dal

I have cooked this simple recipe for a thousand years…it is from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery book. Not only is it the nicest dal recipe I’ve ever tried, it’s my friend Sophie’s fave recipe for dal too. Its thick creamy and tasty, and lentils are fantastic for your digestion, stabilising blood sugar levels and lowering cholesterol amongst many other things.

Serves 2 for a main, 4 for a side.

Ingredients:
7 oz (200g) red split lentils
1 litre of water
2 thin slices of unpeeled ginger
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
3 tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil
A pinch of ground asafetida (optional)
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Finely chopped fresh coriander

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express salmon kedgeree

Kedgeree is one of those quintessentially British dishes, dating back to the 1800’s, that’s easier to make than you think plus I’ve made it even easier. It’s a lovely mixture of creamy eggs, fish and rice with the gentle perfume of Indian spices. My version is inspired by a recipe by the cook Roxy Beaujolais which uses salmon instead of smoked haddock. It’s perfect for a light Christmas Eve supper, or as a New Years Eve supper bearing in mind it only takes about twenty minutes to cook. It’s also perfect for dinner for two.

Recipe

Serves 4 for brunch. 2 for dinner or lunch. You can double or triple the quantities depending on how many people are eating.

Ingredients:
2 salmon fillets
1 bay leaf
a tablespoon of butter or a tablespoon of coconut oil
1 large shallot or a small onion finely sliced
pinch of turmeric
pinch of cumin
1 bag of pre-cooked brown or white basmati rice from the supermarket
3 eggs
2 tablespoons double cream or yoghurt (or cream substitute, or dairy free yoghurt)
chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon

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red onion bahji

A freshly made onion bhaji is one of the finest things in life and surprisingly easy to make. The perfect bhaji is crispy on the outside and waffley on the inside with the perfume of Indian spices and fried onions, making this a fantastic snack or accompaniment to an Indian meal. I cooked them in healthier coconut oil and my friends that tried them loved the coconutty flavour the oil gave them. I serve them with wedges of lemon or lime and a sprinkle of fresh coriander, but they are equally good with mango or lime chutney, tamarind sauce or a cucumber raita.

Recipe

Makes about 8.

Ingredients:
2 medium red onions
A pinch of salt
2 minced garlic cloves
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon of tumeric
5 tablespoons of gram flour
Water, as needed
Coconut oil for frying
Salt and pepper

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kale curry

This Kale curry is really creamy and it’s got pine nuts, sultanas and coconut milk in it so it’s quite rich. I wasn’t sure if it was too rich, but once you put it with plain basmati rice it’s perfect. You could also serve it with roast chicken. It’s also a more complicated recipe than my usual recipes, but bear with it as it’s worth it and it’s a tasty way to eat kale. My friend Babs tried it when she popped round and she loved it and she normally loathes curries…So if you fancy a healthy, creamy curry this recipe is made for you

Recipe

Serves 1-2.

Ingredients:

A couple of teaspoons of coconut oil
A big bunch of kale or a big supermarket bag of it
½ cup of coconut milk (the thick cream bit only)
A handful of pine nuts
A handful of sultanas
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
½-1 teaspoon of chilli powder
¼ teaspoon of turmeric
¼ cup desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 clove of garlic peeled and minced

The semi final
A couple of teaspoons of coconut oil
2-3 fresh mild red chillies
½ teaspoon of mustard seeds

The final
A thumb size piece of fresh ginger cut into matchstick pieces
½ cup of coconut oil

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creamy pineapple pachardi

This is the ultimate Indian sweet and sour dish and I like the idea of fruit being used as if they were vegetables. This quick and easy recipe would be fab served with other Indian dishes, like tandoori chicken or any meat dish or just with basmati rice and a salad. I converted it to vegan, by replacing the curd in the traditional recipe with creamy coconut milk and I think it tastes just as good. About to get my friends Louise and Nicola to test try it for dinner tonight and will get back to you with their verdict.
They loved it and couldn’t get enough of it. I served it with plain boiled basmati rice, poppadums, garlicky raita, homemade onion bhajis (recipe coming soon) and salad.

Recipe

Serves 1 as a main dish, serves 2 as a side dish but you can double or triple the quantities accordingly.

Ingredients:
1 cup of chopped fresh pineapple
1/4 cup of coconut milk (the thick cream bit only)
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
1/4-1/2  teaspoon of chilli powder (depending on how hot you like it, you can add more if you want)
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder

For grinding
1/4 cup of desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

The finale (optional)
2 teaspoons of coconut oil
1-2 red chillies
1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
A few curry leaves

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Georgia O’Keeffe’s potato curry

I went to the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition at the Tate last year which was great but I am fascinated by her lifestyle more than I am by her paintings. I would love to go to her house Ghost Ranch in Mexico and I pore through the book I have about it. I love her style, aesthetic and of course her kitchen and larder. A few weeks ago some friends took me to an amazing book shop in Piccadilly called Assouline, and there I got a cookbook with her favourite recipes in it called Dinner with Georgia O’Keeffe. It’s a lovely book with great pictures and lots of recipes that she cooked at Ghost Ranch. I feel theres something that brings you closer to people through recipes. You can almost feel them there with you. So I thought I’d share my favourites from that book with you, because it’s evocative of her history and lifestyle. Apparently she kept a stack of cookbooks as bedside reading. A woman after my own heart.

Recipe

Ingredients:
1lb of small potatoes quartered
1 tablespoon of butter (I used olive oil)
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 tablespoons of chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves plus more for garnish
1 ½teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of turmeric
One pinch of chilli powder (optional)
1 teaspoon of garam masala
3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon of maple syrup or sugar which is my own addition

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sweet and sour okra

This okra recipe is taken from my first ever Madhur Jaffrey cookbook my then boyfriend was given by someone he worked with because he loved curries and he loved cooking. We often used to argue about who cooked the dinner because we both loved to cook so much. Which led me to realise that theres’s room for only one domestic goddess in a relationship. The book has inspired me ever since then although I change the recipes to contain much less oil, and I use coconut oil instead of ghee. It is one of the most delicious ways to eat okra because it’s full of flavours which are sweet and fragrant and it has the gentle perfume of cumin and coriander. I also replace the sugar in her recipes with maple syrup, but you can use sugar if you prefer. I often serve it with other Indian dishes like dhal or just with plain basmati rice and an Indian pickle. One of reasons Indian food lends itself to vegetarian and vegan cooking so well is because it’s very, very tasty and has great textures and colours. I usually cook Indian food if I’m having my friends over for a vegetarian feast as I know everyone loves it.

Recipe

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:
400g of fresh young okra washed and chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
7 cloves of garlic
Half a red chilli, finely chopped
7 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon of whole cumin seeds
4 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup

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