On Sunday, one of my friends turned the nonsensical age of three times eleven. Given the state our world is in at this moment in time, she didn't have the opportunity to celebrate it by having a party. So, as a safe substitute and as a way to still mark this special occasion, she asked us to eat a plant-based dinner in honour of her birthday.
Eating plant-based is not that easy for me. Given everything I cannot eat, and the fact that last time I tried to adopt a plant-based lifestyle I fell ill for over a year, this idea did not spark too much joy. On the other hand, I did not try to adopt a plant-based lifestyle for nothing. I do believe that consuming less animal protein would be a good thing for our planet. So I took one of my former favourite recipes and altered it to suit my food intolerances and to make it completely free from animal protein. And the results where as good as I remembered. And it did not upset my body. So plant-based recipe 1, my fears 0.
As a birthday present, my friend asked for a photo. So here they are, my dear, and as a little extra, I included the recipe. Happy birthday!
- Peel 200g potatoes, cut them in even-sized pieces, and boil for about 10 minutes. When they're cooked through, drain off, mash, and put them aside.
- Cut 250g cauliflower in 2cm pieces. Boil them until soft, about 7 - 10 minutes.
- Peel 500g aubergine and cut them in 1cm cubes.
- Heat 2tbsp rapeseed oil over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed pan. When the oil is warm, add 4 smashed garlic cloves. Fry them for several minutes and then remove the garlic from the oil. Make sure there is not one tiny morsel of the garlic left behind.
- Peel and grate 30g fresh ginger. Add to the oil and cook for a minute.
- Add the aubergine cubes and cover the pan with a lid. Stir every couple of minutes until cooked through. This takes about 10 minutes.
- Add 1tbsp tomato paste and 400g tomato passata. Stir to combine and cook for 5 - 7 minutes until it turnes into a thick, creamy, dark red sauce.
- Add 2tsp ground cumin, 2tsp ground coriander, 1tsp garam masala, and 1/4tsp curcuma. If using, add 1/2tsp amchur and a little bit of chilli powder as well. Stir to combine, try and add some salt to taste.
- Mix the mashed potato and cauliflower through the sauce, place the lid on the pan and cook on low heat for another 10 minutes.
- Try again, and add a little more salt if needed.
- Then, mash everything together. It should turn out somewhere between mashed potatoes and a thick pasta sauce. Add a little hot water if it's too thick.
- Finish by adding a good splash of rapeseed oil.
- Serve with toasted bread rolls, coriander leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice.