After last night's meal, I needed to avenge it with some real proper yummy food... So, I decided to make some rice and side dishes... Horror of horrors! I realised I only had about half a cup of rice left... How is it going to feed me and hubby.. both hungry eaters... add to that, I'm out of potatoes too! So, I decided to increase calorie count by adding some toasted sesame seeds and diced cashew nuts (that were seating in the freezer... left over from my baking) to it. Initially, I was thinking of cooking the rice and then stir frying it in some sesame oil and toss it with some of the seeds and nuts.. but I was running behind time and out of sheer convenience.. I just toasted all the seeds and nuts and dumped it into the hot cooked rice and mixed it all up... It turned out pretty good with a nice texture and bursts of sesame when you munch it!
I did a quick vegetable stir fry of cabbage and carrots in oyster and light soy sauce. It was simple and tasty. No complaints with that. I also made sure that I didn't overcook the vegetables. I like the crunchiness of the carrots. I also kinda accidentally added some silken tofu to it. I was not meaning to but I had half a box of silken tofu left after yesterday's lunch and I didn't want it to hang around and rot in the fridge. So, I dumped it in and was kicking myself mentally for doing that... when I realised it turned out like egg... pretty cool! The texture is like scrambled eggs and works with the dish!
The highlight would definitely be the mock mutton curry which hubby was very delighted with! I was deciding between black pepper mutton and mutton curry and hubby requested for the latter. So, I was halfway through making it when I realised I didn't have milk at home to help thicken the dish. Traditionally coconut milk is used.. but my mum uses evaporated milk. Since I had neither.... I was thinking how to salvage the situation when I remembered how my mum sometimes adds ground nuts (like almond, candlenuts or cashew nuts) to help thicken the curry! Great.. I quickly ground some cashew nuts with water and added to the dish.. instant success! It became thick and rich.. yum! (Edited - After popular request, I've decided to add the recipe.. but it is all based on estimation)
Recipe for Mock Mutton Curry
About 300g mock mutton
About one or two potatoes (cut into desired size)
two tomatoes (diced - or you can use about 2 tbsp of tomato puree)
1 onion (sliced)
2 chillies (sliced)
2 tsp of garlic paste
2 tsp of ginger paste
a stick of cinnamon
2 star anise
1 tsp of cumin
2 tbsp of meat curry powder (I use baba's)
2 tsp to 1 tbsp chilli powder (I also use baba's)
1/4 tsp of tumeric powder (optional)
3 to 4 tbsp of milk (coconut milk/ground cashewnuts/almonds/candlenuts can be substituted)
2 cups or more water depending on how much gravy you want
Salt to taste
Some oil for sautéing
1. Saute the cinnamon, stir anise and cumin in the oil. Once fragrant, add onion and chilli. Saute until golden and soft. Add the garlic and ginger paste.
2. In a bowl, mix the powders with a little water to make a paste.
3. Add the tomatoes and spice paste into the pan and continue to cook it until the tomatoes have disintegrated and the paste is cooked.
4. Add the potatoes and water and cook until the potatoes are nearly done.
5. Add the mock meat and cook until done.
6. Adjust with salt and add the milk to decide on the level of richness you want.
I think vegetarian cooking is so wonderful and quick and the clean up is so much more faster than traditional cooking! Of course, most of the time, the ingredients are much much cheaper too!