Milk, that’s vegan, right?
Day One of Veganuary has gotten off to a cracking start, to be sure! In an act of misplaced, though genuine, kindness, the wife made tea for us both this morning and in my severely hungover state, I only realised after a mugful that it had milk in it. Damn and blast!
This might be harder than I thought…
It’s been a day of temptations, with the dregs of festive treats still littering the place, and there have been several times where I’ve had to restrain myself from having a mince pie or a sliver of Stilton. Making matters worse, our housemate has arrived back from the Netherlands and gifted us a handsome cumin-flecked cheese. Hopefully there will be some left for me at the end of the month!
Perhaps to take the edge off, the wife prepared a vegan-friendly upside-down cake – I’ll yet get a bit of sugar in, even if it isn’t seasonally appropriate.
I’m no big fan of Jamie Oliver’s, what with his piss-poor labour standards and just general pig-headedness, so I’m a bit conflicted sharing a recipe of his. However, it’s not as if this gets him a huge amount of money, and the cake was pretty good. So, if you’re interested, you can find it over here.
Rather than playing the recipe straight, we used a combination of ginger, ground cloves and cinnamon (each half a teaspoon) in place of the requested mixed spice, as it is what we had on hand. Pleasingly, this didn’t end up with an overly-cloved flavour, which I was a bit concerned about. Keeping to the theme of the dish, apple cider vinegar was used, rather than the normal stuff. We went for a teaspoon of that, rather than the indicated tesapoon.
Dinner was a pretty straight-ahead affair, with a mung bean makhani dhal. I boiled the split mung beans from dry in advance, rather than soaking overnight as is usually recommended. We also had some coconut oil on hand from a former housemate’s consolidated leftovers, which I used rather than the almond cream. As ever with dhal, the longer it is left to cook the better, and so this one could have been improved with maturation. May have gone a bit heavy on the chilli…Here’s the recipe I based it off of:
As you can see, the original one calls for urad dal, rather than the mung beans I used. I also changed around the order in which I prepared certain elements, eg., diced the garlic and fried it with the onions, rather than toss it in with the beans crushed. It’s always been my approach that cooking is more of an art than a science, so, if you are looking for commentary on a recipe faithfully followed, this probably isn’t the blog for you. I’ll try to make note of where I diverge from recipes significantly, but expect me to accommodate for what I have on hand, rather than purchasing stuff to get it precisely right.
All in all, the dhal was fine – in the interest of finding new flavours, I might benefit from sticking to the spice recommendations a bit more closely in the future. I dropped out the asafoetida – thought I had some left from a previous recipe, but the spice collection is in a bit of a disarray and precisely what’s going on there is anyone’s guess – and had to sub in dried ginger, chilli and cilantro for fresh, all the shops being closed. Lessons learned.
I’ll save you the unenjoyable prospect of a photo, it being dhal and we all know how well dhal photographs, but here’s one of the cake, which did turn out rather well.