Cauliflower Dhal

…. but the kitchen sink


Many many moons ago, before I learnt how to cook, my signature dish (just ask J.) was ‘ruskomsnusk’ (liberally translated from Danish as MixItAlIin – geddit?)

It was not impressive, but it got us fed, back then. As my culinary know-how has progressed, Ruskomsnusk has appeared less and less frequently on our table.

However, I think if done with skill, it is well suited to vegetarian food. It seems whenever I have eaten in veggie restaurants and cafes (some of you will remember Food for Thought in Brighton), what I enjoy most is a mixed plate of various salads (if cold) or stews (if hot). But it does mean always having a range of leftovers to hand, not just 1. I’ll get there eventually, for now I’ll have to improvise with whatever is left in the veg drawer and a tupperware or 2 of leftovers.

The other night, I dined solo for once, and I hadn’t really planned anything. So for the kids, it was a semi-traditional vegetable flan, which is pretty much the best way of getting anything plant-based into 8 year old Miss C. Over the years I have experimented with various ‘recipes’, based on what is lurking in the veg drawer and the fact that time is of the essence with 2 hungry kids after school.

What I tend to do is throw the raw peeled veg into a food processor and chop finely, then add 1 egg per person, a dash of milk, a small handful of grated cheese and some flavouring (thyme, lemon zest, garlic…). When feeling flush (or the kids are extra well behaved. Ha!), I scatter breadcrumbs on top and a few blobs of butter. I then bake it in the oven at 200C until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out dry. And voila!


But I digress. That ruskomsnusk. It’s what I improvised after the kids were finally in bed: some left-over quinoa with herbs (from this recipe), a ‘fondue de poivrons’ (aka melted down onions and finely sliced red and yellow peppers) and topped with an egg fried in coconut oil (oh my, it makes the edges really crispy, just as I like. Who knew?)

The following evening was a bit more structured: my first mung dhal with cauliflower, topped with a tempeh (temper?) of fried cumin seeds and sliced garlic, served with poppadum and lime pickle. The recipe could have been better, so I’ll put the photo for now, but post a recipe when I have improved it.

Cauliflower Dhal

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