Coconut Bhajia With Jalapeño And Green Tomato Sauce

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This recipe is inspired by a dish from the Somali kitchen. Last summer I ate Somalian bhajia for the first time and it was love at first bite! They where served together with a fresh, green and very hot sauce that I can’t remember the name of. Bhajia is similar to falafel but instead of chickpeas it is made from black eye beans and the seasoning is slightly different.

I have created my own version of the balls and this one is made with coconut flakes. The coconut adds a bit more flavor to the bhajia and it is a great match with the sauce in this recipe. I have tried to create a sauce that resembles the one I had together with the bhajia last summer. I believe I am not far away from it, although I chose to make mine with oven roasted vegetables. Why? Because almost everything tastes better when roasted in the oven. I hope that you will love this recipe as much as I loved my first bite of the Somali kitchen. I am sure future investigations of the cuisine from this country will result in many more recipes!

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Coconut Bhajia With Jalapeño And Green Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

Coconut bhajia

  • 300 g black eye beans
  • 1.5 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 80 g coconut flakes
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • 2 big fistfuls of fresh cilantro
  • oil for deep frying

Jalapeño and green tomato sauce

  • 2 green tomatoes (150 g)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 4 green jalapeños (80 g)
  • 2 big fistfuls of fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsp water (or more if you would like a thinner sauce)

Method:

Coconut bhajia

  1. Soak the black eye beans over night in hot water.
  2. Drain the beans from the soaking water and add to a food processor, together with the rest of the ingredient. Blend until you receive a mixture that is somewhere between the texture of couscous and a paste (similar to the one for falafel).
  3. Form small round balls and deep fry in hot oil.

Jalapeño and green tomato sauce

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C / 390°F. Place the green tomatoes, jalapeños and garlic cloves (leave the cloves in their inner skin) on a baking tray covered with baking paper.
  2. Roast until the skin of the tomatoes and jalapeños become brownish (not black) and bubbly and the garlic cloves has become soft. Keep an eye on the garlic so it doesn’t burn. You may need to remove the garlic a bit earlier, from the oven, than the rest of the vegetables.
  3. Cut off the stems from the jalapeño and remove the skin from the garlic cloves. Place all ingredients for the sauce in a blender and mix until you get a smooth green fabulous sauce. Serve with warm bhajia!

Note: Depending on how hot you like your sauce, you may remove some of the seeds from the jalapeños after they have been roasted. For this recipe I removed the seeds from one out of the four peppers. But if you like it hot you should definitely leave all of them.

 

 

 


Food Swap – Hot Nectarine and Tomato Salsa

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Last weekends food swap was full of exciting treats. It is always so much fun to see what people bring. How about pickled elderflower capers, carrot bread, squash and Parmesan muffins or blackberry marmalade. That’s a few of the things you were able to trade and bring home. Food swaps are not only a place for swapping food, it’s also a place where to collect inspiration and ideas. The perfect spot for any foodie!

For this swap I brought a new favourite in our house, Hot Nectarine and Tomato Salsa. It’s divine together with tacos, burrito or any Mexican inspired dish. It is sweet, tangy, hot and slightly smokey. I also brought some jars of pickled tomatoes and chili peppers but I will to get back on those another day. Today I will share my favourite recipe for salsa, together with some pictures from the weekends food swap. If you are interested in joining us for future events, check out our Facebook page which we update continuously.

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Hot Nectarine and Tomato Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 700 g nectarine
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 habanero chili / 1-2 red chili peppers
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 dl / 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 dl / 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • a few big fistfuls of chopped fresh cilantro

Method:

  1. Divide and core the tomatoes. Dice the tomatoes, nectarines and onion. Chop the garlic and chili in fine pieces.
  2. Combine vinegar, sugar, salt and spices in a large saucepan. Turn heat on low to dissolve sugar.
  3. Add the chopped vegetables to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes until it thickens a bit and the nectarines are mushy. If you like your salsa more finely divided then use a potato masher for best result.
  4. Stir in the chopped cilantro and then fill the clean jars with the warm salsa and seal.
  5. Process the jars in a water bath for 10 minutes. Use a large saucepan and place a kitchen towel in the bottom of the pan. Fill with water and add the jars when the water is boiling. Make sure the jars are covered with water by a few centimetres. Process for 10 minutes if you use small to medium jars or 15 minutes if you use larger jars. Remove the pan from the heat but leave the jars in the water to settle for 5 minutes before you lift them out. When processed the salsa will stay fine for up to a year.