Dosas, for every little leftover curry

Dosas, for every little leftover curry

Dosas, a love story

Tomorrow is a big day for StorrCupboard: the first StorrCupboard Food Waste workshop. Quite nervous. I’ve been putting a lot of background work into StorrCupboard so I’m often running to chase my tail. So I’m writing this just ahead of hitting send, on this blustery Sunday morning. Tomorrow I’ll be cooking dosas with 12 members of the public, learning how to be food savvy with the wonderful people of Hubbub charity. I can’t wait and I’m terrified all at once.

Dosas aren’t simple to learn. There’s a practice needed in learning the right grain to achieve and you do need a food processor, sorry. If you like the idea, then a basic gram flour ‘dosa’ will be similar but won’t have the same flavour. But it will allow you to clear your plate.

The batter is lightly fermented, so if gut health and fermentation are of interest to you then it’s well worth having a go. It took me a couple of goes to get anything that I’d even serve to my kids, so there’s been a lot of eating soggy batter!

The ground rice/lentil/fenugreek mixture has to look like thick cream, that’s the only way I can explain it. Then you loosen it, until it’s like English pancake batter – worryingly loose is how I think about it.

I loved learning to make these and pushing myself to keep on experimenting, learning. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

PS this is a lovely piece

 

Dosas

Author: Ann Storr

Ingredients

  • 375 grams basmati rice
  • 125 grams urad daal (split, skinless black gram)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil

Tools

  • Sieve
  • Scales
  • Large Bowl
  • Clean tea towel
  • Food Processor
  • Non stick or cast iron frying pan
  • Flipper
  • Ladle or coffee cup
  • Plate

Instructions

The night before

  • Wash the rice and urad daal well. Add the fenugreek seeds to the mix and fill enough water in the rice-daal bowl to cover them about 2-inch deep. Soak overnight.

8 hours before you want to cook

  • Drain all the water from the rice mixture. Now put into the food processor and grind - adding very little water if necessary - to a smooth yet slightly grainy paste
  • When you are happy with the texture, put it into a large mixing bowl and add enough water to make a batter. The consistency of the batter should be such that it thickly coats the back of a spoon - to me like English pancake batter
  • Now add salt to taste and keep the dosa batter aside in a warm, dark spot, covered, for 6 to 8 hours. During this time it will ferment

Cooking the dosas

  • Pour a little oil into the pan and tilt it to cover the base
  • Fill the ladle up to the 3/4 level with dosa batter. Gently pour this batter onto the centre of the pan - just as you would for a pancake
  • Now begin to spread the batter in sweeping circular motions to cover the base of the frying pan. The dosa may have little holes- this is normal
  • When the upper surface begins to look cooked (it will no longer look soft or runny), flip the dosa. By this time, ideally, the surface that was underneath should be light golden in colour. Cook for 1 minute after flipping.
  • The dosa is almost done. Fold it in half and allow to cook for 30 seconds more

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Pea fritters

Pea fritters

I love a fritter.  Basically a more filling pancake.  With a poached or fried egg you’ve got a light meal, or as an alternative to chips or a jacket potato with your sausages. Got sweetcorn and peas?  Would totally work – just use the same total weight of veg.

Pea fritters

Serves 4
Based on Jane Baxter for Riverford

Ingredients

100g thawed/leftover peas
75g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 egg
65ml milk
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 red chilli/1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
6 spring onions
1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley or chives (optional)
salt & pepper
Vegetable/sunflower oil for frying

Tools

Scales
Sharp knife
Whisk/fork
Mixing bowl
Measuring jug
Frying pan
Flipper
Skewer

Time

30 minutes

Level

Medium

Prep

If your peas are frozen, leave to defrost
Finely chop the chilli (if using a fresh one)
Slice the dark green tops off the spring onions (if you ever make stock, chuck them in a bag for another day; otherwise chuck). Cut the white and pale green parts of the onion into rounds

Method

Put flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl
Add egg and beat in
Gradually beat the milk in with a whisk until you get a thick, smooth batter
Melt half the butter in a saucepan
Pour the melted butter into the mixture
Add chilli (optional), herbs (optional), onions and peas to the batter and season well with plenty of salt and pepper
Heat the veg oil and a pinch of the butter in a frying pan until quite hot
Drop tablespoons of mixture into the frying pan and fry over a medium heat for about 2 minutes
You’ll see that the fritter looks a bit set, and a few bubbles will appear: that’s good!
Flip it to the other side; it’ll probably be a bit splatty on the bottom but that’s okay
Cook for another 2-3 minutes
If you’re not sure if it’s cooked, stick the point of a sharp knife or skewer into the middle; if it’s clean it’s cooked, if not, it’s not!
If it’s not cooked and you’re worried that it’s burning, flip back to the first side and give it another minute or so. You might want to turn the heat down
Pop to one side and repeat until you have used all the mixture
Serve with eggs and bacon for brunch, or as an alternative to your mash or jacket potato

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Leftover peas and pasta

Leftover peas and pasta

After all that Easter gluttony, we need some more green goodness. Peas are a huge part of our shopping, our dinners and after school teas.

When I was a kid, one of my brothers and I would eat little pots of frozen peas straight from the freezer (a habit that my youngest has picked up, I’m happy to say).  Peas are so small!  And sweet!  And I usually will just eat them all with a spoon (esp if there’s a little butter and salt on there.

 

But not always, so you can quite often find little Chinese takeaway containers with a couple of handfuls of peas waiting for their starring role…

 

Peas will keep for a couple of days; make sure that they are in a lidded container in the fridge. Do no re-freeze cooked peas.

 

A little pasta; some grated cheese and butter. That’s it.  Cook your pasta as usual; put a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water in a mug then drain the pasta.  Stir the pasta, a little of the water, a teaspoon of butter and the peas together.  If it’s a little dry, add a little more water.  Cover with whatever cheese you have/like and enjoy.

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Leftover beef stew sandwich joy

Leftover beef stew sandwich joy

My mum always told me to cook two batches of stew at once.  And so I do.  And I love stew, all chunks of meat and veg and gravy: minimum input, maximum output.  Loads of stew, ladled over a buttery jacket potato, the veggies all soft in gravy and some greens on the side.

 

I’ve used beef stew here because, well, before I met my partner, I didn’t even know you make stew with anything else apart from beef!  I thought he was peculiary for suggesting pork stew.  *How* I got into food… anyway. We four all like beef stew and sometimes that feels like a miracle.

 

Storing your leftover stew.

 

Cool down as quickly as you can (so not by the oven!).  If you have a pan that can go in the fridge, then just put the cool pan and stew in the fridge.  If not, then place the cool food into a food-grade container.  My favourites are old ice-cream tubs.

 

If you have a lot, or you’re not sure when you’re going to eat, freeze in smaller 1-or-2 person sized portions.  Old soup and hummus containers are perfect for this.

This is my lazy riff on/lazy version of a cemita. I found the proper recipe in Rosie Ramsden’s ‘The Flavour Wheel’. Her recipe uses chipotle sauce and lots of coriander and mint which sounds amazing, but let’s keep it simple.  A few chunks of leftover beef, half an avocado, a pinch of chilli flakes/some Tabasco sauce and some fresh mozzarella make this little sandwich great with flavour and texture.  If you’ve only got one spoonful of stew leftover, well, tomorrow’s sandwich lunch looks amazing.

 

From a little stew to a lotta sandwich​​

 

If you have a lot, or you’re not sure when you’re going to eat, freeze in smaller 1-or-2 person sized portions.  Old soup and hummus containers are perfect for this.

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Fishfinger rice bowl

Fishfinger rice bowl

Sometimes I think of a leftover recipe and I imagine different reactions: younger me “fish and RICE?  ARE YOU ON DRUGS?”.  My parents: “Gosh, it is interesting how you combine different things isn’t it?”. My brothers: “Oh, yeah, well done”.  They aren’t the leftover lovers though!  Two leftover fish fingers are too good to waste, and this, to me, was surprisingly good.

The leftover friend’s super star, a rice bowl is a fab way to use up those odds and sods from the bottom of your fridge.  Any leftover greens, some salad: whatever.  Bet you’d buy it in M&S  or Pret without thinking, so have a go and make your own!  Okay, M&S and Pret wouldn’t be using fishfingers, but you might have some white fish or some chicken mixed with your rice and salad, so why not a fishfinger?

Cuisines across the world batter or egg & bread fish, so mixing up a fishfinger with a little boiled rice isn’t as mad as it might sound.  I mean, okay, I wouldn’t pay to eat it in a restaurant or claim that it’s authentic cuisine (well, it’s authentic Ann Storr cuisine but that’s quite niche). But with some salad, some chilli  – well, to me it’s a damn sight tastier than a coffee shop equivalent.  And no single-use plastic packaging.

If you take lunch into work, store the fish separately so that the crumbs don’t go soggy (bawk).  A little teryaki sauce is all that this needs to give you a filling and tasty lunch.  Or, if you don’t have any in the fridge, some tamari or soy sauce.

Nice rice, some veg, some fish: quick lunch​​

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Fishfinger tacos

Fishfinger tacos

Last week I polled my Insta followers and yes – you want tips on using leftover fish.  So let’s start easy.

Fishfingers, or breaded white fish, are leftovers that loads of us have.  With that crunchy, delicious outside, though, it’s not always easy to think of something new.

 

But again: think of it as a piece of fish, not a fish finger, a breaded fillet.  Something ready wrapped and good to go.

 

Storage:

 

As soon as you know what’s not going to be eaten, if you can, put your leftover fish on a rack to cool quickly.  This will stop the coating from going soft . Allowing food to cool quickly is great when you’re trying to be sensible with your leftovers because you can get it into the fridge more quickly.  This means that it will last longer.  Put into a container safe away from strong smells/flavours.

 

Store in the fridge for a couple of days max, or freeze until you’re ready to eat.

 

Fish tacos were a crazy new idea to me. Fish. Taco.  It sounded gross.  So then I tried one and immediately saw the error of my ways.

 

Soft fish sitting inside a crunchy taco is a total winner.  If you’ve got even just one fishfinger and a box of shells in your cupboard, then, well, lunch just got a load more interesting.  A little salad, some salsa, sour cream, guacamole … again, remember this is lunch not pretending to be real Mexican style food, just taking some inspo to make the most of the food we’ve already cooked and already bought.

 

Try it, I think this might be my favourite of the week.

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com