A Secret Recipe for Meat-Free Monday:
Apart from Fish on Friday, a series of fishy posts on Lavender and Lovage inspired by the historical tradition of eating fish on Fridays, I’m not usually a lover of being “spoon fed” into writing posts (and recipes) based on “blogging dietary days of the week” – mainly because I am a bit of a rebel that way and I’d like to think I’m a free-spirit, plus, my meals are based on finance, seasonal ingredients (often picked from my garden) and my social diary; but, when I was perusing the recipe index of Food.Baby.Life, my assigned “secret” blog this month (for The Secret Recipe Club), I was instantly drawn to a recipe for “Meatless Monday – Chole Chaat (Chickpea Curry)”.
We often have meat-free days, not just on Mondays, but whenever it fits into our daily routine……as I said before, I don’t need to have a day designated to a certain type of meal, but I suppose it does highlight the importance of eating less meat and embracing a more “plant-based” style of diet, and if Mondays have been picked, than that’s fine! (Although I must stress that in the “old days”, Monday was never a meat-free day, but more of a “left-overs” day, when leftovers from Sunday would be used for the evening meal – such as Shepherd’s Pie and Meat Rissoles) However, it just so happened, that a meat-free Monday suited us this week, as we’d overdosed on barbecued meat over the weekend!
My assigned blog, (Food.Baby.Life) is one I know well, as I made a wonderful recipe from there last year for Baked Jam Doughnut Muffins, which have proved to be very popular with my family and friends (as well as my readers) since I shared the recipe. Food.Baby.Life is written by the lovely Susan, who is married with three little boys; she lives in Australia and is studying Naturopathy as part-time student, and she has an enviable array of tasty recipes on her site, of which the following ones caught my eye: Red Lentil Dhal; Peanut Sesame Noodles; Apricot Chicken; Apple Crumble Cheesecake and Garlic Chive and Mozzarella Parathas.
But with a pantry full of tinned chickpeas and tinned tomatoes, as well as desire for one of my favourite Indian curries, it was Susan’s recipe for Chole Chaat (Chickpea Curry) that made it to the Lavender and Lovage diner table. I love this “street food” style dish, with its tea, ginger, onion and garlic base, it’s wonderful when served with rice or in a small pot with warm, fluffy naan bread. I’ve also used it as base for a spicy vegetarian soup before, to much acclaim – the perfect bowl of spicy warmth for a cold day. Traditionally it is served with Mint Chutney and Sev (pieces of crunchy chickpea flour noodles) on top and is a little drier than today’s recipe – a hot salad if you will.
I’ve shared Susan’s recipe, as adapted from A Little Taste of India, Murdoch Books, 2003, below, and this is even better when reheated next day, so if you can, why not make it the day before you need it, in order for the flavours and spices to meld together. I’ve “lightened” this up a tad, to fit in with my Weight Watchers and 5:2 diet, and for those following the Weight Watchers programme, one serving with rice is only 9 Pro Points. It’s a wonderfully easy recipe to make and feeds 4 people with ease, when served with rice and/or naan bread. Enjoy! Karen
NB: I used some excellent RAWPublik Organic Coconut Oil in this curry; I was sent three jars for review and I was extremely impressed with the taste and texture of this pure coconut oil. Watch out for more recipes that use this amazing ingredient on Lavender and Lovage in the future.
Also check out Susan’s wonderful version of my Lussakatter – St Lucia Saffron and Cardamom Sweet Buns here: