Many would agree that chilli poppers are arguably one of the best foods in the world. There's something about the spiciness of a jalapeño, the melty cheese and the flavourful dipping sauce that makes this dish one of the most satisfying little bites.
And here it is now, veganised. I'm sure this recipe is pretty easy make gluten-free as well if you sub the flour and breadcrumbs for gluten-free options. It is very most definitely worth a try.
250g raw cashews, soaked overnight
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
15 ml water
1/2 tsp salt, more if needed
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp ground coriander
juice from 1 lemon
handful of cilantro
50g grated vegan melty cheese
6 large jalapeno peppers, 8 small ones
1 tbsp all purpose flour + more for coating
125 ml unsweetened plant-based milk
3 tbsp coconut oil (or any other cooking oil), for brushing
For the sauce:
100ml smooth, unsweetened (natural) peanut butter
150ml Coconut milk
2 cm 2 piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
1 medium clove of garlic, finely grated
1 tbsp ketjap (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
1,5 tbsp Soy sauce/tamari
Lime juice from 1 lime
1 tsp Sriracha/hot sauce
Salt, to taste
Tellicherry pepper, a generous amount
1/4 tsp of ground coriander
1/4 tsp of ground cumin
½ tsp palm sugar, finely grated
Preheat oven to 200C.
To make the cashew cream cheese, place the soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, cilantro, lemon juice, spices and water in a blender and blend until completely smooth (this may take a while depending on the strength of your blender). Season with salt and pepper, then mix through the grated vegan cheese.
Cut the jalapeños open from the top and remove the seeds. Alternatively, you can cut the peppers open from the side. Fill the peppers with the cheese mixture and leave aside.
Prepare a simple batter by mixing together the tbsp of flour and plant-based milk. Now coat the jalapeños first in flour mixed with a pinch of salt, then in the batter and then in breadcrumbs. I did a double-coating to get an extra crispy crust. When ready, place in a single layer on a baking sheet and brush with oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes until slightly browned and crispy.
For the dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. Enjoy!