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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Cabbage Soup

A delicious healthy soup. Easy to make and a pleasure to eat.

White cabbage soups are far creamier and less bitter than green cabbage soups. White cabbage along with carrots, leek, onion, peas, celery, bay leaf, parsnips and garden peas make a flavourful filling soup that is perfect for cold winter nights.

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4-6 generous portions

Preparation 20 minutes, cooking 60 minutes

Ingredients

1 white cabbage – outer leafs and stalk removed, roughly chopped then washed

2 large white onions – diced

3 sticks celery – sliced

1 leek – split, washed then sliced

4-6 medium sized carrots – peeled, sliced

3 medium sized parsnips – peeled, sliced

60g garden peas – defrost if using frozen

Small handful flat leaf parsley

1.5L chicken or vegetable stock

1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 bay leafs

Salt and pepper to taste

Stick blender required for this recipe

Method: start by heating 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a deep soup pot. Add the leek, carrot, parsnips, celery and onion then fry for 4-5 minutes over a medium heat until softened. Add the peas and cabbage and fry for a further 3-4 minutes then add the stock. Add the parsley and bay leaf along with a generous amount of seasoning, bring to the boil, cover then simmer for around 45 minutes. Next remove from the heat, remove lid and take out the bay leafs. Use a stick blender to blend into a smooth soup. Taste for seasoning and add extra if required, if too strong add a little water to balance. Before serving heat through, then serve with some nice crusty bread – enjoy!

Blog contents

Korean Cucumber Salad with Sesame Dressing

A cucumber salad with spring onion, red onion, red chilli, herbs and a sesame dressing.

This salad is the perfect accompaniment to any Korean dish, especially for people like me that love Korean food but don’t like kimchi. Adding some tofu, grilled chicken or prawns can transform this side dish into a great starter.

The salad is made from cucumber which is deseeded, peeled and cut into crescents. The cucumber is then dried on absorbent paper to remove any excess water and so it takes up the flavour from the dressing. Sliced red onion, red chilli, spring onions along with a mixture of mint and coriander make up the salad.

The dressing makes the salad come alive – it is made from dark soy, honey, vinegar, sesame seed, sesame oil and the magic ingredient gochujang.

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Serves two as a side dish or starter

Preparation time 10 minutes

Ingredients

For the salad:

15cm length of Cucumber – deseed, peel, cut into crescents

1 red bird eye chilli – thinly slice

4 spring onions – thinly sliced

1 red onion – slice into thin strips

Handful of fresh coriander leaf – roughly chopped

Handful of fresh mint leaf – bruise, thinly slice

Method: Dry the cucumber crescents on absorbent paper for a few minutes. Add the salad to a bowl and mix well with your hands. Set aside.

For the dressing:

1 dessert spoon Gochujang chilli paste

1 dessert spoon Dark soy sauce

1 dessert spoon clear honey

3 teaspoons vinegar

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Method: Mix the dressing well in a bowl until combined. Set aside at room temperature until ready to serve. When serving drizzle over the salad then mix well with a spoon or your hands. serve and enjoy!

 

 This salad works well with my recipes below:

Korean King Prawn Chilli noodles

Korean beef skewers

Korean crispy Sesame chicken with fried chilli noodles