Category Archives: vegetarian

matar mushroom

This dish is on many menus in Delhi and I first tried it at Tadka . I’d never thought of using mushrooms in Indian cooking, and it’s true that they’re not often used, but this is still a popular dish. The cashew nuts make it surprisingly creamy. Serve with chapatis, rice and dal. No photo as the presentation left a lot to be desired (I was hungry!) but I can assure you it was really tasty.

Ingredients (serves 6-8 as a side dish, 3-4 as a main):

200g closed cup mushrooms

250g frozen peas (matar)

2 onions

4 tomatoes

4 green cardamoms

An inch of cinnamon stick (not too crumbly or you will end up picking bits of cinnamon out of your teeth)

Fresh ginger (about 2 inches squared)

3 cloves garlic

1 packet unsalted, uncooked cashew nuts

1 tbsp chilli powder

1 tbsp corriander powder

1 tsp tumeric

1 tsp garam masala

1 tbsp vegetable oil

salt to taste

1) Finely chop onions and fry on a low heat vegetable oil with the cardamoms and cinnamon stick until the onions are translucent.

2) Meanwhile grate the ginger (you can leave the skin on) and peel and crush the garlic. Add these to the pan and stir.

3) Chop the tomatoes into eighths, add to the pan and cook gently, stirring often for about ten minutes.

4) Meanwhile simmer the cashew nuts in in a small pan, with just enough water to cover them, for five minutes. Take off the heat and blend to a paste, adding water as you go if the mixture is too sticky.

5) Add the chilli, corriander, tumeric, garam masala and salt to the onion pan mixture and cook for two minutes.

6) Add the cashew nut mixture to the pan along with a cup of water. Stir thoroughly and bring to the boil.

6) Meanwhile wash the mushrooms (I don’t really believe in the brushing v washing debate) and chop into quarters.

7) Add the mushrooms and peas to the pan and cook until the mushrooms are tender but not mushy – about five minutes.



Filed under Indian, vegetarian

perfect roast potatoes – the goose fat versus olive oil debate

dsc_0354I’ve always been led to believe that roasting potatoes is a fine art. And as my mum is a maestro, I thought it best never to cook them myself. There is a glitch here though: I’m cooking dinner at mine on Christmas day and having visions of my mum carrrying trays of of hot fluffy, crispy roasties through the drizzly streets of London and the poor tatties dying on the way, arriving cold, leathery and sad. So, last week I tried to cook some myself and here is the result, pictured with ginger tuna and lime, avocado, cherry tomato salad – not the most suitable accompaniment I know… Continue reading


Filed under English, vegetarian

borscht (or beetroot soup)

Serve this Eastern European winter-warmer with hunks of bread, topped with fresh corriander and a dollop of sour cream (plus some crispy bits of bacon if you need a bit of meat in your meal).

dsc_0294Ingredients (serves 4):
5 beetroots
2 leeks
2 carrots
1 large potato
olive oil
salt & pepper
vegetable stock
red wine vinegar

Continue reading


Filed under Eastern European, vegetarian

banana curry/chutney

Not being a big fan of pineapple, I decided to try my own fruit version of the Sri Lankan pineapple curry. Good served as side dish to a main curry.

2 bananas – chopped into rounds 1.5 cm thick
1/2 a red onion – finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
1 stick of cinnamon – broken in half
10 curry leaves – twisted to release the flavour
1/4 tspn saffron powder (tumeric is an easier, cheaper alternative)
1/4 tspn finely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tspn curry powder (the fresher the better)
1 tspn chilli powder
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 can coconut milk and the same again of water Continue reading

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Filed under Sri Lankan, vegetarian