I Guess We’ll Just Have To Adjust

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!

charredbroc15 indianeaster

Chana Daal

(serves 6-8)

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.

Ingredients

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

Method

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

(Serves 6-8)

Fresh light and delicious. I could spread this on toast!

Ingredients

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

Method

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.


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Aside

Sweet Peas and Pea Dahl

“You look pretty Mummy”, Tilda says, all smiles and hugging my waist as I unload shopping bags.  “Thank you baby girl thats so sweet” I reply. “When I am old with a big tummy I want to wear that dress……..” She gives with one hand…..

Well big tummy or not (it’s not that big!) I dragged my enormous body out of London to take a look at some flowers.  My old school friend (I have known her since I was 16). Has the most amazing small holding, Green and Gorgeous in Oxfordshire.  I have a floral design job next week and she is my first port of call when it comes to ordering flowers.

I took some pics for you to see.  I then whizzed back to Hackney and picked up all the ingredients for the English inspired Indian shoot tomorrow with Lisa Barber. I tested recipes this week and the Fresh Pea Dahl is amazing. I can only describe it as a buttery green ginger love!

I have given you the recipe. Please make it. It is really simple to make and kind of healthy too.

Lots of Love

Rachelle x

The fragrance in the poly tunnel is indescribably beautiful

Beautiful Sweet William

Green Pea and Lentil Dahl with Vintage Potato Curry and Raita

And there we have it. English flowers and Indian food! Love it.

Green Pea Dhal

You can use official measurement cups here, but if you don’t have them just use a mug and fill it to the top.

For the Lentils

  • 1 half cups fresh or frozen or fresh Peas
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1tsp turmeric
For the dressing
  • 5 spring onions chopped
  • 3tsp ghee or butter
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 1 inch ginger root thinly sliced into shards
  • 2 or 3 green chillis
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 1tsp black mustard seeds
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Pinch of Asofetida

Wash lentils and drain. Combine with 3 cups water, bay leaf, garlic cloves and turmeric.

Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 40 minutes, until lentils are tender and the water has been reduced significantly.

Add to the pot the peas salt, black pepper. Simmer for a further 5 minutes if needed. Then take out the garlic cloves and chop them roughly.

In the meantime take a shallow frying pan and on a medium heat, add butter or ghee, then add, the cinnamon stick and chillies whole, fry gently for a few minutes then add the spring onions, sliced ginger and the garlic. Gently fry for a few minutes until the spring onions have softened. Add your spices now they will gently pop when you can smell the spices and everything is combined, pour over the lentils and peas, season with the salt and pepper and serve with rice.

Pour over top of dahl and serve over rice.

 

 

 

 

 


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