Foodiva's Kitchen: Creative Cooking Crew - Lemongrass Chickpea Tofu Skewers with Spicy Soya Pomelo Dip

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Creative Cooking Crew - Lemongrass Chickpea Tofu Skewers with Spicy Soya Pomelo Dip

Helloo....and Happy New Year!! Yes, I know everyone all over the world said that over 3 weeks ago but I haven't blogged since November last year, so better late than never :).

This month is the first time our newly revamped cooking group, the Creative Cooking Crew (CCC), is making its appearance. Our CCC hosts are Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks and Joan of Foodalogue and our challenge this month is to showcase Vegan food in a totally creative way, right up my alley!

I've featured many vegan posts in my Instagram gallery (@divaeatslife) but sometimes the recipes just get lost within the folds of my memory... You see, the beauty of IG is that it's not a blog and therefore recipes are usually ad hoc because there's no real need to elaborate on the 'how to' of the food pictures being posted up there. Occasionally though, I do make an effort to record my recipes properly, and this is one of them.

A friend recently challenged me to make food that can be served without any plates, bowls, cups or any serving utensils, so that's what you'll also notice here. An improvized plate made out of screwpine (pandan) leaves and bowl out of a small pomelo lime shell. For the skewers, I used lemongrass stalks and simply wrapped the paste-like batter around them corndog style. I think I must've have pushed my creativity boundaries to the limit (there is none, with this one, but I'm happy with how everything looks  and tastes here!

The texture of the tofu skewers is lightened with the creaminess of the ground chickpeas, and its flavor enhanced with my seasonings of choice - fresh lemongrass and Za'atar powder. You can also use cayenne pepper instead of Za'atar if you're not feeling so adventurous. In this cooking group, though, being mainstream is the last thing you'd want to be because everyone else is fearlessly creative and there is nothing - foodwise, at least - most of us are unwilling to try!

There will be a round-up of the CCC's vegan offerings on January 30 over at Joan's blog. Head over there then, won't you?

Lemongrass Chickpea Tofu Skewers with Spicy Soya Pomelo Dip
Makes 6

2 pieces firm tofu
1 cup cooked chickpeas
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or Za'atar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 stick lemongrass (white part only) sliced
2 tablespoons plain flour
Salt and pepper to taste

6 lemongrass stalks, for skewers

1/3 cup soya sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
juice of 1 pomelo lime
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, chopped finely
1 teaspoon finely chopped chili
1 teaspoon of sugar (optional)

1. Blend all ingredients except lemongrass skewers in a food processor and process until it becomes a thick paste. 

2. Scoop a heaped tablespoon of paste and wrap it around the thick end of the lemongrass skewer. Form into a sausage shape along the skewer. Wet your palms and fingers in between each shaping so the paste/dough doesn't stick. Place tofu skewers in the freezer to chill for at least 10 minutes.

3. Heat some oil in a deep pan under medium heat. Gently lower the skewers into the oil and fry until golden brown. Drain excess oil on paper towels and serve immediately.

4. For the dip, place all the ingredients in a bowl, give the mixture a good stir and serve immediately with tofu skewers. 


Sandra Mihic said...

Oh yes, I remember those...Great recipe and very creative! Have a beautiful day! xo

Yen Vu said...

I missed you!! Good to see you’re back =)

It seems like there is no challenge you can’t beat. No plates, no bowl and no silverware looks pretty good to me. To bad we can’t be eating like this all the time. Would surely save time doing dishes.

Helene Dsouza said...

The Skewers and the dip sound wonderful. I d love to know what it tastes like with Za'atar. You are brilliant, love the idea with the pandan leafs. =)

Joan Nova said...

Nice entry. It all sounds tasty and I love your place setting.
P.S. Round-up will be on (not Laz) 1/30.

Faith said...

It's wonderful to see a post from you, and Happy New Year to you as well! :)

Your skewers are beautiful, and I love the spices and seasonings you used! The Pomelo Dip sounds like the perfect accompaniment.

Maya Mohd said...

Sandra, thank God you're my IG buddy! You know everything that goes on in my life...haha. Thanks, you have a great day too, sweetie!

Maya Mohd said...

Lily!!! Yes, I finally made it back to blogging again after nearly 3 months. This challenge may save me all the washing up, but weaving the leaves was pure hell! How are you and Joe? Did he ever make it back to Brunei again? Hope you're both well... *hugs*

Maya Mohd said...

Helene, thank you! I love the tanginess and spicy edge offered by Zaatar. The tofu skewers tasted much better with it than just with the one-dimentional flavor of cayenne.

Maya Mohd said...

Joan, oops I got all my intell wrong! Will update the post accordingly. Thanks for your kind words, Joan! :)

Maya Mohd said...

Faith, I appreciate you dropping by. I fell off the cooking group wagon towards the end of last year but in 2013, I'm determined to get myself back on it again. I really miss cooking with all of you! said...

Hey these are tropical...

Maya Mohd said...

Norma, haha...they are! That's probably because I'm surrounded by all these green stuff. They grow outside my garden! Thank you :)

Jenny (vintagesugarcube) said...

Great to see you back my fabulous, creative friend! And the recipe looks equally as lovely. xo

Gina Stanley said...

Glad I can spy on you on IG, lol. I wouldn't know those were vegan if you didn't tell me. The leaves were a pain, figures. I agree I make so many things I don't ever write down. Well there is always this year to do so my friend.

Kris' Kitchen said...

Hi Maya, I was thinking about you this week as I prepared to make ravioli...I remembered your great post and it gave me the confidence I needed to get into gear to make some homemade pasta...I made butternut squash ravioli and they were were my inspiration! I'm so glad I visited you today...this post is also inspiring. I need to spend some time with your blog!!!

Lazaro Cooks said...

Beautifully clever dish. I love the combination of flavors at play.

Priscilla | ShesCookin said...

Glad I can stalk you on Instagram so I can see your creations there - I agree, that is the beauty of IG - no need to be precise, record, write, or take painstaking photographs! Love these "corn dogs" with Za'atar!

christo AKA doggybloggy said...

very creative use of the lemon grass - these look delicious

Trix Middlekauff said...

Good to see a Maya post again!! Though at least now I can follow you on IG. These look fabulous - you are the vegan queen to be sure!

Jawed Ali said...

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Magic of Spice said...

Looks absolutely wonderful and I am loving that dip!

Pola M said...

Love this use of lemon grass! So creative!

Jesse Lujan said...

Going to attempt to make this, thanks for posting!

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