Tag Archives: yams

Dosa with Chickpea, Potato and Yam

As I type this the taste of tonight’s dinner is still lingering on my tongue.

A blend of indian spices, fried bread, and zesty coconut chutney are making me feel quite content as I contemplate the end of another weekend. We went to see The Flaming Lips in concert on Friday night (amazing!), picked up some carrots and Macintosh apples at the Farmer’s Market, hung out Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria with friends for dinner on Saturday evening, and ran errands today. The weather was fantastic this weekend and it made it up to 27°C yesterday.   I am glad I made time for a walk Saturday afternoon, because you can be certain this will be our last nice weekend. Although we were not too busy and managed to get lots of sleep, I was feeling low on energy when the time to cook dinner rolled around.

I like to make something a little special for Sunday’s supper, but today I did not want to make the effort. Luckily, I know myself enough to be in tune when laziness strikes and I had an easy dinner planned. Of course, once you taste it, you would have no idea it came together so quickly.

I also cheated a bit. I could make the wonderful Indian pan-fried flat bread from scratch, but why bother when I can pick up an instant dosa packet (they are gluten-free) at the Indian Grocer or Superstore and have the batter ready to go in about 5 minutes. I suppose if you were feeling extra lazy you could serve the filling rolled up in a tortilla, but it wouldn’t be the same. The delicious blend of lentil and rice flour is something that you don’t want to miss!

Dosa with Chickpea, Potato and Yam

1 potato, peeled, diced and boiled until tender (about 1 cup)
1 yam, peeled, diced and boiled until tender (about 1 cup)

1 small to medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cayenne chili powder
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 19 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped

  • Peel, chop and boil the potato and yam for 15 minutes until tender. Drain and reserve.
  • Saute onion and garlic on medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes
  • Add cumin, coriander, garam masala, and cayenne and stir to coat
  • Add tomatoes and cook,  stirring occasionally for 5 minutes
  • Add chickpeas, potatoes and yam. Mash the potatoes and yams while cooking for about 10 minutes until heated through.
  • Stir in the yogurt, salt and cilantro. Remove from heat and set aside while you make the dosas.
  • Dosas are easy, just follow the instructions on the box. Please use a non-stick pan and cook each dosa in a cooled pan. I run my pan under cool tap water between each dosa.
  • When each dosa is ready spoon a couple spoonfuls of filling down the centre, roll up the sides and secure with a toothpick.
  • I like to serve it with Aki’s Brand Coconut Chutney

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Vegetarian Shepherdess’s Pie by night and cheese tasting by day

We had a busy day Saturday: a cheese tasting and talk in the afternoon (more about that later) and an evening at the symphony.  Even though we were pressed for time, EPC was reluctant to eat out. He had been away on business last week and eaten out for every meal (and will have more of the same this week).

To treat him to a home-cooked meal, I flipped through my cookbooks and decided to tackle the Shepherd’s Pie from The Planet Organic Market Cookbook.  The recipe looked easy enough and it had the perfect mix of protein and vegetables. An important consideration, because I am convinced that he does not eat enough vegetables when he is out-of-town.

The yams mashed up nicely and were quite moist as I slathered them on top of the filling. They retained some of their moisture after baking, providing a firm and colourful topping to the veggie ground round and vegetables below. Although the seasoning is minimal – a dash of salt and some pepper, the dish is quite satisfying. We both ate two helpings and if I can keep the leftovers out of sight for the day I may get to take them to work for lunch!

By the way, I figure that replacing the traditional mashed potatoes with mashed yams makes this a shepherdess’ pie, in case you were wondering.

Now on to the cheese tasting.

EPC loves cheese.  Lucky for him the local cheese shop is a few blocks from our house and makes for a lovely walk on a Saturday afternoon.  So, when we heard that our favourite kitchen/ restaurant supply store was hosting a cheese tasting and information session with our neighborhood cheese shop owner in attendance, we immediately marked it down on our calendar.

Prior to the talk and taste, EPC and I made a pact to try every cheese that was offered, even if that included a mould-ridden blue.  I will confess I got a bit queasy learning about how the rind is cultured on brie cheese, but in the end, pact or no pact, I was brave enough to try the Penicillium-filled blue cheese.  In fact, the woman giving the session remarked on how impressed she was that we all tried the blue selection.  She confessed that she was not a fan of blue cheese – even though she owns a cheese shop.  It made me feel better for not always enjoying the more “seasoned” varieties of cheese.

I am not going to go into all that was discussed in the 1.5 hour session, but I thought that I would mention a couple of the more interesting (and delicious) cheeses that we tried.

Number one on my list was the French Morbier, an uncooked pressed cheese made from the curds leftover from Compté cheese production. The cheese comes in two layers with a layer of vegetable ash between the two. Traditionaly, the curds from the evening’s cheese production are pressed down and topped with ash to prevent drying until the next day’s remains are placed on top to finish off the wheel.  Nowadays, the production is much more streamlined and the ash is added for appearances. This is a tasty soft, yet firm cheese.

Another one that I loved was the Maréchal. This raw unpasteurized cow milk cheese hails from Switzerland.  One of the interesting things about this particular cheese is that the rind is composed of a mixture of herbs rubbed into the cheese as it ages.  This cheese is seasonally available after the spring and summer alpine grazing season.  As a rule, you can only get this cheese in November, December and January. If you miss it, you have to wait until next year.  Maréchal is a hard stronger tasting cheese.

I imagine next weekend we will head down to our neighbourhood cheese shop and try to purloin the last hunk of Maréchal before it is gone.

Vegetarian Shepherdess’s Pie

1.5 kg of yams
1/4 cup of butter
1/4 cup of skim milk
1/4 cup of plain yogourt
a dash or two of salt
1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 cups of fresh or frozen vegetables – I used a mix of green beans, corn and peas
2 packages of original Veggie Ground Round
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of flour
1/2-3/4 cups of water

  • Preheat the oven to 350°C
  • Lightly oil a 9 x 13 pan
  • Boil sweet potatoes for 15 – 20 minutes, until fork tender
  • Drain and mash with butter, milk, yogurt, salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  • Heat oil in large skillet and add onions and garlic.  Cook over medium heat for abut 5 minutes until the onions are tender.
  • Add Veggie Ground Round and stir.
  • Add flour and stir to mix.  Increase the heat to medium high and add water.  Cook for about 3 minutes until the sauce boils and thickens.
  • Pour mixture into pan and top with vegetables.
  • Spread the mashed yams on top and bake for 20 minutes until bubbling and hot.

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