Lentil and coconut dhal

This is good to eat on a cold winter’s day! Adapted from a recipe in Waitrose’s ‘Harvest 2015’ booklet. Enough for 4 people:

  • 1 tbsp oilLentil&Coconut_Dhal (2)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 3cm cube of ginger (finely chopped)
  • 1 red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 2 large carrots (diced)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 250g red split lentils
  • 160ml can of coconut cream
  • 550ml vegetable stock
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 50g chopped almonds
  • 2 large tomatoes (skinned, deseeded and chopped)
  • Torn fresh coriander
  • Lemon juice (to taste)
  • Flat breads (heated in accordance with the instructions on the packet)

Heat the oil in a heavy pan. Add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger and chilli, and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Stir in the carrots and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Add the curry powder, lentils, coconut cream and the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer (covered) for about 20 minutes (until the carrots and the lentils are soft). Take off the heat and roughly mash the mixture with a potato masher.

Add the peas and the chopped almonds, and gently cook for a further 5 minutes. Then stir in the tomatoes and add lemon juice to taste.

Sprinkle with coriander and serve with warm flat breads.


Mushroom and chick pea curry


This recipe is adapted from one which first appeared in Waitrose’s Kitchen magazine in March 2014. Enough for 2:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 200g closed mushrooms (quartered)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp curry powder (exact amount depends on its strength)
  • 400g tin of chick peas (drained)
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp mango chutney
  • A little fresh coriander

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large pan and fry the mushrooms for 1-2 minutes until just cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Turn down the heat and add the remaining oil.  Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and
cook for 1 minute.

Stir in the chick peas and tomatoes, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in the mango chutney and reserved mushrooms, and cook for a further 5 minutes.

I served mine sprinkled with torn coriander leaves, together with brown rice and some green beans.


Grilled prawns


Big, whole prawns are best for this quick dish. I used the Big Prawn Company big & juicy tiger prawns which only seem to be available from Waitrose and Ocado. Currently £5.99 for 220g (the box says ’10 prawns’, but mine contained 11!). Enough for 2:

  • 10 large, raw prawns (defrosted)
  • 1 tsp chipotle paste (the type I used was very hot, so quantities will vary)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp tomato ketchup
  • 1.5cm cube of ginger grated
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime

Partially shell the prawns – leave on the heads and the last bit of the tail, but remove the rest of the shell from the body.

Mix together the chipotle paste, the olive oil, the ketchup, the ginger, the garlic, the curry powder and half the lime juice. Spread the mixture on the prawns.

Heat the grill, and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until the prawns are fully cooked.

Serve sprinkled with the remaining lime juice. I served the prawns with rocket, avocado and cherry tomato salad.




Traditionally a breakfast dish, I could eat this any time. Here’s my recipe for 2;

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped/crushed)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp curry powder (amount depends on personal preference and strength of the curry powder)
  • 1/2 tsp pilau rice seasoning (optional)
  • 120g brown long grain rice
  • 1/3 of a fish stock cube (or 1 tsp vegi-stock powder)
  • Hot water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 225g smoked haddock fillet (skinned and boned)
  • 1/2 a lemon (to squeeze)
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp mango chutney
  • A few torn coriander leaves
  • Black pepper

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the spices and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the rice, so that it is coated in oil and begins to look a little transparent.

Add water to cover the rice mixture and stir in the crumbled stock cube (or stock powder). Bring to the boil, cover, and simmer very gently, stirring and topping up with hot water as necessary. The rice should be cooked in about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile boil the eggs for 12 minutes (starting from boiling). Drain, hit them with a spoon to crack the shells in a few places (this makes them easier to peel), and cool in cold water. When cold, peel and chop roughly.

Cook the fish (with a squeeze of lemon juice) in the microwave (or steam over a pan of water (you could steam it over the rice)), on ‘medium’ for about 2 minutes. When cooked, divide it into flakes, adding any liquid to the (now cooking) rice.

When the rice is just about cooked, stir in the frozen peas; increase the heat and cook for 2 minutes. Then stir in the mango chutney, the flaked fish and another squeeze of lemon juice (more if liked), and return to the heat to make sure the kedgeree is piping hot. Add black pepper to taste.

Serve sprinkled with the chopped hard boiled eggs and the torn coriander leaves.

Nasi Goreng


Nasi Goreng is an Indonesian rice dish – a kind of chilli/curry flavoured fried rice. I don’t think mine would get 100% for authenticity, and it’s not really fried (so it could be classed as low fat), but I think its pretty tasty. It’s also a good way of using up left-overs.

I had the pork belly and the baby sweetcorn left over from the Pork Belly Noodle Soup. I also had the end of a packet of small cooked frozen prawns.

For 2 people (would probably stretch to 3, and you could just add more rice/vegetables to stretch it further):

  • 150 g brown long grain rice
  • Oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • 1 piece if fresh ginger (about 2cm square – chopped)
  • 1 chilli (chopped), or chilli flakes (exact quantity depends on taste, and the heat of the chilli)
  • 1 heaped tsp curry powder (or more/less to taste)
  • 1 egg (beaten with a few dashes of soy sauce)
  • 1 large pepper (cored, deseeded and roughly chopped)
  • about 12 baby sweetcorn (cut down the length and then cut into 2cm pieces), any other (non-starchy) vegetable will do
  • left-over, previously roasted spicy SE-Asian style meat/poultry (or tofu), cut into small cubes or slices
  • 80g frozen peas
  • 80g frozen prawns (thawed)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce and a good slug of chilli sauce mixed with 70ml of water
  • Chopped fresh coriander

Cook the brown rice as indicated on the packet, then drain and rinse.

Heat a frying pan with a little oil (if not non-stick, first ‘season’ the pan by smearing the inside of the base with oil and heating it until it smokes, leaving it cool for about five minutes – this will stop the omelette sticking). Add the beaten egg mixture and create a thin omelette (using a fork to draw the edges towards the middle, so that the surplus egg fills the space created, util all the egg solidifies). When the omelette is solid, turn it over using a palette knife (or toss it like a pancake) and briefly cook the other side. Turnout onto a plate and cut into small squares using a knife or pizza cutter.


Add a little oil to a wok. Heat, and when hot add the onion, garlic, ginger and the chilli. Stir fry for about 2 minutes and then mix in the curry powder and fry for another minute. Then add the pepper and the sweetcorn and stir fry for about 3 minutes. Then add the cooked meat/poultry and cook for another 2 minutes. Then add the rice, the peas and the prawns. Mix well and add the soy/chilli sauce and water. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for about 3 minutes (ensuring that everything is pipping hot).

Taste, and if you think it needs more flavour or heat, add more soy or chilli sauce.

Serve with chopped coriander.

In search of tasty vegiburgers again


I later tried making the vegiburgers in In search of tasty vegiburgers with the suggested main ingredient (two fairly large sweet potatoes). I also doubled the amount of curry powder and ditched the pitta breads.

I served the burgers on plates with salad together with mango chutney (I like Waitrose’s ‘Hot & Spicy’ variety) and a dressing made with about 200 ml of Greek yogurt mixed with a heaped teaspoon of turmeric, two tablespoons of chopped mint and a squeeze of lemon juice.

The result tasted spicier, which was good; but it was difficult to tell the burgers from the previous ones made from old potatoes and carrots – so maybe most root vegetables would do (possibly not turnips which have a strong flavour and a ‘hard’ texture).