Dahl Curry, Basmati Rice with Cucumber and Mint Riata

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.

Serves two

Cooking time 45-50 minutes

Ingredients and Method

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.

Dahl curry

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

5 cloves

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!

Basmati rice

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.

 

Cucumber and Mint Riata

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fantastic Tomato and Avocado Salsa

A great recipe for a fantastic, delicious and fresh salsa.

Works well as a side with any Mexican or Tex-Mex dish, or as a snack with some tortilla chips. For a list of my Mexican recipes please check out my Blog contents

The important thing with this dish is to use fresh, ripe, good quality ingredients to get the very best flavour. If you like it spicy, simply add some sliced or diced chilli.

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Serves 2-4 as a side dish

Ingredients and Method

4 large round ripe tomatoes – diced

1 medium size red onion – diced

1 large ripe avocado – diced

Juice of 1 and half limes

Generous handful of fresh coriander leaf and stalk – roughly chop

Generous amount of fresh ground black pepper

Sea salt – to taste, approx. 1/4 tsp

Sprinkle of brown sugar – to bring out flavours, approx.. 1/4 tsp

1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika

Method: simply mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, adjust salt and sugar to taste, cover and leave at room temperature for at least 1hr for flavours to develop. Mix well again before serving.

Can be stored in an airtight refrigerated container for 1-2 days if you have any leftover.

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Carrot and Coriander Curry with King Prawns

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.

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Serves two people

Preparation and cooking time 45 minutes

 

Ingredients and method

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!

 

Prawn and Blue Swimming Crab Salad with Korean Chilli dressing

Salad with cold water prawns, chunks of blue swimming crab and a Korean style sesame and chilli dressing.

The summer season is finally here in Edinburgh after a long, cold, dark winter and with it comes salad season. I love nothing more than a good fresh salad on a warm summers day, in fact I have been dreaming about one all winter – there is something about a summer’s day that just says “salad”, or maybe its just me!

With this salad of cold water prawns, blue swimming crab meat, eggs, romaine lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, red chilli, yellow bell pepper and red onion, the twist comes with the dressing which transforms the salad to something really special. The dressing is made from sesame seeds, sesame oil, dark soy sauce, honey, vinegar and the essential Korean ingredient – gochujang chilli paste.

I always find it hard to put into words exactly how my food tastes, but one thing I can say for sure is that the dressing transforms an ordinary salad into a truly exotic and fun dish.

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Serves two as main dish or four as a starter

Ingredients and method

The salad

120-150g crab meat – I used blue swimming crab

125-150g cold water prawns – pre cooked, shell and head removed

1 romaine lettuce – wash, dry and roughly shred

4 large round tomatoes – cut into eighths 

10-15 cm cucumber – cut into medium thick slices

4 pre boiled eggs – see method

1 red onion – thinly slice

1 yellow bell pepper –  cut into small pieces or dice

1 large red chilli – thing slice, keep seeds in for spice (optional)

Method: To boil the eggs – bring a medium-sized sauce pan to the boil then carefully add the eggs one at a time into the water, take care not to drop them in too quickly or they will crack (remove and discard if they crack). Reduce heat so pan is gently boiling and cook for 10 minutes.

After this remove eggs and place them in a bowl of cold water to stop them cooking. Once cooled remove from water and set aside. To remove the shells take the egg and tap the egg against the worktop until it starts to crack, turn the egg and continue to tap so that you crack the egg all the way round (imagine a line round egg and follow it). Once you have cracked the egg all the way round the shell you should be able to gently pull the shell and membrane away from the egg.

Assemble the ingredients, layering them in a large salad bowl ready for the dressing.

For the Korean dressing

1 heaped dessert spoon gochujang chilli paste

1 dessert spoon dark soy sauce

1 dessert spoon clear honey

1 dessert spoon vinegar

1 heaped dessert spoon sesame seeds

2 teaspoons sesame oil

Method: Add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well until combined. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 45-60 mins, to allow flavours to develop. Before serving mix well again, then drizzle over the salad, then mix well so it coats everything. Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

 

 

Spiced Coriander, Lime and Chilli dressing

A spicy and zingy fat free salad dressing, perfect for adding a different flavour to your salad. Made from lime juice, chilli, coriander leaf, sugar, salt, pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander and sweet smoked paprika.

Add a special flavour to your salad….

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Ingredients

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp sweet smoked paprika

1.5 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 heaped dessert spoons brown sugar

Juice of 4 limes

1 large red chilli – remove stalks and seeds, very finely dice

3 tbsp. finely chopped coriander leaf

Method: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until the sugar and salt dissolve, cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the flavours to combine and develop. Drizzle sparingly over the salad of your choice.

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Blue Swimming Crab with Spiced Paella Rice

Spiced tomato based Paella rice dish with chunks of blue swimming crab

This recipe, like many good recipes came from me experimenting with store cupboard ingredients and some leftover fresh ingredients. I wished to make a rice dish which was distinctly different from classic rice dishes such as risotto, paella and jambalaya. I am so happy with the results I have decided to share this recipe with you, in the hope you will give it a try.

The flavour base of the dish comes from a fried mixture of chilli, bell pepper, garlic, celery and red onion. This is softened then rice is added along with a spice mixture, this is fried and gently stirred until each grain is coated. White win is then added and cooked off followed by diced tomato flesh, stock, a little water herbs and seasoning. The rice is simmered until it has softened and the juices have almost been cooked off. For the last few minutes chunks of blue swimming crab are carefully placed on top, the steam and residual heat gently warms the crab through. Just before serving the crab is gently stirred through the rice using the back of a wooden spoon, to ensure the chunks don’t break up and get lost in the rice.

I think this dish is a real winner, its simple to cook with a simply fantastic flavour.

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Serves two people

preparation 15 minutes, cooking time 35-40 minutes

Ingredients and method

150-170g Blue swimming crab chunks (from tin)  – drain before adding to rice

2 large red chillies – remove stalk/seeds, finely dice

1 yellow bell pepper – finely diced

4 cloves garlic – peel, crush, finely chop

2 sticks celery – finely diced

2 red onions – finely diced

150g Paella rice

2 tablespoons olive oil

75ml dry white wine

6 round tomatoes – remove skin and seeds, then dice

500ml chicken stock

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp chilli powder

1.5 tsp smoked sweet paprika

Pinch saffron

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried parsley

150-200ml water

2 tsp brown sugar

Generous handful coriander leaf – roughly chop, half for dish, half for garnish

Lime wedges – for garnish

Sea salt and black pepper – for grinding

 

Method: Start by heating 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep flat frying pan then add then chopped chilli, garlic, celery, red onion and yellow bell pepper. Fry over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.

Add the rice then add the spice mixture – 1 tsp cumin, coriander, chilli and 1.5tsp smoked paprika. Stir well until the rice, spices and fried mixture is combined and each grain of rice is coated. Fry and gently stir for 1-2 minutes until all liquid in the pan is absorbed by the rice then pour in the white wine and stir gently until it is cooked off.

Once the wine is cooked off add the diced tomato flesh, 500ml chicken stock and a generous pinch of saffron. Next add 1 tsp dried oregano, basil and parsley, 2 tsp brown sugar, 150ml water , half the chopped coriander and sprinkle of salt (not too much as there is salt in the stock) and a generous amount of ground black pepper. Gently stir, bring to the boil then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Leave to cook uncovered for 25-30 minutes until the liquid is nearly cooked off and the rice is plump and tender. If the rice is not ready simply add an extra 50ml water, stir through and give it an extra 5-10 minutes.

Once the liquid is nearly cooked off add the crab chunks along with a little more chopped coriander, place across the surface of the rice as it simmers away allowing the steam to warm the crab through. Once the liquid has been fully cooked off use the back of a wooden spoon and very gently fold the crab through the dish. Serve with a garnish of coriander leaf and lime wedges.

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