I developed this Lamb Rendang recipe because, in the spirit of spring, I treated the family to a Sunday dinner which consisted of a leg of lamb with the usual roasted vegetables etc, but I didn’t realise just how much meat was actually on it! There was loads of tender meat left over so I thought it’d be nice to use it in a slow cooked curry. One of my favourite ways to cook lamb is in a Lamb Dansac, but I wanted to make something new for a change so I went for a lamb rendang instead.
Although I tend to prefer Indian food over Chinese food, I really enjoy katsu curry sauce on occasion. The only problem is that katsu curry sauce tends to traditionally be very heavily weighted with onion and garlic, a big no-no for those who follow the low FODMAP diet. However, there are tricks which can be utilised when it comes to using onion and garlic in low FODMAP cooking, the biggest one being that you can infuse the flavours of onion and garlic into oil without them leaching FODMAPs into the oil itself. So, as long as you remove the onion and garlic from the oil in question it won’t affect your tummy.
One of my favourite meals is a Moroccan tagine, so the other day when I was searching for inspiration in the fridge and I realised that I had quite a few vegetables that needed used up I decided to make a vegan Moroccan tagine recipe. Whenever I’ve made tagines in the past I’ve always used lamb in them and cooked them in the slow cooker for hours, so it felt a bit odd to make this vegan Moroccan tagine within an hour. However, it turned out to be really tasty, with a wide variety of spiced vegetables incorporated within it, and it was pretty substantial thanks to the inclusion of chickpeas.
It’s easy for non-vegans to discount vegan food as being bland or boring because they think that the omission of meat from a dish equates with a lack of flavour, but I think the opposite can often be said of vegan food. A dish without meat can frequently surprise you because it allows the unique and delicate flavours of the vegetables, pulses and spices to sing due to the fact that they are not being overpowered by the strong taste of meat.
If you enjoy Moroccan flavours and fancy a light, but hearty vegan tagine then this is the recipe for you. One of the benefits of this meal is that the choice of vegetables can be altered to suit whatever you have in the fridge and whatever suits your FODMAP needs. You can tweak the recipe to suit your own tastes too, so add less cinnamon if you’re not a fan of it or feel free to go to town with the fresh chilli if you’ve got a mouth made of asbestos. It’s all about cooking something that works for you.
I was concerned in case it would be very spicy so I served my family’s tagines with a dollop of crème fraiche resting on top, but you could use coconut yoghurt if you can’t tolerate dairy and want to keep it a completely vegan Moroccan tagine. I also served mine with a generous scattering of toasted flaked almonds, a component I would wholly recommend you use because it adds a lovely nutty crunch to each spoonful you munch. You can serve it with rice, cous cous, flatbreads or on its own, but either way, it’s just a really easy, big ol’ comforting bowl of spicy, tasty veg that’s just the ticket on a cool, drizzly autumn evening.
200g red bell pepper (cut into bite-sized pieces)
2 carrots (cut into bite-sized pieces)
4 tbsps. soy sauce (or tamari – a gluten-free soy sauce)
1 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp asafoetida powder
2 tsps. ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsps. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. fresh ginger (minced)
½ a fresh red chilli (deseeded and thinly sliced, but optional)
The juice of ½ a lime
300g of tinned chickpeas (drained & well rinsed)
700g of tinned chopped tomatoes
To serve (optional):
20g flaked toasted almonds
Freshly chopped coriander
Chopped fresh chilli
Lactose-free crème fraiche or coconut yoghurt
Rice, cous cous or flatbreads.
This is a really easy one that doesn’t really require much work apart from the veg prep.
Prepare all of your ingredients as directed.
Put a large pan over a medium heat.
Put the soy sauce and water in the pot and then add all of your vegetables.
Cook for 10 mins and then add all of your spices and the lemon juice. Stir thoroughly and cook for another 10 mins.
Add the chickpeas and chopped tomatoes and stir well.
Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and cook for another 15-20 mins.
Put your flaked almonds in a dry frying pan and toast them, stirring frequently so that they don’t burn. Once they’re golden brown remove them from the frying pan.
Garnish each bowl of tagine with chopped fresh coriander and flaked almonds and add any other accompaniments as desired.
Chana masala is traditionally a chickpea curry that is normally quite dry, spicy and flavoured with citrus. This variant of a Happy Pear recipe however, uses coconut milk as its base which creates a saucier curry, but with no loss of flavour. Although I made mine without meat, on reflection, the addition of beef to the mix and then cooking the dish in a slow cooker throughout the day would make for a really tasty carnivorous meal at dinnertime.
This isn’t a particularly hot curry, but that’s entirely in your hands and depends on the amount of chilli you choose to add. A pot of natural yoghurt or crème fraîche on the dining table to help cool the palate is always welcomed by my partner when we eat curry. I tend to use brown chickpeas (also known as Desi or Kala Chana) in my cooking for two reasons. 1.) I can get four tins of them in the Indian section of my local supermarket for £1. And 2.) Although they have a brown coloured skin, they are still yellow inside and have a much deeper, nuttier flavour than their popular yellow brother.
Chickpeas are a high FODMAP food in large quantities, particularly if you use dried ones, but if you buy the tinned variety and drain and rinse them well before using them in your recipe their FODMAP content is considerably lowered. As always though, use your own judgement as to what your own body and digestive system can tolerate.
I served the curry with poppadums because I felt that with the amount of vegetables in the dish it was unnecessary to include bulky rice, but you could accompany the curry with pilau rice, naan breads, or chapatis. I know the ingredients list is long, but it’s worth it. And if you have leftovers they’re fantastic the next day because all of the flavours have been marinating together overnight making for a richer, more complex, curry.
1 large common tomato (diced)
1 tsp of asafoetida powder
2 carrots (cut lengthways then into 1/2 cm thick half moons)
100g green bell pepper (chopped into bite-sized pieces)
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger (finely chopped or grated)
1 red chilli (finely chopped)
1 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 tbsp of cumin seeds
1 & 1/2 tsps of ground turmeric
2 tsps of curry powder or garam masala
1 tsp of ground coriander
1 tsp of ground cumin
2 tsps of paprika
1/4 tsp of ground pepper
3 cardamom pods (crushed under a knife so the casing splits)
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
A 400ml tin of coconut milk
A pint of vegetable stock
200g of tinned chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
Salt (to taste)
The juice of 1/2 a lime
To serve (optional):
Fresh coriander (chopped)
Natural lactose-free yoghurt (or non-dairy version)
Prepare your ingredients as per the directions.
Place all of your spices together in a small bowl.
Pour the oil into a large pot and then fry the chilli and ginger for 5 mins on a medium heat, stirring regularly.
Add the spice mix and some salt and cook for a couple of mins.
Add in the tomatoes, carrots, green pepper, coconut milk and chickpeas and simmer for 15 mins (or longer on a low heat, if preferred, to encourage the flavours to marry).
If you feel the curry is too thick add in some vegetable stock. Taste to see if it requires more salt (mine needed quite a bit).
When you’re ready to serve the curry place it in bowls, scatter with fresh coriander and sprinkle with the lime juice.