Fennel & onion seed soda bread
Fennel & onion seed soda bread
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 30 minutes
  • Serves: 8-10 slices
  • Difficulty: Very easy

This is by far the easiest and quickest bread recipe in the world! No need to wait for it to prove and it’s ready in under an hour. It’s delicious too and you can swap the spices for something else such as ham, raisins, nuts, pumpkin seeds…the list is endless! This toasts nicely as well and needless to say, is even more delicious with a thick slather of butter.

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Nepalese Potato Salad/pickle
Nepalese Potato Salad/pickle
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 20 minutes
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy

This Nepalese potato salad is one of my favourite potato recipes of all time! It’s bursting with intricate flavours that linger on your tongue. One of the main ingredients is mustard oil which I insist you source from your local Asian store or you can order it online from www.itadka.com. We often have this as an accompaniment to a main meal and then if there’s any leftovers, they get put into a samosa. You could also mix any leftovers with a little mayonnaise for a funky potato salad. As for the potatoes, I find that the red Desiree potatoes work wonderfully for this, but you can also try with other varieties such as Jersey, new or even Ratte – just don’t go for jacket potatoes!

This dish made it’s way into India through the alliances between the kingdoms of Central India and Nepal. The Nepali princesses would leave their home, taking with them their maids and cooks. The cooks, in turn would bring their recipes and spices such as sesame into India.

I first had this dish at a Nepali restaurant in North London many years ago and have been making it ever since and it even featured on our Maharajah Christmas dinner in 2014 as part of our Royal Thali

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Masala Scrambled Eggs
Masala Scrambled Eggs
  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes
  • Serves: 1-2
  • Difficulty: Dead easy

Eggs…can’t live without them! They’re also a food source consumed by most living creatures on every level of the food chain. Best thing about eggs is that they’re so versatile and regardless of whether they’re in the forefront of the dish or in the background, they’re inrcr-egg-ible! One of my favourite breakfast recipes is that of a masala omelette or scrambled eggs. By masala I don’t mean things like garam masala or chai masala or any other spice mix, but ‘spiced’. For us Indians, a masala omelette or scrambled egg means adding things like onion, garlic, chilli, coriander to the mix, with perhaps a pinch of cumin. What I found is that this makes a terrific post-workout meal as well, owing to all the extra nutrients and minerals found in the extra ingredients. Normally I have my masala scrambled eggs with avocado and toast, but you can have it just with some toast or even on it’s own. Have a bash and you’ll probably never cook a plain omelette or scrambled eggs again! The secret addition to these eggs is a dash of our Chilli Relishes!

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Punjabi Black Lentils (Dal Makhani) with Oxtail
Punjabi Black Lentils (Dal Makhani) with Oxtail
  • Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1-2 hours
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Difficulty: medium

Dal Makhani really needs to introduction, but since an introduction of sorts is warrant, I’ll begin by saying that this isn’t for anyone on any diet of any sort. It’s rich, creamy, buttery and perfect for the colder months that are fast approaching. Hailing from the north-western Punjab state of India, this dish was immortalised by 2 main restaurants – Moti Mahal and Bukhara (both in Delhi) and both sell copious amounts of the dish every day. I love it from time to time as it’s good enough to have as a meal on it’s own with just some rice or naan. On my autumn menus, I serve dal makhani as an accompaniment to grilled rib-eye steak and elevate it by putting in tender chunks of oxtail and using a handheld smoker to infuse some wood smoke into it. Of course, you can leave out the oxtail and the smoker and just enjoy it as it is, or go the extra mile and treat yourself and your guests to some unforgettably delicious dal makhani 2.0. Of course, if you’re vegetarian, do omit the oxtail altogether

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Chewy Spiced Almond Cookies
Chewy Spiced Almond Cookies
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 15 minutes
  • Serves: Makes about 12
  • Difficulty: Easy

Who doesn’t love a good cookie? Even if you’re on a no-carbs, no-sugar diet, they’re one of the things you cheat with. When it comes to cookies, we’ve all got our preferences – shortbread with its buttery, crumbly texture to crispy, crunchy snaps to those sinful chewy, soft ones that we often see at shops. Normally, the chewy cookies are always chocolate chip, but I tried them with a bit of spice and some almonds and now I’m converted. The nuts add a glorious crunch with the added benefit of being, well, better than chocolate (so all’s not lost). Add in a few spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and a hint of black pepper and you’ve upgrade your cookies to Cookies 2.0! Have a play around with this recipe, swapping the almonds for walnuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts (yes, you can also use chocolate chips)!

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Bebinca – Traditional Goan Layered Coconut Cake
Bebinca – Traditional Goan Layered Coconut Cake
  • Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 45 mins - 1 hour
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Medium

This is, in my opinion, of the queens of Indian desserts, especially as it’s so different to it’s various companions. Bebinca hails from the coastal state of Goa, famous for it’s pork vindaloo, psychedelic trance parties and legendary beaches. Whilst this does take a while to make, the wait and effort is well rewarded. Historically, one would hear many things about Bebinca – how it would contain 100 egg yolks, take a whole day to make. Whilst the origin of the dessert is unkown,  it is often attributed to the Portuguese dessert, Bebinca das Sete Folhas, while others say it  originated in Malaysia, where it is known as binga or kuch lapis. A second theory states that it was devised by a nun (named Bebiana ) from the Convent of Santa Monica in Goa with the seven original layers symbolizing the seven hills in Lisbon.

Over time, tradition has come to dictate that the cake has 16 layers and whilst it no longer contains 100 yolks, it does take it’s time to cook and still remains incredibly rich and decadent. After all, aren’t some of the best things in life that way?

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Everything but the sink Chicken Broth
Everything but the sink Chicken Broth
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1 - 2 hours
  • Serves: 2-3
  • Difficulty: Easy

Got a cold? Feeling the sniffles? Throat feeling sore and congestion in your chest? Well then, this mega-nutri yummy broth is for you. There’s a ton of ingredients in there that join forces to nourish your body and soul and help it on its way to recovery. Try and get as many of these as you can or substitute similar ingredients. There’s no hard and fast rules. If you’re vegetarian, just omit the chicken and you’ll get by.

You can also use this as a stock base to cook rice in,to make gravy or even a spicy-umami rich jus. I made this for my wife the other day who, having been around a few sniffly people, came down with an exhausting cold. After having this broth a few times, she was well on her way to recovery and was definitely the better for it.

 

To read more about why this broth is good for you, click HERE.

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Pancakes with apple and pear compote
Pancakes with apple and pear compote
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 20 minutes
  • Serves: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy

Weekend brunches are all about indulging! This is one of my wife’s favourites and I love surprising her with this on a sunny Sunday. Feel free to substitute any hard fruit instead of apples and pears and bacon can be substituted for cheese.

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Baked trout stuffed with herbs, chilli & lemon
Baked trout stuffed with herbs, chilli & lemon
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 20 minutes
  • Serves: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy

Effortless and refreshingly healthy, the baked trout is a perfect main course for 2 when you want something simple, yet bursting with flavour. You could try it with other whole fish such as mackerel, snapper or sea bass. Just ask your fishmonger to clean and ‘canoe’ the fish (taking out the bone completely, but leaving the fish whole for stuffing) Alternatively, you could just take the flesh off the bone when it’cooked. Either way, I found this went really well with a Gruner Veltliner, but you could have it with any light, fruity white wine. The Mojo Risin’ Green Chilli Relish just adds an extra dimension of spicy, zingy goodness.

 

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Chilli Chocolate Mousse
Chilli Chocolate Mousse
  • Prep Time: 1 hour (including chilling time)
  • Cooking Time: 5 minutes
  • Serves: 10-15
  • Difficulty: Very easy

A ridiculously easy chilli chocolate mousse that tastes and feels like it should be really difficult to make! There’s a hint of chilli that hits the back of your throat right at the end for a surprise tickle. The best part about this is that there is absolutely no way for things to go wrong as the recipe has been designed to be fool proof and yet it delivers a texture and flavour so professional, it could be served in a fine-dining restaurant! It’s great to eat on its own and is stunning with some roasted nuts, vanilla ice cream and a few squares of warm chocolate brownie. You could melt it and use it as a chocolate sauce, spread it on toast or even use as a filling for a cake.

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Peach, apple, pear, oat, almond, goji berry smoothie
Peach, apple, pear, oat, almond, goji berry smoothie
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 45 seconds
  • Serves: 2-3
  • Difficulty: Very easy

Another big hitter for team nutrition. It’s got protein, anti-oxidants, vitamins, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds….all in one glass. So easy to make, there’s no reason you should ever have to buy another smoothie from the supermarket

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Banana, raspberry, fig, carrot, cucumber, peanut smoothie
Banana, raspberry, fig, carrot, cucumber, peanut smoothie
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 45 seconds
  • Serves: 2-3
  • Difficulty: Very easy

A super nutritious smoothie combining fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. The bee pollen is a great addition as it often helps boost your resistance to hay fever whilst the nuts and seeds add protein & good calories. Using natural sweeteners such as agave, you also stave off those peaks and troughs that refines sugars often throw at us.

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Papaya, Spinach, Blueberry, Mint Super Smoothie
Papaya, Spinach, Blueberry, Mint Super Smoothie
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 45 seconds
  • Serves: 2
  • Difficulty: Very easy

Smoothies are all the rage these days, and rightly so. Easy to make, incredibly nutritious and very filling, these mega-meals in a glass are the perfect breakfast. Here I’ve taken a few primary ingredients and added a host of secret nutrients to make sure you get your dose of healthy happiness ever day. If you can’t get all the ingredients on this list, don’t fret. Just get as many as possible.

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Red rice and asparagus ‘risotto’, salami, cheddar
Red rice and asparagus ‘risotto’, salami, cheddar
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 30 minutes
  • Serves: 2-3
  • Difficulty: Medium

Two of my wife’s favourite foods – red rice and risotto are incorporated into one dish here. Red rice is a healthy low-starch alternative to regular rice, whilst the asparagus adds a lovely touch of spring. This can be made vegetarian by omitting the salami and vegan by omitting the cheese & salami. You could also try substituting the asparagus for peas or even spinach.

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Ginger cake, roast apple, whisky custard
Ginger cake, roast apple, whisky custard
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 40 minutes
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Medium

I got the ideas for this one from a couple of delicious cocktails. First, the Whisky Mac – whisky with ginger wine. The second, a cocktail with  whisky, apple juice and ginger beer. The cake is fantastic just on its own with a cup of tea and all three together make for a warming dessert.  Needless to say, this dessert is fantastic with a wee dram like Ardbeg or Lagavulin.

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Quick n’ feisty tomato salsa
Quick n’ feisty tomato salsa
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking Time: none
  • Serves: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy

We all love a tomato salsa and unfortunately, there’s none worth buying in the stores, leaving the best and freshest option up to us. This one goes perfect with nachos, crisps, in wraps or even with some grilled chicken!

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Coconut, Mustard & Curry Leaf Sauce
Coconut, Mustard & Curry Leaf Sauce
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 15 minutes
  • Serves: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy

This sauce hails from the Southern Indian state of Kerala, ‘gods own country’, where the coastline stretches forever and the food is to die for. This sauce is perfect as it is or for creating your own curry by adding fish, seafood, chicken or vegetables.

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Chilli Mayonnaise
Chilli Mayonnaise
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking Time: none
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy

Everyone needs a quick n easy condiment/relish in their fridge that goes with anything and everything. This chilli mayonnaise fits just that bill. Have it in your sandwich, with your burger, with fish and chips or even use it as a salad dressing!

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Baked squid stuffed with black pudding and fennel
Baked squid stuffed with black pudding and fennel
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 20 minutes
  • Serves: 4
  • Difficulty: Medium

This one is a winner! The beautiful combination of sweet squid along with a meaty black pudding and the lightness of anise from fennel works a charm.  It’s great with a red pepper sauce and some toasted almonds. Works great if you’ve got guests coming and don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen! If you can’t get black pudding, or have an aversion to it, Chorizo works fantastic as well, or any spiced sausage!

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Quinoa and the Kitchen Sink!
Quinoa and the Kitchen Sink!
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 20 minutes
  • Serves: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy

The Peruvians rightly called quinoa (pronounced KEEN-waa) the food of the gods. Everything about it is amazing – nutritious, tasty, plentiful, filling, oh you gorgeous little grain! It’s a dream for coeliacs and vegans too and I love my quinoa mixed with just about every healthy nutritious tasty thing under the sun – and still keep it vegetarian! So, I’m to going to keep ranting and raving, I just think that you should go out and get some quinoa and crack on with this recipe that will make you very happy, nourished and satisfied!

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