I made this curry when my brother, who is vegan, cycled 200 miles to visit me. It can be easily made from store-cupboard ingredients and you can add whatever vegetables and spices you prefer (broccoli works well). The creamy coconut milk is soothing against the spices and the passata makes the sauce velvety and rich. I recommend roasting and grinding whole spices if you have time but for convenience sake, ground spice is lovely too.
Serves 4 (or 1 hungry cyclist)
600g-1KG butternut squash, peeled and cut into equal size cubes
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 small red onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tsp finely grated ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1 red chilli, sliced
¼ tsp chilli powder
1½ tsp each garam masala, ground coriander, ground cumin
1 tsp each turmeric, cinnamon
1 tin full-fat coconut milk
1 carton passata
about 1¼ tsp fine sea salt
lime wedges, to serve
handful of cashews, lightly toasted (to serve)
a handful of coriander leaves for serving
I prefer my pumpkin caramelised so instead of cooking it in the curry sauce, I roasted it in the oven. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, sprinkled with some salt and bake on a baking tray in a 200° C oven for about 30 mins.
Heat up oil on a medium heat, in a heavy bottom pan. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and wait until they start popping, stirring from time to time. Wait another minute before adding onion.
Add chopped onion, sweat it gently, stirring from time to time until it gets almost soft.
Add garlic, ginger and fresh chilli. Cook for 2 minutes stirring frequently so that ginger does not stick to the pan.
Now add all the ground spices and 1 tsp of salt. Reduce the heat to low and coat everything in the pot in spices. Stir frequently, cook for 1-2 minutes until all spices are fragrant.
Add passata and 60 ml of water. Cook for 2 minutes.
Add coconut milk and the roasted butternut squash. Let everything come to a gentle boil and simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes.
Garnish with coriander leaves and chopped cashews. Serve with basmati rice or a roti.
You can use any firm white fish for this – cod, haddock and hake all work well. Look for Dunn’s River Mild Caribbean Curry Powder in the spice aisle, or use a mild Indian curry powder instead. Such a simple dish and a welcome change from your regular curries.
4 large skinless white fish fillets
½ lemon, juiced
2 tbsp mild Caribbean curry powder
1 tbsp groundnut oil
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
ginger a small chunk, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 scotch bonnet chilli, finely chopped [omit if a wimp]
1 red bell pepper, chopped into chunks
1 tsp of thyme leaves, chopped, plus extra to serve
400g tin coconut milk
cooked rice to serve
Rub the fish with the lemon juice, 1 tsp of the curry powder and some seasoning and leave to sit while you make the sauce. Heat the oil in a shallow casserole or deep frying pan with a lid. Cook the spring onions, ginger, garlic, chilli and pepper for 5 minutes, then stir in the remaining curry powder and thyme and cook for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
Add the fish, pushing down into the sauce, then cover with a lid and simmer gently for 8-10 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. Scatter with a little fresh thyme and serve with rice.
Think of this as an Indian-curry version of stew and dumplings. Except the sauce plays a much more flavorful part than in a traditional comforting stew. The dumplings end up gooey and steaming them in the sauce means the dumplings soak up the flavors around them.
CURRY TOMATO SAUCE:
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 serrano pepper, grated
1/2 onion, grated
1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
1 tin whole tomatoes crushed
1 cup water
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp peanut butter
1 cup chickpea flour
1 serrano chilli minced
1/2 onion grated
1/2 fresh coriander, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup yogurt [dairy or non-dairy if vegan]
1 tsp salt
1 tsp peanut butter [optional but recommended]
a pinch of baking powder
CURRY TOMATO SAUCE: Heat 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add coriander, mustard and cumin seeds, and cook until seeds pop, about 1 minute.
Add one serrano pepper, 1/2 the onion and curry powder and saute until softened.
Add crushed tomatoes together with juice, water, turmeric powder and ginger powder. Cook until it has thickened up, about 10 minutes.
CHICKPEA DUMPLINGS: Combine all ingredients. Form into walnut-size balls.
Add chickpea dumplings to the sauce, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through.
What do you do when you don’t look at the packet properly and buy a block of paneer instead of feta? Get creative – The Greek salad can wait!
Delicately spiced paneer and nut stuffed potato dumplings are simmered in a velvety smooth and creamy gravy in this malai kofta recipe. It has a few stages but is very simple and totally worth the effort. You can use shop bought garam masala but I highly recommend taking the time to make your own as the flavours are so much more alive and layered.
Serves 2-4 depending on your appetite
200g potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 Tbsp raisins (optional)
1 tsp garam masala
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp corn flour
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
150g onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, grated
1 inch ginger, grated
1 Tbsp green chili paste
1/ 2 cup fresh cream (malai)
2 Tbsp ghee
Salt to taste
For making garam masala:
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 whole dry red chilies
1 large bay leaf
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
Place the boiled and mashed potato in a mixing bowl and add the grated paneer into it. Now add all other ingredients and mix them well. Add some corn flour for binding so they don’t break up when frying.
Make small balls out of the mixture by rolling in your hands. Around 15 balls can be made.
Now coat the balls with a little more corn flour.
Heat the oil on medium heat and deep-fry all koftas until a dark golden brown colour.
To make the garam masala spice mix, take all dry spices and blend in a spice blender or pestle and mortar to make a fine powder.
Make a puree from the tomatoes. I use a stick blender but you could just use passata for time.
In a frying pan, heat the ghee, add chopped onions and cook for 2 minutes. Then add garlic, ginger and green chili paste.
Cook for another 3 minutes then add the homemade garam masala powder. Let it cook in ghee with onions. Cook it for 2 minutes.
Then add tomato puree and cook until the majority of the water contents evaporate. (If using passata, the water won’t evaporate so add less water in the next stage).
Now, add half a cup fresh cream or malai, and red chili powder (optional), salt and 1 cup of water. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
The gravy is ready. Add koftas to the sauce when ready to serve.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with Indian roti or paratha.
These Polish krokiety are full of a tasty pork and mushroom paté. Traditionally they can be made with sauerkraut and mushroom or cheese and mushroom fillings but this version is my personal favourite. They get their name from the crispy exterior that is similar to potato croquettes. This teamed with velvety paté, chunks of mushroom and soft pancake is a delight to eat.
Shout out to my amazing housemate, Nat for her mum’s recipe.
For the filling:
150-200g pork and mushroom paté
½ egg, beaten (use the other half in the pancake batter)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the pancake batter:
5 heaped Tbsp plain flour
1 egg + ½ egg leftover from filling
Milk, enough to make a batter the consistency of double cream
For the breadcrumbs:
1 egg, beaten
100g dried breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil, for shallow frying
For the filling:
Mix the paté in a small bowl with half the beaten egg.
Season and set aside.
For the pancakes:
In a medium mixing bowl combine eggs and flour and gradually add milk then mix until batter is smooth and there are no lumps. The batter should be runny. If it is not, add a little more milk.
Over medium-high heat, warm a medium frying pan and brush it lightly with vegetable oil or butter.
Pour ½ cup of batter into the frying pan and quickly distribute it over the surface of the pan. You can do this by tilting the pan back & forth until you have a large pancake with no gaps.
As soon as the batter cooks and becomes firm, turn it over. Wait 5-10 seconds and remove it from the frying pan.
Repeat until all the batter has been used. Place on a plate and set aside. This should make roughly 8 pancakes.
Spread each nalesnik (Polish for pancake) with a tablespoon of paté filling and fold into rectangular shaped cubes.
In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare separate bowl or plate with breadcrumbs and season.
Cover each rolled crepe with egg and then breadcrumbs.
Fry each krokiet in hot oil (just enough to barely cover the base of the frying pan) on each side until golden brown.
Remove from the pan onto a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain before serving.
Making a soufflé omelette is a doddle and is a perfect meal for a Sunday brunch. It takes no more than five minutes and tastes amazing. This one has three cheeses, but you can make it with just one, or even four if you happen to have them hanging around. I always have a selection of cheeses to rival a small deli in my fridge.
3 large eggs
1 oz (25 g) mature Cheddar, finely grated
1 oz (25 g) Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano), finely grated
1 oz (25 g) Gruyère, finely grated
1 heaped tablespoon finely snipped chives
½ oz (10 g) butter
salt and freshly milled black pepper
First separate the eggs – yolks into a small bowl and whites into a squeaky-clean large bowl; it helps if you separate the whites singly into a cup first before adding them to the bowl, then if one breaks, it won’t ruin the rest.
Now beat the egg yolks with a fork, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Next put the pan on to a low heat to warm through. While that’s happening, whisk the egg whites with either an electric hand whisk or a balloon whisk, until they form soft peaks. Next add the butter to the pan and turn the heat up.
Then, using a large metal spoon, quickly fold the egg yolks into the egg whites, adding the Cheddar, half the Parmesan and the chives at the same time. Then, when the butter is foaming, pile the whole lot into the pan and give it a good hefty shake to even it out. Now let the omelette cook for 1 minute exactly. Then slide a palette knife round the edges to loosen it, sprinkle the grated Gruyère all over the surface and whack the omelette under the grill, about 4 inches (10 cm) from the heat. Let it cook for 1 more minute, until the cheese is melted and tinged golden.
Next, remove the pan from the heat, then slide the palette knife round the edge again. Take the pan to the warmed plate, then ease one half of the omelette over the other and tilt the whole lot out on to the plate.
Scatter the rest of the Parmesan all over and serve immediately.
Can you tell I have a lot of potatoes to use up at the moment? If I see another jacket potato any time soon, I might scream so this recipe jazzes up the humble spud with a bit of spice. Wrapped in a flavoured wholewheat dough, these tasty warming buns deliver on flavour and comfort.
For the dough:
1 cup Plain Flour
½ cup Whole Wheat Flour or Atta
1 tsp Salt
1 ½ Tbsp Sugar
1 7g packet instant dried Yeast
¼ cup Hot Water
¼ cup Milk
2 tsp Chilli Powder
½ cup fresh coriander, chopped
1 ½ tsp Oil, plus extra for preparing the dough
a few pickled Jalapenos
For Potato Filling:
4 Boiled Potatoes, crushed
1-2 Red Onions
3 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 inch Ginger, grated
1 Green Chilli, chopped
¼ tsp Asasoetida
½ tsp Turmeric
2 Tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
3 Tbsp Fresh coriander, chopped
For preparing wet ingredients add salt, sugar and hot water in a bowl and mix for the salt and sugar to dissolve. Add milk to bring the liquid to room temperature and then add yeast and allow to sit until it foams. Then add oil.
For dry ingredients add the flours, chilli powder and coriander and mix them well. Add the liquid and mix to form a dough. Make a ball and then apply 1 tsp of oil to coat the dough and allow it to rest anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. The dough has to double in size.
For the filling heat the oil in a wok. Add asafoetida, green chillies, garlic, onion and salt and cook until the onions are well done. Then add turmeric, potato and cilantro and mix well and cook it for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little before making the buns.
Set the oven to 200 degrees C and when the dough is ready, take a little over a golf ball size dough and pat it. Place a heaped tablespoon of the prepared stuffing in the centre and cover up the filling with the dough. Place it on a baking tray and add jalapenos on top and bake for 14 -15 minutes.
When the buns are done brush them a little with melted ghee or butter for a lovely gloss and serve them hot with any chutney.