This dish came about because I had defrosted a bunch of prawns for a salad… and then the weather changed. It was horrible! So I wanted a nice, warming, filling dish to warm me up and bring some sunshine back into my life! This prawn and red lentil dish hit the spot nicely!
It was nice and simple to throw together and just half an hour of simmering works wonders on the depth of flavour you get from a dish like this. The ingredient list might seem a bit long but I promise you, it doesn’t take that long to throw it all in a pan and the combination of flavours really works! I also managed to get my workout in while it was simmering so that was a nice bonus!
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 tsp dried coriander leaves
1 sweet red pepper, sliced
400g tin chopped tomatoes
+ 1 tin boiling water
3 tbsp coconut milk powder ( or 1 sachet coconut cream)
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp garlic puree ( 1-2 cloves, crushed)
1 vegetable stock cube
8 tbsp red lentils
~ 150g prawns, defrosted (I used a mix of king prawns and coldwater prawns)
– Heat a splash of oil in a large heavy frying pan (I adore my enamel cast iron pan for this kind of dish!)
– Add the onion and spices and gently cook for a few minutes until the onion in soft and the spices are fragrant.
– Add the pepper and cook for another two minutes, stirring occasionally.
– Add the tinned tomato, rinsing out the tin with the hot water, to coconut milk powder, the tomato puree, garlic puree and the stock cube. Give it a good stir to mix.
– Add the lentils and stir in.
– Leave to simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes until the lentils are soft and the liquid reduced by half.
– Add the prawns and heat through until piping hot.
– Serve with rice, or without as a nice Fast Day option. You can sprinkle a little fresh chopped coriander on top for a little more panache!
I love a good Chicken Stroganoff. I think it’s the combination of cream and rice, which is something I don’t often encounter, but sometimes I just get such a craving it cannot be resisted! Quick and simple to whip up, this is one of my go to week night suppers.
It’s a handy little dish to have in your repertoire as it’s quick, simple, delicious, and looks just a little bit fancy too!
1 teacup basmati rice
1 large chicken breast, sliced
100g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
thyme (dried or fresh)
salt and pepper
– In a small saucepan with a lid heat a good splash of oil until hot.
– Add your teacup of rice and a good pinch of salt and stir.
– Add 2 teacups of cold water. *
– Bring to the boil then turn down onto a low heat to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
– When you can no longer see any water bubbling on top, only rice, turn off the heat and leave to stand.
– Heat another splash of oil in a large frying pan.
– Add your chicken and cook, stirring occasionally until it is starting to brown.
– Add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until they are looking cooked.
– Add the thyme and stir so it is evenly distributed.
– Add the cream, season to taste, and allow to heat through so it just comes to a boil.
– Remove from the heat and serve over your rice.**
* You can also add a pinch of thyme to your rice here if you wish.
** Fluff with a fork before serving.
When the weather is dull and wet as it has been recently, I get serious cravings for Japanese food. We English may think we know rain, and to an extent we do. We certainly have a lot of different rains. Japan simply has RAIN. As in, buckets and buckets, step outside without an umbrella and be drenched to the skin within 5 meters RAIN. And when the heavens open, and keep opening, there is absolutely nothing better than finding some tiny little out of the way eatery, thick with a fug of steam and soy sauce and mirin, and hunkering down until the warmth seeps back in and you are ready to face the day once more.
Now, by all rights, what follows should be a recipe for Ramen… but I can never make ramen that is anything other than a poor, pale immitation of proper ramen. And I know why this is. It’s all about the stock. One day I will spend an entire weekend carefully crafting the perfect bowl of ramen but until then I content myself with being able to whip up a number of easy, quick, filling, and delightfully warming Japanese dishes, such as this one.
Oyakodon translates as Parent and Child Bowl, which tickles me rather. The combination of chicken and egg is a brilliantly satisfying one. This dish really hits every single one of my savoury cravings and is always a winner in my kitchen.
150ml dashi stock
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp mirin
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 chicken breasts, in chunks (or you could use 2 large chicken thighs, skinned and boned)
1 onion, sliced /1 leed, sliced diagonally*
1 egg, beaten
sticky rice to serve
– In a deep frying pan combine the dashi, sugar, mirin and soy sauce and bring to the boil.
– Add the chicken and onion / leek and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the chichen is cooked through.
– Pour the beaten egg over the top of the sauce. Do not stir!
– When the egg has set serve over a bowl of sticky rice.
*Sometimes I use an onion, sometimes I use a leek. I think the onion is more traditional but I was given it with leek in too. I like squeaky leek but if you don’t then just go with onion!
1 cup or mug rice (the bigger the cup the bigger the serving)
2 cups or mugs cold water
– Heat oil in a small pan with a lid.
– Add a cup of rice and stir until thoroughly coated in oil.
– Add two cups of water and a pinch of salt then cover.
– Keep on the heat for 10 minutes.
– Turn off the heat and leave to stand for at least 5 minutes then serve.
Filed under Basic, Easy, Sides
Makes enough for 4
1 onion, chopped
300g risotto rice
100ml white wine
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 red peppers, chopped
500ml vegetable stock
a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
– Heat the oven to gas mark 6.
– Fry the onion in a little oil in a large, ovenproof pan until softened.
– Add the rice and fry for 1 minute.
– Add the wine an stir until absorbed.
– Add the tomatoes, peppers and 400ml of the stock.
– Cover and bake for 40 minutes in the oven.
– Take out of the oven and stir in the parsley. Serve with grated parmesan and creme fraiche.
For a more varied dish add other vegetables like mushrooms or meat like cooked chicken or smoked sausage. It’s a great throw it all in one pan dish and you can add just about anything you like to it.