Monday, 17 May 2010

raw pakorafy me, baby!

Okay, these are sooo not pakoras. They are loosely inspired by pakoras, and even then, "loosely" might be too restrictive a term for what I've done. Basically, I wanted something to serve as a vehicle for some awesome chipotle tamarind-date chutney I have on hand. Also, I had to use up some sprouted buckwheat, and I've been having this methi craving... you can see where this is going. Like many of my "recipes", the end dish was the product not of a plan, but of a series of unconnected thoughts that I just happened to have while making dinner. Serendipitous dinner creation is a wonderful thing. Option 1 (which I have been known to do): mix chutney into sprouted buckwheat or cold rice or any other vaguely starchy thing that the chutney will adhere to and then eat it on salad. Option 2 is slighly more elegant, and much prettier than it looks here. Sometimes you only bother with one photo before devouring the food. It is, after all, a food blog, not a photo blog.

3-4 c. sprouted buckwheat, half of it blended to a paste
1 tbs toasted cumin seeds
a few toasted fenugreek seeds, squished roughly
1 tbs toasted coriander seeds, squished roughly
1 tsp garam masala
1/3 cup methi leaves, crumbled (I used dried ones)
1 large carrot, finely grated
1 handful of dulse, torn into tiny pieces
as much jalapeno as you want, chopped fine
1/2 tsp garlic paste (1 small clove)
1 tsp ginger paste
squeeze lemon juice
large-ish pinch smoked salt

Mix everything together. At this stage, you can just use it as a highly addictive pate and scoop it up with red pepper chunks (and then drizzle them with tamarind chutney). To make something a little more stand-alone, you'll need to add something to make it a bit less wet and then form it into patties. You can use ground dried coconut or chickpea flour or oat flour. I used chickpea flour, since I don't particularly care if something is 100% raw, but I do care that it's not full of fat. I added about 1/3 of a cup. Make your own choices on this one. I imagine if one owned a dehydrator, one could then dehydrate them for a billion hours. I don't, so I didn't. Also, that would have meant waiting, which frankly, I was simply not willing to do. I just decorated them with the chutney that caused all this in the first place and ate them. With a giant salad, because I'm that kind of vegan. Yuuuuuuuuum.

As a note, one of the things that keeps me from eating more raw food is that I like to eat without adding fat (or relying on large amounts of high-fat food like nuts, avocados or coconuts), and I do love my starches. Everyone has their own take on nutrition etc. nowadays, but the thing that works for me is to do a no-added-fat vegan, starch-based diet with lots of fresh fruit and veg. Doing this, I run, bike, do mad science, goof off, read, have a personal life, get up far too early because I hate missing out on life, and am generally happy and healthy and full enough of energy to annoy those around me in the early mornings. That being said, I like the lightness of eating a high proportion of raw foods, especially in the summer when I have to eat so much heavy food when I travel for work and so when I'm home... sprouted buckwheat! Yay! These are nice because they're starchy and filling and heavy without being full of fat. Also, can I just mention again that they're the perfect vehicle for tamarind-date chutney?

A little note: I wrote down the conservative amounts for the spices because my chutney was super-flavourful. If I was having these alone, or with coriander chutney, I'd probably up the coriander seeds, ginger and garlic.

serendipitous music based on... : in C, by whoever you want, dammit.