Tag Archives: Indian

Chochori, Swiss Chard & Potato Curry

Bigger Kids, Grown Ups

We seem to have been eating quite a bit of meat lately, at least on the cyber world of the blog we do anyway, and I thought it time for a few more veggie dinners especially as my veg patch is busily coming into its own. This was one of our first ‘free’ dinners of the year with the two main ingredients, swiss chard and potatoes, both being picked and dug fresh from the garden minutes before. In fact these were our first potatoes of the year, and I can think of no better dish right now to celebrate them more than this fabulous curry. It still gives me a buzz to eat things I’ve grown myself and I’m convinced they always taste just that little bit more amazing. And it goes without saying they’re naturally all 100% organic.

The recipe, at least in the main, came from the lovely Nisha Katona of Curry in a a Hurry and her maa. Weirdly enough I was thinking of making a chard curry when would you adam and eve it, up popped a tweet from Nisha about her maa’s chard curry video. I watched, laughed (her maa’s a star!), absorbed and set to to make my own using all the same spices but guessing on quantities. So my apologies now to you both if I’m way out but the resulting curry was no less than wonderful in my opinion. And further apologies to maa that I didn’t use mooli, there’s no way I’d be able to source it in rural and notably un-multicural rural France! The spices I was lucky enough to have in, and I could even make by own fabulously fragrant Indian 5 spice seed mix called Panch Phoron (equal quantities of fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, fennel seeds and celery seeds, the latter added to replace the traditionally included black mustard seeds that I didn’t have).

Indian 5 spice seeds, Panch Phoron

I’m thinking you could happily use any veggies in this curry substituting part or all of the chard or spinach, but I was on a mission to use up as much chard as I could in one dinner so kept it simple. Great as a very healthy main served with steamed rice and/or chapattis or as a side accompanying other dishes.

Enough for four as a main or lots more as a veggie side:

4 tablespoons of sunflower oil
3 heaped teaspoons of Indian 5 Spice seed mix, Panch Poran
an onion, finely diced
500g of potatoes, new or old, roughly chunked (I left the peel on mine)
2 whole dried chillies (I used birds eyes)
700g of Swiss chard, spinach or other veggies (including mooli if you can source)
a heaped teaspoon of turmeric
½ a teaspoon of dried chilli powder
a generous pinch of salt
a heaped teaspoon of English mustard powder thinned down in a tablespoon of water

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and throw in the 5 spice. Cook for a couple of minutes or so until you can really smell the spices, but not so much the spices blacken.

Tip in the onion, potatoes (and any other slow to cook veggies you may be using) and whole dried chillies. Cover and cook for about ten minutes until almost soft, stirring regularly so nothing catches, and adding a splash of water rather than more oil if the pan dries out.

Meanwhile prepare your chard or spinach. If using chard tear any thick stems from the leaves, slice the stems and shred the leaves, keeping both separate. Shred the spinach.

Throw in the chard stems to the curry and cook for a few minutes. When the potatoes and chard are soft and cooked through add the chilli powder, turmeric, salt and shredded chard leaves or spinach. Cook for a moment or two longer until the leaves are wilted then take off the heat. Season with the thinned down mustard and a little more salt to taste.

Serve with steamed rice and/or chapatties, lovely with a little homemade mango chutney on the side.

How about trying some of my other curry recipes: Aloo Gobi Kaddu (Potato, Cauliflower & Pumpkin), Beetroot, Spinach & Chick Peas, Jamie’s Empire Chicken & Bombay Potatoes, Sweet Potato Daal for Babies & Toddlers

Be sure to check out some of Nisha’s excellent home curry making videos, a great way to quickly and easily learn how to cook authentic indian fodder.


Sweet Potato Daal for Babies & Toddlers!

6-8 months +, older babies, toddlers & young children

In launching my series of baby and toddler food blogs in conjunction with Oogaa feeding products, I thought it only right to kick off with my own two little monster’s favourite baby purée, a simple gently spiced and fragrant sweet potato and lentil daal. As wee babies they both adored their lentils and just couldn’t get enough of them, though admittedly the nappies were sometimes a little on the interesting side! I’m a firm believer in introducing flavour and spice into a babies diet from a very young age to prepare them for the big world out there, though obviously going extremely easy on any chilli with the very little littlies.

Once you’ve got your baby onto eating simple pureed fruits and veggies this is a very good second stage purée introducing them to the world of proteins. The sweet potato gives your wee one a bombardment of vitamins and fibre and lentils are a great source of protein and more fibre.
For the very little ones serve just on it’s own, but be careful not to give too much at first as lentils could cause wind to little tums unused to legumes. Serve with rice to older babies and toddlers.

I tend to make all baby foods in fairly large batches so that any leftovers can be frozen in individual portions for later use.

To make a large batch (around 10 to 12 servings):

a tablespoon of olive oil

a small onion, finely diced

a clove of garlic, finely chopped

½ a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, grated

a carrot, finely diced

a sweet potato (about 250g), finely diced

a teaspoon of ground cumin

a teaspoon of ground coriander

a pinch of finely ground black pepper

400ml of water

65g of red split lentils

Heat the oil in a saucepan on a low heat, add the onion, garlic and ginger. Saute for 5 minutes until very soft, stirring regularly so nothing catches.

Add the carrots and sweet potato to the pan and continue to cook for a couple of minutes. Now stir in the cumin, coriander and pepper and allow to cook for a minute before pouring in the water and lentils.

Bring to a simmer, and cook on a gentle heat for about 20 minutes until the lentils are mushy and vegetables very soft.

Purée with a Baby Bullet, stick blender or processor and serve.

Here’s Jacques chowing down on his rice and daal, he still loves his lentils now!


Beetroot, Spinach & Chickpea Curry

Guess what’s in season at Chez Foti at the minute? Beetroot, hence the recent influx of recipes! It’s probably growing a little later than most as I didn’t get around to sowing my seeds until early October. What an easy peasy veggie to grow and so so delicioso. Not to mention pretty as a picture to cook with, if you don’t mind your food a tad on the barbie pink side!. This is my first ever attempt at a beetroot curry and I must admit a highly successful one. Beetroot’s natural sweetness works really well with a touch of heat and spice.

And a very healthy recipe too, great if you’re still keeping up those New Year’s resolutions. Which I’m not. Failing miserably as ever.

More of a grown up curry today, but you could always tone down the chilli and serve to your wee ones. They may just love a pink dinner!

Although I’ve called this a Beetroot, Spinach and Chickpea Curry, I actually used my beetroot tops instead of spinach, but I’m guessing these are only available to those that grow their own. I use them regularly in stews, curries and stir fries just as you would spinach, and if you don’t mind the pink tinge from the stalks they’re a wonderful veggie freebie.

Either serve the curry on it’s own with steamed rice and/or chapattis, or as a veggie side to accompany a larger meal.

Enough for 4 as a main curry, or lots more as a veggie side

2 tsp of cumin seeds

2 tsp of coriander seeds

1 heaped tsp of turmeric

sunflower oil

1 onion, finely diced

2 cloves of garlic, grated

a thumb sized piece of ginger, grated

3 small dried chillies, finely chopped

6 baby beetroot or 1 to 2 large full sized ones, cooked and cooled (see my Goats Cheese & Beetroot Salad recipe for how to cook beetroot), diced into 1 cm pieces

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

1 x 400g tin of chick peas

200ml of water

200ml of plain yogurt

200g of spinach leaves or beetroot tops, washed and roughly chopped

salt & pepper

juice of ½ a lemon

Grind the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and turmeric together.

In a large saucepan or frying pan, heat a little sunflower oil and fry the spice mix until you can smell the spices, stir continuously so the spices don’t catch and burn. Add the ginger, garlic and chillies and cook for a minute or two, stirring continuously. Add the onions and continue to cook until the onions are soft.

Now add the beetroot and chickpeas and cook for a further few minutes, stirring regularly. Add the chopped tomatoes, yogurt and water, bring to the boil and simmer for twenty minutes.

Finally add the spinach or beetroot tops to the curry and cook for a few minutes until the greens are tender.

Stir in the lemon juice, plenty of freshly ground black pepper and a generous pinch of salt. Have a good taste to check the seasoning, adding more lemon, salt or pepper to suit.

If you like this, how about trying my Goats Cheese & Beetroot Salad or Potato, Cauliflower & Pumpkin Curry recipes?


Jamie’s Empire Roast Chicken, Bombay Potatoes & Gravy

A grown up dinner today, although without the chilli (or just the merest touch) I’m sure little ones might enjoy this too. But for us it was the perfect excuse to have a late evening Sunday supper on our own, cooking in the original wood burning bread oven that’s in our lounge. I’ve been watching Jamie Oliver’s latest series Great Britain these last few weeks, and just how excellent was it?! His midlands show had this recipe for Empire Roast Chicken served with Bombay Potatoes and Gravy that literally had me dribbling and I just had to make it. He used a wood fired oven on the show and totally inspired me to try it in ours. It was great to put it to use for something other than pizza. And what a fantastic success, although a tad on the hot side. I will definitely be experimenting a little bit more with cooking in ours. Obviously if you don’t have a wood oven you can use a conventional gas or electric one!

Our 1788 original bread oven!

This is a bit of a lazy blog today, as it’s entirely not my recipe AND I’m not even going to write it out. To read Jamie’s recipe click on the link below. I can honestly say I didn’t change anything at all, nor would I want to….it was perfect.  It’s a fantastic recipe, please try it, I know you won’t be disappointed. A great dinner if you have friends over, or just an indulgent night in for two. If I had to make one suggestion though, bump up the amount of Bombay Potatoes if you’re cooking for four or more people. Somehow or other Phil and I managed to chomp our way through the lot when there was supposed to be enough to feed four to six. But then we are rather greedy and couldn’t actually move afterwards. They were way too good to leave.

The recipe:
Jamie’s Roast Chicken & Bombay Potatoes Recipe

Thanks so much Mr Oliver!


Aloo Gobi Kaddu – Potato, Cauliflower and Pumpkin Curry!

I love veggie curries. Even though I’m a meat eater I’ve always loved, and usually preferred, the veggie sides when it comes to Indian food. A few days ago when faced with a very empty fridge bar one huge cauliflower and half a pumpkin I thought I’d make a veggie curry.  Aloo Gobi, a curry of potatoes and cauliflower is one of my all time faves, a wonderfully comforting combo, and definitely my favourite way of eating cauliflower (even above cauliflower cheese which I adore!).  I thought I’d try it out with pumpkin too, Kaddu in Hindi, and it really was rather a delicious combo. I’m also happy to report that both the kids loved it too, in fact rather surprisingly after ten days of being a little ill and only picking at his food Jacques really tucked in….even with the addition of a couple of dried chilis!. I think it’s a good thing to get your kids eating a touch of chilli at an early age, then there’s no great surprises or aversions when they’re a bit more grown up. Mine definitely have a taste for a little heat and spice, but then they were weaned on lots of yummie lentil dahls.

You could either serve this as a meal in it’s own right, as I did, with some plained steamed basmati rice and chapatis on the side, or as a veggie side accompanying a larger meal.

Enough for a main meal for 4:

1 onion, halved and sliced

sunflower oil

2 small dried chilis, or 1 fresh, thinly sliced

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated

a large thumb size piece of fresh ginger, grated

1 tsp medium curry powder

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp brown onion seeds

2 potatoes, peeled and diced into 2cm chunks

3 heaped tbsps ground almonds

a handful of sultanas

350ml water

300g cauliflower, cut into florets

300g pumpkin or squash, peeled and diced into 2cm chunks

1 400g tin of coconut milk

juice of ½ lemon

a handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

salt

In a large saucepan heat a little sunflower oil and add the onion. Cook over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent.

Add the chilli, garlic and ginger to the pan, along with the curry powder, turmeric and onion seeds. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring often. Add the potatoes and ground almonds. Stir well. Add the sultanas and 350ml of water.

Bring to the boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower, pumpkin and coconut milk. Continue to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes with the saucepan lid on, until the potatoes and veggies are all very tender.

Stir in the lemon juice and coriander. Taste and add salt to suit.


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