Brunch, Snacks

Creamy red pepper and cashew spread / dip

This is a lovely creamy dip / spread made with roasted bell peppers / capsicums. My friends at Simple Pleasures Cafe in Chiang Mai make a lovely dips and spreads similar to this.

Start by roasting about 4 red peppers in a hot oven, meanwhile put a cupful of cashews in a small saucepan with a clove of garlic and a couple of pinches of salt and add just enough hot water to cover the nuts. Leave to soak while the peppers cook. Once the peppers begin to char on the outside turn off the oven and allow to cool. Boil the cashews to reduce any excess water and dry roast a tsp. of cumin seeds in a frying pan. Then peel and deseed the peppers putting their flesh in a blender with a good glug of olive oil, the cashews, garlic and most of the cumin seeds. Blend until smooth and taste, add more salt if necessary and then put in a bowl, drizzle over a little olive oil and sprinkle on the remaining cumin seeds.

Thai Food, Veggie mains

Tofu pad prik sod

Another vegan stir-fried tofu dish made with fresh chillies. It doesn’t need to be that spicy if you use large chillies which are mild and sweet when cooked..

I cubed a 275g block of tofu and then shallow fried it until golden. I then put this to one side and stir-fried a sliced medium-sized red onion until it began to soften. I then added 3 cloves of roughly chopped garlic, 3 large sliced red chillers, 3 bird’s eye chillies (optional) and 200g of  Enoki mushrooms and a couple of sticks of celery, cut into chunks, you can use a handful of green beans instead. I stir-fried this for a couple of minutes then added a splash of soy sauce and a couple of tbsp. of veggie (mushroom) oyster sauce. I fried this and added a splash of water to make a sauce to coat everything. Finally, I added a couple of chopped spring onions a few celery leaves and fried until the celery leaves began to wilt. You may need to add another splash of water if it becomes too dry, the sauce helps to distribute the flavours. Serve with rice and any other Thai dishes of your choice.