Chickpea Soup with Mughrabiya

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Chickpea Soup with Mughrabiya

Adapted from:
Chickpea Soup with Moghrabieh (Lebanese Couscous)
by Susan Voisin

2 small red onions, chopped
½ cucumber, diced [*]
2 carrots, diced
olive oil

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
¼ tsp whole pimento (allspice berries), ground
2 bay leaves
3″ quassia bark (or cinnamon)

½ tsp ground paprika
¼ tsp ground cayenne
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground turmeric

400 g cooked chickpeas (or 2 tins, drained and rinsed)
3½ pts vegetable stock
celery salt
3½ oz mughrabiya (moghrabieh)
1 star anise

Fry the diced vegetables in the olive oil until the onion begins to soften and brown slightly (about 5 minutes).

Add the garlic, stir, and cook for 1 minute.

Add the spices, and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Reduce heat. Add the chickpeas and stir to ensure they are coated with the spice mixture. Add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add celery salt to taste.

Add the mughrabiya, cover the pan, and cook until tender (about 30 minutes). Add more water/stock if needed. Add star anise, and leave to stand for 30 minutes. Reheat and serve with wedges of lemon [ª].

(Remove the star anise from the pot before it begins to dominate the soup.)

[*] the original recipe calls for 2 sticks celery, diced
[ª] and chopped parsley in the original recipe

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The Rave Scene in Coniston

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Amaranth Hifi

200 g amaranth
600 ml cold water

Simmer the amaranth in the water, uncovered, for about 35 minutes; leave to sit for about 15 mins (or until you’re ready to add it to the veg., as long as that’s the same day …).

For shorter cooking time and more nutrition, add a few pinches of wakame and black fungus [or similar sea vegetables]. I also add a handful of okara since my housemate makes soya milk and it’s a nutritious, tasteless addition to almost anything.

1 small-to-medium onion, finely chopped
1 small (or half a large) green capsicum, diced
tsp black/brown mustard seeds
tsp cumin/cummin seeds
¼–½ tsp ground turmeric [as with everything: optional]

Heat oil/ghee in a wok or large frying pan. Add mustard seeds, cum/min seeds, turmeric. Don’t watch it spit into your eyes and before it all burns add the diced veg.

1–2 courgettes, diced

Add the courgette. When the onion is becoming translucent and the greens are still firm, combine with the amaranth in a big pot and stir well with something wooden.

As a side lump of wholesomeness and food that feels like it’s on serotonin boosters, you’r done. As a breakfast meal in-itself, continue:

1 tasty salad tomato /person, medium-sliced

Heat oil in a good and/or heavy pan of some description. Very carefully, throw the tomatoes in horizontal-wise. Sprinkle some lumps of rock salt and cracked black pepper [do not even think of using table salt or pre-powdered peppercorns proximal par paters precipes, pah!].

The tomatoes are done to yr satisfaction. Scoop a mound of yellow-greenish goodness onto a plate, slap fried toms round it til it’s red. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar [one could reduce the balsamic first, as the the black drizzle does distract from the visual effect; but it all seems a little too Nigel Salter for me;]

Stop reading and eat you damn fool.

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GOV.UK koan


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Swiss Breakfast (vegan)

My version of the classic Swiss breakfast rösti mit spinat und spiegelei*—with vegan versions of rösti [potato cake] and spinat [creamed spinach], and fried Swiss brown mushrooms substituted for spiegelei [fried eggs].

Serves 4

1 ½ lb potatoes
1 Spanish onion
2 oz smoked tofu
vegetable ghee for frying

2 oz vegetable ghee
2 tbsp plain white flour
½ pt (8 fl oz) soya milk
8 oz spinach

frittierten edelpilzen:
8 oz small mushrooms
vegetable ghee for frying
mixed dried herbs (e.g., thyme, marjoram, oregano, basil, & parsely)

[rösti recipe adapted from Leith’s Cookery Bible; spinat recipe adapted from food.comfrittierten edelpilzen recipe made up on the spot]

Finely chop the onion and tofu and fry gently in a heavy frying pan for 10–15 mins until the onions become translucent. Meanwhile grate the potatoes into a large bowl. There is a wide range of opinion on the type of potato and its preparation (see, e.g., how to cook perfect rösti). I use coarsely grated, raw (i.e., not parboiled), small, waxy potatoes; to create a single, large rösti that holds together, is crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, and retains some of the raw potato flavour.

Mix the fried onion and tofu into the grated potato and season.

For the creamed spinach, start by making a béchamel sauce. (Again, there is a multitude of béchamel sauce recipes, I leave out the onions and cloves to create a plain base sauce. Also, it starts out rather thick as there will be additional moisture from the cooked spinach.) In a small, round-bottomed pan (e.g., a small wok) melt 2 oz ghee then remove from heat and beat in the flour a little at a time with a wooden spoon until smooth. Return to the heat, add the soya milk in aliquots, and whisk until smooth; remove from heat. Wash and steam the spinach (or simply cook the washed spinach in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid over a low heat; this could be substituted with frozen spinach—defrosted and warmed through—although I find the result somewhat insipid).

Meanwhile, heat some vegetable ghee in a large non-stick or cast iron frying pan or similar (I use a large non-stick paella pan with a plastic spatula). Press the potato mix into a quasi-cohesive lump in the bowl. When the fat is very hot, dunk the potato mix into  the pan and pat the sides and top lightly to form into a flat cake with straight sides, like a tortilla de patatas (española). Leave to cook on a low heat for about 15 mins, occasionally patting in the sides and gently loosening the base from the pan (by shaking, or with a thin spatula).

While the rösti is cooking, combine the cooked spinach—together with any remaining liquid—with the béchamel; season and grate in some nutmeg, then blend to a smooth paste in a liquidizer. Return to the pan over a low heat and cover.

Finely slice the mushrooms. I recommend Swiss brown mushrooms; common white or portabello mushrooms can be substituted. Heat some ghee in a frying pan, sprinkle in some paprika, add the mushrooms and fry for 30 seconds or so over a high heat, add dried herbs, stir, and fry over a low heat for about 10 minutes.

While the mushrooms are frying and the spinach is warming through, put some plates on to warm. Get a plate larger than the rösti, place over the frying pan and quickly invert. Immediately slide the rösti back into the pan and pat back into a cake if necessary. Cook on a low heat for a further five minutes.

(Any of the dishes can be kept warm for 15 to 20 minutes if necessary.)

Cut the rösti into wedges and serve on warmed plates with some of the pilzen and spinat, pickled cucumber, and good mustard (e.g., Dijon, English).

Comments welcome.

*Swiss German; my spelling and translations may not be exact.

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All twenty pages of Bogus #1 at once


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Robert Burbidge Photography

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Couple Poems

Ted Hughes The Horses, with some comments from Jeanette Winterson:

John Burnside Black Cat Bone:

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Two photos of my home

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Poetry magazines



10×3 Plus

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