Quorn Keema – Curried Mince with Peas

I love to order keema in Indian restaurants and it’s one of my favourite curries. I usually have lamb, but I spied some Quorn mince in our freezer and decided to replicate a veggie version! How hard can it be? Turns out not very!

So just a side point that I don’t pretend to be a curry aficionado, by any stretch! Maybe this isn’t technically a keema and maybe my order of ingredients is wrong but what it is, is delicious. I only started liking and cooking curry a couple of years ago so I’m still finding my way around the techniques and ingredients. The great thing about this version is that the two key things are probably already in your freezer!

A word of warning – it’s a good idea to add your peas at the end! Silly old me prepped this in advance and you can see the colour difference from when I first added them to the pan to now! If you want nice bright peas, wait til the end to add them in. No need to defrost either, just pour those bad boys straight in.

I ate this with garlic naan and yoghurt but you could enjoy it with rice, even turn it into a bit of a biriyani style dish by adding the rice straight into the curry with a bit more water.

See how less green these peas are? Add them at the end!!

Recipe after the jump!

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Fanoosh The Indian, Street Lane, Leeds Review

This place used to be an only ok Turkish restaurant called Istanbul Mezze, which shut down in the summer and has now reopened as Fanoosh. I’m pretty excited about it as Street Lane has a severe lacking in Indian restaurants, and it’s great to be able to go out for one rather than order in.

We visited one busy Saturday night and were glad that we’d called ahead to book, at one point all the tables were full! The decor is pretty nice, a bit extravagant but matches the name as we learnt ‘fanoosh’ means chandelier or lantern in Urdu.

We went for poppadoms first with dips, which were pretty standard and tasty. Then we had the Chicken Tikki Kebab which was minced, spiced chicken shaped into little patties. They were REALLY nice, sort of crispy with soft juicy centre, though two between us felt a bit mean portion wise and we wished we’d ordered more.

 

For mains we shared the Lamb Karahi and the Chicken Haandi, plus rice and garlic naan. The chicken was described as the ultimate ‘comfort dish’ and it really was the star of the show. It was served on the bone and covered in a gorgeous thick ‘spicy shorba’ sauce. The lamb was falling apart into a blend of tomato, curry, garlic and coriander. Both dishes were really good but again the portions weren’t huge, and we were glad we’d gone for double carb. I could also have maybe done with some raita or yoghurt as they were pretty spicy, so be warned if you prefer it mild!

All in all it was a really good meal and the restaurant itself seems warm and friendly and welcoming. Service was a bit slow but the food was so good we forgave them, it was a very busy night and you can expect teething problems with any new restaurant.

If you’re on the fence definitely give Fanoosh a visit, I really hope they stick around!

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Butternut Squash Lentil and Spinach Curry

A lovely cheap dish here, inspired by a huge butternut squash I found in Lidl that was too big for the cupboard. Honestly, it was almost obscene! Anyway you’ll just need a squash, an onion, red lentils, canned tomatoes, frozen spinach and some beans (optional). Most of which you’ll probably have in your cupboard/freezer anyway. Oh and spices to get the curry taste but if you make curry regularly you’ll probably have those too. I had a proper dilly dally about whether to put coconut milk in this as the texture had gone quite creamy with the lentils anyway. In the end I went for without, but I think if you wanted to make it a bit more rich it would be a good addition.

We are trying to save up a bit in February so expect to see a fair few more budget-friendly posts. We don’t spend that much on food generally but it always helps to save where you can! Lentils are a great option for this because they’re super cheap, super filling and SUPER good for you. Low fat, high protein and they take on any flavour you give them. If you don’t already love lentils, nows the time to start!

I ate this with rice and naan but it’s just as good by itself. Recipe after the jump!

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Tofu Saag Style Curry

This recipe combines two new things I’ve started to like and now LOVE this year! Tofu and Indian dishes. This dish is loosely based on a gorgeous paneer dish I had at my friends wedding this year for the first time and haven’t been able to stop thinking about since. 

The cheese version was a lot more creamy, but the addition of coconut milk to this healthier tofu version does make it feel really indulgent. Make it as spicy as you like by adding more chilli or curry powder. I also used frozen spinach because it’s just handier to keep in the freezer – it also goes to a nice cooked-down texture quicker than fresh and you can use more of it.

Tofu saag style curry

Serves 2 

  • 5 pats of frozen spinach
  • 1 medium onion 
  • 1/2 block of pressed tofu 
  • 200g or 1/2 tin of tinned tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp ginger (fresh or dried)
  • 3 tsp garam masala 
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder 
  • 200ml or 1/2 can coconut milk 
  • Vegetable or rapeseed oil, for frying

Slice the tofu into small chunks and place in large frying pan. Brown on all sides in a splash of oil and then set to one side. Next, finely chop the onion and soften in a little oil until translucent and browning slightly. Add the garlic and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. 
Meanwhile put the spinach in a bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes or simply heat through in a delegate pan. Once defrosted, drain thoroughly and squeeze out all the excess water. 

Combine tofu, onion and spinach together and add chopped tomatoes and spices. Cook through for a further 5-10 minutes or until tomatoes slightly reduced and then add the coconut milk. Heat through gently for another 2-3 minutes and then serve and enjoy! Goes great with rice and/or a naan. 

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Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

I can’t take credit for this recipe as I so rarely cook curry, I had to follow a recipe rather than make it up as I usually do.

I’ve kind of adapted this recipe here but used more curry powder (maybe mine was a bit weak) and added in yellow peppers and also butter, as this recipe didn’t actually use any! I also swapped whole meal flour for white. I don’t know if it’s very traditional as I think butter chicken usually uses baked chicken with a sauce poured over, but whatever this is came out really delicious, although it did curdle quite a bit during cooking. A little more yoghurt at the end fixed it though and it didn’t affect the taste.

For many years I’ve not been able to stand the taste of curry powder or garam masala but I’ve recently started to come around to it. It’s nothing to do with the spice or the heat, just the taste of it but I think my palette is changing. You might not find me going out for a curry any time soon but I’ll definitely be making something like this again.


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Shredded Chicken Tumeric Rice

I recently discovered slow cooker shredded chicken and it’s kind of changed my life. It’s a great way to use up leftover chicken and there are countless recipes you can add it to.

To make my slow cooker chicken I just put four chicken breasts in the slow cooker for 6-8 hours with a bay leaf, half a stock cube, some cumin and paprika and then shredded them.

This recipe uses the shredded chicken but if you don’t have a slow cooker, you can use fresh chicken breast or precook one in the oven.


Ingredients

4-5 tablespoons shredded chicken

Handful mangetout

1 small courgette

1 medium white onion

1 teaspoon Tumeric

Olive oil for frying

Salt and pepper to taste

Brown rice for two (however much you usually cook, measurements are always different for different people!)

1. Sauté the courgette, onion and mange tout in a pan until softened. If you’re using raw chicken you would fry it off before the vegetables at this stage. Meanwhile, cook the brown rice in salted water.

2. Once brown rice is almost cooked, reduce heat and cover so it steams gently. This ‘fluffens’ the rice and really improves the consistency.

3. Combine the chicken and rice into the vegetable pan and ensure chicken is cooked to piping temperature. Stir in the Tumeric and season to taste.

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