Fresh, green and positively bursting with the joys of spring – behold the spring green pakora. A fantastic way of using up any manky old greens that need bit of attention. My 22 month old ploughed his way through an absolute ton of these for his tea. The pear and mint chutney is very flavourful and a cinch to whizz up.
130g chickpea/gram flour
200g spring greens, finely shredded
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
¼ to ½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp.baking powder
2 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp. garam masala
salt to taste
oil for deep frying
for the chutney
1 clove garlic
2 spring onions
1/2 fresh green chilli
1 tsp. tamarind
1 tsp. salt
2 ripe pears
2 tbsp. mint leaves
- mix all the pakora ingredients in a large bowl, adding enough water to give the consistency of thick double cream
- whizz up the pear chutney ingredients in a blender and adjust seasoning to taste.
- Heat the oil and deep fry the pakoras in batches, drain on kitchen paper and serve immediately with the chutney.
This is the stuff I grew up on. It never fails to surprise me how the humble combination of pulses, spice and veg can be so moreish. I find myself turning to this, at least once a week. With parathas, on toast, with kitchuri and fridge cold from the pan with a dollop of yoghurt while waiting for the kettle to boil. Adding leeks and cabbage to a traditional tomato and chickpea curry makes for a healthy, cheap and utterly delicious treat (just remember to soak the chickpeas the night before you want to start- or if you can’t be bothered crack open some tinned ones instead).
a knob of ghee/ butter + a splash of oil
1 chopped onion
2 small leeks, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 knob ginger, grated
1 heaped tsp. cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
3 green cardamom pods
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. curry powder
1 fresh green finger chilli finely chopped
1 400g tin tomatoes
400ml chicken stock
200g soaked drained, boiled chickpeas
20g tamarind cut from a block
1 tsp. sugar
1-2 handfuls of finely shredded spring cabbage (or any greens)
melt the butter/ghee and splash of oil. When it’s hot add the cumin seeds, onion, garlic, ginger and leeks. Stir in the turmeric, curry powder, fresh chilli, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick. Cook over a low heat until you’re left with a spicy tangle of green and gold (usually around 15-20 minutes)
Tip in the chickpeas, chicken stock, tomatoes, tamarind sugar and salt.
Simmer for 30 minutes. Fish out the cinnamon stick, tamarind and cardamom pods.
5 minutes before serving add the shredded cabbage and simmer until just tender.
It’s definitely crumble weather. I like to spice mine with stem ginger and cardamom. A touch of coconut in the topping makes for the perfect bowl of exotic comfort.
400g rhubarb, cut into chunks
5 cubes crystallised ginger, finely chopped
4 tbsp. orange juice
4 cardamom pods, husks removed and seeds ground to a fine powder
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
4 tbsp. honey
80g desiccated coconut
110g demerera/light brown sugar
90g butter plus 20g coconut oil
flaked almonds to sprinkle on top
- preheat oven to 180C
- cut rhubarb into chunks and place in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with the orange juice, honey, vanilla, stem ginger and cardamom pods. Mix well.
- Roast for 10 mins, cool and fish out the cardamom pods.
- rub the butter and coconut oil into the flour, desiccated coconut and sugar and salt until you have breadcrumbs. Sprinkle a thick layer of this over the rhubarb, top with the flaked almonds and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the topping is crisp and the almonds are golden brown.
So, you voted for the lamb ragu dish and here I am cooking it (and looking more than a little bit pregnant)! I like to top this with a rosemary and garlic pangritata* for added textural interest.
*(blitz up 50g stale breadcrumbs, 1 clove of garlic crushed, a couple of tbsp. each of fresh parsley and rosemary and 5-6 tbsp olive oil, before crisping in a frying pan – you can also store this in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days).
After making this film I was left with even more leftover lamb and decided to put it to use in a biryani. Biryani is very much a “special occasion” project, so this is a great thing to put together on a lazy Sunday, leaving you something special to look forward to in the week ahead.
- heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, onions, garlic, ginger and curry powder.
- cook over a low heat until the onions are nice and brown (this should take at least 15-20 minutes). Add the lamb (and lentils if using), mint, coriander leaves, tomatoes, red wine vinegar, a good pinch of salt, and the chillies. Stir well and then pour in the stock, yoghurt and lemon juice. Cook for about 30-40 minutes, until the sauce is nice and thick.
- Layer some rice in the bottom of a large dish with a tight fitting lid. Add a layer of the lamb and then a layer of onion rings. Continue until you’re left with a layer of rice on top. Pour over the warm milk if using, cover well with plenty of foil to make it airtight and bake for 30 minutes at 180C.
Aaah roast lamb….my favourite (but then, I am a bit biased). Hope you’ve enjoyed watching these videos, I’ve been pretty gobsmacked at the number of hits they’ve garnered, I must say. Thanks again for all the fantastic comments you lovely, lovely people.
This seems to be the most popular of all my Sainsbury’s videos – If you want to spice up your Indian roast chicken even more, I’d recommend adding 1 tsp.crushed cumin seeds, a small knob of fresh ginger, a finely chopped green finger chilli and a handful of coriander to the blitzing mix. Enjoy.
Hello people, so here’s the second ultimate roast video in the Food Goes Further campaign – it’s good old roast beef. I’ve had some fantastic feedback for the other videos, so thank you for your kind words and support. Feel free to get in touch with any questions (and to answer your question Lindsay from Pinner, yes the clothes I’m sporting in all the videos are by Tu, so you should be able to pick them up in your local Sainos).
In case you missed it, here’s my first video for Sainsbury’s. It’s all about making the ultimate roast pork and includes tips on making gravy, how to ensure crunchy crackling and carving. Enjoy!
I’m incredibly pleased, excited and slightly amazed to announce that I’m part of the new Sainsbury’s Food Goes Further campaign (along with Pam Clarkson, Jack Monroe and Nick Coffer). It’s been a truly wonderful experience and quite a change from the unremitting tedium of washing up and cleaning under a high chair that my life usually consists of. I’ve had Mr David Loftus plus a crew of about 20 odd people crowded into my kitchen to photograph my dishes and have spent some of the most fun-filled days I’ve ever had filming a series of cooking videos with the wonderful crew at Gravity Road. Over the next month or so you’ll be able to watch them (every Friday) here. I’ll be demonstrating how to make the perfect roast, some quirky yet tasty alternatives for a slightly more exciting roast dinner, how to make the most incredible gravy, and inspiration on what to do with your leftovers and as well as other handy tips.
You can find my two recipes for lamb and pea pie and lamb ragu in this leaflet in a Sainsbury’s near you.
For another tasty twist, here’s my keema lamb pie – it’s spot on for this kind of weather, spicy, warming comfort food at its absolute best.
1-2 medium onions, finely chopped (approx. 160g)
3-4 tbsp. ginger paste
3-4 tbsp. garlic paste
1 tbsp. oil
300g shredded leftover roast lamb
2 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 finely chopped fresh green chilli (or 1/2 – 1 tsp. chilli powder)
390g carton chopped tomatoes
130g full fat natural yoghurt
250ml lamb stock
100g frozen peas
500g mashed leftover potatoes and vegetables
1-2 tsp. garam masala
- sweat the onion, garlic paste and ginger paste in the oil.
- add the curry powder, chilli and cumin and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- add the lamb, tomatoes, yoghurt and salt and cook for a couple of minutes.
- add the stock and simmer for 25 minutes.
- add the peas, check seasoning and put filling into a pie dish.
- mash the potatoes and vegetables with the garam masala and smother over the pie filling. Sprinkle with grated cheddar and bake at 180C for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden.
- if you don’t have any fresh chillies it’s fine to use chilli powder instead
- a squeeze of lemon and a scattering of finely chopped coriander at the end of cooking is a nice flavour lift.
- if you can, cook out the onions, ginger and garlic long and slow over a low-ish heat until nicely caramelised around the edges to really bring out the natural sugars.
It’s been a bit relentless round here lately. A lot of juggling exciting work stuff with a very sick toddler plus doing that last minute Christmas shopping thing that we promise ourselves we’re not going to do every year. Basically, we’ve been in dire need of some proper comfort food and this dhansak has delivered in spades.
I spotted lamb on offer in my local supermarket and so bought more than we needed, froze half and made a huge vat of this warming, rich Persian-Indian lentil based joy with the rest. Buy bone in lamb if you can, as simmering with the bone adds a ton flavour and make sure you don’t leave the tamarind out as that sweet sour balance is crucial. Just the sort of thing to have blipping away in the background while you
chase your 19 month round the room with a dose of Calpol get into the Christmas spirit and perfect with a stack of parathas.
500g lamb shoulder, diced plus the bone if possible
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
an inch of ginger, shredded
4 green cardamom pods
1 heaped tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. curry powder
1 cinnamon stick
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. fenugreek
1 tsp. coriander powder
1 whole star anise
200g red lentils
200g yellow split lentils
1 whole peeled tamarind pod (or a tablespoon of paste)
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion, garlic and ginger until the onions have taken on a dark caramel hue.
- Add the cardamom, cumin, curry powder, cinnamon, chilli, turmeric, fenugreek, coriander powder and star anise and continue to stir and fry for about 5 minutes over a medium heat. Add the lamb and mix well, before adding the red and yellow lentils again combining really throughly to ensure everything gets a good coating of spices.
- Slosh in the stock, tomatoes and add the bone and tamarind pod. Turn the heat to low and simmer for at least two hours, stirring every now and again and adding more stock/water if things start drying out.
- Add a good pinch or two of sea salt and also about a teaspoon of sugar. Mix in some natural yoghurt if you want to tone things down a bit and serve.
They’ve started stocking cobbler in my local Sainsbury’s, which I love because it’s one of the cheapest on the fresh fish aisle (it works out at just over a pound per fillet) and every time I’ve bought some, it’s tasted pretty fresh. Annoyingly it seems that everyone else has cottoned on to this and they’re now almost always sold out of it. So I made this version with trout.
I’m also a bit of an aioli fan, mainly because it’s so easy that even a dufus like me can make it. Plus the basil and pomegranate molasses take it somewhere very special indeed. You need to give it a few hours or even an overnighter to really leach out those herbal essences, which is ideal if you’re planning to have it for a manic Monday night supper – all you really need to do is get home and fry up your fish.
for the aioli
1 fresh egg yolk
1 crushed clove garlic
salt to taste
approx 20g (most of a plant from the herb aisle) basil leaves, finely chopped
1-2 tsp. pomegranate molasses
for the fish
2 x fish fillets
1 tsp. curry powder
splash of oil to fry
- Using an electric whisk gradually whisk the egg yolk with incremental droplets of oil until you have an emulsion. Thereafter you can take things up a gear.
- Add the garlic, salt, basil and pomegranate molasses. Taste, bearing in mind that the basil will intensify over time. Chill until needed.
- When you’re ready to eat, mix the flour, salt and curry powder on a plate and dredge the fish. Fry until crisp and serve with the aioli, steamed greens and a mound of buttery pilaff. Also makes an excellent posh fish finger sarnie.
I haven’t written a restaurant review for aaages.
But the food at White Rabbit was amazing enough to make me want to. I’m still obsessing over a stand out dish of charred broccoli (and as someone who really doesn’t like broccoli, trust me when I say this was a revelation) with mead puree, pickled mustard seeds and almonds. The vegetable had an almost meaty caramelisation to it, while still retaining a tender vibrancy. I’ve never wanted to eat broccoli as a main course before but I could have happily sat there and polished off plate after plate of this.
A small dish of of burrata, sweet pickled plums, squash, sea purslane, pumpkin seeds and fennel pollen was scarfed with gusto, the perfectly al dente squash worked really well with the sweet and sour plums and velvety cheese. Charred aubergine with smoked yoghurt, honey and ash was another winner. Having said that the yoghurt may have been a teensy bit overkill. Just ever so slightly.
Gin and beetroot smoked salmon bejewelled with roe, a pickled tangle of fennel, dill pollen and pomegranate was an exercise in freshness and light. This was followed with hake with burnt leeks and confit garlic aioli which was hauntingly flavoursome, the tiny beads of smoked yeast like so many hundreds and thousands, laced with pure eau de croissant. We fought over a bowl of mussels in miso dashi with shiitake mushrooms, which was basically layer upon layer of concentrated savoury goodness. Then a dish of king scallop with hunks of Tuscan sausage, harissa, coriander oil and crowned with straw potatoes which was sweet, spicy and demolished in seconds. It’s a bit of an understatement to say they do some pretty clever things with seafood in this place.
We were so full at this point that we were reduced to just morosely picking at the final dish of lamb belly with miso and melon radish. If I had one criticism it was that the lamb wasn’t crispy enough for my liking and the miso barely detectable.
On a Saturday night the place was rammed. Nonetheless the staff managed to remain incredibly laid back, approachable and totally clued up about everything on the menu. I was invited to eat at White Rabbit, but in the words of Mr A Schwarzenegger – I will be back.
16 Bradbury St
020 7682 0163
Sprouts are possibly my least favourite of all vegetables. I’ve always been baffled by their time honoured spot on the table of otherwise deliciousness that makes up Christmas lunch.
So when an errant net of these toxic little brassicas turned up in my veg box I decided to do what I always do when faced with the unpalatable and give them a Bengali makeover.
Panch phoran, that magical Bengali five spice of fennel, fenugreek, cumin, mustard and nigella works really effectively here, namely because the fennel and mustard seeds temper and tame any sulphuric business. You do need to shred the sprouts quite finely and to patiently steam fry over a lowish heat until they’re properly caramelised and charred. A splash of coconut milk to mellow things out and a handful of prawns if you’ve got them make this a killer dish to have alongside a nice tomato, red onion and coriander salad and a stack of parathas to mop the lot up.
brussel sprouts, trimmed and finely shredded
1 tbsp. oil
a pinch of turmeric
1-2 tsp. panch phoran (alternatively add fennel, cumin, mustard, nigella, fenugreek seeds)
1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. fresh finely shredded ginger
1 tsp. dried red chilli (or chilli powder)
200ml coconut milk
- heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and all the spices.
- Tip in the sprouts, mix well and fry over a lowish heat, partially covered with a lid for about 15-20 minutes or until charred and caramelised.
- Add the salt and sugar and adjust seasoning according to taste. Add the coconut milk and serve.
Niku jaga, literally means “meat and potatoes” in Japanese. I’ve had such a hankering for this simple hearty stew lately. I first tried it in the depths of a very snowy Saitama Winter when my neighbours Kei-chan and Masa-chan invited me over for dinner. Slightly sweet, savoury and rich with soy and caramelised beef, this is more comforting than a Hello Kitty onesey. It might seem a bit odd to add sugar to a beef stew, but my mum always adds a hefty pinch to her phenomenal meat curries and here the see-saw of salty-sweet really works. The niku is traditionally wafer-thin slices of fatty steak but I found it to be just as satisfying with some leftover roast topside. If you do invest in steak, the whole thing is padded out with enough potatoes, carrots and shiitake mushrooms to justify matters. Perfect with a fat tangle of udon or steaming rice and fantastic the next day once the flavours have done that developing thing.
- 1 tbsp. oil for frying
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped into wedges
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
- 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
- leftover roast beef or steak, thinly sliced
- 500ml dashi stock/beef stock
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. sake/dry sherry
- 3 tbsp. mirin
- 4 tbsp. soy sauce
- shiitake mushrooms, soaked in 100ml boiling water
- handful of green beans
Heat the oil up over a medium heat and saute the onions. After a few minutes add the potatoes and saute for another five minutes.
Add the carrots and mix well. Finally stir in the beef and continue to cook until it’s just turned pink.
Sprinkle over the sugar and stir until everything begins to caramelise then throw in the sake and reduce. Add the mushrooms and the soaking water.
Add the dashi, mirin and soy and bring to the boil (skim off any scum that arises)
Reduce and simmer for 15 minutes, add the beans.
Simmer for a further 5 minutes and serve.
Faced with a glut of coxes I decided to try my hand at pickling a few. I can’t believe I’ve never done this before because pickled apples are truly superb. Sweet and crunchy yet saturated with the acidity of cider vinegar, these were the perfect partner to some smoked mackerel and fat chunks of garlic roasted onion squash. I trickled over lime and cumin yoghurt dressing for a truly autumnal mid week supper.
for the apples
2-3 coxes or other eating apples
100ml cider vinegar
8 tsp. caster sugar
1 tsp. salt
for the roasted squash
one onion squash (or any squash) hacked into chunks
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
a sprinkling of mace
for the dressing
250ml greek yoghurt
a splash of olive oil
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground roasted cumin seeds
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 a finely diced red onion
the juice of half a lime
a handful of toasted sunflower seeds
smoked mackerel, flaked
- mix the sugar, salt, vinegar and water together in a bowl until dissolved. Core and chunk the apples and leave to steep in this mixture.
- Toss the pieces of squash in the mace, garlic, salt and oil and roast for about 40-50 minutes at gas mark 4 until tender.
- Mix the dressing ingredients together. Place the lettuce, seeds and cress in a salad bowl with the mackerel. Add the roasted squash and the drained pickled apples. Dress liberally with the yoghurt.
I had a salad last week that I can’t stop thinking about.
It was part of a lunch cooked by Ben Spalding representing the sort of thing we’ll all be eating in the year 2063. As part of the London Design Festival, Miele collaborated with Ben to create a futuristic foodie vision, more of which you can check out here. I was intrigued as I’d heard a lot about Ben, who’s worked with the likes of Heston and Raymond Blanc, but had never actually had the chance to try his cooking before.
Turns out that he’s a bit of a creative genius. I really admire his experimental approach to food and his contempt for any sort of waste (this is someone who likes to make interesting things to eat from burnt lime rind and banana peel). I also like the way he challenges conventional fine dining norms. “Cucumber and vodka” turned out to be a gel that we licked from the back of our hands (because let’s face it, all food tastes better when you do away with cutlery). We kicked things off with Patrik’s raw butter from Goteborg, sourdough loaf whipped malt bread and fermented elderflower. Veal brain dumplings with 3 month old kimchi was presented in an uber kawaii mini bamboo steamer and served with a crazy cocktail containing clamped carrot juice, tonka beans, tuna mayonnaise and lime which sounded disgusting but tasted like a well rounded virgin Mary with a kick. Yum. This functional food cocktail was supposed to contain all the essential minerals and macro nutrients we’ll need to survive. Sticky rice with a savoury gravy was also lush (I skipped on the pork but was told it was very good). But for me, it was all about that salad. Every mouthful a lucky dip of liquorice, intensely sweet peach, aniseed here, earthy salty beetroot there, and a whole load of other stuff we couldn’t even begin to identify. All the ingredients were sourced from within London and the cress was grown in a prototype farmino machine. We finished with a microwave cake with iced lemon thyme and muscovado sugar that was the very essence of strawberry shortcake dolls (in a good way).
I came away feeling inspired, full, thoroughly spoilt and like I could really, really do with a farmino machine in my life.
Tricky, pretty things, courgette flowers. Fiddly to stuff and yet too good to chuck away. I’m a big fan of Helen’s brown shrimp and crab recipe and also this quesadilla one, by Homesick Texan. My mum likes to rake them through a lightly spiced batter before shallow frying. These are especially good with cucumber raita and a hot cup of tea.
2 tbsp. gram flour
2 tbsp. rice flour
1 shallot, grated
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. powdered cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tbsp. finely chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp. salt
- Mix all the ingredients bar the flowers, adding enough water to form a thick paste.
- remove the stamens from the flowers. Dredge each flower in the paste until fully coated.
- shallow fry until crisp. Eat immediately.
I’m a truly rubbish Muslim. Seriously. I’ve been known to enjoy the odd half of snakebite, am married to a devout atheist; rarely buy halal anything and would never dream of circumcising my baby boy. Despite this, I’m still a Muslim and am therefore incredibly excited about the UK’s first and indeed, the world’s largest halal food festival at the London ExCel from 27-29 September. Let’s face it, it’s about time “haloodies” were represented in a predominantly non-Islamic foodie ocean of white, middle class bacon munchers. As Islamophobia continues to spread its poisonous tentacles and as seemingly every government, power and faction has homicidal designs upon the people of Syria, Iraq and Lebanon; it’s good to see something positive for Muslims for a change, even if that something is as simple as a food festival.
The festival will feature cooking demos from Cyrus Todiwala, Shelina Permaloo and Jean Christophe Novelli. I’m particularly excited about the launch of Indian street food by Cinnamon Kitchen chefs “Joho Soho” and can’t wait to try their Bengali mutton and fenugreek chicken. I’m also looking forward to feasting on Palestinian medjool dates, stuffed with organic fairtrade nuts and topped with rosebuds by The Datelatiers. Meanwhile here’s a recipe for Papeta pur eeda or “simply divine eggs on potato” from Cyrus Todiwala. Mashallah!
Cyrus’ PAPETA PUR EEDA
THIS IS QUITE SIMPLY DIVINE “EGGS ON POTATO”.
POTATO One large, peeled and sliced to approximately 1/8th of aninch thick. If you have a mandolin you’ll get more even slices, otherwise do not fret.
one medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 small, finely chopped green chilli
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 heaped tbsp. finely chopped fresh coriander
4 eggs, organic if possible
salt, to taste
two to three tablespoons or half oil half butter (Cyrus prefers to add a healthy heap of butter once the cumin is coloured)
Peel, slice the potato, wash and set aside.
Slit the onion into half and slice thinly.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the cumin seeds.
Allow them to sizzle for a minute or two over a medium flame.
Add the green chillies & garlic, saute for a further minute or two before adding the sliced onion. Saute for a minute or two until opaque and add the potato slices.
Saute for at least three to four minutes, sprinkle salt and level out the contents of the pan. Add enough water to just below the level of the contents, cover the pan and on a low flame cook until the potatoes are just tender, but still firm without being mushy.
At this stage Cyrus likes to add a small spring onion thinly sliced and sprinkled, but it is optional. Sprinkle over the coriander, check the seasoning, mix gently and level the contents of the pan again, ensuring the sides of the pan are clean.
Make four, well spaced indentations with an egg where you would like to have each egg. This should roughly be one and a half inches from the sides of the pan.
Break each egg taking care to drop the yolk into each cavity.
Cover the pan and cook over a very low flame.
The eggs will poach in the steam, however if the heat is too high the potatoes will burn.
When done to your liking, cut out into four segments and serve with mango chutney and warm baguettes.
I have quite the soft spot for the spicy beanburger. This has less to do with the weird, pappy texture and everything to do with the memory it evokes of errant teenage years. My first ever boyfriend was a very angry, very well read and very political vegetarian. He was also an excellent cook. Together we’d stomp around the mean streets of HA2 in our army surplus jackets, going halves on packets of Superkings and taking the proverbial out of all the posh kids from the hill. Our favourite past time was frittering away hours in charity shops and second hand record shops. The best one by far had to be Sellanby on Northolt Road. I once flogged my entire Throwing Muses and Mudhoney collection in there just to scrape together the necessary to make a pavlova. Any particularly good finds would be celebrated with a spicy beanburger from the Wimpy.
These, thankfully are nothing like the ones from the Wimpy. They’re much, much tastier, despite all the salt*. A couple of points – you do need to char the hell out of them and they are pretty crumbly so make sure you cook them properly on each side to ensure a good crust. Also, *you will need a ton of salt. Plus a long list of other ingredients, including an entire jar of chipotle paste. You absolutely must not leave the fresh green chilli out, and I urge you to add more if you feel the need. Oh, and you will need to soak your beans overnight and roast and grate some beetroot. In short, they are a tremendous faff, but they are totally and utterly worth it. This makes enough for about 50 so once you’ve perfected your magenta mastermix you can just stash it away in the freezer forever.
3 large whole beetroot
300g of your favourite dried beans (I went for a mixture of 100g each of aduki, black turtle and kidney) soaked overnight
100g brown rice
2 medium onions
5 cloves garlic
a fistful of coriander stalks, chopped finely
1 dried chipotle
2 heaped tsp. cumin seeds
vegetable stock, about a litre
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
v.fine porridge oats (whizz fat ones in the blender if necessary)
2-3 tsp. Colmans mustard
2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
2 tbsp. dark miso paste
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. dried oregano
100g jar of chipotle paste
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1-2 fresh green chillies, finely sliced
a lot of salt. Honestly, I must have used at least 2 tablespoons.
- heat a splash of olive oil and add the cumin seeds, whole chipotle, one of the onions and half the garlic. Once browned add the coriander stalks and the soaked beans, plus enough vegetable stock to cover. Bring to the boil then simmer for an hour.
- Wrap the beetroot in foil and roast at Gas mark 6 for an hour. Add the brown rice to the beans and continue to simmer for another half an hour or until the beans are tender, the rice is cooked and the water has almost evaporated.
- In a small frying pan, fry the remaining onion and garlic. Once browned, splash in the cider vinegar to deglaze and set aside. Allow the beetroot to cool before grating into a bowl. Blitz the rice and bean mixture in a food processor and stir into the grated beetroot (you can either finely chop the whole chipotle or chuck it at this point), adding the fried onion and garlic mixture and enough oats to form a moist mixture (a bit like the texture of mince).
- Season with the mustard, smoked paprika, miso, soy sauce, salt, chipotle paste, thyme and oregano. Stir in the fresh green chilli. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours before forming into patties and then frying in a little olive oil, ensuring the burgers are well charred on both sides.
I was extremely chuffed to have my recipe for Bebek Betutu AKA Indonesian ceremonial barbecued duck featured in The Sunday Times magazine a couple of weeks ago. The article was penned by the incredibly talented Mr Oliver Thring and featured some of Britain’s best food bloggers.
In case you missed it, here’s the recipe again:
2kg duck, giblets removed
1 cinnamon stick
10 shallots or 2 medium onions
1 bulb of garlic, segmented and peeled
6 macadamia nuts
2 tsp. shrimp paste
50g ginger, peeled
1 tsp. turmeric
3 red chillies, roughly chopped
2 sticks lemongrass, roughly chopped (tough outer leaves discarded)
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. coriander powder
Juice of 1 lime
5 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
2 tbsp. coconut/vegetable oil
2 tbsp. water
100g spinach leaves, roughly chopped
The night before you want to eat, wash and pat the duck dry. Blend all remaining ingredients bar the spinach to a thick paste.
Mix half the paste with the spinach and rub the remaining paste all over the duck and inside the cavity. Stuff the duck cavity with the spinach mixture and wrap the whole thing very well in foil until completely airtight. Marinade overnight in the fridge.
The next day place the wrapped duck in a hooded BBQ for 4 hours (or alternatively in an oven at 160C for 2 hours and then at 120C for another 2 hours).
- Unwrap the duck and pour the juices into a small pan. Carefully scrape off any excess marinade and add to the juices. Simmer to reduce a little and stir in some of the stuffing. Very carefully return the unwrapped duck to the BBQ or into a hot oven to crisp up the skin. Serve the sauce in a bowl alongside the duck.