Archive for simple

Virtues of the pressure cooker….

Posted in All about food, Children's Food, Dahl, My top tips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2012 by ninasnosh

I’m going to be introducing quite a few more dahl recipes but before I did that I just wanted to write a bit about my friend the pressure cooker.

Whilst I’ve had a pressure cooker for over 10 years I haven’t always been a fan. There was an incident about 12 years ago when I didn’t listen to my mothers instructions (or use my common sense) and opened the lid without releasing all the steam first. This resulted in dahl on the ceiling and every other nook and cranny in my kitchen!! So my main tip  – always makes sure you release the steam before opening it.

I am now a big fan of the pressure cooker. I use it to cook most of my dahls and I also use it for some of my kids food as you will see. I can make a chicken curry for my kids in about 10 minutes! So it reduces cooking time and if used for the right dishes produces some amazing flavours.

Not that many people I know own a pressure cooker but I think it’s a good investment – you don’t need to buy a huge one. The above picture is of my pressure cookers they are basic ones that you’d probably find in most indian households (where they cook) but I know there are snazzier more colourful versions on the market.

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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.

Easy and filling snack or meal: Poha

Posted in Lunch, Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2012 by ninasnosh

Poha are dehusked flattened rice. They are very popular in India as they are easy to use and transform into a delicious dish. This is a good snack to take out if you are on your travels and can keep for a few days in the fridge. You can buy a bag of Poha at any good Indian grocery store and they normally come in 500g bags.

I made the above dish recently when we were busy packing and needed some comfort food to keep us going. 

Ingredients

Feeds 3 for a meal or more for a light snack

For the Vaghar:

  • 2 tbsp of oil (sunflower or canola)
  • 1/4 tsp hing
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
and the rest….
  • 200g of Poha
  • 2 large potatoes: peeled and cubed (1.5cm)
  • 1 tsp of fresh masala (or more if you like it spicy)
  • 2 1/2 tsp of ground coriander and cumin (1 part cumin to 2 parts coriander)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt ( alter to taste)
  • Hot water from kettle

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan or saucepan
  2. Once oil is hot add the mustard seeds and cover the pan with a lid – once they have popped remove pan from the heat
  3. Add the hing
  4. Return the pan to a medium heat – add the potatoes and spices, mixing so the potatoes are covered (see fig 1)
  5. Now you need to add water so there is actually some liquid in the dish
  6. Add about a cup of hot water so the  potatoes are nearly covered (see fig 2)
  7. While the potatoes are cooking put the Poha in a colander
  8. Cook the potatoes for about 10 minutes on a low to medium heat so that they are cooked through  – add more water if required (the liquid consistency will be needed later)
  9. When the potatoes are nearly ready rinse the Poha with cold water – just run the cold water tap and rinse them in the colander
  10. Then add the Poha to the potatoes mix through and cook on a low heat – they will absorb all of the water
  11. Add more water if required – the Poha should disappear into the dish
  12. Cook the dish for a few more minutes
You can eat this on it own, I made a thin dahl to go with it…….
fig 1. potatoes

fig 2. potatoes with water

fig 3. poha

It’s all about variation….

Posted in Recipes, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2012 by ninasnosh

I wasn’t really planning to blog this dish but thought why not!  I’m in the process of having a good go at using up the contents of my pantry and fridge, and thought it would be a good opportunity to show you how easy it is to vary a dish. A slight change in ingredients or method of cooking can easily change a dish and add variation to your culinary repertoire.

So after my pizza making on Sunday I was left with 1/3 jar of passata and needed to find a use for it. Here is a variation of my earlier recipe of ‘Tuver, Aubergine and Methi’. Substituting the fresh tomato with the passata creates a dish where the vegetables are cooked in a sauce.

Ingredients

Serves 4 people if served with another dish

For the vagar:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 tbsp sunflower/canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp hing
  • 1 medium size aubergine (eggplant) chopped into 3cm sized pieces
  • 1 frozen bag of tuver (about 300g) – you could substitute with frozen peas
  • 1/3 jar of passata – topped up to a half a jar with with water
  • 2 blocks of frozen fenugreek leaves – taken out the freezer 30mins before cooking
  • 1 potato peeled and cut into cubes of 2cm
  • 1 heaped tsp of fresh masala
  • 3 tsp of ground coriander and cumin
  • 1/4 tsp of turmeric
  • 1-2 tsp of salt

Method

  1. Prepare the aubergine and potato – soak the aubergine and potato in water once chopped or it will go black (strain when ready to use)
  2. If you haven’t had a chance to take the fenugreek out the freezer defrost it in the microwave
  3. In a largish non-stick saucepan heat the oil for the vagar
  4. Once the oil is hot add the hing and mustard seeds
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat once the mustard seeds have popped
  6. Now add the aubergine, tuver, potato and fenugreek leaves – mix through
  7. Return the saucepan to the heat, add all the spices and mix through
  8. Cover with a lid and cook on a medium heat for a couple of minutes
  9. Now add the passata and water, mix through, cover with the lid and cook on a low-medium heat for around 25 – 30 minutes
  10. During the cooking time gently stir to prevent sticking – add water if the dish starts to get too dry
  11. Cooking times will vary so check the aubergine, tuver, and potato to make sure it is cooked – adjust cooking time accordingly
Remember, alway taste your food before serving, add extra spices if you think you need to, then cook through a little longer

Serve this dish along side a dahl with roti, naan or rice.

Recipe: Spicy tomato chicken drumsticks (and potatoes)

Posted in Chicken, Recipes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2012 by ninasnosh

I was strongly leaning towards making ‘Oven Chicken’ with the drumsticks we had in the fridge but decided to try something slightly different. We’d  already got dhal and guvar left over from yesterday so I didn’t need to worry too much about having vegetables to go with it – so this is what I ended up with.

Ingredients

As with any dish you marinade I’d advise marinading at least a few hours before hand to get the best results.

  • 8 free range chicken drumsticks – skin removed
  • 2 large potatoes – peeled and cut up in small roast potato sized pieces
  • 2 1/2 tsp of ground cumin and coriander (2 parts coriander, 1 part cumin)
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp fresh masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cooking salt
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree/paste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp canola/sunflower oil

Method

Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees (fan assisted)

  1. Place the prepared chicken and potatoes into a large mixing bowl (I just mixed in the oven dish)
  2. Place all the spices, salt, oil and tomato puree into a small bowl and mix together
  3. At this stage you should taste the marinade before adding to the chicken – it should be tangy and spicy so if you think it needs it, add more spices etc to adjust the flavour
  4. Now pour the marinade onto the chicken and potatoes – use your hands mix through well
  5. Lay the marinated chicken and potatoes evenly in an oven dish
  6. Cover with foil – ideally leave in the fridge for a few hours to marinade
  7. Cook in a pre-heated oven of around 175 degrees (fan assisted) for approx an hour
  8. Check to see if the chicken and potatoes are cooked
  9. Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes (with the foil still covering the dish)
  10. Serve with salad, left overs and indian bread
spices

chicken and potatoes

marinade

marinaded chicken and potatoes