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Dr Rupy’s Express Vegan Dinner Party

With a baked cauliflower centrepiece and plenty of plant based side dishes, this easy vegan dinner party spread is perfect for pulling out for special occasions.

From the book

Introduction

I love one of the recipe tester’s comments on this meal: “It was amazing food that looked like you’d been in the kitchen all day when in reality the prep took no time at all!” That’s exactly how a feast should be. A great selection of food that’s nourishing and authentic, as well as minimal stress so you can enjoy one of the best lifestyle hacks for health: connection. This masala-baked cauliflower centrepiece with aubergines, ginger and turmeric dal with saag, coconut yoghurt is a beautiful collection of complex flavours and, trust me, nobody realises it’s fully plant-based.

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Ingredients

For the Masala-baked cauliflower:
3 tsp garam masala
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 large (750g) cauliflower, quartered, leaves removed, roughly chopped
For the baked aubergines in spiced oil:
500g baby aubergines, halved lengthways
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp black pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
For the ginger and turmeric dal:
2 tbsp coconut oil
40g fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 star anise
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (or paprika)
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp cumin seeds
400g red lentils, soaked for 10 minutes then drained
1 vegetable stock cube
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
300ml hot water
200g spinach, roughly chopped
For the speedy saag:
200g spinach, roughly chopped
300g kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
300g spring greens, stems removed and roughly chopped
500ml hot water
For the tarka:
4 tbsp avocado oil or coconut oil
12 curry leaves
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
To serve:
250g coconut yoghurt
Juice of ½ lemon
Pinch of garam masala
cooked brown basmati rice
flatbreads
mango pickle

Method

MASALA-BAKED CAULIFLOWER

Serves 5 to 6, Prep time: 5 minutes, Cook time: 40 minutes

Preheat the oven to 200ºC fan.

Mix the spices and oil in a bowl with plenty of seasoning. Brush onto the cauliflower quarters and leaves, adding a little more oil if needed. Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes until golden, turning the cauliflower and ruffling the leaves halfway through.

BAKED AUBERGINES IN SPICED OIL

Serves 5 to 6, Prep time: 5 minutes, Cook time: 35 minutes

Preheat the oven to 200ºC fan.

Mix the aubergines, spices and oil in a roasting tin, coating the aubergine pieces well. Sprinkle with plenty of salt and bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes until golden.

GINGER & TURMERIC DAL

Serves 5 to 6, Prep time: 10 minutes, plus soaking, Cook time: 20 minutes

Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the ginger, spices and plenty of seasoning and fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the lentils and cook for a further 1 minute. Crumble in the stock cube, pour in the coconut milk and hot water, bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until the lentils are soft, adding more water if necessary to stop it drying out. Add the spinach for the last 2 minutes of cooking to gently wilt.

SPEEDY SAAG

Serves 5 to 6, Prep time: 5 minutes, Cook time: 25 minutes

Place the chopped spinach, kale and spring greens in a large pan. Add the hot water and plenty of salt and pepper, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until broken down. Blend with a stick blender; the mixture should be fairly thick (you can add a tablespoon of coconut yoghurt to thicken, if needed). Meanwhile, in a small pan over a medium heat, make the tarka (a spiced oil mix). Add the oil, curry leaves, spices and some salt to the pan and cook for a few minutes until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Then throw over the saag in the pan to serve.

TO SERVE

Whip the coconut yoghurt with the lemon juice and salt to taste and dust with a pinch of garam masala to serve. Serve with brown basmati rice, flatbreads and mango pickle.

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From the book: Dr Rupy Cooks: Healthy. Easy. Flavour

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