Friday, May 3, 2013

The Hungry Ang Mo Contributes A Recipe!

I met Luke, the 'Hungry Ang Mo' last year when my family and I went to explore Sungei Buloh. It is pretty embarrassing that this 'ang mo', which he declares as his race, is a volunteer nature guide at our wetland park! (seriously, do we have our own local guides?)

Anyway, we found out that Luke is always on the prowl for good vegetarian eateries and helms Singapore's first vegetarian food blog. Which is no doubt, serves as your best guide to local vegetarian food! Oh yes... did I mention he is vegan?



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1) Tell us what you do and maybe some interesting bits about yourself.

I am currently working as Motivational Trainer for Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group, which involves visiting many Primary and Secondary schools in Singapore, and giving workshops on how to become motivated to study, and also practical study skills that can help for PSLE and O-Levels.  In my free time, I love to run with my dog (we aim to run at least 40km per week); I am also a Nature Guide at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (where I met Adeline!).   But the bulk of my free time is spent on my vegetarian food blog –hungryangmo.com.  This blog has been running for over three years, and has built up a steady following.  I do my best to post twice a week on this blog.

2) When and how did you decide to go vegetarian?

I became a vegetarian when I was 11 years old.  Both my parents were meat-eaters, and were extremely against the idea of me becoming a vegetarian.  Back then, my primary reason for being a vegetarian was because I did not want to contribute to animal suffering/cruelty.  As I have grown older, I discovered many extra reasons – Such as the health benefits of a diet that doesn’t include meat.  As well as the environment damage that the meat industry causes.  In 2012, I became a vegan, which means I now no longer take any animal products (milk, eggs, cheese etc.).  This was purely for health reasons, after discovering how harmful and unnatural these products are – Think about it, why are humans drinking a cow’s milk!?

3) How is life in Singapore compared to England, where you were originally from? What do you miss about your homeland?

I miss very little from England, as I did not enjoy living there.  I was always more intrigued by Asia, and feel more much comfortable and ‘at home’ in Singapore, compared with the dangerous and dirty streets of Manchester.

4) What's your favourite local dish?

If you ask a true food reviewer this question, then they should never be able to answer.  I like too many, so it is very difficult to narrow it down to one.  Having said that, some of my favourites are vegetarian zhu jiao chu, fried hor fun (with strong wok hei) and vegetarian ayam masak merah.

5) If you ever opened a vegetarian restaurant, what would you name it?
Hungry Ang Mo’s Vegan Delights – A pure 100% vegan North Indian eatery.

Sharing An Indian Dish Recipe – Vegan Palak Paneer

Since my transformation from vegetarian to vegan.  I have been painstakingly cooking my favourite Indian dishes at home, and converting them into completely 100% vegan dishes.  This can sometimes be incredibly challenging, as Indian food depends a lot of animal products.  Nevertheless, it is not impossible.

‘Palak’ means ‘Spinach’ and ‘Paneer’ means ‘Indian cheese’ – But for this, I will be replicating/replacing the cheese with tofu.  There is another dish called Methi Chaman, which follows the same general cooking principles, only difference is the addition of fresh kasoori methi (fenugreek) mixed together with the spinach.

Ingredients


·         Mustard Oil – 3 TBS

·         Palak (Indian spinach) – Bunch

·         Fresh methi/fenugreek leaves (optional - If you are making methi chaman) – Bunch

·         Fresh coriander – Handful

·         Onion – 1 large

·         Tomato – 3 medium

·         Cashew nuts and Watermelon seeds (finely blended until ‘cream’ texture is    
          achieved) – ½ cup cashew & ¼ cup watermelon seeds

·         Ginger garlic paste – 1 TBS

·         Turmeric – 1 TSP

·         Cumin seeds – 1 TBS

·         Coriander powder – 3 TBS

·         Cumin powder - 2 ½  TBS

·         Garam masala powder – 2 TBS

·         Hing – Pinch

·         Pepper powder – 1 TBS

·         Firm tofu – 2 blocks

·         Nutritional yeast – 4 TBS

·         Salt – To taste

·         Sugar – 1 TBS

*All these spice powders can be bought from Mustafa or any Indian grocer.*

Instructions

1.      Slice the firm tofu into cubes and drain as much excess water from the blocks as you can.  After which, place in a bowl and add nutritional yeast (this gives the cheese flavour) and salt together and let it sit for about one hour.

2.      Soak cashew nuts and watermelon seeds for around one hour in warm water.  After, blend them together until cream-like consistency is achieved.  Set aside.

3.      Roughly chop the spinach and then blanch for one minute in hot water, then place into the blender. 

4.      Blend the spinach roughly and set aside.

5.      In a pan, add mustard oil.  Once heated, add cumin seeds and cook until aroma comes out of the seeds.

6.     Add finely chopped onion, and cook until onions become golden.

7.     Add ginger garlic paste, and cook until raw flavour goes away.  Then add turmeric and hing – Very little hing.

8.     Add finely chopped tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are very soft.

9.     Add the spinach mixture into the pan and cook for at least 15 minutes, constantly stirring during that time.  After adding the mixture, sprinkle a little sugar (this helps retain the bright green colour).

10.  Once this mixture is cooked, add cumin powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder, pepper powder and more salt.

11.  Once mixture becomes slightly dried out, add the cashew nut and watermelon seeds mixture into the curry (do not add it all) and mix.  This nut/seed paste replicates cream.

12.  Cook for another 5 minutes, and then serve.

13.  Sprinkle fresh coriander on top, and add more cashew nut and watermelon seed paste on top.

14.  Done!

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Thanks Luke! For sharing this recipe!
 
Read more about Luke here.
Site :  hungryangmo.com
Facebook :  Hungry Ang Mo
 
 
Till the next post, have a blessed week!

Linking up with : 

9 comments:

  1. thanks for linking him to my Foodie Friday Adeline~ I'll hop by his site to "check him out" kekeke~

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wait Luke, do you mean real watermelon seeds?
    My husband became pescatarian for the same reasons. I'm sure he would be vegetarian if not for me. It's tough having to cater to different foodie needs at home! There's him, me (who eats everything) and the kids (who sometimes need baby foods). I'm pooped!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes REAL watermelon seeds. Having said that, I don't pluck them out of the actual watermelon. I buy them packeted - Many Indian grocers (such as Mustafa) sell them! :)

      Luke

      Delete
  3. What an interesting read. Luke is certainly more ang mo than some of us locals - "wok hei?!?!? My favorite Indian Veg Dish is Aloo Gobi. Will hop on over to look see look see if he has the recipe too. Thanks for sharing Luke and Adeline! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't have a recipe for aloo gobi yet, but I'll add it to my list of dishes to do in the future! :)

      Luke

      Delete
  4. Oh my, I'm so ashamed of myself - I dunno some of the ingredients :-( You can cook watermelon seeds? I thought only eaten during Chinese New Year ;-p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you blend waterlemon seeds, they have a surprisingly similar texture to cream. That is why I use it in this dish, to replace the cream that would normally be there! :)

      Luke

      Delete
  5. looking forward to Luke or anyone opening a pure 100% vegan north indian eatery in singapore soonest.
    my family are lovers of indian food but since we adopted a strict vegan diet in 2008, we never had indian food again as most of them have milk content in their food.

    vegan indian food lovers

    ReplyDelete
  6. thanks for share...

    ReplyDelete

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