Posts Tagged ‘spicy’

Experiment–cooking something for the first time “before your very eyes“– as the Music Hall magician’s would shout…

This recipe sounds promising–I found it buried deep in an old file–and I have the ingredients to hand.

(Apologies to the original author should they come across it.)

I picked one of the courgettes/zucchini from our garden early this morning!

Not overwhelmed with the supply yet–but it’s early days.

It’s going to be spicy hot with that much cayenne.

If that is not to your taste, you can either half the quantity of cayenne or add more yogurt .

Eight fluid ounces of water seems a lot; but the 25 minutes or so of simmering will concentrate the taste I hope.

Here goes!

"under starter's orders"

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion–thinly sliced
3 medium zucchini/courgettes [a yellow one for the look– if available]- sliced
a clove garlic–finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
225ml (8 fl oz) hot water
1 small *dessertspoon [warning–see below] cayenne powder
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3 whole cloves
7 whole peppercorns
1 large/2 medium tomatoes–chopped
2 tablespoons low/no fat  yoghurt

  • Heat the oil in a medium frying pan.
  • Sauté the onion and the garlic over a medium heat until golden (about 5 minutes).

onions and garlic on the go

  • Add the courgettes, salt, chilli powder, turmeric, coriander, cloves, peppercorns, tomatoes and yoghurt and turn everything over several times.

ready for the water...

  • Add the water and cover to bring up to a simmer.
  • Leave the mix covered, to bubble contentedly over a low heat for 10 minutes.
  • Uncover and let it continue to chugger gently until the courgettes are tender.

chuggering contentedly

Serve over Basmati brown rice with green beans and some garlicky yogurt on the side–lunch on a sunny Sunday.

We’ll see…

Post lunch report:

Tasty–a little overcooked–and  toooooo  hot!

*The original recipe above called for a dessert spoon [roughly 2 teaspoons] of cayenne powder–which I included.

Meredith’s eyes watered and there were choking noises from the other side of the table, as I reached for the water jug.

The cooling yogurt was there one moment and gone the next!

So next time a teaspoon or less depending on your preference of cayenne powder and the courgette slices could have more bite, i.e. cooked a little less.

A standby for the coming zucchini glut.

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This is adapted from the Indian actress and cookery write Madhur Jaffrey again, whose spicy green beans from a recent post, would be a good accompaniment.

I’ve cooked from her BBC series cookbook-“Indian Cookery” for many years–it may be out of print now but is worth seeking out. She says in the introduction,
that her mother once told her, her passion for food dates back to “the hour of my birth, when my Grandmother wrote the sacred syllable”Om” (I am”) on my tongue with a finger dipped in honey. I was apparently observed smacking my lips rather loudly.” Something we do regularly after eating from one her recipes!

An overnight marinade in this delicious blend of familiar spices and a quick turn on a griddle* make these strips of chicken breast a handy lunch option.

for 4/6

2lb/1k free range boneless chicken breast— skin removed, washed, patted dry
and cut into 1″/2cm strips

the marinade:

5 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 medium onion–roughly chopped

1 head of garlic–peeled and roughly chopped

1” nob of ginger–peeled and roughly chopped

2 tablespoons each of fennel seeds and ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds

8 cardoman pods and 8 whole cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

20 black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons salt–sea salt for preference and “Malden” if you can find it

  • Liquidise the marinade ingredients.
  • Add the resulting mush to the bowl in which you have put the strips of chicken.
  • Turn it all over–making sure the chicken is well covered by the marinade.
  • Cover the bowl and leave it in the fridge overnight.
  • Heat a griddle to hot and cook the strips in batches.
  • Depending on the thickness allow them a couple of minutes a side. Cut into one to test for doneness–if it looks too pink let it cook on a few seconds more.
*You could also cook these in a hot oven (220c/425f  for 10 to 15 minutes depending on their thickness).

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Small piles of green beans are starting to appear in the markets.

Adapted from the actress and cookery writer, Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe ,
these goes well with spicy and not so spicy food.

for 4

1lb/450 gms green beans–topped
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
4 cloves of garlic — chopped very fine
1 dried red chilli–chopped fine
1 tsp salt

  • Cook the beans to just tender in plenty of lightly salted, boiling water–use tongs to whip one out of the water to test for doneness.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the seeds.
  • When they start to pop add the garlic.
  • Cook until it starts to turn light brown–careful not to burn it–it won’t take long.
  • Add the chilli and stir.
  • Add the beans and the salt.
  • Turn the heat to low and fold the beans over in the oil and spices.
  • (You are heating through and infusing the beans with the flavours–5 minutes should do it).
  • Add the pepper

"Still life" with Marmalade, Lily and spicy green beans

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Much fish curried!

This is adapted from a recipe by the brilliant and imaginative British food writer–Nigel Slater.

It’s simple and a good dish for company (we had it on Christmas Eve one year)– allow 150 g/5 oz of fish per person.

You can make the basic sauce ahead of time–even the night before–and prepare the fish pieces in advance too.

Then all you have to do is reheat the curry sauce and slip in the fish in the appropriate order while you cook some brown basmati rice.

We had it tonight with a cooling cucumber raita.

Serves 4

2 medium onions–chopped

2 cloves of garlic–chopped

1 tablspoon of olive oil

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

a thumbnail size piece of fresh ginger–chopped

3 small red chillies (the heat level is a matter of taste)–chopped

1 teaspoon each–garam masala, cayenne and turmeric

225 g/8 oz fresh or tinned tomatoes–chopped

500 ml/1 pint/2 cups stock–I use organic vegetable stock cubes

250 g/9 oz mussels

8 clams (palourdes)–if you can find them

600 g/20 oz white fish in fillets–this could be monkfish, haddock, cod or some of each, preferably fish that holds its

shape when cooked in pieces

8 prawns in their shells

1 tablespoon of low/no fat yogurt – whisked smooth

A good handful of chopped parsley–or coriander if you can find it

  •  In a casserole large enough to hold all the fish, fry the chopped onions and the garlic gently in the oil until soft.
  •  Add the mustard seeds and ginger and mix.
  • Add the chopped chilli and mix.
  •  Add the garam masala, cayenne and turmeric and mix.
  •  Add the chopped tomatoes and let them mingle with the spices for 5 minutes.
  •  Add the stock and bring everything to the boil.
  •  Let this sauce simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Let the sauce cool.
  •  Stir in the yogurt carefully.

    ready for the fish

  • Debeard, scrape and rinse clean the mussels.
  • Scrub the clams if you have them.
  • Check the fish fillets for bones and cut into bite-size pieces.
  • Have the prawns standing by.
  • Reheat the sauce if you have precooked it.
  •  Slip in the white fish and cook until it turns opaque.
  •  Then add the mussels, clams and prawns.
  • Cook gently, making sure that the sauce is covering the fish, until the mussels and clams open and the prawns heat through.
  • (I sometimes throw the mussels and clams in a saucepan with a tablespoon of water to get them to open, then add them to the curry.)
  •  Check the salt, add the parsley/coriander and bring this bubbling colourful wonder to the table.
This is Meredith’s choice for my 100th post– and it’s a recipe from Delicious Dishes for Diabetics–A Mediterranean Way of Eating (Constable & Robinson and Skyhorse).
(Published August 4th 2011 in the UK and November 1st in the USA–but available on Amazon.co.uk for pre-order now.)

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