Saturday, 13 April 2013

Soba Noodles with Lime, Ginger and Cashews-vegan, gluten free, suitable for Ekadasi

This makes a nice change from potato on Ekadasi
If you follow a farali (no grains) fast on Ekadasi, or observe days like Sri Krsna Janmasthami or Rama Navami that way, then you and your family might well get fed up with potatoes! In the Gaudiya Matha, not only do we abstain from grains and beans but also leafy, stem and flowering vegetables as well as fruiting vegetables like peppers, aubergines and tomatoes. It's basically sweet fruits, olives, veg. of the curcubita family like cucumber, courgette and pumpkin, most root veg and nuts (plus dairy products if you eat them). The only seasonings we have are black pepper, salt, ginger and turmeric. As foodstuffs are so limited, it's good to know that buckwheat is not technically counted as a grain, thus we can have it on Ekadasi days! (See here for some information about buckwheat.) Rama Navami is just around the corner (19th April), so if you want to try cooking something new to celebrate that day, you could give this a go. Make sure the noodles are 100% buckwheat though, as some types contain wheat. (The brand we used was King Soba.) There is a knack to cooking soba noodles- they can get extremely sticky- but I think I've cracked it now so if you follow these instructions you shouldn't go far wrong. This dish came out so tasty that it's worthy of being cooked any day, not just Ekadasi. The fact that buckwheat happens to be both vegan and gluten free means just about anyone can eat it, too.

The following amounts catered for 3 large portions, so would probably make 4 moderate servings.
1 1/2-2 (depending on size) orange sweet potatoes
2 med-large courgettes/ zucchini
a generous 1/2 cup of cashew pieces or halves
1 1/2 tabs olive oil
1 tsp seasalt
a generous pinch of coarse black pepper
the juice of one lime
a piece of ginger roughly the size of the tip of your thumb, grated finely- about a dsp once grated
one 50g packet of soba noodles

  • Cut the sweet potato and courgette into fine julienne (strips) as illustrated.
  • Juice the lime and let the grated ginger sit in the juice.
  • Heat water in a fairly large saucepan and put in the soba noodles when it has come to a vigorous boil. Turn off the heat immediately. Keep the noodles moving by stirring constantly; that way they are less likely to stick together. Be patient, and carry on until they are soft all the way through, then drain in a colander and rinse the excess starch off with plenty of cold running water. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a wok and stir-fry the vegetables until just starting to tenderise. Throw in the cashews, stirring constantly to ensure they don't burn. Stir in the salt, pepper, ginger and lime and when the veggies are cooked to your liking (either completely soft or a little al dente) turn off the heat.
  • Now go back to the soba noodles. Don't worry if they have become a bit sticky again; just rinse them in cold water and separate gently with your fingers. Either stir them into the vegetables and cashews or serve them separately, hot or cold. (To re-heat them I used a microwave. You could also stir-fry them but I think using hot water would spoil them.)



3 comments:

  1. Who would have thought that noodles go with ekadashi, this is certainly a new, enjoyable discovery! I want to fast more now .. heheh

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  2. I just bought a boatload of cashews so I'm putting this deliciousness on this week's menu....many thanks! :)

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