My sister Louise made this for one of the meals at Christmas. It doesn’t cost much, can be used with tinned ingredients, and it is vegan and delicious. It also freezes well. There are various substitutions and variations that can be made, depending on what you have in the kitchen. As you vary the ingredients, you may find that the fluid quantities need adjusting, so keep an eye on it as it cooks and top up as required.
- Vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 3 cm of ginger root, peeled and finely chopped – vary quantity to taste
- 1 tbsp chilli flakes, for example, pul biber – pick your favourite for heat, or add sriracha chilli sauce
- 1 tsp cumin (ground, or whole seeds bashed in a pestle and mortar)
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 3 tins of tomatoes, chopped for preference
- 300g green lentils, presoaked
- 200g of starch grain, such as bulgar wheat, pearl barley, brown rice or buckwheat. Not couscous
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder, or 100g dark chocolate
- 400g tin of beans, such as haricot beans, cannelini beans, navy beans, black-eyed beans. Alternatively, soak 300g dried beans overnight, and simmer for 45 minutes to cook.
- 1 to 2 litres of marigold stock or other stock
- salt and pepper
- Use a very large pan. Heat the vegetable oil over a low heat, and cook the onion, garlic and ginger for ten minutes, until it is soft.
- Add the chilli, cumin and paprika, and cook for a further two minutes.
- Add 1 litre of stock and all of the other ingredients, and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, topping up with stock as required. Stop when the lentils and grains are cooked.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Tortillas or wraps, with yoghurt
- Spooned over corn chips, topped with grated cheese and grilled, served with guacamole and salsa
- In a taco with all of the extra bits
- In a sandwich with grated cheese, possibly toasted
- With brown rice, sour cream and chopped tomatoes or a side serving of green vegetables. (which is what we had with Lou)
It is goose season again. For those of you that live in the Outer Hebrides, you’ll know that the islands are infested with greylag geese, beautiful wild birds that flock here and eat the grass on the machair, pulling it by the roots. The numbers are not really in control at all, so we are glad to have a few to eat now and again.
This time, I made a goose chilli. I used my excellent and efficient meat grinder to make coarsly ground mince from two goose breasts. I also used some chipotle chillis that I had got from seasoned pioneers. This is delicious.
- 2 goose breasts, minced
- 1 can of borlotti beans
- Vegetable oil
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
- 2 tsp crushed chipotle
- 1 tbsp fresh marjoram, or 1 tsp dried
- 2 bayleaves
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- water to moisten
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- salt and pepper, to taste.
- Fry the sliced onion in the oil, stirring, for at least five minutes, so that it is beginning to brown.
- Add the sliced garlic, and stir for a minute, then add the rest of the spices, and the mince. Stir and cook so that the mince is looking browned.
- Add the tomatoes and the beans, and enough water to moisten the mixture. Bring to a simmer, and cook for an hour, adding water if required to stop it from sticking. I have a habit of reading when I am at this stage, I give it all a stir at the end of each chapter.
- Season to taste – I used a couple of good pinches of salt and some freshly ground black pepper
Serve with soured cream and flat breads.
These are spicy and delicious. My children like to make them.
- 100g plain flour
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 50g muscovado sugar
- 50g butter
- 1/4 tsp mild fresh red chilli, or chilli flakes
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 75g dark chocolate, cut into small chips
- Stir the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, chilli and sugar.
- Rub in the butter to achieve a fine breadcrumb texture.
- Add the syrup and mix into a dough. Squeeze the mixture into a dough.
- Kneed in the chocolate chops
- Divide into 12 balls, and space evenly onto a greased baking sheet.
- Bake at 180C for 8 to 10 minutes.
- When they are out of the oven, lift them off the baking sheet onto a cooling rack as soon as possible.