Friday, 18 March 2016

Masala Omelette and chilli beans: the brunch series

the final recipe in this series continues the theme of quick and easy with this straightforward but super tasty omelette and spicy beans. 

i hope you've enjoyed this series and have tried out at least one of the recipes - get in touch if you have any requests for more dishes! 

ingredients (serves 2)
for the omelette:
5 eggs
splash of milk
2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
1 chopped spring onion
half tsp garam masala 
pinch salt
1 green finger chilli, finely chopped
pinch turmeric 
black pepper, to taste
(option) 1 small new potato finely chopped
chopped coriander sprigs

for the beans: 
1 can baked beans
2 spring onions, chopped
half tsp red chilli flakes
pinch paprika
pinch black pepper

beat the eggs and milk in a large bowl
i made the two omelettes one by one, so, taking half the onions, spices, salt and chilli, fry off in a frying pan with some melted butter for a few minutes, with the potatoes if you're using them until soft
add half the beaten eggs and chopped coriander and and fry until the bottom is cooked and top nearly so. then put under a grill until cooked through
and repeat! 
whilst the second one is under the grill on a low heat, in a saucepan gently fry the spring onions until soft
add the beans, with the chilli flakes and paprika, salt and pepper, heat through 


Friday, 11 March 2016

spiced porridge: the brunch series

we are approaching spring but there's still time for a warming spiced porridge for week three in this blog series! and remember as with most of these recipes just adjust the ingredients to what you like. if you don't like to be overwhelmed by cinnamon and prefer a more 'hot' spice, add more all spice to this - and replace the apple and almonds with a combination you like. and in terms of what to cook the oats in, if you go for milk, full fat, soya, almond and everything in between, go for what you usually do - I prefer just water.

rolled oats
crushed seeds from 4 cardamom pods
a quarter tsp of all spice
half a tsp of ground cinnamon
milk or water - just use your preferred liquid
any toppings you like - i used sliced apple, chopped almonds and honey

i mixed the dry spices (cardamom, cinnamon and all spice) into the dry porridge oats first
make the porridge how you usually would
top it with your favourite things!

Friday, 4 March 2016

Chilli Cheese on Toast: the brunch series

i hope you enjoyed the egg and potato last week, up this week is a super easy but deliciously moorish chilli cheese on toast in time to treat your mum on mother's day. i used my favourite bread which is seeded, but this would go great with a white bloomer if you prefer and tone up / down the chilli to taste. they do a great version of this at dishoom where i think they lightly fry it in a dry pan once it's been grilled to get it extra crispy on top.

2 slices of bread (i used a seeded / granary bread)
as much grated cheddar cheese as you like
one finely chopped fresh green chilli
one spring onion, finely chopped
crushed black pepper
any chutney or other condiments you'd like to go with it

mix the chopped chilli, spring onion and crushed black pepper with the grated cheese
lightly toast the bread
top the slices with the cheese and heat under the grill until the cheese starts to go a nice orange brown

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Egg and Spiced Potato: the brunch series

whether it's a lazy, boozy or bottomless brunch, or a combination of the three ... there's no escaping the latest most important meal of the day (well, on the weekend at least). so on this blog there will be four weekly brunch recipes to try out, from a spiced porridge to a chilli cheese on toast. a lazy brunch should be just that and this goes for the person making it - all of these recipes are incredibly quick and easy to make and some are pretty easy to share so you don't another weekend to recover from a load of cooking. 

if you want something sweet to go with these dishes, check out the chocolate chai brownies and rose and cardamom biscuit recipes.

the brunch series starts with eggs with spiced potato. the only thing this lacked was some nice fresh herbs such as parsley and coriander. the ones in my local tesco looked so sad i couldn't face buying them so mine were sans herb this time, but do add your favourites to this dish even just to add some colour. you also don't have to use baby potatoes, any potato would be fine. 

serves 1 as a main or two if you're sharing a different dishes:
2 eggs
4 baby potatoes, chopped into small cubes
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
half tsp garam masala
half tsp crushed dried red chilli (or more if you like it spicy)
some crushed black pepper

par boil the potatoes for about 4-5 mins until cooked but firm (or microwave them for about 4 mins but make sure you don't over cook them as they will dry out)
in a small frying pan lightly dry fry the cumin seeds until lightly toasted
add the butter into the same pan and once melted, add the chopped garlic 
add the turmeric, masala and chilli and lightly fry for about a minute or two before adding the almost cooked potato and fry on a medium heat until cooked
whilst the potatoes are cooking, make fry or poach your eggs as you usually do
serve and sprinkle the crush black pepper over the eggs

Monday, 12 October 2015

Chicken Biryani

after several attempts, i finally think i've nailed this age old persian dish. with it being such an historic dish, there are different definitions and theories behind its origin. some believe it derives from the persian word for rice, "birinj", or, "biryan", to mean to fry or roast. in terms of how it made it to india, some believe that it arrived to north india from persia via afghanistan, or through the mughals who came from persia, or, even the woman who inspired the taj mahal! what all theorists will agree wit though is that biryani is most often served for a special occasion, with many guests, reflecting its original purpose as a dish for royal and celebratory banquets. it is a dry dish, and the key is to be able to see and separate every grain of rice. that's why it's important to soak the rice as this helps to separate the rice and produce a less sticky version. the rice / water proportion is important too, so all of the water is absorbed by the rice, with no moisture left. it's also really worth frying the onions for a long time, on a low heat so that they go really brown, to the point they almost look burnt. this adds a rich, caramelised flavour to the dish and a deeper colour, especially if you can't get hold of saffron, which helps to add a deep orange shade to the rice. 

just as there isn't one theory of the origin of this dish, there is not one method of cooking it either. some recipes will add raw rice to the cooked chicken, adding water and cooking in one pot, some advise you partially cook the rice then bake it all in the oven, and some will cook the rice with some spices and layer in with the cooked meat - which is what i did. i can't say that i've tried the other methods and judge what's best but i like cooking the rice separately as i find this the best way to get my rice:water ratio spot on, without having to factor in bits of meat and other things!

this recipe uses chicken, but lamb or vegetables are common too. given it's quite a dry dish, this is often the centre piece of a meal that is accompanied by a daal and a cooling yoghurt / raita. i love the fragrance of this dish, with the cardamom, cloves, ginger, saffron amongst other things! cook for friends, family ... and enjoy!