Friday, 9 August 2013

Friday's Kitchen: 'Change One Thing' - 'Vegetable Balti Curry with Wheat-Free Onion Bhajis'

I have a slight confession to make - I'm no vegetarian but I absolutely LOVE vegetarian cuisine and, in a former single life, mostly lived off vegetarian concoctions.  The reasons?  Well there seems to be argument after argument that meat is not good for the human body and, whilst I like to eat meat in moderation, I always feel much 'healthier' after period of vegetarian living.  Plus you have the media meat-scares (horse, anyone?) and the fact that meat, or at least good quality cuts of meat, are forever rising in price.

So, for this week's Change One Thing recipe on Friday's Kitchen, I thought I would share a Vegetable Balti recipe that I have been tinkering with for a while.  A delicious, fragrant curry with a yellow lentil base, complete with wheat-free bhajis; makes for a gorgeous curry without the calorie count or the bloated tummy!  The key with Indian-style wheat-free is to cook with GRAM FLOUR (A flour that is made from chickpeas), which does not contain wheat, but still helps to produce the same sort of density in a curry or side dish.  I do hope you enjoy AND if you would like to join in with Change One Thing this month - please submit your recipes to me and I'll link them up on HERE each Friday!

Ingredients (Serves 4 medium portions)
For the Curry
250g Yellow Lentils
1 Large Onion, chopped
1 Courgette, diced
1 Yellow Pepper, chopped
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tin of Chopped Tomatoes
Half a Jar (Approx) Balti Sauce (I used a Tesco Balti Sauce here)
1 tsp gram flour (flour made with chickpeas)
2 tsp Natural Yoghurt

For the Wheat-Free Bhajis (to make 4 small)
2 Large Onions (shredded)
1 tsp Garam Masala
2-3 tsps Mango Chutney
1 pinch Chilli Powder
2-3 tsps Gram Flour

Firstly, place your lentils in a pan of water and bring to the boil.  Once boiling, leave to simmer for 30-40 minutes until soft.

For the Bhajis:
In a frying pan, fry your two chopped onions for the bhajis in a little bit of oil for a few minutes, until brown and sweet.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool down.  

Once cooled a little, pour the onions into a large mixing bowl and add your gram flour, chilli, garam masala and chutney.  Mix the onion mixture together until sticky, you may need to add extra chutney if the mixture is too dry.  

Carefully separate the mixture into 4 and pat together into circles.  Leave until your curry is ready. Once the curry is cooked - heat some oil in a frying pan over a hot hob and add each bhaji, cooking for 2-3 minutes.  Serve (and enjoy) with the curry.

For the Curry:
In a separate pan, fry your curry onion in a little oil until brown but not too tender, add your courgette and yellow pepper and continue to cook over a medium heat.

Once the veg is starting to soften, add your tinned tomatoes and a touch of salt and pepper and continue to cook for a further 4-5 minutes.  Once the mixture is lightly bubbling, add the garam masala and mix in.

By this point, your lentils should be soft enough to add to the mixture, drain first through a sieve and add to the curry mixture, along with the half-jar of balti sauce.  Allow the curry to cook, whilst continually stirring over a medium heat, for 5-10 minutes until the flavours are all combined.  

Serve with bhajis and a side of Basmati rice!  Guaranteed to satisfy even the most carnivorous of eaters!


                 Next week: Sweet Potato Brownies??? You best believe it!

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