To Celebrate the opening of The Curry Guy Shop, I’m offering this 10th Anniversary Mai Peng Paring Knife Gift Set as a prize with my friends at I.O.Shen Knives! I.O.Shen Knives are my knives of choice. I’ve been using them for the past few years and now couldn’t be without them.
The Mai Peng Paring Knife is new to their range. Nick named the ‘mini Oriental Slicer’ you can see the larger version here, this is one awesome paring knife. It has a blade length of 10.5cm and a maximum depth of 2.8cm.
The specially designed curve to the blade give it a rock chop function as well as state of the art slicing capacity. The strong angle of the tip ensures that you can strip even the most difficult vegetables.
The set on offer here is beautifully packaged and includes a quality ten function I.O.Shen pen knife.
Want to WIN?
You have to be in it to WIN it!
Entering couldn’t be easier. Simply fill in the widget below. There are six different ways to enter. You can choose just one or all of them. The more ways you enter the more points you receive and the better your chances of winning.
Open to UK residents 18 or over.
Winner will be randomly chosen by the competition widget.
Draw ends on 18 July 2014
I am delighted to announce the second East End Foods Spice hamper giveaway.
I have been using East End spices as well as their many other food products for years. When I go shopping for curry ingredients, I always go for East End! I know their products will never let me down.
One lucky winner will receive a full hamper of East End Spices. The winner will also receive some of East End’s other quality products such as chapattis, dhals, coconut milk and the perfect aged Basmati rice! Let’s just call this a big surprise hamper.
A Spicy Surprise Hamper Could Be Yours!
Win this comp and you are in for months of quality homemade curries without the need to go out for a shop.
With East End as a sponsor, I can guarantee you that I’ll be cooking even more and sharing the recipes. So even if you don’t win, you’ll have the free recipes.
Why not make it easy on yourself for now and visit their excellent online shop packed with everything you will need to make delicious curries and sides at home?
ENTERING THIS SPICE HAMPER GIVEAWAY COULDN’T BE EASIER!
Simply fill out the widget at the bottom of this page. There are many ways of entering and you can choose just one or all of them. The more you choose, the better your chances of winning this fantastic prize from the UK’s leading supplier of quality spices and other cooking products.
Open to mainland UK residents over 18.
Comp ends on 5 August.
So let’s get cooking!
Over the past few months, my family and I have had a great time experimenting with our new Buffalo Ice Cream Maker. This is one awesome piece of kit.
I’ll be posting a lot of my Indian inspired ice cream recipes on my blog. You will love creating your own. The Buffalo Ice Cream maker makes coming up with new and delicious ice cream flavours easy. You can read more about it here.
The ice cream container is self freezing. All you need to do is mix your ingredients of choice and let the machine do the rest of the work. You can make ice cream, sorbets and frozen yogurts in less than an hour. We’ve made over five different ice creams in a day and served them at a BBQ in the evening!
Now, together with Nisbets, I am giving away one Buffalo Ice Cream maker to one lucky winner. With a recommended retail price of £119, I’m sure you will agree this is one excellent prize. Nisbets will deliver it right to your doorstep.
Entering couldn’t be easier!
Open to mainland UK residents 18 and over.
Giveaway ends on 8 August 2014.
I love making meals with the freshest, seasonal ingredients I can find. This pan seared spiced wild sea trout recipe is one of my favourites. In the Summer months when wild sea trout is in season and sea spinach is harvested fresh from the sea, you know you are going to be in for a real treat.
You could of course make this recipe with salmon and garden spinach but this time of year I like to take advantage of these delicious and wild ingredients. The sea trout is so succulent. Personally I feel it blows farmed – even organic salmon away.
If you’ve never tried sea spinach, I suggest going down to your fishmonger and getting some. It’s not available all year round so get in there while you can. You’ll be glad you did.
With ingredients like these, you really don’t need to do much to them. I used some homemade wild garlic infused olive oil to sear the sea trout and sea spinach. I sprinkled a little of my CURRY GUY smoked spicy salt and smoked tandoori masala over the top and voilà, dinner was served in minutes.
If you don’t have a pack of my smoked spices, you could use flaky salt such as Maldon and garam masala. This will give you great results too.
- 4 x 200g wild sea trout fillets
- 2 large handfulls wild sea spinach
- 2 tablespoons garlic infused oliver oil
- 1 teaspoon Curry Guy smoked tandoori masala or good quality garam masala
- 1 teaspoon Curry Guy spicy salt or flaky sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 lime or lemon quartered
- Using a sharp knife, scrape as much moisture out of the skin of the fish as you can.
- I usually cook the sea spinach first.
- Heat about ½ tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy pan or wok.
- When hot, throw in your sea spinach and fry quickly until it is just cooked through and tender. Set aside and keep warm.
- Now in another heavy frying pan, heat the remaining oil.
- Place the sea trout fillets skin side down. Using a spatula, press down on each fillet so that the skin fries evenly.
- As the fish cooks, you will see the colour changes from top to bottom with the skin side being the most well done and the top being rare.
- When the sea trout is about ⅔ cooked through. Season the top of each fillet equally with the tandoori masala/garam masala and flip over for about 20 seconds.
- You will be left with a very crispy skin and fish that is nice and pink in the centre.
- Season with the spicy salt and pepper and serve over the sea spinach drizzled with the cooking juices.
- Squeeze a little lime or lemon juice over the top and serve.
Someone is in for a treat with my new giveaway sponsored by Farmer’s Choice! One lucky winner is going to #WIN £108 (RRP) of free range meat delivered right to their doorstep.
Farmer’s Choice has offered their large family essentials meat pack worth over a hundred pounds which includes all the free range meat you will need for a very long time!
Then again, you might just like to have one doozie of a party with friends and family. It is BBQ season after all.
The family essentials pack of free range meat is a Farmer’s Choice speciality.
Here’s what the lucky winner will receive!
FAMILY ESSENTIALS PACK LARGE
Family Essentials Pack Large
Topside 1400g x 1
Diced Beef 750g x 1
Steak Mince 750g x 1
Chicken Whole Large x 1
Diced Turkey Breast 750g x 1
Diced Lamb 750g x 1
Minced Lamb 750g x 1
Leg Lamb Half Boned & Rolled 1400g x 1
Diced Pork 750g x 1
Farmer’s Choice doesn’t just deliver quality free range meat. They are specialist in top quality meat, seafood, vegetables and even my Curry Guy spice range. You can check out their amazing selection here.
There are many ways to enter and you can choose just one or all of them.
Each entry option is worth different amounts of points.
The more ways you enter, the more points your receive and the better your chance of winning.
Prize draw ends on 3 August 2014.
Open to Mainland UK residents.
I’ve tried so many rogan josh recipes over the years. I love rogan josh so I’m always trying to perfect my recipe. Usually the recipes in cookbooks are pretty much the same, give or take an ingredient or two.
This recipe is different. Yes, you still get that classic flavour you’re expecting but this recipe takes it all up a level.
I first tried it when I visited the new Annayu at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel Heathrow. I was treated to some amazing curries that day that were all prepared by head chef Madhup Sinha. You can read my review of Annayu here.
After such a delicious meal, I was determined to talk Madhup into sending me a few of his recipes. I’m so glad he did. You are going to love this one.
Madhup doesn’t use garlic or onion in his rogan josh. He also uses powdered ginger instead of ginger paste which gives it a flavour all its own.
Be sure to give this one a try. You’ll be glad you did. I’d love to hear if you agree with me that it’s the best rogan josh around.
Madhup also suggests using Ratton Jot which is an organic herb from Indian. It’s used as a colouring agent that helps give the curry a deep red colour. Ratton Jot is also called Alkanet Root here in the UK. It is not necessary to use this but it does help give the curry a nice red glow.
Chef Madhup’s Tips:
- Use spices that are as fresh as possible.Even when using ground spices.They should not only look fresh but also smell fresh.
- I use Mutton ,it has more flavor,and make sure the marbling in the meat is good which makes it tender when cooked.
- For best results marinate the meat overnight and keep it refrigerated. Keep the marinated meat at room temperature for sometime before adding into the hot Oil. This will not reduce the temperature of the Oil too much when you add the meat.
- 1 kg diced Mutton on the bone
- 2gms ground cinnamon
- 2gms ground green cardamoms
- 1 pinch ground black peppercorn
- 2 gms ground fennel seeds
- ½ tsp ground Kashmiri chillies
- 2 cups Natural yoghurt, beaten
- CURRY INGREDIENTS
- 200ml vegetable oil
- 1 Cassia Bark
- 3 whole black cardamoms
- 4 whole green cardamoms
- 5 cloves
- 5 dried Bayleaves
- 5gms asafoetida
- 2.5gms dry ginger powder
- salt, to taste
- 1½ tbs Kashmiri chillies, ground
- 200g Tomato Puree
- 1gm rattan jot infused in hot oil (Optional)
- Mix all the ground spices and yoghurt.
- Rub the mix into the Mutton and leave it aside for 2 hrs.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy based saucepan until it has just started smoking. If the Oil is too cold the spices won’t infuse and if too hot the spices will burn.
- Infuse the spices in the warm oil adding the Cassia,the Black and Green Cardamom before the adding in the rest.
- Add the marinated meat and sauté at regular intervals to brown the meat.
- Make a paste of Asafoetida and the ground ginger and add to the the meat and cook for 1 minute.
- Next, add the Kashmiri chilli powder and fold into the meat followed by the rattan jot infusion (if using).
- Cover and cook for 1 hour or until the meat is tender.
- When the meat is tender and you see oil floating on the top add the Tomato puree.
- Cook for 30 more minutes and serve hot
After the popularity of my first Pukhraj Cider giveaway, we are going to do it all again! Pukhraj Cider makes a great alternative to lager with a curry or any spicy food.
I should know. Over the past couple of months I’ve enjoyed quite a few bottles with friends. Everyone who has tried it at my parties and cookery classes has absolutely loved it. This ciders tastes so good served ice cold.
This has led to Pukhraj being served in an increasing number of quality Indian restaurants. If you love cider, you owe it to yourself to give Puhkraj a try.
Pukhraj in Hindi means yellow sapphire – a name that befits this quality cider perfectly.
Pukhraj Cider is made by award winning Hogan’s Cider using only 100% fresh pressed English apples. If you are a cider fan like me, you are going to want to try Pukhraj!
So now we’re going to do it all again. Together with Pukhraj Cider and their UK distributor Cana Imports, I am giving away a free case which will be delivered right to the winner’s doorstep.
Cana Import by the way has a fantastic website where you can order many different wines, ciders and beers. It’s worth a visit. Here’s the link.
You can find more information about Pukhraj Cider on their website here.
You’ve got to be in it to win it though.
If you’re a spice fan, you’re going to love this one.
I’ve been writing my blog now for about four years and have done very little in the way of ice creams and desserts. It’s hard enough to get home after work and prepare dinner. Although I love to experiment in the kitchen, time has always been a bit of an issue.
You could make this ice cream in a standard ice cream maker. With most kitchen ice cream makers you’d need to freeze the ice cream container for 24 hours and then make it. The problem with this is you need to do some forward planning and you’re only going to get one batch.
So when Buffalo sent me their new ice cream maker that freezes itself and makes homemade ice cream in less than an hour, I jumped at the chance to give it a go. In fact, my kids couldn’t wait to get it out of the box.
We’ve now made so many different family recipes. We’ve even made up to four different ice creams in a day and then served them at a barbecue that evening. With the Buffalo Ice Cream Maker it’s easy. If you don’t have one, however, I hope you give this recipe a go anyway. It’s a great way to end a tandoori feast.
If you would like to order a Buffalo Ice Cream Maker for yourself, just click here.
- 375ml double cream
- 375ml full fat milk
- 150g best quality sweetened dark chocolate
- 6 teaspoons sugar (more or less to taste)
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon whiskey
- 3 egg yolks
- Crushed roasted hazel nuts and/or marshmallows (optional)
- Pour the cream,milk and 3 teaspoons of the sugar into a medium sized sauce pan.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat and then reduce the heat slightly.
- Meanwhile, whisk the yolks until they become creamy smooth. Add the remaining 3 teaspoons of sugar and then whisk a little more.
- Pour the egg yolks into the sauce pan. Do not allow the this combo to bubble as the yolks will curdle. Simply cook it on low until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Break up the chocolate into small pieces and add it to the saucepan.
- Stir until the chocolate is melted into the cream. Be sure the cream does not get too hot.
- Add the whisky and chilli powder and stir to combine. Check for seasoning. I used two teaspoons of chilli powder.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Now pour this into your ice cream container and turn on the machine. With the Buffalo Ice Cream Maker, your ice cream will be ready in about 30 minutes.
- If using the hazelnuts or marshmallows, add them just at the end about a minute before the ice cream is ready.
Back in 2008, my wife Caroline and I took two friends to The Cinnamon Club while on a short break in London. That was a few years before I started writing this blog but cooking was already a real passion for me. I’d recently purchased The Cinnamon Club Cookbook by Iqbal Wahhab and Vivek Singh and after eating my way through the book I just had to try the restaurant for myself. Chef Vivek Singh was one of my first real food heros and we weren’t let down that night. The food and service was out of this world and I vowed to go back as soon as possible.
Fast forward six years and… well let’s just say I didn’t get back nearly as soon as I had wanted to but I made it! Caroline and I recently travelled to London to pick up my parents who had just flown in from the US. I arranged a visit for the four of us to The Cinnamon Club to try their tasting/wine pairing menu. I was looking forward to meeting Head Chef Rakesh Nair and enjoying some of the dishes that have earned The Cinnamon Club its well deserved reputation as one of the best restaurants in the UK. Note that I didn’t say ‘best Indian restaurant’. The Cinnamon Club may serve Indian inspired cuisine but they have pushed the boundaries and proved that an Indian restaurant can compete right up there with the best restaurants in the world.
Unfortunately, Chef Rakesh was not able to be there that evening but I’m sure he and the founders Iqbal Wahhab and Vivek Singh would be proud of how Chef Shankar Chandrasekaran took the reigns in the kitchen that night. Every dish placed on our table was magical. We didn’t want the experience to end.
Everything about that evening was off the charts gorgeous! From the exquisite food to the superb wine that was served by Sommelier Stefano Pasqual. Stefano paired the wines with each course and also enlightened us as to why he had chosen each wine and a little bit about where the wine was produced. What fun.
So then, before I walk you through our evening, I must make one last mention. I was honoured to meet operations manager Hari Nagaraj. Hari started at The Cinnamon Club back in 2001 and worked his way up the ranks to head chef before recently becoming operations manager. He was the head chef when we first visited The Cinnamon Club back in 2008. His passion for his work and making everyone’s experience a memorable one was so nice to see.
We arrived as planned at 7pm and Hari showed us to our table. The building inside is majestic. Taking our seats our waiter showed us around the room which was once the The Old Westminster Library. Sitting there you know you are someplace special.
Shortly after being seated, four glasses of Champagne were brought to our table with bite sized potato fritters on top of a coriander raita. This was just a sign of the memorable evening ahead. I don’t know about you but this is my kind of appetiser!
The next course was pan seared Scottish scallops with cauliflower and sumac couscous. My photo does not do this course justice. The scallops were so succulent and seared to perfection. They went so nicely with the couscous all washed back with fine wine. I’ve never tasted Indian food like this but hope to again someday.
Just when we thought things couldn’t get any better, out came a plate of char-grilled breast of Anjou squab pigeon served with a chilli and walnut salad. Oh… and another sensational wine pairing. The squab was so tender and full of flavour. It melted in your mouth.
My personal favourite course was the next to be brought to our table. Oh my God it was good. Chickpea and yogurt gnocchi served with a coriander chutney. When I get a chance to sit down and write a begging email, I’m going to plead with my friends at The Cinnamon Club to send me this recipe. You can rest assured that if they do tell me how it’s done, I’ll be sharing the recipe with you here too.
Hopefully about now you’re beginning to see why I love this place so much. It’s one thing to make the recipes from Vivek Singh’s fantastic cookbooks. It’s another to have it served to you like they do at The Cinnamon Club. I have so much respect for chefs who can plate up dishes for so many every evening with so much style. This was made even better by the superior service and of course the exceptional wine.
Prawn mad Caroline – now feeling pleasantly tipsy was over the moon with the next course of tandoori wild Spencer Gulf king prawns. For that matter we all were but prawns have always been her favourite and these were incredible. My parents simply couldn’t believe how good Indian food could taste. I was brought up in California where they still live. This was a dish they wanted to try to copy when they got home using fresh Pacific prawns. Good luck with that one Mom and Dad.
After so much lovely food and drink we were actually ready for a short break. And that was just what we got with this mouthwatering lime and mint sorbet. It was the perfect way to whet our appetite for the delicious courses still to come.
If you are a seafood fan, then the next course of pan seared sea bass with green spiced breadcrumbs will certainly be one for your ‘to try’ list. I love sea bass and this one was to die for! I’m not even going to try to describe everything that was going on here. You will see from the photograph that it was a true masterpiece.
All four of us our huge game fans so the next plate to be presented to us was one to be eaten slowly and savoured which is exactly what we did. One bite of venison followed by a glorious slurp or two of wine. Another bite of venison or veg and another swig of that delicious wine. Repeat. There was no conversation. Well, perhaps a bit but we all just sat there quietly devouring our course of roast loin of Oslin red deer with black stone flower and onion reduction. Needless to say we were all impressed. Our incredible meal at The Cinnamon Club was almost over but not quite yet.
There are few better ways I could think of to finish such a memorable meal than with the milk chocolate and pecan nut pudding with bitter chocolate mousse. Talk about remarkable. This was served with a chilli and Parmesan crisp. Once again pushing the boundaries and winning.
The restaurant was packed. It was so obvious that everyone in the place was enjoying the experience just as much as we were. We moved downstairs to the bar for our last course of coffee and petits fours. It had taken me six years to get back to The Cinnamon Club but boy was it a meal worth waiting for. I can assure you I won’t wait that long again. We loved our time at The Cinnamon Club and I would like to thank everyone involved in making this such a memorable experience.
DISCLAIMER: We were guests of The Cinnamon Club. Our meal was complimentary. All views are my own.
I highly recommend The Tasting Menu. It is available at £75 per person. You can have your courses paired with premier wines for £115 per person and fine wines for £150 per person.
My family loves butter chicken. This is such an easy dish to make and it is so versatile. I’ve used chicken here but you could so easily use other meats, vegetables or paneer.
The sauce is made first. If cooking chicken add it just like a do in the video. If using lamb or beef, you can do the same but you will need to cook the meat longer. Beef takes about an hour to get tender and lamb could take about 90 minutes.
If you would like to make a vegetarian version, just add your vegetables of choice to the sauce. I like to use this base sauce with chickpeas. Paneer also tastes amazing. If using paneer, just add it at the end just before cooking.
By the way, the above video is part of the Affordable Alfresco series produced by Vouchercodes.co.uk. Be sure to watch the other videos in the series. There are some fantastic recipes out there featuring some of my food blogger friends.
- 12 chicken thighs – skinned and scored in three places
- Juice of three limes
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt (I use Maldon but any salt will do)
- 2 tablespoons garlic and ginger puree*
- 2 chopped green chilli peppers
- 1 bunch chopped coriander
- 1-tablespoon cumin powder
- 200ml plain Greek yogurt
- FOR THE BUTTER CHICKEN SAUCE
- 100ml vegetable, olive or rapeseed oil
- 3 large finely sliced onions
- 1 carrot - grated
- 1-inch cinnamon stick
- 2 x bay leaves
- 2 star anise
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 15 fresh curry leaves
- a pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic and ginger puree*
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 2 x 400ml tins of chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon mild or hot paprika
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 300ml double cream**
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon fenugreek leaves (optional – available at Asian food shops)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoon finely chopped coriander
- Juice of one lime
- Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl.
- Squeeze the lime juice over them and leave to rest while you make the marinade.
- In a blender, blend the garlic, ginger, chili peppers, chopped coriander, cumin and yogurt until nice and smooth.
- Pour this marinade over the chicken and rub it into the flesh with your hands.
- Leave to marinade for 3 to 48 hours. The longer the better.
- When ready to cook the chicken, pre-heat your oven to its highest setting and cook until the chicken begins to blacken slightly on the outside. You could of course do this in a tandoor oven or on a barbecue if dining outside.
- Note: In the video, I skipped the above step of baking/barbecuing the chicken. I’d like to mention that it is an option for those keen to cook outside on the barbecue or for those who like a more blacked tandoori look to the curry. In the video I simply add the marinated chicken raw to the sauce and let it cook.
- TO MAKE THE SAUCE
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan.
- When hot, toss in the cinnamon stick, star anise, green cardamoms and the bay leaves and fresh curry leaves if using.
- After about 30 seconds, throw in the sliced onions and let them fry for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally so that they get soft and translucent but not browned.
- After 15 minutes or so, sprinkle a little salt over the top. This will help release some of the liquid from the onions.
- Now add the grated carrot, garlic/ginger puree and the tomato puree and allow to sizzle for about a minute in the onion mixture.
- Add the paprika, cumin powder and garam masala and stir to combine.
- Add the raw or cooked chicken to the sauce and pour in just enough water or chicken stock to cover.
- Ensure the chicken is completely cooked through and then stir in the cream.
- Bring to a simmer.
- While the curry is simmering away, melt the butter in a small frying pan. When melted, add the turmeric to the butter. After about 30 seconds, the turmeric will darken.
- Add the turmeric butter to the curry and sprinkle in the fenugreek leaves. (if using)
- Check for seasoning and then top with the chopped coriander and the lime juice.
- Serve with plain white rice or homemade naans.
*Garlic and ginger puree is available at Asian food shops. I like to make my own as it is easy to do and tastes better too. To make garlic and ginger puree, simply blend equal amounts of chopped garlic and ginger with just a drop of water in a spice grinder until smooth.
**The double cream will give this dish the classic look and taste of a butter chicken. Those who do not want the calories could leave it out. The curry tastes great without cream too.