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“Cooked apples are very good to perk up our ojas (our chi, vitality) so it is good to include them in our diet. This dessert is ideal for those with a kapha imbalance and it should ideally be eaten as it is, on its own.”

Makes 1, can be repeated for more apples

1 sweet apple (I like golden delicious), peeled and rubbed with lemon juice

1 rounded tsp. demerera or raw cane sugar

25g nuts, I like to use walnuts, almonds and lig

htly roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

¼ tsp. cinnamon

Pinch of grating of nutmeg

1 rounded tsp. raisins or other dried fruit

80ml apple juice

8g butter

Preheat the oven to 190C. Core the apple until you have a neat 1” hole. Slice the base of the apple so that it can stand upright.

Mix together the sugar, nuts, cinnamon and raisins. Pack into the cavities of the apples. Place in a snug fitting baking dish and pour around the apple juice. Top the apples with the butter. Cover with foil and bake for 8 minutes. Remove foil and continue cooking the apple until soft, basting every 6-7 minutes or so, this takes around 40-45 minutes.

In a hurry?
For a quicker dish, cut and core the apples in half and cook in their skins for 25 minutes.
To learn more about Anjum’s healthy Indian cooking, visit


500g raw tiger prawns, peeled but tails intact
250g cherry vine tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large green sweet pepper, de-seeded and cut into 3-cm chunks
2 red jalapeños, de-seeded and cut into 1-cm pieces
Watercress and toasted pita bread, to serve
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
Grated zest and freshly squeezed
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
Fresh aïoli
2 large egg yolks
4 very fresh garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp Dijon mustard
150 ml good-quality light olive oil
Freshly squeezed juice of 1⁄2 lemon
Medium sealable plastic food bag
8 wooden skewers, soaked in water overnight
Gas or charcoal barbecue

To make the marinade, mix together all the ingredients and blend to a smooth purée using a hand blender.
Put the prawns in the sealable food bag and pour in the marinade. Seal securely. Shake vigorously and when all the prawns look well coated, refrigerate, still in the bag, for about two hours.

Put the tomatoes and half the olive oil in a small saucepan and gently warm for 5 minutes, or just long enough for the tomatoes to start to soften. Remove from the heat and let cool.

To make the fresh aioli, beat the egg yolks in a large bowl with a balloon whisk. Add the garlic and mustard and beat through. While beating the mixture, slowly add the olive oil in a thin, steady stream. When all the oil has been added, the aïoli should have a smooth, velvety appearance. Add the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and gently stir through. Refrigerate until needed.

Light your barbecue. Always do this in plenty of time to have built up a good bed of hot ashes or charcoal that have burnt down to a white glow with no visible flames. This normally takes about 45 minutes from lighting.

Take the refrigerated prawns out of the bag and place on a plate, reserving any remaining marinade.
Thread the marinated prawns, tomatoes, sweet pepper and jalapeños onto the skewers in a repeating sequence and continue until all 8 skewers are filled. Make sure you allow for enough of each ingredient on each skewer, and leave enough space at the ends of the skewers to handle when on the barbecue.

In a small bowl, loosen the reserved marinade with 1–2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil. Using a pastry brush, liberally coat the skewers with the marinade just before placing on the barbecue.

Cook for a couple of minutes on each side until the prawns turn pink and are cooked through. Serve with watercress, toasted pita bread and a good dollop of fresh aioli.


As featured in The Red Hot Chilli Cookbook by Dan May. Published courtesy of Ryland, Peters & Small

Gregg the greengrocer tells Chaat! about his friendship with food, quality time with his children, and the secret to a perfectly romantic evening. The friendly cockney has a whole lot of love.


Tell me about your  book, Life on a Plate.

It’s a story of endeavour I think, and the ups and downs of my life, and I think everyone will be surprised about what they are. I started my own fruit and veg business at the age of twenty-four, and went bankrupt about ten years later. I’m a greengrocer; this is what I’ve always called myself. I’ve still got a fruit and veg business and I’ve always supplied to London chefs. Fruit and veg has been a good friend to me over the years, I’ve always made a living from it!

What is your favourite spicy dish?
Chicken vindaloo. Wait, is that the hot one? Do you know what, as I said that all of a sudden I thought of the [English Football] song, and I thought, no I’ve got it wrong! We used to play a game with the kids, and the first one to spot a bead of sweat on the top of dad’s head would get a pound.

Do you cook much spicy food at home?
I did an Asian dish the other night, and I put all the chillies in a bowl and let people pick them out themselves. My son loves spicy food, but my daughter doesn’t like it very spicy so I’ve cut down the amount of ginger of chilli that I use.

Did Masterchef change your perception of Indian cuisine at all?
Yes, we’ve had some really fine Indian cooks. The complex spicing is quite incredible, and it’s about building up layers of flavour. When Westerners try to use that much spice when they aren’t trained properly, the spices end up clashing, but in the hands of a talented cook, it’s phenomenal!

How do you think Indian cuisine has changed in the last few years?
I think we’re seeing a lot more fusion food, Indian European crosses because, of course, a lot of the chefs have an Indian heritage and a British upbringing. We’re seeing a real fusion of spiced up European dishes.

You’ve recently started up your own restaurant called Gregg’s Table, as well as Wallace & Co. What advice would you give to anyone running smaller restaurants?
Don’t run a small restaurant, have a big one! You won’t make any money out of a small restaurant.
Don’t do it unless you simply must have a restaurant. Don’t do it to make money.

Do you have any cooking tips for us?
Yes! You can put in but you can’t take away. Whatever you’re adding to your food, add a little and taste. Then, add a little more and taste. Add taste, add taste, add taste!

So what’s the perfect Valentine’s Day dish?
Something that you can create simply, it doesn’t have to be complicated. The special lady in your life that you’re cooking for will appreciate the fact that you’ve made the effort. What she doesn’t want to see is you stressed in the kitchen…

With more beads of sweat!
Yes! Don’t get in a tizz about it. You need to be relaxed enough to pay attention to your dinner guest.

Finally, what does the future hold for Gregg Wallace?
Ooooh! (Pauses) What I want to do is make enough money so I can work less.

Life on a Plate: The Autobiography by Gregg Wallace is out now (Orion, £18.99.)


“Anyone can cook!” according to fictional chef Gusteau in the loveable film Ratatouille. The film does of course have its flaws; rats can’t cook, and “the rat is the chef!” probably wouldn’t be anyone’s first logical conclusion, but who knew Disney and Pixar would tap into a potential UK food trend? Eatro, described as an ‘online marketplace for homemade food,’ supports a Hungryhouse-like service where you’re handed the apron and have the opportunity to become a takeaway chef.

Enforcing the idea that homemade food is unbeatable, Eatro wants to get people cooking their own signature dishes to be sold to hungry locals online.

So how does it work?

After creating your menu, Eatro allows you to choose a collection timeframe and enter the number of dishes you plan to make. A handy tool that ensures you won’t be inundated with requests. Local takeaway diners will choose what dish they would like online, and then collect from your home.

There seems to be a number of benefits to a home-takeaway service, especially in a time of recession when small businesses are struggling. Budding entrepreneurs can start an inexpensive micro business at home to practice and promote their culinary skills. It also inspires a sense of community which many areas lack, as HomeChefs will get to know the people who live in their area and share a passion for the same foods.

The only concern with this concept was that food hygiene standards may not be as high as that of established restaurants. Eatro does assure, however, that all new HomeChefs are interviewed and monitored with kitchen inspections to ensure food is of the highest possible standard.

If this does catch on, it’ll inspire people to get experimenting and cooking good food home, which is definitely something that should be advocated.

“Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.”
-Anton Ego, Ratatouille

To learn more, visit


Why Chaat! Magazine’s Danielle thinks Crockpot is great for family meals…

Happy Friday to all our lovely followers! It’s competition time once again and on offer this time is this fantastic Crockpot Digital Countdown Slowcooker!

Now to start, I was not a fan of slow-cooked meals due to the sheer amount of time spent stirring on the hob, and making any kind of stew usually involves the kids complaining about how they’re “starving” or why can’t I play with them etc etc. I had a slow-cooker once before, but I could never seem to get to grips with it, forgetting to time the food and ending up with undercooked dinner or food so overcooked it was practically inedible.

Bearing the above in mind, it was with great trepidation that I gave the Crockpot a try. As the original slow cookers on the market, and a brand established over 40 years ago, Crockpot retains its place at the top of the market. Black with a gloss finish, it blends in quite easily with other kitchen appliances and can be quite easily stored away, despite it’s considerable size. Both the ceramic bowl and the lid are dishwasher safe – which is great news for busy professionals or working families.

Speaking of families, the capacity of the Crockpot Digital Countdown Slow Cooker is a rather large 4.7 litres, which will easily hold and cook a meal for at least 5 people – perfect for family dinners or having friends over for dinner without theneed to slave over the stove.

Easily the best feature of this Crockpot slow cooker are the digital settings, which allow you to select the high or low option according to the time you have available or the recipe, and select the amount of time the dish needs to cook on the inbuilt timing function. This feature is perfect for people like me who inevitably forget the timer – or even forget that you’re using the slow cooker at all! And as if all that weren’t helpful enough, the slowcooker automatically switches to the ‘keep warm’ function once the timer has finished, so you don’t need to worry about overcooked dinners.

Slowcooking is versatile, and I find myself using my Crockpot even at weekends because it frees up so much time, and isn’t just for hearty old-fashioned British stew. I’ve made everything from Lamb Bhuna and Roast Chicken to Lasagne (who knew you could make lasagne in a slow cooker?!) and not to mention a gorgeous chocolate chip bread and butter pudding!

While the Crockpot Digital Countdown Slow Cooker does cost considerably more than models by other brands, I’d see the additional features as a worthwhile investment, especially for those whit busy lifestyles who want to come home and just crash out with an amazing hot home-cooked meal.

The kind people at Crockpot have given us a Crockpot Digital Countdown Slow Cooker to give away! To enter, retweet us on twitter (@curryclubuk) using #inittowinit, or like and share on Facebook (/chaatmagazine). Why not leave us a comment here too? Good luck!


The potato is an interesting vegetable, isn’t it? Actually, perhaps that’s the wrong way to start. After all, I don’t think there are many of you who would apply the adjective ‘interesting’ to the humble tuber. Filling, perhaps. Bolstering. Comforting. Blandly starchy. But probably not interesting.

What I meant by ‘interesting’ is that it’s curious how little we showcase the potato in its own right, unlike a lot of other vegetables. It’s rarely the centrepiece of a recipe. Potatoes are generally just there as a blank canvas against which other ingredients are allowed to come to the fore. Think of a lovely pillow of fluffy mashed potato, the perfect vehicle for transferring a dark, unctuous, rich, meaty gravy into your mouth. Or crispy roast potatoes, ideal again for soaking up that gravy. Chips, a blandly salty and crispy accompaniment to a piece of fried fish or a juicy burger. Potatoes so often sit there on the side, fulfilling the role of bolstering carbohydrate, but not really receiving much attention.

Sometimes, however, a recipe comes along that makes you reconsider the potato. Cooked in certain ways, you remember that the potato actually has a flavour in its own right. Different varieties have different measures of earthiness and creaminess, different textures to bring to a recipe. They’re subtle, yes, but they can also stand up to lots of strong flavours that seem only to enhance their own, rather than overpower it.

Many of these recipes involve roasting. Yes, mashed potato is a delicious thing, especially when made with lots of butter and wholegrain mustard. But I think the potato really comes into its own with the application of ferocious heat, crisping up all its edges in contrast with its creamy interior. This is particularly true if you’ve seasoned the potato generously with salt and something a little bit tangy or spicy: lemon, perhaps, or smoked paprika, or garlic, or chilli.

One of my favourite ways to do this is to thinly slice waxy baby potatoes about 5mm thick, then toss them with salt, a generous amount of olive oil, and some garlic and rosemary. The end result is addictive: part of the potato slices has crisped and caramelised, while the other part is soft and gooey, and everything is salty and garlicky and perfumed with rosemary. It’s a fabulous combination.

The other night, I decided to throw some baby tomatoes in too, to collapse and char a little and turn everything tangy and juicy and delicious. This formed a bed for thick fillets of cod, made interesting with a crunchy, deeply flavoured crust of breadcrumbs, smoked paprika, lemon salt (a JustIngredients find), strong cheddar and olive oil. It’s salty and tangy from the cheddar and lemon, and given that moreish smokeyness from paprika.

This is a delicious way both to celebrate the humble potato and to make what is otherwise a fairly boring white fish interesting. It’s absolutely crammed full of flavour, making it a healthy but deeply satisfying dinner. It’s quick and easy to prepare, and delivers on taste and texture in droves.


Lemon and paprika crusted cod with rosemary and garlic roast potatoes (serves 2):

12 baby potatoes

200g baby plum tomatoes

A sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped

1 tsp garlic and rosemary salt

3 tbsp olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

2 cod fillets, skin on

6 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs

4 heaped tbsp grated strong cheddar or parmesan

½ tsp lemon salt

1 tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp dried thyme

Squeeze of lemon juice

3 tbsp olive oil


Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Thinly slice the potatoes (about as thick as a pound coin) and put in an ovenproof dish with the tomatoes. Scatter over the rosemary, garlic and rosemary salt, olive oil and black pepper, then toss together well. Roast for 30 minutes, or until just tender.

Meanwhile, make the cod crust. In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese, lemon salt, paprika, thyme, lemon juice and olive oil. Spread thickly over the skin side of the cod fillets. When the potatoes are done, put the cod fillets on top of them, lower the oven heat to 180C and cook for a further 20 minutes. Serve with baby spinach.


We take a look at last year’s recipe books and what makes them a must-read…

Spice Odyssey, Paul Merrett
“My only aim is to provoke inspiration and exploration, because those two qualities are always apparent in all of the world’s finest cooks.” Paul Merrett, in the introduction of Spice Odyssey, would encourage you not to take his recipes too literally. Assuring that it’s alright to substitute ingredients, he highlights that the success of food is to inspire creativity rather than following a recipe down to the last word. The enticing sweet and savoury recipes intertwined with Merrett’s hilariously dry humour and observations make this cookbook a must-have in your kitchen.

The Complete Asian Cookbook, Charmaine Solomon
Originally published in 1976, this year The Complete Asian Cookbook was re-launched to reflect the culinary changes in Asia. Delving into the traditions and customs of fifteen countries, this book showcases eight hundred recipes, including loved classics such as Bhaji and chutneys, with some unusual Seaweed Jelly from Burma thrown in for good measure. If there was an encyclopaedia for spicy food, you would find it here. With beautiful cover art and photography, it contains short and concise instructions, a glossary of ingredients and an index of ingredients, offering little room to make mistakes. Through this hefty book, Charmaine Solomon aimed to make traditional Asian dishes simple and accessible in the Western world, and we think she succeeded.

The Hairy Bikers’ Great Curries, Hairy Bikers
Hairy Bikers Si King and Dave Myers claim that spicy food worked “fantastically well for our diets!”
Perhaps this is why they’ve dedicated a cookbook to curry. Featuring dishes from their travels in Asia, these curry recipes are fresh and moreish.

The Urban Rajah’s Curry Memoirs, Ivor Peters
Illustrated with family photographs and sizzling curries, this book divulges the innermost culinary family tips and secrets of  Ivor Peters; cook, traveller and creator of ‘Cash n Curry’ dining. To encourage people to embrace homemade curries and avoid the jars and sachets, Ivor guides you through the foods that shaped his life and memories, and reveals a range of dishes including vegetable curries, spicy smoothies and a creamy Indian rice pudding. This book is not only a celebration of Indian cuisine, but a celebration of family and community. Curry brings people together, and this cookbook and memoir is sure to encourage anyone who reads it to form their own culinary memories and realise just how valuable spicy cuisine is to British culture.

Prashad Indian Vegetarian Cooking, Kaushy Patel
With advice on aspects of cookery from spice and equipment to dietary requirements, Prashad caters to all reader’s needs. Recipes for bread, curries, drinks deserts and much more can all be located in this one book. The innovative twists on traditional dishes bring a modern repackaging of Indian favourites allowing the beauties of Indian food to be available to the masses.

Curry Magic: How to create modern Indian restaurant dishes at home, Pat Chapman
It’s a fact: curry is the nation’s favourite dish. Curry connoisseur Pat Chapman has been instrumental in educating the UK on the delicate ins and outs of this spicy cuisine for over 20 years, having written over 30 critically acclaimed books on all things spicy. His latest book Curry Magic, focuses on bringing modern curry dishes found in Indian homes and restaurants to the kitchens of Britain. Containing 150 different recipes, Curry Magic attempts to make Indian cooking simple and bring authentic Indian dining into your homes with a variety of time-saving techniques.  This fantastic book even allows you to recreate the creamy magic of a Lamb Korma in just 45 minutes! Chapman has managed to give the traditional dishes we know and love a new lease of life with easy cooking methods, making tasty, spicy food accessible to anyone. If you love curry and cooking then this is definitely the book for you.
Do you think we’ve missed a great cookbook? Tell us what your favourite was last year.


There are two things I absolutely must do whenever I go travelling to a new place. Number one is to take cooking lessons from the locals. All the better if this takes place in gorgeous open-air surroundings by a Vietnamese river amidst gardens of fresh lemongrass and Thai basil and a swimming pool for when the exertion of cooking all gets too much, as I was once lucky enough to experience in Hoi An, but any form of cooking lesson is hugely exciting for me, even if it’s just a street food seller taking the time to demonstrate to me how they make their delicious wares. If they let me eat said wares along the way, even better.

Number two is to visit the markets. I have an obsession with local markets; they’re probably one of my favourite things about travelling. You can keep your art galleries and museums; I think the best way to experience culture, anywhere, is to take an hour to wander around the markets and to watch, taste, touch, smell, listen and talk. And, if you’re anything like me, to come back laden with obscure products bearing strange labels that will end up at the back of your cupboards (candied nutmeg, anyone?)

This is a recipe that relates to both of those activities. This summer I spent a week and a half travelling in Malaysia. Aside from waking to the sound of macaque monkeys splashing around in the swamp metres from my bed in the deep, dark heart of the Borneo jungle, the absolute highlight of my Malaysian experience was Penang. This was in no way a surprise. I’d been told by many people that I would love Penang, undisputedly one of the street food capitals of the world, famous for its hawker centres serving up hot, moreish, ridiculously tasty food for less than you’d pay for a cup of tea back in England.

As part of my stay, I took part in a cooking course that began with a trip to the local market to introduce us to some of the ingredients we’d be using later. Actually, I lie – it didn’t begin with this, it began with one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had in my life, which is roti canai: buttery, flaky Indian-style flatbreads cooked on a hot griddle and stuffed with various fillings. Mine was oozing with egg and onion, and I sat there with a cup of hot tea, tearing off gooey, buttery pieces of this ridiculously moreish creation and dipping them in a bowl of vibrant turmeric-rich dahl. It’s Penang’s answer to a croissant, only perhaps even better.

I learned a lot from my market visit that day. One thing I love about south east Asian markets is there’s always some new weird and wonderful ingredient to discover. Introduced to my culinary repertoire on this occasion were ginger flowers – which look like firm, very pale pink tulips and have a peppery taste – and candle nuts. I’d never heard of candle nuts before, but they’re a common ingredient in Malaysian curry pastes, where they add a delicious nutty richness to the mix along with their their fragrant oils. They look rather like large macadamia nuts, with a similar creamy texture.

Later during my cooking class we learned how to make laksa, which is without a doubt the best noodle soup you will ever eat, but unfortunately takes a small army to prepare (there were about twelve of us on the cooking course, and it required all hands on deck to get it ready for lunch time). The resulting sweet-sour-spicy broth, rich in fish and tamarind and herbs, bathing a nest of slippery noodles, is worth it a hundred times over, though. We didn’t use the candle nuts, but I bought a small bag to bring home and experiment with.

This chicken curry recipe is from the lovely Nazlina, who ran our cooking course in Penang. The first time I made it back home, I had a bit of a eureka moment when I licked the spoon to check the seasoning. It was spot on, exactly everything that I want a south east Asian curry to be: rich and creamy with brown sugar and coconut, mouth-tinglingly spicy from fiery chillies, deeply zesty from lemongrass and lime leaves. I’ve made a lot of such Asian curries in the past, but this was by far the best. I think the secret is to marinate the chicken in turmeric and shrimp paste before cooking – it lends an incredible addictive salty/savoury flavour to the finished curry. Combine this with fresh, zesty galangal, ginger, lime leaves, creamy coconut and candle nuts, and you have everything that is wonderful about Malaysian food.

I’ve tweaked it a little from the original recipe: I use chicken thighs (with the bone in – much more flavour and more tender meat that way) rather than a whole jointed chicken, as it’s much easier to eat with fewer fiddly bones to crunch on by accident. I use macadamia nuts now that my candle nut stash has run out (although if anyone knows where I can get them in the UK, get in touch). I also add chopped pineapple to the curry at the last minute. This is definitely unconventional, but I think it really takes the dish to another level. It’s so rich, with the dark chicken meat and the heady combination of spices and aromatics, that you really need something fresh and zingy to brighten everything up. Pineapple is just perfect, softening and soaking up that delicious sauce, adding zingy little bursts of fruitiness that partner perfectly with the tender meat and vibrant sauce.

Serve with lots of fresh lime to squeeze over, chopped coriander, and mountains of steamed rice to soak up the fabulous sauce. This is a very easy dish to prepare, once you get your hands on the ingredients (try an Asian grocer or supermarket, or even a large branch of Morrisons, who do excellent Asian produce), but it’s incredibly rewarding, a real riot of wonderful addictive flavours that blend beautifully. If you’ve never tried Malaysian food before, this is a wonderful introduction.


Malaysian-style chicken curry with pineapple (serves 4):


8 skinless chicken thighs, bone in

2 heaped tsp shrimp paste

2 inches fresh turmeric, peeled, or 2 tsp powdered turmeric

2 hot red chillies

1 inch piece fresh galangal, peeled

3 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled

6 cloves garlic, peeled

6 macadamia nuts

3 tbsp rapeseed or groundnut oil

2 lemongrass stalks

2 tbsp tamarind puree

200ml coconut milk

100ml water

6 fresh/frozen kaffir lime leaves

4 shallots, finely sliced

2 tsp dark muscovado sugar

Half a large pineapple, finely diced

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Juice of 1 lime

Finely chopped coriander, to serve


In a mini chopper or blender, blitz together the shrimp paste and fresh turmeric (if using powdered turmeric just mix the two together in a small bowl). Put the chicken in a large dish and add the shrimp paste and turmeric. Mix together well with your hands then leave to marinate for an hour or so in the fridge.

Meanwhile, make the curry paste. In a mini chopper, blitz together the chillies, galangal, ginger, garlic and nuts until finely chopped. Bruise the lemongrass stalks by bashing them with a rolling pin or squashing with the flat of a knife. In a large lidded pan, heat the oil and sauté the curry paste and lemongrass stalks over a medium heat for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the tamarind, coconut milk and water and bring to the boil. Add the chicken, cover with a lid and cook for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

When the chicken is cooked, finely shred the lime leaves and add to the pan with the sugar and shallots. Remove the lid and simmer for around 15 minutes to thicken the sauce. Taste and check the seasoning – it will probably be salty enough from the shrimp paste. Add the lime juice, black pepper and pineapple and cook for another couple of minutes, then serve with steamed or sticky rice and fresh coriander.

Get the ingredients for the recipe from .



Lilo chevda

“This is a snack beloved by Gujaratis, a sweet and sour shredded spiced potato dish. The shredded potatoes are deep fried until crisp, as are the lentils, cashew nuts and peanuts, but plenty of lime juice is sprinkled on just before you start eating so you get this tantalizing mix of crisp bits and soft bits. There’s plenty of chilli in it, sweetness from the raisins and sugar, sharpness from the lime juice, and a good sprinkling of salt too. Perfect balance in street food.”
-Rick Stein


150g chana dal (Bengal gram or split yellowpeas), soaked overnight in coldwater

1kg potatoes, such as Maris Piper, peeled, coarsely grated

Vegetable oil, for deep frying


3 tbsp unsalted cashew nuts or peanuts (skinned)

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1 tbsp fennel seeds

½tsp turmeric

1½tbsp caster sugar, plus extra to taste

2fresh green chillies, finely chopped with seeds

2 tbsp raisins

Juice of 1–2 limes

Drain the chana dal and pat dry with kitchen paper. Spread out on a tray lined with a clean tea towel (or more kitchen paper) and leave on one side. Soak the prepared potatoes in salted water for 20 minutes. Drain, use your hands to squeeze out any excess moisture, then pat dry with kitchen paper.

Two-thirds fill a large, deep-sided sturdy pan with vegetable oil and place over a medium heat. Test it’s hot enough by dropping in a piece of potato; it should sizzle and turn golden in about 20 seconds. (Or use a deep-fat fryer heated to 180°C.) Deep-fry the potatoes in batches until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Season with half a teaspoon of salt and set aside. Using the same oil, fry the chana dal in batches for about 3–4 minutes, or until they rise to the surface and turn a shade darker. Drain on kitchen paper, and add to the fried potatoes.

Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a low-medium heat. Add the cashew nuts or peanuts and fry for 3–5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted. Add the sesame seeds and fennel seeds and cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat and stir in the turmeric, followed by the sugar, half a teaspoon of salt, the chillies and the raisins, then mix with the potatoes and lentils. Add plenty of lime juice to give a sweet-sour flavour (you may need to add more sugar and salt at this stage to balance the flavour). Serve at room temperature in small bowls as a snack.

Image & Recipe courtesy of Rick Stein.

Prep time:      About 10 minutes
Cook time:     About 40 minutes
Serves:           4
4                      Medium potatoes (fluffy),skin on, thinly sliced
1                      Onion, finely chopped
1                      Clove garlic, crushed
2tbsp              Tomato ketchup
400g               Can chopped tomatoes
2tsp                Chilli powder
Preheat oven to Gas 6, 200ºC, 400ºF.
Place sliced potatoes, onions and garlic in a large plastic (microwave proof) bowl.  (They will cook quicker if not packed too densely – bigger bowl in thinner layer works best!).
Rinse slices with water, drain, place back into bowl.  Cover with plastic plate or cling film and cook.
MW = 800 watts
Category E
= 5-8 minutes
When potatoes are cooked shake bowl and stand for 1 minute, then drain.
OR Hob: Place potatoes in a pan with just enough boiling water to cover them.  Lid on bring to the boil and simmer for about 8-10 minutes just starting to soften, drain.
Place potatoes etc in an ovenproof dish.  Heat together the ketchup, tomatoes and chilli, and pour over and lightly combine together. Cover with foil
Place in oven and cook for 30 minutes until tender and golden – Remove foil for the last 15 minutes.


Serve with seasonal steamed green vegetables.

This issue, we spoke to Yasmin Choudhury, founder of philanthropic food and travel brand Lovedesh. She’s introducing the UK to the unique concept, that is also perhaps a dying art, to Bangladeshi wood-fired curry.

She tells us that, “As gas fires spread across remote rural villages in the Indian subcontinent, cooking over an open wood fire is a dying tradition, one that only poor villages undertake. To help preserve the art, I flew to Bangladesh in March 2013 to learn the tricks involved with cooking artisan curries.” (Full article in issue 16, out now)

Yasmin is giving four lucky people the chance to win a wood-fire curry cooking lesson in London. To enter, email [email protected] with ‘Wood-Fired’ in the subject line, including your name, address and telephone number. Good luck!


Happy New Year! – Receive two Home Colours kitchen items valued at £20.00 when you subscribe to Chaat!

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These sleek and bold bowls simplify the cooking preparation process, with creases that will assist you in pouring and silicone feet to stop any sliding. Suitable for mixing, serving and storing. Bowls come in a variety of colours.
Best-selling brand Rosti-Mepal is Europe’s leading designer and manufacturer of quality melamine products designed for the preparation, storage and serving of food. From the classic Margrethe mixing bowl first launched in 1954, to the latest introductions including the acclaimed Kore bread bin and Optima spoons and utensils, all items are available in a range of classic and contemporary colours to suit all tastes. These beautifully designed spoons are lightweight, heat-resistant and look great in the utensils pot.



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