Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Daring Cooks September Challenge

The Daring Cooks Challenge this month was to make a vegan, gluten free main dish (or appetizer, depending on the size we made) of Indian dolmas with a chickpea filling and coconut curry sauce. Check out the recipe and directions here.

I made the dish in reverse, starting with the sauce. I combined the garlic and onions with the spices and cooked tham until they were soft and fragrant. I added the flour (I used buckwheat in place of the spelt, since I knew I would never use the rest of the bag of spelt and I would use buckwheat flour for buckwheat pancakes-- the idea was to be gluten free and buckwheat flour fills this requirement) and cooked it with the vegetables and spices to make a roux, then added the vegetable broth and coconut milk and stirred to make a smooth sauce. I added the tomatoes and simmered for 30 minutes. The resulting sauce was fragrant and looked just like the picture in the directions from Debyi who chose the recipe. Woo-hoo! One down and two to go!

Next I tackled the filling. I cooked the chopped vegetables with the garlic and spices until it had cooked down into a thick filling. (I substituted jalapeno peppers for the Hungarian mediums hot ones called for, since that is what I had in my garden.) I added the mashed chickpeas (I mashed them by hand so that some texture of the chickpeas would remain) and the tomato paste and cooked it all until thick.

Then I made the dosas, which are like buckwheat crepes. (I used soy milk.) Some of the Daring Bakers had trouble with these, but mine came out beautifully whole and perfectly cooked. Three for three! High five!

I put them all together and plated them, and took their glamour shot, and then we dug in. The resulting dish was... filling.

Beautiful, but bland.

Fragrant, but disappointing.

The sauce, which had 2 cups of coconut milk in it, had no flavor at all. The filling, which had minced jalapeno peppers in it, had no heat at all. It tasted good, but really was not the spicy dish we were expecting from the wonderful smells coming from my kitchen all afternoon.

Maybe it would have improved over night, as many tomato-based dishes do, but I dumped the rest without taking up the space in the fridge to find out. Not one of my better results.

1 comment:

Heather B said...

Great job! They look delicious!