Archive for February, 2014

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WORDS BY MEGAN EVANS

The ancient Indian spice of chai is rooted deep in tales of royalty and healing herbal medicine. Indian chai is believed to nurse all manners of ailments and contribute to a complete, rounded and truly peaceful well-being.

It is easy to see how this special spice blend has become associated with spiritual calm; its warm, aromatic flavours are unbelievably soothing and therapeutic. The taste is spicy only in the subtle warming sense, balanced perfectly with a distinctly sweet and aromatic flavour. Its authentic Indian heritage encourages thoughts of Chai-Wallah tea merchants, lining the streets of many Indian cities brewing batches of fresh and delicious Chai, all with their own unique and imaginative personal touch. Just a small savour of this warm and gentle spice takes you straight to the heart of the magical cities of India.

The milky nature of Chai tea has encouraged experimentation. Coffee houses everywhere have decided to infuse the spice with the smooth and milky texture of the café latte. The flavours of the Chai work wonderfully well with coffee; giving the beans a deliciously soft and sweet lift. It really is a beautiful aromatic addition to the smooth taste and texture of the latte.

There is every reason to try a cup of this soft, soothing and zesty coffee blend. Not only could it aid and nurse spiritual peace, it can also give you that extra caffeine boost you may feel you need in the morning. It is certainly worth taking the plunge and savouring the taste of this authentic, ancient Indian spice.

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INGREDIENTS 

4 whole crowns of grouse

1 tablespoon corn or vegetable oil

 

For the marinade

1 tablespoon corn or vegetable oil

1 ½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ginger and garlic paste

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, roasted and coarsely ground

8 cloves, roasted and coarsely ground

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

Pumpkin pickle

Oil

¼ tsp Fenugreek seeds

2 Whole red chillies dried

500g Peeled and Diced pumpkin

¼ tsp Turmeric

1 tsp Salt

½ tbsp Red chilli powder

100g Sugar

1tsp Dried amchoor or Mango pickle masala

 

Peel, dice and wash pumpkin, drain and keep aside.

Heat oil, add fenugreek seeds and dried red chillies and allow to pop.

Add pumpkin and stir over high heat for 3-4 minutes.

Add salt, red chilli powder and turmeric, reduce heat, cover and cook until the pumpkin is soft and begins to get mashed. Add sugar to give sweetness which balances the heat and spice and also makes the pickle glossy. Finish with dried amchoor pieces or a couple of tsp of Mango pickle from the bottle. Remove from fire and keep warm.

For the Grouse

Remove the feathers and skin from the grouse crown, and debone them. Clean and trim the breasts,

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a mixing bowl and fold the grouse breasts in it. Leave the marinated grouse for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Heat oil in an oven proof pan, sear the breasts on both the sides for 30 seconds each side and cook under a pre-heated grill for 1 minute. Rest them for 5 minutes and serve with the pumpkin pickle.

Tip:

Take care not to over cook the breast as it dried up very quickly. Grouse being a very lean meat cooks very quickly and best enjoyed cooked medium.

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One of the items that you can get with our curry magazine subscription. Perhaps the richest kind of soy sauce there is, Ketjap Manis is a delectably dark, sweet and syrupy condiment originating from Indonesia. This soy sauce an absolute staple ingredient for Asian cooking. It’s suitable for vegetarians and contains no unnecessary and unwanted fats. Great for stir-fries, marinades, rice and noodle dishes, Cook’s Brand Ketjap Manis soy sauce should take pride of place in every spice cupboard.
Here’s some great recipe inspiration so you can get cooking!

Nasi Goreng

Serves 2

Ingredients:

400g cold cooked rice (200g raw cooked in 250ml water)

1 medium onion – finely diced

1 chicken breast (finely sliced)

2 Tbsp Cooks Ketjap Manis (to taste)

1 Tbsp Cooks Sambal Olek

½ tsp salt

Pepper, to taste

100g beans (chopped into small rounds)

2 spring onions (chopped)

1 egg (cook into a flat omelette and cut into strips)

2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp crispy fried onions (optional)

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a wok and fry onions until they are soft.
  2. Drain and spread onions out on absorbent paper.
  3. Fry the diced onions in the hot oil and when they are soft add the sliced chicken.
  4. When the chicken is cooked add the cold rice.
  5. Next add the sambal olek and ketjap manis.
  6. Stir well for about 3- 4 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add the beans and continue frying, adding a little water into the wok if the rice gets too dry.
  8. Lastly add the chopped spring onions to the nasi goreng.
  9. Ensure rice is thoroughly heated throughout and served piping hot.
  10. Spoon into a large platter and garnish with omelette strips and crispy onions.

Serve with chopped fresh chillies in soy sauce.

Cook’s Brand Ketjap Manis is available on Wing Yip. Visit www.wingyipstore.co.uk for more information. You can also follow them on Twitter (@wingyipstore) for updates on their latest products.

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Spice up your love life this Valentine’s Day with Chaat! Magazine’s seductive spicy hamper!

Our special love-themed hamper is packed full of aphrodisiac spiciness, and as if that wasn’t enough to get you ‘in the mood’, it comes with an issue of Chaat! Magazine.

Our current issue includes 23 fantastic recipes ranging from flavoursome nibbles to impressive desserts that will make you feel like a culinary genius in the kitchen. With a large section on the artisan food revolution, bread and pastry recipes from Paul Hollywood and James Morton, inspiration from the UK’s top restaurants and chefs, and travel diaries that will whisk you off to exotic destinations. Don’t miss our regular column with Bill Oddie and playful interviews with Gok Wan, Karl Pilkington and Tom Stade. We also need YOU to vote for your favourite curry for the country’s only Top of the Poppadoms poll.

The perfect gift for your loved one (and for you too!), our special Valentine’s-themed hamper is a must for spice lovers; and lovers who crave some spice…

You could win one of our seductive spicy hampers! It includes:

2 x Blue Nun Sparkling Gold Edition (200cl)
Our Little Secret Dine in Curry Kit
Jelly Belly Tabasco flavoured Jelly beans
Hotel Chocolat ‘Dark Smiley Lick’ lollipop
Cook’s Brand Ketjap Manis soy sauce
The Spicery ‘All You Need is Love’ sweet spice mix
Seed & Bean Exotic flavoured Organic chocolate
1 issue of Chaat! Magazine

Enter in one of three ways: Either ‘like’ us and share our post on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and RT our post, or email [email protected] with “Valentine” in the subject line by February 15th. Good luck!

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WORDS BY MEGAN EVANS

Vodka as a plain, distilled spirit can be boring and tasteless. In small amounts it adds no additional flavour to a drink, and too much can cause that distinctive facial expression you get when you bite into something sour.

Flavoured vodka is the perfect solution. It creates a delicious-tasting spirit drink which gives you all the right side effects and doesn’t leave you with such a pungent aftertaste of ethanol. The range is also quite vast. You can have all kinds of fruity flavours; lime, apple and raspberry are the most popular, mixing well with many soft drinks for a fruity and uplifting taste.

But flavoured vodka has taken a new valiant turn. The spirit has recently undergone an infusion with one of the world’s hottest chillies; the intensely spicy ‘Naga Jolokia’ chilli. Even its name sounds daunting and intimidating.

Daredevils everywhere are keen to get a taste of this dangerous vodka produced by the Master of Malt distillery, which is rumoured to come with its own health warning. Even extreme lovers of heat are likely to experience severe difficulty in drinking a spirit, rated with a whopping 250,000 Scoville units.

So what is the point in this concoction? Those who enjoy and appreciate a subtle hint of spice and zing would probably be unable to handle such a powerful tasting alcohol, and could be in danger of spontaneously combusting. Anyone who dares to drink it would be breathing fire for several weeks, suffering far more than just a cloudy head the next day.

Surely any real taste would be completely overpowered by the ferocious bite of spice and heat that comes from the Naga Jolokia, attacking the taste buds with its extreme piquancy. There is, however, something to be said for choosing such a rare and fiery chilli, which can only be handled by the most experienced chilli connoisseurs. It could give amateurs a chance to taste such extraordinary flavours in a fun and different way.

Chilli vodka could give simple cocktails a powerful boost of exceptional taste, unlike anything you have ever tasted before and far better than the usual zesty sensations from other ‘spicy’ mixers. The famous and delicious ‘Bloody Mary’ blend could be renewed and enhanced by this potent chilli spirit. Although it must be stressed, this would not be for the faint-hearted!

I’m not sure that I would be brave enough to give chilli vodka a try; I for one would struggle to cope with its almost corrosive nature. But for those courageous and intrepid spice enthusiasts, this could be the perfect challenge if you think you can handle the heat.

Those with a high heat tolerance will also enjoy the flavour of Smirnoff Chilli Vodka in a complementary mix with ice cold soft drinks. Alternatively, try a single shot of Luxardo Sambuca Chilli and Spices for a warming take on their traditional anise flavour.

Remember to drink responsibly. For more facts about alchohol visit: drinkaware.co.uk

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Add some creaminess to your potatoes with this great recipe.

Prep time:      About 10 minutes

Cook time:     About 40 minutes

Serves:           4

INGREDIENTS:

4 Medium potatoes, skin on, thinly sliced
Olive oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
2tbsp  Thai green curry paste
300ml Reduced fat coconut milk
½ Small butternut squash, peeled and sliced (about 300g prepared weight)
Fresh coriander, chopped (optional)

METHOD:

Preheat oven to Gas 6, 200ºC, 400ºF.

Place sliced potatoes and butternut squash 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

For MW if different watts or category adjust cooking time in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions.

 

 

When potatoes and squash are cooked shake bowl and stand for 1 minute, then drain.

In a pan heat the oil, add the onion and lightly cook.  Add thai paste and coconut milk and heat together.  Place potatoes and squash in an ovenproof dish and pour over the coconut milk mixture. Cover with foil.

Place in oven and cook for 30-35 minutes (remove the foil for the last 10 to brown the slices) until tender and golden.

Serve scattered with fresh coriander and serve with seasonal steamed green vegetables.

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WORDS BY MICHELLE ALEXANDER

With the cheerful festive season long gone, winter seems grey and extremely cold. The ideal cold-free haven would be snuggled up on the sofa, with a fluffy blanket, watching TV. Hot drinks can  make you feel warm inside, but the same old hot chocolate or tea can start to become dull. How about spicing things up with some chilli drinks?

It’s not uncommon to buy hot chocolate with a hint of chilli, but there is no fun in making hot chocolate from a packet! Chillies are also very good for you as they contain a lot of vitamins, so drinking hot chocolate suddenly becomes healthy… or so we like to think!

Why not try this delicious, Creamy Chilli Hot Chocolate?

CREAMY CHILLI HOT CHOCOLATE

Ingredients:

• 50g dark chocolate at 70%

• 30g chocolate with chilli (Lindt)

• 1 tsp cocoa powder, 100% cocoa

• 40 cl milk

• 20 cl cream

• 1 tbsp honey Lune de Miel

• 1/2 chilli, seeded

• 1/2 tsp cinnamon

• 1/2 vanilla pod

• 1 pinch of salt

Preparation method:

1. Make a slit through the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into a medium sized saucepan. Also add the vanilla pod. Pour 2/3 of the milk, honey and the rest of the spices, except for the chilli. Boil for a few minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.

2. Chop the chocolate into small pieces. In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate together with the cream. Pour the blend into the first saucepan. Pour the remaining 1/3 of milk into the chocolate saucepan to rinse it and then pour it all into the first saucepan.

3. Add the half chilli (seeded) and simmer for 2 minutes on medium high heat. Then take out the chilli, as well as the vanilla pod. It’s ready to serve!

Serves 2.

Find more tasty recipes at www.delscookingtwist.com 

 
Or, if you want something a little less creamy, why not try and make a Spiced Chai Tea? Chai tea is well known in India for its wonderful health benefits. Adding spices to the tea just gives it an extra kick of flavour sending your taste buds on an adventure.

SPICED CHAI TEA

Ingredients:

◦6 cups water

◦3 tbsp. loose leaf black or Darjeeling tea

◦1 cup milk, steamed (or creamer)

◦1 cinnamon stick

◦12 whole cloves

◦1.5 tbsp. black pepper or peppercorns

◦2 tsp. nutmeg

◦2 tsp. ground ginger

◦6 cardamom pods

◦1 tsp. vanilla extract

◦1/2 cup raw sugar or honey

Method:

  1. In medium bowl, bring tea to boil for about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Strain and let steep. In same bowl, boil all spices for about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add spice mixture to steeped tea.
  4. Blend well. Strain and transfer to teapot. Let steep and blend well for a few more minutes.
  5. Sweeten with sugar or honey. Add milk as desired for a latte. Blend that well, too. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon if desired.

Makes 6 cups.

More wonderful recipes can be found at www.flanboyanteats.com

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Ever heard of bombay mix chocolate? Neither had we!

The contrast of the mix’s spiciness and crunchiness combined with the dark chocolate’s silky sweetness is surprisingly moreish.

Cally, the owner of Chocally, told us that, “The Bombay mix chocolate idea came to me when I couldn’t stop munching on the incredibly moreish savoury snack. I thought, what could possibly make this yummy snack even better? and chocolate was the obvious answer to me, a strange one maybe but trust me it works.

All chocolates are lovingly handmade by Cally, who is always experimenting with exciting new flavours.

Get your Valentine some of Cally’s beautifully crafted chocolates at  www.chocally.co.uk, or bag a free Chaat! Magazine Valentine’s hamper containing bombay chocolate shards here

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Blue Nun Sparkling Gold; An Ideal Valentine’s Wine


Ideal for romantic celebrations such as Valentine’s Day, Blue Nun has released a sparkling Gold Edition white wine, complete with distinctive fine flecks of delicate 22 carat gold leaf and now available in mini 200ml bottles available from ASDA stores nationwide.

 

Designed with special and romantic occasions in mind, the iconic brand, owned by the Langguth family in Germany, has used their passion, heritage and expertise to create a delicate, subtle quality sparkling white wine with a lovely light fruitiness (alc 11.00%).   Blue Nun has crafted the Gold Edition with a full, rounded flavour, this light and elegant style wine has the exciting addition of gold flecks to highlight the natural effervescence of sparkling white wine.  The Gold Edition is ideal as an aperitif or to accompany light bites and hors d’oevres.

Available in cute mini 200ml bottles available from most ASDA stores nationwide with a RRP of £2.25, priced at under £10 from Rhythm & Booze stores nationwide or online via www.drinksdirect.co.uk for a 75cl bottle

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How do you like your eggs in the morning?

WORDS BY MEGAN EVANS

Despite the old wives’ tale that ‘breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day’, many of us find we don’t have the time or the desire early in the morning to spend time creating a delicious, nutritious meal. Breakfast is sometimes a quick cereal bar you grab on your way out of the door, and by 11 o’clock stomachs begin to rumble and grumble.
A decent hearty breakfast really does set you up for the day. They are good for diets and good for moods; they set you up with enough energy to tackle the day ahead and contribute to an all round happier, healthier you.

But should you have for breakfast when time is of the essence? Scrambled eggs is one of the quickest and easiest meals to make and is brimming with nutritious healthy goodness. There is just one gripe to be had with good old fashioned scrambled eggs. They can be bland, boring and tasteless.

So why not add a bit of flavour and spice to the egg mixture? There are some great recipes to be found that give your eggs a bit of a twist in the morning. My favourite recipe combines green chillies, fresh coriander and a touch of cumin to create a delicious blend of subtle flavourings. Since this is the first meal of the day, the spicy mix should not be too overpowering or hot, but should just be enough to get the taste buds going.

The thought of green chillies might seem a little frightening – dicing them first thing in the morning could be disastrous! But the risk is well worth it, the dish would just not be the same without it. Cumin and coriander seeds are a perfect addition to the fragrant mixture along with a small sprinkle of turmeric powder.

Adding finely chopped onions, peppers and tomatoes, topped with a helping of fresh coriander you’re good to go. Lightly toasted wholemeal pita bread makes for a delicious and healthy accompaniment, giving you that low GI carbohydrate for an extra boost of energy.

This dish is the perfect tasty alternative to the average serving of scrambled eggs on toast. Spice fans will definitely love this light and simple breakfast packed with tonnes of flavour and energy to keep you going until lunch.

 Spiced Scrambled Egg

½ tsp + ½ tsp of cumin seeds

½ tsp coriander seeds

A knob of butter

¼ tsp turmeric powder

2-3 small green chillies, finely chopped

½ red onion, finely chopped

¼ – 1/3 capsicum (peppers), diced

4 eggs beaten

Salt to taste

1 tomato, diced

Small handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Pita bread (or normal bread if preferred) toasted

 

Method

In a large non-stick pan, dry roast the first ½ tsp of cumin with the coriander seeds until fragrant. Grind to a powder with a spice grinder, or a simple mortar and pestle. In this same pan, add the butter and add the second ½ tsp of whole cumin seeds.

 

When the seeds have popped, add the spice powder and turmeric and fry for a couple of minutes on medium heat.

 

Next, add the chillis and onion and fry until soft. Add the capsicum (peppers) for another 2 minutes.

 

In a bowl, beat the eggs with the salt. Add the eggs to the pan and scramble as normal. When the eggs are half cooked, add the tomatoes and more salt according to taste and continue to scramble.

Finally, add the chopped fresh coriander and serve with warm pita bread or toast.

Recipe courtesy of Deepa Gopinath of One Small Pot. Follow more of her recipes on:  

http://www.onesmallpot.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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