Rajma (Red Kidney Beans)

Rajma or Red Kidney Beans curry is one of the most loved North Indian recipes. My memories of it takes me back to my school days when my babysitter was a North Indian woman. She used to cook and feed me rajma and rice on a regular basis. It is a very simply and healthy recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

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Ingredients:

2 tinned red kidney beans (or soak up the dry ones overnight and then boil them until cooked)

1 onion, finely chopped

1 – 2 inch of ginger, chopped

3 tomatoes

1 cinnamon stick

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric powder

3 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp chilli powder

2tsp garam masala

2 tsp oil

salt and sugar to taste

coriander to garnish

Method:

Grind the tomatoes and ginger into a puree.

Heat the oil in a pan and then add the cumin seeds and cinnamon. Once the cumin seeds turn light brownish in colour, add the onions and cook until translucent. Then add the tomato puree along with the spices, sugar and salt. Let it cook until the oil separates from the tomato mix. Then add the beans, a bit of water and simmer it for 30 mins. Add more water if the curry starts to dry out. You want to almost overcook the beans, that helps the curry to form a smooth and creamy consistency. In the end, add chopped coriander and serve hot with parathas or steamed rice.

Enjoy!

Cheat’s Cajun Chicken with Mushrooms

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We are not a very mushroom loving household, I have to admit. But when our weekly veggie box arrived with a big bag full of fresh, organic and locally grown mushrooms packed with vitamin D, we had to get creative.

And as much as I like to make my own spices combination from scratch, some days it is simply nice to not work so hard yet be able to put a decent plate of food in front of the family. So, in this recipe I have experimented with Asda’s Cajun mix. Worked really well!

This is nothing like a traditional Cajun stew that is simmered for hours with freshly ground spices but a quick and simple cheat’s recipe. Anyone with minimal cooking skills can put this one together quite impressively.

Ingredients:

2  Organic Chicken Breats (diced)

1 Onion

2-3 Garlic Cloves (grated or chopped)

200 gms of Mushrooms

1tsp Flour

3 – 4 tbsp of Cajun Mix (or to taste)

Salt to taste

1tsp Sugar

3 tsp Vegetable Oil

Method:

In a pan, heat the oil. Add onions and mushrooms. Sweat everything together for 5 minutes and then add the garlic and chicken. Once the chicken goes white from the outside, add flour and cajun spice mix, salt and sugar. Add lots of water, and once everything comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until nice and creamy.

Serve hot with white rice and some greens (I used fresh seasonal purple sprouts from our veggie box).

P.S: If you don’t eat meat, swap it for any vegetable(s) of your choice or some fish. Enjoy 🙂

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My Christmas Chocolate Cake with Fruit Peel

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I think I have found this year’s Christmas Cake.

With the festive season just a couple of months away and supermarket’s decorating themselves in Christmas mood, I have obviously been tempted towards thinking about Christmas. One of the toughest things for me to do is deciding which cake is going to be celebrated this year.

At my home, a traditional Christmas fruit cake with Marzipan isn’t enjoyed by all. Infact, it is just my husband who scoffs it all off. So, we have a very nice arrangement, mother – in – law bakes for her children and I bake for mine.

This year I wanted a chocolate cake with a hint of fruitiness in it. Something chunky, soft in the middle and not sickly sweet.

Ingredients:

  • 175g salted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 100g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 250g sugar (I used fine granulated for texture)
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 70g self raising plain flour
  • pinch of baking powder
  • 200g mixed fruit peel (lemon and orange mostly)

Method:

Preheat the oven on Gas Mark 5.

Melt the chocolate with a spoonful of butter in the microwave. Set aside.

In a bowl, mix the butter and sugar. Then whisk the eggs into the mixture. Add the dry ingredients and mix well until the butter, sugar, eggs are all blended in properly with the flour. Stir in the chocolate gently and add the mixed fruit peel (I used the Asda fruit peel for £74p, soaked in sugar syrup which brings the hint of marmalade like flavour but less bitter).

Once the batter is ready, line the baking tin with greaseproof paper or greaseproof it with some butter which is what I did. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 30 minutes. Check after 30 minutes with the skewer. If it comes out clear, cook some more. I turned it off when it was slightly gooey in the middle, but not raw! That way it acquires the texture of a brownie. Rich and gooey in the middle and crusty on the top. A dollop of frozen yogurt or clotted cream – YUMMMMMM!!!

Please let me know if you like the recipe and leave your comments below.