Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Spicy Lentil & Carrot soup

This is the classical lentil & carrot soup with a kick. It's a perfect winter warmer too with the addition of  spice. It's also brilliant for freezing in batches so you've always got some to tuck into on a rainy day

The amount below will give 4-6 generous servings :

4 oz split red lentils
2 1/4 pints vegetable stock
12 oz carrots - chopped
2 onions chopped
1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
3 garlic cloves - crushed
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 green chillies
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
300ml milk
coriander to garnish

  • Start by washing the lentils under cold water, place in a large heavy based pan with 900ml of the stock, the carrots, onions, tomatoes & garlic cloves. Bring to the boil on a high heat, lower the heat, cover with a lid and leave to simmer till the vegetables have softened - about 20-30 minutes
  • While the vegetables are simmering, heat the oil in a frying pan & add the seeds, green chilli & curry powder & fry on a low heat till the seeds browned, remove from the heat & add in the lemon juice & salt*
  • Add in the remaining stock, milk & spice mixture to the vegetables. Blitz together with a blender, and simmer for 10-12 minutes - or until it's reached your preffered consistency. Serve garnished with fresh coriander & an optional swirl of natural yogurt 

*If you're freezing the soup, freeze after the 2nd step. Fully defrost the vegetables on the day of use & carry on with the 3rd step

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Potato & Chick pea curry

This is another vegetarian favourite of mine .. quick and simple but packed full of flavour. It's great with rice or naan or even on it's own with a good dollop of natural yogurt. It's also a dish traditionally eaten on Eid for breakfast with Poori's ( fried flatbread)  and halva (semolina based dessert), the combination of spice with warm sweet halva is just amazing

To serve 4-6 people you will need

1 large onion
2 tsp garlic paste or crushed garlic
1 tsp ginger paste or crushed ginger
1 tsp salt
1 green chilli
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tsp curry powder
2 x 400g tin chickpeas - water drained
3 large potatoes
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp poppy seeds
fresh coriander to garnish
2-3 tbsp natural yogurt ( optional )

  • start by chopping your onion and browning in a heavy based pan in a little oil, add in the ginger garlic & the salt
  • On a medium heat, cook the onion with the ginger and garlic till golden brown & completely softened.
  • Add in the chillies & curry powder, lower the heat, cook through until the chillies have softened. Remember to stir occasionally & add splashes of water if need be to stop it from catching the bottom of the pan.
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes and simmer on a low heat for about 10 minutes till tomatoes have softened. 
  • While the tomatoes are simmering, peel & chop the potatoes into quarters. Par boil them in a pan, drain and put to the side.
  • When the tomatoes have softened, add in the chickpeas, cook through on a medium heat for about 5-8 minutes and add in the potatoes. Check the seasoning & add more salt if need be to your taste,leave to simmer on a low heat
  • While the potatoes & chickpeas are simmering, toast your seeds on a low heat in a frying pan till browned. Remove from the heat as soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop & add into the chickpeas & potatoes and stir through*
  • Add enough water just to cover the potatoes & chickpeas and leave to simmer on a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Serve with boiled rice, naan or even poori's   
*if you'd like the consistency to be thicker, simmer for slightly longer or if it's too thick for your liking then add in a little more water