Helloo....and Happy New Year!! Yes, I know everyone all over the world said that over 3 weeks ago but I haven't blogged since November last year, so better late than never :).
This month is the first time our newly revamped cooking group, the Creative Cooking Crew (CCC), is making its appearance. Our CCC hosts are Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks and Joan of Foodalogue and our challenge this month is to showcase Vegan food in a totally creative way, right up my alley!
I've featured many vegan posts in my Instagram gallery (@divaeatslife) but sometimes the recipes just get lost within the folds of my memory... You see, the beauty of IG is that it's not a blog and therefore recipes are usually ad hoc because there's no real need to elaborate on the 'how to' of the food pictures being posted up there. Occasionally though, I do make an effort to record my recipes properly, and this is one of them.
A friend recently challenged me to make food that can be served without any plates, bowls, cups or any serving utensils, so that's what you'll also notice here. An improvized plate made out of screwpine (pandan) leaves and bowl out of a small pomelo lime shell. For the skewers, I used lemongrass stalks and simply wrapped the paste-like batter around them corndog style. I think I must've have pushed my creativity boundaries to the limit (there is none, really...lol) with this one, but I'm happy with how everything looks and tastes here!
The texture of the tofu skewers is lightened with the creaminess of the ground chickpeas, and its flavor enhanced with my seasonings of choice - fresh lemongrass and Za'atar powder. You can also use cayenne pepper instead of Za'atar if you're not feeling so adventurous. In this cooking group, though, being mainstream is the last thing you'd want to be because everyone else is fearlessly creative and there is nothing - foodwise, at least - most of us are unwilling to try!
There will be a round-up of the CCC's vegan offerings on January 30 over at Joan's blog. Head over there then, won't you?
Lemongrass Chickpea Tofu Skewers with Spicy Soya Pomelo Dip
2 pieces firm tofu
1 cup cooked chickpeas
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or Za'atar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 stick lemongrass (white part only) sliced
2 tablespoons plain flour
Salt and pepper to taste
6 lemongrass stalks, for skewers
1/3 cup soya sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
juice of 1 pomelo lime
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, chopped finely
1 teaspoon finely chopped chili
1 teaspoon of sugar (optional)
1. Blend all ingredients except lemongrass skewers in a food processor and process until it becomes a thick paste.
2. Scoop a heaped tablespoon of paste and wrap it around the thick end of the lemongrass skewer. Form into a sausage shape along the skewer. Wet your palms and fingers in between each shaping so the paste/dough doesn't stick. Place tofu skewers in the freezer to chill for at least 10 minutes.
3. Heat some oil in a deep pan under medium heat. Gently lower the skewers into the oil and fry until golden brown. Drain excess oil on paper towels and serve immediately.
4. For the dip, place all the ingredients in a bowl, give the mixture a good stir and serve immediately with tofu skewers.