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Keep calm and curry on

I am a big fan of curry. They are always so full of flavour and colour and when done well despite a multitude of ingredients everything seems to compliment each other. For this reason I assumed that making a curry from scratch would be overly complicated and way beyond my skill set. Whenever my partner made curries at home I was instantly impressed with his skills. Well no longer. Turns out despite a large number of ingredients it was not hard to make at all!

I found a recipe online for  a one pot eggplant, pumpkin and chickpea curry. I went to the farmers market last weekend and had picked up some capcicums, pumpkin and eggplant so when it came time to deciding what to make I simply googled those ingredients and this was the first recipe to pop up. After having a look at the beautiful pictures I started to drool and had to give it ago.

I don’t actually know what a hokkaido pumpkin is, but I used half of a large butternut pumpkin instead. I also forgot to buy a chilli but added in some chilli flakes instead and used soy sauce as I did not have as tamari. While it turns out we did have tumeric in the house I wasn’t able to find it when I was cooking, however I found a jar of red curry paste in the fridge which had some in it so I used 1 teaspoon of that as well. I also used light coconut milk and two cans of chickpeas.

The recipe was pretty easy to follow, however I did manage to burn some of the garlic but I don’t think it mattered to much in the end.Curry 1

When it came time to bring everything together I had a little freak out that I had over done it with the vegetables and there wasn’t going to be enough curry sauce. I called my partner freaking out and he suggested to simply add more coconut milk however as I hate waste I had only purchased the exact right amount and didnt think about the fact that the veges I used were quite large. While on the phone however the liquid started to rise to the top of the pot so I decided to just leave it and keep my fingers crossed that it would turn out okay.

Curry 2

The final product didn’t look too beautiful but the whole kitchen smelled like heaven, I was so excited to try it that I also forgot to add in spinach.

Curry plated

If you have the chance to check out Lynn’s blog (which I highly recommend!) you will notice that my curry does not really look anything like hers. But this was still a really delicious meal and I can’t wait to make it again 🙂

What I learnt

  • Have extra coconut milk and diced tomatoes in the cupboard just in case
  • Keep an eye on garlic when cooking
  • Even if everything looks like it going wrong you can still make a delicious meal
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Not fal-awful at all

Not going to lie, I googled falafel puns. I actually feel like a MasterChef right now, I mean I made falafel from scratch! I mean turns out this is insanely simple to do but I will take my cooking wins wherever I find them.

I used a taste.com recipe but made a few changes along the way. Rather than edamame I used peas, simply because I like peas more than edamame, I also replaced the pistachios with almonds due to being allergic to pistachios. Also I used about 4 cloves of garlic not one because garlic is life.

This recipe was super easy to follow, I just chucked everything in the food processor and blended away. It said to add the lemon juice just as everything started to come together. I didn’t really know what that meant but stopped when it looked like the picture below.

Food processor

I did forget to mention above that I doubled this recipe as I was making dinner for a few people to eat while we watched the Bachelor in Paradise, so if you try to make this yourself your food processor may not look so full. I have no idea how much lemon juice I ended up using, roughly 3/4 of a large one. As I was squeezing it in a few seeds feel in the mixture, but I think I got them all out ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I also realised at this point I forgot to buy fresh mint, so I just sprinkled a little dried mint in, same difference right?

When everything was all mixed up I started to make little balls and place on the baking tray, they look really pretty but the mixture was super wet, at this point I was quite worried that I had messed it all up.

pre oven

I made 19 falafel balls in total, it was pretty difficult getting them to the same size due to how wet the mixture was. I also cooked them for 30 minutes in total, the recipe says 25-30 and they definitely needed the extra 5 minutes.

Cooked

As you can see they came out looking like weird healthy cookies but my goodness they were tasty!

plated

I chose to mix hummus with the yoghurt for the dressing, and someone also added harissa paste to yoghurt for their dressing both were delicious additions. The falafel had a really great lemony taste and they weren’t too dry.

What I learnt

  • I am a MasterChef 😛
  • Falafel is super easy to make
  • I should squeeze lemon juice into a cup before adding into a dish
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Tart it up

So after a one month hiatus I am back and blogging. I did cook throughout february, making a very disappointing ‘spanish pork’ recipe found in the CRISO cookbook and another fail with a creamy pasta dish however I don’t actually remember enough about making them now to post. Turns out I am not as good at prioritizing my time to blog as I had originally hoped, however new month and new me and a new recipe.

Yesterday my boss kindly gave me a massive bag of tomatoes from his garden. Following from this I googled easy recipes with tomatoes and found a recipe on taste.com for an ‘Easy vegetable and ricotta tart’ and I can now confirm this recipe was both easy and delicious, although I did make a few changes.

The ingredients list for this tart were actually pretty vague such as: 2 x 145g tubs Mediterranean vegetables, drained and Mixed salad. I have no idea what they actually meant by the mediterranean vegetables and just grabbed some kalamata olives because I love them. The recipe also asked for 150g cream-cheese-stuffed bell peppers, drained but I decided that since there was enough fat already so I just grabbed a large green capcisum. I also didn’t end up using goats cheese because supermarkets don’t make it easy to find anything and settled on some feta instead ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

tart pre oven

Tart before it went in the oven

If you have ever cooked with filo pastry you will understand how annoying and fiddly it is. I did struggle a little putting the pastry together and ripped pretty much every sheet, I gave up up 7 sheets (recipe asked for 10). It wasn’t just the pastry where I totally ignored the quantities,  I used the whole capcium, and was quite rough with the amount of olives and tomatoes I added. For the ricotta I didn’t bother measuring anything out and just added a thin layer to the bottom of the tart. When everything came together it looked pretty good so I dont think this really mattered.

tart cooked

Cooked and ready to get in my belly

So apparently this tart feeds 6 people, but I cut it into 4 and had a slice for dinner. It was really really good, and as soon as I finish this post I am going to have a slice for lunch 🙂

tart on plate

This was definitely a success, and I think it will be a good base recipe to build off and try different toppings. Lets hope this is a sign that March will be a good cooking month.