Monday, May 9, 2011

Bean Curry–adapted very slightly from Madhur Jaffreys Ultimate Curry Bible.

Get yourself some fresh curry leaves. Really nothing like them. Although they did lead to a week of Curry.

No great harm in that. 

Probably takes about 20-30 mins all in.


  • 1 can of beans – drained and rinsed (Black Eye were good, Kidney if you must)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 whole, dried, hot red chillies
  • 1 tsp whole brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • A generous pinch of ground Asafetida
  • 15 fresh curry leaves, if available
  • 3 medium tomatoes, grated on the coarsest part of the grater  (or just chopped up a bit if you think life’s too short)
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 fresh, hot green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp peeled fresh ginger grated to a pulp
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1½ tsp salt


  1. pour the oil into a medium pan and set over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the red chillies, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the curry leaves and tomatoes. Stir once, then add the turmeric, coriander, cumin, green chillies, garlic, ginger, sugar and salt. Stir and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  2. Pour the beans into the pan with the spiced tomato mixture. Bring to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, on a very low heat, for 10-15 minutes.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pineapple Curry



Didn’t make this myself, L did, but brought back fantastic memories of our trip to Sri Lanka in January and a very welcome ice cold drink and fan at the Sun House in Galle at the start of the Galle Literary festival.

From their kitchen via Rick Stein and the BBC.

For this recipe, you only need a small amount of the roasted Sri Lankan curry powder. The remaining curry powder can be stored in a screw-top jar for up to three months and used in other recipes.

If you are in Sri Lanka pick up a bag of this and the unroasted kind as well and this curry can be ready before the rice is cooked. Pandan Leaf not that easy to come by, but you can get essence in Asian food shops.

Great with a Sri Lankan cooked salad (and maybe some chicken curry too if you eat meat)



For the roasted Sri Lankan curry powder
For the pineapple curry
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 25g/1oz finely chopped garlic

  • 100g/3½oz onions or shallots, peeled, finely sliced

  • 1 x 5cm/2in cinnamon stick, broken into smaller pieces

  • 24 fresh curry leaves (available from some Asian supermarkets)

  • 6 x 2.5cm/1in slices pandan leaf (available from some Asian supermarkets)

  • 3 tbsp roasted Sri Lankan curry powder (see above)

  • 1 tsp ground turmeric

  • 1 x 400ml/14fl oz can coconut milk

  • 650g/1lb 7oz pineapple chunks

  • 4 green cayenne chillies, peeled, finely sliced

  • 1 tsp salt

Preparation method

  1. For the roasted Sri Lankan curry powder, heat a heavy-based, deep-sided frying pan over a medium heat. Add the uncooked rice and cook for 2-3 minutes, shaking the pan regularly, until the rice is toasted and pale golden-brown. Transfer the toasted rice to a large mortar or spice grinder and set aside to cool.

  2. Repeat the dry-frying process with the spices, then tip into a bowl and set aside to cool.

  3. In the same pan, repeat the dry-frying process with the dried chillies, then tip into a bowl and set aside to cool.

  4. When the toasted rice, spices and chillies have cooled, add the remaining spices, dried chillies and ground turmeric, and grind to a fine powder (do this in batches if necessary).

  5. For the pineapple curry, heat the oil in the same frying pan. Add the garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes, then add the onions or shallots, cinnamon stick, curry leaves and pieces of pandan leaf and fry, stirring regularly, for 2-3 minutes.

  6. Add the three tablespoons of the roasted Sri Lankan curry powder and the ground turmeric. Continue to fry for a further minute, or until the spices are fragrant.

  7. Add the coconut milk, stir well and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, then continue to simmer for a further 1-2 minutes.

  8. Add the pineapple chunks, green chillies and salt and return the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat again until the mixture is simmering and continue to simmer for a further 4-5 minutes.

  9. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chipotle Smoky Beef–best easy recipe yet

Easiest Chilie beef ever.

Chipotles add a smoky flavor but aren’t that hot…..probably. 

Chipotle Beef

Prep Time: 10 minutes (max)

Cook Time: 4 hours ish

Feeds a lot, 6 as a main I reckon – especially if you turn it into burritos then probably about 10 or more.


· Anywhere between 1kg and 1.5kg of beef – ideally in one piece and the kind that will respond to long slow cooking. Buy quality, but no need for a quick roasting  joint or steak.

· 1 can of chopped tomatoes

· 1 can full of  beef stock (put stock cube – the knorr jelly ones are good into the empty tomato can, fill with boiling water, stir, add to pan)

· 1 can of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce ( you can get these in Picante next time you go) or you could use some dried chilies(10 or so depending on heat) and a large slug of smoked paprika ground together and some tomato paste– but that’s a lot harder than opening a tin and not as good.

· Peppers (two – red and / or orange Ideally) chopped into smallish bits

· 1 tablespoon cumin (maybe more if you feel like it)

· 1/2 tablespoon oregano

· 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped or crushed

· Optional (1 or 2 large dried ancho chilies toasted and ground)

· Some fresh chilies – depends on you really how many – Scotch Bonnet or The Thai ones are good here but any will do.

· A large onion, peeled and medium chopped

· Optional (if you must have beans in your beef, use a tin of rinsed black beans and stick them in for the last half hour after you’ve shredded the meat)


1. Turn the oven on to about 130 – 140 for non fan.

2. Boil Kettle for the stock

3. Get a big lidded casserole dish

4. Stick the beef in it fat side down

5. Pour tomatoes and beef stock over the top.

6. Pour tin of chipotles over and add the remaining ingredients so they are all poured on top of the beef.

7. Stir everything together

8. Cook for 4 or 5 hours.

9. Turn the beef over every hour or so if you remember, but at least after the first hour.

10. Could be ready after 3 if you are in a hurry – see if you can easily shred the beef into the sauce if you can, then do so with a couple of forks and then stir it all together and give it another hour ideally.


Serve with some or all of Rice, Salad, pickled Jalapenos, fresh tomato salsa, avocado slices, tortilla chips, Tortillas etc etc.

Oh – and Fresh Coriander and Lime wedges


Gets better over a couple of days.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bloody Good Coriander Chicken



Make more than you need because it's great reheated the next day or shredded into flatbreads with salad leaves a drizzle of minty yoghurt or tzatziki and some extra fresh chillies. 

Either way, pretty much a 30 minute meal once you start cooking.


Adapted from From Curries to Kebabs: Recipes from the Indian Spice Trail. © 2003 by Madhur Jaffrey. Published by Clarkson Potter.
Serves 4


  • 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, coarsely chopped (a big thumb)
  • 5 good-sized cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (a large squeeze)
  • 4 chicken legs, skinned and separated into drumsticks and thighs
  • 1 medium to large tomato, chopped
  • a big bunch (90g) of coriander leaves and small stems
  • 3-4 fresh hot green chilies, coarsely chopped (or more if you are addicted – Scotch bonnets also work well here – about 4 or 5 as the yoghurt tempers the whole thing)
  • 2-3 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, lightly beaten with a fork



Put the ginger, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the lemon juice into a blender. Add about 2 tablespoons of water and blend, pushing down with a rubber spatula if necessary, until smooth.

Place the chicken pieces in a stainless steel or non-metallic bowl. Pour the ginger mixture over the top and rub it in. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or for up to 24 hours. Without bothering to clean out the blender, put into it the tomato, cilantro, chilies, tomato paste, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and 2 tablespoons of water. Blend until smooth.

Pour the oil into a large, nonstick, lidded pan and set over high heat. When very hot, put in the chicken pieces, together with the marinade. Fry, stirring, until the chicken pieces are light brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato mixture from the blender. Continue to cook, stirring, until the sauce is thick and clings to the chicken and the oil separates from it, another 10 minutes. Add the yogurt. Stir and cook until the yogurt disappears and leaves a thick sauce edged with oil, 4 to 5 minutes.

Cover, reduce the heat as low as possible, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the chicken is tender. If you think that he pan is drying out too much, stir in a tablespoon or two of water.