February, 2011


22
Feb 11

Cool out with kachumber

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A home-made curry is a squillion times better than a take-out version – healthier, fresher and more delicious – and you can throw in whatever you feel like (or just what’s been lurking at the back of the fridge).

They’re a doddle to do – but following recipes can often be useful as spicing is a complex business – for yonks my curries always ended up tasting the same until a few useful lessons from a half-Bengali friend.

Last night’s effort was a vegetarian variety, light on the chilli front and made with mushrooms and potato. A bowl of yogurt makes a perfect addition with fragrant green chillies scattered over the top and some home-made chappatis to scoop it all up with.

The icing on the cake was what is known as a kachumber, a typical Indian salad made with tomatoes, cucumber and onion served as a cooling accompaniment. My version has a little tropical twist though…

Click here for my recipe for kachumber with coconut, black sesame and poppy seeds


8
Feb 11

Purple craze

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You’ve probably realised by now that I’m something of a pickling and preserving nut. Indeed, any condiment is a goer in my book. I brought back a bottle of banana ketchup on a recent food mission to St Lucia – great with fried chicken…but I’m not sure what else.

Using the standard 4:2:1 ratio of water:vinegar:sugar leaves you free to go as mad or as plain with the spices as you like – you can add anything from star anise and fennel seeds to slices of ginger or lemongrass depending on what you’re pickling.

Give it a go – sliced chillies are just incredible – sweet with a hint of sour, with their fire calmed by the pickling: these are a huge favourite in Thailand, although they use a sourer brine.

We made kebabs at home recently; I say kebabs but we used the delicious pomegranate molasses coated lamb recipe in our archive, forked the meat into flatbreads with mint, yogurt, a spot of salad and a load of the incredible, vivid pickled cabbage I’d made earlier – and here’s the recipe: quick pickled cabbage

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