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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gado gado

This salad is inspired by the street food in Indonesia and this is my take on it. It’s a brilliant combo of crunchy and soft and sweet and sour, in fact I think it tastes pretty mind blowing. But, so it doesn’t end up looking like the contents of the bottom of a dustbin when you plate it up, it’s best to layer it with the sauce at the bottom. You can use other vegetables like cucumber or blanched carrot sticks or blanched cabbage, and fried tofu or tempeh too.
All work well, it’s up to you, it’s really great for using up vegetables in the fridge.

Recipe

Serves 2-3.

Ingredients:
About 6 radishes cut in half lengthwise
6 small new potatoes
4 eggs
200g of fine beans (topped and tailed)
100g bean sprouts
4 big tablespoons of crispy fried onions (from supermarket)
A big handful of prawn crackers (optional)

The sauce
1 clove of chopped garlic
3 tablespoons maple syrup
5 tablespoons of peanut butter
Juice of 2 limes
chilli sauce to taste (optional)
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon of soya sauce
1 tablespoon of tamarind paste

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pad thai

This version of Pad Thai is a delicious warm noodley stir fry salad. Perfect on a summer evening. You can add cooked prawns or chicken to this recipe, if you want to, it’s totally versatile, but stands alone as an outstanding vegan recipe. I love that it’s a tangy mixture of flavours and it’s a variety of textures. It was a great hit at dinner with my vegetarian boy pals (it can be made with white noodles too).

Serves 2.

Ingredients:
300g of flat brown rice noodles or brown rice tagliatelle or fettuccini
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 minced cloves of garlic
200g of smoked tofu or plain firm tofu cut in to smallish pieces
4 tablespoons of soya sauce (gluten free if appropriate )
2 tablespoons peanut butter
Juice of one lime and another cut into wedges
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
Chilli sauce to taste
3 finely chopped salad onions
½ red chilli very finely sliced
Handful of chopped peanuts to garnish
A sprig of chopped coriander

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fresh nectarine salad

This salad is simple and sweetly delicious and I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. I really love salads that are using just one main ingredient. It’s the zen way. Also I have always secretly put vinaigrette on my fruit salad when it’s just for me. So this recipe, which could also use peaches, hits the sweet and savoury thing on the head, if you like that sort of thing. I love the sweetness of the nectarine with the zingy dressing. It’s particularly lovely with my winter slaw. A friend of mine makes it all the time…she’s completely hooked on it.

Recipe

Serves 2.

Ingredients:
4 nectarines or peaches, peeled and cut into segments or just cut in half and remove the stone and chuck in a bowl with the skin on, rustic style
A small sprig of mint chopped very finely
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
A little pepper and salt

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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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the perfect vinaigrette

Well I thinks it’s perfect, and I was taught this version by a proper chef when I cooked in a restaurant in the King Road in Chelsea during my art school holidays. I have always made it the same way ever since as I think its bang on and my friend Babs thinks it’s the best vinaigrette she’s ever tasted and wanted the recipe, so here it is Babs….One of the reasons why I think it’s so delicious is because it’s got English mustard in it instead of French, and it’s the right balance of flavours, sweet and piquant. You can’t necessarily identify it, but English mustard gives it the best flavour. Great with sliced tomatoes, lightly steamed broccoli or any of your favourite salad ingredients.

For one medium sized salad, double everything for a large one.

Recipe

Ingredients:
1/2 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon of English mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of water

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