Potato and Carrot Curry

1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
6 cardamom pods
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cinnamon
700g potatoes, peeled and quartered
200g carrots, peeled and quartered
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 tbs black mustard seeds
1 onion, sliced thin
5cm piece ginger, peeled, grated
1 green chilli, seeds removed, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
5 or 6 curry leaves
1 tin of good chopped tomatoes
125ml coconut milk
Toast the coriander and cumin in a pan until they start popping
Transfer to a pestle and mortar and grind them up with the cardamom until they smell wonderful. You can throw away the cardamom skins when the seeds are released
Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions, fry until soft then add all the spices, ginger and mustard seeds and stir to gently cook them. Now add the chilli, curry leaves, garlic, carrots and potatoes and mix the while lot together until the potatoes are turning yellow with the turmeric.
When everything is smelling wonderful, add the tinned tomatoes and coconut milk and leave it to putter away on a low heat with the lid on for a good hour.
Check on it after this to make sure the potatoes are cooked, then when you are ready to eat, re-heat with the lid off for another 30 minutes.
You could do all this in the oven too if you were so inclined.

Winter vegetable casserole

2 onions, each cut into 6 wedges
3 carrots, cut into chunks
all or any of: celery, parsnips, celeriac, squash, sweet potatoes, swede
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 leeks, about 300 g (10½ oz) in total, thickly sliced
1 litre (1¾ pints) hot vegetable stock, preferably home-made

150 g (5½ oz) pearl barley

2 tsp dried sage
salt and pepper
3 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or coriander to garnish

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. (The casserole can be simmered gently on the hob for 45–50 minutes, instead of cooking in the oven. Stir occasionally.)
Put the onions, carrots, celeriac, parsnips, celery and squash, sweet potato or swede in a large flameproof casserole. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil.
Add the garlic, leeks, pearl barley, sage and seasoning. Stir to mix the vegetables together. Cover and transfer to the oven to cook for about 1 hour or until the vegetables are just soft, and the barley is tender.
Sprinkle with the parsley and serve. Thick slices of farmhouse bread are an excellent accompaniment.

FABULOUS FALAFELS

250g dries peas
150g sesame: as flour or paste
200g chestnut flour
enough chick pea flour to get a stiff mix
garlic
salt, chilli and pepper to taste
.
This makes about 48 20g falafels

Soak the peas for at least one night: they’re more nutritious if you leave them to sprout.  Boil the peas and blend them in a little liquid, adding the garlic and spices. then add the other ingredients and mix well. You want a stiff mixture, so add more or less chick pea flour to get it the right consistency. Roll into 2 cm balls using any flour to dry them and you can either bake them in a little coconut oil, or better, fry them – I use 2 cm of oil in a milk sized pan instead of a deep fryer. Can be eaten hot, cold or frozen.

Serve with pickles, salads, coleslaw, hot squash casserole, but be warned, they are more moreish and very filling!.

HOT SQUASH CASSEROLE

FOR 6-8 PEOPLE

1 squash 2 large sweet potatoes
6 carrots 2 ramiro or other peppers
2 onions head of garlic
4″ piece of ginger pepper, paprika, chilli
cider vinegar to taste spoon of honey

Incredibly simple! Sweat the onions, pepper, garlic and ginger gently in a generous amount of oil and add all the vegetables, cooking on a lowish heat for about 10 minutes add the vinegar and honey and a little water, cover and stick in a moderate oven for 25 minutes or so.

Delicious with anything but I eat my falafels and coleslaw with it.

Carrot & chickpea salad

Dressing:
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

10 ounces carrots, shredded on a box grater or sliced whisper thin on a mandolin

2 cups cooked chickpeas (or one 15- ounce can, drained and rinsed)

2/3 cup / 100 g dried pluots, plums, or dates cut into chickpea-sized pieces

1/3 cup / 30 g fresh mint, torn

For serving: lots of toasted almond slices, dried or fresh rose petals – all optional (but great additions!)

To make the dressing, first toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet until fragrant and lightly browned, a minute or two. Let cool, and grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle.

In a bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, ground cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the carrots, chickpeas, dried pluots, mint, and almonds, and rose petals (if you’re including those as well.) Gently toss until everything is evenly coated. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (You can toss this salad, minus the almonds, hours in advance. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.)

Serves 6.

Refried Beans – Frijoles refritos. Serves 4.

1 tin of beans – red kidney or black-eye beans are best but you can just rinse the red sauce off baked beans
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 smallish onion
Chop half the onion into thick slices and chop the other half finely as a garnish.
Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan and fry the thick onion slices in it until they are brown.
Discard the onion, keeping the oil hot.
Add the rinsed beans, mashing them with a potato masher or a fork while they fry.
Keep stirring them so they don’t burn – if they do add a little more oil.
They are done when they are the consistency of thick porridge, and you can then use them with tortillas or bread and salad to fill burritos. If you add some tomato sauce they can be mixed with pasta (perhaps with grated cheese or a few sliced mushrooms).

Savoury courgette ‘cake’ – like potato cakes

Grate a large courgette and an equal quantity of potato. Squeeze out some of the water.
Gently fry a large chopped onion till soft, add the courgette and potato and fried for about 10 mins until cooked.
Then add several beaten eggs and cook until lightly brown on both sides.
It is lovely for breakfast with baked beans or you can add garlic and possibly chick peas for a simple supper.

Courgette & lemon linguine

400g linguine
3 courgettes, coarsely grated
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
zest 1 unwaxed lemon
large pinch crushed chillies
handful of torn basil leaves

Cook the linguine till at dente, then drain quickly so some cooking water is still clinging to the strands.
Tip back into the cooking pan with the grated courgettes, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, chillies and most of the basil.
Season, then toss everything together.
Scatter with remaining basil leaves and add an extra drizzle of oil, if you like.

This also makes a great pasta salad. Just swap the linguine for a pasta shape like farfalle or fusilli, drain well, mix with the other ingredients and cool before serving – the pasta will absorb the flavours while it cools.

Spicy Beanburgers with Courgette

serves 8

  • 1 can red kidney beans (or half kidney beans, half chickpeas)

  • 1 red onion, diced

  • 2 (or more) cloves of garlic, finely chopped

  • 8 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped

  • 1 red pepper, diced

  • 1 courgette, grated

  • 3 slices of bread, grated into crumbs

  • ½ teaspoon (or more) hot chilli powder

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Try using grated carrot or squash, pureed broad beans, mushroom, peas, spring onions, or sweetcorn.

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. Heat some oil in a large saucepan, the gently sauté the onion and garlic for 3 or 4 minutes.

3. Add the red pepper and sauté for another minute, then the grated courgette, and then the spices and cook for another couple of minutes.

4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chopped tomatoes.

6. Puree the beans in a blender with more of olive oil and a tiny splash of water if it’s too thick.

7. Stir the puree into the cooked mix along with the bread crumbs, adding the breadcrumbs in a little at a time until the mixture is holding together like a dough.

8. Taste and adjust seasoning / spices for your preference.

9. Use your hands to create eight equal sized ‘patties’. If the mix gets really stuck to your palms and fingers, you probably want to add more breadcrumbs, otherwise the burgers will be more like dollops that won’t hold together – your hands should stay relatively clean.

10. Place the patties onto a lightly oiled baking tray and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes on each side.

11. Serve the patties hot on a bed of fresh salad leaves.

LOVELY LATKES

6 eggs
1/4 pt milk
1.2 lb Cheddar cheese, grated
Lots of cardamon powder
plain yoghourt
honey

First take five eggs, beat them well into the milk and make as many thin omelette as you can, Then beat the last egg well, mix it into the cheese and mix in a hearty teaspoon of cardamon powder. Pop a dollop onto each omelette, roll it up and tuck in the edges as the cheese will melt everywhere if you don’t. Bake in a moderate oven for 25 minutes, and serve very hot, with yoghourt and honey dripped lavishly on top. Great for dinner parties or children: they sounds odd, but they’re wonderful!!