Weekend Cooking: Chole, Indian Chickpea Curry

Weekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. It is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.

I haven’t done a Weekend Cooking post for a while. But recently, I’ve made some new dishes and remembered to take photographs!

For lunch, in the Netherlands we traditionally eat sandwiches. I am not so keen on sandwiches and try to find alternatives when I can. Chole turned out to be a really nice lunch time meal, and would also serve well as a light meal at dinner time.

I got this recipe from a Dutch website, Vegatopia. The recipe suggested naan bread, which I got from the shop, and carrot salad. My last attempt at carrot  salad wasn’t successful so I sliced up a large carrot and boiled it until it was tender. It made for a fun decoration.

Chole

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients for 2 people

1 tin of chickpeas (425 ml or 1 lbs)

1 onion, diced

2 tomatoes (or use a tin of peeled tomatoes in juice, which is what I did)

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cinnamon

a pinch of cayenne pepper (I used chilli pepper)

a small piece of ginger, grated (I used baking ginger, from a jar)

2 tablespoons coriander (I used some from a jar)

Method

Fry the onion for about 5 minutes in a frying pan with some oil.

Add the tomatoes and spices. Stir and then add the chick peas and some salt and pepper.

Let this stew for about 10 minutes, stir occasionally.

Serve with carrot salad (or boiled carrot) and naan bread.

Results

This turned out to be just right. At first it doesn’t seem very spicy but something lingers in the mouth… The ginger and tomato make this dish a little sweet, but this is counteracted by the spices. The carrot and naan bread were good accompaniments. My son and I loved this simple recipe!

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Virtual Cookie Exchange

Mari of A Bookworm with a View is organising a Virtual Cookie Exchange. A confession: I’m a cookie exchange virgin: I’ve never baked cookies and then given them away to friends or family. I’ve baked cookies and shared them with others, or brought some along to a family visit or a book group meeting, but I’ve never baked cookies with the express goal of gifting them.

The whole cookie exchange thing is new to me. In fact, I only found out last Christmas, my first Christmas as a blogger, that there is this thing in the US where people bake amazing amounts of cookies for and with each other. What a great tradition. (Secretly, I do wonder, if everyone is baking so many cookies, isn’t there going to be a incredible surplus of cookies? I guess the answer is that it looks like everyone is baking cookies, but in reality it’s only a few people that can find the time. Am I right?).

Peanut Butter Cookies

So, on to my favorite recipe that my book group usually welcomes with “Yay, Judith made those peanut butter cookies again!” Yes, they are delicious!

I got the recipe from Tes of Tes at Home who has a blog full of recipes, mainly Thai and Indian. I’ve made several of them, such as these peanut butter cookies. Here blog post about them is HERE.

Here is the recipe (i.e., taken from Tes’ blog):

Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients: (makes about 40 cookies)

1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup smooth peanut butter
75 gm butter- cut into tiny cubes
1 egg
1 1/4 cup white sugar

How to make:

Whisk butter and sugar until coarsely combined. Add eggs and beat well.
Add peanut butter and mix well. Sift in flour and baking soda. Gently stir until the ingredients form a sticky dough.
Refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat the oven at 180 degree C (350 F).
Scoop the dough in a greased baking tray and press it down with a fork. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Go ahead and indulge! These are super-easy to make, and if you like peanuts or peanut butter, you will love these.

Now go to Mari’s Virtual Cookie Exchange and discover many more great cookie recipes. Add your own favorite, too.

So, what cookies are you baking for Christmas?

Weekend Cooking: Plum Flan and a Diet

Weekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. It is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.

The Farm and the Flan

This week I finally made it to the nearby farm that sells home-grown produce. I’d been there before, but it must have been a year or so ago. It’s only a 30 minute cycle ride away from our house, so I can’t really say why I don’t go more often.

I do love going there as it’s such a rustic place with a dog greeting you as you arrive, and a ginger cat curled up on the drive. And they have a good selection of foods on display in their barn. Since it’s apple and pear season, they had several crates full of the fruits, and they even had a choice of varieties of apples.

I came away with: pears, red plums, strawberries, beetroot, cream cheese and a bottle of apple/pear juice.

I had already a use in mind for the plums: the Each Peach Pear Plum Flan from Kirsten at Peace, Love and Muesli. When I saw the recipe on her blog, I knew I wanted to make it with the first bag of pears I got my hands on. So this week I made it (with just the plums).

Each Peach Pear Plum Flan

Now, the black on top isn’t really black, it’s caramelized brown caster sugar. A bit less of it would have done just fine, but as it was, the flan was really, really good.

I mean: really good!

And the only ingredient I don’t normally have in the larder were the plums. Sometimes, I buy a food (like the plums in this case), then at home I look up a recipe and find that I need to buy several other food items before I can make it. Not this time. Very easy and very tasty. Here’s the recipe.

A Diet

Flans and diets obviously don’t really go together, although they can do. As I decided a few pounds fewer would look really nice on my figure I looked for a diet that I could keep to without too much trouble. So I found this diet that isn’t really a diet, but a way of keeping track of the calories you consume and the exercise you take.

It knows lots of foods and their calorific value already (users can enter new items themselves) and I was happily surprised to see that the Dutch dessert I had eaten as well as the British cereal were already in the system (the exact brands that I used). It had loads of American foodstuffs as well (I think it’s originally American).

It works like this: at the very start of your new diet plan, you do tell it how much weight you want to lose and it suggests a maximum number of calories per day. In my case, it’s 1550, so that allows for some decent meals. You fill out for each meal what you ate and this is taken off your allowance for that day. The only thing you have to worry about is that you don’t consume more than your allowance.

And when you do some exercise, the calories you burn are added to your daily allowance! I love that kind of diet because it allows you to eat whatever you like, as long as you don’t overdo it.

Those diets where you can’t eat chocolate? I can do them until my chocolate craving gets out of hand and I eat a month’s worth of chocolates.

With this new diet, I can go on a long cycle ride and then have my cake and ate it. Or my chocolate, or indeed a plum flan.

The programme is called My Fitness Pal, it’s online (there’s also a mobile version) and it’s free. I’m Leeswammes, if you would like to join and link up with me. Please do! I need some support.

Weekend Cooking: Rice Cookies

Weekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. It is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.

Rice cookiesYesterday I accidentally put a whole pack of rice in a pan, although I didn’t need that much for our evening meal. So, I decided to cook it anyway, and keep some for today and make some rice cookies.

I’ve never made them before but I knew they “existed”, so I looked up the recipe and found one (in Dutch) on smulweb.nl.  I would almost call them small pancakes. But whatever they’re called, they are very nice, especially with a drizzle of golden syrup on top. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

50 grams of raisins

200 grams cooked rice

2-3 tablespoons of milk

2 eggs (beaten lightly)

50 grams of plain flour

2 tablespoons white caster sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

4 tabelspoons sun flower oil

golden syrup or powder sugar

Add ingredients together

Method

Let the raisins soak for about 2-3 minutes in hot water and pat them dry with a clean tea towel.

Mix the rice with the milk, eggs, raisins, flour, sugar and cinnamon powder.

In the frying pan

Heat a tablespoon full of oil in a frying pan and spoon three heaps of the rice mix into the pan.

Bake the cookies for about 5-7 minutes until they are golden brown, turning them over once. My pan is rather large and I was able to bake them in fours.

Eat as they are or drip some syrup on them or add some powdered sugar before eating.

Rice cookies

This is also my entry for the Whip Up Something New Challenge in which we are asked to try a recipe that we have not made before.

Whip Up Something New Challenge

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