Following on the heels of last week’s West African dish, this week’s offering is a recipe found in some of the same countries as Jollof rice. Groundnut soup or stew is made with peanut (groundnut) paste or peanut butter. Once again it traditionally contains some meat product but is easily veganized. The following is a repost for my version of groundnut soup.
This year my culinary tribute for Black History Month will be some of my favourite recipes from the African diaspora. With Bob Marley’s birthday only hours away, I decided to share the Jamaican lentil recipe I use. It is adapted from the recipe in Taymer Mason’s book the Caribbean Vegan.
You will need:
- ½ cup French (pay) lentils
- ½ onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ of a sweet pepper
- a pinch of scotch bonnet pepper or chilli pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon each of ground pepper, ground cumin and vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon each of curry powder, ketchup and soy sauce
- 2 cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
- some vegetable oil
- prepared pastry dough
- (Optional: a pinch of turmeric powder and 1 tablespoon water to brush the pastry before baking)
- Sprout lentils (2 days).
- Heat oil in pan on medium setting. Add onion, garlic, sprouted lentils, peppers, cumin and curry powder. Cook a few minutes.
- Add ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and 1 cup of water. Cook about 15 minutes at medium/low heat.
- Add salt and ½ cup of water. Stir and simmer about 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining ½ cup of water and turn heat to low. Cook for about 10 minutes.
- When mixture thickens, Add breadcrumbs and cook until paste-like.
- Remove from heat and let cool at room temperature.
- Roll out dough and cut palm-sized rounds. Place 1-2 tablespoons of filling in the centre, then fold dough over. Secure ends by pressing a fork into the edge. Make a few slits in the top of the patty. (Optional: brush with turmeric water to get that yellow look.)
- Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 20 minutes.
While others celebrate winter with outdoor festivals and mascots that bear a striking resemblance to the Michelin man, I have devised a few of my own food festivals to keep me warm and toasty through the winter. They both centre around chocolate.
Chocolicious & The hot chocolate festival
A festival that runs from January to Easter and includes chocolate indulgences and a chocolate education. Read at least one book about chocolate (its history, health benefits, other but no cookbooks). Buy as many reputable and gourmet brands of chocolate that you can afford and eat over a 3-4 month period. Eg. dark chocolate with varying degrees of cacao content, bars made from rare species of beans and from new cacao markets (Papua New Guinea), uniquely flavoured truffles. Sugary confections don’t count. Bypass New Year’s resolutions and Lent and join me for my inaugural Chocolicious 2018! Feel free to share what you ate and what you’ve learned.
So why eat serotonin-enhancing chocolate during the darkest days of winter anyway?Well cold weather pairs well with chocolate and January onwards is usually a depressing time of year where I live. Chocolate makes perfect sense; it is food for the soul and for warmth.
The hot chocolate festival
I borrowed this idea from a hot chocolate festival I heard about in Calgary Alberta. For every weekend in February make your own specialty hot chocolate drink. Some ideas: gingerbread hot chocolate, white chocolate and green tea, butter tart flavour. Also, buy at least two specialty hot chocolate drinks from a local establishment. The idea is to try something unique that you’ve never had before.