Button Mushroom and Chickpea “Chasseur”

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Chasseur is the French term for hunter. Chasseur dishes are normally made with game cooked slowly in wine until the dish is sweet and rich. Fortunately, during the hunting season, there is also an abundance of mushrooms for us vegans to enjoy. Mushrooms are another food that help build our immune system and should be eaten every day during the winter. I found some delightful, tiny, button mushrooms which cried out to be the main feature of a dish. This would also be great with the addition of whole, tiny onions. The chickpeas could be replaced with white beans. This could be served with crusty bread or mashed potatoes.

Preparation time 15 minutes. Cooking time 1 hour.

Serves 4

Ingredients

300g of button mushrooms left whole

Two large carrots cut into circles 1cm thick

A large onion finely chopped

A large aubergine cut into 3cm dice

A tin of chickpeas

150ml of white wine

A large tomato chopped finely

A crushed clove of garlic

Two teaspoons of fresh thyme

Half a tablespoon of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a casserole dish and add the onion, garlic and aubergine. Stir for a few minutes until they start to soften. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and place into a medium oven for about an hour. You can add a little water if it starts to dry out but try not to water down the dish sauce too much. The aubergine should be soft and starting to melt before the dish is removed from the oven.

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Chana Dahl and Purple Aubergine

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Dahl is my favourite comfort food as well as a well-loved, dinner party dish but I also eat it when I am feeling the need for something plain. Dahls can be made richer with the addition of coconut milk, grated coconut or ground almonds or made simple and cleansing like this recipe. Chana dahl or just red split lentils are my favourite for a simple dahl dish like this. Chana dahl are split chick peas.

Ingredients

3 big handfuls of dried chana dahl

Half a large onion thinly sliced

Two cloves of garlic crushed

A thumbnail sized piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped

3 fresh chillis

3 large tomatoes

A teaspoon each of ground coriander, ground garam masala and ground cumin

Half a teaspoon of ground tumeric

Half a teaspoon each of black mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds

A medium aubergine chopped

A tablespoon of oil.

2 handfuls of fresh coriander finely chopped.

Salt to taste

Cook the chana dahl in plenty of water until it is still a little firm. This should take 20-25 minutes. Drain most of the liquid and set aside. Meanwhile add oil to the pan and cook the onion slices slowly until they are soft and caramelised. Add the aubergines with a little more oil and cover the pan for 5 minutes to allow them to soften slightly. Toast the ground and whole spices and add to the pan.

In a blender blitz the tomatoes, garlic and chilli together with   3-4 tablespoons of the dahl and the dahl liquid. Add this mixture to the pan, followed by the rest of the dahl. Add salt and a large handful of the fresh coriander and 100ml of water. Bring to the boil and simmer with the lid on the pan for around 30-40 minutes . During cooking, check whether more water is needed. When cooked the aubergine should be melting and the dahl soft but not mushy. Stir in the remaining fresh coriander.