Vegan

Day one: Dosa, so good

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We are rapidly coming to the end of our first day of Septofu (it’s definitely going to catch on, trust me), and it’s been pretty good so far. Three healthy, filling meals, and very few cravings to speak of (the only hiccup came when I briefly remembered I wasn’t allowed cheese – a momentary pang) – so far so straightforward!

Today was a working from home day, which meant everything could be made from scratch – always makes things easier! We had already stocked up on almond milk (one of our favourites from Veganuary) the night before, so were all set for our essential morning cuppa, but the cupboard was decidedly bare for vegan-friendly breakfast noms.

Off I went to the nearest supermarket to track down some breakfast – having done Veganuary already, I was feeling pretty confident that I could pick up some bits and bobs without having to read every label to check the ingredients. What hubris! I had grabbed some bread and treated us to a box of shitake mushrooms, but very nearly came unstuck when it came to choosing a vegan spread. Turns out ‘lacto-free’ isn’t the same thing as ‘dairy free’. Who knew? Fortunately I spotted it in time to swap it for Violife, but there’s a cautionary tale for any other would-be vegans!

I confess, breakfast and lunch weren’t hugely inventive (though I had a go at replicating my beloved basil butter using vegan spread – doesn’t quite work, but it’s nice enough!), but come dinner time and Jones was home, which meant properly creative cooking. I won’t pretend I had any part in making this, but Si has kindly said I can describe the process. Spoiler alert: it was beautiful.

On the menu tonight was chickpea curry, thickened with blended mushrooms and roasted aubergine (much in the way of January’s mushroom bolognese), and accompanied by a fresh, zingy salsa and a big pile of home-made dosas. The latter were inspired by some that Si saw in Borough Market, he says.

20180903_155915Beginning with the curry: Si halved the aubergine and roasted it in the oven; meanwhile he dry-panned the mushrooms until they were completely dry. That done, he scraped out the aubergine and popped its flesh, and the mushrooms, into the blender. Whizz-brrr-beautiful silky mush.

We scraped this into a bowl, and next into the blender went red onion, garlic, and some ginger to be blitzed into a paste that we fried with curry spices – mild curry powder, garam masala, ground coriander, and cumin.

While this was cooking, Si finely-chopped some green and red peppers, jalapenos, red onion, and coriander, and added a good squeeze of lime juice to make a salsa that went into the fridge to wait.

Into the onion paste went the mushroom/aubergine mix, followed by a tin of chickpeas and one of tomatoes – this was allowed to cook down into a wonderful thick, creamy, hearty curry which we served with a good topping of salsa, and dosas on the side.

20180903_181707Speaking of the dosa… Si mixed equal quantities of chickpea and plain flour, plus a good handful of rice flour and a teaspoon of bicarb, and added water until he had a ‘double cream’ thickness.

Then, on a hot big frying pan (no oil) he added enough of the ‘batter’ to coat the pan thinly and spread it around with a spatula. When it started to crisp at the edges, he peeled the ‘pancake’ off the pan and turned it over by hand. This produced a wonderfully airy, soft pancake – no eggs or milk required! – which were stacked in tinfoil until they were all ready.

I must say, if this is a sign of things to come, I’m really looking forward to Septofu! The curry was so thick and rich, with an almost fruity flavour – we ate it heaped into folded dosas, and it was wonderfully filling and warming. Bring on tomorrow!

 

Today I ate/drank:

  • Tea with almond milk
  • Shitake mushrooms on toast (with vegan spread)
  • Pasta (vegan-friendly dried conchiglie) with mushrooms, peas, and basil/garlic ‘butter’ (vegan spread)
  • Chickpea curry with home-made dosas
  • Fizzy squash

 

Today’s cravings

  • Cheese

1 thought on “Day one: Dosa, so good”

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