Archive for March, 2012

Anyone for Oven Chicken???

Posted in Chicken, Recipes with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2012 by ninasnosh

Oven Chicken’ aptly named by the Patel/Jasmat Family is spicy oven roasted chicken with peas and potatoes. It’s a family favourite and perfect for the days you want to cook something yummy that you don’t have to watch over.


Makes enough for 4 people.

If possible try and marinade the night before or at least a few hours before.

  • 1 x 1.6kg chicken skinned and cut up or chicken drumsticks and thighs  – free range*
  • 3 cups of frozen peas
  • 4 medium size potatoes peeled and cut up into roast potato size pieces
  • 2 tbsp of sunflower/canola oil
  • 2 heaped tsp fresh masala
  • 3  tsp of garam masala
  • 4  tsp of ground cumin and coriander ( 1 part cumin and 2 parts coriander)
  • 2-3 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp of chilli powder
  • 3 tbsp of lemon juice
  • handful of chopped fresh coriander – optional

*For this dish I tend to use a whole chicken. I either get the butcher to joint and cut up into smaller pieces  or lately I have actually started to skin and cut up the chicken myself. It is far more economical to do this, I freeze the breast meat to use another time, save a bit for the kids and use the rest of the chicken for this dish. However, if you don’t want to do this you could use the equivalent in skinned drumsticks or chicken thighs – about 10/12 pieces.


You’ll need a large baking tray or dish to cook this in.

Preheat oven to about 170 degrees when you are ready to cook.

  1. Measure out the frozen peas and rinse through with warm water so the aren’t frozen when you mix them through – or your hands will freeze
  2. In a large mixing bowl place the chicken, potatoes and thawed peas
  3. Now add  the lemon juice, oil, fresh coriander (if you have it) and spices to the mixing bowl
  4. Using you hands (sorry, no other way to do this) mix everything together so the chicken, peas and potatoes are well marinaded
  5. Cover the tray tightly with foil
  6. Keep in fridge until you are ready to cook
  7. Cook in your preheated oven for around 1 hour and 15 minutes
  8. This is meant to be a fairly dry but moist dish – the chicken should be succulent, but there should be hardly any liquid
  9. If when you check the chicken there is a lot of liquid in the tray, cook with the foil off  for a few minutes to evaporate the liquid
  10. Once cooked rest for at least 5 minutes with the foil still on

Serve this dish with roti, naan or  fresh crusty bread.


how the dish looks before it is cooked

Recipe: Yellow Mung Dahl

Posted in Dahl, Recipes with tags , , , , on March 28, 2012 by ninasnosh

I know there are a few people out there waiting for me to put up a lamb or chicken recipe. I promise I will do it soon and it will be worth the wait – so keep checking my blog 🙂 In the meantime here is a delicious dahl dish.


Serves 2 people (unless serving with other dishes)

  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp of hing
  • 1 tbsp canola/sunflower oil
  • 1 cup of yellow mung (split)
  • 2 cups of luke warm water for soaking the mung
  • boiled hot water to use during cooking
  • 1 small onion finely sliced
  • 1 large tomato roughly chopped
  • 2 heaped tsp ground cumin and coriander (1 part cumin and 2 parts coriander)
  • 1 tsp fresh masala – green if you have it
  • 3/4 – 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric


  1. A few hours before you want to cook this soak the mung in at least 2 cups of luke warm water  – if you can’t don’t worry but the cooking time will increase
  2. Once the mung has been soaked for a few hours heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan
  3. When the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and hing – allow the mustard seeds to pop and remove  the saucepan from the heat
  4. Add the onions to the saucepan and return to a medium – low heat
  5. Soften the onions – stirring and cooking on a low heat for about 5 minutes
  6. Now add the mung to the saucepan
  7. Stir the mung and add all the remaining spices – stir in well but gently
  8. Add about a cup of hot water from the kettle, put the lid on the saucepan and simmer on a low heat for  a couple of minutes
  9. Then add the chopped tomatoes, stir and cover with the lid
  10. Simmer the dahl on a low heat for around 15 minutes – checking and stirring every few minutes
  11. Add more water if needed, try the dahl to check it is cooked

The more water you add, the runnier the dahl will be – I like it when it is runny and when it is still separate as in the picture above. You can’t really go wrong as long as you add the water gradually and keep checking. If you were unable to soak the dahl at the beginning you will need to add more water and simmer it for longer when cooking – just do it gradually until it is cooked.

Serve with rice, roti or naan.


uncooked mung



Dal, Dahl, Dahl or Daal

Posted in All about food, The Pantry with tags , , , on March 28, 2012 by ninasnosh


Unless you are vegetarian, when you think of Indian food you probably do think more about meat dishes. However, through my blog I want to introduce you to some delicious dahls and vegetable dishes. When I was growing up we only tended to eat lamb and chicken at the weekend. So even now my family’s diet still includes a lot of dahl and vegetable dishes.

Dahl is a preparation of dried lentils, peas or beans (pulses). The Indian way of preparing them turns them from something bland to something pretty delicious. There are so many different types of dahl, and different ways to cook them, that you could never get bored of them (unless you eat them every day – although my Dad reckons he could!). Like most Indian food, Dahl is served with rice, roti, naan or can be eaten on it’s own.

Dahl has some excellent nutritional values: high in protein, high in carbohydrates but virtually fat free, rich in vitamin B, folic acid, iron and zinc – all this in one bowl!

So here goes – I am going to introduce you to my first dahl recipe on this blog. It’s easy, healthy and worth a try 🙂

Recipe: Spicing up salmon fillets

Posted in Fish, Recipes with tags , , , on March 27, 2012 by ninasnosh

This recipe is not a curry but it’s what we had for dinner this evening and it’s one of my favourites – especially when I don’t have much time. It’s basically a dry rub that includes some indian spices. I think it goes perfectly with salmon giving it great flavour and keeping the fish from going dry.


This rub would be enough for 2 x 175g fillets ( I made 3 smaller fillets)

  • 2 x 175g salmon fillets
  • 1 heaped tsp of ground cumin and coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1  1/2 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Lemon Juice – fresh is obviously good but I use the bottled stuff as well


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl – taste it and add more chilli powder if you want it spicier
  3. Place salmon fillets in a baking dish
  4. Squeeze enough lemon juice on the fillets to coat them (about 1/2 – 1 tbsp)
  5. Sprinkle the rub on to the salmon and pat down with finger tips
  6. Splash a little more lemon juice on top –  a few drops for the rub to absorb
  7. Bake fillets in the oven for about 10 minutes (depending on size)
  8. Rest the fish for a couple of minutes before serving

This is a great and versatile recipe as the salmon can be served with almost anything. We often have it with a salad or with mashed potato and veggies if we are feeling hungrier.

Try not to over cook the salmon – once you see the sides of the salmon going white it will be over cooked.


Salmon before cooking

Tinned Tomatoes – they are not all the same!!

Posted in My top tips, The Pantry with tags , , on March 24, 2012 by ninasnosh

A lot of the cooking that I do is tomato based so my cupboard is never short of a tin or ten of tomatoes. Over time I have bought the cheap tins, expensive tins, chopped, whole etc etc. One thing I have learnt is that is if your dish is tomato based it is really important to buy a good tin of tomatoes – that doesn’t mean expensive. There are so many on the market now that it is easy to think that they are all the same or just to go with the cheapest. I would say always buy whole plum Italian tomatoes as they break down much easier than chopped ones. Test a few out and compare them but you’ll find that if you put a tin of the cheapest tomatoes next to a middle of the range you will see that the cheaper ones look really pale and will not cook as well – you may end up using more or adding puree – so it’s really a false economy.

Recipe: Egg and Potato Curry

Posted in Recipes with tags , , , , on March 24, 2012 by ninasnosh

We seem to have had a pretty basic but yummy week of food this week.

This dish is one of my favourites  from when I  was growing up and now Scott (my husband) loves it and can even cook it himself.

If you like eggs you really have to try it, it’s simple, fairly healthy, filling and delicious.


I’d say that this would feed 3 people or more if served with another dish.

  • 550g of peeled and cubed potatoes
  • 6 free range eggs
  • 1 tin of whole plum tomatoes – please see ‘my top tips’  for my rant about tinned tomatoes 
  • 1 tsp of fresh masala 
  • 2 heaped tsp of ground cumin and coriander ( 1 part cumin, 2 parts coriander)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt (alter to your taste)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp oil ( sunflower/canola)


I have divided the method up so it’s easier to see what needs doing but I suggest you go with what’s easier for you. I tend to get it all going at the same time but I have been making it for years!

  1. Boil the eggs until they are hard boiled, peel, halve length ways and set aside
  2. Peel and cut the potatoes into around 4cm cubes
  3. Boil the potatoes until they are cooked but still have a bite to them – around 5 minutes (drain and set aside once done)

For the sauce:

  1. In a largish saucepan add the oil and heat
  2. Once the oil is hot add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds – this process is called the Vaghar
  3. Allow the mustard seeds to pop and cumin to brown – once done remove saucepan from heat
  4. Now carefully add the whole tin of plum tomatoes to the oil. It will probably spit so be very careful – use the lid to stop oil spitting on you
  5. Once it settles down use a spoon to break down the tomatoes (you could blend them beforehand if you wanted to but I prefer to do it this way – less washing up)
  6. Return to the heat and simmer the tomatoes for about a minute on a low heat
  7. Now add all the spices and mix in well
  8. Half fill the empty tomato tin with water from the tap and add most of it to the sauce
  9. Mix well and simmer sauce on a low heat for about 8 minutes – add more water if it gets too thick as you need it to be slightly runny as the potatoes will absorb the liquid (see pictures for consistency)
  10. Taste to see if you want to add more salt or spice – if you do add please ensure you simmer a little longer
  11. Now add the potatoes and simmer for a couple of minutes so they are totally cooked through
  12. Once the potatoes are cooked, carefully arrange the eggs on top, close the lid and give the pot a jiggle to allow the sauce to cover everything – try not to use a spoon to mix as you don’t want it to all break up

Again this can be eaten on it’s own or with roti, rolled up in a wrap or naan bread.


colour of sauce once spices were added

Lunch that is not a sandwich: Spicy mixed bean omelette

Posted in Lunch, Recipes with tags , , , , on March 23, 2012 by ninasnosh

I don’t know about you but I am always trying to think of new, quick and filling ideas for lunch –  that aren’t sandwich related.

This is something I’ve started to make regularly to eat at home and to take to work. It’s easy and you can adapt it to use whatever you have in your fridge.

Earlier this week I made the omelette just for myself so the quantities below are just for one person. Increase the quantities depending on how many people you are making it for or how many eggs you chose to use.


  • 2 free range eggs
  • 1/4 tsp of fresh masala ( this gave it quite a kick)
  • salt to your taste, I used a good pinch
  • 1/4 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tbsp of skimmed milk
  • 1 tbsp of diced onion
  • 1 tbsp of chopped tomato
  • 3 tbsp of tinned 4 bean mix
  • 1 tbsp of sweetcorn kernels
  • Olive oil for cooking


To cook the omelette I used a good heavy based frying pan that I could also put under the grill.

  1. In a bowl crack the eggs and add the spices, salt and milk – using a fork whisk, ensuring everything is well mixed
  2. In your frying pan heat about a tbsp of oil – gently fry the onions and tomatoes until they are soft
  3. Next add the mixed beans and sweetcorn to the pan – stir in gently allowing them to heat through
  4. Ensure the ingredients are spread out in the pan
  5. Now pour over the egg mix tilting the pan so the mixture is evenly spread out
  6. Cook on a moderate heat for about 2 minutes
  7. Transfer the frying pan from the hob to under a moderate grill for around 2 minutes to cook the top half of the omelette

You can use  almost any vegetable you have in your fridge for this dish e.g mushrooms, courgette (zucchini), or even tinned tomatoes if you don’t have fresh.

Just remember that anything that requires cooking should be added to the oil at the very beginning.

This is great to eat at home with a salad or even to put in your packed lunch.

Hing – Asafoetida

Posted in The Pantry with tags , , , , , on March 22, 2012 by ninasnosh

Hing is a herb/spice used in a lot of Indian cooking, it is also known as Asafoetida.

I use Hing in most vegetarian dishes. The actual powder  smells quite unpleasant, however a small amount of Hing can really improve the taste of the dish, giving it a smooth and distinct flavour. If you’ve ever eaten in a good Indian restaurant and then tried to re-produce the food at home but couldn’t quite hit the mark, this would probably be the missing ingredient!

Hing is always added to the hot oil at the beginning of cooking the dish as this process releases the flavours that make the difference. As well as enhancing the flavour it also acts as a digestive.

Hing can be found in all good Indian shops – it generally comes in a small pot that will last for a very long time as you only need to use it sparingly.

If you like Indian food I really recommend that you try and find some as it will transform your dish.


Recipe: Peas and Potato Curry

Posted in Recipes, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , on March 22, 2012 by ninasnosh

I wanted my first dish to be  easy to cook with not too many ingredients. Once you have built up a stock of basic spices this is the kind of dish you can make any night of the week and of course it tastes yummy.



This amount serves 2 people if served on its own or 4 if served with another dish.

  • 400g of peeled and cubed potatoes
  • 2 cups of peas ( I like using baby peas)
  • 1 chopped fresh tomato
  • 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Hing (don’t worry if you don’t have this)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tsp of fresh masala (depending on how spicy you want it).
  • 2 heaped tsp of ground coriander and cumin : I keep these mixed together 1 part cumin to 2 parts coriander
  • 1/4 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt ( according to your taste)
  • 1/4 tsp of chilli powder ( optional if using green fresh masala)
  • 1- 1 1/2 tbsp oil for cooking ( I use canola or sunflower)

You will need a medium size pan to cook this in either a saucepan, wok style pan or even a deep frying pan but it must have a lid.


  1. Chop the potatoes into equal sized cubes of around 2cm
  2. Roughly chop the tomato
  3. Heat the oil in your pan until it is hot (not smoking hot)
  4. Add the mustard seeds and hing to the oil and cover with the lid
  5. Once the seeds have popped take off the heat
  6. Add all the spices and mix through in the oil
  7. Return pan to a medium heat and add the peas, potatoes and tomato
  8. Mix so that spices have covered everything
  9. After a couple of minutes cover with a lid and cook for around 15 minute
  10. Stir every few minutes making sure it is not sticking, don’t be too rough as you don’t want to mush it up
  11. If it does stick add a tbsp of water to loosen things up

This can be eaten with roti, pitta, naan bread, wrap or just in a bowl with a spoon.

What’s in my pantry?

Posted in The Pantry with tags , , , , on March 18, 2012 by ninasnosh

I believe that if you always have basics in your pantry you can literally cook something from nothing. Over time my cupboard has become well stocked mostly because  I am always trying new recipes but also I just can’t resist something that is on offer (knowing that I will find some use for it sooner rather than later).

Here is a list of my top 10 herbs and spices that I couldn’t live without when it comes to Indian cooking:

  1. Garam Masala
  2. Ground cumin
  3. Ground coriander
  4. Turmeric
  5. Chilli Powder
  6. Mustard Seeds
  7. Cumin Seeds
  8. Cloves
  9. Cinnamon
  10. Asafoetida Powder (Hing)

Of course the list of ingredients can go on but this is just a starter.

Now there is one other ingredient or rather mix of ingredients that I could never be without.

Fresh Masala

This is a fresh chilli mix that I use in nearly all my indian cooking and other cooking. If you are reading this I urge you take the time to make it as it will be life changing when it comes to cooking.

You’ll need:

  • 2, 400g sterilised jars to store it in/ air tight plastic containers if you plan on freezing
  • chopper or blender to make the mixture


This amount fills about an 800g jar so adjust according to how much you would like to make.

  • 250g fresh hot chillies (birdseye)
  • 175g fresh ginger skin removed
  • 100g fresh garlic skin removed
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp of chilli powder
  • Sunflower or canola oil (to preserve the mixture)


1. Remove stems from the chillies

2. Remove skin from both the ginger and garlic ( I find a vegetable peeler works well with the ginger)

3. Wash chillies and dry on tea towel

4. Chop the ginger into 2-3cm size pieces

5. Add chillies, garlic and ginger to chopper/blender with about a tbsp oil and chop until it is finely chopped (depending on size of chopper you may need to do this in batches)

6. Put chopped ingredients in a large bowl

7. Add the salt, turmeric and chilli powder* to the mixture and stir through

8. Add more oil so ingredients are coated with (not swimming in) oil – this will stop the fresh masala going dry or mouldy

9. Fill your jars and keep in the fridge until you need it or what I normally do is freeze half of it in a plastic container.

* I generally have 2 types of fresh masala in my fridge one with chilli powder to use in meat dishes and one without for vegetarian dishes but it’s just as good to have the one type.

Later this week I will post a recipe you can use the fresh masala in.