Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Beetroot & Choc Chip Cupcakes

Beetroot & Choc Chip Cupcakes
I've been intrigued by the combination of beetroot and chocolate for a while now (seriously, I think about this stuff), and with a work's Valentine bake off on the horizon I thought I'd give these cupcakes a bash. The idea is to adapt a basic carrot cake batter, but replace the carrot with beetroot, similar to these Halloween cakes that used pumpkin. Basically it'd work with any sweet-tasting vegetable. Parsnips? Why not. Once the grated beetroot was incorporated with the other ingredients the batter was a vibrant red colour. However, and rather disappointingly, this was completely lost after the bake, with the cakes a nice, warm brown colour. Not quite the Valentine look I was hoping for. Will stick some red food colouring in there next time. But the verdict on taste? Very moreish. Makes 12.

2 large eggs
130g caster sugar
120ml vegetable oil
½ tsp vanilla extract
120g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
225g grated uncooked beetroot
130g dark choc chips

For the icing:
175g cream cheese
450g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp strawberry jam
1 drop red food colouring

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
2. Beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, then slowly add the oil, continuing to mix. Add the vanilla extract and beat well.
3. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon into a separate bowl, then slowly add these the mix, beating well after each addition.
4. Add the beetroot and choc chips and stir with a wooden spoon until incorporated.
5. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling each by about two-thirds.
6. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until dark brown in colour and spongy to touch. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. For the icing, place the cheese, icing sugar and butter in a bowl and beat well until smooth and pale.
8. Place half the icing in a separate bowl and add the jam and colouring. Mix well.
9. To get the swirl effect, place the icing in separate piping bags and place these in one larger bag. Pipe using a star nozzle.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Victoria Sandwich

Victoria Sandwich
Cakes just seem to be getting more and more elaborate these days, with bakers seemingly trying to outdo each other with their outlandish creations and unusual flavour combinations. To steal an old punchline, it'll all end in tiers. That's why there's something comforting about a Victoria Sandwich. For a start any old numpty can make one – just look at me for proof. Secondly, its simplicity belies its genius taste and texture – get this right and you'll have people coming back for seconds. Finally, is the name. The Victoria Sandwich. Created and named for Queen Victoria. Her in charge when Britian ruled the waves. And it was all done on a cup of tea and nice slice of cake. Talking of Queens who rule the world, this recipe is adapted from Mary Berry. I've seen some recipes that add baking powder as well. This one didn't, but the mixing here seems to be a lot more delicate and exact, meaning a light and airy batter. It worked for me.

225g soft butter at room temperature, plus a little extra to grease the tins
225g caster sugar
4 free-range eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
225g self-raising flour, sifted
good-quality strawberry or raspberry jam
whipped double cream
1 tbsp icing sugar, to dust

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
2. Grease and line 2x20cm sandwich tins.
3. Beat the butter in a large bowl with a hand mixer until pale and creamy.
4. Add the sugar a little at a time, mixing each time and scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time. When all is incorporated, mix for a further 4 minutes until light and fluffy.
5. Break the eggs into a separate bowl and lightly break up with a fork. Add the vanilla extract. Add the eggs/vanilla 1 tbsp at a time to the batter, mixing well each time. This should take about five minutes.
6. Sift the flour for a second time into the the batter and carefully fold in with a large metal spoon.
7. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins: this doesn’t need to be exact, but you can weigh the filled tins if you want to check. Use a spatula to remove all of the mixture from the bowl and gently smooth the surface of the cakes.
8. Place the tins on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Don't be tempted to open the door while they're cooking, but after 20 minutes do look through the door to check them.
9. The cakes are done when they’re golden brown and coming away from the edge of the tins. Press them gently to check – they should be springy to the touch. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool in their tins for five minutes. Then run a palette or rounded butter knife around the inside edge of the tin and carefully turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack.
10. To take your cakes out of the tins without leaving a wire rack mark on the top, put the clean tea towel over the tin, put your hand onto the tea towel and turn the tin upside-down. The cake should come out onto your hand and the tea towel – then you can turn it from your hand onto the wire rack.
11. Set aside to cool completely.
12. To assemble the cake, place one cake upside down onto a plate and spread it with plenty of jam then spread over whipped cream.
13. Top with the second cake, top-side up and sift over the icing sugar.

Haggis, Neeps & Tatties

Haggis, Neeps & Tatties
January 25th means two things to me. The first, and most important, is it's my youngest son's birthday. The second is that it's Burns Night, which means it's as good excuse as any to be stuffing my face with haggis and having a couple of malts. Let's get this straight – I'm not a Jock, but our northern cousins have had a massive influence on my life. Let's examine the evidence:
1. My mum is Scottish.
2. I married a Scot.
3. I got married in Scotland (see point 2).
4. At our wedding breakfast (see point 3) we served a haggis dish as a starter.
5. I love Edinburgh.
6. I have been known to savour a fine scotch of an evening.
And what's not to love about haggis, neeps & tatties? (Ok, if you're in any way squeamish maybe don't think about the lamb's heart, lung and kidneys encased in an animal's stomach. Try one of the very good vegetarian varieties if you want to dip your toe in the water first). For me, it's gotta be a really peppery haggis, served with buttery, creamy mash and hearty swede. Oh, and forget any gravy. The only sauce this dish needs is a dram of whisky and maybe a healthy squirt of brown sauce. Serves 2-3.

1lb haggis
3 large or 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 medium swede, peeled and cut into chunks
100g unsalted butter
2 tbsp single cream
salt and pepper

1. Cook the haggis per packet instructions (you didn't think I'd make my own, did you?)
2. Bring two pans of salted water to the boil and cook the potato and swede for about 15-20 minutes each until tender.
3. Separately drain both in a colander and allow to steam dry for about 5 minutes.
4. Gently melt the butter in a small pan.
5. Separately mash the potato and swede. Add the melted butter and cream to the mashed potato and gently stir in with a wooden spoon. Taste and season both veg if required.
6. Spoon a hearty portion of the cooked haggis onto a plate. Serve with the mashed veg and a nice glass of malt.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012


It's one of the classic cocktails, popular among legions of women trying oh-so desperately to convince themselves that their lives are as rich and exciting as Horse Face from Sex and the City. Or is it Kim Whatsername? You know, she was in Mannequin. Anyway, no matter which fictional strumpet you want to have as a role model, there's no denying that the Cosmopolitan is a lethally delicious concoction – fruity, sweet and refreshing. Great for trying to convince your other half that you're "Mr Big" on Valentine's Night.

50ml vodka
25ml Cointreau
25ml cranberry juice
12.5ml fresh lime juice
2in strip of orange peel to garnish

1. Place a Martini glass in the freezer.
2. Shake all ingredients except garnish with plenty of ice in a cocktail shaker. Wink at any watching females.
3. Strain into the chilled Martini glass.
4. Hold the orange peel over the glass between thumb and forefinger. Just touch with a lighter for about 3 seconds, then squeeze to release the oils and ignite. Wipe around rim of the glass, then drop into liquid.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Baked Stuffed Sea Bass with Warm Tomato Vinaigrette

Baked Stuffed Sea Bass with Warm Tomato Vinaigrette
So I've shifted about 10lbs so far, thanks for asking, basically by doing the simple things like cutting out eating crap, not drinking beer (boo!), watching my carb intake and training for my fifth marathon (you'll sadly be hearing more of the latter over the coming months). To keep with the health theme, here's a quick and easy fish recipe using one of my favourite fish, sea bass – quite an expensive fish, especially if buying fillets, but most good fishmongers and supermarket fish counters will normally have a decent deal on whole fish. Get them to scale and gut it if it hasn't been already been done and don't worry about the bones and it being all fiddly blah de blah. If it's cooked right, the skin will easily peel off and the moist, milky white sweet flesh will just come away with little effort. The nutty stuffing and almost sweet and sour dressing worked a treat. This recipe comes from Waitrose.com. Serves 2.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 plum tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
salt and pepper
100g pine nuts, crushed
8 large basil leaves, plus more for garnish
2 whole sea bass, each about 450g, cleaned and trimmed of fins

For the vinaigrette:
6 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 plum tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 190C/gas 5. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion, tomatoes and garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes. Season, then add the pine nuts and basil and cook for a further 2 minutes.
2. Stuff both fish with the mixture and place on a separate piece of well-greased foil. Wrap into a tight parcel.
3. Place on a baking tray and cook for 25 minutes or until cooked.
4. For the vinaigrette, whisk the olive oil and balsamic in a small saucepan. Add the tomatoes and shallot, season and gently warm through.
5. Check fish is cooked, remove from the foil and transfer to a large plate. Spoon the dressing over and garnish with chopped basil.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Liver & Bacon with Onions

Liver & Bacon with Onions
I imagine some of you will be instantly put off by this recipe (and if not that, then by the accompanying picture, which does, admittedly, look slightly fecal), but this is my blog, godamnit, and liver and bacon just happens to be one of my most favouritest dishes. So there.
Most people's aversion to the dreaded liver probably arose at school – lumps of overcooked chewy rubber, swamped in insipid gravy and gloopy mash. Worse was to come if you ever managed to cut into a slice, where lurking among the dry, grey innards would be – and I'm actually starting to dry-heave just thinking about this – "tubes". What the fuck were they? Arteries? In all my subsequent years of eating liver at home or in restaurants I have never, never, never cut into a tube. So why were they staring at my innocent pre-pubescent eyes if they were so obviously alien to human consumption? Maybe the sadistic dinner ladies thought that if we were savage enough to eat liver in the first place, then a bit of artery here and there wouldn't do us any harm as well. And just where had our school sourced its ingredients? Considering liver is a ridiculously cheap piece of meat to buy, surely even the most penny-pinching of local authority wouldn't dare cut corners and serve its knowledge-hungry school kids the offal from, dare I say it, a horse? Or worse (come to think of it, the travelling circus did stop coming to town after a while). Those tubes were surely too thick to have come from a lamb, calf or pig. I'm sure I remember one kid even managed to wear one on his little finger, like you used to do with Hula Hoops.
So if this was my early experience of liver, why the hell aren't I scarred for life? That, dear readers (and forgive me if I get all Wonder Years here), would be due to my mum. Her liver and bacon was just brilliant. She would stick it all in one pot, with a delicious thick gravy heavily laced with tomato purée and onions, whacking great chunks of iron-rich liver, quartered potatoes, greens, the lot. Admittedly the liver would be a bit overcooked, but by god, the flavour that my mum would get into that dish was divine, and it was one of the first meals that I tried to replicate when I'd left home to go to university.
Since then my culinary knowledge has (slowly) developed and I've come to appreciate that liver needs to be cooked hot and fast, left slightly pink in the middle, and added to the onion and bacon mix at the last minute. It's a delight to see my two young boys tuck into a plateful with as much joy as I used to as a lad *wipes tear from eye*. Here's my take. Serves 4.

450g lamb's liver, sliced
25g butter
2 tbsp sunflower oil
4 tbsp plain flour
1 onion, halved and sliced
125g rindless streaky bacon, cut into 2cm pieces
500ml beef stock
2-3 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
salt and black pepper to taste

1. Wash the liver in cold water and trim if necessary. Drain well. Season 3 tbsp of the flour in a large and bowl with salt and pepper. Add the liver and coat well.
2. Melt half the butter with the oil in a large frying pan. Shake off excess flour and cook the liver, a few slices at a time, on a high heat for 1-2 minutes each side until browned. Remove to a plate and set aside.
3. Turn down the heat on the pan to low-to-medium and melt the remaining butter. Add the onions and cook slowly for 5 minutes.
4. Add the bacon and cook for another 10 minutes until they become crispy and onions are golden.
5. Add the remaining tbsp of flour and stir well. Add the stock, purée and thyme and simmer until thick.
6. Return the liver to the pan for a couple of minutes to warm through and finish cooking. Serve with creamy mash and some greens.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Curried Cauliflower Soup
Spicy, hearty, healthy (no cream or cheese) and quick and easy to make. Serves 4.

25g butter
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 stick of celery, diced
1 large potato, diced
1 heaped tsp curry powder
1.6 litres vegetable or chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the cumin seeds and when they begin to crackle add all the veg and the curry powder. Gently colour, making sure everything is well coated with the spices.
2. Add the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes until the veg is cooked.
3. Remove from the heat and blitz with a blender until smooth. Return to the heat and gently simmer for another 10 minutes. You may need to add some water if the soup is too thick. Season with salt and pepper.

The Great Sport Relief Bake Off – BBC2, Ep1

Paul and Mary

Who thought that watching scones rise in an oven would make gripping, must-see telly? But that’s exactly what BBC’s The Great British Bake Off has become over its two series, spawning amateur bakers up and down the country to bosh out a bun, finger a flan, or crack off a croquembouche. I know it’s obvious from the title of the programme, but there’s just something comfortingly British about it – and a format that is becoming increasingly popular in offices and social clubs, uniting strangers and friends alike under the universal banner of baking. And eating.
So it was a welcome return of Paul Hollywood and Queen Mary Berry to our screens last night in The Great Sport Relief Bake Off – except, in a way, it wasn’t. Firstly it was a celebrity spin-off, a concept that normally fills me with dread and thoughts of “who the fuck is that?” (I recognised just one of the four “celebs” on show one, the delightful Angela Griffin). I just don’t see the point of this style of programme – the celebs are invariably nowhere near as good as the amateurs (as it proved last night), and like I just said, their celeb status is somewhat questionable. The end result is basically some people no one knows being a bit shit. Not good telly. Robert De Niro getting chastised by Paul and Mary for presenting a dry meringue? Good telly.
My other problem with the show – and hear me out – was its Sport Relief tie-in. Eddie Izzard running 43 marathons in 51 days? Staggering. David Walliams swimming the Channel or the Thames? Inspirational stuff. A load of z-lists stuffing their faces with cake? Er, what? Apart from it being a competition, where’s the sport element? Yes, cake sales are great fun and raise tonnes of cash, but this is the equivalent of Lenny Henry introducing Schindler’s List on Comic Relief night. Oh well, if it encourages more people to get into the kitchen then maybe it’s not such a bad thing.
What is a bad thing, however, is Asian-style spiced prawns served in a meringue nest – a truly bonkers concoction made by one of the celebs, some bloke, James Wong, who apparently presents a programme called Grow Your Own Drugs. Maybe he’d had a particularly good crop last year if he thought this culinary kamikaze of a dish would work.
Mary looked horrified at the combination, explaining that the meringue should be a dessert. Wong, rather smugly, explained that he had researched the meaning of “dessert” and it meant a dish to end a meal, with no mention of it having to be sweet. Mary stared, before dryly replying: “You have done your research.” We all know that what she really meant to say was: “COCK!”
Hey, it’s true what they say after all – two Wongs don’t make a right.

Monday, 9 January 2012

The Fabulous Baker Brothers – C4, Ep1

Tom (left, possibly right) and Henry
Channel 4 launched its new cookery hour last week with Heston being Heston (seriously, is anyone going to inject gravy into a suet pudding or cook a chilli for four days?), followed by new kids on the chopping block, siblings Tom and Henry Herbert in The Fabulous Baker Brothers. Except one’s a butcher. And it’s really not that fabulous.
For a start, there’s that title. Wow, it stinks more than the manky farm used to film the show’s pie-off finale. It smacks of a late Friday afternoon post-liquid pub lunch brainstorm with one eye on the clock and the other on saucy Susan’s increasingly rising hemline. I would have called it A Right Couple of Herberts. Actually, that’s not true, because there’s no way this offal would get made if I were in charge.
Look, Tom and Henry seem like nice blokey blokes and are obviously talented at what they do – but not in front of a camera. They have as much charisma and natural screen presence as the piece of dough that Tom or Henry (they’re pretty interchangeable) lovingly kneads.
And who is the target audience? Well the food has a distinctly manly quality – chip butties, steak sarnies, pies – but the presentation is clearly playing to the female viewer – simpering looks, flirty smiles (and that’s just between the two brothers).
Classic cooking double acts have relied on strong personalities playing off each other – Two Fat Ladies, Hairy Bikers – but the Herberts’ joviality comes across as too scripted, too practised, too I don’t give a shit if you have a weekly pie-off… wait a minute, they have a pie-off? Have I ever mentioned that I love pies? Maybe this has got some merit after all. Rabbit pie? I’m in, Tom. Or Henry. Hold on, what’s he doing? That’s not a pie, that’s a pastry sack. Ooh, Henry (or Tom) is doing a Ploughman’s Pie. Interesting idea, but I’ll run with it. Oh, for fuck’s sake, that’s a Cornish pasty. Look, it's all good-looking stuff, but a pie is a pie and a pasty is a pasty – it's not hard, people.
This is a pie:

This is a pasty:

This is Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys:

Here endeth the lesson.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Tom Yum Gai with Noodles

Tom Yum Gai
So I weighed myself the other day, and there's no getting away from the fact that I'm now a bit of a bloater. To be honest, I've had a great couple of months cooking and eating some delicious, yet calorific, food, but it's a new year, blah de blah, new you, resolution bollocks and it's time to shift a bit of timber. It means parking the cakes for a bit, but I hope you stick with The Albion Tavern while we go through a bit of a refurb.

I adore hot and sour soup, so Tom Yum Gai (not to be confused with the Cream of Sum Yung Gai – gag courtesy of Wayne's World) is an ideal start to flush the fat. Once you get the base of the soup right, I normally chuck in whatever colourful veg I have to hand – in this case there's sliced carrots as well as red pepper. Use prawns instead of chicken and it's basically Tom Yum Goong; add coconut milk (calories, bad) and it's Tom Yum Nam Khon. Experiment and enjoy. Serves 2. 

800ml chicken stock
1 stalk fresh lemongrass, chopped
1 large knob of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
2-3 kaffir lime leaves (fresh or frozen)
2-3 chillies, finely chopped (use more if you want it hotter)
3 shallots, finely diced
1 tbsp garlic paste
2 carrots, julienne
2 boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 tbsp fish sauce
2-3 ripe tomatoes, cut into quarter
1 tbsp lime juice
1 red pepper, sliced
6 shittake mushrooms, cut into quarter
rice noodles
coriander leaves, to garnish
3 spring onions, sliced, to garnish

1. Bring the stock to a boil. Add lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, chillies, shallots, garlic paste and carrots and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
2. Add raw chicken, pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms, lime juice and fish sauce and simmer for a further 8 minutes until chicken is cooked.
3. Two minutes before end of cooking add noodles.
4. Ladle into large bowls and garnish with chopped spring onion and coriander.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Tarka Dhal, Chicken (Turkey) Tikka Masala, Bombay Potatoes & Basmati Rice with Cumin

Tarka Dhal, Turkey Tikka Masala, Bombay Potatoes & Basmati Rice with Cumin
The Albion Tavern hosted a large family gathering on Boxing Day and I'd been having sleepless nights for, oh, several minutes, wondering what to dish up. The sheer numbers coming meant that a formal sit-down meal would be out of the question, unless people would be willing to bring their own chairs and sit in the garden (although they way some of my wife's distant relatives eat, that would probably be quite appropriate). The only alternative would be to prepare a buffet so people could help themselves, and the type of food to be served needed to be eaten easily, maybe with just a fork while standing up. So, after seeing the amount of leftover turkey prepared by my mother-in-law on Christmas Day, the obvious answer (after secretly stashing half a bird up my jumper on leaving said in-laws' house well-fed and watered), would be the traditional Boxing Day curry. Of course, me being me, as well as turkey curry we'd need rice and a couple of side dishes (and a veggie curry for the missus. And a milder curry for the kids) – and all cooked from scratch. Hungover. In about five hours.
Before moving to suburban bliss a few years ago I lived for several years in Tooting, South London, an area of the capital famous for being the setting of Seventies sitcom Citizen Smith and its proliferation of Asian restaurants, shops and markets. Buying a ready-made curry sauce was seriously frowned upon, so I got into making them from scratch, easily finding whatever weird and wonderful ingredients I needed with ease on the High Street. Even now I've still got a bag of curry leaves in the freezer. Anyway, these dishes are favourites of mine that I've cooked over the years, from the likes of Meena Pathak, Madhur Jaffrey and Anjum Anand. I can't vouch for their authenticity, except that they're better than any takeaway. I'll give the ingredients as serving 4 and substitute chicken for the mountain of turkey I used. Enjoy. All dishes serve 4.

Tarka Dhal
For the dhal:
200g chana dhal lentils or yellow split peas
100g dried red lentils
1 tsp turmeric
6 fat garlic cloves, peeled and grated to a paste
20g root ginger, peeled weight, grated to a paste
handful of chopped coriander leaves to garnish

For the tarka:
6 tbsp vegetable oil
2 rounded tbsp butter
4 long red dried chillies
2 rounded tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 small tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp garam masala, or to taste

1. Wash both types of lentils together in several changes of water. Place in 2 litres of water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, skimming off any scum that forms. Add the turmeric, garlic, ginger and a little salt and simmer, covered for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. After about 30 minutes of cooking, heat the oil and butter for the tarka. And the whole dried chillies and cumin seeds and once they have browned, add the onion. Sauté until well browned, then add the tomatoes, garam masala and a little more salt. Continue cooking until the masala releases oil, around 10 minutes. Pour some of the lentil mix into the pan and scrape the base to extract all the flavours. Pour everything back into the lentils.
3. Cook over a highish heat, uncovered, for another 10 minutes. Add a little water if it becomes too thick. Adjust seasoning and serve scattered with chopped coriander.

Chicken Tikka Masala
For the tikka marinade:
3-4 tsp lemon juice
100g Greek yogurt
2 fat cloves garlic, peeled and grated to a paste
10g fresh root ginger, peeled weight and grated to a paste
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 1/2 tsp paprika, for colour
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp vegetable oil

For the curry:
6 boneless chicken thighs (substitute for paneer cheese for the veggies)
20g fresh root ginger, peeled weight
8 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsp vegetable oil
75g butter
6 green cardamom pods
2cm cinnamon stick
4 cloves
500g tinned plum tomatoes, puréed
1 tbsp tomato purée
2-4 whole green chillies, pierced
75ml single cream
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garam masala
small handful of coriander leaves to serve

1. Mix together all the marinade ingredients with 1 tsp salt. Add the chicken or paneer and marinate, preferably overnight, covered in the fridge.
2. Blend the ginger and garlic for the curry, using a little water to help. Heat the oil and half the butter in a large pan and add the spices. Sizzle for 15 seconds, add the ginger and garlic paste and cook until all the moisture has evaporated and the garlic looks grainy.
3. Add the tomatoes and purée and cook for around 20 minutes until the resulting paste releases its oils. Brown this paste over a gentle heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring often.
4. Add 250ml water, bring the boil and pass through a sieve, extracting as much liquid and flavour as possible. Discard the solids and set the sauce aside.
5. Heat the oven to 240C/gas 9 and place the marinated chicken on a foil-lined baking tray. Cook for 8-10 minutes until slightly charred. Remove from the oven and cut the chicken into large chunks.
6. Heat the remaining butter in a large pan and add the green chillies. Add the sauce, salt and a good splash of water and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken, cream, chilli powder and enough paprika to get a good colour, then add the garam masala. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until the chicken is cooked and the sauce is lovely and creamy. Sprinkle over the coriander leaves and serve.

Bombay Potatoes
3 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
pinch ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chilli powder
1 knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
4 knobs butter
6 potatoes, peeled, parboiled and cut into cubes
4 tomatoes, cores removed and flesh diced
handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped

1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the spices and ginger for a few minutes. Add the butter, then the potatoes making sure they are completely coated in the spicy mixture. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, then stir in the tomatoes and the coriander.

Basmati Rice with Cumin Seeds
250g basmati rice
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves
2 cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp salt

1. Wash the rice in several changes of cold water and leave to soak.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the spices. When the cumin seeds crackle, drain the rice well and add to the pan (be careful here as hot oil and wet rice can spit). Fry over a gentle heat to coat the rice.
3. Add the salt and pour in 600ml of water and stir slightly. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes until the water has been absorbed. If water remains, remove the lid and allow to evaporate.