Tag Archives: turmeric

Chicken Tagine with Spinach, Olives & Preserved Lemons

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Whale received multiple Moroccan themed ingredients and a tagine for her birthday so naturally this is the result. On a side note we’re also going to Marrakech in the summer. I’m sure you could do this without using a tagine – a large casserole dish would probably suffice. Recipe modified from a gorgeous book – The Food of Morocco.

Ingredients

Marinade

1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp garlic paste or 1 clove crushed
good pinch of salt and pepper
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp of lemon juice

Tagine

4 chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
3 medium red onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 pickled lemons, quartered
few strands of saffron
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
good handful spinach
200ml chicken stock
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cinnamon
handful pitted olives
large handful fresh coriander, chopped

Method

Make up marinade in a large sandwich bag (or a plastic bowl). Add the chicken, give a good squidge around and stick in the fridge for a few hours.

When ready to cook, put the saffron in 2 tbsp warm water. In a large frying pan sweat the onions over a medium heat for 5 minutes, then add the garlic for and sweat for a further 2-3 minutes. Tip half the onions into the tagine (put the other half to one side) add the chicken stock and saffron water, then layer over with lentils and spinach.

In the frying pan fry the chicken with the cinnamon and turmeric then once sealed add on top of the spinach, with the preserved lemon quarters. Stick the tagine in a cold oven and put on 160oC/320oC/gas mark 3 for 45-60 minutes. 5 minutes before serving take the tagine out, top with the remaining onions, olives and chopped coriander and stick back in the oven. Serve with a side order of tagine bread (recipe to come).

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Meen Molee [South Indian Fish in Coconut Milk]

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Very quick and very straightforward. I made this, just about, after coming home from an 80 km bike ride with feet I couldn’t feel and hands I couldn’t stop shaking. And it still turned out alright. So it can’t be that hard…! Adapted from Mighty Spice.

Ingredients

4 garlic cloves
2.5cm ginger
2.5cm fresh turmeric (use a teaspoon of ground turmeric)
1 large onion, diced
1 large tomato, chopped
500g white fish fillet, cut into bite-sized pieces
400ml can coconut milk/cream
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp curry powder
handful of green beans
1 carrot, peeled into slivers

Method

Mince the garlic, ginger and turmeric together into a paste. If you have one use a mini blender, but I don’t so I made do with a stick blender, a large mug and a little oil.

Fry up the onions for 5 minutes over a medium heat. Add the paste and tomato and cook for a couple more minutes. Add the coconut milk and lime juice and season with salt. Stir, bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and add the fish. Cook for 5 minutes before adding the carrots and beans then continue until fish is cooked through (approx. 3-4 minutes).

Sorry, no piccy. Wouldn’t have been able to hold the camera probably…

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie

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aka Jelly’s Miraculous Return from being a massive lazy bum.

So, I’ve been terribly rubbish and awful with not posting for like 6 months so I do apologise about that. Here’s a proper tasty, easy peasy cold January kind of a recipe. Adapted from BBC Good Food. Totally customisable to your taste.

P.S. Happy New Year!

Serves 4 very well, 5 quite well and 6 well

Ingredients

3 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
hefty sprinkling of thyme
300-400g minced beef/lamb
100g puy lentils
1 cup of peas
flour to thicken, if necessary
1l stock (beef or vegetable)
3 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 2cm cubes
3 large potatoes, cut into 3cm cubes
150g yoghurt
salt and pepper
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground paprika
few handfuls grated cheese

Method

Heat some oil in a large/deep saucepan. Sweat the onions for 5 minutes then throw in the garlic, thyme and carrots. Cook for 5 more minutes before adding the mince, stirring and breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Once fully browned add the lentils and stock. Simmer for 30 minutes or so, until nicely thickened – add flour if necessary.

Meanwhile stick all your potatoes in another large saucepan. Boil until soft, then drain and mash with the yoghurt. Season to taste, add the peas and stick in a large casserole dish. Cover the meaty mixture with the mash (if you’re feeling fancy you could pipe it, but if not just stripe with a fork). Stick in the oven (180°C/350°F/gas mark 4) until the mash begins to crisp then add the cheese and cook for a further ten minutes.

Picture soon to follow…!

Scrummy Pie

See, told you so.

J

Summer Chicken Tray Bake

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Inspired from a recipe in the Hairy Bikers “Hairy Dieters” book. Their recipe included chorizo (75g, thinly sliced) which would have been a fabulous addition, alas none was to be found in my house. This is a really pretty and straight-forward dish and would make a great centre-piece for people to help themselves, on its own or accompanied by a leafy salad.

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

4-5 chicken breasts (approx 600-700g) deeply slashed every inch or so
2 red onions, cut into 8 wedges
500g new potatoes, cut into inch cubes if large/left whole if small
8 whole garlic cloves, in their skins
4 large tomatoes, cut into 8 wedges
10 or so sundried tomatoes, halved
handful asparagus spears, woody ends snapped off
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano/mixed herbs
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 peppers (colour of your choosing!) cut into 1cm thick strips
salt and pepper
lemon juice

Method

Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/gas mark 6. Stick onions, potatoes, garlic and tomatoes in a large roasting tin. Season with plenty of pepper and a little salt, drizzle with a little oil (I used the oil from the sundried tomatoes) turn everything over with a spoon or similar implement. Roast for 20 minutes. Mix the paprika, turmeric and oregano and set aside.

Put the chicken breasts on a board, season all over with ground pepper. Remove the vegetables from the oven, sprinkle over half of the spice mix, shake/turn to coat. Add the sundried tomatoes (and chorizo if you’re lucky enough to have some!). Lay the chicken breasts on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with the rest of the spice mix – open up the slices and try to get some in if possible. Return to the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Remove the tin from the oven. Holding one corner (use oven gloves, obviously) tip the tray ever so slightly so the juices run down to the opposite corner. I recommend tipping it slightly away from you as if there are any spillages at least it will go toward the relative safety of the top of the oven and not all over you and the floor! Spoon the juice back over everything – concentrate more on the chicken. Add the pepper strips around the chicken.

Return the tray to the oven and turn up to 220oC/425oF/gas mark 7 for ten minutes. Remove and lay the asparagus spears over the top of everything. Return to the oven one final time for 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your asparagus. Stab a couple of the potatoes to ensure they’re cooked through and serve.

J

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Curried Aubergine Pie

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Up until recently aubergine hadn’t really registered on my radar. I think before this month I’d only ever used one once, as a layer in a vegetarian lasagne. However I am now developing rather a taste for them, they’re excellent flavour carriers (they are the sponge of the vegetable world) and, so long as they’re not cooked to death, have rather an interesting texture. This recipe takes inspiration from one on BBC Good Food, but adds a few ingredients to really liven it up.

A note on my measurements. I use specific measurements in recipes to make it as straightforward as possible, however I for one never actually measure 2 tbsp tomato purée, I just put in what looks “about right”. Please go with whatever seems reasonable to you – if you really like ginger, add more ginger, if you don’t like ‘hot’ food, use less chilli!

Ingredients

1 large aubergine, cut into 3 cm cubes
4 large old potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes
2 large onions, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 cm fresh root ginger, grated
handful curry leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 220oC/425oF/gas mark 7. Put the potatoes onto boil – they’ll need about ten minutes, though check every so often to make sure they haven’t gone to mush as potatoes are extremely variable I find. Drain and set aside when soft.

In a large saucepan gently fry the onions in oil until starting to go translucent, add a little water whenever they start to stick. Add the garlic, turmeric, coriander, chilli powder, tomato purée, ginger and curry leaves and fry for a further 5 minutes. The turmeric will give the dish (and your cooking utensil!) a wonderful ochre hue. I think that’s possibly the first time I’ve ever used the word ‘ochre’ in a sentence. Blimey, I’ve just done it again! Continue to add water whenever it starts to burn/stick.

Set aside roughly a quarter of the onion mixture before adding the aubergine and frying off on a medium heat for a further 5-10 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and chickpeas and reduce until ‘gloopy’ rather than runny. Pour the mixture into a large oven proof dish and top with the potatoes. Top with the onion mixture you set aside earlier – I smeared it all over to imbue (imbue! look at me and my fancy vocabulary today) the potatoes with the turmeric colour.

Bake in the oven for half an hour or until the top layer of potatoes is golden and crispy. No picture this time I am afraid!

J

Spiced Parsnip Soup

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My my, it has been a while. What with the revelry of Christmas and the misery of revision I’m afraid I’ve been a bit off the cooking scene recently. I’ve still been making the standard student nosh – kidney bean chilli, sausage & tomato pasta, but nothing really worth putting finger-to-key over. However I am now over halfway through my exams and I can just about see the light at the end of the tunnel! So I had some friends over and we rustled up some tummy-warming spicy soup – the perfect antidote to the snow outside. The almonds really top this soup off nicely.

Initial inspiration, as seems to be customary, from HFW and his excellent Veg Everyday book.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

2 large parsnips, peeled & cut into 1-2cm cubes
2 medium onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large cooking apple, chopped into 1-2cm cubes
5cm piece fresh ginger
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
a few chillies/1 tsp chilli powder (adjust to taste)
handful almonds, crushed in a bag with a rolling pin
plenty of salt and pepper
1 litre veg stock
200ml milk

Method

Find a big ol’ saucepan, heat some oil over a medium heat and add the onions, cook for 10 minutes. In the meantime make up the stock.

Add the ground spices, garlic and chillies and grate in the ginger. I’ve found you really need not bother peeling ginger if you grate it as you never notice the “skin” when it’s so fine. Plus it’s apparently very good for you! Cook for a further couple of minutes before adding the parsnips and apple. Stir to ensure everything is coated with spices then add the stock and simmer, lid on, for 15-20 minutes until the parsnips are really soft. Check every so often and add water if you’re finding parsnips poking out high and dry.

When the parsnips are soft, remove from the heat. Zhuzhh with a hand-blender, the longer you do this the smoother the soup will get (up to a point). Add the milk, seasons generously and put back onto a low heat, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile toast the broken up almond pieces in a frying pan – keep an eye on them and toss every so often as they’re liable to burn.

When ready, serve topped with the almonds and a couple of twists of black pepper, with some freshly made bread*.

*or more realistically one of those amazing bake-in-the-oven baguettes

Turkey Tagine

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So my dad got given a 16lb turkey for Christmas by his work and bearing in mind there are only 4 of us in my family it’s safe to say we had a little left over. Some has gone into left-over pies (recipe coming soon) and some into this tasty tagine. Luckily we went to see family today so a good chunk of turkey got gobbled up but somehow the carcass is still not bare!

I have to say this is probably the best thing I’ve had with Christmas dinner remains. I like how it’s completely different to a rehashed roast. It’s also very straightforward, essentially a one-pot stew.

This recipe is completely adjustable to whatever you have leftover from Christmas. For example we had half a cabbage and half a butternut squash so I threw them in. To be honest I’m not entirely sure on the quantities I used myself, it was somewhat thrown together…

Serves 10 (with rice and naan breads)

Ingredients

1.2kg cooked turkey, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 litre turkey stock
4 red onions, cut into wedges (halve then halve then halve again)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tins of chopped or plum tomatoes
juice of 1 lemon
olive oil
golden syrup
few handfuls raisins
5-10 dates, chopped
10-15 dried apricots, chopped

Spice Mix

2 tsp Ras El Hanout*
2 tsp whole cumin, roughly ground
2 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp paprika
3 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
LOTS of black pepper
good sprinkling dried coriander leaf
4 thumb-sized pieces fresh ginger, grated
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh turmeric, grated

*in no way essential but I got given some for Christmas, hence why I used it. It’s essentially a combination of all the other spice mix ingredients; paprika, cinnamon, ginger etc. I realise that’s a LONG spice list and I would say so long as you had cumin, coriander, paprika & cinnamon you’re pretty well set.

Method

Put the turkey in a large bowl with the apricots, dates and raisins then drizzle with a good glug of olive oil, the lemon juice and a tablespoon of golden syrup. Add two of the garlic cloves. Mix up the spices in a separate bowl and pour half over the turkey. Get yer hands in there and squish it all around, ensuring a good coating/fairly even distribution. Cover the bowl with cling film and stick in the fridge (preferably overnight).

When you’re ready to cook the tagine heat some oil over a low heat in a large casserole dish (in fact, in the end I had to use two, but it’s probably easier to start with one). Once hot, add the onions, a tablespoon of golden syrup and sweat/stir for 5 minutes before adding the remaining spice mix and garlic cloves. Sweat for a further five minutes – if the spices start to stick to the pan just add a dash of water and keep stirring.

Add the chopped tomatoes and turkey stock and simmer with the lid on, stirring occasionally, for half an hour. Fetch your turkey and throw in (this might be the point at which you need to divide into two pans (unless of course your pan is sufficiently well-endowed…). Simmer and stir with the lid off for a further half hour or until the sauce is sufficiently thickened.

Serve and enjoy, preferably in the merry company of others!