Sunday, 7 December 2014

Spicy Aloo Tikki

2 Large potatoes boiled and mashed ( not too fine )
1/2 Cup boiled peas
1.5 Tbsp finely chopped coriander
2 Green/red chillies finely chopped
1/2 Ttsp Kashmiri chilli powder
2 Ttsp lemon juice
1/2 Tsp roasted cumin powder
1/2 Tsp chat masala
Salt to taste
1/4 Cup bread crumbs for coating
Oil to fry tikkis
Aloo tikki preparation:
Place all the ingredients ( with the exception of the oil and breadcrumbs ) into a bowl and mix until all combined.

 This mixture will make about 8 tikki's so form about 8 balls with your fingers and then flatten to make tikki shapes, roll gently into the breadcrumbs to cover and on a medium heat fry gently after drizzling on a little oil to each side. When they are golden brown serve with mint, green or tamarind chutney.

I made these yesterday and coated them in breadcrumbs - yup they were really good, the photo above was from today where I coated them in polenta - they were much better, nice and crunchy and much easier to fry!


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Little nuggets of useful information...

Simple but really useful!

Cooking Measurements

  • 1 cup = 250 ml = 16 Tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup = 125 ml = 8 Tablespoons
  • 1/3 cup = 83 ml = 5.3 Tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup = 62 ml = 4 Tablespoons
  • 1 Tablespoon = 15 ml = 3 Teaspoons
  • 1/2 Tablespoon= 7.5 ml =1.5 Teaspoons
  • 1/3 Tablespoon = 5 ml = 1 Teaspoon
  • 1 Pinch = 1/8 Teaspoon


Friday, 5 December 2014

Jamie Olivers Peanut Butter Jelly Brownies

I bought Jamies comfort food book about two weeks ago and have this recipe open on my  recipe stand since then - today was the day to try this one and this is how it went:

For the custard:

250ml  Semi-skimmed milk
1  Vanilla pod
2  Large egg yolks
50g  Golden caster sugar
1  Heaped tablespoon cornflour
20g  Unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2  Heaped tablespoons smooth peanut butter
For the brownies:

230g  Uunsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
250g  Quality dark chocolate
230g  Golden caster sugar
4  Large eggs
150g  Plain flour
2  Tablespoons raspberry jam
75g  Fresh raspberries

Start by making the custard. Put the milk into a pan, halve the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds, then add both pod and seeds to the pan and lightly simmer on the hob, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, in a bowl whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornflower and soft butter. Whisking constantly, gradually pour the hot milk into the bowl until combined. Then return the custard mixture to the pan, place over a low heat and stir gently for 2-3 mins, or until thickened. Stir in the peanut butter and leave to cool completely ( it's not lumpy - I used crunchy peanut butter ).

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Then grease and line a deep baking tray or dish (roughly 20cm/30cm). 

Melt the butter in a non stick pan on a low heat, then snap up and add the chocolate. Stir regularly with a spatula until melted and combined, then remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Leave to cool slightly and then and whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until silky. Sift in the flour and mix well.

Pour the brownie mix into the prepared tray/dish.
 Then swirl through the chilled nutty custard (discarding the vanilla pod). Erratically distribute little spoonfuls of jam over the surface and poke in the fresh raspberries too. 

Bake in the oven for around 25 mins, until cooked on the outside but still a little gooey on the inside.

 Leave to cool, cut into squares and serve.

These are huge!! Unexpected....

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Spicy Lamb Samosa's

I usually make vegetarian samosa's but thought I would probably need to offer a spicy lamb one to those who ( like Mr Debs ) actually have a need to eat meat at each meal :) I honestly cannot remember where I found this recipe as I have trawled so many in the last few weeks so I'll just post it and take ownership!

For me the actual forming of the samosa is the hardest part as I never get them to look lovely so with this recipe I formed them rather like a kachori or a flattened money bag and it saved me a lot of frustration and besides they taste exactly the same.

This recipe will make 20 little flattened samosa's:


2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Medium onions finely chopped
4 Cloves garlic finely chopped
5cms fresh ginger grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon turmeric
1 Teaspoon kashmiri chilli powder
5 Green / Red chillies finely chopped
500gms Lean lamb mince
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
Handful chopped corainder
Juice of one juicy lime


2 Cups plain flour
2 Tablespoons rice flour
4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
Cold water to knead
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil to fry

Fry onions in the oil really gently until soft - usually about 10 minutes - add the garlic, chillies and ginger and fry for a further 2 minutes.

Add the lamb mince to the frying pan and jiggle around to stop lumps - keep it moving until all nice and brown.

Add all the spices and cook for about 10 minutes until cooked through, place to one side to cool while you make the pastry.

Mix together the flour and rice flour and salt and rub in the oil gently to make breadcrumbs. Add enough cold water to bring the dough together and knead until elastic - about 7-8 minutes, Place into a bowl and cover with a damp cloth - leave to rest for about 20 minutes.

Once your lamb mixture is cool enough to form your samosa's, season with salt and pepper, a generous amount of lime juice ( it's quite strange but you often lose the lime juice in the finished product even if it tastes limey at this stage!! ) and your chopped coriander.

Pull off a ball of dough for each samosa - about a large walnut sized lump - and roll into a little circle, place  a generous spoonful of the mixture into the middle of the pastry and bring all the edges together to form a little bag. Squeeze together to seal and roll into a little disc shape, place on a plate covered with cling film until they are all made. At this point you can put them in the fridge for later or freeze to cook at a later date.

When you are ready to fry, place enough vegetable oil into a sturdy frying pan and fry in batches in oil thats not too hot - until golden brown.

These are best eaten warm rather than hot and on the same day - should they last that long!!


Rick Steins Chicken Pulao Rice

I used this lovely recipe to accompany the Chettinad Chicken just posted and it was really tasty - so much more interesting than plain rice. This recipe was easy to make and this one is going to be a family favourite I think!!

Although a good link to the recipe, I can't find any mention of the toasted cashews that I sprinkled over the top of my rice so - toast 150gms of cashews and sprinkle at will :)


Rick Steins Chettinad Chicken

I have cut and pasted this wonderful recipe from the Good Cornwall Guide as it's nicely written without being too flippin complicated, I paired this with his chicken pulao rice and will post the recipe a little later!
I was lucky enough to watch Mrs Samundeswary cook her Chettinad chicken there. The dish is very peppery, but you know you’re experiencing real country cooking. It also has one of those ingredients that is transformational but quite hard to get hold of. It’s the lichen off a tree, known as dagarful, kalpasi or stone flower, with a flavour like cinnamon. You can find it online, but if it proves elusive, just add more cinnamon.
For the spice blend
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
For the chicken
50ml vegetable oil
1 tsp fennel seeds
5cm piece cinnamon bark
1 tbsp very roughly chopped dagarful or an extra 3cm piece cinnamon stick
150g shallots, diced
Handful of curry leaves
700g skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 5cm pieces
20g/4 cloves garlic, finely crushed
20g/4cm ginger, finely grated
1 tsp sugar ( I used jaggery )
1 tsp salt
100ml water
Boiled basmati rice to serve
If using dagarful, sort through it and remove and discard any pieces of bark first.
For the spice blend, put the spices in a spice grinder and process to a powder.
For the chicken, heat the oil in a sturdy frying pan or karahi over a medium heat, add the fennel, cinnamon and dagarful and fry for 1 minute. Add the shallots and curry leaves and fry for 10 minutes until the shallots are softened and golden. Add the chicken and stir around for 1-2 minutes, then stir in the garlic, ginger, sugar, salt and all of the spice blend, and fry for 2 minutes. Add the water, and cook for about 10–15 minutes, stirring often and adding more splashes of water if needed to stop it sticking to the pan, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thick and reduced and clinging to the chicken. Serve with boiled rice...I served mine with Rick Steins Chicken Pulao Rice..

This was just delicious, I wouldn't change a thing about this recipe and everyone loved it - happy days.
As an afterthought, I had a little chicken left over and so the next day I chopped it quite small and popped it into some pre-prepared spring roll wrappers, wow - it made wonderful crispy snacks, I'll be making those again and they'll definitely be going on my menu!!


Saturday, 20 September 2014

It's my blog I can do what I like......

Not food ( again ) but we are off here in two weeks - thank heavens - life is a little stressful at the moment and this will be good for both of us!!


Madhur Jaffrey's Raiti ( Kheere ka raita )

The only raita I ever make as it is so tasty, here is the recipe:


570mls Plain yogurt
13cms Cucumber peeled and coarsely grated
2 Tablespoons finely chopped mint
Half a teaspoon ground roasted cumin seeds
Quarter of a teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste.

Beat the yogurt gently in a bowl until creamy and add all the other ingredients, cover and pop in the fridge - yum!!


Chicken Pakora ( Murg Pakora )

There are so many recipes out there that it was quite difficult to choose one - where to start! After spending what seemed like hours staring at pictures of pakora's on Google image, this was the recipe for me.

This is a great site which I will return to time and time again I think, anyway, here is the recipe which I followed to the letter, recommendations for alterations after the blurb.


250gms Chicken - cut into largish chunks
1 Teaspoon ground cumin
1 or 2 Green chillies
1 Tablespoon grated ginger
1 Tablespoon grated garlic
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Small cup chick pea flour
1 Teaspoon riceflour
1 Teaspoon coriander
1 Teaspoon red chilli powder
Oil to fry
Salt to taste

Blend the chillies,cumin, ginger, garlic, lemon juice and salt to a fine paste and stir chopped chicken through to cover. Place into a bowl and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Prepare the batter by mixing the flours, chilli powder, salt and coriander with water,  heat the oil in a deep pan and dip each piece of chicken in the batter to coat.

Pop each piece into the hot oil and fry evenly until golden brown, drain on kitchen paper and serve.

Hmmm, well for a first attempt they did not go quite as planned so what went wrong. Looking at the recipe it called for garam masala but it was not on the ingredient list - no garam masala! There was no indication as to how much water to use and honestly I think that my batter was way too wet so next time I'll make it much thicker and stickier. Last but not least I decided to use a large frying pan rather than deep fry so they needed to be turned - big mistake - put these babies in the oil and leave well alone. With turning them over, they started to lose their batter coating.

So, a few lessons learnt here - but - they tasted lovely, I would probably up the spice mix a little as we like our food quite spicy but otherwise it's a sound recipe.
I served mine with a tasty raita - recipe to follow.


Saturday, 9 August 2014


I had never even heard of these until the other day whilst watching a re-run of the original Masterchef Australia and there they were. There was a challenge to cook snacks at a fairground and one of the contestants was knocking up these little beauties. They sounded really yummy so today was the day to experiment! 
I actually didn't quite know where to start so just googled Arancini and up it all popped - I plumped for Antonnio Carluccio's recipe as it sounded authentic and off we went, here's how it goes:

For the Risotto:
350gms Risotto Rice
1 Small onion - finely chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Generous glass of white wine
1.5 litres of vegetable stock ( I used chicken stock )
130gms Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated
Salt and pepper
1 egg beaten

Breadcrumbs to coat
Oil to fry - olive or vegetable depending on taste

In a small saucepan, heat the stock and keep it simmering. In a heavy pot, sauté the onion in oil till golden. Add the wine, stir, and simmer until it is reduced. Add the raw rice and stir with a wooden spoon. When the rice is evenly coated with oil and almost ready to stick, add a ladleful of hot stock. Stir. For the next 20 or so minutes, keep stirring and adding enough hot stock to wet the rice, but not drown it. When the risotto is al dente, take it off the heat. Stir in the grated Parmesan, salt and pepper. Allow to cool before mixing in some or all of the egg - just enough to bind the mixture.

When the mixture is nice and cool, with wet hands form a little patty in your hand, pop a blob of Mozzarella into the middle, place a bit more mixture on top and from into a nice neat ball. Cover with the breadcrumbs and fry for about 5 minutes until golden brown.

These are the first four I made, one really fell apart, another was a bit crumbly but two were good. A small admission on my part though, I omitted the egg!! Foolish I know but the mixture was quite sticky and I didn't think it was needed,  hmmmmm , adding the egg for the next batch.....

Ok, so added the egg and they held together so much better - lesson learned the hard way here. The recipe said that you could make ten arancini - I made twenty and they were still a really good size. 

This is the first recipe that I've road tested for my new venture and I'm really pleased with it, I think it needs a tweak, I'm going to make these the day before and pop them into the fridge which I think will make them a little more stable and hold together better when fried. I'm going to serve these with some kind of sauce, I was going to use a chilli dipping sauce but I may try them with a romesco sauce ( love it!! ), I don't know yet - maybe a simple tomato sauce.

Anyway - all done for today just got to clear up and get some reviews!!


Sunday, 3 August 2014

So - Another new start.....

I am re-visiting the Samosa thing, I'm still convinced there's a business here so this week I'm going to deep clean my kitchen and invite the EHO in for advice - gotta start somewhere :)