RECIPE: KESA BADAM M*LK

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The sun is shining and what better way to cool down than with our Badam milk - or Indian spiced almond milk.

This classic Indian street drink is a life-saviour during the hot summer months, and we kept ours totally plantbased yet as creamy as we remember from our visits to India using Oatly’s whole milk (genius stuff - a game changer for the non-dairy types amongst us).

Almonds are soaked and ground to a fine paste with a little m*lk, honey, cardamom and rosewater, and if, like us, you’re feeling extravagant you can add some saffron too, which happens to be our Native ingredient of the month.

Ingredients

- 1 cup blanched, peeled almonds
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 cups Oatly Drink, Whole
- Seeds from 2 green cardamom pods, crushed
- A generous pinch of saffron
- 1/2 tsp rosewater

Method

1. Heat one cup of Oatly until just steaming, add the blanched almonds and leave for about an hour, until the almonds soften and the m*lk cools.

2. Place the cooled m*lk, almonds and sugar in a blender or food processor and blend to a fine paste.

3. Add the remaining m*lk, crushed cardamom seeds and saffron, and blend until well mixed. Stran through a sieve and if necessary, add a little more m*lk and strain some more.

4. Stir in the rosewater and serve chilled, with a pinch of saffron and some crumbled almonds as a garnish.

THE NATIVE STORY

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It’s the obvious place to start, but we figured we’d share a bit about Native, and why we decided to bring Popped Lotus Seeds to London.

Our story doesn’t start with a triple marathon in the desert, or a life affirming experience deep in the Bengal Jungle, but with something a little more earnest; a desire to share our discovery. Whether it’s telling someone of a great surf spot or the best pad Thai place, sharing your discoveries is part of the experience. And that’s exactly we we brought Popped Lotus Seeds to the UK.

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snacks with substance

We believe that the people that make our Popped Lotus Seeds should get something back from the people that snack on them.

That’s why we have partnered with the Bihar Development Foundation U.K. and for every pack of Native Popped Lotus Seeds sold, we give 1p back to run health camps for the famers.

Feed your discovery

Why Popped Lotus Seeds?

Well it's quite a funny story actually. It involves being tipped off about them by an ex-girlfriend but that's a story for another day. Having heard about this amazing snack in India that’s been eaten for centuries, we decided that our jobs just didn't cut it. Bored and unhappy, we both agreed this can't be the way forward and headed out to India to learn more about Popped Lotus Seeds. Instantly falling in love with Popped Lotus Seeds, the place and people, once back in the UK, a lot of our memories always came back to this snack. Beginning to experiment with Popped Lotus Seeds in our kitchen in London, the experimenting never stopped and Native was born, with a range of savoury Popped Lotus Seeds, with flavours that pack a punch.

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Frustrated by the lack of choice and excitement in snacking, we started to think there must be some more interesting snacks around the world, than what is currently available on the market.  Our mission is simple: to feed people’s discovery.

To experience a country, you need to experience it’s food. We unearth native snacks from across the world and bring them back for you to discover.

We take pride in our planet; we care about sustainability, support local charities and give back every step of the way.

Join us on our journey around the world as we unearth new and exciting naturally native snacks.

RECIPE: POTATO STUFFED PARATHAS

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It’s Shrove Tuesday and so we thought it would be a perfect time to SHOW SOME RESPECT TO THE BELOVED PANCAKE WITH AN INDIAN INSPIRED RECIPE. This North Indian pancake-esque classic is the perfect alternative to the staple pancake.

Makes 4 parathas

Ingredients

For the stuffing:

5 medium potatoes, peeled

3 green chillis, finely chopped

4tbsp chopped coriander

1 lemon, zested

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp salt

For the Parathas

3 cups wheat flour

300ml water

1tsp salt

Method

  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into quarters and boil them in hot water for 15-20 minutes, or until you can poke a knife through it.

  2. Mash the potatoes and add the remaining ingredients to the mix.

  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the paratha ingredients and knead until the dough is a semi-soft consistency but not too sticky.

  4. Divide the dough into eight even pieces and roll them into balls. Flatten the the dough balls and with a rolling pin, roll them out into equal sized circles, approximately 15cm in diameter.

  5. Take two of the flattened dough balls and put 2-3tbsp of the potato mix in between the two flattened dough balls. Seal around the edges and gently rolls the dough a bit more.

  6. Add 1tsp of oil to a non-stick pan and cook each paratha on a medium heat and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes. Add a further 1tsp of oil when the paratha is cooked half way.

RECIPE: INDIAN INSPIRED PEA & MINT SOUP

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The final recipe in our Veganuary recipe series. This Indian inspired, vibrant pea and mint soup will be sure to keep you warm through these cold winter days. The combination of Indian spices, with a chunk of ginger to give it a kick, will leave you wanting to eat more and more. We add a dollop of Coconut Collaborative coconut yogurt, with a squeeze of lemon, on top to take it to the next level.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 bunch spring onions, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2tsp garam masala

1tsp ground cumin

1tsp ground coriander

1 thumb size piece ginger, grated

850ml vegetable stock

800g frozen peas

5tbsp chopped fresh mint

1 pot Coconut Collaborative Natural yogurt

1 lemon, juiced

Method

  1. In a high walled non-stick pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil and cook the spring onions for 5 minutes, or until soft.

  2. Add the ginger, garam masala, cumin, ground coriander and cook out for a further 2-3 minutes. Once cooked out, add the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the peas to the stock base and simmer for 5 minutes.

  3. Stir in the mind, cool slightly and then our into a food processor or use a hand blender and blitz until you reach a smooth, silky texture. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Mix the Coconut Collaborative coconut yogurt with the lemon juice in a separate bowl.

  4. To serve, re-heat the soup the pan and portion into bowls. Add a dollop of Coconut Collaborative coconut yogurt on top.

RECIPE: SPICED WHITE BEAN DIP WITH HOMEMADE NAAN

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Looking to impress your friends or family at a dinner party? Look no further than our third recipe in our Veganuary recipe series. The perfect exciting alternative to hummus and a recipe that will take your tastebuds on a trip to India.

Ingredients

For the White Bean Dip - Serves 8

2 can white beans, drained

1 teaspoon garam masala powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Half red chilli, seeded

1 clove garlic, peeled and very roughly chopped

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 lemon, squeezed

1/4 cup olive oil

For the Naan - makes six naans

2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon instant dry yeast

½ teaspoon salt

1 tbsp nigella seeds

3 tablespoons coconut yogurt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Method

For the naan:

  1. Put 125ml warm water into a bowl and sprinkle over the yeast and 1 tsp of the sugar. Leave for 10-15 mins. In a larger bowl put the flour, remaining sugar, and ½ tsp salt. Mix together then make a well in the centre in which to pour the coconut yogurt, nigella seeds and yeast mixture. Stir well, then start to bring the mixture together with your hands. If it’s very wet add a spoonful of flour but if it’s dry add a dash of warm water. When you’re happy with the consistency, start kneading, first in the bowl then transfer the mixture onto a well floured surface and continue to knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and stretchy. Grease a large bowl with a dash of oil then shape the dough into a ball and place in the prepared bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for about 1 hr or until doubled in size.

  2. Shape the dough into a rectangle, adding more flour as necessary so it doesn’t stick, then divide into six equal portions.

  3. Heat a cast iron or heavy nonstick pan over a medium-high heat until very hot. While it heats, roll one of the dough balls into a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Place the dough in the hot, dry pan and cook until the surface is full of air bubbles and the bottom begins to colour and then flip. Brush the naan with oil and continue with the remaining dough.

For the white bean dip:

  1. Add all of the ingredients into a food processor. Start blitzing, slowly adding in the olive oil.

  2. Puree the dip until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator and serve chilled. 


RECIPE: INDIAN SPICED CAULIFLOWER SOUP

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If, like us, you got over excited on the weekend and overindulged on beer and snacks, then this Indian spiced cauliflower soup is the perfect Sunday night light dish. It will be just what your looking for to set you up for the week ahead.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 thumb size piece of finely grated ginger

1 long green chilli, seeded, finely chopped

2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets

1L vegetable stock

400ml can coconut milk

Extra virgin olive oil, to serve

Method

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the onion, with a drizzle of oil, stirring until the onion softens. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric and cook for a further two minutes.

  2. Reserve 2 of the cauliflower florets, thinly slice them and roast these in in the oven until golden. Add remaining the cauliflower to the onion mixture and cook for two minutes. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 mins or until cauliflower is soft. Add the coconut milk to the cauliflower mixture and stir to combine. Set aside for 10 mins to cool slightly.

  3. Place the soup in a blender, or use a stick blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. 

  4. When serving, garnish each bowl of soup with some coriander and some of the thinly sliced roasted cauliflower florets.

RECIPE: SOUTHERN INDIAN CHICKPEA & SPINACH CURRY

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With Veganuary up and running, this Southern Indian chickpea and spinach curry is the perfect plant-based recipe to kick start that new year health kick.

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the paste

2 tbsp oil

1 onion, diced

1 tsp fresh chilli, sliced

9 garlic cloves

thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled

1 tbsp ground coriander

2 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp garam masala

2 tbsp tomato purée

For the curry

2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained

400g can chopped tomatoes

400ml coconut milk

½ small pack coriander, chopped, plus extra to garnish

200g spinach

Method

  1. To make the paste, fry the chilli and onion in little bit of the 2 tbsp of oil, for approximately eight minutes, until soft.

  2. In a food processor, combine the onion, chilli, 9 garlic cloves, thumb-sized piece ginger, 1 tbsp ground coriander, 2 tbsp ground cumin, 1 tbsp garam masala, 2 tbsp tomato purée and 1/2 tsp of salt. Blend into a smooth paste. Add a drop more of oil of water if needed.

  3. Cook the paste in a medium sized saucepan 2-3 minutes over a medium heat, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick.

  4. Tip in 2x400g cans of drained chickpeas and 400g can of chopped tomatoes and simmer on a medium-low heat for a further 5 minutes until reduced.

  5. Add in the 400ml of coconut milk and cook for a further 5 minutes until reduced. Stir in the 1/2 pack of coriander and 200g spinach until wilted. Season to taste.

  6. You can either serve with basmati rice or eat on its own.

RECIPE: INDIAN SPICED SWEETCORN FRITTERS

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These Indian spiced sweetcorn fritters are one of our go-to recipes for practically any meal of the day. Topped with a delicious coriander yogurt and pomegranate seeds, it’s the perfectly delicious, yet simple recipe to get you through the week!

Serves 2

Ingredients

For sweetcorn fritters

1 × 300g tin of sweetcorn, drained

3 tablespoons of plain flour

Squeeze of lemon

4 spring onions, chopped

Handful of coriander, chopped

1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander

1 egg, whisked

Salt and pepper

For the yogurt

100g coconut yogurt

Handful of coriander, chopped

Squeeze of lemon

Sprinkling of turmeric

Method:

  1. Combine the sweetcorn and spring onions in a mixing bowl. Pour over the whisked egg and then mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Sieve the flour with the ground coriander and ground cumin and then stir into the sweetcorn mixture with a squeeze of lemon and mix well .

  2. Add a dash of olive oil into a not stick pan and allow it to pre-heat and make sure the base of the pan is well covered with oil. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended). Test the pan by adding a tiny bit of the batter – it should immediately start bubbling around the edges when it hits the pan. Use two tablespoons of mixture per fritter and fry for a couple of minutes on one side until light brown then turn over and cook for a further minute.

  3. For the yogurt, add the coconut yogurt, lemon juice and coriander into a bowl and mix well. Sprinkle some turmeric on top to finish.

  4. To serve, place your sweetcorn fritters on a plate and add a dollop of the yogurt on top. Sprinkle some pomegranate seeds and coriander on and voila!


NATIVE INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: CARDAMOM

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Cardamom doesn’t get half as much attention as we think it deserves, and comes into its own in the Winter. Cardamom, also known as "llachi", is native to South India. It is commonly referred to as the Queen of Spices and has been traced in India for at least 1000 years. It was the British who established the cardamom plantations in India and just like we like to discover new and exciting plant-based snacks, The East India Company co-operated with the Dutch East India Company to buy enormous amounts of cardamom, pepper and cloves and bring back to Europe.

Part of the ginger family, the cardamom seed is the most common seasoning agent which is used in Indian cooking. Cardamom’s seriously intense flavour complements both sweet and savoury dishes. The seeds alone can be cracked or ground for use in cooking, or the whole pods can be thrown into a dish and removed before serving. 

RECIPE IDEA

Keeping things festive, we love the look of this spiced toddy to keep us warm over the Christmas period. The perfect pre-Christmas lunch boozy winter warmer. You can find the recipe here.

ECO-FRIENDLY FARMING