Coconut Curry Lentil Soup
A lovely vegetarian dish I adapted from ‘The Dinner Ladies’ that can be served like a dahl alongside other curries or on it’s own like a soup. I often add a portion or two of diced white fish to cook for a minute or so just before serving to make a complete meal. It freezes well but tastes best if you add the kale (and if you’re using it, the fish) when you reheat.
4-6 kale leaves, chopped
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 tablespoons concentrated tomato puree
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped or grated
2 teaspoons each ground cumin and coriander, toasted
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
pinch chilli flakes
1.5 cups red lentils
1 cup coconut milk
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
For Serving: Half bunch coriander, chopped; Lemon/lime juice
- Saute the onions, ginger and garlic over a low heat in a little olive oil stirring frequently until soft and sweet – about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Still stirring add tomato paste, cumin, coriander, tumeric, nutmeg, pepper and chilli flakes.
- Add the lentils to the onion mixture and stir through.
- Then cover with stock, tomatoes and coconut milk.
- Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 20-30 minutes unil the lentils are completely cooked and have collapsed into a puree.
- At this stage taste for flavour. Add salt, pepper and garam masala if you wish. Now it can be frozen.
- Defrost and bring to the boil. Add the kale and the fish if using. Boil for one to two minutes.
- Just before serving add chopped coriander, some lemon or lime juice, .
Fresh Fig and Cardamom Chutney
In autumn when figs are in season it’s time to indulge and make this all natural delicious chutney. You can serve it with anything – its as great with vanilla ice cream as it is with grilled chicken or fish. Do yourself a favour and try making it just once.
Makes about two 500g(1lb) Jars.
1kg (2lb) very ripe figs, stem removed
4 Tablespoons Rice Syrup
1/2 cup brown rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons umeboshi vinegar
1 Tablespoon mirin
seeds from 10 cardamom pods – ground in a mortar and pestle
1/4 cup raisins – optional
- Put all ingredients in saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Remove lid and cook on low/medium heat for 20-30 minutes until liquid has been absorbed.
- Check seasoning and serve or store.
- Delicious with EVERYTHING.
Cauliflower Rice – A Delicious Low Cal Alternative to Rice
There are so many benefits to this delicious dish – its a tasty way to cook cauliflower that the kids will love, a great addition to a curry evening, an alternative to using rice or couscous, and its paleo and vegan. It even freezes well. A rough estimate says a serve is 50 to 60 calories versus rice which is approximately 250 calories a serve.
1 whole cauliflower, approx 800g
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon tumeric powder
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
2 cinnamon sticks
1 mild long green chilli, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon favourite curry powder
1/2 cup hot vegetable stock or water
2 green spring onions, chopped
4 Tablespoons slivered or flaked almonds, toasted
- Remove thickest stems of cauliflower and discard. Slice the cauliflower florets and PULSE in a food processor briefly until they look like rice or cous cous. DO NOT OVERDO OR YOU WILL HAVE MUSH.
- Heat oil in large frying pan over low heat. Add mustard seeds, green chilli and cinnamon sticks. Cook 30 seconds.
- Increase heat to medium. Add the cauliflower, tossing well to coat. Add the curry powder, turmeric, stock or water and cook for 1 to 2 minutes – no longer.
- Mix in spring onions, scatter with toasted almonds and serve.
- If freezing, omit the toasted almonds – scatter these after you have reheated.
Dondeng – A Popular Family Casserole
This is a popular family casserole that we nicknamed Ding dong do. Whilst it is a curry of Asian origin this recipe is mild with only a pinch of chilli powder and ideal for all children. The lemon rind, almonds and jam give it a rich dark colour and beautiful flavour. If you like it hot serve some chopped chilli on the side.
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1kg topside or chuck steak, cubed
3 Tablespoons whole almonds
1 Tablespoon grated lemon rind
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons plum jam or any dark jam
1ml chilli powder
1 cup beef stock
- Place beef cubes in a plastic bag. Add a little flour and toss cubes in the bag till coated with a fine layer of flour.
- Brown meat in batches in a large pot, removing when golden.
- Then sauté onions and garlic in the same pot.
- Add meat to onions after a few minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 2½ hours or till meat is tender
- Serve with steamed rice
Savoury Mince when you have run out of ideas and don’t feel like thinking
Everyone loves savoury mince so it’s a great backup when you are too tired or busy to plan anything. Serve it with rice and a salad. I used to make double quantities as it’s great on sandwiches and a favourite addition to school lunch boxes.
500g topside mince
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder or vindaloo curry paste
2 Tablespoons tomato puree
1 cup frozen peas
1 large potato, peeled and cubed into 1cm cubes. If the cubes are too large they won’t cook in time.
- Sauté onion in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
- Add garlic and curry paste and stir till fragrant.
- Turn up the heat and add the mince ensuring that the onions end up on top of the mince so that they don’t burn.
- Brown mince for a few minutes, stirring to keep it loose.
- Add tomato puree and potatoes. If necessary add a 1/2 cup of water so that there is enough liquid for the potatoes to cook BUT you want the finished result to be dry so only a LITTLE water.
- Put lid on. Lower the heat and simmer about 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
- Add peas and after they have defrosted, about 3 minutes, serve with rice, sambals and a green or tomato salad. if I don’t have frozen peas, I often use green beans.
Authentic Tasting Beef Vindaloo for Dummies
I always struggled to make a good curry that would live up to my husband, Neil’s, expectations of how his mother used to do it. He was from Natal with a large Indian population who made the most wonderful curries. One day I discovered Patak’s vindaloo paste and this did the trick – so easy, none of the fiddling around with spices that I could never get to work. I never told husband, Neil, about Pataks – just basked in the glory of his belief that I had finally learned how to make a good curry. This Beef Vindaloo was also my daughter, Bianca’s, favourite dish for many years. Of course, like all curries it tastes better the next day so make a day ahead. Use the tins of Patak paste which have an excellent depth and combination of flavour – not the simmer sauce. In addition use quality beef. Pataks is a British company that exports to Commonwealth and English speaking countries and should be available in most places.
1x285g tin Pataks Vindaloo Paste
1x440g tin coconut milk
1 onion, chopped
4 potatoes, cubed
1kg cubed topside beef
- Sauté onion in deep 23cm diameter pot over moderate heat till soft.
- Add vindaloo paste. Fry over low heat a few minutes until fragrant.
- Turn up heat, add beef and mix for a minute.
- Add coconut milk and ¼ cup of water.
- Bring to boil and simmer over a low heat for 90 minutes.
- Add cubed potatoes and simmer for another hour. The meat should almost be falling apart and the potatoes firm.
- Serve with steamed basmati rice accompanied by Mrs Balls chutney and pappadums.
- Don’t feel guilty when everyone compliments you on an authentic curry.
Adriana’s Chicken Curry is a Family Favourite
In the early days this was a close family friend, Adriana’s favourite dish to serve when we visited. It was so popular with my kids, Bianca and Sven, that I adopted this and it became one our everyday dishes too. All the hard work is in making the curry paste and, as these ingredients are enough for two portions, the second time you make this dish is really quick. As with any curry, the fresher the ingredients, the better it tastes.
Curry Paste – Process ingredients to make a smooth paste. Store any leftovers in the fridge.
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 stick lemon grass, sliced
3-4 coriander plant roots
6-8 fresh birds eye chillies with seeds removed
1T(15ml) fresh ginger
rind of 1 lime or lemon
½t(2ml) shrimp paste
½portion of curry paste from above
4 spring onions or shallots, chopped
2T(30ml) fish sauce
1x440g tin coconut milk
1kg skinless chicken, chopped into 2cm cubes
- Heat oil over a low heat and fry the curry paste (only ½ of the total amount if using 1kg chicken) and shallots or spring onions till fragrant.
- Add fish sauce and coconut milk and simmer about 5minutes till thoroughly heated.
- Add chicken and cook about 20minutes until just tender.
- Best if reheated to eat the next day.