Vegan Split Pea Khoresht Recipe

What do you think of a recipe that begins with making french fries?  You’ll want to make extra to account for the snacking you’ll do while cooking everything else.  In fact, the day I photographed this I made fries with our lunch and prepared the khoresht for dinner.  Khoresht is pretty much a term to encompass anything you’re making as a sauce or stew to serve with rice.  Like  lot of Persian cooking there are many steps but when you are in a food allergy household long cooking times stop being as big of an issue when you’re faced with the prospect of a new(ish) mix of the usual suspects: potatoes and rice.  You can’t sub frozen fries here because I’ve tried, in the interest of shortcuts, and it just wasn’t the same.

See here for how to make Persian Rice (just make the white rice, omit the steps with the lima bean mixture).  You could probably just serve this with your favorite style of rice if you prefer.

Supplies

Measuring cups

Knives, peelers, cutting board

Large pan for frying and large saucepan for the split peas

Bowls

Ingredients

2 cups of dried split peas, rinsed and drained (you can soak these overnight if you like or start them dry)

2 very large russet potatoes (peeled and sliced into fries, soaked in hot tap water in a bowl for 10 minutes, then drained and patted dry)

11 large white mushrooms, sliced (you can use an egg slicer for this, here is my favorite that can handle mushrooms: (amazon affiliate link))

1 1/4 cups canola oil

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 large onion, minced

2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon turmeric

1 teaspoon salt

Salt to taste on the fries

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried parsley

3 cups of vegetable broth (I use a tomato free version)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

Take your rinsed 2 cups of split peas and put them into 9 cups of boiling water.  You’ll want to skim the foam that comes to the top because you don’t want your pot to boil over.  I believe it is just denatured protein coming off the split peas.  Boil them until they are pretty much falling apart, from dried split peas without soaking this took 45 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  Wipe the pot you used to boil them, you’ll be making the khoresht in that pot.

While your split peas are cooking, prepare your russets for frying (you’ll also want to peel and slice your potatoes for tahdig if you’re making persian rice as mentioned above, you can also rinse and soak your rice right now, it just needs to soak for two hours at a minimum).  Soak them in hot tap water for ten minutes, this is a tip from Cook’s Illustrated to get them crispy when they are cooked.  Drain them and pat them dry.  You’ll want to heat your oil on high and when the oil is hot you’ll add one layer of potatoes.  Watch them, I start with high heat and then adjust one setting lower (on my electric stove) so they don’t burn or cook too quickly.  It takes some practice to get them how you want them.  When they are nicely golden, put them on some paper towels in a dish to cool, add salt while they’re still hot.  A sprinkling will do.  Continue until all your fries are made.

Now, remember the saucepan you wiped down?  Heat it on medium high and swirl your tablespoon of olive oil around, add your minced onion and cook for a few minutes until they are soft.  Now add your garlic and splices (turmeric, paprika, salt, pepper, parsley) and stir to coat.  After a minute or two, add your sliced mushrooms.  I read in Martha Stewart Living that you don’t want to stir mushrooms too much while they cook or they release their juices and don’t brown.  So don’t stir too often but no big deal if you do.  If things get sticky on the bottom of the pan, feel free to deglaze with a bit of water.  Cook on medium now for 5-10 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked.  Add your fries, if you think you’ve made too many, hold off on putting them all in and see how the pan fills with your other ingredients first.  Now add your split peas, broth, and lemon juice, stir and bring to a simmer and adjust the heat so it simmers steadily.  I put a lid slightly off kilter on the pot and reduce to low.  Now let it simmer, stirring from time to time, for 2 hours.  I told you this was a long one!

You can make this the day before and it will be great, an hour before you’re ready to serve, get your rice going (if you’re making persian rice as linked to above) and you’ll see that this sauce gets nice and thick.  I know the pictures make all the beautiful fries look like they are hidden but the flavor is all there and the russets help thicken your sauce.  My mom makes this with dried lemon and tomato in it as well but she helped me adapt this because we’ve been mostly tomato free because of R’s allergy.

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup

When I was pregnant with E, I loved to have the canned cream of mushroom soup.  Well, let me rephrase that, it was one of the few things I could eat without being queasy.  My husband used to make me the soup alongside some cucumber slices with a bit of salt.  I’d eat the soup with a splash of lemon juice and it was really comfort food for me from childhood.  Now we can’t have eggs or dairy. . .or soy, or corn, or wheat, or nuts, etc.  I finally got around to trying the recipe Cybele Pascal posted online (full recipe here).  I couldn’t find “quick cooking tapioca” so I used regular tapioca pearls and had to cook the soup a little longer.  It tastes exactly like the original, especially since I added a dash of salt and a teaspoon or so of lemon juice to my bowl.  We’ll be doubling the recipe next time because it only makes a little over 2 cups of soup.

Two delicious cups of soup.

Vegan Black and White Bean Mushroom Chili Recipe

This recipe is a variant of one I found during the great cookbook checkout phase of January 2010.  I reserved and checked out every single allergy or gluten free cookbook I could get my hands on at the library and searched for things that would be “safe” for us to eat.  Some I’m sure were great for someone but they were devoid of recipes that met my criteria.  Others had one gem, like “Gluten Free Sugar Free Cooking” by Susan O’Brien (amazon affiliate link).  On page 131 there is a recipe for bean and mushroom chili and I have had good luck adapting it into a good option to serve with rice or potatoes (the usual suspects in our household).

The first time I made this I worried it wouldn’t be thick enough so I added arrowroot powder (bad idea for lots of reasons, it is not a thickener I can make work for me without being gross texture wise, now I use potato flour to thicken but not for this recipe).  If you just trust the recipe a little bit you’ll see it has a nice thick consistency after you cook it long enough.  It stops being soupy and becomes more like a thick sauce.

Supplies

Large frying pan or saute pan (I use a 3 quart saute pan from all-clad, amazon affiliate link)

Knife, cutting board

Measuring spoons

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon chile powder (sometimes I have chili, sometimes I have chile powder, I use them interchangeably though they are different)

1 1/2 tablespoons mustard seeds (I had never used them before this recipe but they’re worth seeking out)

1 large onion, minced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

12 ounces of mushrooms, sliced (I use an egg slicer sometimes to do this, E loves to help and you can see in the photos I posted earlier that you can just do it over the pan as you cook, amazon affiliate link)

1 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 15 ounce can of white kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 6 ounce can of tomato paste

1/2 cup water

3 cups vegetable broth

Fresh cilantro (to garnish, optional)

Directions

Heat your pan on medium and add your oil, it should shimmer before you add your spices.  This is different than my usual strategy for recipes, I normally fry my onions and then add spices but you want to add your mustard seeds, chile powder, cumin, and cardamom and when the mustard seeds start to make a popping sound you’ll add your onions.  Stir to coat them a little bit and then after a minute or two add your garlic and let that fry for a minute.  Now you’ll add your chopped mushrooms.  I like to give them two or three minutes to cook before adding the 1/2 cup of water but you may need to deglaze your pan at this point so if things look like they’re sticking, go ahead and add some of the water.  If you haven’t added the water you can add it after the mushrooms cook a little bit.  Now cover the pan and let everything cook while you prepare your other ingredients.  Check on the mushrooms periodically, you want to cook them for about 10 minutes.

Now add your beans, tomato paste, veggie broth, and tomato paste.  Stir everything and keep heating it on medium until it has  some simmering/bubbling going on and now reduce it to low and put the pan lid on slightly off kilter to allow some steam to escape.  Stir and check on it periodically but it should cook together and meld after at least 30 minutes.  It is different every time I make it.

This obviously needs salt but the beans still carry some saltiness and you can salt it when all is said and done.  You can use a mix of white and brown mushrooms or all white or all brown.  Both have been good with this but I think the brown mushrooms are more flavorful while the white mushrooms can be too chewy if not sliced thinly enough.  It is a pretty flexible recipe.

See more photos here, I used my rice recipe from here without the lima bean mixture and the fresh salsa?  I have pictures ready but have to type the recipe up soon!

(I shared this post at Allergy Friendly Friday 6/3/11 at CybelePascal.com)