Monday, April 5, 2010

Lentils with onion and garlic, tandoori roti, okara sausages

Describing this meal would be like writing a whole novel, even though I put most of it together after work today. The lentils and the roti come from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, and I can heartily recommend both recipes. They each seem (from the ingredient lists) quite simple, but there are techniques to their preparations that make them special. The tandoori roti are made with club soda(!) and cooked both in a cast iron pan and under the broiler, much less trouble than it might at first sound like. There's also a special way of rolling them out that I am going to blog in the near future, just because it is so kewl and creates an irresistibly flaky, tasty, puffed-up flatbread.

World Vegetarian was a cookbook I was most eager to purchase, being a Madhur Jaffrey aficionado of old, but although all the recipes from it that I have tried have worked out beautifully, I find the format a bit uninspiring. It is arranged by ingredient, so under, for example, dried beans, there will be Chinese, American, Mexican, Greek, Indian, etc. recipes. Fusion geek as I am, I struggle to form menus. However, I am adapting!

The white "sauce" is Bryanna's Bulgarian-style tofu yogurt--I continue to love this better than any soy yogurt-type food I have ever tried.

How's it going with the okara, you ask? Well, I made another batch of soymilk yesterday, with of all things chopped dates, and it was delicious. My favorite milk, I'm thinking (without having tried it yet, however) will probably be something like:

2 cups soybeans
1 cup chopped dates
2 tbsp oatmeal

So there was quite a bit of okara. What did I do with it? Some of it went into the sausages (recipe below), with some of it I tried Bryanna's Dark, fudgy okara brownies, but (I know it sounds insane, but I can't help it), although they were just exactly as Bryanna promised, I keep forgetting that I don't really even like brownies--I mean, I should like them; doesn't everyone?--so I didn't blog them. Chocolate lovers, brownie lovers, will love them. The okara vanishes entirely.

After that I still had a little left, so I made up a few okara gnocchi:

Zoa: 2; Okara: 0

In other news, look what I found in my garden this afternoon!

For all of you out there dying for an okara sausage recipe, behold, my first effort. Bear in mind that you can use okara in place of the beans in any vegan sausage recipe that calls for beans (like the one in Veganomicon, for instance). I've been using it in my chicken-style seitan for months. However, what I was after here was a recipe that used a higher proportion of okara to gluten than that one. This is what I did (and it's very much a work in progress, especially as regards the spices):

Okara sausage

Dry mix:
1 1/2 cups gluten flour
1/2 cup Mark's Chick'n Almond Bake (I happened to have some handy; or 1/2 cup ground almonds or walnuts)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp dried mint

Wet mix:
1 cup okara, well squeezed
1 cup water
1/4 cup tamari
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp parsley
2 tbsp olive oil

Mix the dry mix ingredients well in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk the wet mix ingredients together in another bowl, or whizz them briefly in the blender to mix extremely well. Add the wet mix to the dry mix and blend thoroughly (use your hands if necessary). Form into five or six sausages, wrap in tinfoil, and steam for 50 minutes.

Anyway, it's a start. The sausages tasted good, and the texture was excellent both steamed and steamed-then-fried. I like the nuts in them, and they added some textural interest--these sausages are not at all "bready." The spices, of course, can be anything at all; I was going for an Eastern European taste and don't think I quite made it, but there will be plenty of opportunity to remedy that in the future...


  1. That looks like a wonderful meal. The okara recipes are all intriguing me--especially the okara gnocchi, which is completely novel to me. I've found it difficult to find okara recipes, so thanks for posting about them!

  2. This post is a treasure trove of recipes and ideas. Your gnocchi are beautiful, and I am definitely going to try your sausages as well as BCG's tofu yogurt and Marks Almond Bake.

    I have that cookbook too, and agree that the presentation is not terribly inspiring, but when I read your posts about recipe from there I do get inspired to use it.

    The crocuses are very pretty.

  3. Loved the crocuses! They weren't out 2 days ago when I was over. Could you take a really close up of them for me to paint?
    P.S. Your last recipe looked fantastic, too. You'll have to make some roti (?) for me sometime.

  4. Tiffany and Rose, I'm delighted that you're enjoying the okara recipes/experiments. They're fun to do and I anticipate having a lot of okara...

    Moon goddess, your wish is my command. I'll be out with my camera today!