Moroccan Vegetarian chilli

This dish will have you salivating while the heady aromas waft from the pot on your kitchen stove . The warm spices in this dish just keep you wanting more . Funny ,on a real fall day , like today , I could certainly go for a hot bowl of this delicious , heart warming chili .

Williams Sonoma

Serves 6

4 large ancho chilies

3 cups water

4 large whole garlic cloves , plus 6 large cloves , sliced

1 yellow onion , chopped

1  1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1  1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1  1/2 tsp ground cumin

1  1/2 tsp ground coriander

1 can ( 28  oz ) chopped tomatoes

1 butternut squash , 1  1/4 lb , halved , seeded , peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes .

2 cans chickpeas

2 Zuchini cut into 1/2 inch dice

1/3 cup sliced dried apricots

1/3 cup sliced pitted prunes

In a saucepan, combine the chillies and water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the chillies to a work surface. Preserve the liquid. Discard the stems and seeds from the chillies. In a food processor or a blender, combine the chillies with the whole garlic cloves and 1/2 cup of the liquid. Process until smooth. Set aside.

Heat a heavy pot over medium heat. Coat the pot with a bit of olive oil. Add the onion, sliced garlic cloves, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, and corriander. Saute until the onion and garlic have softened. About 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, butternut squash and the chillie puree. Cover and simmer, stirring occassionally until the squash is just tender, about 25 minutes.

Stir in the chick peas with their liquid, the zucchini, dried apricots and prunes. Simmer, uncovered, until all the squashes are tender, about 15 minute more. Transfer to a warm serving dish and serve hot.


Stir fried red curry green beans

Red curry paste is all the seasoning you will need to flavor this green bean tofu stir fry . Look for the brand Maseri in Asian markets as it does not contain fish sauce or shrimp paste and is therefore suitable for vegans .

Serves 6

Chat Mingkwan

3 fresh kaffir lime leaves

2 tbs vegetable oil

3 tbs red curry paste

1 cup julienne firm tofu

3 cups sliced green beans in 1  1/2 inch lengths

1 cup vegetable stock or water

2 tbs sugar or more to taste

2 tbs light soy sauce or more to taste

2 tbs chili paste with soybean oil ( namprik pow )

1 vegetable bouillon cube

2 whole red jalapeno peppers , sliced into thin strips , for garnish

5 sprigs thai sweet basil leaves only , for garnish

Stack the kaffir lime leaves and roll them tightly into a cigarette like roll. Slice across the roll to make fine , paper thin strips , set aside for garnish .

Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat . Stir in the curry paste and cook 3 -5 minutes or until almost tender . Add vegetable stock , sugar , soy sauce , chili paste with soybean oil , and vegetable bouillion . Continue cooking until the beans are tender , about 3 minutes longer . Adjust the flavor with more with more seasonings to taste .

Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with kaffir lime leaves , red jalapeno peppers , basil leaves .


These delicious bean ” dumplings ” are popular with all my friends and family . They are wholesome and nutritious and can be servedin a pita with hummus or baba ghanouj and a tomato and cucumber salad . Typically falafel are made with large broad beans , sold as skinned in Middle eastern stores , but I often revert to all chickpeas or a combination , as chickpeas are so widely available .

Serves 10

Claudia Roden

1 lb dried ( skinless ) split broad beans , soaked in cold water for 24 hours

salt and pepper

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

good pinch of ground chili pepper or cayenne

1 tsp baking soda or baking powder

1 large onion , very finely chopped or grated

5 scallions , very finely chopped

6 cloves garlic , crushed

2/3  cup  finely chopped flat leaf parsley

2/3 cup finely chopped cilantro

sunflower or light vegetable oil for deep frying

The long soaking  of the beans to soften is all -important . After soaking , drain the beans very well and let them dry out a little on a towel . Then put them in a food processor and process until they form a paste ., adding salt and pepper , cumin , coriander , chili powder and baking soda or powder ( these last two release carbon -dioxide gas , which causes the paste to rise slightly and lighten ).. The paste must be so smooth and soft so it will hold together when you fry . Let it rest for at least 1/2 an hour .

Add the rest of the ingredients , except the oil. If you have chopped the onion in the food processor , strain to get rid of the juice , or the rissoles could fall apart when you fry them .

Knead the mixture with well your hands. Take small lumps and make flat , round shapes 2 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick . Let them rest 15 minutes .

Heat at least 2 inches of oil in a heavy pot until sizzling hot . Fry the patties in batches , without crowding them , until crisp and brown , turning them once over . Lift them out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels .

Serve hot .

New york times magazine Falafel

Falafel are a treasure exported from North Africa , and sold  as street fare all over New York city . These fried,  crisp , crunchy morsels take some planning ahead , but , honestly are worth all the time and effort .

New york Times Magazine

Makes 32

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

3 cups chickpeas      1/2 cup plus 1 tbs bulgar

3 medium yellow onions , roughly chopped

15 cloves garlic , peeled

3 tbs whole cumin seed

3 tbs whole coriander seed

1 tbs whole black peppercorns

1 tbs kosher salt , plus more to taste

3 tbs finely chopped mint

3 tbs finely chopped cilantro

3 tbs finely chopped parsley

3 tbs white sesame seeds

3 tbs baking soda

1 to 2 quarts canola oil

Place the chickpeas and bulgur each in a bowl and add water to cover by 2 inches . Cover and soak overnight.Drain well and grind through the small dye of a meat grinder into a large bowl set under a fine mesh strainer . Press on the onions to release the excess juice. Discard the juices then add the onions to the chickpea mixture . ( I use a food processor , careful not to OVERPROCESS )

In a small skillet over medium heat , toast the cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant . Transfer to a spice grinder, add the peppercorns and grind to a powder. Transfer the spices to the chickpea mixture , along with the salt , mint , cilantro , parsley and sesame seeds . Stir to combine . Mix in the baking soda and let stand for 30 minutes . season to taste with salt .

Heat a medium pot filled 2 inches with canola oil to 350*F. Using your hands , shape the chickpea mixture into 2 inch balls . Fry in batches for 3 minutes or until dark brown and cooked through.

Serve with Hummus , raita and Pita bread

Avocado Relish

This is a very  versatile relish to have on hand . It is a super accompiniment to Chilis , quesadillas or even on its own with tortilla chips . It ie elegant and nutritious and completely vegan.

Bobby Flay

1 cup

1 ripe Haas avocado , coarsely chopped

1 tbs finely diced red onion

1 tbs minced jalapeno

2 tbs fresh lime juice

1 tbs coarsely chopped cilantro

salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the avocado , onion , jalapeno , lime juice , and cilantro . Season to taste with salt and pepper . Cover and refridgerate for up to 1 day . Bring to room temperature before serving.

Spinach Risotto

Risotto  is a labor of love and delight . It needs to be stirred often , but not constantly , to keep the rice grains whole and not mushy . There are a few types of rice suitable for risotto , but I like Arborio as the grain stays whole and still has a little bite when fully cooked .

Mark Strausman , Campagna NYC

Makes 6 appetizer servings

2 lbs fresh spinach , well washed and rolled in a towel to dry or one 10 oz box frozen spinach , thawed

3 tbs unsalted butter

1/2 medium onion , minced

1 clove garlic , minced

1  1/2 cups arborio rice ( do not rinse )

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 cup dry white wine

3 to 4 cups hot stock of your choice ( chicken , vegetable or canned low sodium broth )

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a food processor , puree the fresh or thawed spinach .

In a medium -size heavy soup pot , melt 2 tbs butter over medium -high heat. When it foams, add the oniuon and garlic and cook,

stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the rice, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until well coated, about one minute.

Add the wine and simmer gently until the liquid is absorbed, 3-5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup stock, stir, and simmer, stirring occassionally, until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat, adding 1/2 cup stock at a time, until the rice is cooked through but still firm, about 25 minutes total. When the rice is almost cooked, stir in the spinach and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until done.

The spinach should not cook for more than 4 minutes, or it will turn brown.

Add the remaining tablespoon butter and the parmesan cheese

Mix well, taste for salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Pasta with Broccoli Rabe

They beauty of pasta is that it is delicious , easy to cook , economical and always on hand , a pantry staple. This dish is best prepared with Fusilli (corkscrews ) or farfalle ( butterflies ) . It is wholesome , filling and very satisfying . Just add a salad and you have a perfect weeknight meal.

4 to 6 servings

Food and Wine

1  1/2 lbs broccoli rabe , thick stems trimmed and peeled

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

6 large garlic cloves , minced

3 anchovy fillets , mashed ( vegans please omit)

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 lb fusilli

1 tbs unsalted butter

Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese , for serving

Steam the broccoli rabe until just tender, about 3 minutes. Coarsely chop.

Heat oil in a large skillet . Add the garlic and cook over low heat until golden , about 3 minutes. Add the anchovies (optional ) and crushed red pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add broccoli rabe and cook , stirring , until the flavors are well blended , about 4 minutes . Season with salt and black pepper and keep warm.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water , stirring occasionally , until al dente. Reserve 3 tbs of the pasta cooking liquid and toss again . Season with salt and pepper ; transfer to a warmed bowl . Serve at once , passing the cheese separately.