Carrot halwa

29 May

carrot halwa

My husband loves carrot halwa and always orders it when we go for an Indian meal.

I agree that it’s less sweet than many Indian desserts, which counts in its favour. But having tasted his portion any number of times, I never once regretted ordering the kulfi.

This all changed when we started making carrot halwa at home… Continue reading

Penne a la vodka

22 May

penne a la vodka

Penne a la vodka was all the rage when I first moved to London. After ordering it in restaurants, I had a go at making it myself.

There wasn’t an internet to refer to, but it wasn’t complicated to work out what was in it – tomatoes, onion, garlic, chilli, cream… and vodka.

For some reason, I had the idea that the vodka should be set alight like the brandy on a Christmas pudding.

I’d cook down the tomato sauce, then pour the vodka over top and set a match to it. Blue flames would dance impressively across the surface and die down, after which I’d stir through the cream. Continue reading

Courgette fries with spicy mayonnaise

14 May

courgette fries

According to my daughter, these courgette fries are like “vegetarian calamari”.  I know what she means.

While no one would confuse the texture of squid with courgette, they are similarly satisfying in flavour and crunch. And being baked, they are reasonably healthy as well.

I first ate them at a Vancouver restaurant called Las Tapas that I adored, and have been making my own version ever since.

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Shakshouka

10 May

shakshouka

Shakshouka – eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce – is one of our favourite Sunday brunches. It’s a good, quick supper too, and something I’ll think to make when feeding two.

When that’s the case, I preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and make the sauce in my cast iron frying pan. After cracking the eggs over the sauce, I pop the frying pan in the oven (uncovered) for about five minutes until the eggs are cooked through.

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Bean and pea salad with miso dressing

5 May

green bean, pea and peashoot salad with miso dressing

Lightly cooked green beans and peas on a bed of fresh peashoots with walnuts and a miso-sake dressing makes a fresh, healthy lunch.

I go with whatever combination of beans I have to hand – mangetout and podded edamame are both good and give an interesting visual and texture contrast. Continue reading

Chocolate pear puddings

3 May

chocolate pear pudding

Chocolate pear puddings are a good recipe to have up your sleeve when you hadn’t been planning to make dessert, but pester power prevails.

They’re quick to make, use basic store cupboard ingredients, and are definitely more than the sum of their parts.

Other soft fruits work as well – I’ve made these puddings with raspberries and bananas when I was pear-less and they were just as nice.

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Spinach soup

29 Apr

spinach soup

I have two spinach soups in my repetoire – this soothing, mellow one with leeks, potatoes and a splash of cream – and a spicier, Asian-influenced soup with citrus and ginger.

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