15 March 2013

As a vegetarian who does not eat tomatoes I am often ask what do I cook/eat.  Whilst I realise that tomatoes are a good ingredient in vegetarian cooking I am sure that you would not want to be eating them every day vegetarian or not.  Tomatoes are good at adding bulk and liquid to a recipe, over the years I have become adept at substituting another ingredient, although there are still a handful of recipes I have that I have still not got the substitution quite right.  Many Asian recipes seem to be full of tomatoes which are often hard to substitute as they are one of few ingredients.  I love it when I find one that does not require any creativity and I can just go ahead and cook it.  I love chickpeas and so do my family, we love this chickpea dal and eat it about once a month.

Chick-pea dal

2tbs oil
Pinch chilli powder*
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp caraway seeds
250g chickpeas soaked overnight and drained
1/4 tsp tamarind paste
1/4 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves chopped
1 pt hot water

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat add the chilli powder, turmeric and caraway seeds and cook for a few minutes.
Add the drained pulses, stir and cook for a few more minutes stirring occasionally.
Mix the tamarind paste with 2 tbs of water and add along with salt and garlic.
Add the hot water, cover and cook for 2 hours.

* or more if you like your food spicy!

I usually serve this with rice and or naan. Oh, and I don't eat tomatoes as I have a histamine intolerence and tomatoes are high in histamine.  If I do eat them then I have symptoms of Crohns a disease which I 'manage' by controlling my diet.

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