Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

A taste of Spain: Steenbergs smoked paprika and chorizo hash, a heavenly brunch recipe

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Smooth, sweet and silky, smoked paprika is truly a delight to cook with. Although paprika can be sourced from Hungary, Steenbergs source organic smoked paprika from Spain and is locally known as Pimenton. There is a distinctly smoky element but there are also peppery and slightly bitter notes which makes this spice incredibly flavourful and versatile to work with.

Steenbergs Organic Smoked Paprika, comes from Spain.

Steenbergs Organic Smoked Paprika, comes from Spain.

It’s perfect in sauces, meat dishes and vegetable dishes but also works so very well as part of your everyday cooking as it helps to warm up a dish subtly. Smoked Paprika is used in almost every Spanish dish, in particular for breakfast and brunch dishes. Chorizo hash is incredibly easy to whip up and is served with a generous dollop of coconut yoghurt making it dairy free. Here’s the recipe for this heavenly brunch dish:

All you need is:

(Use organic/natural real food ingredients where possible)
Serves 2

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes

Recipe for smoked paprika and chorizo hash. Great brunch recipe.

Recipe for smoked paprika and chorizo hash. Great brunch recipe.

  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon of organic smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of pyramid salt
  • ½ teaspoon of cracked black pepper
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 100g of baby spinach, washed thoroughly
  • 1 red bell or pointed Ramiro pepper, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 100g of chorizo, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut yoghurt, for garnishing
  • From your kitchen:
  • A large saucepan
  • A sharp knife
  • A chopping board
  • A couple of teaspoons and tablespoons
  • A silicone spatula
  • A couple of mixing bowls
  • A wooden spoon
  • A couple of plates for serving


Step 1:

In your saucepan gently heat 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil and keeping the heat on a steady medium- high temperature, add in your chopped sweet potatoes and turn up the heat, using your wooden spoon to coat all the cubes in the oil.

Step 2:

Spend about 5-7 minutes cooking your sweet potatoes, you don’t want them to colour too much, just to become tender. When this happens, add in your sliced red pepper and chorizo slices and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Step 3:

Add in your lovely pyramid salt, smoked paprika, cracked black pepper and crushed garlic and turn the heat down, tossing occasionally. Place the lid on top and let it cook for a final 3-5 minutes.
Step 4:

Steam your baby spinach and place onto your serving plates. Whilst it’s still warm, spoon over your delicious chorizo hash and serve with your coconut yoghurt on the side…a simply delicious and satisfying brunch.

Article written and researched by

Niki Behjousiar

Recipe Creator and founder of nikibakes

www.facebook.com/nikibakes

www.nikibakes.co.uk

Twitter: @Niki_Beh 

nikibakes has been blogging for over 10 years and has a passion for gluten free and dairy free recipes. She’s a Persian chef who loves all things spice and particularly enjoys Asian and South American cuisine. She’s always on the lookout for fresh and delicious flavour combinations and uses our spices daily in her cooking and on her blog.

 

 

 

 

Steenbergs Baharat: The heart and soul of Turkish Spices and an Adana Jewelled Kofte Recipe

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

The next in our series of spotlighting key Steenbergs products – this time it’s the turn of our organic baharat.

Baharat is the true and complete spice of Arabia, used in most dishes from meat, fish and even hearty vegetable stews and roasts. Steenbergs organic Baharat version is based on a Tunisian style recipe but can be used in all near East dishes. Amongst other ingredients, the aromatic spice blend contains organic paprika, organic black pepper, organic cumin and organic cloves and cardamom powder which give it that warming and exotic flavour.

Adana Kofte Recipe.

Adana Kofte Recipe.

It’s truly authentic and one sniff of this Baharat will transport you to the oldest of spice markets such as the Eminönü spice stalls in Istanbul. It’s delicious in red meat marinades especially as it gives it that extra savoury edge, here’s a recipe for easy Turkish Adana Kofte:

(Use organic/natural real food ingredients where possible)
Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Steenbergs Organic Baharat spice mix, blended in North Yorkshire.

Steenbergs Organic Baharat spice mix, blended in North Yorkshire.

Ingredients:

500g of minced lamb

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon of Fairtrade organic turmeric

1 teaspoon of Steenbergs organic Baharat  

½ teaspoon of pyramid salt

½ teaspoon of cracked black pepper

I red bell pepper, chopped very finely

2 red bell pepper, red and green or a mixture, chopped into rough chunks

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh chives

2 tablespoons of coconut oil
From your kitchen:

A large saucepan

  • A grill pan
  • A sharp knife
  • A wooden spoon
  • A couple of teaspoons and tablespoons
  • A silicone spatula
  • A couple of mixing bowls
  • A chopping board
  • A couple of serving plates


Step 1:In your large mixing bowl add your minced lamb and using clean hands add and mix in your crushed garlic, Fairtrade organic turmeric, Baharat, pyramid salt and cracked black pepper. Knead the mixture for a good few minutes as this will help to flavour the Kofte better. Add in your chopped bell pepper and 1 tablespoon of the chopped chives, saving the other tablespoon for garnishing. Set your Kofte mixture aside for the flavours to develop whilst you grill your chopped bell peppers.

Step 2:

Heat your grill pan on a medium high heat and grill your bell peppers with no oil for 5-8 minutes on either side. They will take on a delicious and smoky flavour which is exactly what Adana Kofte calls for. Set aside on a plate to stay warm whilst your fry off your Kofte.

Step 3:

In a large saucepan heat your coconut oil on a medium heat and shape your Kofte using some water to wet your hands, you want to shape them into ovals across your palms. Fry the Kofte for 2-5 minutes on either side and then add your charred bell peppers. Turn the heat down and place the lid on your saucepan. Transfer to a small cooker with a lower flame and continue to simmer the Kofte for another 15-20 minutes. Serve hot and garnish with your remaining chopped chives…as the Turks would say, this dish is shahne!

Article written and researched by

Niki Behjousiar

Recipe Creator and founder of nikibakes

www.facebook.com/nikibakes

www.nikibakes.co.uk

Twitter: @Niki_Beh 

nikibakes has been blogging for over 10 years and has a passion for gluten free and dairy free recipes. She’s a Persian chef who loves all things spice and particularly enjoys Asian and South American cuisine. She’s always on the lookout for fresh and delicious flavour combinations and uses our spices daily in her cooking and on her blog.

Rosewater the delicate and versatile kitchen staple

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Welcome to a new regular series spotlighting one of the Steenbergs products. The first of these is on the Steenbergs Organic Rose Water.

Rose water was cultivated in Iran with more than 18, 000 cultivars and have been traditionally scattered at weddings to ensure a long and happy marriage as it’s been cited as a symbol of love and purity. In fact apart from it’s pretty name, rose water has  been used to reduce blood sugar and also been used as a cough syrup and to treat acid reflux. Rose water is truly a wonderful staple that is used in Middle Eastern cooking. It is a key ingredient in many sweets such as baklava and Turkish delight and can be used to give a wonderfully sweet and florally aroma to your pastries and cakes such as Persian yazdi squares.

They’re very easy on the eyes and once you take a bite you will taste the rose water which has beautifully perfumed the cake with the ground cardamom. Cardamom helps to lower blood pressure as well as helping with bad breath and even help with cavities.

Steenbergs Organic Rose Water adds a wonderful floral flavour to baking and savoury dishes.

Steenbergs Organic Rose Water adds a wonderful floral flavour to baking and savoury dishes.

All you need is:

Ingredients:

(Makes up to 20 cake squares)
(Use organic/natural real food ingredients where possible)

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 25 minutes (to include cooking time and pouring over the rosewater syrup)

For the yazdi cake:

220g of almond flour
150g of coconut sugar
200ml of almond milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of baking powder
100g finely ground pistachios
100ml of coconut oil, melted
1/s teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt

 

For the filling and topping:

200g of pistachios, crushed
8 cardamom pods, deseeded and crushed
100g coconut sugar

 

For the rosewater syrup:

150ml of filtered water
2 teaspoons of organic rosewater
50g coconut sugar (all melted together in a small saucepan for 5 minutes)

Yazdi Squares created by NikiBakes and featuring Steenbergs Organic Rose Water.

Yazdi Squares created by NikiBakes and featuring Steenbergs Organic Rose Water.

From your kitchen:

A wooden spoon
A sharp knife
A griddle pan
A silicone spatula
A couple of teaspoons and tablespoons for measuring
A few mixing bowls, small and large
A chopping board
A food processor or pestle and mortar
A square brownie baking dish
A couple of small saucepans
A sheet of greaseproof paper

 

Method:
Step 1:

Preheat your oven to gas mark 4 or 180°c and grease your square brownie baking dish with extra coconut oil and line with greaseproof paper. Whisk your melted coconut oil and coconut sugar with your vanilla extract, set aside.

Step 2:

In a larger mixing bowl whisk together your dry ingredients which include the almond flour, baking powder, ground pistachios and Himalayan pink salt and start to fold in your ingredients with your wooden spoon. Spoon out half of your cake mixture and fill you cake with the pistachio- cardamom mixture, leave ¾ of this for the topping of your cake.

Step 3:

Once you have poured over the other half of your cake batter, sprinkle over the remaining pistachios and cardamom topping and bake in your oven for a minimum of 20 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and allow it to cool slightly.

Step 4:

Finally, prick your cake very gently with a fork and pour over the rosewater syrup, allowing it to seep through to your cake. Once completely cooled cut into squares and serve with some strong black tea, delicious!

 

Rose water is well paired with cardamom here and brings the flavours of the Middle East to your kitchen with ease. Give rose water a go today and see how versatile it truly is.

This article has been written and researched by

Niki Behjousiar

Recipe Creator and founder of nikibakes 

www.facebook.com/nikibakes

www.nikibakes.co.uk

Twitter: @Niki_Beh

nikibakes has been blogging for over 10 years and has a passion for gluten free and dairy free recipes. She’s a Persian chef who loves all things spice and particularly enjoys Asian and South American cuisine. She’s always on the lookout for fresh and delicious flavour combinations and uses our spices daily in her cooking and on her blog.

Delicious porridge recipe from Jo Hodson

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

This recipe is reproduced by kind permission of Jo Hodson from www.includingcake.com who has written an e-book on porridge that is dairy free, wheat free, vegan, egg free and sugar free.

“I love ginger, it’s one of my favourite flavours and here it complements the apricots perfectly in this easy breakfast oat bake. You can use canned of fresh apricots to make it an all year round winner, or why not substitute pears or apple to change things up a little. This oat bake is perfect serve hot or cold and will keep well in the fridge for a couple of days. Or you could add a little extra sweetener and serve with yoghurt or ice cream for a delicious dessert!

“This recipe is one of 58 of my favourite porridge recipes and toppings in my new book ‘Not Just For Goldilocks’, to help you feel warm, comforted and totally nourished during Winter and far beyond! Perfect for those looking for a whole host of inspiring ‘free from’ options as all recipes are vegan, wheat free and sugar-free too!

“Goldilocks… eat your heart out!

“I have a special discount available for you until the end of December 2015. Enter GOLDILOCKS20 at the checkout to receive 20% off the full book price.”

http://www.includingcake.com/porridge-ebook/

http://www.includingcake.com/porridge-ebook/

This recipe serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 tbs ground flax
  • Good pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar sprinkled on top
  • 2 tbs finely chopped crystallised ginger
  • 1 tin apricots- part chopped and part sliced (or substitute for 3-4 fresh sliced apricots or fresh or canned pear)
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 2 tsp ground ginger (use more or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl, mixing the chopped fruit through and arranging the sliced fruit on top of the mixture once spooned into the pie dish.
  2. Sprinkle a little sugar on top as desired.
  3. Use a medium pie dish- approx 20cm diameter (the mixture should be approx 2cm deep). Bake at 180C for approx 30 mins until the top is golden and fruit lightly browned at the edges.

 

Recipe: Potatoes Dauphinoise With Long Pepper and Grains of Paradise

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

With the nights drawing in and the leaves turning a rusty orange colour, I had promised Sophie that I would make Potatoes Dauphinoise, one of her favourites.  This is a tasty, homely dish that is full of the richness from the cream and milk.  I prefer a Maris Piper potato for this, as well as for roasting potatoes in general, so I have used them here.  You can use any potato as long as it does not get too floury and collapse.

For seasoning, I used the classic garlic and onions, but instead of simply pepper and salt, I have gone more exotic and used Indonesian long pepper and Ghanaian grains of paradise, plus some nutmeg.  These are all old, classic spices, but the long pepper and grains of paradise are certainly much less used these days.  Then I sprinkled over some delicious, bright red paprika from Murcia as a final garnish.

Potatoes Dauphinoise is delicious with almost any main course, but I think it goes better with meats than fish, because of its richness.

Steenbergs Recipe For Potatoes Dauphinoise Before Baking

Ready For Baking – Steenbergs Potatoes Dauphinoise With Long Pepper And Grains of Paradise

Steenbergs' Recipe For Potatoes Dauphinoise With Long Pepper And Grains Of Paradise

Potatoes Dauphinoise With Steenbergs Long Pepper And Grains Of Paradise

Recipe for Potatoes Dauphinoise with Long Pepper and Grains of Paradise

900g potatoes, about 4 large Maris Piper potatoes
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic, finely chopped
425ml double cream
150ml milk
15g butter
1 Steenbergs long pepper
½ tsp Steenbergs grains of paradise
½  tsp Steenbergs organic nutmeg or mace powder
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of Steenbergs organic Spanish paprika

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Peel and slice the potatoes thinly, then parboil for about 4 minutes, then drain.
3. While the potatoes are boiling, butter a large ovenproof dish.
4.  In a pestle and mortar, crush the long pepper and grains of paradise until quite fine.  Mix in the nutmeg powder and a pinch of sea salt.  Crush again lightly to break down the salt crystals.
5.  Arrange a layer of the potatoes in the ovenproof dish, then sprinkle over some of the onions and garlic.  Next season with some of the spices mix.
6.  Place a layer of potatoes over the garlic-onions-seasoning.  Repeat the sprinkling over of onions and garlic, then season.
7.  Alternate such that you end with a layer of potatoes.
8.  Mix the milk and cream and pour over the potatoes.  If you need to add some more liquid, simply add  little more milk.  Cover with foil.
9.  Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes until golden brown.
10. Sprinkle with the paprika before serving.

Recipe For Fragrant Rose Rice Pudding or Rose Kheer

Friday, August 7th, 2015
Rose Rice Pudding With Raspberries

Rose Rice Pudding With Raspberries

I have recently finished reading “The Architect’s Apprentice” by Elif Shafak, starting while on our holidays in Portugal.  It is a lovely read about unrequited and so a forlorn love between a lowly architect’s apprentice and the Sultan’s daughter,  It’s slightly magical, but with a far fetched end that sees Jahan, the main character, living a very long life to stretch his influence across the centuries.  Based in Turkey, it is redolent with the smells of roses and rose water, e.g.

“Jahan tried to utter something to raise her spirits, but he could find no words that she would follow.  A while later a servant brought her a bowl of custard, flavoured with rosewater.  The sweet scent…”

It turned my thoughts to roses, so I made today a Rose Rice Pudding that we ate warm because outside it was raining again – summer where have you gone.  I then let it cool and made the leftovers into a Raspberry & Rose Kheer per the photo.

Rose Rice Pudding or Rose Kheer

Ingredients

1 litre / 1¾ pints / 4¼ cups full fat milk
100g / 3½oz / ½ cup pudding rice
50g / 1¾ oz / ¼ cup golden caster sugar
½tsp organic cinnamon powder
Pinch of sea salt
½ teaspoon of vanilla powder or a vanilla pod, slit lengthways
150ml / 5¼ fl oz / ½ cup double cream
½tsp organic rose blossom water
1tsp ground dried rose petals (optional)

How to make rose rice pudding

Put the pudding rice, caster sugar, organic cinnamon powder and salt into a heavy bottomed pan.  Give it a quick stir to mix it up a tad.

Add the milk and the vanilla pod, then bring to the boil.  When it starts to boil, reduce the heat and leave to simmer gently for 35 minutes, or until the rice is tender.

Add the double cream, rose water and rose petals, then cook for a further 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly until nice and it has thickened.

If you want to eat it warm, sprinkle some caster sugar over the top and either caramelise it with a blowtorch or under the grill.

For rose kheer or a nice cold rice pudding, leave to cool for around 30 minutes, then place into the fridge for at least an hour.  To make it into a Raspberry & Rose Kheer, I put some raspberries in the base of the glass and three delicately on the top.

Rose Kheer With Raspberries

Rose Kheer With Raspberries

Cacao Chai Smoothie – A Quick Breakfast

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

This morning we made this dairy-free chocolate flavoured smoothie using almond and coconut milk.

Raw Cacao and Flax Seed Breakfast Smoothie

Raw Cacao and Flax Seed Breakfast Smoothie

The almond butter, banana and flax seed give the smoothie body and good sources of protein and natural carbohydrates.

I flavoured it with cacao powder and our chai masala mix for a warming cinnamon, cardamom and ginger.  This gave it a light chocolatey taste and hints of spice.

The maca powder was there, so why not chuck that in as well for extra goodness.

As for the sweetener, we used a little maple syrup, but you could use honey.  I prefer not to use agave because it is very high in fructose, so I find it overly sweet.  Agave is, also, much more processed than I choose normally as sweetener, and it’s best to let the bananas do the sweetening work.

It was great – not too sweet and with that hint of chocolate anyone (of any age) would love it.

Ingredients for Raw Cacao Breakfast Smoothie

Ingredients for Raw Cacao Breakfast Smoothie

Cacao chai smoothie

75ml almond milk
100ml coconut milk
1 chopped banana
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp flax seeds
1 tsp chai masala spices (don’t overdo this as it can become too spiced very easily)
2 tsp cacao powder
1 tsp maca powder (optional)
1½ tsp maple syrup or honey

Simple combine all the ingredients into a blender.  Whizz until smooth, then enjoy.

Spice Taster Panel – Ras Al Hanut and Organic Harissa with Rose

Friday, June 13th, 2014

  SPICE – SEASON – SAVOUR

Welcome back to our taster panel, where this time our resident testers have been spicing it up with Ras al Hanut and organic Harissa with Rose.   We’ve had a great response and thought we’d share some of their thoughts and ideas with you.  Some of the tips were so good that we’re adding them on to the product pages!

Steenbergs Ras al Hanut

Steenbergs Ras Al Hanut spice blend

Many of you found this wonderful blend of over 20 different spices well rounded, warm, fragrant and spicy but not too hot. ‘Even the kids like it’, said one taster.  You all found it an incredibly versatile blend, using it in everything from scrambled eggs to fish and in a lot of lamb dishes, such as koftas & rack of lamb. With its heady range of spices, it made you think of holidays in the sun, somewhere warm and exotic.  Keith Lemon was mentioned as an ideal dinner guest (!) but the majority of you wanted to share an alfresco meal with your friends and family.  A little Bedouin music was in order for one taster, with an eclectic range from reggae to latin for the rest of you.  Definitely a blend to be enjoyed together.

Steenbergs Ras Al Hanut spice blend, created in rural North Yorkshire and tested by the Steenbergs taster panel.

Steenbergs Ras Al Hanut spice blend, created in rural North Yorkshire and tested by the Steenbergs taster panel.

Key Phrases for Ras al Hanut: ‘wonderful smell – casting me back to ethnic spice markets in foreign parts’; ‘light & fragrant without being overpowering or aggressively punchy’; ‘fantastic, had a lovely warmth without being too spicy’; ‘perky, interesting, not too hot,  very tasty, brilliant with lamb’.

Top Cooking Tips: moroccan chicken stew; vegetable stew; on scrambled eggs; stew; rub on chicken; rub on steak & lamb; Moroccan tagine; roasted veg; eggs; fish; chicken; chicken curry; lamb spice rub on rack of lamb; spice rub on chicken wings; with lamb; on hummous; roasted veg; lamb koftas with ras al hanut with spritz of lemon; Moroccan veg stew; pork steak with garlic; Couscous balls – mixed with olive oil then stirred into couscous, then formed couscous into a ball before eating;

Steenbergs organic Harissa with Rose

Steenbergs organic harissa with rose spice blend, blended in Yorkshire.

Another blend with North African origins, this was very different in character and also divided opinion with the addition of rose.  Most of you enjoyed it, one was pleasantly surprised after initial suspicion, one couldn’t taste the rose and one was definitely not convinced! However you did all give it a really good try in a fantastic range of recipes: from roasted chickpeas to Muhammara dip, and from butternut and harissa hummus to puy lentil dressing.  You also used it in tagines, as a rub and in a yoghurt dip showing the huge variety of meals that can benefit from this blend.  Again it whisked you all far away to a warm night in Morocco with friends, or maybe by yourself but you had everything from Algerian Rai to Reggae to entertain you!

 

Steenbegs organic Harissa with Rose comments from the Taster panel

 

Key phrases for Harissa with Rose: ‘Lovely, one of the nicest harissa’s I’ve had’;nice, warm, spicy hot with flavour’; ‘warm with hints of garlic & onion’; ‘there is an initial chilli flavour which mellows into a lovely fragrant flavour and leaves the palate with a warmth that hums on afterwards’.

Top Cooking Tips: roasted chickpeas; veg stew; grilled fish; stock for couscous; Shakshuka; marinade for lamb/steak; dressing for bulgur wheat & chickpea salad; spicy pork;in Muhammara dip – nicely set off the vinegar/sharp notes; Butternut & harissa hummous; harissa and sweet potato wedges; spicing for N African stews, mixed with olive oil for marinade for fish, chicken, meat and kebabs; puy lentil salad dressing; tagine; griddled veg; patatas bravas; pork steak and couscous

We always love to hear from our customers, what amazing creations you make in the kitchen with our spices and what you like (and don’t like), comment underneath about how you find these spice blends or alternatively email us direct, instagram, facebook or tweet your creations to us. Happy Cooking

  SPICE – SEASON – SAVOUR

For the full range of Steenbergs arabic spice blends, click here, all of these are created and blended at Steenbergs in rural North Yorkshire.

Cooking With A Wonderbag

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Sophie came across the Wonderbag on the radio and then The Guardian, so one arrived several weeks thereafter.  Basically, a Wonderbag is a modern and green take on the slow cooker and that you find in books as far back as Mrs Beeton’s and even like the traditional way of cooking in a hole in the ground.  It is a highly insulated textile bag that comes in very homely patterns and is filled with insulating balls that you wrap around your boiled pot of food.  The key is to get them really hot and to have a pot that fits the amount of food you are making, rather than one with loads of space.  We have found it a great way of preparing a healthy, wholesome stew in the morning for eating when we get back with the kids after school later in the day; much better than whacking on the microwave for a “ping meal”.  Overall, it is a great and retro way of creating change in the world that works especially well with foods that do best with a slow cooking, for example pork ribs, casseroles and mince.

Wonderbags are so ethical in that for everyone you buy in the UK, one will be given for free to a family in South Africa.  They are so green that they are said to save 30% on fuel bills for those using them in South Africa and we can save here in the UK as well.  They have been hugely successful in South Africa and now are in over 150,000 homes (saving 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide) and Unilever is looking to distribute 5 million to people in poverty around the world.

In overview, the way to cook is summed up in the little booklet that comes with the bag:

“Just heat up your pot of food on the stove, kick-starting the cooking process, then place inside the Wonderbag.  Wonderbag’s incredible insulating properties allow food that has been brought to the boil to finish cooking while in the bag without the use of additional energy.”

Pork ribs in sweet sauce

Sweet Pork Ribs cooked in a Wonderbag

Sweet Pork Ribs cooked in a Wonderbag



Ingredients

2 racks of pork ribs
2tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped finely
2tsp cornflour
400ml / 14 fl oz apple juice
2tbsp cider vinegar
2tbsp dark soy sauce
4tbsp dark brown sugar
2tbsp honey
1cm / ½ inch fresh ginger, grated

Prepare the pork ribs:  remove the thin skin on the underside by pulling this off with your hands (for more on this visit Youtube); then chop the ribs into thirds.  In a heavy bottomed frying pan, add the vegetable oil and heat until hot.  Add the pork ribs and fry until browned.  Set aside.

Fry the garlic and ginger in the vegetable oil, then remove then add all the other ingredients, except the ribs and cornflour, and stir together.  Put the cornflour into a small dish or ramekin, add a small amount of the sweet sauce and stir with a teaspoon until thoroughly mixed and without any lumps; add some more of the sauce and stir until you get a thickish paste, then add this to the sweet sauce and stir in.  Now add the ribs.

Put the top on to your casserole dish and bring to the boil.  Simmer with the lid on for 15-20 minutes, then place into the Wonderbag, close up and leave for 6 or more hours – the longer the better.  If you need to reheat it before stirring, simply place bag on the hob and heat to boiling, then serve.

Serve with plain boiled rice and some stir fried vegetables.

Slow cooked mince

Mince Cooked In Wonderbag

Mince Cooked In Wonderbag

Ingredients

1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, chopped into thin slices
500g / 1lb beef mince
2tbsp olive oil
1 glass of red wine
1 x 400g / 14 oz tin of chopped tomatoes
250ml / 8 fl oz water
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

Add the olive oil to the casserole pot.  When hot, add the chopped onions and lightly fry for 5 minutes.  Add the carrots and fry for another 2 minutes.

Next add the beef mince and cook until browned all over.

Add the red wine, stir in and let it be simmered off.

Add the chopped tomatoes, water, bay leaf and season.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has reduced to your satisfaction.  Put the lid on and simmer for a few minutes to get the lid heated through, then place into the Wonderbag and leave for 2 to 8 hours.  Reheat if necessary on the hob before serving to get it piping hot.

Serve with rice or pasta, or some mashed potato.

Simple rice pudding

Ingredients

100g / 4oz pudding rice
50g / 2oz  caster sugar
500ml / 17 fl oz whole milk
10g / ½ tbsp unsalted butter
1tsp vanilla extract

Firstly, wash the rice in water.

Add the milk to the casserole pot and bring to the boil with the casserole lid on.  When it starts to boil, add the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract and stir until the butter and sugar have melded in.

Add the pudding, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes with the lid on.

Place into the Wonderbag, close it up and leave for 2 hours.  When finished, grate a little nutmeg over the top, grill for a few minutes to brown off the top, then serve.

Dosas – Southern Indian Pancakes

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

My parents have recently come back from a wedding in Southern India and they have been to one of my favourite regions, Kerala.  They were blown away by the delicious food and already miss the flavours of their staple, the dosa.  At about the same time, Sophie has been chatting with The Curry Guy and liked his Masala Mashed Potatoes.  So using some recipes from The Curry Guy, some recipes my parents brought back and Das Sreedharan, I made dosas at the weekend.

The dosas were pretty good, especially after I overruled the recipe I had come up with and added more water – I later realised from Das Sreedharan’s book that there is a mysterious and innocuous line that I had missed which basically said “add more water until you are happy with the mixture”.  I added to this some Masala Mashed Potatoes and a fresh Coconut Chutney.

The only other key thing is a really good pan for making the dosas, ideally the best pancake pan you have, which if you are like me has been lovingly nurtured and cured with oil for years and years and has excellent heat transfer properties.

Keralan Style Dosa With Curried Mashed Potato Filling

Keralan Style Dosa With Curried Mashed Potato Filling

Curried Mashed Potatoes

Dosa Masala

Curried Mashed Potato


Ingredients

700g / 1lb 8oz floury potatoes, peeled and quartered
¼ cup full fat milk
100g / 3½oz peas
3tbsp sunflower oil
1 medium sized onion, chopped finely
1 garlic clove, smashed and finely chopped
1 medium sized tomato, cut into eighths
1cm / 1 inch cube fresh ginger, peeled and grated
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp garam masala
1tsp black mustard seeds
Pinch of sea salt

How to make

Boil the potatoes until soft, then drain and mash roughly with the full fat milk.

Boil the peas until soft, then drain.  If cooking from frozen, simply bring to the boil, then drain.

While the potatoes are cooking away, prepare the masala.  Heat the oil in a frying pan, then fry the onions over a medium heat for 4 -5 minutes until they start to brown at the edges, then add the chopped garlic and fry for another 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and fresh ginger, spices and salt and cook over a low heat for 3 – 5 minutes, making sure it does not burn or stick to the pan.

Add the mashed potatoes and peas, and stir these into the onion masala.  Cook for another 3 – 4 minutes until thoroughly infused with flavours.

These curried potatoes can be eaten with nearly anything and are a great way to jazz up excess mashed potato that has been made.  They can also be used to make great curried flavoured potato patties for eating with breakfast.  I love this recipe as it is easily tweaked to whatever ingredients you have kicking about, just like bubble & squeak or colcannon.

A Basic Dosa Recipe

It is quite a long process, but actually does not take a huge amount of actual working time, i.e. it is just a matter of thinking ahead.

Ingredients

295g / 10½oz long grain rice
75g / 3oz urad dal – dark brown lentils (I used yellow split peas, so any lentil or pea within reason works)
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
Pinch of sea salt
Water
Sunflower oil (for frying)

How to make

Put the rice in one bowl and the urad dal and fenugreek in another bowl.  Cover them in water with around 3cm (1 inch water above the grains).  Leave for 8 hours or overnight.

Drain separately.  Believe me it is key to keep them separate as the grinding process just will not work if done together, even if it seems more efficient.  Place the rice into a blender and grind for 3 minutes, slowly adding 125ml / 4 fl oz water, giving the rice a smooth paste texture.  Put the rice paste into a large bowl.

Rinse the blender.  Add the lentils and fenugreek seeds to the blender and grind for 5 minutes, slowly adding 5 tablespoons of water.  Add the dal paste to the rice paste and mix together.  Add a pinch of salt and stir in.  Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place for 12 hours, allowing it to ferment.

When ready to cook, add some more water to get the pouring consistency correct.

Dosa Mix At Pouring Consistency

Dosa Mix At Pouring Consistency

Get your best pancake pan and heat until very hot.  Having a good pancake pan is vital for this, as it is in making good pancakes or omelette; weirdly the most highly promoted are not the best as you want one that has good heat transfer properties like an old steel pan that has been well oiled and greased over the years.  When you have the right pan, you will know and keep it lovingly forever.

Lightly grease the pan, then pour over a ladle of batter, then using the bottom of the ladle spread over the pan; I use a jug and spiral it from the centre of the pan outwards then using the tip of a spatula spread the batter over the gaps to give a smooth surface.  This bit is probably the hardest part as it often gloops up and becomes a disaster, but a little practise and trial & error and you will work out the best way.   The Curry Guy suggests cutting an onion in half then using this to spread out the oil, which he says will help to stop the dosa from sticking plus giving some extra flavour – I have not tried this but I like the idea of the discrete onion flavour.

Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until crisp and golden, then flip.

Most books suggest that if you are making a filling put this onto the uncooked top surface, fold and serve, but I cook both sides of the dosa then filling and serving.

To fill the dosa, add some curried mashed potato to the centre of the dosa in a line, then drizzle over some Fresh Coconut Chutney, fold, serve and enjoy.

Prepare Your Dosa With Curried Mash And Coconut Chutney

Prepare Your Dosa With Curried Mash And Coconut Chutney

Coconut Chutney

Fresh Coconut Chutney

Fresh Coconut Chutney

Ingredients

100g / 3½ oz creamed coconut block
¾ fresh green chilli (or more for extra heat)
2½cm / 1 inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
3tbsp plain yoghurt
Smallish handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped (should really be fresh curry leaves, but they are not easily available here in the sticks)
Pinch of sea salt
1stp black mustard seeds (ideally Indian ones for authenticity)

How to make

I began by preparing the green chilli.  As we were cooking for kids as well, I topped and tailed the chillis, then removed the seeds and removed the veins inside the chilli pod.  Next, I sliced it into medium sized slices.

I dry roasted the black mustard seeds in a pan, without any oil.  When the seeds begin to pop and hop about the pan, I took it off the heat and tipped them into a small serving bowl.

I added all the other ingredients – coconut, chilli, ginger, yoghurt, parsley and the sea salt – into a blender.  I whizzed all the ingredients up for 3 – 4 minutes, then tasted the flavours.  You may need to up the chilli content or add a tad of sea salt.

This is the scooped out into the serving bowl and mixed in with the toasted black mustard seeds.  This is lovely kit that adds a delightful freshness to your dosa and would go with most Indian curries.