Paneer Tikka Masala Recipe

A homemade, vegetarian version of a takeaway favourite, ideal comfort food for cold, winter evenings.

paneer tikka masala

Ingredients (Serves 2):

Paneer Spices:

250g of Paneer, cut into cubes
2 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Curry Powder
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Tumeric

For Tikka Masala:

1tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Curry Powder
2 tsp Garam Masala
1 Clove of Garlic, crushed
1 inch of Fresh Root Ginger, peeled and finely diced
1 Onion, diced
1 cup of frozen Peas
150g of Yoghurt
400g of Chopped Tomatoes

Method:

Mix spices for the paneer marinade together in a bowl, then put paneer in the marinade, stir or shake to ensure that it is evenly coated in spices.

Heat a splash of oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, when the seeds start to pop, pour in the marinaded paneer and cook on a medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until warm through and the spice marinade has stuck to the paneer, then set aside in a bowl.

Add a tablespoon of oil to a medium sized pan and heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook for one minute.

Add onion, the remaining spices and up to 2 tablespoons of water to make a thin paste. Simmer to reduce liquid.

Add chopped tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes, then add yoghurt and frozen peas, mixing well and then cook until liquid starts to reduce to until a thick sauce.

Add the paneer, stir in to mix and cook until warm through.

Serve with plain boiled rice and papadums.

Lentil Bolognese Recipe

Ingredients (serves 4):

1 Onion finely diced

1 large Carrot grated

1 stalk of Celery grated

1 Clove of Garlic crushed

1 Courgette quartered lengthwise and finely chopped

1 Red or Orange pepper finely chopped

1/2 cup of Red Lentils

400g of Tomato Passata

1 tsp of vegetable stock powder

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One of the first vegetarian meals I learned to cook, this is a nourishing and adaptable meal.

Method:

Pour a splash of olive oil in a medium sized pan, put on a medium heat. Once the oil is warm, add the onions and garlic. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.

Add the grated carrot and celery, mix well and cook for 2-5 minutes or until softened.

Add the courgette and cook for 2 minutes, then add the pepper and cook for a further minute. Add 1 tsp of vegetable stock powder and mix well.

Pour in 1/2 cup of red lentils. Mix thoroughly to ensure the lentils are spread throughout and cook for one minute.

Add the tomato passata and up to 2 tablespoons of water. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until sauce thickens and lentils start to break apart, stirring frequently.

Once cooked serve with pasta.

Spicy Carrot and Lentil Soup

Ingredients (serves 2-4):

1 medium Onion finely diced

1 medium sized Sweet Potato grated

2 medium Carrots grated

1 stalk of Celery grated or finely diced

1 clove of Garlic crushed

1cm cube of Fresh Root Ginger diced

2/3 cup of Red Lentils

2 tsp of Cumin

1 tsp of Turmeric

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A simple to cook fresh and slightly spiced soup.

Method:

Heat oil in a medium sized pan on a medium heat. Once the oil is warm, add the onion, garlic and ginger to the pan. Cook for 3 t0 5 minutes or until the onions turn translucent.

Add a pinch of salt, cracked black pepper, turmeric and cumin, stirring well for 30 seconds.

Add the grated carrot, sweet potato and celery to the pan, mix well and cook for one or two minutes until the the carrot and sweet potato have slightly softened.

Add the red lentils and stir thoroughly.

Add about one and a half pints of boiling water to the pan, mix in. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 25 to 35 minutes or until lentils have cooked. Add more water if it appears too thick.

Blend with a handheld blender or in a food processor for a smoother soup.

Smashed Avocado on Toast with Poached Egg, Tomato and Spinach

Ingredients (serves 2):

2 large avocados

1 tsp diced chilli

2 fresh eggs

12 cherry tomatoes

1 large handful of fresh spinach

Squeeze of lemon juice

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This recipe was inspired by a brunch I ate in the West Village of NYC on holiday, it’s a simple and tasty alternative to a “fry-up” or cooked breakfast.

Method:

Put a small pan of water on to boil with a pinch of salt and a splash of vinegar.

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place in an grill proof dish. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper. Put cherry tomatoes under the grill on a medium high heat.

Scoop out the avocados, remove the stone and cut the avocados into cubes. Put into a bowl, season with salt, cracked black pepper, lemon juice and diced chilli. Mix with a fork until slightly mashed but still chunky.

Shred the spinach. 

Once the water in the pan begins to simmer, crack one egg into the water from a low height. Add the second around 30 seconds later.

Remove the tomatoes from the grill when they are softened but not charred and set aside.

Toast the bread until lightly browned.

After about 1 minute, remove the eggs from the simmering water. The egg should feel firm but with a slightly soft yolk.

To serve, spread the smashed avocado on toast and place one poached egg on top or to the side, then place the grilled tomatoes on a bed of fresh, shredded spinach to the side.

Tofu Satay Recipe

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A simple and quick, vegetarian twist on a takeaway favourite.

Ingredients (serves 2):

200g firm tofu cut into cm squares

1 onion finely diced

1 green pepper diced

1 clove of garlic crushed

1 red chilli pepper sliced

150ml of coconut milk (or crème fraiche, which I use if I have some that needs to be used up, it just creates a thicker sauce)

½ cup of smooth peanut butter

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Method:

Marinade the tofu cubes in one tablespoon of Tamari Soy Sauce.

Pour a generous splash of olive oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat.

Once the oil is warm, add the diced onions. Cook for about five minutes or until the onions become translucent.

Add the chilli and garlic, mix well and cook for about one minute.

Add green pepper, stir thoroughly and cook for about three minutes.

In a separate frying pan, lightly fry the tofu in a small amount of olive oil.

Add peanut butter and coconut milk (or crème fraiche) to the vegetables pan, stirring constantly to mix everything together. Cook for a couple of minutes, if the sauce is too thick, add up to a tablespoon of water to the mix.

Add tofu to the pan with the vegetables and sauce, stir well to ensure the tofu is mixed in and everything is covered with the sauce. Cook for a further minute, stirring continuously to prevent it from sticking.

Serve with boiled white rice.