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Posts Tagged ‘mains’

I’ve been cooking curries for a few years now but I’m still on the hunt for the best veggie curry recipe. I understand the basics – a base of fried onion, garlic and ginger and spices and then tomato, yoghurt, coconut cream or water to make the sauce. But without meat juices it can still be tough to achieve a really flavourful result with a nice thick sauce.

But this meal might be the closest I’ve come to my top curry feast! It starts with a rendition of the amazing fresh salad ‘dhai bel puri’ from Planet India in Brighton – almost like an Indian seven-layer dip and- inspired by a colleague who also tried making it at home – you must try this and soon. Instead of a dry curry I made roasted tandoori halloumi and vegetables with a simple but perfect red lentil dhal alongside. I’d like to think Madhur Jaffrey would be proud!

dhai bel puri (more…)

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Apparently it’s ‘vegetarian week’ at the moment! Who knew… Oh yes, Twitter of course. The internet loves a themed day or week! So I could spend the week preaching about how great it is to be a veggie, but I thought I’d celebrate by suggesting some ways meat-eaters and veggies can get along better. And what issue is more contentious than cooking dinner for each other??

ingredients (more…)

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A few weeks ago one of my ultimate food heroes, Yotam Ottolenghi, appeared on a tv show called the Great British Food Revival to champion the cause of the cauliflower. Sadly I can see why he felt the need! Lots of people seem to have bad memories of over-boiled cauliflower or claggy cheese sauces but this vegetable doesn’t deserve its bland reputation. There are lots of ways to celebrate its sweetness in soup or bring out its nuttiness by roasting it. Here are some of my favourite ways to challenge the cauli haters…

cauliflower salad
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Everyone knows that the flavour of licorice is a love-hate thing. Personally I’m not a hater but I still struggle with how to use fennel sometimes. That aniseed flavour might go well with all sorts of meat and fish but it can overpower other vegetables quite easily. So I end up using it with onions as a base to stocks and soups and curries but I know I’m not doing it justice.

And that’s where braising comes in! The slow, moist cooking technique brings out the sweetness of fennel and mellows the punch of its licorice flavours. Add a dash of cream and cheese at the end and you even get a bubbling crisp topping too – all of a sudden fennel goes with anything because it’s so subtle and delicious, mmm…

fennel (more…)

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We are back online – apologies for the light posting recently but normal services can now resume! We have moved into a new flat and the kitchen is kick ass so I have no excuse not to cook up lots of lovely food. It’s got quite a nice electric stove, loads and loads of drawers and cabinets for all my gadgets and even a big island / breakfast bar – perfect for rolling out pastry yay. I should not be this excited about a kitchen but I totally am.

And to celebrate here’s one of the first meals I made in said fabulous new kitchen… tagine (more…)

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Moving house is a strange little ritual. We all seem to do the same thing I think. You start packing up and there’s all this stuff you completely forgot existed hidden away in drawers and shelves and closets. Things you literally haven’t thought of since you last moved so why are they still getting carted around with you? And there’s so freakin much of it. So you start throwing things out but then you get sidetracked looking through old photos for hours and forgetting you were supposed to be packing… So most of the time you end up just throwing it all in a box and taking it with you again.

Anyway, in my piles of old photos were some pics from my semester studying abroad in Argentina, which gave me the perfect excuse to avoid packing again and do some cooking instead!

empanadas

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This dish made me think of Masterchef for some reason – you know when they’re talking about the contestants and they say “that guy really knows how to get flavour into his food”? I always remember them saying that and kinda thinking – what does that actually mean?? But that’s basically all that happens in Masterchef, a bit of cooking and lots of nonsense comments and Gregg making those “oooooer” noises while scarfing a dessert…

In any case that is what I’ve tried to do with this chilli recipe – get lots of flavour into it. Because if I’m honest, I often find vegetarian chilli a bit bland and disappointing. But I had a really nice one the other day and it inspired me to try again and see if I could create a chilli I can be a bit more excited about. This is that chilli and it is pretty damn tasty…

veggie chilli
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