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Cover: Gluten free cooking

Recipes with black pepper

03Jul 12

Deep-Fried Onion Flowers

Deep-fried onion flowerThese delicious,  deep-fried onion “flowers” make for a very visually impressive appetiser with which to astound your friends!  The best thing about them is that although they look very impressive and hard to make, they’re actually very easy and will be ready in less than 30 minutes! Serve them with a side of mustard sauce for dipping.

I also recommend these aloo bonda snacks, which are deep-fried potato balls.

Deep-Fried Onion Flowers
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetiser
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large Spanish onions
  • 150g white rice flour
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125ml water
  • Canola oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Remove the skin from the onion and remove a ½ centimetre slice from the top of the onion.
  2. Using a very sharp knife, cut down from the top through the center of the onion to within 1.5 centimetres from the bottom, leaving the root end intact.
  3. Turn the onion 90 degrees, and slice through the centre of the onion, again to within 1.5 centimetres from the bottom.
  4. You now have an onion with 4 vertical sections.
  5. Keep rotating the onion 10 degrees at a time, cutting down through the center of the onion until you have made 16 slices.
  6. Spread apart the layers of the onion slightly so the coating can reach the innermost parts of the onion "flower".
  7. Repeat with the other onion.
  8. In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cornflour,
  9. garlic powder, salt, oregano, cayenne, thyme, cumin, and pepper. Set aside.
  10. In a measuring cup, whisk together the egg and water until very foamy
  11. and all the egg membrane has broken up.
  12. Using a pastry brush, coat the onion layers with the egg mixture.
  13. Place the flour mixture in a sieve and liberally dust the onions with the flour mixture.
  14. Heat the canola oil to 175ºC in a deep fryer or a deep pot. There should be enough oil to completely cover the onions.
  15. Carefully place the onions right side up in the oil and fry for 10 minutes, or until it they are browned.
  16. Using a large slotted spatula or spoon, remove the onions from the
  17. oil and drain them on paper towels.
  18. Serve immediately.

 

 

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14Feb 12

Spinach and Lentil Soup

Spinach Lentil SoupThis easy-to-prepare Spinach and Lentil Soup makes a great starter or first course, and if you combine it with whole grain rice it provides a complete meal.  I find it is the perfect thing to warm me up when I come in from a run on a cold winter’s day, especially with the heat of the red chilli peppers.  In fact, I’ve toned down the spiciness of this version quite a lot as I know a lot of people don’t like it too spicy.  If you’re like me though, and you do like it hot, then I recommend increasing the quantity of red chili pepper significantly, anywhere from  ¾  of a teaspoon up to 1½ or even 2 teaspoons.

As always, the best results are obtained if you try and get the best possible quality fresh ingredients you can find – nobody likes wilted, damp spinach, not even in a soup!  So make sure it’s fresh, organic if possible, and be sure to wash it well under running cold water to clean off all the dirt.

For a bit of an exotic touch, try substituting the parsley for fresh coriander.  If you do this, add it just before serving so that it maintains its aroma.  Enjoy!

You need:

  • 2 cups of dried lentils
  • 9 cups of water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 150g of tomato paste
  • 2 bunches of spinach, cleaned & chopped
  • ½ cup of fresh parsley
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red chili peppers
  • ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice

Steps:

  1. Put the water, bay leaf and salt in a large pot and bring to the boil.
  2. Add the lentils, cover, and cook for 30 minutes over a medium-low heat.
  3. Add the onion, tomato paste and garlic and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach, parsley, ground pepper and red pepper.
  5. Mix well and cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. Add more salt to taste.
  7. Add the lemon juice, mix well and serve at once.
  8. Garnish with a bit of fresh ground nutmeg and a sprig of fresh parsley.

Ready In:  75 minutes

Serves:  3-4

Difficulty:  Out of 5 (most difficult), it’s a 2!

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