If you’ve followed the blog for a little while, you’ll know I get a lot of inspiration from my favourite chefs and cooks. Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, Sophie Dahl, Nigel Slater, Rachel Allen, Bill Granger, Rachel Khoo, and my take on the Londoner‘s devilish Slutty Brownies… can you guess who’s missing?
It’s time for one of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipes!
I was so impressed and mesmerised by his series River Cottage Veg Heroes, in which he places vegetables at the centre of his diet. In that series, he created the most mouth-watering recipes; in fact they converted quite a few sceptics to vegetarianism.
The Chachouka Chow Chow drew my attention, not least because I couldn’t figure out how to spell it (but the name sure is funny). Warming spices, tender, juicy peppers, the colours of Africa on your plate. Your house will smell of cumin for hours after you’ve had the last bite of your chachouka.
Serves 3-4 with bread, 2 as a main meal
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 onion, minced
1 green chilli, deseeded ad finely sliced
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
2 medium sized tomatoes (NOT beef)
200-250g tempeh, sliced into strips
3 large peppers, deseeded and sliced into strips
1 400g can tinned tomatoes
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne (or paprika) powder
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 small loaf (pecan and raisin) bread
Heat the coconut oil in a large, deep pan. Fry the cumin seeds for a minute before adding the onion, garlic and chilli. Fry for about five minutes, until the onion is translucid, before adding the peppers, tinned tomatoes and the rest of the spices. Let it all bubble for 20 minutes on low to medium heat.
Serve with a few slices of crusty, rustic bread.
* This dish is best served with a couple of slices of crusty bread. I suggest this recipe for a Pecan and Raisin Loaf I chanced upon while I was browsing the Circo website. Crusty bread crunching underneath your teeth and mellow peppers melting on your tongue — it’s a magical combo. It’s quite a sweet meal — ideal when you need a comforting end to a possibly harrowing day.
* If you don’t like tempeh, you could try replacing it with fried tofu. If you want to make the dish even more wholesome, red kidney beans would be lovely, too, as they go so well with tomatoes and spices.