April 18th, 2012

Simple gluten-free "Donuts"

I was in a Sudanese place and saw they had plantains on the menu.. they served it with a peanut sauce and I quickly went and put some brown sugar on it too. I think the guy thought I was nuts but they tasted just like doughnuts!

Here's how I make it at home..

1 Plantain
2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil
Coconut Blossom sugar (I use the cocoa mix)
Maple syrup
Almond butter (or other nut butter of your choice.)

Simply slice the banana into roughly 2cm disks or slice into strips.
Fry in coconut oil on a low heat, keep flipping to get a nice deep golden brown colour on the surface.
When serving, sprinkle with a bit of sugar and a light drizzle of syrup. Put a blob of the almond butter on the side for dipping!

Palak (Indian Spinach) as good as the restaurant!

I've been working for a long while on trying to perfect a palak recipe. I have a favorite Indian restaurant and could never quite get it right. My initial tries (taking recipes from online sources) were way off but with a little work and dedication I believe I've made palak that (almost) rivals the stuff at that fave restaurant.

This is a Kashmiri - inspired recipe so depending on what sort of Indian food you like it may be a little different but IMHO it's the best. (Now I just have to figure out how to make the delish Punjabi dhal they serve)

2 boxes of frozen spinach
1 onion
1 tomato
2 red hot peppers
~2tsp minced ginger
~1.5tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tsp Cayenne
1 tsp aleppo pepper (or other milder more flavorful dried chili or even just more cayenne but then use less)
1 rounded tsp cumin
1 rounded tsp coriander
scant 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp garam masala
oil for frying (canola or other high-heat)

1. open the boxes of spinach and put them in a covered pot with a few centimeters of water on medium heat
2. thinly slice the onion into strips
3. put the ginger and garlic in a ramekin
4. put the spices (minus the masala) in a ramekin or a teacup if your ramekins are too small
5. on medium heat enough oil in a pan to lightly coat the pan and then add the onion and stir often enough to keep from browning
5. in your blender, food processor, or magic bullet blend the tomato and hot peppers into mush
6. check your spinach. If it's thawed you can take it off the heat, if not continue to thaw. When thawed use a mesh colander (WITH A BOWL UNDER TO CATCH THE GREEN WATER) and press all the liquid out of your spinach, reserving liquid.
7. remove tomato puree from your blender/processor if necessary and puree your spinach into mush
8. when onions are translucent add garlic and ginger and fry another few minutes until aromatic
9. add spices (minus masala) and cook for one minute more then add tomato puree
10. cook a few more minutes until everything seems well incorporated and then add the spinach puree
11. cook a few more minutes until mixed well again, then add the reserved green water and mix
12. cook until desired consistency is reached (I find I don't have to cook it much longer at this point)
13. remove from heat and add masala. Serve with rotis or other flatbread and plenty of water!