Brocoli Baji sml

Broccoli bhajis

Broccoli bhajis
By Lee Holmes

(Autumn) (pitta) 
Serves 4

If you like traditional bhajis, give this healthier version a try. Broccoli is loaded with essential nutrients and has many therapeutic benefits, including detoxifying properties. It also fills and satisfies the tummy for a long time. Make broccoli bhajis your favourite dish for taming potentially fierce pittas.

300 g (10½ oz/2½ cups) besan (chickpea) flour
2 tablespoons brown rice flour
pinch of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
Himalayan salt, to taste
500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) filtered water
extra virgin coconut oil, for shallow-frying
120 g (4¼ oz/2 cups) broccoli florets
Chia jam (page 235) and Carrot and beetroot raita (page 235), to serve

Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a medium bowl. Gradually add the water, stirring well to avoid lumps. 
The mixture should have a smooth, paste-like consistency.

Heat some coconut oil (about 4 cm/1½ inches deep) in a medium, heavy-based saucepan over medium–high heat. Once the oil is hot (a small broccoli floret should sizzle and float), working in batches, dip the broccoli florets in the batter to coat well.
Drop into the pan and cook until crisp on all sides. Lay on paper towel to drain off any excess oil while you cook the next batch.

Serve warm with chia jam and carrot and beetroot raita.

Chia jam
By Lee Holmes

Serves 4

This natural, sugar-free jam suits all doshas. Fruit jams are delicious, but obtaining the desired consistency and firmness usually requires a large quantity of white sugar. This recipe uses chia seeds to create a perfect consistency, and rice malt syrup to add sweetness to the apple and berries. Delicious on its own, it can be used as a topping for pancakes – or a dollop added to the mixing bowl will sweeten up cakes, and a spoonful added to the pan will highlight curries.

1 apple, cored and grated
125 g (4½ oz/1 cup) mixed berries
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) filtered water
90–120 g (3¼–4¼ oz/¼–1⁄3 cup) rice malt syrup, to taste
35 g (1¼ oz/¼ cup) chia seeds

Combine the apple, berries, water and rice malt syrup in a small, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the consistency is thick.
Remove from the heat, stir through the chia seeds and transfer to a sterilised jar.
The jam will keep in the fridge for 5 days.

Carrot and beetroot raita
By Lee Holmes

Serves 3–4

520 g (1 lb 2½ oz/2 cups) sheep’s milk yoghurt
1 raw beetroot (beet), peeled and grated
1 carrot, grated
1 onion, finely chopped
1 small capsicum (pepper), finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
Himalayan salt, to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl by mixing gently with a spoon.
The raita will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3–4 days.