In honour of World Vegan Month this November, Capsicum Culinary Studio has announced a collaboration with Humane Society International/Africa.
With growing numbers of South Africans reducing their consumption of meat, eggs and dairy and embracing a more plant-centric diet, HSI/Africa will help equip the school’s lecturers and students with the knowledge and skills in plant-based cooking to meet this growing demand.
In the upcoming months, through its Green Monday South Africa programme, HSI/Africa will host a series of plant-based culinary sessions for Capsicum lecturers from all six campuses across the country. The techniques learned will be taught to third-year students as part of their curriculum starting in 2023.
Some of the tasty dishes that will be introduced to the lecturers during the sessions include a Savoury Tofu Scramble, Vegan Butter Ch*cken, Chickpea Omelettes with Cashew Cream, and a Thyme and Orange Sponge Cake. All the dishes rely heavily on local ingredients and are less expensive and more sustainable than similar dishes using animal products.
Vegan butter ch*cken
- 1 box vegan ch*cken pieces or tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes
- 1 can (400 ml) coconut cream
- 2 teaspoons garam masala spice mix
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- Juice of ½ lime / lemon
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon garam masala, plus additional to taste
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 6 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Fresh coriander to garnish
- If you are using tofu, press the tofu with kitchen towel to drain the water out of the tofu, and cut into blocks.
- Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the ch*cken pieces or tofu. Set aside and let it marinate while you prepare the sauce.
- Blend the soaked cashews with the water until it becomes a creamy sauce, scoop a dollop out and keep aside for garnish.
- Heat oil in a deep non-stick pot. Add chopped onions and cook over medium-low heat until translucent.
- Add garlic, ginger and garam masala, paprika, turmeric and cumin and mix until the onions are coated and fragrant.
- Add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and a pinch of salt to the pan and mix. The tomatoes will release a lot of liquid.
- Simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, until all excess juices have evaporated.
- Once mixture is reduced to a paste, add it to the blender with the cashews and blend until smooth. Add additional water if needed.
- Return the sauce to pan and add the ch*cken pieces / tofu cubes along with the marinade. Simmer until the ch*cken pieces / tofu is cooked.
- Add cayenne pepper, nutritional yeast, and salt & pepper. Taste and adjust flavor, adding more garam masala if needed.
- Serve hot with basmati rice or naan bread.
- Garnish with the dollop of cashew cream and fresh coriander.
Chickpea omelette with cashew cream sauce
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 5 grinds kala namak (black Indian salt – optional)
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
- 1 ½ cup nut milk
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup cashews, soaked in hot water overnight (Tip: if you haven’t soaked it, you can place the cashews in water and microwave it for 2 minutes).
- 1 cup nut milk
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for frying
- Place all the omelette ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until smooth. Scrape the sides down from time to time.
- Prepare your filling ingredients and set aside / keep warm.
- Make the sauce: drain the cashews and place it in a blender (high-speed blender or nutria-bullet works fantastic). Add the nut milk and spices and blend until the mixture reaches a smooth and creamy consistency. Set aside
- Add ½ tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan (non-stick is important).
- When you think it is hot, test the oil by adding a tiny drop of mixture into the pan. If the drop of batter bubbles profusely, the oil is ready.
- If using a 25cm pan, add ½ cup of the omelette mixture to the pan and swirl in order to get the liquid to reach all of the edges on the pan. Close the pan with the lid. Let it look over low heat until small bubbles appear across the surface of the omelette. Carefully flip the omelette and cook on the other side for 5 more minutes.
- Slide the omelette onto a plate.
- Add your filling, along with a dollop of the cashew cream to one half of the surface of the omelette. Carefully flip the other half over the filling to close the omelette.
- Serve with crispy toast for breakfast or a side salad for lunch.
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 punnet mushrooms, sliced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 pack firm tofu, drained
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon black salt (kala namak)
- ½ teaspoon Ina Paarman garlic and herb seasoning
- 2-3 tablespoons nut milk / 1 teaspoon vegan margarine
- 2 cups spinach, cored and chopped into chunks
- 6 peppadews, quartered
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Baby spinach to serve
- Heat one teaspoon of oil in a non-stick pan and fry the onion until translucent. Set aside.
- In the same pan, fry the mushrooms by adding a sprinkle of salt and putting a lid on the pan until the mushrooms have released all their moisture. Remove lid and simmer until all liquid has evaporated. Set mushrooms aside.
- Crumble tofu into pieces by using your hand or a potato masher.
- Add the crumbled tofu to a clean pan, along with another teaspoon of oil, and fry for 1 minute, stirring constantly until starting to brown.
- Add the nut milk or margarine if using, season with the spices and mix well.
- Add the cooked onion and mushrooms, as well as the chopped spinach and peppadews and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve on seed bread toast with your favourite chutney and baby spinach leaves on top.
Thyme, cinnamon, and orange sponge cake
Canola oil / cook and sprayFor the cake
- 2 cups nut milk
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 ¾ cups cake wheat flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons orange extract
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 ½ cups icing sugar
- 3 tablespoons vegan margarine
- 2 tablespoons nut milk
- 3 teaspoon orange extract
- Zest of one orange
- Preheat oven on 180 degrees Celsius.
- Spray a 20cm round cake tin with Cook & Spray / smear with margarine.
- Place the nut milk in a pot along with 2 cinnamon sticks and a few fresh springs of thyme. Bring Almond milk to a boil and then turn down the heat. Let the nut milk simmer for 15 minutes to infuse the flavours.
- Sift together the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
- Remove infused nut milk from the stove and mix 1 ⅓ cups of the milk with the rest of the wet ingredients in another mixing bowl.
- Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well-combined.
- Pour the cake mixture into the tin and tap the tin on the kitchen counter to remove any air bubbles.
- Bake cake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven and insert a cake pin or toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
- Move to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- While cake is cooking, prepare the frosting: Add the icing sugar, vegan margarine, milk, and orange extract into a mixing bowl. Use an electrical mixer to mix the icing until smooth and creamy (start mixing in the lowest speed possible and slowly increase). The consistency of the frosting must be thin enough to spread evenly over the cake but thick enough for it not to slide off the cake. If it is too thin, add more icing sugar. If it is too thick, add more milk.
- When the cake is completely cool, spread the frosting over the cake.
- Decorate with lemon zest and fresh thyme.