Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Chocolate Chai Brownies


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 delicious with a lovely balance between sweet and spicy to make for a festive treat. 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, adjust to taste - if you know you don't want a very ginger dominated brownie and prefer the sweet spiciness of cinammon, tone down the ginger measures and ramp up the cinammon.  

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 
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

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Curry and Cocktails with Coupe Half Full

this is a repost from my friend ginny's fantastic cocktail themed blog Coupe Half Full when we joined forces for a curry and cocktail evening that our friend and guest navid took full advantage of. 

ginny tells you all you need to know about the amazing cardamom and rosewater and chai whiskey sour. you can also recreate the chicken with the recipe here and the daal here. and I will post the prawn curry soon - it's actually one of my most popular dishes when it comes to dinner parties so i will stop keeping it to myself and share the love very soon. 

enjoy eating and drinking! 

Monday, 7 November 2016

Paneer Kebabs

paneer is a great, sturdy cheese very common in india and a vegetarian staple. you can vary these kebabs to include whatever you like to eat on a skewer but given these were part of a big diwali meal and i didn't want to many ingredients and flavours, i kept it simple and alternated the paneer with a chunk of pepper. 

this recipe made around 12 or so medium sized kebabs so do adjust it if you have fewer guests, though they will keep in the fridge for a few days once cooked. 

ingredients:
bamboo skewers
500g paneer, chopped into large cubes
3 peppers, chopped into chunks
marinade:
1 heaped tbsp greek or natural yogurt 
1 small knob of ginger, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chilli powder or chilli flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
juice from half a lemon
2 tbsp chickpea flour (gram flour) 

method:
soak the skewers in warm water for at least an hour.
pre-heat the over to 200 degrees.
mix the marinade ingredients together. 
in a large bowl mix the marinade with the paneer and peppers until they are covered in the marinade.
leave for at least half an hour if you can. 
put the paneer and peppers onto the skewers. 
place on an over proof tray or dish and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, turning the kebabs half way through the cooking time.
to finish off, place the kebabs on a griddle pan on a high heat on the stove to give it some chargrilled marks.
serve as a starter, with salad or with rice or naan as a main.

Mango Lassi

an indian summer and british indian restaurant staple, mango lassi manages to double up as a classic cooler for hot, humid days and a rich and sweet accompaniment to a spicy, hearty meal in the winter. it is really easy to make and there are many variations, such as pistachio, instead of mango and savoury versions with salt and toasted cumin. i made a large jug of this that made around 10 small glasses. the other good thing about this drink is that you can keep switching up or dialling down the ingredients according to taste, so add some more sugar if you like it sweet, more yogurt if you want a thick milkshake texture. in terms of the mango, if they're in season, there is nothing better than gorgeously sweet alfonso mangoes which you can reduce to a puree in a food processor. i however used kesar mango pulp that you can just buy tinned if you also want to save on the mess of peeling and chopping fresh mango. 

ingredients:
500g mango pulp

500g full fat natural yoghurt 
300ml full fat mil
10 cardamom pods
2 tbsp caster sugar (or to taste)
ice cubes


method:
break the cardamom pods, discard the outer shell and crush the seeds in a pestle and mortar
then put all of the ingredients in a blender (or a food processor) and blitz until you have the texture and taste that you want 
serve with the ice and garnish with some mint