Here’s a basic vegetarian curry that doesn’t require a great deal of effort. Roasting the vegetables separately means they’re guaranteed to be cooked through when you’re ready to serve – there’s nothing worse than preparing to dish up a curry only to find that the spuds still haven’t started to break up properly in the sauce. The mild bitterness of celeriac is excellent with a nice sweet and sour chutney, but you could make this with just potatoes if you’re not convinced.
Continue reading Roasted celeriac and potato curry
You’ll need a food processor to make these firm, juicy, fragrant little bites. Simply blitz all the ingredients together and cook for less than two minutes to make a delicious starter / snack / party food.
Continue reading Thai-style prawn cakes
Sweet shellfish in spiced butter is a winning combination. This recipe is best with proper Morecambe Bay brown shrimps, which seem to be readily available at all of my local supermarkets even though I live nowhere near Morecambe. Crayfish make an excellent substitute.
Continue reading Potted shrimp
This classic Portuguese dish traditionally uses salt cod, which is pretty hard to get hold of in the UK. Generic ‘salt fish’ makes an acceptable substitute, and I’ve added a coating of panko breadcrumbs for maximum crispiness. You can make these any size you like – bigger for a main meal or smaller for tapas-style snacks. Either way, they’ll be light and fluffy inside.
Continue reading Pastéis de bacalhau (salt fish croquettes)
Here’s a nice accompaniment to make while your curry is cooking. This recipe delivers hot, fluffy naan breads, cooked on the stovetop in a matter of minutes (plus however long it takes your breadmaker to run its dough cycle).
Continue reading Breadmaker naan bread
This fragrant rice dish is excellent with a nice vegetable curry. I guess it’s a bit like a biryani, but apparently a proper biryani has the rice cooked separately to the other ingredients, whereas this is all done at once, so I’m not sure what it should be called. Regardless of authenticity, it’s delicious and pretty much foolproof.
Continue reading Prawn, cashew, lemon and coriander rice
I made this curry using fresh turmeric, an ingredient I’d been meaning to try for some time. Widely available at Thai, Chinese and Indian stores, it looks like small, orangey pieces of ginger root, and I can confirm that it’s every bit as fabulously delicious as I had hoped. Thanks, probably, to fresh turmeric, this turned out to be a triumph of home currying.
However, fresh turmeric is also the most astonishingly stainy stuff I’ve ever touched. From the knife I used to cut it, to the chopping board where it briefly rested, turmeric left a vivid reminder of its presence. Two days later, despite vigorous scrubbing with a pumice stone, my hands still look like I’ve had an accident with a fluorescent highlighter pen. Next time I’ll wear gloves, but if you’re looking for a substitute in this recipe, dried turmeric tastes absolutely nothing like the fresh stuff, so you might as well leave it out.
Continue reading Potato curry with fresh turmeric
Kippers are greatly underappreciated in cooking. They’re generally served whole, saving the cook the hassle of removing about 50,000 hairlike forked bones. I’d say the effort is worth it, though, because a de-boned kipper is the most intensely flavoured smoked fish for careful use in fish pies, soups or these excellent fishcakes. You need proper whole fresh kippers for this, not the bright orange boil-in-the-bag abominations of the same name.
Continue reading Kipper fishcakes
This is a great way to cook aubergine, either under a red hot grill or, preferably, on a barbecue. It’s rich and quite filling – half an aubergine per person is probably plenty. The chermoula herb paste also goes well with fish, should you happen to have any left over.
Continue reading Grilled aubergine with chermoula
This is a really luxurious and expensive starter. Since scallops are pretty amazing on their own, they don’t need much doing to them. I serve them with a fresh herb salsa verde, which is the perfect complement to the natural sweetness of the shellfish. And don’t cut the orange ‘coral’ off the scallops before cooking them – it’s the tastiest part.
Continue reading Seared scallops with tarragon salsa verde