Simple Chicken Pasanda

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 Tbs Oil for frying
1 onion
2 cardamom pods
2.5cm piece of fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
300g skinless chicken breasts
300ml chicken stock
6 Tbs 0% fat Greek yoghurt
2 Tbs ground almonds
6 cherry tomatos
salt and pepper to taste

Method

Finely chop the onion, garlic and ginger. Chop the chicken into chunks.

Fry the onion in a pan, covered until softened. This takes 7 minutes or so

Split the cardamom pods and add these to the pan with the garlic, ginger, ground turmeric, ground coriander and chicken. Fry until the chicken is coloured – usually about 5 minutes. If the mixture looks very dry, add a splash of water.

Add the stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for about 10 minutes

Slowly mix in the yoghurt. Once fully mixed in, add the ground almonds and tomatoes

Recover the pan and cook for a further 3-5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Season to taste and serve with rice.

Bircher Muesli

Eating healthily in January doesn’t have to be a strain with this Bircher Muesli. Thrown together very quickly in the evening, it’s ready to be a delicious breakfast the next morning with no additional effort. It’s not the most beautiful breakfast you’ll ever eat, but it tastes fantastic and it’s good for you! I’ve made up to 3 days-worth at a time and it keeps fine in the fridge.

Serves 1 but the recipe is easily multiplied for more.

Ingredients

3 Tbsp Oats
2 Tbsp Golden Linseeds
1 Tbsp other seeds (sunflower, pumpkin etc)
1-2 Tbsp dried fruit – I like 1 Tbsp of cranberries and a couple of chopped up apricots.
Almond Milk

Method

1. Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl.
2. Pour in the almond milk till all the ingredients are covered (no need to be precise!)
3. Pop into the fridge, leave overnight and eat the next morning

Dhal Soup

After that late burst of glorious summer, it feels like the country is finally sliding into the reds and golds of autumn and into the cooler temperatures that brings. This recipe makes either a dhal, or a hearty lentil soup, depending on your mood – perfect for the autumn weather either way.

Ingredients

500g red lentils
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock (we stock some lovely organic ones)
3 Bay leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion
2 spring onions
2 celery sticks
1 tbsp ground cumin
3 lemons
100g spinach
Coriander to garnish

Method

Put the lentils and stock into a large pan with the bay leaves. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 40-45 minutes until the lentils are really soft.

While the lentils are cooking, finely chop the onion, celery and spring onions

In frying pan, fry the onion and spring onion in the olive oil for about 10 minutes until translucent and starting to brown

Add the celery to the frying pan and sprinkle on the cumin. Fry for another 5 minutes, adding a little olive oil if needed

When the lentils are soft, add the celery and onion mixture to the saucepan along with the juice of all three lemons. Remove the bay leaves.

Now you have a choice to make – fancy dhal today? Just stir in the spinach and you’re good to go.

More in the mood for soup? Let the mix cool and then blend to your desired consistency. You’ll probably have to add some water to get it nice and soupy. Finally, finely chop the spinach and add it in before reheating to eat.

We like to serve both the soup and the dhal with flatbreads or crackers.

Mediterranean Lamb Kebabs

We’ve been given a second chance at summer with a week of glorious weather. Celebrate the last (maybe?) of the sunshine with some barbecued lamb kebabs. Or just fry them, if you don’t feel like firing up the coals!

Ingredients

120g full-fat yoghurt
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 garlic cloves – crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
600g lamb neck, cut into cubes

Method

Add all the ingredients except the lamb into a large bowl and mix thoroughly

Add the lamb to the bowl and make sure it’s covered in the marinade. Marinate in the fridge for as long as you have – anything from a couple of hours to overnight.

If you plan to barbecue the lamb, soak some skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
When your barbecue is ready to go – take out the lamb and shake off the excess marinade, slide the cubes of lamb onto the skewers and cook over a medium/hot part of the coals until done to your liking.

If we don’t plan to barbecue, I don’t bother with the skewers and simply fry the lamb cubes in olive oil on a very hot heat until they’re charring a bit on the outside but still pink in the middle.

Serve with mixed salad leaves (we sell some lovely bags of local salad), tomatoes and flat breads. The lamb is good cold too!

Sara’s no sugar cookies

I’ve always been a bit suspicious of no-sugar biscuits. After all, what’s the point of a biscuit that isn’t delicious? As it turns out, these biscuits are delicious and really easy to make

Ingredients

4 pitted dates
4 soft prunes
1 cup of oats
4 tablespoons desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons olive oil
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 banana – mashed with a fork

Method

Blend the dates and prunes for a few seconds, then add half the oats and blend again.

Put the paste in a bowl and add all the remaining ingredients.

Wrap the mix in clingfilm and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper

Roll out the dough to about 1/2 cm thick, cut out the biscuits and bake on the lined tray for 15-18 minutes.
If the banana was especially large, you may find the dough is too soft to cut – in which case just put spoonfuls onto the tray and flatten slightly. Less excitingly shaped – but just as delicious.

Easy White Bread

Ingredients

500g strong white bread flour
2 tsp salt
7g sachet of easy yeast
3 tbsp olive oil
300ml water

Method

Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add the oil and water and mix well. If the dough seems a little stiff, add 1-2 tbsp water then mix well. Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead. Once the dough is satin-smooth, place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Leave to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size or place in the fridge overnight.

Line a baking tray with parchment, Knock back the dough, then gently mould into a ball. Place it on the parchment to prove for a further hour, until doubled in size again.

Heat the oven to 220c/fan 200c/gas mark 7. Dust the loaf and cut a cross into the top with a sharp knife. Bake for 25=30 mins until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.

Basic Granary Bread

It’s the third day of the summer holidays and it’s baking hot outside, what to do, what to do? Naturally, the thing to do is to turn on the oven, bake bread, and heat the kitchen up even more. With this recipe it’s not as mad as it sounds – sure, the kitchen gets a bit warmer but the children get to have great fun kneading, it’s really easy to find a warm place for the bread to prove (pretty much anywhere will do!) and you end up with amazing granary bread to eat with butter and honey in the sun.

h4>Ingredients

225g strong white flour
AND
225g malted granary flour
OR
450g Norfolk Crunch flour (for a light granary bread)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
7g sachet of easy yeast
150ml warm milk
1 egg beaten
1 tbsp Olive oil
100-150 ml warm water

Method

Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl, then stir in the sugar and yeast. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the warm milk, beaten egg olive oil and enough of the water to form a soft, wet dough

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for 10 minutes until smooth. Put dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with oiled cling film, then leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. The dough is now ready to be shaped.

To make 12 rolls divide into 12 pieces and shape into rolls. Lightly flour baking sheets. Place rolls on the sheets and cover loosely with oiled cling film. Set aside in a warm place for 30 mins or until they have doubled in size.

If for a loaf leave covered in a loaf tin for an hour or until doubled in size.

Heat oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas mark 6. Brush bread with beaten egg and sprinkle with seeds if desired.

Bake rolls for 15-20 mins until a deep golden brown

For the loaf heat oven to 190c/fan 170c/gas mark 5 . Brush it with the beaten egg and sprinkle seeds if desired. Bake for 45-50 mins then take out and place on a wire rack to cool.

Beer and Cheese Bread

Ingredients

4 tsp sugar
2 tsp dried yeast
450ml/16fl oz brown ale at room temperature
520g/16 ½ oz strong white bread flour plus a little extra for dusting
320g/11oz wholemeal flour
200g/7oz grated cheddar cheese
75g/2 ½ oz grated parmesan
50g/2oz powdered milk
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp mustard powder
2 free range eggs and an extra 1 for the white only for glazing
2 tsp fennel seeds

Method

In a bowl dissolve the sugar and yeast in the brown ale, and set aside for 5/6 minutes.

Mix all the dry ingredients and two of the free-range eggs in another bowl and then add the ale and yeast mixture to it. Mix well with your hands until the mixture forms soft dough.

Using floured hands knead the dough for twenty to twenty five minutes until smooth and elastic. If the mix becomes dry, add a little water. You can use a bread machine but keep checking the dough as it will not take as long to become the right consistency.

Divide the dough into two loaves and place on a baking tray. Mark the tops with a sharp knife in a criss-cross pattern. Cover with a clean damp tea towel and leave in a warm dry draught free place until they have doubled in size.

Pre heat the oven to 200c/400f/Gas Mark 6 and cook for 25/30 minutes or until the bread is cooked through and the crust is golden brown.

Serve with home made soup or as part of a plough-mans lunch.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Ingredients

195g bread flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 ½ tablespoons poppy seeds
170g unsalted butter
150g granulated white sugar
Teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
60ml milk

For the Glaze

3 tablespoons lemon juice
50g white sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 360f/180c and place oven rack in the centre of the oven

Butter and flour the bottom and sides of a loaf tin, then line the bottom of the tin with parchment paper

In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, lemon zest and poppy seeds.

In another bowl (or the bowl of your electric mixer) beat the butter until soft, about 1-2 minutes.

Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy

Add the eggs one at a time beating well after adding each.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed

Beat in vanilla extract

With the mixer on low add the flour mixture in 3 lots and then the milk.

Do this alternately starting and ending with the flour

Mix until well combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared tin smoothing the top with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 50 -60 minutes or until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean

While the bread is cooking make the glaze combine the sugar with the lemon juice and heat until the sugar is dissolved.

When bread is done remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Immediately brush the top of the bread with the hot glaze

Cool loaf in the tin for about 30 minutes and let cool on the rack

This bread is best stored over night to allow the glaze to be absorbed into the bread.

Spelt Bread

Ingredients

500g spelt flour white or brown to your taste
½ tsp salt
1 tsp quick yeast
1 tsp sugar
300ml warm water
1 tbl Veg Oil

Method

1. Preheat Oven to 220c/fan/200f/gas 7
2. In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt, quick yeast and sugar
3. Carefully measure the water and thoroughly mix it into the flour
4. While the dough is still claggy add the oil and knead well until it feels smooth and pliable
5. Leave the dough in a bowl covered with a cloth in a draught free place, to double in size (about an hour) To make a quick bread omit this stage and proceed straight to step 6
6. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough firmly for several minutes
7. Shape the dough and put it into an oiled 1kg/2ib bread tin.
8. Cover and leave dough to rise for about 25 minutes in a warm place.
9. Bake in a preheated oven for 35/40 minutes.