Somali Ambabur (Cambaabur)

February 26, 2013

Ambabur Somali Cambaabur

Ambabur is another gem from Africa's well-preserved culinary treasure. A spiced version of the Anjero, these Somali fermented crêpes (or pancakes) are nothing short of sensational. They are incredibly aromatic, light, soft and spongy, perfect with curries or stews.

This was the first time I'd ever used fennel seeds in cooking. I was so excited with how the batter smelled, I just couldn't stop myself sniffing it. The intoxicating aroma of the cooked ambabur is the result of mixing fennel, cumin and nigella seeds with turmeric, garlic and onion, and a two-hour fermentation time.

Palak Cheela (Instant Palak Dosa, Spinach Wraps)

February 21, 2013

Spinach Wraps Palak Dosa

After enjoying the yellow Carrot Wraps and the crimson Beet Wraps, the third successful colour and flavour experiment was the green spinach wraps. I had my worries that the spinach taste would be too strong, but I was wrong. The taste is mild and wonderfully balanced by the other ingredients.

I made these the same day I made the beet wraps, different batters, same cooking method. I wanted to use fresh spinach, but my blender wouldn't have turned it into the smooth paste I needed, so I opted instead for a quick steaming. I will detail below how I prepared the batter, for the cooking method please see my previous post for beet wraps. The important thing to keep in mind is to use medium-low heat in order to prevent browning and to keep the wraps moist and pliable.

Beet Cheela (Instant Beet Dosa, Beet Wraps)

February 20, 2013

Beet Cheela Beet Dosa

I was so pleased with how my yellow Carrot Besan Dosas came out that I decided to experiment further. To continue the series of colourful, flavourful, gluten-free wraps I made these gorgeous beet cheelas (cheela is the instant, no-ferment version of dosa; while dosa is made from rice and lentils, and requires hours of soaking and fermenting, cheela is made from chickpea flour and is cooked straight away) and a batch of green Spinach Cheelas.

I used raw beet in this recipe - less cooking, more nutrient retention. Plus it saves a lot of time. The cheelas need no more than 1.5 - 2 minutes to be done and the key to preventing them from browning is to use medium-low heat. The colour of the cheelas is breathtaking: as soon as they're cooked they are dark pink, and as they sit their colour changes to blood red.

Besan Dosa with Carrot

February 10, 2013

Besan Dosa Carrot

Besan dosas are a fantastic gluten-free alternative to regular flatbreads. They can be made simple or filled with different vegetables, used as sandwich wraps or as accompaniment for curries.

The one person who enjoys besan dosa more than I do is my mom. While recently making a batch of Zucchini-filled Besan Dosa (see previous post), she had the idea of using carrot instead of zucchini. Being a ginger fan, she added some to the batter and the taste was incredible. Carrot keeps the dosas soft and gives them a delicate sweetness.

Apple Cake with Chocolate Ganache

February 02, 2013

Apple, cinnamon and chocolate make a delicious combination that I always find impossible to resist. The cake is moist, not overly sweet, has a good bite (not crumbly) and a comforting aroma. This has been one of my favourite treats for almost ten years, ever since a friend introduced me to it. Veganizing it was easy and here I'm sharing the two versions I've made.
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