“Indian-Spiced Chicken and Potato Traybake” from “At My Table”

Kirstin: This doesn’t sound like much. You know, another traybake, another chicken recipe. But it is so much more than that. The potatoes and chicken are tossed and coated with an aromatic concoction of delicious spices before being roasted for an hour; it’s deceptively simple and yet everything about this recipe is perfect. Plus it worked. First time. Which is always a bonus. Miles told me that he loved my cooking as I put this on the table, so I’m going to thank Nigella for making one boy (and his mother) very happy. It tasted wonderful and will definitely, definitely, definitely be made again. Lots, I hope!

Also can I just say how I feel bad that Nigella’s books always come out in the autumn and I always end up taking pictures of her recipes in the dark. Because they deserve so much more. I’m going to have to make one of her cakes and take pictures of it in the daytime. I love a challenge!

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“Indian-Spiced Chicken and Potato Traybake” from “At My Table”

“My Sag Aloo” from “Save With Jamie”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKudos for David Loftus, who did the photography for “Save with Jamie,” for making this recipe look so appealing in the photos for the book. My photo doesn’t look horrible, I think, but the ones in the book look SO MUCH more appetizing. 

One of the problems with this recipe is the way that it’s spelled.  Our local indian spells is saag aloo, but a quick check on the Interweb shows that both spellings are OK, so maybe I’m being a bit picky. It doesn’t take anything away from the dish, however, which was quite good.

The recipe itself is a winner. First of all, it’s vegetarian and even vegan — if you drop the use of yogurt– which is always a good thing in my book. We would have had it for Meat Free Monday, but alas we had it on a Tuesday just to mix things up a bit.  I’m always looking for good vegetarian dishes, so I think this one might be added to a regular rotation.

There’s two things you should know before making this, though. First this dish takes some time to make. In my case, it took about an hour from start to finish. This wasn’t a problem for me, as I had the time, but if you’re in a rush, this isn’t a recipe to use. The long cooking time probably did contribute to the really rich flavours that it had, so perhaps the time commitment was worth it. Second, you need to be confident in the instructions and be willing to work the burner on your stove. There is a lot of liquid that needs to be boiled down, but you do get there in the end, even if it does seem like quite a lot of liquid at the beginning. It just takes time to do so (see No. 1).

I had to make one modification, which might have altered things somewhat. It turns out that frozen spinach is a rare ingredient, as none of our local stores (The Cooperative, Sainsbury’s, even Waitrose) had it to sell. In the end, I got 400 grams of fresh spinach– rather than 300 grams of frozen– and mixed it into the curry in batches so it would wilt and become incorporated. I’m quite certain that just adding frozen spinach would be easier, but I had to make do. It might have been even better using fresh instead of frozen as a result.

Did we like it? Yes we did. I had mine wrapped in lettuce leaves (see photo above), while Tim and Andrew had theirs with naan bread and rice. I think Tim and I liked ours slightly more than Andrew, but only because he’s not a huge fan of spicy dishes and this had quite a bit of chilli in it. In the future, I might not add the temper of chilli and garlic to the boys’ dishes and instead just put it into ours.

Will I make it again? Probably. But only on a weeknight in which I had the luxury of time to make it, which, unfortunately, in this house, isn’t very often.

“My Sag Aloo” from “Save With Jamie”

“Keema” from “Feast”

This is from the menu for “Sunday Lunch after the Saturday Night Before.” We didn’t have it on a Sunday after a raucous night out. We just had it on a weeknight. I do suspect that Nigella lives a far more interesting life than we do. 

This really was quite good. If you’d like to try it yourself, Nigella has posted the recipe on her own website, so you can find that here.

Andrew (12): This is epic.

Nicholas (8): This is very good.

Maureen: The homemade naan bread that you made Tim is what really make this delicious.

Andrew: This is a nice summary of Indian food, with meat, spices, peas and naan bread.

Nicholas: Do you think we could get this at The Mogul?

Tim: Why would you want to do that when you could have it at home?

Andrew: Were the ingredients hard to get?

Maureen: Not at all. It’s all things I can find at the local store. Drings even had ready-made lamb mince. I thought they were going to have to mince it for me, but they had it standing by.

Continue reading ““Keema” from “Feast””

“Keema” from “Feast”

“Spicy Andhra Chicken Curry” and “Tarka Dhal” from “I Love Curry”

Anna: It’s time we redressed the balance this month.  It’s all cakes, pies and loaves. Time for curry!

Ian: Did I miss the delivery man coming to the door? This looks very professional.

Anna: I do worry that whenever I cook an Indian meal from scratch, all the dishes are the same colour.

Aine: But there’s fresh coriander on top, that gives it a splash of green!

Anna: Anything to break up the orange/yellow theme…..

Ian: Well it tastes delicious, very fresh.

Anna: That’s the great thing about making a curry from scratch. I’ve got a couple of Anjum’s books and it’s always the same: the layering up of the flavours gives the dishes a really unique taste. The problem, I find, is that it takes so blimmin long to cook the curries that by the time they’re finished I can’t be bothered to eat them.

Peter: Tarka the Dhal? Wasn’t that a character in a Disney film?

Anna: I can’t believe you just said that.

Peter: I thought the chicken curry was very nice. It tasted very different to a takeaway curry. Much lighter. And it has a lovely heat that wasn’t too aggressive. It was a bit like a korahi, but with less tomato.

Anna: And the dhal? What did you think to it? I prefer Vic’s recipe I have to say.

Peter: I’d struggle to tell one dhal from another in all honesty. It went together well, and we didn’t need rice.

Anna: I have to make a special mention for the dessert, which was from “Kitchen”: “Lemon Meringue Fool”. Really delicious and incredibly quick and easy to make.

Peter: It had a nice spring/summer taste, though I’m not a big fan of cream as you know.

Anna: What do you think ice cream is made out of??

“Spicy Andhra Chicken Curry” and “Tarka Dhal” from “I Love Curry”