Saturday, 22 December 2012

Vegan rougaille

The mother of a good friend of mine spent years living on the beautiful Indian Ocean island of la Réunion. Lucky her. This means that despite her Norman heritage, she's a dab hand at all sorts of fantastic creole dishes. Her rhum arrangé is to die for, and the rougaille recipe I'm going to share today is killer too.

Rougaille is essentially a spicy tomato sauce. It's often used as a condiment, but here the addition of beans makes it a perfectly balanced vegan main course. It's also especially good at clearing up colds. Maybe because it comes from a nice warm place.

Rougaille-saucisses is a tea my friend's mum made for us very often. She always cooked the saucisses part separately, so that I could enjoy the delicious spicy bean and tomato stew that is rougaille over rice. The internet tells me that every family has a different version of rougaille, lots of which seem to involve prawns and a variety of vegetables. I'm giving you Maryvonne's simple version, which I've tweaked a little, mainly to add more umame.

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
800g tin whole tomatoes
400g tin kidney beans
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp dried thyme, crumbled
1 tsp paprika
1 bay leaf
1 tsp Marmite
1 Tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp sugar
Black pepper
A few good shakes of your favourite hot sauce
Optional, to serve: fresh parsley, spring onions, squeeze of lemon or lime

1. Warm the olive oil in a deep frying pan, and sweat the onion in it, covered and on medium heat, for a few minutes until transluscent. Add the garlic, ginger, herbs and spices, and fry for 1 minute.

2. Tip in the tomatoes and stir to remove tasty bits from the bottom of the pan. Break up the tomatoes a little (into 3-4 rough pieces each). Stir in the soya sauce, black pepper, Marmite, hot sauce, and sugar.

3. Simmer the sauce, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Add the drained kidney beans and simmer for 20 more minutes, until reduced and thickened.

Serve with rice and a side salad or cruncy vegetable of your choice. Extra hot sauce is always a good idea.


Vegan rougaille: not very photogenic, but cheap, easy, warming, and delicious.