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Indian food that looks and tastes great…

By now I’m sure you all know just how much I love Indian food, and this week has seen two curries made in my house, the first was a delicious (and very hot) Jalfrezi and last night I made my Chicken and Cashew Curry for my friends. I just can’t get enough. Making curry at home is great, but you often miss out on all the side dishes because you either don’t know how, or can’t be bothered to make them. But let me tell you, it really is so simple and they can all be pulled together in the time your curry cooks. Check out my recipe for Bhindi Bhaji here.

So, you already know how to make the curry, and rice is rice right? Wrong! Boring plain boiled rice deserves no place at your table when you’re making an Indian meal. When I think of Indian food, I think exciting, spicy and aromatic flavours. Remember – Plain rice is for plain people! Making just a couple of small tweaks can give you wonderful fragrant rice dishes that anyone can be proud of. It will look like you have pulled out all the stops and no one need know it only took you 5 minutes longer. It can be a simple as chucking in a handful of peas and freshly chopped coriander at the last minute, or have a go at these:

Fragrant Rice

Lemon Rice – Boil the rice in half water, half chicken stock and 2 table spoons of lemon juice and grated lemon zest to serve. 

Garlic Rice – Fry a chopped onion and 3 chopped garlic cloves in a pan until golden, add the rice and liquid, cook according to packet instructions.

Mushroom Rice – Fry a chopped onion, chopped garlic clove and a few chopped mushrooms in a pan until soft, add the rice and liquid, cook according to packet instructions


So, now you’ve got your curry and rice down have a go at these crispy aromatic Bombay potatoes. You’re going to love them.
































Bombay Potatoes


8 large new potatoes

4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp black mustard seeds

Peel and chop the potatoes into small chunks, parboil them for about 10 minutes, drain and return to the pan.Add the butter and oil to the pan and place over a high heat, adding the spices once the butter has melted. Give the potatoes a good stir to ensure the spices cover all of the potatoes. The butter and oil will bubble up and almost fry the potatoes making them wonderfully crispy. Keep stirring and cooking for 10 minutes, then serve immediately with your curry.

That’s it, it’s that simple. Now you’re wondering why you didn’t make these little tweaks before right. I have no doubt that these simple side dishes will really vamp up your homemade curry and allow you to throw on an impressive Indian spread for your guests. 

First

Festive Jam Tarts


Tis the season to be jolly *
For those that are regular readers of Miss Friday’s Feast you’ll know sweets really aren’t my forte, or should I say my preference? I really don’t have much of a sweet tooth and can’t seem to get as excited about the prospect of baking cookies as I can about cooking a steak. Nevertheless, I realise that Christmas is the time for indulgence, so what better time to take the plunge with my very first sweet blog post?
Well, technically speaking it isn’t my first sweet blog post. A few weeks back Stephanie over at Kitchen Frolicasked me to participate in her festive cookie calendar, so I have been experimenting with all things cookie ever since. You can see my white chocolate and macadamia cookies that I made for Steph over at her blog.
So, having decided to set aside some time for festive baking, I enlisted in the help of my mother, who has never really been much of a cook (sorry mum), but a few glasses of wine and a very messy kitchen later we were feeling rather smug with our efforts.


These festive jam tarts are truly great, not only do they look festive, but they taste it too. The wonderful vanilla pastry against the sweet raspberry jam works beautifully. In an effort not too eat them all myself, I brought them to work this week and my colleagues seem to agree that they taste good, either that or they are good liars!
This would be a great recipe to do with the kids, let them have fun cutting out the stars, although the top outline stars can be a little fiddly, that part may just be a job for mum, or indeed dad. It is really important not to miss out the freezing step. Freezing the pastry for 10 minutes will ensure it is stiff enough for you to handle.
This recipe was inspired by Sainsbury’s, but I made a few adaptations to suit my own tastes, such as swapping strawberry jam for raspberry, and icing sugar for coconut. I also made a few look like proper jam tarts rather than stars. But, that’s the beauty of them, you can make them however you like. I think I’ll make some heart shaped ones for Valentine’s Day.
You could also substitute the jam for mince meat if you like, personally I don’t like it. Just saying!   

* Fa la la la la, la la la la *

Mum made the broken ones 😛


Ingredients:
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g caster sugar
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
60g raspberry jam
1 tbsp desiccated coconut, to dust
Method:
Preheat the oven to 180⁰C. In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour and then, using your hands, lightly knead to form a ball.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 5mm thickness. Using a 8cm star shaped cookie cutter, stamp out as many stars as you can, then, using the smaller star shaped cookie cutter, stamp the little stars from the middle of half of the bigger stars. Place the biscuits onto a lined or greased baking sheet. Place these in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Spread a thin layer of jam onto the whole larger stars, placing the stars with the cut-out middles on top. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly golden. Allow to cool on a wire rack, then sprinkle with desiccated coconut to serve.
Tip – You will have pastry left from the smaller star cut outs, you can either bake these separately, or roll out the pastry again and make a few more. 

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Prawn, Crab and Nduja Spaghetti


I made an exciting discovery at my local farmer’s market a couple of weeks ago, an ingredient that I’d never heard of, or tasted before, Nduja. The label suggested using it to perk up casseroles, soups and pizzas, all of which I’m sure would be great. But, I knew there were far more exciting recipes to be conjured up with this spicy little gem, so even though I had no idea what I’d do with it, it came home with me.

For those of you that (like me) are unfamiliar with Nduja its Italian very soft pork salami with a liberal amount of chillies, and it really does pack a punch. So, seeing as its Italian, what better to pair it with than spaghetti? Well, having done my research I actually discovered, that surprisingly, it is the perfect accompaniment to crab.
I was so impressed with this spicy salami, especially with its melting quality when heated, it produces a wonderful fiery red sticky base for a sauce, to which I added a little, and I mean a little, water to thin it out, followed by half a tin of chopped tomatoes.
The best part about this delicious discovery was the price. It’s remarkably cheap for something so tasty and a little really does go a long way. Which, in its self is great, it means I have some left to enjoy like the Italians do, by spreading it on toasted bread with a big slab of cheese… I am actually salivating at the thought.  In fact, I’d slice it off and eat it solo it’s so delicious.
You may be lucky enough to find Nduja at your local farmer’s market or deli. Failing that, it is widely available online. However you find it, I really do suggest you spend a little time pursuing it, its amazing stuff. The Guardian describes it as the “wonder ingredient of the moment” and I couldn’t agree more. My internet sources lead me to believe it is sold on Borough Market, so if you happen to be in London make sure getting your hands on this ingredient is a priority. I’m just itching to see what other recipes I can come up with. But for now I give you prawn, crab and Nduja spaghetti.


Serves: 2
Takes: 10 minutes
250g of spaghetti
150g cooked and peeled king prawns
150g of white crab meat
½ tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp of Nduja
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Bunch of basil, Julienne (finely chopped)
2 tbsp parmesan
Red chilli, finely chopped
Place the pasta on to boil, this should take 10 minutes.
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and add the garlic, fry for 2 minutes. Add the Nduja and allow to soften for a few minutes as it heats in the pan. Add 50mls of water and half a tin of chopped tomatoes, stir until combined. Continue cooking for 5 minutes.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the pan with the parmesan, basil, crab and prawns. Stir well just long enough to allow the prawns and crab meat to heat through.
Serve immediately, garnished with chopped basil and finely sliced red chilli.