Garlic Chilli King Prawns

StarterServes 2

How to cook 1. Defrost the prawns if frozen 2. Put the oil in a cooking pan and heat, add the fenugreek seeds and wait until they turn brown. Add the finely chopped onion and stir. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. 3. Once the onions are cooked and brown add the tomatoes and stir. 4. Add all the spices except the fresh coriander. Cover and cook for 5/10 minutes until the sauce is cooked, the oil will start to appear through the sauce. (Add a little water if the sauce is sticking) 5. Add the Prawns, remember they don't take long to cook, approx 5 minutes. If more sauce is required add a bit of hot water. 6. Serve with chapattis or boiled basmati rice.

Spicy Lamb Chops

Main courseServes 6

How to cook 1. Trip the chops and excess fat and put into a large bowl. 2. In a separate bowl add all the other ingredients except the oil. Mix and then add the chops. 3. Marinate for overnight or for at least 2 hours. 4. Put the oil in a frying pan and heat. Fry the chops in batches for a couple of minutes on each side and then place in on an ovenproof tray. 5. Cook in the oven at 200C/gas 6 for 10 to 20 minutes depending on how pink you like your lamb. 6. Serve with an Indian side salad or mint chutney.

Onion Bhajis

StarterServes 4

Make the batter 1. Mix all the ingredients excluding Bicarbonate of soda, onions and potato together in a bowl. 2. Add luke warm water to form a batter. Fairly thick consistency. Leave to one side for 15 minutes for the flavours to combine. (This can be done a day in advance) 3. Heat up the oil in a frying pan. 4. Just before frying add the Bicarbonate of Soda into the mixture. Stir in thoroughly. 5. Add the chopped onions and grated potatoes. 6. Drop medium size balls into the frying pan and cook turning once for 2-4 minutes. 7. Drain and serve with mint sauce or any chutney/salsa. Note: Also add mixed vegetables if required.

GRANDMA ABSON’S CHRISTMAS CAKE

DessertServes N/K

This is a foolproof recipe from Grandma Abson's Traditional Baking collection which I make every Christmas. There is rarely a piece of it left by 1 January! Grandma would make Christmas Cakes well in advance in late October or early November. This allows time to prick the cake all over the top once it's cool and pour a tablespoonful of brandy on it. You can do this two or three times before putting on the Almond paste and icing to keep it moist. Heat the oven to 325F, Mark 3, 170C. Line an 8inch/21cms cake tin – either round or square with greaseproof or baking paper or use a cake liner. Cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. You can do this in a food mixer. Add the warmed treacle and golden syrup to the mixture. Add the beaten eggs gradually and half of the flour and spices (cinnamon and mixed spice). Mix well. Stir in the nuts/almonds and cherries and then the rest of the flour , dried fruit and mixed peel. Add the stout at the end. Put the mixture into the cake tin and smooth over the top , making a slight indent in the middle - this stops the cake from rising too much in the middle and cracking. Bake for 3 – 3½ hours. Start with the oven fairly warm for 30 minutes at 325F, Mark 3, 170C and then gradually reduce over the time to finish in a slow oven at 250F, Mark ½, 130C. Grandma's Tips : Wrap several layers of brown paper or newspaper around the cake tin and tie it with string before putting the cake into the oven to prevent burning. Grandma made strict use of a thin cake skewer or cake tester to stick in the cake and check if it was thoroughly cooked. If it was cooked, there should be no trace of the mixture when the skewer is taken out, but if traces of the mixture remain on the skewer, then it needs further cooking time. Ready for the oven A Perfect bake! PUTTING THE ICING ON THE CAKE Grandma would put the finishing touches to her cake a couple of weeks or so before Christmas. ALMOND PASTE You need to first cover the Fruit Cake with a layer of Almond Paste (or marzipan). Grandma always made her own Almond Paste (or marzipan). It's really easy. Grandma also sometimes used to add a little sherry or brandy to the mixture for an even stronger kick. Mix the almonds and sugar together. Add sufficient lemon juice and/or water to make a stiff paste. First of all spread a thin layer of Apricot jam over the cake before placing the layer of rolled out Almond paste (usually about 3/8 inch /1 cm thick) on the top and sides. Alternative Topping You can always put dried fruit, nuts and glace cherries which have been folded in a redcurrant jelly and apricot jam glaze to make a jewel of a topping. Sieve the icing sugar and add a little lemon juice and enough whites of the eggs to make it like the consistency of whipped cream. Beat for 15 minutes or until it will adhere to the spoon when held up. Do not beat too long. It may be necessary to add a little more sugar. Grandma's Tip : Add a teaspoonful of glycerine to the mixture and this will stop the icing drying out. Meryl's Tips : Use Ready to Roll icing to spread over the cake. A Cake smoother is really useful to get a perfect finish. Or, if you do make the icing yourself, use a fork to make peaks in the icing to simulate a snow scene.

Ampleforth Abbey Cider Fruit Cake

DessertServes N/K

Chop any larger dried fruit into small pieces, and put it all into a bowl. Pour the cider over the fruit, stir and leave to soak overnight. The following day, preheat the oven to 180ºC, 350ºF, gas 4. Grease a 20cm round cake tin and line the bottom and sides with baking parchment. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside. Cream together the butter, sugar and honey in a large bowl, until the mixture has a light and creamy consistency. Add the eggs one at a time, giving everything a good mix after each addition. Don't worry too much if the mixture starts to look like it's curdling – stirring a spoonful of the flour into the butter and egg mixture should help. Lightly fold in the flour and baking powder, followed by soaked fruit and lemon zest. Turn the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes. Then turn the heat down to 170ºC, 325ºF, Gas 3 and cook for a further 1-11/2 hours, until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. If the top of the cake looks like it is browning too quickly, cover it with a piece of greaseproof paper. Cool the cake in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Vegetable biryani recipe

Main courseServes 06-Aug

Rinse the masoor dhal at least 3 times in warm water, then drain and place in a large pan with 650ml of boiling water. Bring to the boil, then simmer over a medium heat for a couple of minutes until it starts to foam. Skim the froth from the surface, add the teaspoon of oil and simmer three-quarters covered for 18–20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the dhal is soft and cooked through. Remove from the heat, drain and set aside. Heat the frying oil – about 20cm deep – in a large pan (or deep fat fryer, if you have one). Test the temperature by dropping a potato cube into the oil – when it is hot enough, the potato will immediately start to sizzle and bubble. Reduce to the heat to medium. Carefully lower the potatoes into the oil and use a wooden spoon to move them around so that they cook evenly all over. Fry for 4–5 minutes, or until golden brown and just becoming crisp. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and leave to rest on kitchen paper while you fry the other vegetables. Fry the carrots for 2 minutes, moving them around so that they cook evenly, then remove and leave to rest on kitchen paper. Next fry the pepper pieces for 2–3 minutes, then remove and leave to rest with the potatoes and carrots. Finally, fry the onions for 7–8 minutes and add to the other fried vegetables. Crush the chillies, garlic and ginger together with a pinch of salt using a pestle and mortar (or a blender), to make a fine masala paste. Rinse the rice twice in warm water, then drain. Heat the 100ml of oil for the rice in a large pan over a high heat for 30 seconds. Add the rice, salt and masala paste and stir gently. Fry together for a minute, then pour in 650ml of boiling water. Boil the rice uncovered over a high heat for 10–11 minutes, until almost all the water has evaporated and it starts to look dry. Put a large square of foil on top, tucking it round the sides, then put a lid on the pan, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and leave to cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. Tip the dhal into a large bowl. Add the garam masala, salt and bay leaves and mix gently. Add the rice and butter and gently mix again to combine. Spoon about a third of the rice / dhal mixture back into the rice cooking pan to form a layer roughly 2cm thick, followed by half the fried vegetables. Add another layer of rice / dhal mixture (about half of what's left), followed by the rest of the fried vegetables. Use the remaining rice / dhal to create a final layer. Put a large square of foil on top, tucking it round the sides, then put a lid on the pan and place it over a high heat for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and leave to cook for 18–20 minutes or so, then remove from the heat and set aside to rest, covered, for at least 10 minutes. Serve piping hot, spooning up from the bottom of the pan to make sure each serving contains all the different layers (removing the bay leaves as you come across them). Enjoy it with a glass of chilled mango lassi. – This recipe is taken from Prashad: Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Kaushy Patel

Vanilla Honey Yogurt Smoothie

DrinkServes 1

Prep time: 5 minutes Total cost: £0.51 Cost per serving: £0.51 Place all the ingredients in a liquidiser or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and drizzle over some extra honey to serve (optional). Hints and tips For a smoother texture, soak the bran flakes in the milk for 5-10 minutes in advance. Nutrient Per portion Per 100g Calories 259 89 Protein 13.3 4.6 Fat 3.8 1.3 Of which saturated fat 2.1 0.7 Carbohydrate 46 16 Of which sugar (all naturally occurring sugar) 34 11.6 Salt Sodium equivalent 0.3 0.1