Luxury Food for Less 2
Let’s paint a mental picture, your friends are coming over and you are out of food ideas; you have already cooked them the mushroom risotto, curry noodles, and one pot pasta from our last “Cook with Esset” article. It suddenly hits you that one of your friends is vegetarian (or vegan), what do you cook now? You’re churning your brain for ideas and scrolling through Instagram, there to the rescue comes our post, promoting our new “Cook with Esset 2” article (our vegetarian edition).
Lentil Soup with Eggplant and Cashews
This recipe will allow you to serve your friends a very fancy meal cooked within 35 minutes.
The Author's successful attempt at making the food look pretty.
Ingredients - 2 servings
4g Cumin spice
2 Garlic cloves
1 Red onion
A small bag of fresh coriander
A box of green lentils (alternative: add more red lentils)
Curry paste (can be homemade or store bought)
4g Goan xacuti spice
100g Red lentils
150g Yoghurt (for Vegan option, Oatly’s turkish yoghurt)
2 Tortilla bread
Salt, pepper, olive oil
How to make it:
Preheat the oven at 220°C. Meanwhile, cut the eggplant in thin vertical pieces which you then cut into 3cm long smaller pieces. Cover your eggplants with a generous amount of olive oil and cumin, then generously salt it. Place them on a baking tray with baking paper on it and let them bake for 20-25 minutes.
While your eggplant is baking, boil your water in a water cooker. Simultaneously, dice the onions into fine pieces, then grate the ginger. Afterwards, press (or grate) the garlic, cut the coriander into medium pieces, and wash the green and red lentils with cold water in a strainer.
Heat up a dry pan on medium heat when hot, roast the cashews in it for 2-3 mins (then put roasted cashews aside). Heat olive oil in the same pan and fry the red onions for 5 mins. Then add the ginger, garlic, curry paste, and Goan Xacuti spice and fry for another 3 mins.
Add the lentils and vegetable broth into the pan and then add the boiling water. Stir often and let it cook for 15-20 minutes. Thereafter, add half of the yogurt (75g) and continue to stir for another 5 minutes until creamy.
Mix olive oil (2 tablespoon) and half of the coriander with a pinch of salt and pepper. Thereafter, cut your tortilla bread into 3cm wide pieces, place them on a baking tray with baking paper on it and cover them with the coriander-oil mixture, let bake for 7 minutes (they are not meant to look as brown as they do in the picture)
Serve the lentil soup in a bowl, top with a pinch of salt and pepper, eggplant, roasted cashews, the rest of your coriander, and finally a little yoghurt. On the side, serve your tortilla-coriander chips and enjoy with your favorite drink.
This dish is nothing but delicious – and it is surprisingly easy to make! It is also 100% freestyle-able. But for the less spontaneous chef, it is of course possible to follow the quantities below.
Ingredients - 4 servings
500 g passed tomatoes
3 dl cooking cream
400 g Halloumi
1 yellow onion
2 tbsp tomato puree
Oregano, to taste
Paprika powder, to taste
Salt & pepper, to taste
3-4 dl rice
How to make it:
Cook the rice in a separate saucepan by following the instructions on the package.
Slice and fry the halloumi in a cooking oil of your choice, then set aside on a plate.
Add chopped onion and pressed garlic into the same pan and fry with tomato puree.
Add the rest of the ingredients and then the fried halloumi.
Add spices and taste – et voilà!
Thai Tofu Curry
Thai curries are a staple fast food of Sweden and are surprisingly easy to make at home. If you are craving some spicy, coconutty goodness, but can’t be bothered to go outside and order take out this is the solution for you.
400g hard tofu
1 large carrot
1 can or 400ml coconut milk
4 dl water
1 fresh chili or 2 tsp chili flakes
1 small, fresh ginger
3 cloves of garlic
I used these vegetables, but you can pick other ones you like better : - 1 can of baby corn - 1 can bamboo shoots - 200g green beans
2 tsp red curry paste
2 tbsp fish sauce (not vegetarian) This can be made vegetarian by steeping nori in light soy sauce for one hour before cooking. I did this and liked the results, but fish sauce is a more traditional ingredient
Peanuts, coriander, lime, chili flakes for garnish.
How to make it:
Start by heating oil in a large pan and frying the curry paste for about a minute, until it becomes very fragrant but be careful so that it doesn’t burn.
Add the minced garlic, chili and ginger and sauté, making sure to scrape up and browning on the bottom of the pan.
Next add the carrot and onion and let the onions get a little translucent. Make sure nothing becomes burnt at the bottom by stirring the vegetables.
Add the water (at this step you can additionally add bullion cubes) and let it simmer for 5 minutes to soften the carrots.
Add the coconut milk, tofu and any vegetables you want to add to your sauce. Let it simmer for a few minutes.
Season with the “fish sauce” and lime and if you feel that the sauce is too loose you can add a cornstarch slurry by mixing 2 tsp cornstarch and 2 tsp cold water in a bowl til it’s dissolved. Salt to taste. A good thing to keep in mind when tasting for seasoning is that it should be over seasoned when tasted on its own as you will be eating this with rice later on.
Serve with rice. You can add peanuts, coriander (disgusting), Sriracha etc. and enjoy the meal!