Saturday 21 October 2017

Deliciously Ella's... Food for friends

Chana masala
Chana masala
Aubergine and tomato pesto rolls
Deliciously Ella

Ella Mills of Deliciously Ella fame is a best-selling food writer who took the cookery world by storm with her healthy recipes and juicing. These recipes are from her latest book, which is all about preparing wholesome, flavoursome food for friends and family - whatever the occasion.

CHANA MASALA WITH ALOO GOBI & COCONUT RICE

Absolutely delicious and filled with incredible  spices that really transform the chickpeas. I also add leeks and spinach, as I love getting the extra veg in and they add a great flavour, plus the green of the spinach makes the meal look beautiful, too. I love this served alongside my aloo gobi and coconut rice, see panels, with a generous dollop of coconut yoghurt.

Serves 6, nut-free

Ingredients

5 tbsp olive oil

6 curry leaves, or 1 tsp curry powder

1 leek, finely chopped

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

2 tbsp ground cumin

2 tbsp ground coriander

2 tbsp garam masala

1 tsp chilli powder

1 onion, finely chopped

2.5cm root ginger, finely grated

5 garlic cloves, finely grated

2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato purée

2 green finger chillies, halved lengthways

Plenty of salt and pepper

2 x 400g cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

250g baby leaf spinach

Juice of ½ lemon

Fresh coriander leaves, to serve

Method

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and throw in the curry leaves, if using. Let them sizzle away and release their flavour for a few minutes, then drop in the leek and stir.

Next add the dry spices - including the curry powder if you're not using curry leaves - and stir so that they're mixed nicely with the leek. Let this cook for a few minutes before adding the onion, ginger and garlic; at this point you can add 1-2 tbsp water if things are starting to stick to the pan.

Cook for a few minutes before adding the canned tomatoes, tomato purée, green chillies, salt and pepper. When you've poured in the chopped tomatoes from their cans, swish a little water around in each to get the remaining juice, then add this to the saucepan, too.

Let everything bubble away for 20 minutes.

Add the chickpeas and cook for another 10 minutes; stir in the spinach, just until it wilts. Let cool slightly, then stir in the lemon juice and serve in shallow bowls, sprinkling coriander leaves over the curry.

ALMOND BUTTER ROCKY ROADS

 

It's hard to describe how much I love these. I could happily eat an entire tray in one sitting… and have done too many times! Each square is wonderfully gooey and chocolatey, with sweet raisins and crunchy toasted buckwheat bites adding extra texture and substance. All I can say is that you just have to go and make them; I promise you'll adore them, too. You can also make them nut-free, with just a couple of tweaks.

Makes 15. Gluten-free

Ingredients

150g buckwheat groats

100g cacao butter

200g oats

100g pecans (or pumpkin seeds, if you're nut-free)

300g medjool dates, pitted

2 heaped tbsp almond butter (or tahini, if you're nut-free)

5 tbsp maple syrup

5 tbsp raw cacao powder

Pinch of sea salt

100g raisins

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C). Pour the buckwheat groats evenly on to a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, giving the tray a shake halfway through so they all get a bit of colour.

Meanwhile, place the cacao butter in a saucepan and heat gently until melted.

Pour the oats and pecan nuts (or pumpkin seeds) into a food processor and blitz until they're fully ground down. Add the medjool dates, almond butter (or tahini), maple syrup, cacao powder, melted cacao butter and salt. Blitz together to form a really smooth and sticky consistency.

Pour the mixture into a large bowl with the raisins and toasted buckwheat, and mix well.

Line a 20cm square brownie tin with baking parchment, pour in the mixture and smooth it down with a spatula. The mix can be pretty sticky, so make sure you press it well into all the corners.

Freeze for about 1 hour, then slice into 15 pieces to serve.

AUBERGINE & TOMATO PESTO ROLLS WITH COCONUT TZATZIKI

So great on their own, but when these rolls are dunked into the creamy mint and cucumber yoghurt dip here, they become something truly special. The contrast of the hot rolls against the smooth cool dip is really amazing. These are definitely among the recipes I recommend you try first from this book; it's one of the best!

Makes 15 bite-sized rolls. Nut-free

Ingredients

For the aubergines:

2 large aubergines

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

For the pesto:

40g pine nuts

280g jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained (170g drained weight)

Small handful of fresh basil

1 small garlic clove

Juice of ½ lemon

For the dip:

½ cucumber

Leaves from a few sprigs of fresh mint

250g coconut yoghurt

Juice of 1 lemon

Method

Preheat the oven to 220°C (fan 200°C).

Slice the aubergines thinly lengthways (use a sharp knife to do this).

Drizzle a couple of large baking trays with the olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, lay the aubergine slices evenly across them and place in the oven. Cook for about 20 minutes, until soft and tender enough to roll.

Meanwhile, make the pesto. Simply place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until they form a chunky paste.

Let the aubergine slices cool for a few minutes, then cut each in half widthways.

Put 1 heaped tsp pesto at the top of each, then roll them up. (You can use cocktail sticks to keep them together if you want.)

To make the dipping sauce, deseed the cucumber by halving it lengthways and running a teaspoon along the centre. Cut the cucumbers into little cubes (about 5mm).

Finely chop the mint. Place the mint and cucumber in a bowl with the coconut yoghurt and lemon juice, season to taste and then stir everything together.

Serve with the aubergine rolls.

COCONUT RICE

Serves 6, nut-free

Ingredients

500g short-grain brown rice

400ml can of coconut milk

Juice of 2 limes

Generous sprinkling of salt

Method

Put the rice into a pan. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, salt and 800ml boiling water. Stir well and cover the pan.

Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, or until perfectly cooked.

ALOO GOBI

Serves 6, nut-free

Ingredients

2 small cauliflowers, broken into florets

4 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

500g baby potatoes, well scrubbed, quartered

½ cinnamon stick

½ tsp whole black peppercorns

5 green cardamom pods, bashed

1 tbsp mustard seeds

½ tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

5 garlic cloves, finely grated

2.5cm root ginger, finely grated

100g cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tbsp tomato purée

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 green finger chillies, sliced

Juice of ½ lemon

Fresh coriander leaves, chopped, to serve

Method

Preheat the oven to 220°C (fan 200°C).

Place the cauliflower in a large baking tray, drizzle with a little of the oil, sprinkle with salt and place into the hot oven for 20 minutes, giving it a shake halfway through cooking.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through. Once cooked, drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan, gently heat the remaining olive oil, then add all the dry spices. Cook for a few minutes, stirring every now and again, until you start to smell the aromas being released.

Now add the garlic, ginger, tomatoes, tomato purée, vinegar and green chillies, pour in 200ml water and cook for about 3 minutes, then add the cooked potatoes and cauliflower, squeeze on the lemon juice, season generously with salt and pepper and stir so that all the vegetables are coated in the spiced sauce.

Cook for 5 minutes, then it's ready to eat.

Sprinkle with the fresh coriander and eat with the chana masala and coconut rice.

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