Category Archives: Side dishes

Chickpea, mango and coconut salad


Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the mustard seeds and chana dall until the mixture pops and crackles. add the chilli and asafoetida (or onion) and fry for a minute or two.

Add the chickpeas and seasoning and fry for a few minutes before removing from the heat.
In a large bowl, put the coconut, green chilli, mango and plums. add the warm chickpea mixture and mix through. Then add the lemon zest and juice, coriander and mint leaves. Taste and check for seasoning. Add more lemon juice, salt and pepper if required.

For the onion garnish, thinly slice a small onion and shallow fry in a pan until quite dark brown and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle over a pinch or two of sugar. set aside until required.

Pancetta and chestnut stuffing


Pre heat the oven to 180c.  Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the shallot, celery, leek and chopped pancetta. Cook for about 5 mins until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a minute. Cool. Add the sausages to the cooled mixture with the parsley, chestnuts, breadcrumbs and egg. Season and mix well.

Shape 2/3 of the mixture into 12 balls and wrap each ball in a rasher of pancetta. Arrange on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 25-30 mins. Put the remaining stuffing into an ovenproof dish – this can be cooked alongside the stuffing balls.

Alternatively you can line a loaf tin with the extra pancetta. fill with the stuffing and cook in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out hot.

Vegetable fried rice


Heat a wok or large non-stick frying pan and then add the oil. Add the peppers first and fry for a couple of minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients and stir fry for a few minutes before adding the rice.

Continue to stir fry over a high heat until the rice is heated through. Add the salt and pepper and mix through.

Move the rice to one side of the wok or pan and add a little more oil. Add the soy to the beaten egg and pour this into the space in the pan. Stir the egg to cook through before mixing the rice in.

Taste and add more salt or soy if needed.

Tomato rice

Gently fry the garlic in the oil in a thick bottomed pan for a few minutes but don’t let it brown. Add the rice and stir well to coat all the grains in the oil.

Add the tomato puree and stir to mix. Add the stock and the tomatoes. Bring to the boil, stir once and cover. Reduce heat and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed – about 7-10 minutes.

Once all the liquid has been absorbed, turn out the heat, leave lid on and allow the rice to rest in the pan for 5 minutes before serving.

Scalloped potatoes with bacon and tarragon

Peel and slice the potatoes. Place half in a greased ovenproof dish and season well. Sprinkle with the onion, tarragon and bacon then cover with the rest of the potatoes. Pour   over the cream/milk and cover with greased foil.

Cook in the oven (200C) for about 1 and a half hours or until almost tender. Remove foil and sprinkle on cheese. Return to oven, uncovered for 15-20mins.

Sesame and green bean salad

Blanch the beans in a pan of boiling water for a few minutes then refresh in iced water. Drain and then cut into short lengths.

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan, taking care not to burn them. Grind them using a pestle and mortar while they are still hot. When they are half-paste like, add the sugar, oil and soy and continue to grind until you have a smooth dressing.

Mix the beans with the dressing and serve.

Special Potatoes

Preheat oven to 180C.  Place one layer of the potatoes in an ovenproof dish, overlapping them slightly (this should use up about a quarter of the potatoes). Season and scatter over a quarter of the onions.

Sprinkle a quarter of the flour on top, dot with a quarter of the butter and sprinkle with a quarter of the cheese.  Repeat until there are 4 layers.  Heat the milk and cream in a small pan but do not boil. Pour over the potatoes. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and return to the oven.

Bake for another 15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender and top is brown.

Spiced Potato with Cauliflower

Heat oil in casserole and cook cumin seeds and onion over medium heat for 5-6 mins until onion is caramelised.   Add garlic, ginger, potato, cauliflower, turmeric and chilli and turn until evenly coated with the spices. Add the tomatoes, salt and 300ml water.

Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 mins or until tender.  Stir in garam masala and simmer for further 2 mins. Garnish with fresh coriander.