I can only apologise for my absence in the last few weeks. I have no excuse for my excuse really. Work has been mental, I have been organising the sale of a property and spending days painting and digging up my, totally ignored by tenants, garden trying to make it pretty again. I had a 2 day warning for a trip to New York for work and I actually have no idea where the month has gone.
Then half term just arrived without any warning at all. They get two weeks off! I mean what the hell is that about? Two weeks! After pulling myself together I sat them down and told them we would be holidaying in Hackney. Tilda told me that we are the worse “holidayers” ever and that she would be organising her trip to Disneyland without me.
I managed to ensconce the little darlings into the local adventure playground for the majority of the Easter holidays therefore allowing me to organise the Easter festivities. Which really means, I had time to cook up a storm.
Easter for me usually consists of slow roast shoulder of lamb, a ton of sides and a chocolate easter egg cake. This year I decided to go rogue. I cooked an Indian feast. I made a simple lamb curry which involves ground almonds and yogurt and all the usual suspects, cumin, coriander, garam masala to season at the end. I also made a chana daal and a sag paneer (cheese and spinach) dish.
No indian feast would be complete without raita and I also made a really simple onion chutney. Thinly sliced red onion and in a saucepan I placed equal measurements of vinegar and sugar and gently heated it until the sugar dissolved. I then added the onions and a few cardamon pods and also some dried sliced orange peel. I was going to make naan bread but the Turkish Supermarket near to me do such delicious home made naan, I brought a load and smothered them in garlic and butter!
I leave you with a few pics and also my recipe for chana daal and raita dip.
Have a lovely week!
I’m not sure if this is authentic or not. All I know is that it is delicious and creamy and when I make it there is never any leftovers. I use a lot of ginger mainly because I love ginger, you don’t have to be quite so enamoured if you choose.
500g chana dahl
5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
5cm piece of root ginger peeled and thinly sliced into matchsticks
1 inch piece of root ginger sliced in half
1 tbsp turmeric
4 small green chillies chopped
2 tbsp ghee or butter
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp coriander powder
1 stick of cinnamon
Fresh coriander, chopped to garnish
Place the daal in a saucepan and cover with water about an inch over the surface of the daal. Add a couple of the cloves of garlic and the 1 inch piece of root ginger and the cinnamon stick. You can add some vegetable bouillon or a stock if you wish, if not then season with some Maldon sea salt. Bring the saucepan to a boil then turn down the heat to a gentle simmer for 30-40mins. Keep an eye on it, stir occasionally and if it looks like the water is drying out then add a little it should be the consistency of lumpy porridge.
While the daal is cooking, gently fry the onions in the ghee or butter until soft and then add the rest of your garlic and ginger and the chilli and all the spices. When the daal is cooked remove it from the heat and take out the piece of ginger and cinnamon stick. Pour on the buttery onion mix and stir gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning if need be. I sometimes add another knob of butter at the last minute and then garnish with the coriander. Serve with your feast or on its own with naan bread. Yum!
Mint and Cucumber Raita
Fresh light and delicious. I could spread this on toast!
300ml of low fat plain yogurt
Half a cucumber – sliced in half lengthwise and the seeds scraped out with a spoon. Roughly chopped
6 sprigs of fresh mint – chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
Pinch Maldon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon of garam masala
Pour the yogurt into a bowl add all the ingredients except the garam masala. Stir and adjust seasoning if need be. Garnish with the garam masala. Serve.