Showing posts with label Indian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indian. Show all posts

Monday, 8 September 2014

Express Beef Madras - Tefal Cook4Me Multicooker Review

 Imagine being able to cook a Beef Madras Curry with a cooking time of just 20 minutes?  Fantastic, but only of course if the beef is juicy, tender, full of flavour and tastes good.
 Well, this Beef Madras using casserole beef (braising steak) actually did cook in 20 minutes and it was seriously good.  Oh yes we're seriously impressed with the Cook4Me Multicooker from Tefal.



 Having recently been asked if I'd like to review the Tefal Cook4Me Multicooker the answer was of course yes please.  I wasn't really sure what to expect since I've never had a multicooker before and wasn't quite sure how they worked.  So, armed with lots of questions as soon as it arrived I wanted to use it!
I'll answer all of my questions and of course if you have any please leave a comment and I'll answer it.

 Picture of Cook4Me supplied by Tefal since it's so shiny I found it almost impossible to take a picture that didn't show myself  and my kitchen in it!


 Does is really cook meals in super quick time and if so, are they just as tasty as you'd expect?
Can someone that really isn't into cooking (such as Paul the husband) be able to use the Cook4Me to create a proper meal without any stress?
  •  How does Cook4Me work?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • What kind of foods can you cook in it? 
  • Do the pre-programmed recipes actually work?
  • Can you make up your own recipe? 
  • Is it easy to clean after use? 
 About Tefal Cook4Me and how it works:
 Cook4Me comes with 50 pre-programmed recipes and it guides you step by step to cook meals for 2 to 6 people. With just the push of a button you can cook a variety of meals in next to no time - great if you want to spend less time in the kitchen. 
The pre-programmed recipes include Starter and Side dishes, Main dishes and desserts.  I haven't tried any desserts as yet but will include one in another post.  I have to try the Molten Chocolate Puddings, don't you think?
Five cooking settings allow you to pressure-cook, steam, brown, simmer, or reheat your meals.
    There's no need to stand watching it either as when the meal is ready, the cooker automatically switches to keep warm until it's time to eat.

The display menu is both easy to read and understand: 
Ingredients, Recipes, Manual and Favourites. By selecting one of these takes you to the following:  Meat and Chicken, Fish and Shellfish, Rice and Cereals.  The OK button is like a select button, you turn it to your chosen category.  The arrow button is like a return button and takes you back to the last menu.  In a word, it's really simple to use.  Yes tried and tested - Paul (the husband) actually made Chicken Tikka Masala all by himself - let me tell you that really is something! 

What other kinds foods can you cook: 

You can of course set it to cook a specific ingredient such as Rice, Quinoa, Bulgar Wheat,  Apples, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Potatoes, Peas and Spinach to name just a few.  Everything you want to cook the Cook4Me guides you as to how to cook it.

Do the pre-programmed recipes work:
I've used mine a good few times now and have found it really easy to look for a similar recipe and adapt it to your own recipe.  So far I've cooked Chicken Tikka Masala, Beef Madras, Carrots and Cauliflower and every time the result has been perfect.  The Chicken was really tender as was the meat in the Beef Madras.
Just following the instructions on the screen - select how many you are cooking for and it will display the recipe for you to follow.


Can you use a similar pre-programmed recipe in order to make your own:
Yes you can , just find a recipe that's similar to what you want to cook and use your own ingredients rather than those suggested.  For example there is a pre-programmed recipe for Sausage and Bean Stew.  But since I didn't have all the ingredients to make it I chose to make a Sausage Casserole using a jar of shop bought cooking sauce. It turn out just perfect and since this post is already getting quite long I'll include that in a later post.
     
What about Cleaning:
      At first glance of the instructions you could think that cleaning looks a bit of a bother - only due to the fact that you have to remove the pressure valve and wash the drip tray.  Take it from me this honestly takes a couple of minutes in total to remove, clean, dry and reassemble.  The removable pot and steam basket are dishwasher compatible.  The removable pot is non-stick and a doddle to wash by hand in sudsy water so personally I can't see the need to put it in the dishwasher.

All in All:
  Okay, this muliticooker isn't cheap (RRP £249.99) although at the time of writing I see it's now £220.00 but with that said I wonder if cheaper multicookers on the market would perform as well.
Cook4Me is available from Lakeland instore and online - you can also buy it through Amazon too. 
 I'd go as far as to say it really is worth investing in - especially if you work and have a family to feed.  None of the recipes are tricky nor do they require many ingredients either.  Easy to clean and easy to use.  Since it lots of recipes cook in extra quick time - it will of course save you money too.  Remember the beef madras used casserole steak/braising steak which usually requires cooking slowly for at least 3 hours took just 20 minutes in the Cook4Me. Personally I'd recommend this to anyone.

50 pre-programmed savoury and sweet dishes with a maximum of six ingredients
    Keeps food warm for up to 90 minutes after cooking
    Easy to clean - the ceramic- coated bowl is non-stick, removable and dishwasher safe
    Tell it the ingredient and weight and it will automatically suggest the best way to cook your food
    36.5 x 36.5 x 32cm H. Watts 1300 Capacity 6 litres



Many thanks to Tefal for sending me the Cook4Me to review.

Disclaimer:  I was given this multicooker for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.


Monday, 4 August 2014

Weight Watchers Feel Good Food Blogger Challenge

I was recently asked to join in the Feel Good Food Blogger Challenge organised by Weight Watchers.  For us to take part in their challenge they sent over a whole bunch of goodies!  Everything needed for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner including a few more treats too.

Pictured below, left to right - the Weight Watchers Goodies, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.  
  
 
The challenge was to share our day with video clips starting with breakfast of course.  Oh my I'm not really a one for making videos but since I've now done a few I'm getting much more used to it - Paul however wasn't too keen on being filmed so we only done a few minutes of him!  

 We were both really pleased to see we could still have our Saturday night Indian Curry with poppadoms too!


 I'm glad I took part in the challenge as I've actually learnt a few things:
The Weight Watchers ProPoints system looks easy to follow - much better than trying to fathom out the back of packaging to see how many calories you're eating and attempting to add them up.  I just don't have the patience for all that and would soon loose interest.  Okay for me to talk, we're lucky in the fact that we've never had to go on a diet but if I ever did then I think I would honestly choose Weight Watchers.

I love the fact that you can still have pretty much the kind of food you're used to eating - or want to eat.  Biscuits and cakes are still allowed you just have to be sensible - unlike Paul who actually managed to eat 5 cakes in one go - I really don't think he could do a diet if he had to, he is a worry!

Liven up Food with my Top Tips!
There's nothing wrong with Weight Watchers Tikka Masala sauce but like any sauce in a jar it doesn't have to be cooked on the hob just because the instructions on the back say so - it works just as well in a slow cooker, in fact I'd say the chicken will have more taste if done that way. 
I say you can liven up any ready made sauce or other foods without adding very much in the way of calories.  Diet or no diet - food should be enjoyed and I personally think if you get into cooking you can dabble about a bit and liven up any diet without going over the top.

Now for the video of our Feel Good Food Day:
 See my Top Tips including a couple of side dishes for Indian curry that wont get you piling on the pounds!


For more information on Weight Watchers pop over to their website or follow on Twitter @WW_UK
#WWFeelGoodFood and #TweetWhatYouEat

Many thanks to Weight Watchers for the goodies - we really did enjoy our day.

Disclaimer:  I was provided with a hamper of goodies and a supermarket voucher for other ingredients used to make the meals complete.  I also received an on-line shopping voucher to cover time filming, photographing and writing up this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

   

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Butternut Squash Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Looking at the ingredients list at first glance this may seem like a bit too much faffing about for your liking, but let me tell you the result is so worth it.
Panch Phoran is a bland of a few simple spices and doesn't require grinding - the spices are kept whole so it can be made very easily in just one minute.  Fantastic to keep in the store cupboard and will make a huge difference to any Indian style curry you make. You can see in a previous post of mine just how easy it is to make Panch Phoran - also known as Indian Five-spice.


The butternut adds lovely vibrant colour and a slightly sweet taste to this richly spiced curry.  Be assured that the word 'spiced' does not actually mean this is extra hot (as in spicy) this is just a lovely warming delicious and very tasty curry.  That said if you do want it hotter just add more chilli.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Feta and Red Chilli Stuffed Naan

Okay this isn't exactly a traditional filling for naan bread but I fancied making something different.  After the success of my Peshwari naan and since I had some feta along with a green bell pepper in the fridge in need of using up, Feta and Red Chilli Naan seemed the way to go.


Never mind that it's naan bread, it makes a nice change from ordinary bread and can be served with whatever you fancy.  Once you've made your dough, stuffing it is easy to do and you can experiment with different fillings to suite your taste.   

A Quick Word on Yeast:
You really need to use Dried Active Yeast for hand baking and not Easy Bake or Fast Action.  Easy bake yeast is suited to bread machine and you will not get the same result.
How do I know these things?  Because I made this mistake in the past and my naan turned out horrid and hard!  

Sunday, 4 May 2014

How to Make Panch Phoran - Indian Five-Spice


  Panch Phoran is a Bengali spice mixture used as a base flavour in many Indian dishes.  You can buy it in the UK in Asian supermarkets (that said, to this day I've never found here in Shropshire) but no worries, it's really easy to make.
 My love of cooking and experimenting in the kitchen means I have more spices in my cupboard than you can shake a stick at - but the spices needed to make Indian five-spice are available in any good supermarket.
 

 Add flavour to your next Indian Curry dish:
 If you like cooking Indian food then it's so worth having a small amount of this ready made up in your store cupboard, just keep in an airtight container. 

Now a quick word on Fenugreek seeds: 
If you use too many they can make your dish taste bitter so to make the Indian five-spice mix I used half of the amount you should.

Top Tip:
To save you hunting high and low Nigella (kalonji) seeds are often called Black Onion seeds here in the UK despite them being unconnected to the onion - hey ho that's the UK for you!

Print this
https://sites.google.com/a/aglugofoil.com/a-glug-of-oil/indian-five-spice


To make Indian Five-spice - Just mix together the following:

1 tablespoon of each of the following (although I only used half a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds).
Fenugreek seeds, Nigella seeds, Fennel seeds, Cumin seeds and Black Mustard seeds.

How to use Indian Five-Spice:
  The spices are kept whole and not ground.
When you make your next Indian curry, heat a little oil in a pan and using between 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the spice mix, fry for just a minute or so, stirring so they don't burn, before adding the usual onion, ginger and chilli and continuing with your recipe.



Monday, 31 March 2014

Peshwari Naan - Easy to Make Recipe

 Every good Indian curry dish deserves some nice naan bread for dipping and mopping.  Garlic and Coriander is seriously good, but if I have to choose between the two then Peshwari has to be my favourite. 
 Peshwari has a lovely sweet taste to it from the coconut and sultanas.  If you want to you add a few flaked almonds to the top.  So very easy to make and far better than shop bought naan. 
 

Don't forget once the naan is cooked you can freeze them if you have too many.   
Just be sure to defrosted them thoroughly before reheating.  Place the naan breads on kitchen foil and sprinkle with a little water.  I've done it and they turn out fine.  

Monday, 25 November 2013

SousVide Supreme Party Food Made Easy - Indian Spiced Lamb Patties

Last month I made a selection of starter course dishes that were all ideal for entertaining and were made using the SousVide Supreme water oven.  For the month of November with Christmas and New Year coming up fast, I'm making party food and the main part of each recipe can be prepared in advance, ready to cook using the Sous Vide cooking method.
These Mini Indian Spiced Lamb Patties can be made now and frozen in the special vacuum pouches ready to pop into the water oven on party day.  To serve,all that's left to do is a 30 second turn in oil in a very hot pan to give the patties colour then pop each one onto mini naan breads, garnish and enjoy!


The great thing about this method of cooking is these lamb patties can sit in the water oven for hours and they will still be cooked to a perfect medium-rare (or however you choose) ready to brown and they can be ready when you are.  
 
What exactly is Sous Vide?
Sous vide (pronounced soo-veed) means “under vacuum” in French, and sous vide cooking is a gourmet culinary technique long used by chefs worldwide.
Instead of good cooking relying on perfect timing to cook, sous vide relies on precise temperature control, but once you've set the temperature on the machine you don't have to fuss about it anymore - just leave your food to cook.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

SousVide Supreme - Entertaining Made Easy

 Whether you're hosting a dinner party or simply cooking meals for the family the SousVide Supreme water oven really is the bees knees of kitchen equipment.
 Here I've made three different starter courses, all inexpensive and simple to make but there's a difference to the norm, the chicken, peppers, egg and asparagus used in these dishes were cooked in a SousVide Supreme Water Oven.  Meaning you can cook ahead and without fuss, get on with your day and dinner is ready when you are.

First up - Sous Vide Indian-style Chicken and Pepper Tikka Skewers:


Sous Vide Soft Cooked Egg with Asparagus and Bacon Dust:


And lastly Goi Cuon - Vietnamese Chicken Spring Rolls 
with Pickled Cucumber:

 

 Just recently I was lucky enough to be sent an absolutely fantastic piece of kitchen equipment in the form of a SousVide Supreme Water Bath.
After seeing the water bath method of cooking programs such as Masterchef, you've no idea how much I've wanted one since.  That said, the ones in professional kitchens are far too big to fit in my tiny kitchen.
But the good news is, SousVide Supreme have made a smaller version which is perfect for the home cook and big enough to cope with a dinner party.

What exactly is Sous Vide?
Sous vide (pronounced soo-veed) means “under vacuum” in French, and sous vide cooking is a gourmet culinary technique long used by chefs worldwide.
Instead of good cooking relying on perfect timing to cook, sous vide relies on precise temperature control, but once you've set the temperature on the machine you don't have to fuss about it anymore - just leave your food to cook.
 
So what was in the Box?
   SousVide Supreme Water Oven:

SousVide Vacuum Sealer, which includes 10 pouches of different size, 2 boxes of vacuum seal cooking pouches, and the Easy Sous Vide Cookbook, a DVD and of course there are operating instructions for the water oven and the vacuum sealer.



 How easy it is to cook with the SousVide Supreme?
In return for receiving the SousVide Supreme I have to create a variety of recipes, all using the SousVide Supreme water bath.  So over the next few months I will be showing you exactly how easy it is to use.  In this post I'll show you three easy to make recipes suitable as starter courses.
 
Whilst this method of cooking is totally different to the norm once you see how amazingly tender and so perfectly cooked a medium-rare steak turns out, I think you too will be converted it makes you look like a professional chef turning out some of the best food ever.   

So for example if you like your steak medium-rare the precise temperature that a 1 inch thick piece of steak needs to be is to 56.5 C / 134F so once you've set the temperature on the machine as long as the steak has had the minimum time to cook it doesn't matter if you leave it there for another hour, two hours or even most of the day, your steak will stay safe to eat and perfectly medium-rare just as you wanted.

And when you're ready to serve?
All that's needed is an extremely quick flash-fry of 30 seconds in hot butter which will ensure your steak browns and looks as good as it's tastes.  

Of course it's not just steak:
 Poultry, Game, all Meats, Fish, Vegetables, Fruit and Eggs can all be cooked perfectly in the SousVide Supreme.

Chicken breast for example which is known for very easily becoming tough during cooking, with the SousVide Supreme chicken is perfectly cooked, meltingly tender and so, so juicy.  Because when cooking in a vacuum sealed pouch there simply isn't anywhere for the natural juices along with any seasonings you might add to go.
Seriously the results are truly outstanding - SousVide also delivers healthier and more nutritious food.      

Timings and recommended temperatures for your chosen cut of meat, chicken, fish and vegetables and even fruit are all listed
in a book as part of the kit.  But you can always check them here: 
Sous Vide Cooking Times and Temperatures Reference Guide.

Getting Started - Fill the Machine with Hot Water:
 Fill to just below the 'Max' as when the food is in the water level will rise, you can either add a little more or remove some if necessary.


Seal the food to be cooked in the special food grade pouches which are designed to be sealed by the heat.
For example, place asparagus evenly in a pouch.  Add a drizzle of olive oil, personally I find it best to season after cooking.
Make sure the special food grade bag is straight, and with the top of the pouch laying on the rippled surface just touching the air portal.


Close the lid and press 'Vacuum/Seal' - the air with be automatically drawn out and the bag will seal afterwards.


Your food is now ready to be cooked in the SousVide water oven!

Four Easy Steps to SousVide Cooking are simply;
 Season, Seal, Simmer and Serve.

 Season: Meat, chicken or fish or vegetables, fill the machine with hot water and set the temperature on the SousVide water oven.  Pop into the special food grade plastic pouches along with any chosen herbs you might fancy.
Seal: The pouch using a vacuum machine.
Simmer: Once your selected temperature has been reached, place the sealed vacuum pouch into the water bath by resting it in the rack.  Put the lid on along with the heat mat included and get on with enjoying your day whilst dinner is being cooked with the temperature being constantly monitored for you by the SousVide water oven.
Serve: When the time is up, take the pouch out of the machine and turn the machine off.  Open the pouch taking care of the hot steam on opening and you can either enjoy your beautifully cooked food straight away, or continue to cook further depending on your recipe. 
Leave the water to cool before emptying the machine.
Indian-style Chicken and Pepper Tikka Skewers:


 Print Recipe

 Allow 1 chicken breast fillet and half of a bell pepper for every 2 skewers you want to make.

Skinless chicken breast fillets - cut into bite sized pieces
Red bell pepper - cut into bite sized pieces
Tikka Masala Paste (Pataks or Sharwood's are both good)
vegetable oil

How to do it: 
Mix the paste and oil together in a bowl - about 1 tablespoon of paste to a drizzle of oil is enough for 1 chicken fillet. Leave to marinate for at least half an hour.  
Thread the chicken onto wooden skewers alternating with pepper.
Pop the skewers into a pouch - best to roll the top of the pouch so the marinade doesn't get on the top of the bag, if it does it wont seal properly.


Seal the pouch and fill the SousVide water oven with hot water and set the temperature to 63.5C or 146F
Once the temperature is reached pop the sealed bags into the water and allow to cook for a minimum of 1 hour but I left mine simmering away for 2 and a half hours.
*This is the great thing about Sous Vide cooking, only the temperature and minimum time has to be paid attention to, then you can leave most foods simmering all day - until you are ready to eat*

Remove the pouch from the oven and remember the food will be perfectly cooked though but for visual presentation just pop the skewers either onto the BBQ for literately 30 seconds each side, or onto a VERY hot griddle-pan as I did to achieve a nice char-grilled look.
Enjoy!


Sous Vide Soft Cooked Egg with Asparagus and Bacon Dust:


Print Recipe

Allow 1 egg and 4 or 5 asparagus tips per person and 1 rasher of bacon will make enough dust for 6 plates.

How to do it:

For perfectly cooked Asparagus Tips: 
Fill the machine with hot water and  at 88C/190.5 and pop in the vacuum sealed pouch and cook for just 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove and without opening the bag, see if it bends easily and when it does it's done.


    I cooked the asparagus in the Sous Vide water oven the day before, since the eggs and vegetables need different temperatures it was easier.
 Asparagus needs nothing but a tiny drizzle of oil added to the cooking pouch and I find it nicer if it's seasoned once it's cooked.  All vegetables keep their colour and look amazing.
 Once it was cooked I plunged the bag into ice cold water and left it to cool. Wiped the bag dry and stored still sealed in the bag until the following day.

Wipe a non-stick frying pan with a tiny amount of vegetable oil and fry a rasher of smoked back bacon until it's really crisp.  Now wrap in a couple of sheets of kitchen paper and pop into the microwave for 30 seconds and it should be very crisp.  If not pop it back for another 20 seconds but take care not to burn it.
Leave to cool and crush in a pestle and mortar or with under another sheet of kitchen paper with a rolling pin and voi·là bacon dust!

Perfect Soft Cooked Eggs:
 After a few experiments I found that a temperature of 65C and 45 minutes produced the perfect soft cooked egg and very fresh eggs work best.

There is no need to put your eggs in a bag.  Fill the Sous Vide with hot water and set the temperature to 65C/149F and once the temperature is carefully lower in your eggs one at a time and set the timer on the machine to 45 minutes.
Once the time is up the machine will give out a series of load beeps.  Remove the eggs and crack into a cup before placing on your finished dish, only because it's easier that way.  

Plate your dish up, add the egg and enjoy!


Goi Cuon - Vietnamese Chicken Spring Rolls with Pickled Cucumber:


Print Recipe

To serve 4 you will need:
about 4 inches of cucumber - seeds removed and diced
a pinch of salt
 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar 

1 x skinless chicken breast fillet - cooked Sous Vide with a tiny drizzle of oil and a splash of soy sauce - then cooled and thinly sliced
1 carrot, 1 spring onion - very thinly sliced into matchsticks
a few baby gem lettuce leaves - shredded  
8 Spring roll rice papers and Vermicelli Noodles - available in any good supermarket.

How to do it:
Fill the Sous Vide oven with hot water and set the temperature to 63.5C/146F
Once the temperature has been reached submerge the chicken fillet (prepared as above) into the water and as long as it's been simmering for a minimum of 1 hour, remember cooking Sous Vide means it can stay there all day if you wish without the chicken drying out, it will stay moist and full of flavour and is ready when you are.

  Meanwhile, make the Pickled Cucumber:
Sprinkle the diced cucumber with the salt and leave for 30 minutes.  Once ready, pat dry with kitchen paper and put the cucumber into a small bowl.  Add the rice vinegar and sugar and give it a good stir.  Leave for an hour or so and to serve just drain from the liquid.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove and cool in ice cold water whilst still in the pouch.  Then remove the pouch and slice the chicken into thin strips.

For the Spring Rolls:
Pop the vermicelli noodles into a bowl and add boiling water, leave for 5 minutes then rinse and drain.
Place one spring roll rice wrapper at a time into a large bowl of warm water and leave for just a couple of seconds so the rice paper has softened.
Lay on a plate and add the chicken, carrot, lettuce and spring onion filling along with a few noodles, taking care not to over fill.
Bring the bottom of the rice paper up to cover the filling, fold the side in and roll.  Cut each roll in half when you're ready to serve.


  Next time I'll be showing you three Main Courses including a selection of vegetables.
You can find more delicious Sous Vide recipes over at Karen's site;
Lavender and Lovage.

Disclaimer: I was sent a SousVide Supreme Promo Pack which consists of: a SousVide Supreme water oven, Vacuum sealer which includes 10 pouches.
2 boxes of vacuum seal cooking pouches, and the Easy Sous Vide cookbook
RRP: £506:98 (£422.48 excluding VAT) it is mine to keep in return for blog posts and a total of twelve recipes.

+SousVide Supreme 

Monday, 1 July 2013

Tikka Masala Recipe - Jamie Oliver

Dead easy and seriously tasty, Jamie's Tikka Masala not only looks good but tastes good too.  A lovely colourful dish that, in my opinion just has to be served with naan bread to mop up the lovely sauce.


This recipe can easily be doubled and then once cooked it can be frozen - just don't add the toasted almonds or coriander. Of course you must make sure it's thoroughly defrosted before reheating.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Weight Watchers Food Products - Review

 Weight Watchers have a great range of different food products to help you loose weight and maintain a healthy diet.  I was recently sent a box of different products to try.

First up for the taste test was Rogan Josh Cooking Sauce:
'Weight Watchers have a wide range of Cooking Sauces allowing you create a  satisfying home-cooked meal in a hurry.  The sauces are all low in fat and ProPoints® values too.  Use with chicken, meat, fish, vegetables to suit your taste.  Rogan Josh sauce is a medium hot curry sauce and has ProPoints value of 2 per serving, it’s ideal for those who like a curry with a bit more heat'. 
 So what did we think of the Rogan Josh sauce?
Nice, rich tomatoey and very tasty sauce with a good amount of spicy heat without being too hot.  Compared with a regular Rogan Josh cooking sauce from a well know supermarket the Weight Watchers sauce (per 100g) is just 41kcal compared to 80kcal and Fat (of which saturates) Weight Watchers is just 0.1g compared to 0.2g and is also lower in salt too.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Chicken and Aubergine Curry in a Hurry

We've all seen these ready made jars of curry cooking sauces in supermarkets which are amazing to have in the store cupboard and taste good.  Asda in particular do one that is in my opinion excellent.  Just think of it as it having done all the hard work for you and there's just a tiny bit more to do to make it extra, extra special. 
So, have you ever fancied a curry that tastes as good as any from a takeaway, but really don't have time to mess about with toasting and grinding spices and buying the necessary bits and bobs involved?  
Or maybe, you've never made a curry from scratch because you neither have the time or couldn't be bothered anyway with what seems like too much messing about?
If any of the above applies then this is the recipe for you!
 Now of course you don't have to add the aubergine or indeed you can use it and add more veg to create a totally vegetarian curry. 

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Southern Indian Vegetable Curry

On the back of a pack of curry leaves purchased from one of the UK's top supermarkets was this recipe 'Southern Indian Vegetable Curry with Curry Leaves'.  Quite liking the sound of it I gave it a go.

 However, it pays to know a tiny bit about cooking when following some of these 'back of packet' recipes as I find most are not very well written and they hardly ever work.
  This was no exception, just reading the recipe I decided that there was no way that raw cubed potatoes added to a curry would cook in under 15 minutes.  In reality they took a good hour or so!
No problem at least I was ready for this.
The original recipe didn't have anywhere near enough liquid or spices so I titivated it and the end result was actually very nice.
Since cooking this I've discovered Jamie Oliver has the same recipe in one of his books 'Jamie's Dinners' but at least he doesn't say how long it will take for the potatoes to cook - he just says cook until the potatoes are soft.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Empire Roast Chicken - Jamie's Great Britain

Jamie's Great Britain is a seriously good book, I'd say it's his best yet.
There's a TV series to accompany the book being shown on Tuesday's on Channel 4
Jamie cooked what he calls Empire Roast Chicken.  The chicken is smeared with a paste made from delicious spices mixed with a natural yoghurt.  
 I didn't want to cook a whole chicken so I made the same paste mixture and used chicken thighs instead.  I think you'll agree it still looks good - and it was!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Bombay-style Potatoes - Jamie's Great Britain

After seeing Jamie cook up 'Empire Roast Chicken' on the Channel 4 series 'Jamie's Great Britain' for his latest book of the same name, I just had to make it. It has to be said he comes up with some amazing ideas - these Bombay potatoes are the best!
  
Who can resist these?
Jamie said: "Ask any British person what their two favourite meals are and I reckon most people would say their mum's roast chicken, and a curry. Well, welcome to Empire Roast Chicken, a combination of both of those things. Your friends and family are going to love it. I love it. You will love it."
 I agree with him, his Empire Roast Chicken was so, so good and will be my very next post. 

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Indian Style Fish and Chips - Tesco Real Food Cook Off

Last nights episode of Tesco Real Food Family Cook off saw Kate Watts up against Banita Ludhor.
I thought they both did really well and I loved everything they cooked!
    Before I'd seen the show last night I'd been asked to pick a recipe and cook it! As I'd previously cooked Banita's Spicy Chicken Kebabs, I went for Kate's 'Indian Style Fish and Chips'.
I didn't have a picture to go by but Kate's recipe was really easy to follow and I have to say I will be making it again.  
By the way, the Tandoori butter that goes over the fish is soooo good!
 The twist to this dish is said Kate, there is no batter and no chips!
 As both teams ended up drawing with the same overall score, it was down to celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott to make the final decision.
As a result Banita's team have now gone through to the final which will be shown next Tuesday at 7.30pm on Channel 5 where Banita will be up against Filipa Kay.  Readers of this blog will know I cooked Filipa's Piri Piri Chicken.
I was sorry to see Kate go but well done to both teams - excellent recipes! 

If you'd like to make this dish, pop over to Channel 5 and have a look at Kate's recipe.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Jan's Indian Style Chicken Curry - so easy to make at home

 I've posted many curry recipes before.  Although this is almost the same as my Chicken Balti recipe, I wanted this post to be a reminder that it really is worth a little effort and having a go and making your own curry at home.  
You'll find it's far nicer than from a takeaway or a jar.  
 With a tiny bit of planning you can get everything ready to go:
Start preparing all the bits beforehand.  For example, seeing as all the dried spices go in at once, you can have them measured out into a pinch pot or cup, then all you have to do it tip them in. 

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Garlic and Coriander Naan

I've made naan a few times before but I must say these were the best yet, really soft and perfectly cooked.  All in all they were totally yummy. 
Recipe adapted from one by Madhur Jaffery.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Rogan Josh from Jamie's 30 Minute Meals


Last night I had a go at making one of Jamie's 30 Minute Meals from his latest book.  I made the vegetable Rogan Josh curry, with his Lemon Pickle and Carrot Salad
 
It can be done or so it seems - as you see Jamie do it on his Channel 4 television series to accompany his book.  However, in my tiny little kitchen, it is impossible.  The only reason I must point out is that I have to clear up as I go, or I'd seriously have no where to move.  An hour and 20 minutes later I was ready to serve!   
The only thing I added to this recipe was a tin of tomatoes and a pinch of dried chilli flakes.  I must say it really was a very tasty curry, but I personally felt it needed the tomatoes and extra chilli.
I think you'll agree it looks delicious.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Tandoori Style Chicken Skewers

A perfect starter to an Indian meal which is easy to make and looks amazing. 

Marinading the chicken in the lime juice makes the chicken nice and tender.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Restaurant Style Chicken Balti

Balti is a curry with a tomato based sauce and this is my perfected recipe!
Balti restaurants are often known in Birmingham as 'Balti houses'. Balti houses have a reputation as being inexpensive places to eat.
This is because they commonly have no alcohol license, although customers who wish to drink are welcome to bring their own alcohol with them.
   You can use less chillies if you wish but what's the point of having curry if it isn't a bit hot is there? 

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