This recipe for Channa Masala is a brilliant one to have in your repetoir. It makes a delicious meal in its own right or a brilliant accompaniment to a large meal.
It also makes a wonderful fast day option as it is so filling and extremely satisfying on its own!
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp lemon juice
2x 400g tins tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
2x 400g tins chickpeas, drained
- Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan or deep frying pan.
- Cook the onion and garlic until soft.
- Add the spices and cook for a minute longer
- Add the lemon juice, tomatoes, puree and chickpeas and simmer on a low heat, stirring occasionally for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.
- The sauce should be slightly reduced and nicely glossy and thick.
- Serve immediately or this also freezes really well!
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!
When the weather is cold and wet there is nothing better than a dish you can bung in a casserole and simmer. Not only do you get whatever deliciousness you’re conjuring but you also get the delicious aromas drifting about as it simmers, allowing you to anticipate and relax! Hungarian Goulash is one of those recipes that has been a staple in my family forever. In fact, prior to acquiring my mother my father had but one cook book and Hungarian Goulash was one of the only recipes he cooked. (Chilli Con Carne and Spaghetti Bolognese also featured in his repetoir I belive!)
250g diced pork
2 x 40g tins chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp paprika
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped*
100g mushrooms, quartered
salt and pepper to taste
– Heat a splash of oil in a large, heavy casserole.
– Add the pork and cook til browned.
– Add the tomatoes, puree, paprika, peppers and mushrooms. Give it a good stir and season to taste.
– Swill out the tomato cans with a little water (about 1/4 of a can for each) add to the casserole.
– Bring it to a boil, put the lid on and turn down to low.
– Allow to simmer for 45 minutes until the sauce is reduced, glossy and thick.
– Serve with tagliatelle, rice or mashed potatoes, whatever you fancy. A dollop of creme fraiche also goes very nicely!
*Optional, we all have Opinions about green peppers.
Over the last year surely everyone has heard of the 5:2 Fast Diet? Well, I am one of the latest people to give it a try. I haven’t been doing it for long enough to really pass judgement yet. Suffice to say, it’s not hard, you just have to have some will power, and perhaps a little creativity too! Whether or not you’re interested in fasting, this is a delicious, low fat, low calorie dish that can be enjoyed any day you like!
Serves 2 (~170 calories each)
1 / 2 squirts olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp nigella seeds
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
75g red lentils
salt and pepper to taste
fresh coriander to serve
– Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. You really want to be using as little as physically possible here, it really is to just stop the onion sticking.
– Add the onion and garlic and cook until just turning translucent.
– Add the herbs and spices and cook for another minute.
– Add the chopped tomatoes and about half a can of water. (Swish it around to get the last tomato bits out.)
– Add the lentils and bring to the boil.
– Simmer for 30 minutes over a low heat.
– Season to taste and serve scattered with fresh coriander.
– A grilled chicken breast makes an excellent addition too!
An excellent salsa recipe. Related very closely to the Tomato and Red Onion Salsa but to be honest this recipe varys every time I make it according to what’s on hand.
1x400g tin chopped tomatoes
1x200g tin sweetcorn, drained
1 large red onion, chopped
4 salad tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp ground corriander
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes (less if you want a milder salsa)
2 tbsp lime juice
– Drain most of the juice from the tinned tomatoes and discard (or drink!).
– Mix everything together in a bowl then leave to stand for at least 1 hour at room temperature or in the fridge overnight.
At least I think that’s what the recipe called it. I kept the name but altered the recipe a fair bit. The idea of it was basically summery flavours in the depths of winter but these days that’s not so odd I guess! Who knows what you call it in the summer! It made a delicious dinner anyway and only took about 30 minutes to make. It even kept warm very well as dinner was delayed by another 30 minutes. I had everything ready by 8pm then kept the pasta covered with a tea towel in a warm oven and reheated the sauce and put it together when everyone was there.
4 chicken breasts either whole or in strips*
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
~200g baby plum tomatoes, halved
200g soft cheese
~400ml creme fraiche
1 tbsp grated hard cheese/parmesan
~6 fresh basil leaves, shredded
2 salad tomatoes, sliced
pasta to serve
– Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and cook the chicken until just browned.
– Get your pasta going.
– Push the chicken to one side and add the garlic, fry in the space for a minute then stir through the chicken.
– Add the halved tomatoes and cook for one minute.
– Add the soft cheese, creme fraiche, hard cheese and parmesan.
– Stir until combined. If it seems a little thick add a little water from the pasta.
– Grill the tomato slices until just starting to blacken in places.
– Serve on top of pasta garnishing with the sliced tomatoes.