Chilli paneer is a popular vegetarian Indo-Chinese appetiser or side dish. Cubes of paneer (a hard cheese) are battered and then fried until golden and crispy. It is then cooked off in a sweet and sour chilli sauce with the addition of bell pepper. It tastes great on it own but you can pair it with fried rice or noodles like my Indonesian fried noodles for a quick and easy Friday night dinner.
Here’s a quick and easy way to get your veggies in these cold months using seasonal produced. An Indian style vegetable stir fry, or bhaji, using butternut squash, red cabbage and spinach. It is cooked in just a little bit of oil with sliced onions and a little bit of garlic and flavoured with the famous Bengali 5 Spice. Panch Phoron, or Bengali 5 Spice is a whole spice blend of fenugreek seed, black sesame seeds, whole cumin, mustard seed and fennel seed. Serve with rice for a perfect vegan meal for Meatless Monday, on enjoy a bowl on its own for a no carb meal.
Happy pre-Friday! No, it’s not a thing, but I really think they should rename Thursdays to that. If you’re already thinking about a Friday night take away, why not try recreating this popular take away favourite? Indonesian style mi goreng (fried noodles), cooked with colourful vegetables and egg, and flavoured with sambal and a sweetened soy sauce. Super easy to knock up in about 30 minutes (less time than it would for that take out meal to arrive) and it’s probably a lot cheaper too.
I have a butternut squash and apple soup for Meatless Monday today. A hearty soup, using autumnal produce and spiced with earthy cumin and just a hint of a chilli kick to warm you up. There is only a little bit of apple in the soup, so you can’t really taste it very strongly, but it does give a little bit of a sweetness that works well with the squash and contrasts the heat of the chilli. I used a golden delicious apple, as that’s what we had on hand, but I think a slightly tart green apple like Granny Smith would be great. I added milk to add just a little bit of creaminess (because creamy soups are always a winner) but you can omit it or use coconut milk for a vegan version.
If you are someone who just can’t get enough of pumpkin flavoured desserts I have just the thing for you today: pumpkin pie samosas. Yes, the American classic meets the Indian classic. A cinnamon and cardamom spiced sweet pumpkin filling in crispy and flaky pastry. The filling is ridiculously easy to prepare and instead of the usual fiddly spring roll pastry, I have a simple homemade pastry that saves time.