A wonderfully spiced and authentic tasting lentil curry with carrot and potatoes. Served with Basmati rice and a delicious cucumber and mint riata.
Sorry I haven’t written many recipes lately as I have been extremely busy, however I think I have made up for the delay with this one. Tastes like it is straight from a very good Indian restaurant, and it is so easy to make!
I also served this with shop bough roti breads, these are entirely optional.
Cooking time 45-50 minutes
Broken down into three sections – curry, rice and riata. It is best to soak the rice before you start, add make the riata and finish the rice as the lentils simmer.
100g red lentils – rinsed thoroughly
50g potato – peel, cut into 3-4cm cubes, pre cook in boiling water for 6-7 minutes
3 red onions – diced
1 carrot – thinly slice on diagonal
15g ginger – peel and grate
6 gloves garlic – crushed
5 green cardamom pods
6 fresh curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground fenugreek
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 bay leaf
2 round tomatoes – cut into 1/8ths
2 sliced green chillies
1/2 tsp salt
water – approx. 500ml of water, enough to submerge lentils.
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
3tbs roughly chopped coriander leaf
Method: Start by heating the vegetable oil over a medium heat, once hot add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and the curry leaves. The leaves should sizzle and keep heating until the mustard seeds start to pop, a bit like popcorn.
Add the onion, chilli, garlic, ginger, bay leaf, cloves and cardamom pods then fry, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes until onions soften and start to colour.
Add the lentils, turmeric, fenugreek and asafoetida then stir well until combined. Fry for 1-2 minutes stirring frequently.
Now add approx. 500ml of water (around the same volume as mixture in the pan, enough to submerge the lentils) and bring to the boil, stirring frequently so lentils don’t catch on the pan. Once boiled and add the pre cooked potatoes, carrot and salt then cover pan and simmer for around 35-40 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent lentils catching and burning.
You may want to adjust the seasoning or thickness of the sauce to your preference, either by adding more water or cooking uncovered for a few minutes to cook the liquid off. Before serving add the sliced tomatoes and coriander – cooking just long enough to warm the tomatoes through but not long enough to cook them (not long enough that skins start to peel).
Ladle into bowls or Balti dishes and enjoy!
120g basmati rice – rinse well and soak in water for 30 minutes before cooking
Method: soak the rinsed rice in water for around 30 minutes, this plumps up the rice and makes a real difference.
Once soaked cook the rice in the same volume of water as the rice in a covered pan for 10-12 minutes or until rice absorbs all the water.
Fluff up the rice before serving.
150g greek yogurt
1/4 lime – juice only
40g cucumber – peel, deseed, finely dice
5-6 mint leaves – bruise then chop
salt – just a pinch
Method: start by peeling, deseeding then finely dicing the cucumber. Many recipes will call for this to be grated, however I prefer the texture of the diced cucumber. Lay the diced cucumber on a clean kitchen towel or absorbent paper and the place more on top. Press gently and leave for 10-15 minutes to remove excess liquid.
In a bowl mix the yogurt, lime juice, cucumber, mint and a pinch of salt. Cover and set aside in the fridge until ready to serve.
This is best eaten the same day but will keep in the fridge for 1-2 days – any leftovers make a great dip for chips.
Oven roasted Chicken on the bone marinated in yogurt, spices and garlic. Served with a delicious medium spicy tomato based curry sauce and garnished with toasted almonds.
I love it when you design a recipe and it tastes just as you had hoped, this is definingly one of those occasions. The roasted chicken on the bone marinated in yogurt, garlic, turmeric, chilli, fennel seeds and garam masala is wonderfully moist and flavoursome. The medium spicy curry sauce made from tomato, onion, chilli, garlic, ginger, bay leaf, mustard seeds, cardamom, cloves and some butter is the perfect accompaniment to the chicken. A garnish of coriander leaf and some toasted almonds complete this dish.
Serve with choice of rice or Indian breads.
Preparation time 15 minutes (plus 2-3 hours for marinating chicken)
Cooking time 35 minutes
2 large chicken thighs, on the bone – remove skin and membrane
6-8 dessert spoons Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic – thinly sliced
Method: Combine the yogurt, garlic, salt and spices in a bowl and mix well. Add the chicken and mix well until covered in the marinade, cover bowl and put in a fridge for at least two hours (overnight is even better).
To cook the chicken, remove the bowl from fridge 30 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature. Heat your oven to 200°c, place the marinated chicken in a roasting tin and cook for 35 minutes. Rest the chicken for 5 minutes before serving.
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 large round tomatoes – quarter
5 cloves garlic – peel, crush
Root ginger (thumb sized) – peel and thinly slice
2 bay leaves
2 large red chillies – remove stalks and seeds
2 small red onions – peel, dice
2 medium white onions
5 cardamom pods
15-20g flaked almonds – for sauce, extra below for garnish
1 tbsp. brown sugar
Water – see method below
20g unsalted butter – cut into cubes
Salt – to taste
Handful of almond flakes – toast in a dry hot frying pan until coloured on both sides
Handful of coriander leaf – roughly chop
Method: Start by heating the vegetable oil over a medium high heat, add the mustard seeds and fry until they start to pop (like pop corn). Add the onions and fry for 4-5 minutes until they soften and colour. Next add the bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, chilli, ginger, garlic, flaked almonds and tomatoes. stir well and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add water to the pan, enough to cover the mixture (around 200ml), bring to boil then reduce to a simmer for 10 – 12 minutes.
Once the mixture has simmered remove the bay, cardamom and cloves. Use a stick or standalone blender to blitz sauce until smooth. You may wish to add a little extra water depending upon how thick you like your curry sauce, take care not to add too much as it will dilute the flavour.
Bring the smooth sauce to a simmer then add 1 tbsp. sugar and season with salt to taste (I used 1 tsp salt), stir until dissolved into the sauce. Add the cubes of butter and stir as they melt into the sauce, they will bring the classic gleam to your sauce as well as adding flavour. Once the butter is melted into the sauce it is ready to serve.
To serve ladle the sauce into the serving plate, place chicken on top then garnish with toasted almonds and chopped coriander.
King Prawns cooked in a delicious Thai red curry sauce.
This is a quick and easy recipe to make a delicious Thai prawn curry, although you can substitute the prawns for chicken, pork, white fish or tofu if you are a vegetarian. Serve with boiled fragrant jasmine rice.
The authentic flavours come form a wonderful homemade curry paste, like all good Thai curries. There are quite a few ingredients in the paste, however they are perfectly balance and can be used in many other dishes. All the ingredients I use are easily obtained in Scotland from your local Asian supermarket, and increasingly your regular supermarket.
For this recipe you only need half the paste, the other half can be stored in fridge for up to five days, or frozen for next time. You can also use the paste to marinade chicken before roasting, or as I did marinade tiger prawns then roast them in the curry paste – just amazing!
Serves Two people
Preparation 10 minutes, cooking time 10-12 minutes
4 large red chillies – remove stalk and seeds
6 bird eye chillies – remove stalk and seeds
3 red onions – peel, roughly dice
Thumb sized piece root ginger – peel, roughly chop
2 sticks lemongrass – bruise, remove outer husk and thinly slice
1 medium sized garlic bulb – peel each clove
2 tbsp. cashew nuts
Juice of 2 limes
2 lime leafs
2 tbps ketchup manis
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. dark soy sauce
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. coriander stalks
3 tbsp. desiccated coconut
3 tbsp. brown sugar
3 cardamom pods
Method: Use a mini blender or food processor to blitz all the ingredients into a smooth paste. Cutting the harder and more fibrous ingredients such as the ginger and lemongrass helps for a smoother paste. You can also do this the authentic Thai way by using a mortar and pestle – unfortunately due to my disabilities I can no longer do this.
You only need half the paste for this recipe, to store the other half either freeze it (does not effect the flavour like some claim) or store it in a refrigerated airtight container for up to 5 days.
Half the curry paste
150-200ml coconut milk
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
225g Raw king prawns – Shells removed, devein
1 large red chilli – remove stalk, thinly slice
6-8 large Mint leaves – bruise, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. roughly chopped coriander leaf
Method: Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a wide deep frying pan or wok over a high heat. Add the curry paste, reduce heat to medium and stir fry for 6-8 minutes until the paste is very aromatic. If it begins to catch add a little of the water to loosen the sauce.
Add the water and 150ml coconut milk to the sauce along with the mint leaves, increase the heat until the sauce begins to boil then reduce to a simmer for 2-3 minutes. Taste test the sauce, add a little extra coconut milk if you wish but keep some to drizzle over the dish. Add the prawns and poach them in the sauce for 1-2 minutes, until they change from grey to pink and sauce starts to bubble again.
To complete the dish sprinkle the chopped coriander and sliced chillies on top, and drizzle a swirl of coconut milk on top (1-2 tbsp.). Serve straight away with some fragrant boiled jasmine rice.
A curry made with carrot and coriander soup base, onions, potatoes, garlic, cardamom, chilli, tomatoes and jumbo king prawns.
I have always liked carrot and coriander soup and thought that it would make an excellent base for a curry. I did a little experimenting and came up with this recipe – which exceeded my very high expectations. It has a wonderful earthy, warming flavour without being too spicy. I added potatoes and some King prawns to make this a really satisfying dish, both take on the flavours really well. The addition of chilli, garlic and cardamom adds a new depth of flavour to the dish, which is my new favourite curry!
I used the leftover Carrot and Coriander Soup in this recipe.
Serves two people
Preparation and cooking time 45 minutes
300-400ml carrot and coriander soup – please use Carrot and Coriander Soup
200g raw jumbo king prawns
125g potatoes – peel, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 medium size white onions – peel, thinly slice
6 gloves garlic – peel, finely chop
2 large red chillies – remove stalk and seeds, finely chop
4 green cardamom pods
1 small carrot – peel, thinly slice
2 round tomatoes – cut into thin crescents (1/8ths)
3 tbsp. chopped coriander leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
Method: Start by par boiling the potato pieces for 7-8 minutes in well salted water, then drain and set aside.
In a deep wide pan heat 2 tbsp. vegetable oil over a medium hot heat. Add the sliced onions and fry for 5 minutes, stirring frequently (a little colour on some is good). Add the drained potatoes and stir well so they are all coated in the oil, continue to fry for a further 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Next add the sliced carrot garlic, chilli, generous amount of ground black pepper and cardamom, stir well and continue to fry for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently – be gentle so you don’t break up the potatoes.
Add the carrot and coriander soup and stir through the fried ingredients. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes. After this taste test and add salt if required, as there is salt in the soup you should need very little.
The other ingredients – the prawns, tomatoes and coriander are added at the last minute so they do not overcook. Add the prawns first and stir through the sauce, as soon as they start to turn pink add the tomatoes and coriander, stir gently through the sauce. Increase heat slightly and as soon as the sauce starts to bubble it is ready to serve. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
Mussels cooked in my Laksa broth, with tofu, spring onions, chilli and coriander.
This recipe is a great way of using the Laksa paste in my Laksa recipe. Mussels work very well with their slightly sweet taste complimenting the Laksa broth. Serve either as a starter or a main course along with some noodles.
Cooking time 10 minutes
Half of Laksa paste – see my Laksa recipe if making this first
2 Kg live rope grown Mussels – see below for preparation
Handful of pre fried Tofu pieces
3 large red chillies – cut into thin strips
3 spring onions – cut on diagonal
Handful of fresh coriander leaf – roughly chop
500ml coconut milk
500ml fish stock
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. dark soy sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1.5 tbsp. vegetable oil
To prepare mussels: Rinse thoroughly under running water, then soak mussels in a large bowl of water for 10 minutes. Discard water, rinse again then discard any mussels that are already open. Remove beards (most will pull off, but some may require scissors) and scrape off any barnacles. Set aside ready to cook.
To cook: Start by heating 1.5 tbsp. vegetable oil in a deep soup/stock pot (you need one with a lid) over a medium high heat. Add the curry paste and fry (stirring frequently) for 6-7 minutes until the paste is very aromatic and starts to split from the oil. Make sure you do not burn the paste, add a little of the fish stock if it catches on the pan. Next add the fish stock and the coconut milk, stir until combined then bring to boil then reduce to a simmer. Add the tofu pieces, 1 tbsp. fish sauce, 1 tbsp. soy sauce and 1 tbsp. brown sugar then stir well until combined. Add the cleaned mussels then increase heat to bring back to a simmer, place the lid on the pan, and let the mussels cook for 3 minutes. Next add the sliced chilli, spring onions and coriander, replace lid and simmer for a further minute then serve.