The long and cold winter days are finally here. Which means it is time for hot flavoursome dishes that will keep you toastie throughout the cold days.
Us Asians love using spices in our foods, and now is the time where we take advantage of them.
We’ve put together a list of recipes that will keep you warm throughout the winter.
Classic Tarka Dahl
For the dahl:
- 100g Crazy Jack green lentils
- 50g Crazy Jack red lentils
- 1L water
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 10g root ginger, grated
- Salt, to taste
- Handful of chopped coriander leaves, to serve
For the tarka:
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 dried red chillies
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- ½ tsp garam masala
- Salt to taste
- Rinse both types of lentils and place in one litre of water in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, then add the turmeric, garlic, ginger and a little salt. Simmer, covered, for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil for the tarka in a large frying pan. Add the whole dried chillies and cumin seeds and brown gently.
- Add the onion and sauté for five minutes, then add the tomatoes, garam masala and a little more salt and cook for around 10 minutes.
- Pour half the lentil mixture into the frying pan and deglaze the bottom, then pour everything pack into the lentil pan. Cook for another 10 minutes, mashing some of the lentils as they cook.
- Add a little water if the lentils are too thick (remember it will thicken further as it cools). Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve sprinkled with coriander.
Indian Apricot Chicken
- 500g chicken breast, diced
- 2 tsp garam masala
- Salt and pepper
- Rice and Indian bread, to serve
For the Sauce:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 750ml chicken stock
- 200g Crazy Jack traditional apricots, chopped
- 2 tbsp apricot jam
- 60ml white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Tabasco
- knob of butter
- In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the garam masala, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Put to one side.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and sweat the onions for 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken pieces and seasoning, then cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Remove the mixture from the pan and place in a bowl.
- Pour a little of the chicken stock into the pan and bring to a simmer to deglaze the juices and spices. Scrape up the tastiest bits from the bottom of the pan, then stir in the Crazy Jack Apricots, jam and vinegar. Add a little more chicken stock, then add the Tabasco.
- Place the chicken pieces back in the pan and simmer gently until cooked through. Stir in a good know of butter before serving with plain boiled rice and Indian breads.
Spinach and Crème Fraiche Pizza
- 1 Spice Tailor Garlic and Coriander Naan
- 2 good tbs. crème fraiche
- 2 tsp. sun dried tomato paste
- 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 small handfuls baby spinach
- 1/4 small red onion, finely sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat the oven to 180C/350F and place the baking tray inside on the middle shelf.
- Place the cleaned spinach in a large bowl. Boil the kettle and pour over the spinach to cover, cover the bowl and allow to steam cook for 2 minutes.
- Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan. Add the onions and a good pinch of salt and fry until golden. Meanwhile, drain the hot water and refresh the spinach with cold water. Squeeze this out and place the spinach in the pan with the cooked onions. Stir fry for a minute or two and turn the heat off.
- Spread the crème fraiche over the naan leaving a 2cm border. Spread the sun-dried tomato evenly over the crème fraiche and place the wilted spinach over the top and sprinkle over some black pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 3 minutes. Take out and serve hot cut into wedges.
Aubergine and Spinach Coconut Curry
- 1 tsp. vegetable oil
- 3 baby Japanese aubergines or 1 small normal one, washed
- 1 packet The Spice Tailor Keralan Coconut Curry
- 1 large handful of baby spinach, wash
- Slice the small aubergines into 1 ½ cm rounds. If you are using large aubergines, slice crosswise into 2 or 3 pieces and cut these into wedges so that each piece has some skin, this will help it stay together.
- Heat the oil in a small non-stick saucepan and add the spices from the spice packet, including the chilli if you like the heat.
- Once the seeds are popping, add the aubergines with a little seasoning.
- Stir well in the oil, turn the heat down, cover and cook until the aubergines are soft, around 15 minutes.
- Add the sauce and spinach and bring to a boil.
- If the sauce still looks thick, add a splash of hot water.
- Bring back to the boil and serve.
Spicy Lentil Soup
- 100g dried red lentils
- 1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 100g mild curry paste
- 2 small carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 140g Greek yoghurt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
- Rinse the lentils under cold water until the water runs clear; drain.
- Combine the lentils, stock, tomatoes, bay leaves, garlic, curry paste, carrot, celery and potato in a 4.5 litre slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Season to taste.
- Divide into bowls. Top with the Greek yogurt and sprinkle with the black pepper and coriander.
- For a vegetarian option, use vegetable stock instead of chicken.
Hot Peppered Lamb Curry
- 2 fresh long green chillies
- 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
- 600g boned lamb leg, chopped coarsely
- 2 large brown onions (400g), sliced thinly
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4cm piece fresh ginger (20g), grated
- 3 cloves
- 4 green cardamom pods, bruised
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 medium tomatoes (300g), chopped finely
- 70g natural yoghurt
- 125ml water
- 60ml lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander
- Finely chop 1 of the chillies; finely shred remaining chilli.
- Heat half the ghee or butter in 5.5 litre pressure cooker; cook lamb, in batches, until browned. Remove from the cooker.
- Heat remaining ghee or butter in the same cooker; cook onion, stirring, about 5 minutes or until browned lightly. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, until fragrant. Return lamb to cooker with spices, tomato, chopped chilli, yoghurt and the water; secure lid. Bring cooker to high pressure. Reduce heat to stabilise pressure; cook 25 minutes.
- Release pressure using the quick release method (using tongs to turn the pressure valve on top of the cooker to open the valve and release the steam); remove lid. Stir in juice; season to taste. Serve sprinkled with coriander and shredded chilli and accompanied by steamed white long-grain rice, if liked.
Tips: If you prefer a milder version, reduce the amount of pepper and chilli. You can also serve it with an extra dollop of yogurt if you like. Recipe suitable to freeze.
Pollock and Cauliflower Curry – Tim Pile, The Rosevine
- 150g Pollock Fillet
- A good splash of vegetable oil
- 375g diced onion
- 50g finely minced garlic
- 800g fresh plum Tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
- 2 tsp chilli powder
- 1 large cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp ground Coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp Dried Turmeric
- 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 34 g Fresh Root ginger finely chopped
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 2 tbsp Coconut freshly grated is best
- 4 large Potatoes
- 2 tbsp of a fruit chutney either homemade or shop bought
- Baby Spinach
- Fresh Leaf Coriander
- Fry off the onions in a generous amount of vegetable oil until golden, add in the garlic and ginger allow them to soften
- Meanwhile cut up the tomatoes into a rough dice
- Add the dry spices into the pan with the onions, garlic and ginger and gently cook for a minute or two
- Now add the tomatoes, puree, coconut, water and good helping of salt around 2tsps
- Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 35 minutes
- Whilst this is cooking peel and dice 4 large potatoes in 2cm pieces and keep in cold water
- After 35 minutes remove the curry sauce from the heat and discard the cinnamon stick
- Blend to a puree and pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan
- Return to heat, drain the potatoes and add to the sauce
- Prepare 4cm Cauliflower florets and add these in 6 or 7 minutes before serving
- In a metal handle pan fry the fish skin side down for a couple of minutes to crisp the skin
- Put the pan into a pre-heated oven 190 c for about 5 minutes the fish should be just cooked
- Stir in a couple of tablespoons of a fruit chutney to the sauce to add a sweet and fruity flavour to the curry along with a handful of young spinach leaves and fresh coriander.
Lamb Squash & Spinach Curry
- 500g lamb mince
- 2 onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- A thumb of ginger
- 1 chilli
- 1 butternut squash
- ½-2 tbsp tikka massala spices
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 400g chopped tomatoes
- 300g white basmati rice
- 100g baby leaf spinach
- A handful of coriander, leaves only
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 200ml cold water
- 600ml boiling water
- Warm a deep-frying pan or wok for 2 mins then add ½ tbsp oil and the lamb mince. Fry for 10 mins, stirring now and then with a wooden spoon to break up lumps, till the lamb is browned all over.
- While the lamb fries, peel and finely chop the onions. Peel and grate or crush the garlic. Peel and grate the ginger. Halve the chilli, scoop out the seeds and white pith, and finely chop the chilli (for a milder curry, use half the chilli or leave it out entirely). From this point, either follow the method for the slow cooker or the hob.
- In the slow cooker… When the lamb mince has browned, drain off any excess liquid, then tip the mince into a 3½ ltr slow cooker. Stir in the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli (if you’re using it).
- Trim the squash, halve and peel it. Scoop out the seeds and roughly chop the squash into chunks around 2cm thick. Stir them into the mince.
- Add ½ -2 tbsp tikka masala spices, depending on how strong you want the flavour to be, to the slow cooker. Add 1 tsp turmeric with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Tip in the chopped tomatoes. Add 200ml cold water. Give it all a gentle stir, then cover and set the slow cooker for medium. Cook for 6 hrs (for a faster cook, set it to high and cook for 4 hrs, or go low and slow for 8 hrs with the cooker set to low).
- When the curry has 30 mins left to cook, tip the rice into a sieve and give it a good rinse under cold water. Tip into a pan and pour in 600ml boiling water. Cover, bring to the boil and then turn the heat right down and gently simmer for 8-10 mins till all the water has been absorbed. Take off the heat and let the rice steam in the pan, lid on, for 5-10 mins to finish cooking it.
Tandoori Cauliflower with Daal
- 1 cauliflower
- 2 tsp mild curry powder
- 2 onions
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 jalapeño chilli
- A handful of coriander
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tomatoes
- 150g dried red lentils
- 50g baby leaf spinach
- 150g natural yogurt
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Heat your oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7. Trim the base off the cauliflower and slice into bite-size florets. Scatter into a large roasting tin and sprinkle over 1 tsp mild curry powder and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Toss with 1 tbsp oil till well coated, and slide into the oven to roast for 25 mins, turning halfway, till caramelised and slightly charred.
- While the cauli florets roast, peel and slice 1 onion. Peel and crush or finely grate 2 of the garlic cloves. Separate the coriander leaves from the stalks and finely slice the stalks (keep the leaves for later). Thinly slice the chilli on an angle. Roughly chop the tomatoes into small pieces.
- Pour 1 tbsp oil into a pan and bring to a medium heat. Slide in the sliced onion, crushed garlic, coriander stalks and half the sliced chilli. Spoon in 1 tsp each cinnamon, cumin and turmeric. Sprinkle in a little salt and pepper and fry for 5 mins, till softened.
- Pour the lentils into the pan along with the chopped tomatoes and 400ml boiling water. Bring to the boil, then pop a lid onto the pan, reduce to a simmer and cook gently for 20 mins.
- Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the remaining onion. Peel and finely slice the remaining garlic clove. Slide both into a bowl and add the remaining chilli slices. Sprinkle in 1 tsp mild curry powder and toss well to coat. Pour 1 tbsp oil into a frying pan and bring to a high heat. When hot, add the garlic, onion and chilli and cook for 2-3 mins, till golden and crispy. Transfer to a plate.
- When the lentils are thick and tender, tip in the baby leaf spinach and stir till wilted. Have a taste, and add a little more salt and pepper if needed.
- Spoon generous amounts of daal onto each plate and top with the roast cauliflower florets. Scatter over the crispy onions, garlic and chilli and the remaining coriander leaves. Serve with yogurt on the side.