for extra spice!)
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 teaspoon of grated fresh turmeric. (If using dried powder, use 1/2 teaspoon)
1 stick of cinnamon
roughly 700ml of water
salt & pepper to season. 

For the Tarka:
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds`
1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 sliced onion
2 tablespoons of coconut oil 

1. First off, soak your mung beans in water overnight (or at least 8 hours).
2.Rinse and drain the beans and then add to a large pan. 
3. Add the rest of the ingredients for the dahl into your pan with the beans.  
4. Cover all the ingredients by adding roughly 700ml water.
5. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer on a low heat for 1 - 1.5 hours until creamy in texture. If needed, add a small amount of water while cooking in order to maintain a loose consistency. Turn off the heat while you make your tarka... 

&nbsp; freshly grated turmeric

  freshly grated turmeric

Fennel Seed Tarka
1.Heat the coconut oil in a heavy based pan and add the fennel & mustard seeds. Stir fry for 30 seconds. 
2.Add a finely sliced onion and fry slowly until golden. 
3.Gently stir the tarka into your dahl and that's it! 

We love to eat ours with homemade spelt chapatis or brown rice! 

Mung Bean Dahl with a Fennel Seed Tarka (Moong Dal)

What's your favourite Indian dish?