Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Cauliflower & Sweet Pepper Karahi

What comes to mind when you think of Cauliflower ? Most likely the words 'boiled' & 'bland' or you'll be instantly transported to your school days in the canteen and being served cauliflower cheese at lunchtimes - enough to put you off cauliflower for life ?

Fear not for tonight's recipe is a fantastic Karahi recipe for cauliflower with the addition of sweet peppers, lemon zest & juice for extra 'Oomph'

This recipe will serve 4-6 people, you'll need the following:

1 large cauliflower
4 medium onions
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 green chillies
2 tbsp garlic paste/ 1/2 bulb crushed
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 x 400g tin tomatoes
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
juice of 1/4 of lemon
1 large sweet pepper 

  • Heat a little oil in a heavy based pan, add the ginger & garlic, fry on a medium heat till lightly browned. Then add in your chillies , keep stirring so the garlic & ginger don't catch*. When the chillies have softened, add in the onions that have been roughly chopped.
  • Brown your onions and then add in the salt & tomatoes, and simmer on a low heat till mixture has reduced a little and add the cauliflower (I quite like to keep the tomatoes & onions chunky for a bit of texture)
  • Place the lid on your pan, lower the heat completely, and leave for about 30 minutes to let the cauliflower soften. Make sure you stir half way through to prevent any catching at the bottom of the pan, and also to check how the cooked through the cauliflower is*.
  • When the cauliflower has softened, add the sweet pepper, again I normally just roughly chop it.
  • Let the cauliflower & peppers simmer on a medium heat for about 25-30 minutes, stirring in between to stop any of it catching.*
  • When the peppers & cauliflower have softened, and the water has reduced, add in the cumin, mustard seeds & the lemon juice
  • Garnish with fresh coriander, again I roughly chop it and sprinkle.
  • Serve with your choice of  Naan 

*Remember it' s always handy to keep the kettle filled with water so you can add a few splashes to stop any catching/burning

*any leftovers are fab layered up as lasagne with the addition of mushrooms and potatoes - curried vegetable lasagne,  or simply place leftovers into an oven proof dish, add any other vegetables of your choice, pour in a generous amount of b├ęchamel sauce, top with your fave cheese, sprinkle on some herbs and bake in the oven at 180c for about 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbling & golden - Another Foody Mama twist !!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Kidney Bean Daal

This is possibly one of my all time favourite Daal's. For those that aren't familiar with what Daal is, it's a curry using lentils. Most often Daal's are garnished with what is called a tharkaah, (pronounced thur-kah) which is crushed garlic browned off in butter separately, then added to the daal. Adding tharkaah makes your daal that little bit more indulgent and the overall aroma is far more pungent.

This daal is one that's made without a tharkaah, but is just as delicious. The tang of tomatoes, combination of the spices and toasted cumin left tingling on your tastebuds is heavenly. It's also quick and cheap to make too, and will easily feed a family of 4.

You'll need the following ingredients:

1 medium onion
1 tsp salt
6-8 cloves crushed garlic / 2 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp ginger paste
2 x 400g tin red kidney beans
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 green chillies 
1 tsp curry powder 
fresh chopped coriander (to garnish)

  • Chop your onions, and in a heavy based pan, fry in olive oil till golden brown, add the garlic & ginger, and chillies,* cook until the garlic & ginger has browned and chillies have softened.
  • Add in the tomatoes , curry powder & cumin seeds. Cook the mixture till it has slightly reduced and the tomatoes have slightly 'mushed'**
  • Add in your kidney beans, without draining them, then half fill one of the tins with boiled water and add the water to the pan.
  • leave to simmer on a low heat for about 10-15 minutes, add the chopped coriander and serve with boiled rice or chapatis 

*if you'd like your daal spicy, chop your chillies up as this releases more of their flavour, otherwise leave them whole.
** I like to leave the tomatoes slightly chunky, it gives a nice texture and brings out their flavour more

Monday, 4 February 2013

Mixed Vegetable Karahi

Tonight I'm posting a recipe for all the vegetarian curry fans. Personally I think that vegetable curries are so underrated, I try to make a vegetable based curry at least once a week for my family. This particular one is brilliant for using literally any vegetable you like. 

If like me you have 2 kids that have a favourite veg, then just add extra amounts of it to make up for bits they might not be so keen on. Its's also great to use any left overs with a bit of stock and blend into a delicious winter warmer soup.

So for my Mixed Vegetable Karahi you'll need :

5 medium onions
1 bulb of garlic crushed OR 3 tbsp of garlic paste
2cm fresh ginger crushed OR 2 tbsp ginger paste
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 green chillies
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tin plum/chopped tomatoes
1 tin baby new potatoes 
1 medium cauliflower 
4 small parsnips
1 sweet pepper
a good handful peas
a good handful of grated cabbage 
a good handful of chopped spinach leaves
2 large carrots
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp seasame seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
A good squeeze of lemon juice
Handful of chopped coriander to garnish

  • start by slicing the onions and on a medium heat, fry in a heavy based pan in a little olive oil till soft, then add the salt, garlic, ginger & chillies. Fry these together till the onions turn golden brown & chillies have softened. Make sure that you stir the mixture to stop it from catching on the bottom.*
  • once the onions have browned, add the tomatoes & curry powder and again stirring, keeping an eye that the mixture doesn't catch. Keep cooking till the mixture has slightly reduced and the consistency is sauce like.. this normally takes about 10 minutes, turn off the heat and next make a start on the veg.
  • Peel & wash all your veg as required, then roughly chop. As in my roast vegetables, rough & varied sizes is fine. For the baby potatoes just remember to drain the water.
  • Turn the heat back on under your pan, again have a medium heat, add the cauliflower first and stir well so the cauliflower is coated with the curry masala. Pop the lid on the pan, lower the heat and leave for about 10-15 minutes to softened. When the cauliflower has softened slightly, add the parsnips, carrott & cabbage. Again place the lid back on, leave for another 10-15 minutes to let the veg soften.**
  • When the carrots & parsnips have softened, add the potatoes, spinach, pepper, peas  & the lemon juice. Turn up the heat and keep stirring every few minutes to cook all the veg through ***  This stage can take from as quick as 10 minutes up to 30 minutes, depending on how soft you want your vegetables to be. I like my veg to have a slight crunch & not completely softened.
  • Finish off by adding the cumin, mustard & sesame seeds, garnish with the chopped coriander & serve with naan 

* if the onions begin to catch, add a splash of water and stir. This also helps to soften them too
** again make sure you keep an eye on it, and stir every few minutes

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Quick style, but just as fab roast chicken, with all the trimmings

It's been a few weeks since my last blog. I've been so busy between housework, kids appointments, and the general madness of a hectic household my blogging's been neglected. 

Whilst the kids are now occupied with their collection of bricks & have got their dad joining in, I wanted to get this blog down.

On a Sunday I absolutely love nothing more than a good old roast with the trimmings, and it's a brilliant way for me to get the kids into eating their vegetables- they aren't keen on them when  just boiled, but roasted in the oven with herbs & a little bit of spice, they will wolf them down.

so today I'm posting the recipe for the lunch we've just polished off- with some sent off to my mum & baby sister in law . (she's 27 but the youngest out of us lot, so sorry Sadaf if you're reading this)

I love this recipe for roast as it's a variation that cuts a few corners, with the use of Nando's seasoning, really doesn't require too much effort & tastes just as good as a version that may take you hours 

 To serve between 4-6 people you'll need the following :

2 medium chickens cut in half/ quarters
2 sachets of Nandos BBQ Seasoning
1 sachet of Nandos Hot seasoning
2 sachets of Nando's Lemon & Herb seasoning
5 Large potatoes 
3 large parsnips 
1 large sweet potato 
a good handful of sprouts
3 large carrots 

  •  I normally start by placing the chicken in large bowl, then I add enough olive oil to just coat the chicken, and then add in the BBQ & Hot Nando's seasoning.* with my  hands, then mix the chicken together and make sure all the chicken is coated well with the seasoning. 
  • I'll leave the chicken in the fridge for at least 2 hours to marinate**
  • I then peel the potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips & carrots and chop into chunks/quarters, don't worry about them being all the same size & perfectly cut, it's much easier & quicker than trying to make them all look perfect.
  • To get the veg crispy on the outside, I tend to par boil my veg so it's just slightly softened, drain them from the water, then put them in a roasting dish, add the sprouts & pour in a few tablespoons of olive oil and then coat with the Nandos lemon & Herb seasoning.
  • To roast the chicken, I preheat the  oven to 200 C, remove the chicken from the fridge and place it in my roasting dish & cover with foil. I put in the oven for an about and hour & a half.
  • Half way through I take the foil off, turn the pieces over and let  the chicken crisp up, & then place the veg in the oven.
  • To make sure the veg doesn't catch or over cook, I give them a toss around when they've been in the oven for about 30 minutes.
  • I'll then serve the chicken & veg with good old yorkshires & lots of gravy

So that's my quick style, but just as fab roast chicken, with the trimmings - I hope you'll give it a go and let me know what you think or let me know of your own variations so I can give it a go. 

* I normally buy the seasoning from my local Asda, but I'm sure the other large supermarkets will sell it too

** If I'm in a real rush for time, I'll leave the chicken for the minimum 2 hours, leaving it overnight is best as it gives more time for the seasoning to do it's job