Happy Ganesh Chaturthi for those who are celebrating today… as an offering celebrating lord Ganesha’s birthday my Mumma and I tried out a baked version of the traditional Rajasthani sweet, the good old ‘Churma Ladoo’ in a healthy (ish) way they are still quite calorific but this eliminates a lot of oil normally used for deep frying them.
190g Wheat Flour
2 tbs Oil
125 ml Water (approx)
55g Clarified butter (ghee)
A pinch of Nutmeg
Pinch of Coarsely ground Cardamom
Start by pre heating oven to 350 F/ 180 C and lining an oven tray with a baking sheet. Then mix the wheat flour and semolina in a bowl, add 2 tbsp oil, then gradually add water and knead into a firm dough. This should only take a few minutes.
Divide the dough into roughly 8-10 portions and shape into patties evenly and place on the tray and bake in oven for approximately 20 mins, once they are evenly brown and firm remove and let them cool completely.
Once the dough is cool, grind them to a fine powder using a food processor or pestle & mortar, Pass through a fine sieve and regrind if required.
Heat the clarified butter and when melted add the jaggery & mix until jaggery has melted, do not over-cook or else the ladoo’s will become chewy. Add a sprinkle of cardamom and nutmeg powder to the mixture and gradually add in the clarified butter & jaggery mixture and combine together.
When forming the ladoo’s into balls, apply little ghee on the palms of your hands this will help with a smooth finish.
In a plate, place a handful of poppy seeds & Roll the ladoos in so they are completely coated. Alternatively you can add poppy seeds to the mixture.
Slightly less of a guilty indulgence…
A protein-rich recipe with the zest of roasted cumin, its one of the most frequently used spice in Indian cuisine and when used whole it releases an aromatic flavour with a nutty texture.
My lads are big chicken fans, whether it’s Sautéed, fried, tossed in salad, baked or steamed, they’ll never say no! Its low fat and can be digested easily so always a good option for mealtimes.
Today I’ve cooked my classic Jeera chicken wings! I made the base masala in the pan then combined with the chicken and air fried it so no need for too much oil.
This dish can be served with rice, salad, roti’s or to have as a starter.
Cooking time: 30-40 mins
Prep time: 10 mins
500g chicken wings,
1 small Spanish onion diced
2 tbsp oil
1-2 cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp roasted cumin seeds
1tsp cumin powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala
2 tbsp coarsely ground garlic paste
1 tbsp coarsely ground ginger paste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Handful of boiled new potatoes
4 green chilli, sliced lengthways in halves
2-3 vine tomatoes cut into wedges
juice from 1 lemon
handful of fresh chopped coriander
1. Heat oil in a large non stick pan and add cinnamon & cumin seeds.
2. Once slightly browned & aromatic reduce the heat.
3. Add chopped onions, sauté for 3-4 mins before adding the ginger/garlic then fry until golden brown.
4. Add the salt, red chilli powder, Garam masala, pepper, cumin powder and let the flavours combine then add the washed wings and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
5. Once the chicken is coated with the spices cover the pan, cook for a further 25 mins or so
6. Once chicken is cooked and tender pour away the excess oil from the pan, and add the sliced chilli’s, tomatoes and potatoes. Cook for a further few minutes.
7. Garnish with fresh coriander and a squeeze of lemon before serving.
Note: If you have an airfryer- on step 5 transfer chicken wings to the fryer and cook for 20 minutes before transferring back to pan. They wings come out nice and crispy.
Crunchy Moong Daal Pakoras
200g sautéed moong daal
3-4 shallots finely chopped
1 medium potato diced and boiled
1 large red chilli finely chopped
1 tbs coarse ginger garlic paste
1 tsp mango powder
1/2 ground cinnamon
1 tbs toasted sesame seeds
2 -3 tbs chopped coriander
2 tsps mixture of cumin, coriander and fennel seeds grounded using pestal and mortar
Salt and pepper to taste
1tbs rice flour
1 tbs gram flour
Oil to fry
Wash and soak moong daal for a minimum of 30 minutes before sautéing and cooking in a little olive oil.. keep the daal a little al dente
A tip.. I normally dice my potatoes and put them in some salted water in the microwave to cook. It’s quick and easy.
Once the moong daal and potatoes are cooked combine with all the other ingredients, the moisture from them should be enough to form a mixture but if it seems a little dry add a sprinkle of water.
Form round balls then heat the oil in a deep frying pan or karahi on medium heat.
To check if the oil is ready, put a little bit of the mixture in the oil, if ready the mixture will sizzle and float up to the top.
Fry the pakoras until golden brown in small batches to ensure even crispiness.
Serve hot with a medley of tamarind and coriander chutney.
Napolina chopped tomatoes 400g
2-4 Finely diced de skinned vine tomatoes
Medium Finely Diced red onion
1 x Finely diced red peppers
1/2 x finely diced green pepper
4-5 sprigs finely chopped spring onions
1/2 tsp Smoked paprika
1 tsp Crushed green chilli
2 tbs Chopped coriander
Drizzle of Garlic olive oil
Lime juice to taste
Sea salt & Coursley ground black pepper to taste.
Vegetables required for the bhaji
* 50g frozen peas
* 2 small potatoes
* 1 carrot finely diced
* 1 small aubergine finely diced
* 500g cauliflower florets
* 100g chopped mixed peppers
Masalas & seasoning
* 1 medium onion finely diced
* 4-5 vine tomatoes finely diced
* 1 1/2 tbs oil
* 1 1/2 tsp pau bhaji masala
* 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
* 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
* 1 tsp Kasturi Methi
* 1 1/2 tbs ginger/garlic paste
25g Butter to use right at the end!
* 1 red onion finely diced
* 2 tbs chopped coriander
* 5-6 Chopped small cherry tomatoes
* Squeeze of lemon
* Sprinkle of salt
* Lemon wedges
8 bread rolls
A sprinkle of pau bhaji masala optional
Start by adding the bhaji vegetables to a steamer and cook. I generally find that whilst I’m prepping the masala, the time it takes the vegetables to steam and the prep time normally sync up. Hence while the vegi’s are steaming in a large non stick pan heat the oil and add onions and cook till golden and soft.
To this add the dry spices and sauté for a few minutes.. (you can smell the aromas of the masalas releasing as they combine ) before adding the tomatoes and cooking until it almost becomes a paste, you’ll know it’s ready when you can see the oil floating on top of the mixture.
This is when you add the steamed veg! Mash the vegetable with the back of your ladle or masher and mix together.
Cook for a further 10 minutes or so , add a little water accordingly to the type of consistency you prefer.
I generally add a nob of butter to the bhaji just before serving.
Prep the garnish by mixing all ingredients together and setting aside before halving the bread rolls & Shallow frying in butter both sides before serving with the masala, relish and lemon wedges.
Matar Chaat is one of the most famous street food you will find in Delhi and it was
something I really enjoyed! A lip-smacking snack that has an assortment of spices blended with cooked yellow or green peas. It’s tantalising and tangy with a spicy kick and super easy to make.
Traditionally eaten with kulcha, but as I’m always calorie counting I’ve replaced with toasted pitta breads.
200g yellow/green dried peas soaked and boiled
2 table spoons coursley ground ginger/garlic paste
1 teaspoon Red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon roasted Cumin powder
1 teaspoon Dry Mango Powder
Pinch of cinnamon powder
1 tsp chaat masala
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
Salt , to taste
1 tbs oil
Fresh mint paste
ingredients to be blitzed in a grinder or pestal and mortar
25g fresh Mint leaves
1 tsp Fennel seeds
1 dried red chilli
4-5 pepper corns
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
Pinch of asafoetida
A little water to loosen the mixture when grinding
1 small red onion finely diced
Handful of cherry tomatoes finely diced
1-2 thinly sliced green chilli
1tbs Chopped coriander all combined with a squeeze of lemon
A sprinkle of chaat masala
Soak the dry peas overnight or at least 3-4 hrs before cooking on the stove in a pan of hot water or pressure cooking.
2 whistles in the pressure cooker
Or 15-20 minutes on the stove top
Once cooked slightly mash and put aside
Then Combine the mint paste ingredients and grind to a paste.
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and begin by adding the cumin seeds and browning a little, to that add the remaining spices brown slightly further before adding the cooked peas and tamarind paste to the mixture.
Cook this for approximately 5 minutes on medium heat before adding the mint paste and cooking a further 10 minutes for all the flavours to infuse.
Transfer to a bowl.. garnish with a mixture of onions tomatoes chilli & coriander and sprinkle with chaat masala and serve with toasted pitta bread or if your adventurous enough maybe you could attempt kulchas and eat it the traditional way.
I don’t have exact measurement on this recipe as quantities vary on how many sprouts I’m making, what I’m serving them with and who I’m making for depending on the spice levels. But as I’ve had so many messages asking how I made the ones I served at my supper club I thought I’d share the key ingredients and you can vary it like I do by adding different spices to pair with the main dish you are serving them with.
Coarsely ground roasted red peanuts and cashews
Roasted Fresh Garlic (I always make in batches and keep in a jar)
Coarse ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
Fresh crushed red chilli
Olive or sunflower oil
Combine ingredients together, slit the sprouts and stuff.
Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas mark
Place sprouts onto a baking tray and spray with a little frylite before putting them in the centre of the oven.
Roast in the preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, shaking pan every 5 to 7 minutes for even browning. Reduce heat when necessary to prevent burning. Brussels sprouts should be darkest brown when done.
A Sweet & Tangy Balsamic Beetroot Dressing
It’s a versatile dressing which can be used on so many ingredients, but I just love the Vibrant colour of the dressing drizzled over my greens.. crispy salad leaves, soya beans, grilled courgettes ribbons, avocado & pine nuts.. the earthy sweet taste of the beets combined with the tanginess of the vinegar, sweet honey, garlic, onion and a little fennel.. it’s low cal, quick and simple to make, it’s oozes with flavour and always has the wow factor when I’m entertaining.
One of my favourite salads which I shared with my guests at my vegetarian brunch this Sunday.
1 cup chopped beetroot
1/4 cup diced onions
1-2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
A pinch of fennel seeds
A pinch of turmeric
A pinch of chilli powder
A drizzle of rapeseed oil
Salt to taste
To make: Place all ingredients in a blender and blitz to a smooth consistency. Chill before serving
Baked Gluten Free & Vegan Chakri
For me the fried versions are still way better but if you want to be a little healthy then this is an option, texture is slightly different too and they are a lot crunchier than normal. Another option is to air fry them
1 cup rice flour
1 tbs raw coconut oil
Juice of 1 small lemon
1 tbs mashed potato
1 tbs chopped coriander
1 tbs sesame seeds
1 tbs chilli/coriander Paste
1 pinch of cumin or aijwain
Salt to taste
Water 💦 judge as you bind to form a firm dough
Bind ingredients together to make a firm dough. Make the chakri in a chakri maker as per normal.
Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.. and with a pastry brush gently brush a little coconut oil over the chakris and bake in oven at 200 Degrees Fahrenheit for 30 mins or until they have turned golden.
Option 2: deep fry or air fry them
Apple Chutney ‘Chundo’
A modern take on my Grandma’s recipe
1 large cooking apple
1/2 a small white onion
A couple wedges of raw mango (optional)
2 tbsp Chopped Coriander
6-8 Fresh mint leaves
2 Garlic Cloves
2-3 Green Chillis
1tsps Cumin Seeds
1/2 – 1 tsp Brown Sugar (or to taste)
Pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste
In a chopper blitz all ingredients together until it forms a coarse chutney paste as in the picture. Give it a few mixes in between blending to give an even consistency. Adjust seasoning (once blended) to taste before transferring into an airtight jar.
The chutny is fresh and aromatic and will keep in a fridge for at least a week
Fresh Coconut & Chilli Chutney
Half a bowl fresh grated coconut
2 tbsp Red Chilli Flakes
1/2 tsp roasted garlic
1 medium onion
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp sugar
2-3 drops yuzu juice or a squeeze of fresh lime
Using a pestle and mortar add chilli flakes, salt and sugar and pound it all together.
Add the sliced onions and pound until all the ingredients form a course paste.
Add the grated coconut and a little more until you can see the coconut release its milk
Once all combined add the yuzu juice or a squeeze of lime
Spiced Indian Tea Masala
My love for Masala tea, the taste and aroma has something quite calming about it for me! The addition of tea masala when brewing an Indian tea is the secret element for me.
A delicious spiced chai masala…normally I get my batch shipped over from India by a friend and it’s the best I’ve ever tasted but it’s a secret recipe which I’ve never dared ask for! I ran out this week, so tried to attempt making the masala myself and I pleasantly surprised myself on the 3rd batch.
Here’s the recipe if any of you would like to give it a go!
Ginger powder 2 tbsp.
Cinnamon sticks x 4-5 (1″ pieces)
Cardamom seeds– 2 1/2 tbsp.
Cloves – 1 tbsp.
Black peppercorns 1 tbsp.
1 tsp nutmeg
3 star anise
Lemongrass Leaves (fresh or dried) 2 tbsp
Roast all the ingredient besides the ginger powder and nutmeg in a thick bottom pan on a medium heat. Roast until they start releasing their aromas 6-8 mins
Remove from heat and let the spices cool down completely
Once cooked add the roasted spices to a grinder and grind to a slightly coarse powder before adding the ginger powder & nutmeg and then grind to a fine masala
Store in an airtight jar
Stuffed Courgette Flowers
7-8 Courgette Flowers
150g Goats Cheese ( I used a chive one from Aldi)
1 Tsp chopped fresh chives
Pepper and salt to taste
Optional: 1/2 Red Chilli Chopped Finely
100g Plain Flour
Pinch Bicarbonate Soda
200ml ice water
Season with salt
Chop off the baby courgette stems (don’t chop too close to the flower though) if using female courgette flowers. Open each flower carefully and remove the stamen if there is one.
Mix goats cheese, chives, chilli and seasoning in a bowl
To make the batter, whisk the egg, flour and bicarbonate soda in a bowl. Then slowly pour in the iced water, whisking continuously, until you have a smooth batter the consistency of double cream. Try not to over whisk the batter. Set aside.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan.
Slowly open the flowers and stuff with the filling but not too much as you do not want them to burst. Then carefully twist the flower petals at the top to loosely close.
Dip a courgette in the batter so that it is thinly coated and place carefully in the fryer. Use a slotted spoon to fry on each side for two mins approx until they look golden.
Greek Basil Pesto
Greek basil has a subtler taste and is sweeter than its Italian counterpart. Aromatic, lightly fresh and pleasantly spicy, the taste is like anise or cloves which makes it a perfect ingredient for my homemade pesto.
Although the recipe seems rich, its healthy due to good fats from olive oil and walnuts. You could make a whole batch and freeze. For me it’s a versatile sauce that can be used on bruschetta, fish, chicken, pasta or drizzled over salads!
1 bowl Greek Basil Leaves
50g grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
100ml Virgin Olive Oil
Toasted Garlic x 5 cloves
Toasted Pine nuts 25g
In a frying pan toast the pine nuts and garlic in a spray of olive oil and put aside to cool.
Place the pine nuts, basil, garlic cloves into a pestle and mortar, and bash it all together, grinding it until it’s a paste. Alternatively, use a food processor to blend until you get a nice spreadable consistency or keep it coarse for more flavour.
Add the olive oil and cheese and mix together and season to taste.
Spicy Carrot Soup
I love to use spring carrots to make this soup, as the taste is not so sweet. And they say Coriander is said to have the flavour of roasted orange peel, which for me is the perfect pairing
300g x Spring Carrots
A knob of butter
1 1/2 tsp x Cumin and coriander seeds
2 x Clove garlic, crushed
Small red chilli deseeded and sliced
400ml Vegetable stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander,
100g x Sprouted chickpeas cooked in salted water
Sea salt to taste
A drizzle of chilli oil
Begin by dry-roasting the coriander and cumin seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat, stirring and tossing them around for 1-2 minutes.
Once toasted put them into a pestle and mortar and crush.
In a large saucepan heat the butter and add the garlic and three-quarters of the crushed coriander and cumin seeds.
Stir a little before adding the carrots to the buttery juice, then cover the pan and let the vegetables cook over a gentle heat until they begin to soften – about 5 minutes.
Then add the stock and season with salt and bring everything up to the boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for a further few minutes partially covered, or until all the vegetables are tender. Leave the soup to cool a little, then blitz with a blender until you get a smooth consistency.
Return the soup to the pan and stir in the chopped fresh coriander and Re-heat & taste to check the seasoning
Garnish and serve
Serve in warmed bowls and garnish each one with a swirl of chilli oil place the cooked chickpeas in the centre along with red chilli and a sprinkling of the remaining crushed cumin/coriander seeds and a little fresh coriander.
Smoked Aubergine Dip
1 x Large Aubergine
10ml Olive Oil
1/4 Bunch Spring Onion finely chopped
30g Finely Diced Onion
200g Fresh Small Vine Tomatoes (red/yellow) diced in quarters
3 x Cloves of Garlic Sliced
1 x De-Seeded and Diced Green Chilli
Pinch of White Pepper
Coriander for garnish
The most authentic way to prepare the aubergine is to blister them whole over an open flame on the gas cooker or BBQ until blackened and the flesh has softened right through to the centre. Alternatively place aubergine in a roasting tin and bake it in a pre-heated oven on 220c for approx. 20-30mins.
In a frying pan over a medium heat add the olive oil and slowly cook the garlic slices. Once the garlic begins to brown around the edges add the chopped spring onion & diced onion and cook for 2-4mins. Then add the tomatoes and cook for a further 15mins. Take off the heat and set aside the pan to rest.
Once the aubergines are cooked, score the skin from stalk to base and scoop out the flesh using a large spoon. Stir into the garlic and tomatoes and place pan back on to a medium heat to cook through for a few minutes mashing a little as you go.
Lastly add sea salt and white pepper to taste and stir well to combine and cook for a few more minutes to enhance the flavour. Garnish with coriander once cooled and serve with crackers / flat bread or vegetable crudités.
Sweet Onion Chutney
2 x Medium Shallots
1 x Medium White Onion
1 x Sweet Pepper ( Red or Orange grilled until black, peeled, de-seeded and diced)
1 x Red Chilli, de-seeded and diced
270ml Balsamic Vinegar
220g Dark Brown Sugar
7cm Cinnamon Stick
2 x Fresh Bay Leaves
1 x Large Sprig Rosemary leaves chopped
Peel and chop the onions and shallots into chutney size pieces. Add a splash of olive oil to a pan, add onions, bay leaves, cinnamon and rosemary. Cook for approx. 20mins on a low heat until the onions are golden, soft and sticky. Add the chilli and chopped peppers and cook for a further couple of minutes.
Add the vinegar and sugar, simmer on a low heat until thick and chutney like. Spoon into a sterilised jar. Can be kept for 4-6 weeks to develop the flavour. Perfect with cheese and biscuits.
Spicy Mango Relish
For those of you who like something a little sweet, spicy & tangy…My simple quick and easy mango relish
1 x Large Mango Diced
20g Finely Diced Red Onion
Fresh Small Red Chilli deseeded & sliced
1/4 tsp Red Chilli Powder
Olive oil x 10ml
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
A pinch of salt to taste
Heat the oil in a non stick pan and add the cinnamon stick to it, let it sizzle for a few minutes so that it infuses with the oil and maximum flavour is released.
Next add mustard seeds to oil, once they have popped add the onion, red chilli and mango and cook till slightly soft
Season with a little salt and red chilli powder depending on how spicy you like it.
This relish may have simple ingredients but is so flavoursome and a good accompaniment to many dishes. It can be stored in a jar in fridge for a few weeks just add a little extra oil to jar to preserve it.
When mangoes are out of season try it with a cooking apple.. flavours work just as well.
Breakfast Pina Colada Smoothie
150ml Coconut Milk
125g Frozen Pineapple Chunks
5oz Low Fat Coconut Yoghurt
1 Frozen Banana
Serve with a sprinkle of crushed roasted pistachios
Simply add all the above ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth, garnish & serve. Enjoy!
Served 6 as a side
Adjust quantities as needed!
Cooked Orzo Pasta 200g
3 x Diced Mixed Peppers
1x Finely Diced Red Onion
1x Sweetcorn small tin / Or 1 roasted corn kernel (optional)
1 Fresh Red Chilli finely chopped
Sun Dried Tomatoes chopped 150g (optional)
Ingredients for pesto sauce:
• 2 Cloves of Peeled Garlic
• Bunch of fresh basil
• 100g Parmesan Cheese
• 50g Pine Nuts
• Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
I always prep the basil pesto in advance!
Firstly toast the pine nuts in a frying pan over medium heat till golden and set aside to cool
In a pestal & mortar pound the garlic with a pinch of sea salt and chopped basil leaves (discard the stalks)
Add the toasted pine nuts to the mixture and pound again adding a little extra virgin olive oil gradually to bind the ingredients to form a sauce
Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed then add the grated parmesan cheese
Prepping the salad:
Griddle first set of ingredients in olive oil for a few minutes & season with rock salt & course black pepper then switch off gas and add the cooked orzo & fresh basil pesto.
**You could cheat and use fresh shop bought pesto to save time
Spring Onion Pura
1 x Bowl Fudco Corn Meal (medium)
2 x Bowls Juwar Flour
1 x Bowl Chopped Spring Onions
1 x Bowl Yoghurt
1 Tbsp Gram Flour
2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
2 Tsp Salt
1 x Heaped Tbsp Fresh Ginger / Garlic Paste
Pinch of Tumeric
1/2 Tsp Sugar ( Optional)
2 & 1/2 Bowls Luke Warm Water
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together to form a batter.
Cover with cling film and set aside for a minimum of 2-3hrs at least….
In a flat frying pan using a ladle swirl the mixture on to form a pancake. Drizzle a little olive oil around the edge of the pancake whilst on the pan to make it crisp. Cook on each side for 2 mins.
**Serve with Ghor or your favourite pickles / chutneys
Salmon Fillets in warm Tomato & Basil Relish
4 x Fillet Salmon
6 x Vine Ripe Tomatoes
2 Tsps Fresh Garlic minced
1 & 1/2 Tsp Coriander / Cumin powder (sold mixed ‘Dhana Jeeru’)
Freshly squeezed Lemon to taste
15g Basil Chopped
2/3 x Chopped Spring Onions
De-seeded and finely chopped red chilli
2/3 Tsps Salt ( or to taste)
1/2 Tsp Coarsely Ground Pepper to taste
1 & 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
**Serve with a bowl of salad and crushed parsley new potatoes
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Combine the tomatoes, Garlic, Basil, Spices and Seasoning into a mixing bowl and stir in the lemon and olive oil. season to taste
Prepare the salmon by rubbing a little olive oil, lemon juice & season. Place salmon on a baking sheet skin side down and roast for 6mins. Remove and place in an ovenproof dish and cover the salmon in the tomato marinade, cook for a further 5mins or until your desired level of cook on the fish.
Nutrition for 1 Fillet Serving Size:
Calories 295 kcal; Fat 13.2g; Carb 5g; Fibre 1.4g; Protein 34.1g