Archive for essentials

Recipe: Chana Dahl

Posted in Dahl, Pickles, Recipes, The Pantry, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2012 by ninasnosh

I blogged the kids version of this dish the other day so thought I should update the grown-ups recipe.  I love having this dish with masala omelette, and it also goes well with any of the vegetarian dishes I have blogged. This lentil has a wonderful nutty and sweet flavour. It’s also a good dish for you to serve up some lemon pickles as an accompaniment.

Ingredients

Enough for 2 people served with another dish (and enough for leftovers)

For the vagar:

  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp hing

The rest:

  • 1 1/2 cups of Chana Dahl /split peas
  • 1 onion finely sliced
  • 1 fresh tomato chopped up
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh masala
  • 2 heaped tsp of ground coriander and cumin
  • 1/4 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Hot boiled water – about 4 cups

Method

  1. Soak the lentils in water if you have time beforehand
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan add the mustard seeds when hot, cover with a lid and remove from the heat
  3. Once the seeds have popped add the hing
  4. Return the pan back to a low heat and add the onions and tomato
  5. Gently cook for about 5 minutes – stirring a couple of time
  6. Now add all the spices and mix through
  7. Rinse the lentils and add to the saucepan – stir everything together
  8. Now pour in enough water so the level is about 2cm over the lentils
  9. Allow the dhal to cook over a low-med heat – for about 20 to 25 minutes
  10. The water will slowly come absorbed
  11. Check the dahl for flavour and add more water if they are not cook and all the water has been absorbed

Serve with indian bread and another delicious Indian dish.

chana dahl

 

onion and tomato

 

 

all ingredients

Recipe: Spinach

Posted in Lunch, Recipes, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2012 by ninasnosh

I made this spinach dish a couple of weeks to accompany one of my potato dishes. It’s easy, delicious and very healthy. I also love eating this spicy spinach in a sandwich –  beats ham or cheese any day.

Ingredients

For the vaghar:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • pinch of fenugreek seeds

The rest:

Method

  1. Heat the oil and add the fenugreek seeds to toast for 30 seconds or so
  2. Add the finely sliced onions to the oil, cover pan with a lid and cook on a low heat for 3 to 4 minutes – onions should be soft but not brown
  3. Next add all the spices and spinach, cover the pan with a lid to allow spinach to wilt
  4. After a minute or so remove the lid and stir the spinach and spices
  5. Add 2-3 tsp of water, stir
  6. Now on a low heat cook the spinach , simmering with the lid on for around 15 minutes – stirring regularly
  7. Add more water if you need to but you shouldn’t need much as the spinach itself will release water
  8. Taste the dish whilst it is cooking to ensure you are happy with the seasoning and spices

Of course spinach does not take 15 minutes to cook but simmering it will allow the flavours to infuse gently leaving you with really tasty dish.

Serve with another indian dish, eat with roti.

spices

spinach

onions

* you can use larger spinach leaves but should cut off the stalks and chop up

Chicken Dinner ……

Posted in Chicken, Recipes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2012 by ninasnosh

On Tuesday night I made this lovely chicken dish using my delicious ‘rich tomato sauce’.

Ingredients

This will feed at least 4 people.

You will need a good sized pot to fit a whole chicken and the potatoes – I always use my le creuset.

  • Rich tomato sauce
  • 1 large free range chicken skinned and cut up *
  • 3 medium size potatoes peeled and cut up into roast potato size pieces

Method

  1. Follow the ‘rich tomato sauce’ recipe
  2. Once the sauce is ready add the prepared chicken, stir in, cover the pot and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes
  3. After 5 minutes add some hot boiled water to thin out the sauce and cover the chicken
  4. Simmer the chicken for a further 25-30 minutes on a low heat
  5. Then add the potatoes and simmer until they are cooked (about 10 minutes) – add more water if required
  6. Turn off the heat when the potatoes are done – leave to rest for 10 minutes (be careful not to over cook the potatoes they will continue to cook while you are resting the dish)
Serve with roti, bread or rice.

* if you prefer not to use a whole chicken you could use skinned drumsticks, skinned thighs or chicken breast. The dish tastes great which ever part of the chicken you use but by using a whole chicken or meat on the bone the dish is far more flavoursome!

Tangy, Spicy Lemon Pickles

Posted in All about food, Pickles, Recipes, The Pantry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2012 by ninasnosh

After 3 weeks of sun and sitting my ‘Lemon Pickles’ are perfectly pickled. We opened the jars yesterday for a taste test and they have exceeded my expectations when it comes to flavour. They are tangy, sour, spicy and sweet all at the same time.

Pickles are perfect for serving with poppadoms, dahls and other vegetarian dishes. You can chop them up smaller or serve them as they are. The sauce is so delicious that sometimes I even have some of it on bread or a roti.

I have transfered the pickles into a clean jar – this will prevent the formation of a white mould (which is harmless). Store the pickles in a cool dry place or fridge – they will last for months.

Masala omelette for one …..

Posted in Lunch, Recipes, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2012 by ninasnosh

I caught the end of Nigella’s cooking show last week and she was cooking a ‘Masala Omelette’, so I thought it was time to blog my version. It was also a great opportunity for me to try out my great new ‘Scanpan Frypan’  sent by Kitchenwaredirect. I’ve been looking for a second omelette pan that I could use on the hob, under the grill and in the oven – this one didn’t fail me.

Masala omelette is a bit of a lifesaver…..you can have it with a salad, in a sandwich or with other leftovers. If you are just cooking for one and want something tasty but effortless this is the way to go.

Ingredients

Quantities are for one person – increase quantities for more people

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a small frying pan
  2. Turn on the grill – medium heat
  3. In a bowl whisk together the eggs and spices using a fork
  4. Once the oil is hot add the omelette mix and cook for a couple of minutes
  5. When you think it is half done put it under the grill for a minute or so to finish cooking
  6. Check that it is cooked and serve with whatever you like 🙂

spices

on the hob

I had great intentions of eating this with a salad but had it in a sandwich – best sandwich ever ;).

Recipe: Eggplant and Green Beans

Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2012 by ninasnosh

In the house we are renting at the moment I was very excited to discover an ‘Eggplant Plant’. It seems to be bearing the last fruits of this season but I have so far been lucky enough to harvest 5 eggplants. Having already cooked, eggplant and tuver, mousakka, pasta sauce for the kids and a vegetable chilli I wanted to cook something else indian.

Here is a tasty vegetarian dish using eggplant and green beans to add to your repertoire.

Ingredients:

This would serve 2- 3 people if served with at least 1 other dish

For the vaghar:

  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp of Carom Seeds (Ajwain) – if you don’t have these just use mustard seeds
  • 1/8th tsp of hing
  • 1 tsp fresh masala
  • 2 tsp of ground cumin and coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 eggplant – cubed
  • 200g green beans cut in half
  • 1 fresh tomato – chopped up roughly

Method

  1. Prepare the vegetables – cut up eggplant, bean and tomatoes
  2. Prepare the vaghar – heat the oil in a saucepan then add the carom seeds
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the seeds to toast in the oil before adding the hing
  4. After about 20 seconds add the eggplant and beans to the oil,  and return to a low-medium heat
  5. Stir the vegetables
  6. Now add all the spices, stir, cover the pan with a lid and cook for a couple of minutes
  7. After a couple of minutes add the chopped tomatoes, stir in, cover with lid and cook on a low-medium heat for about 15-20 minutes
  8. Stir regularly – if the dish is sticking or looking dry add some water to loosen
  9. Once the beans and eggplant are cooked remove from heat and rest for a few minutes before serving
Serve with roti
spices
 vegetables

prepared vegetables

Indian Chips ……

Posted in Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2012 by ninasnosh

There are not that many people out there who don’t like chips so if you like spicy food these have got to be a winner.

 Ingredients

Method
1. Peel and cut the potatoes into even sized chips then soak in cold water
2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan (preferably one that has a lid)
3. Once the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and cover the pan with a lid
4. Once the seeds have popped remove the pan from the heat
5. Now add the hing and allow it to sizzle for a few seconds before you add the rest of the spices
6. Mix the spices all together to form a paste in the oil – return to a medium heat
7. Drain the potatoes and add to the pan – make sure the pan is hot but not too hot that the potatoes burn
8. Carefully mix the potatoes so that the spicy paste covers them
9. Cook the potatoes on a medium heat turning every few minutes so they are cooking evenly – keep the lid off for about 10 minutes
10. Cook with the lid half on for about 10 minutes – do not completely cover as you don’t want them to go soggy
11. You want the chips to be nicely brown and cooked through before you serve…
I only use as little oil as I can get away with – as you can see from the picture my chips were not oily. By soaking them in water, making sure the oil was hot enough when cooking and cooking with the lid partially off I ensured they were both cooked and crispy.

Recipe: Lemon Pickles

Posted in Recipes, The Pantry, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2012 by ninasnosh

As promised I’ve finally gotten around to pickling those lemons. I’m using a method that doesn’t use any oil so they are of the healthier variety. The process of preparing the pickles is straight forward and relatively quick but they will need some TLC over the next few weeks.

I used 2 of these half litre ‘Bormioli Rocco Fido Jars’  from KitchenwareDirect which were perfect for quantity I made. Ensure they are sterilised and dry before using.

Ingredients

  •  4 large lemons – washed and dried (using 3.5 to pickle and the juice of half a lemon)
  • 1/4 cup of salt
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of chilli powder
  • 1 tsp of white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp of turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp of fenugreek seeds
  • pinch of hing

Method

1. Wash and dry the lemons before you top and tail them.

2. Save half a lemon to juice. Take the remaining lemons cut length ways into quarters and then cut each quarter into smaller pieces removing any pips.

Chopping board also from KitchenwareDirect – perfect for pouring the lemon juices into the bowl

3. Place lemon pieces into a large mixing bowl.

4. Add chilli powder, salt, sugar, turmeric and white wine vinegar to the lemons and mix through.

5. In a small saucepan add the fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and hing – gently roast on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes.

6. Once the seeds are browned slightly and you can smell the lovely aromas remove from the heat.

7. The seeds now need to be ground down using a pestle and mortar or spice/coffee grinder.

8. Once the seeds are ground down add the mixture to the lemons and mix through.

9. Add the juice of half a lemon to the mixture and mix through.

10. Now carefully place the lemon and juices into a jar for preserving.

11. Give the jar/s a good shake.

12. Place the jar in a sunny/warm position – shaking them regularly.

13. Continue to keep the jar/s in a sunny position for a few weeks (bringing in after dark if they are outside) shaking regularly.

Over the next few weeks you will see the lemons change and the juices thicken. I have made one smaller jar which I will use as my tester jar to see how the pickling is going. I will update photos every few days so you can see how it’s going. Already you can see in the above picture the rich colouring of the pickles.

Do let me know if you have a go at making these 🙂

Recipe: Prawn Curry

Posted in Fish, Recipes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2012 by ninasnosh

I’ve been a bit slow with providing any seafood recipes, but here’s a good one to get you going. Prawns in a delicious tomato sauce – a sauce that looks very similar to the ‘rich tomato’ sauce I make for lamb and chicken. This sauce however tastes quite different and compliments the prawns perfectly. It’s time to get yourself some fenugreek seeds as they give great flavour to this dish.

Ingredients:

For the Vaghar

  • 2 tbsp of oil (sunflower or canola)
  • 1/4 tsp of fenugreek seeds

and the rest

  • About 200g of raw/green prawns with tails still attached or 400g if the whole shell is attached (no heads)
    • I like to use the ones with the tails attached – not messy when eating!
  • 1 small onion minced in a chopper
  • 300g of whole plum tinned tomatoes
  • 1 heaped tsp of fresh masala
  • 2 heaped tsp of ground coriander and cumin
  • 1 tsp of garam masala
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of turmeric
  • water

Method

  1. Mince the onion in a chopper or very very finely chop with a good knife (fig. 2)
  2. Separately puree the tomatoes
  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the fenugreek seeds – once the fenugreek seeds sizzle for about 20 seconds take the pan off the heat
  4. Add the minced onions and return to a low heat – cook for about 10 minutes, saucepan lid on and stirring regularly
  5. Once the onions are a golden colour add the pureed tomatoes (fig 4)
  6. Next add all the spices and stir in
  7. Also add about a cup of water
  8. Simmer the sauce on a very low heat for about 15-20 minutes adding more water if needed – the sauce should be of medium thickness (see fig 5 )
  9. Taste the sauce – the different flavours will come through with a bit of a kick
  10. If you need to add more spices do it at this stage
  11. Once you are happy with the flavour add the prawns – cooking them gently for about 4-5 minutes (you will see them change to a pink colour as they cook – try not to over cook)
  12. Remove from the heat and leave to rest for about 5 minutes before serving with roti or rice

fig 1. spices

fig 2. chopper

fig 3. minced onions

fig 4. golden onions

fig 5. sauce

Lamb curry with extra goodness!

Posted in Lamb, My top tips, Recipes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2012 by ninasnosh

By adding eggplant/aubergine to the lamb curry recipe you can make a healthier dish and vary the taste slightly. The eggplant/aubergine makes the consistency of the sauce thicker – you simmer it for as long as you cook the lamb so it actually disappears into the sauce.

If you would like to try  ‘Lamb curry with extra goodness’ then follow my recipe for ‘lamb curry’ but also add the following steps.

  1. I used 3/4 of the above eggplant/aubergine and chopped it up into small pieces
  2. Once the tomato sauce is ready add the chopped eggplant/aubergine
  3. Cover the saucepan with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes
  4. Then add the meat and follow my original lamb curry recipe
  5. As always taste the dish before serving – we have added an extra ingredient you may need a touch more of the spices

adding the eggplant/aubergine

as you can see the eggplant has disappeared into the sauce resulting in a lovely tasty and filling sauce