Great for an appetizer for an Indian meal, on their own or even as a side. Serves 3-4 as a starter
- 250g chicken breast, cubed into bite sized chunks
- 1 egg white
- 1tsp garlic paste
- 1 tbs grated fresh or frozen ginger root
- 0.25tsp tumeric
- 1tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 0.5-1 green chilli, seeded and chopped
- 1tbs chopped fresh coriander leaves
- 0.5tsp salt
- Juice of 1 lemon
Mix that lot up and leave for a few minutes while you heat up a pan of oil for deep frying. Warm your oven and have a plate with kitchen towel on handy.
Go back to your chicken and add
- 2tbs gram flour
- 1 tbs rice flour or plain flour
Mix into your marinating chicken. Add a bit more gram flour if necessary to make a sticky coating. When your oil is about 160C, drop pakora individually into the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes until brown and crispy like the photo abouve. Do this in batches so the pakora don’t clump up and the oil remains hot. Removewith a mesh or slotted spoon and drain on your kitchen towel. Keep warm on the plate in your oven while you fry the remainder.
Great served with a dipping chutney or riata.
These are the best-ever roasties. Only a tweak on the traditional method but oh what a tweak. Here’s how:
Heat your oven to 200C. Put a generous layer of oil in the bottom of the roasting pan and put it in the oven to get very hot.
- Potatoes – floury type, peeled and chopped to 3-4cm cubes
Boil in salted water for five minutes only. Drain, and let steam dry for a bit. Add
Sprinkle over enough to stick to the potatoes, if you have enough potatoes for four people, two tablespoons of flour will be plenty. Roll around in the dry pan to coat. Now take the hot oil out of the oven and put the floury potatoes in the pan. Jiggle around to coat with oil then return to the oven. Cook for 30 minutes then check. Roll around if cooked uneavenly. They may be done already, depending on potato variety, boiling time and size of potato. If not, cook another 5-10 minutes and check again.
This produces the crispiest, brownest, crumbly roasties you will ever eat.
There are many, many recipes for chilli-based condiments and part of the fun is experimenting with them, or even combining recipes. One of the biggest challenges is knowing how hot your chillis are, and how many to include. My attitude is – if the jam turns out hot, simply use less of it! A chilli jam that isn’t hot is just….jam. This recipe uses liquid pectin. Alternatively you could use jam-making sugar which includes pectin.
- 4 long (10-15cm) red chillis (or as many shorter ones make up the equivilent) seeds removed.
- 2 red capsicum peppers, seeds and stalk removed.
- 300ml cider or wine vinegar
Pulse in a food processer until finely chopped. Put the mix into a stainless steel saucepan and add
- 800g white (granulated) sugar
- 3 tbs lemon juice
Stir well to dissolve the sugur then boil for ten minutes. Keep stirring gently so it doesn’t catch and burn. It will start to get foamy and rise up so you will need to tweak the heat. Add
Mix in and boil again, until it reaches setting point which is 105C. If there is foam on the surface, scrape this off with a spoon. Test for setting by putting a litle jam on a very cold plate. If the jam sets, you can put it in clean, sterilised jam jars.
If after all that the jam hasn’t set when it cools, don’t get depressed. Firstly wait another 24 hours because sometimes it can be slow to set. If it is still too runny, you can tip the jars back into a saucepan and heat up again, making sure it reaches 105C. If it still doesn’t set, you’ll have to pretend you made chilli sauce.
This is very simple and uses just seven vegan ingredients plus water. I think these naans are even better than traditional naan breads. Makes about 8 breads. And you don’t even have to knead it! First make your yeasty liquid:
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 tsp active yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
Combine and leave for ten minutes until frothy. Meanwhile mix up:
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbs vegan yoghurt
- 2 tbs olive oil
- (optional – 3 cloves garlic, minced)
Now add about three quarters of the frothy water. Mix to a sticky dough, adding more frothy water if it is too dry. Knead briefly, just to combine and make a ball. Place in a bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise 1-2 hours in a warm place. If you used fast acting yeast it may rise quicker than that.
Heat a hot plate or dry heavy based frying pan so they are sizzling hot. When the dough is ready, knock it back and break it up into 8 balls. Leave to rest for another ten minutes. Roll out on a floured surface to make naan shaped ovals about half a centimetre thick. Put on the hot plate. When bubbles appear on the ncooked surface after a minute or two, flip over and cook a similar time on the other side. Remove and keep warm while you make the remainder.
To serve you can brush with melted vegan spread and sprinkle with salt, more minced garlic, chopped coriander or just serve plain. Eat fresh with your Indian meal, they are amazing.
Not peas actually, but beans. Here’s a quick nearly authentic version to go with any Jamaican dish. Serves four as a side.
- Half a large onion, chopped
- Dash of vegetable oil
Saute the onion in the oil until transparent. Add
- 1 green chilli, deseeded and sliced
Saute a few minutes more. Add
- 225 gm long grain white rice
Stir until coated in oil. Add
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 900 ml vegetable stock
- Pinch of dried thyme or a teaspoon thyme leaves
Cover and simmer for ten minutes. Add
- 1 tin of either red kidney beans, black beans or black-eyed beans
- Optional: 50g coconut cream
Heat for another five minutes. If the water hasn’t been absorbed, remove the lid and heat until it dries out. Add
- Chopped coriander leaves or parsley
- Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper
Serve as a side dish for four people. You can make this a main course by stir frying 200g pork mince with the onion at the beginning, which would serve 2-3.
This is the best chilli sauce you will ever make. Ever. If you grow your own chillies, perfect. If not you will have to buy a lot, but it’s worth it. Here goes. Obtain:
- 400g red chillies of your choice.
Remove seeds and stalks. You might think you can get away with chopping one chilli with unprotected fingers, but don’t try it with 400g. Wear gloves or you will suffer. Put your chillies in a food processor or blender with:
- 10 cloves of garlic
- 200ml water
- 70ml cider vinegar
Whizz until finely chopped. Add to a saucepan with
- 60g soft brown sugar
- 2 tbs salt
Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until thickened. Stir to prevent sticking and burning. Sterilise some jars or small bottles, fill with the sauce while hot, seal then leave to cool. It will keep in a fridge for several months, but it is highly likely it will all be consumed well before then.
OK, true Indian cookery affionados will probably cringe at this, but if you want a tasty meal ready in under 20 minutes and fewer than 100 ingredients you are in the right place. I’m giving the quantities here for one person, you can scale up x2, x3 and x4 but as this is a microwave dish I’m not guaranteeing it will work for larger quantities because I haven’t tested it for more servings. You can adapt it for the Instant Pot then you can go larger.
Here goes, per person. You can chop and change the choice of vegetables. It can be one or two types, or a gathering of anything you have to hand.
- 70gm basmati rice
- 140ml vegetable stock
- 0.5tbs curry paste (any will do)
- 120gm vegetables – sliced mushroom, chopped beans, peas, chopped pepper, chopped carrot, cauliflower florets, diced potato, diced sweet potato or any combo that takes your fancy. You can use chopped onion but best to saute these first.
- 25g dried fruit such as sultanta, raisin, chopped dried apricot
Put the whole lot in a microwaveable container such as a pyrex bowl, and cover. Microwave on full power for 12 minutes. If you are scaling up, you may need to cook for slightly longer but only a minute or two. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Fluff up and add:
- 25g shopped cashews or flaked almonds
- 0.5tbs chopped fresh corianer if you have it
Serve with a blob of yoghurt on top and chutney on the side. If you have a few long-life naan breads in the cupboard, heat one in the toaster. If you have grabbed a pack of uncooked popadums you could microwave a couple of those instead. Grab a bottle of lager and away you go.
This is the perfect salad to serve with a roast on a hot summer’s day when cooked vegetables would be simply too much to take. This takes a bit of prep so it is good for a Sunday lunch or for guests. This is enough for six people. It keeps a day in the fridge at a pinch.
Prepare your vegetables, put a large pan on the hob full of boiling water and have a large bowl of iced water to hand. You will also need a scoopy thing and a colander or paper towels.
- Handful of tender French beans, trimmed and cut in half
- Handful of asparagus stalks, cut into 4cm lengths
- Handful of tenderstem broccoli, cut in half
- Large handful of frozen peas
- 6 spring onions, chopped into 1cm lengths
- 6-8 radishes, sliced
- Half or whole sweetheart cabbage, tender inner leaves, thinly sliced
- Bunch of mint leaves, shredded
Boil your asparagus for 2 minutes. Immediately cool in the iced water, then drain and dry.
Boil your French Beans for 4 minutes. Immediately cool in the iced water, then drain and dry.
Boil your Broccoli for 2.5 minutes. Immediately cool in the iced water, then drain and dry.
Boil your peas for 1 minute. Immediately cool in the iced water, then drain and dry.
Mix all your vegetables in a large salad bowl. make a dressing:
- 6 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs Dijon mustard
- Juice of 1 lemon
Gently toss the dressing through the salad.
An easy way to tart up couscous as a side dish. This makes a side dish for four.
- Generous pinch of saffron fronds
- 3 tbs boiling water
Place them in a saucepan and let the saffron steep for 20 minutes while you make something else.
Dry fry the pine nuts until they look a bit brown. Set aside.
- 225g couscous
- Equal volume of boiling water or vegetable stock
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
Put all this in the pan containing the saffron. Cover and leave for five minutes.
- Leaves from a small bunch of parsley, chopped.
Stir in the pine nuts and parsley. Fluff up with a fork and serve. Good alongside falafels, pittas, hummus and courgette and tomato
I have tried several recipes and not all of them work. This one does! It needs a bit of preparation but it’s well worth it. Here are quantities to make a generous pile to feed four.
Either soak overnight, or cook for 5 minutes in your Instant Pot and leave for a further hour in the water.
- Optional – 1 small onion
- Bunch of parsley leaves
- 2 garlic loves
- 1 tbs chickpea/gram flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 0.5tsp ground coriander
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
Put these and the drained chickpeas in a food processor with about 50ml water. Process to a coarse paste. Add a spash more water if necessary. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.
Make little balls 2-3cm in diameter – you will make about 20 with this batch. A small icecream scoop is useful. Heat a pan full of oil to about 160degC and shallow fry the balls in batches. You may need to flip them halfway through cooking if your oil isn’t deep. They are cooked when the outside goes brown and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm until ready to serve.