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Yellow Dhal

Yellow Dhal

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A Dhal is any curry or stew made with pulses (dried lentils, peas or beans) which have been stripped of their outer hulls and split. It also refers to the thick stew prepared from these pulses which is commonly eaten in Indian, Nepali, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, West Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine.

Common types of dhal:
Toor Dal – Yellow pigeon peas
Chana Dal – Black Chickpeas
Mung Dal – Mung bean
Lobiya Dal – Black eyed bean
Urad Dal – Black lentil
Masoor dal – Red lentils

Common Dishes:
Idli, Dosa, Vada, Dal Makhani, Moong Dal Vada, Pesarattu, Channa dal recipe, Arhar dal recipe, Tadka or Tarka dal recipe, Masoor dal recipe, Yellow dal recipe, Dal curry recipe, Daal Bhaati, Patholi and populary known Palak Dal.

The variations are endless and this is my version of a yellow Dal using spices and ingredients I like so I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients

For the stock:
2 small chicken wings
6 bay leaves
2 cardamom pods
2 cloves
Pinch of salt
Water

For the Dhal:
300g dried yellow lentils
3 tomatoes
1 inch piece of ginger
6 garlic cloves
1/2 red chilli
1 medium onion
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp butter for frying
Single cream

Preparation

Peel and chop the tomatoes
Peel and grate the ginger
Peel and crush the garlic
Slice the chilli into rings
Finely chop the onion

Directions

In a deep pan heat some oil and fry the chicken wings until the skin starts to golden and then throw in the bay leaves, cloves and cardamoms, ensure you give a good stir and don’t worry about anything sticking because any deposits on the bottom of the pan will increase the flavour and come away once you add the water.

Once your chicken has a nice golden colour carefully add the water just enough to cover everything by an inch or so and bring to a medium boil for 20 minutes.

Now remove the chicken and whole spices so your left with a quick and simple stock that will just enhance the depth of flavour in your lentils. Put the dried lentils in a clean deep pan and pour the stock over the lentils just enough to cover them and bring to a rapid boil and then leave to simmer adding more stock when needed. The aim is to get a thick soup consistency and the lentils need to become mushy so don’t worry about overlooking. Once the lentils start to soften you can add the salt to taste. Leave simmering till cooked around 20-30 minutes.

In a frying pan heat the butter and add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli and fry for about 3-4 minutes until the onions soften and then add the chopped tomatoes and spices. Fry this for about 5 minutes and then add this mixture to the pan of cooked lentils and simmer on a low heat for at least 30 minutes but the longer and slower the better to get the best flavour. Within the last 5 minutes of cooking stir in some single cream and add a little salt if needed to taste.

Serve in a bowl garnished with a little finely chopped coriander and rings of red chilli. This dish can be served on its own as a vegetarian main and eaten with any Indian bread or it can accompany a meat and/or rice dish. Enjoy!

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Jamie Oliver to open a Hot Dog restaurant.

Jamie Oliver to open a Hot Dog restaurant.

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It’s rather ironic to think that not so long ago Jamie was campaigning to get Britains school children to eat more healthily and now he’s announced the opening of a new restaurant called The Dog house & diner on London’s Shaftesbury Avenue.

Jamie tends to hit the headlines for healthier options but he claims that they will be using healthier options in their hot dogs. Can a hot dog really be that healthy? With burgers and ribs also on the menu I don’t think it will be a place to visit for a healthy snack! I guess the old adage everything in moderation will be coming up when he’s open for any criticism.

On a positive note this will be good news for the street vendors which now are very popular in most cities and could make the ol banger become upmarket. Even now you have chains such as Herman ze German and Banger Bros setting up street establishments in the Big smoke.

Do you think his plans are hypocritical? Last year he was claimed by the Sunday Times rich list as being worth £150m making him the worlds richest chef so maybe Jamie hasn’t gone to the (hot) dogs and just spotted a great money making opportunity.

This is not the only venture Jamie has up his sleeve at the moment as Manchester City who are usually searching for every star player around the world are now even searching for celebrities. In a bid to create a world-class customer experience Manchester City have signed a five year contract with Jamie to provide match day food for all public concession stands, as well as the hospitality areas and the City Square fan zone.

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I’m not sure what chants we will here coming from the Kippax stand now but it won’t be “who ate all the pies” and more like “who ate all the foie gras” ! Lets just hope Jamie’s 30 minute meals can now last 90 minutes.

Moroccan Zaalouk

Moroccan Zaalouk

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From India we now travel to Morocco to try this very popular Moroccan dish called Zaalouk. It’s a cold salad with cooked ingredients of aubergine, tomatoes and spices. It’s regularly served as a dip with crusty bread or served as a side to a main meat dish.

Ingredients:

2 Aubergines
8 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander
6 peeled tomatoes in juice
1 red chilli
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp salt

Preparation:

Slice the Aubergines in half
Finely chop the chilli and garlic
Finely dice the fresh coriander
Roughly chop the tomatoes in juice

Directions:

Place the sliced Aubergines in a hot oven on a rack for about 20 minutes until the skins start to blacken and the flesh becomes soft.
Remove the inner flesh from the Aubergines and mash the flesh with a fork in a bowl and set to one side.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic and chilli and fry quickly for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and spices to the pan and stir on a moderate heat for about 20 minutes.
Add the Aubergines and coriander to the pan and stir in and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes.
Serve in a bowl and leave to cool and then place in the fridge overnight ready to serve.
When ready for serving just sprinkle a little chopped coriander on top for decoration and this dish can be just eaten with some warm crusty bread or used to accompany any meat dish as a side salad. Enjoy!

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John’s Aloo Gobi Mash

John’s Aloo Gobi mash.

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Today I have decided to put a twist to the very popular dish Aloo Gobi and create a mash but still using the dishes most popular ingredients. Please see below a little bit of information about the dish and then how to cook this simple but very tasty dish for yourself at home.

Aloo Gobi is a Punjabi dish that originated in Northern India but is also popular in other areas. We also know very well that in England it’s very popular in most local Indian restaurants and take-aways as part of there vegetarian main dishes. Aloo is potato and Gobi is cauliflower.

The colour of this dish is usually yellow in colour due to the addition of turmeric and there are many variations of this dish when it comes to ingredients. Some recipes do not include the use of tomatoes but as with most Indian cooking you can adapt to your taste. Some recipes can include green peas added at the end of cooking or sliced red bell peppers also added near the end as they cook very quickly.

Ingredients:

3 medium potatoes cubed.
6 cauliflower florets.
5 cloves of garlic.
1 inch piece of ginger.
1 medium onion.
1 red chilli.
Fresh coriander.
2 peeled tomatoes.
2 whole cardamom pods
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chilli powder
Salt
Water

Preparation:

Peel and cube the potatoes
Cut the potatoe florets into small pieces
Finely chop the onion
Slice the chilli into rings
Grate and mince the ginger and garlic to make a purée
Chop the peeled tomatoes
Finely chop the coriander
Make a paste from the spices with water(Making a paste will stop the spices from burning)

Directions:

Heat the oil in the pan until hot and then add the garlic and ginger purée, cardamon pods and finely chopped onions and fry stirring often so as not to burn the garlic. Fry for 3 or 4 minutes until the onion starts to soften and go translucent.

Add the spice paste mix and stir in thoroughly adding a few tablespoons of water at a time so it does not stick and creates a nice thick consistency. Keep stirring for 5 minutes until all the flavours from the spices are released and the onion is thoroughly coated.

Add the tomatoes to the pan and stir in and cook for 2 to 3 minutes and then add the sliced red chillies.

Now pour in the cubed already cooked till soft potatoe and cauliflower and stir in ensuring all the pieces are coated in the sauce and at this stage you will need to keep adding a few tablespoons of water to keep the sauce consistency and for it not to go too dry.

Very important at this stage to achieve the mash which we want is to stir and mash the potatoe and cauliflower with the back of the spoon as you go. You want almost a purée with only a few lumps. Add salt at this stage to taste and continue cooking for about 7 minutes.

Now carefully stir in the finely chopped coriander and its ready to serve.

Serve in a bowl and garnish with more finely chopped coriander and a few rings of red chilli for decoration.

Here you have my own style of the famous Indian Aloo Gobi (Potato and cauliflower) but as a mash. Enjoy!

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Chicken Tikka Masala (Dopiaza)

Chicken Tikka Masala (Dopiaza) – Courtesy of Titlisbusykitchen
Titlis Busy Kitchen – Recipe done to my style and taste.

I love Chicken tikka masala but also love dopiaza so decided to incorporate them both by making a masala but adding onions twice, to the base sauce and then to the main dish.

Base curry sauce

2 finely chopped onions
1 tin 750g 480g drained chopped tomatoes with juice
2tbsp garlic paste
2tbsp ginger paste
2 tbsp paprika
2tsp cumin powder
2tsp coriander powder
2tsp curry powder
1tsp turmeric
1tsp salt
1 cup of water
Oil
1tbsp tomatoe paste

Chicken tikka masala (Dopiaza)

1 roughly chopped onion
1 chilli split and chopped lenghtways
1/2 chilli diced thinly
2tbsp finely chopped coriander
Base curry sauce(amount as desired but at least 2 cups)
1 cup of single cream
1tsp salt
oil
2 small chicken breast fillets cubed
2tsp tomatoe paste
2 small tomatoes peeled and seeded and chopped

To prepare the curry gravy, fry the spices in oil or ghee if you can find for 30 seconds.

Add the onion, garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 10 minutes until the onions start to brown.

Add the tomatoes, salt and water, bring to the boil and simmer part covered for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Process the sauce in a blender so it is a smoothy velevty consistency, this is your base curry sauce done.

To make the chicken tikka masala (dopiaza) Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions and fry till softend and clear.

Add the chicken and cook for around ten minutes until all pieces are white.

Add 2 teaspoons of tomatoe paste and continue cooking for another 5 to 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the sauce and the chopped peeled and seeded tomatoes, sliced chillis and cook on a low heat for 30 minutes, the longer you cook the better the taste but make sure it is on a low heat and just gently simmering.

Before you serve stir in the chopped chillis and cook for a further 5 mins and then stir in the cream.

Serve on a bed of rice and scatter finely chopped coriander on top for decoration.

If you want this dish hotter then at the very end stir in more finely chopped chillis or when you add the spice mix to the curry base sauce add your favorite blend of chilli powder.

I hope you enjoy

Three bean chilli

I have a tried and tested chilli con carne recipe but just wanted to add a little twist by adding three types of beans and I was really happy with the result and it was so darn tasty:)

700g Beef mince
3 medium red onions finely chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
1 medium green pepper chopped
1 medium red pepper chopped
4 whole red chillis chopped with seeds
8 mushrooms sliced
1 big jar chopped tomatoes in juice
150g dried kidney beans
150g dried black eyed beans
150g dried white beans
2 tbsp chilli powder mild
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
4 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

First soak the beans the night before and rinse in clean fresh water
Boil the beans in salted water until you can mash with a fork(approx 1.5-2 hours)
Fry onion, garlic, pepper and mushrooms in oil until soft and clear.
Add mince and fry till brown.
Add spices and fry for a further five minutes.
Add tomatoes and water, stir for five minutes.
Add the beans
Cover and turn on a very low heat stirring occasionally.
Leave for as long as possible, 6 hours minimum.
At the end if you want it thicker you can mash a few of the beans down and it becomes much thicker.
Can be re-heated the next day to serve.
Serve with boiled rice or garlic bread or on its own.
Sprinkle with cheese and a dollop of sour cream for taste and decoration.

If anyone tries this recipe I hope you enjoy as much as me:)

Enjoy!

Broccoli Mash

My Broccoli Mash.

Ingredients:
4 medium potatoes
8 broccoli florets
1 small onion
4 slices of streaky bacon
knob of butter
single cream
salt
pepper
oil

Directions:
Peel and quarter the potatoes and add to a pan of cold salted water and bring to the boil.

Peel and chop the onion into very small dice and the same with the bacon and add to a frying pan with a little oil and fry until the onion just starts to brown and then set aside in a bowl.

Once the potatoes start to cook and become soft to mash add the broccoli florets for the last 5-10 minutes.

Drain the water from the potatoes and broccoli and add a generous knob of butter and a splash of single cream, salt and pepper to taste and mash to a smooth puree, using a mixer helps to obtain the best texture.

Stir in the fried onion and bacon bits to the potato and broccoli mash and serve with any meat or fish of your choice.

You can sprinkle some finely chopped fresh chives for decoration.

This is very very simple but sooooooooooo tasty:) Enjoy!