Thursday, 23 October 2014

Diwali recipe - chocolate chai brownies

wishing everyone a happy diwali, with a recipe, of course!

this has taken me a few tries to perfect and the result is around 15 small, very moist brownies, like nothing I’ve ever tasted  - unsurprising when your brownies have allspice, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, black pepper and more! but trust me, they taste good with a lovely balance between sweet and spicy for a diwali celebration and even taking you to Christmas. the good thing about these is that you can adjust quite easily to taste – if you prefer a dry, more cakey brownie, leave them in the over for around 5 more minutes. with the chai mix  

ingredients:

120g unsalted butter
100g of good quality dark chocolate (at least 70%)
50g of pistachios, chopped (optional, or use another nut if you prefer)
35g plain flour, sifted
45g of good quality cocoa powder, sifted
170g of caster sugar
Half tsp of baking powder
2 large eggs

for the chai mix (but adjust to taste!):
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp all spice
seeds of 4 cardamom pods, ground
2 cloves, ground

method:
preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper [if like me you have a strong fan oven, perhaps go for around 160 degrees)
melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl (I just did this in the microwave, checking and stirring often so it didn’t burn)
stir in the nuts
in a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, sugar and chai mix
add this to the chocolate mix in intervals, folding the mixture
beat the eggs one by one until you have glossy mixture
pour the mixture into the baking tray and place in the oven for around 15 minutes for a moist brownie, but check with a knife to make sure they are baked through (the knife should still come out quite clean when you pierce into the brownies)

set aside to cool and cut into slices

Friday, 29 August 2014

Slow dining at Krishnarpan restaurant in Kathmandu

following from the momo post, whilst in kathmandu I was lucky enough to visit Krishnarpan restaurant which is part of the Dwarika Hotel in Pashupatinath. the hotel is committed to protecting the heritage of the kathmandu valley and displaying the newari architecture.

the restaurant is a most definitely a slow dining experience, where the menu can extend to 22 courses, though we opted for 12 nepali dishes, with the vegetables being organic and event from the hotel’s own organic farm.

The menu, pictured bottom left is personalised with your name and with a detailed description of the ethos of the hotel and restaurant and the courses that you are going to experience – all of which were a great blend of flavours, freshness and tradition. 

Monday, 30 June 2014

Nepal: the momo



during a recent trip to nepal, i quickly found that it was near impossible to visit a restaurant, big or small, fancy or basic, without momo being on the menu. now, this was a good thing, as they are delicious, and quite addictive! the momo, a steamed or fried dumpling, filled with a variety of flavours such as buffalo, yak cheese or chicken, is somewhat of a traditional delicacy in nepal, said to have been brought to nepal by the Newari trader community from lhasa, tibet to the kathmandu Valley. i could go into a lot more detail on the tradition and history surrounding the momo, but i’d only be repeating Jyoti Pathak’s great Taste of Nepal blog which i recommend you visit.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Spicy Salmon



a change from a usual fish curry but still packs a punch with some coconut to make the salmon even more indulgent.the curry leaves can be tricky to find but you can usually get fresh ones in most large indian shops and in larger supermarkets. if you can't fresh ones, dried curry leaves are easier to get a hold of, but bear in mind substituting with bay leaves will give you a different flavour. 


Friday, 2 May 2014

Lamb keema




Great with naan bread or steamed rice.  

Ingredients (serves 3-4):
1 tsp cumin seeds
cooking oil
2 small onions, finely chopped 4  cloves garlic, chopped
1 inch of ginger, finely sliced
fresh chopped green chillis to taste (2-3 will do)
500g minced lamb
1 tsp ground coriander
1tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch of ground cinnamon
3 tomatoes, chopped (or about half a can if using tinned tomatoes)
1 mug of hot water
1 tsp salt
1tsp garam masala
a large handful of frozen peas (*if you don't like peas, perhaps add chopped spinach instead)
a handful of fresh coriander, chopped