Archive for tinned tomatoes

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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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!

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

Keema Mutter – the healthier version

Posted in Recipes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2012 by ninasnosh

This very tasty minced lamb/mutton dish with peas is commonly known as Keema Mutter. Tonight however, I cooked the healthier version using turkey mince.

Ingredients

Serves 3 – 4 people

  • 1/2 quantity of  tomato based sauce
  • 500g lean turkey mince
  • 2 cups of frozen peas
  • boiled water from the kettle
Serve with steamed rice

Method

  1. Please see tomato based sauce recipe and make half the quantity for this dish
  2. Once the sauce is ready add the turkey mince and cook through for about 5 minutes
  3. Add frozen peas to the mince
  4. Add about 2 cups of hot water from the kettle to the mince – stir and simmer with the lid on for 20mins stirring every few minutes
  5. If required add more water during cooking – the dish should be a little runnier than a bolognese sauce
This can be served with steamed rice, roti or naan bread.
This is a great example of when a frozen portion of the sauce would come in handy for a quick weekday meal!

Recipe: Rich Tomato Sauce

Posted in Chicken, Lamb, Recipes, The Pantry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2012 by ninasnosh

This is the sauce I used for my lamb curry. It’s a wonderfully rich tomato sauce that provides a wonderful base for chicken or lamb. I make a few variations of this sauce but if you can master this your chicken/lamb curry will taste amazing.

The great thing about this sauce is you can make it in larger quantities and freeze some to use at a later date.  I would probably add it to one of my pantry/freezer must have’s.

Ingredients

Makes enough to cook a whole shoulder of lamb plus potatoes

  • 2-3 tbsp of sunflower/canola oil
  • 2cm cube of ginger  peeled and sliced
  • Half a cinnamon stick
  • 10 cloves
  • 3 small or 2 medium size onions finely chopped in the chopper
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes – pureed
  • 3 tsp of fresh masala
  • 4 heaped tsp of ground cumin and coriander (1 part cumin to 2 parts coriander)
  • 3 heaped tsp of garam masala
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp of turmeric

Method

1. Chop the onions in a chopper

2. In a large heavy based saucepan heat the oil – add the onions, cinnamon stick, cloves and ginger

3. Cook on a low heat for about 10-15 until the onions take on a reddish tinge – don’t allow it to catch or go too brown

4. Now add all the spices, salt and bay leaves – stir and cook through

5. Add the pureed tomatoes, stir and simmer on a low heat with the lid on for about 15-20 mins (remember to stir it at intervals)

The sauce should take on a deep and darker colour – the onions will have dissolved into the sauce

7. Taste the sauce and add further spices and salt if required – remember the meat and potatoes will absorb a lot of the flavour so if you feel it needs more of a kick add some extra spices

8. Cook through for a little longer if you add more spices

9. The sauce is now ready for you to add the lamb

You could also refrigerate the sauce to use the next day or freeze it to use much later. If I am having guests I try and make the sauce the day before to save time.

It’s the show stopper: Lamb Curry

Posted in Recipes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2012 by ninasnosh

On Sunday we enjoyed a lovely meal will some friends. I cooked a couple of vegetarian dishes and also a yummy lamb curry. I thought it was about time I introduced you to a delicious meat dish that you just have to have a go at cooking – especially if you want to impress your friends 😉

The secret of this dish is of course the sauce. So read carefully and give it a go.

Ingredients for the Sauce

Makes enough to cook a whole shoulder of lamb plus potatoes

  • 2-3 tbsp of sunflower/canola oil
  • 2cm cube of ginger  peeled and sliced
  • Half a cinnamon stick
  • 10 cloves
  • 3 small or 2 medium size onions finely chopped in the chopper
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes – pureed
  • 3 tsp of fresh masala
  • 4 heaped tsp of ground cumin and coriander (1 part cumin to 2 parts coriander)
  • 3 heaped tsp of garam masala
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp of turmeric

Method

1. Chop the onions in a chopper

2. In a large heavy based saucepan heat the oil – add the onions, cinnamon stick, cloves and ginger

3. Cook on a low heat for about 10-15 until the onions take on a reddish tinge – don’t allow it to catch or go too brown

4. Now add all the spices, salt and bay leaves – stir and cook through

5. Add the pureed tomatoes, stir and simmer on a low heat with the lid on for about 15-20 mins (remember to stir it at intervals)

The sauce should take on a deep and darker colour – the onions will have dissolved into the sauce

7. Taste the sauce and add further spices and salt if required – remember the meat and potatoes will absorb a lot of the flavour so if you feel it needs more of a kick add some extra spices

8. Cook through for a little longer if you add more spices

9. The sauce is now ready for you to add the lamb

You could also refrigerate the sauce to use the next day or freeze it to use much later. If I am having guests I try and make the sauce the day before to save time.

Recipe: Lamb Curry

Cooks enough for 4 hungry people

Ingredients

  • One portion of the above tomato based sauce
  • 1 shoulder of lamb – fat removed and cut up into casserole size pieces including bones and washed
  • 3 -4 medium size potatoes peeled and cut into roast potato size pieces
  • Handful of chopped coriander

Method

1. Heat the sauce in a heavy based saucepan
2. Add the lamb pieces, mix through and allow to cook with lid on for 5 minutes

3. Then add enough water to cover the lamb and simmer with the lid on for 45-60 minutes

4. Stir regularly and add extra water as needed

5. After 45 minutes if you think lamb is ‘just’ cooked turn off and rest for at least an hour – last Sunday I actually left it for 4 hours ( or if you are in a rush you don’t have to rest but it does improve the lamb)

6. 30 minutes before you want to eat add the potatoes to the lamb, a little more water so everything is covered – simmer until the potatoes are cooked

7. Once cooked allow the dish to rest with the lid on

8. Finally garnish with coriander and serve with rice, roti or naan