Due to some recent cookbook testing and some prepping I’ve been doing for Vegan Mofo (yeah, I’m cheating, what of it?), I found myself neglecting my poor old cookbook collection again. So as I walked by my pantry one day I heard whimpering coming from the bookshelf inside (I’d say there was crying but we all know books can’t cry, where would the tears come from?! That’s just crazy talk!) and decided to pull my copy of Vegan with a Vengeance from the shelf. I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve made anything from this book! When you start buying cookbooks like packs of gum, it’s almost impossible not to neglect one book or another from time to time. I suppose I could just stop buying new cookbooks (bah ha ha ha ha ha!) or I could get back into the habit of doing little cookbook challenges every few weeks. Hell, I liked the idea so much, I even started one over at the PPK! As the two of us can only eat so much, I haven’t been great at keeping up with the challenge, but that’s not to say that I’ve given up, oh no, instead I’m just taking my sweet ass time and if one of the chosen books happens to drag into another week so be it. At least my collection is still getting some tender loving care.
I started by making an Indian feast, normally this consists of some plain steamed rice and a mish mash curry but this time I actually followed recipes and made multiple dishes *pats self on back* and even though it took a little extra time, the results were well worth it. For some reason I usually skip over the side dishes in cookbooks but the Spicy Indian Rice with Toasted Almonds just seemed like a perfect fit to the curry I planned on making and it wasn’t a fussy dish, which is something I tend to avoid for a typical weekday meal. Now even though it wasn’t fussy, it does take a bit of time but not so much that you’re glaring at an uncooked pot of rice as your finished main slowly gets cold. The rice was incredible fragrant without being overwhelmed by the spices, plus the subtle flavor of the almonds went really well with the sweetness of the raisins. I replaced the slivered almonds with sliced since that’s all I had but I doubt it made much of a difference.
Normally I hate cooked spinach, something about that slubby texture I just can’t get behind and yet if you put it in a curry I’m all over that shit. Weird how our taste buds like to mess with us like that. I wouldn’t say that the Chickpea & Spinach Curry turned out to be my favorite chickpea curry but it was still a mighty fine curry. The spice mixture made for a delicious blend, although I didn’t really get the point of squeezing the tomatoes before adding them to the pot, but maybe that’s because I tend to prefer saucy curries. I started this one after I started the rice and they were virtually done the same time, it’s almost like it was meant to be I tell ya.
To kick this meal up to super awesome territory, I made the Potato Edamame Samosas. This is the second time I’ve made them and man are those things a bitch to make! Ok, that may be a bit of an exaggeration on my part but they are pretty time consuming. Hopefully I didn’t scare you off from making them because they sure are worth the time and effort you put into them and they’re really not complicated to make. First you have to make the dough, which is super easy and simple to whip together, then you set that aside and move onto the filling. The filling is so good! I swapped out the edamame for peas because peas just rock my world and everything else I followed as written. I would have been content eating the filling as is but I was on a mission to make samosas and I wasn’t about to let anything stop me. The filling takes some time to cook since you have to steam the potatoes, cook the onion, yadd yadda yadda, but once that’s done you can put everything together.
The dough is easy enough to work with, it just takes some time to roll out all those little circles, fill them and then fold everything together. Then you coat with oil and bake them. I usually prefer deep fried samosas but the crust on the baked ones turned out mighty delicious, slightly fluffy and crisp with a slight golden yellow color. I skipped out on the chutney this time as I wanted to use them for curry dipping but if you’ve never tried it before I’d highly suggest it, they really go well together.