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Spicy harissa lamb chops with wild rocket and pomegranate


These lamb chops are a firm favourite in our household. We usually get a french-trimmed rack of lamb and then cut them up into individual chops (although there are probably cheaper ways of doing this dish). Then divide them into portions for two, rub in some marinade, and freeze in a ziploc bag. On days when you don’t feel like making too much of an effort, it’s an easy job to defrost a packet, put them in the oven for 15 minutes and have a great meal ready in a jiffy.

I find the Moroccan flavours go amazingly with lamb, with the slightly bitter rocket and tangy sweet pomegranate providing a wonderfully tasty counterpoint.

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Kheema Pav

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One of my favourite dishes is Kheema Pav, which is mince served with the ubiquitous Mumbai bread rolls. There are many versions of this dish, mainly variations in the way the meat is cooked. As an apprentice Marine Engineer I used to spend a lot of time in and around the Mumbai docks, where there is an abundance of the small Muslim cafés and restaurants. These restaurants specialise in a multitude of meat dishes cooked in a particular style, that are not easily available elsewhere. And so, the Kheema Pav served there has a particular nostalgic attraction in my mind. After many years of trying to recreate the taste at home, I came across a recipe that triggered ‘that taste‘ in my mind (thanks to Farrukh Aziz). And now, finally,  I’m able to make my version of this wonderful dish, tweaked to be healthier, with the use of alternate meats (like chicken or turkey) and much less oil than they use in the restaurants, but still with the key flavours that remind me of those idyllic days.

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Lamb, Artichokes and Edamame Tagine

  
Moroccan food, especially the tagines, are close to our heart. Or rather more accurately, close to our palates and our stomachs. The cuisine uses a lot of the same spices; coriander, cumin, saffron, mint etc but in different ways and combinations. And the zing of the preserved lemons is a joy to the tastebuds. So whenever we feel like have something nice, but not Indian, one of our defaults is a Moroccan tagine. I’ve got a couple of books on Moroccan food and have enjoyed working my way through most of the recipes.

I’ve adapted this particular one from ‘The Moroccan Collection‘ by Hilaire Walden. The cooking process was fairly standard for a tagine, some attention up front and then a little peek every now and then while it simmers away. The result was very nice and because of the artichokes, something slightly different than usual.

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Pea, ham and ginger soup

I love soups, and after consuming many a store-bought litre, we bought a few recipe books and started making our own. Our homemade soups are healthier, fresher and free from hidden ingredients and preservatives. What more could one ask for? The biggest problem with the recipes given in books though, is that they often have ingredients like potato for thickening. We find that we are perfectly happy either with thin or clear soups, or with the consistency got by blending the ingredients together. And after trying a few, we’re now at the stage where we have been improvising and even inventing our own soups.

One of my all-time favourite soups is the classic English pea and ham soup. Which is really surprising because I am not all that find of peas. But I love the simplicity of a good pea soup, with the meaty morsels of ham in every other spoonful. In this particular recipe though, I experimented a bit and added a bit of ginger, which I felt gave the dish a lovely back note of heat.

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Pork chops with a beer, ginger and tarragon sauce


After a recent visit to my local butcher, I brought home some gorgeous looking thick pork chops. One of my preferred ways to cook them is a low and slow simmer in cider, with apples, onions and sage. But this time, wanting to do something different, I turned to the Porkaholics community on Facebook for ideas. And the suggestions came flooding in. One of the recipes that really caught my fancy was suggested by Arindam Hazarika, who co-founded Arohan Foods, a pork products business in India. Working day in and day out with the product, one would expect him to know what he’s talking about. He described a dish using cardamom, star anise and ginger. And best of all, a beer sauce! How could I resist?

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Spaghetti with piri-piri sausages and black olive tapenade


Last weekend, at Chez Kalra’s we made some really awesome black olive tapenade. And joy of joys, we brought the leftover tapenade home with us, leaving our lovely hosts to make some more.

Now while the tapenade tastes lovely with some toasted bread and possibly a little cheese, since that day I’ve been drooling at the idea of having it tossed with a little spaghetti. I happen to have some chilli garlic spaghetti that I got on my last trip to Milan and I figured the taste and colour would go perfectly with the glistening black tapenade. Add in some thick piri-piri sausages, and some garlic and herbs and we have a winner. A delightful dinner for two, so quick and easy that I made in the time it took for the pasta to cook.

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Spicy Garlic King Prawns


Looking for a quick and easy side dish to accompany your main meal? Try these spicy king prawns, with a hit of garlic and curry leaves.

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