Soy chai

Makes 4 small cups 500ml cold water2 black tea bags1 tsp cinnamon powder1 tsp powdered ginger2 whole cloves4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed10 turns black pepper mill250ml soy milk8 tsp granulated white sugar Pour the water into a saucepan and add the tea, cinammon, ginger, cloves, cardamom and pepper. Bring to a boil over a high…

Fake fried chicken

What’s fake about this fake fried chicken you ask? Well, it’s simple. There’s no deep fryer here. This is a way of getting amazing, crispy results by using a much smaller amount of oil and shallow frying in a pan. Serves 2 For the coating:50g plain white flour1 1/2 tsp fine salt1 tsp cracked black…

Quick tarka daal

A daal doesn’t need to take hours to make. With quick cooking lentils you can have this done in well under an hour. Warm and satisfying, this is a dish I could eat every single day! Serves 4 as a side For the lentils:120g quick cook red lentils4 inches ginger, cut into matchsticks1 green chilli,…

Tahini sauce

This versatile sauce can be used for dipping and drizzling over roasted meats and vegetables. I love this sauce in particular over roasted broccoli and rice, dotted with a few bright pearls of pomegranate seeds. Enough to drizzle over 2-3 main courses 50g tahini25ml lemon juice (juice of 1 small lemon)1 medium clove garlic, grated1…

Courgette pulao

Serves 3 4 tbsp vegetable oil3 medium courgettes (~500g), sliced into 1cm rounds1 large yellow onion, sliced6cm fresh ginger, finely diced4 cloves garlic, sliced20 black peppercorns5cm stick of cinnamon12 curry leaves40g unsalted butter1 tsp turmeric1 tsp cumin seeds1-2 tsp chilli flakesJuice of 1/2 lime200g basmati rice375ml cold water2 tbsp whole milkCoriander, to serve Heat the…

Dry-style chicken curry

Serves 2 5 tbsp vegetable oil350g boneless chicken thighs, cut into 3cm cubes2 tsp salt1 medium red onion, thickly sliced8 cloves garlic, slicedLarge thumb ginger, finely diced20 curry leaves2 tsp cumin seeds2 tsp coriander seeds1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder1 tsp dried chilli flakes1 tsp garam masala1 tsp turmeric1 tbsp tomato paste2 large fresh red chilli…

Spicy sriracha pork noodles

This recipe owes a debt to Chris Morocco’s sambal pork noodles which served as inspiration. My version is heavier on the aromatics and delivers a big basil and ginger fresh punch! Serves 4 3 tbsp olive oil500g pork mince (20% fat)Large thumb ginger, cut into thin matchsticks8 cloves garlic, finely sliced2 tsp palm sugar1 tbsp…

Simple Thai green curry

This simple take on a Thai green curry can be made in a jiffy any time you want some spicy comfort food in your life. Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to skip the lime leaves – they’re what really give this dish its authentic taste. Serves 3 – 4 For the paste: 4 cloves…

Salerno style spaghetti

This southern Italian dish is quick to make but will keep you on your toes as you juggle pasta, sauce, breadcrumbs and eggs to bring about this perfect union of rich and spicy flavours. Serves 2 200g spaghetti4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil4 tbsp white breadcrumbs1 small red onion, finely sliced4 cloves garlic, finely sliced1/2…

Ultimate Irish lamb stew

Lamb may usually be associated with spring but I love the warm sweetness of this dish on a cold and windy January weekend. Buying bone-in meat is absolutely key here. As the lamb cooks, the bone will help to thicken the sauce and give it that deep flavour that only the best stews have. Serves…

Tuscan bean stew (ribollita)

From the ‘cucina povera’ tradition, this filling dish uses hardy vegetables and beans to make a cheap, delicious meal. This mountain food is just as good whether you’re watching the sun set over some rugged Italian hills or just sitting on the sofa. Serves 2 – 3 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 small…

Peanut fish curry

Fragrant and fast(ish). What’s not to like? Fill your kitchen with the beautiful smell of this mild fish curry packed with rich peanuts and balanced with sharp lime. Serves 2-3 4 tbsp vegetable oil 2 small red onions, finely sliced 2 lemongrass stalks, finely sliced 3 cloves garlic, finely diced 6cm ginger, peeled and finely…

Dhaba minced lamb with green chilli

Usually a lamb curry takes hours but this Indian truckstop (dhaba) classic will be ready in a jiffy. Warm and spicy with mild chillies and pepper; this is a perfect dish for when the long nights start to draw in. 4 tbsp vegetable oil 4 small red onions, finely sliced 8 cloves garlic, finely sliced…

Quick aubergine and peanut curry

You can fire up this curry in about 30 minutes, making it and ideal for a weeknight meal. This recipe also works, minus the aubergine, as a great base for a quick vegetarian curry. You could add eggs, potatoes, green beans and pretty much any other veg. Serves 2 1 medium aubergine, cubed 2 small…

All day bolognese

In my kitchen, Sundays are for big cooking projects and they don’t get much bigger than this. All in all this bolognese will take around 6 hours from start to finish so make sure you start early or you’ll be eating in the middle of the night with an angry, hungry wife (not that this…

Quick Thai fish curry

You can whip up a Thai-style fish curry in just 30 mins with this fast recipe. No need for too much chopping. Just stick the paste ingredients into a food processor and blitz away. Zingy with lemongrass and lime, you can adjust the heat of the dish by deseeding (or not!) your chilli. Serves 2…

Black kale with linguine

This pasta dish is a great way to enjoy the lush and pleasingly bitter taste of black kale (also known as cavolo nero). Once you’ve taken the kale leaves off the stems, the dinner can be ready in the time it takes to boil your linguine. Serves 2 250g linguine 3 tbsp extra virgin olive…

Pear and grana padano pasta

Quick and indulgent, this pear and cheese sauce is a delicious addition to any mid-week repertoire. Make sure your penne is good quality and that it is just al dente when you drain it as it will continue to cook in the sauce for a few minutes longer. Serves 2 2 pears, peeled and medium…

Spicy noodles with sea bass and pickles

This recipe seems like a lot of faff but actually it’s really quick and only needs a little bit of peeling, chopping and whizzing in the food processor. You can cook everything in one pan and the dish certainly has the wow factor with the bright bundle of pickles laying on top. Serves 2 For…

Nuoc cham noodle salad

A refreshing noodle salad that pairs wonderfully with spicy fish and meat dishes. Serves 2 For the nuoc cham: 1 lime, juiced 2 tbsp sugar 125ml water 2 tbsp fish sauce 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced For the noodles: 100g vermicelli rice noodles, broken into small lengths 1 large carrot,…

Szechuan sea bass fillets

This spicy fish dish packs a punch but the Szechuan peppercorns will help you out by numbing your mouth. It’s a weird sensation but you’ll soon see why it’s such a classic combo. Serves 2 2 sea bass fillets 1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns 4cm ginger, sliced 2 cloves garlic 1 red chilli, seeds in or…

Oven cooked pulled pork

A fatty piece of pork shoulder cooked low and slow is one of the most elemental cooking experiences you can have. Meat cooked this way in a pit smoker is wonderful but, let’s face it, usually unattainable for the home cook. But with smokey paprika, dark sugar and a long wait you can get yourself…

Italian fishballs in tomato sauce

Don’t let the name put you off; this dish has become a firm favourite in my house. These little fishballs are pretty versatile too. Try squeezing in half a lemon and some chopped parsley for a fresher take on them. Serves 2 For the fishballs: 60g white breadcrumbs 250g white fish fillet 1 egg 2…

Leek and potato soup

This is one of the all time classic soups for good reason. My recipe is a slight twist on the traditional method of sweating the vegetables at the beginning as I opt to fry them to really bring those caramelised flavours through. Serves 4 50g butter 3 leeks, cleaned and thickly sliced 1 red onion,…

Rich tomato pasta sauce

This is a twist on the classic pomdoro sauce I’ve written about on the blog before. This recipe uses tinned and fresh tomatoes along with red wine to give a deeper and sweeter flavour. Serves 4 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 red onion, finely diced 4 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised 2 x…

Oven cooked beef rendang

Most rendang recipes call for a slow cooker but you can get results just as good in a traditional oven. Just make sure you don’t nudge that dial too high. Rendang recipes usually call for tamarind to supply the final sourness but I think lime is a great substitute. I’ve marked it as optional as…

Chinese shredded cabbage

With bacon on without, this quick (and definitely inauthentic) dish of spicy cabbage is perfect over rice as a main course or on its own as a side. Keep your pan nice and hot and the whole dish will be ready in just a few minutes. Serves 2 as a main 3 tbsp vegetable oil…

British spag bol

Unashamedly inauthentic and a cultural touchstone, the British spag bol is a national treasure. Everyone and their mother has their own version of this home cooking classic but this is mine, adapted from my mum’s own recipe. This dish never fails to take me back to my childhood kitchen in London, reminding me of the…

Mid-week macaroni cheese

Macaroni cheese, mac n cheese or just mac. No matter what you call it, you can’t beat this classic combo of crunchy cheese topping a silken pasta sauce. This is a classic version of the world renowned dish with just a touch of optional adulteration from the pancetta. You can have the whole dish cooked and…

Lucknow chicken korma

I love this rich, creamy curry. It hails from the Nawab tradition of curries so it’s incredibly lightly spiced and heavy with coconut and yoghurt. This dish will knock your local takeaway korma out of the park! Serves 3 75g desiccated coconut 35g almond flakes (or chopped almonds) 4 tsp poppy seeds 150ml warm water…

Simple steak and red wine pie

You can’t go wrong with this simple and delicious pie recipe.  Just make sure you start making the filling at lunchtime if you want to eat it for dinner! Serves 4 – 6 Plain flour 1kg beef brisket (or other fatty cut), diced into 3cm cubes 5 medium red onions, finely sliced 4 carrots, thickly…

Roast lamb leg with lemon potatoes

This is a simple roast that’s just as at home in the winter as in the summer with the bright, lemony potatoes that pull everything together. Remove the lamb for the final 15 minutes if you prefer your meat a little pinker. Serves 4 2kg leg of lamb on the bone 4 large potatoes, peeled…

Chicken pulao with cranberries

Pulao is traditionally a north Indian dish but my recipe uses curry leaves which are primarily southern Indian so it’s a bit of a hybrid. Purists may balk but I think they’ll change their minds when they taste it. The recipe is loosely based on Rick Stein’s sour berry pulao from his excellent India book….

Pork meatballs in cream with pappardelle

An unashamedly heavy dish, this rich cream sauce pairs perfectly with the herby meatballs. Serves 3/4 500g herby sausages 2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly bruised Large handful parsley, finely chopped 1/2 tsp chilli flakes 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 leek, sliced into 1cm rounds 300g double cream 200g pappardelle Cut open the sausages…

Mediterranean fish stew

Summon up the sights and smells of the Mediterranean coast with this light but filling fish stew. Leave out the potatoes and add in the lemon juice to make it even more summery. Serves 2 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 small red onion, finely diced 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1/2 tsp fennel seeds…

Spicy salami pappardelle

You can see variations on this base being served in restaurants all around the world. I had more than a few dishes of beautiful seafood with this base when I was in Croatia. I’ve plumped for salami here but any quick cooking meat or seafood will be delicious. Try it with prawns and mussels! Serves…

Ultimate lamb rogan josh

This recipe owes a debt to the Rogan recipe in Rick Stein’s excellent India book. My version dials back the spice and takes away some of the more esoteric ingredient choices but still produces a beautifully rich spicy sauce with a deep red colouring. Serves 4 40g salted butter 2 tbsp vegetable oil 2 tsp chilli…

Cowboy chilli con carne

Nowadays you’d be hard pressed to find a chilli recipe that doesn’t include tomato in one way or another but how many tomatoes do you see out there in the desert? This is a good old fashioned cowboy recipe only using what would have been on hand: coffee, meat, beans and some spices. Serves 4…

Chickpea, spinach and carrot curry

Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients. There’s a lot of dry spices but they’ll keep for a very long time so don’t worry about picking them up just to use a few teaspoons here. Sweet with the carrots and deep with turmeric and cumin, this is a perfectly balanced curry. Serves…

Quick and easy chicken ramen

There’s no substitute for a delicious slow cooked ramen broth but sometimes you can’t plan ahead so here’s one you can whip up in a jiffy. This is a great base for whatever other toppings you want from nori to sweetcorn. Serves 2 Vegetable oil 500g boneless chicken thighs 4cm ginger, grated 2 garlic cloves,…

Coq au vin with orzo

August in London this year has been full of rain which has also been the perfect excuse for big, hearty dishes like this one. Heavy but also sweet with the carrots, this is a dish that will fill your kitchen with the scent of the intensely savoury wine sauce. Cooks take note: this recipe will…

Traditional ragu with beef brisket

This is one of my favourite recipes of all time, even with its whopping four hour cooking time. Not one for the mid-week dinner but I have passed many a lazy Sunday afternoon occasionally stirring a pot full of this gorgeous ragu and perhaps “tasting for seasoning” just a little too often. This is a…

Colman’s Chicken Chasseur without the packet

My fiance grew up eating chasseur made with the Colman’s mix and, as a food ponce, I have begrudgingly made it with the packet for a few years now. Recently though the craving struck and we out of the beloved pre-prepared mix. Uh oh. Armed with the ingredient list off the internet I attempted to…

Chicken ‘cheaters’ masala

Tikka masala. Cheaters masala. Geddit? Here’s a definitely non-authentic but delicious way to achieve some of that classic tikka masala taste in your kitchen at home. No tandor needed! Serves 4 For the marinade: 700g boneless chicken thighs 1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 tsp salt 1 tsp turmeric 4 tsp garam masala 2 tsp cumin 1…

Chicken teriyaki & cucumber salad

Sweet, savoury and totally moreish. I love this chicken teriyaki recipe. It’s easy to whip up on a work night and will make you happy in the summer sun or the wintry wetness. This teryaki sauce will give you enough to coat the chicken as well to form a delicious stick sauce. If you want to go…

Pollo pasta al forno

A classic pasta bake with a cream base rather than a tomato one. No particular cooking magic here. Just a good old winter warmer to be spooned out and shared with friends. This is a pretty rich dish so it would definitely benefit from a bitter side salad. Serves 3 – 4 1 tbsp extra…

Spicy one-pot pork and orzo pasta

This silky, savoury and spicy one-pot dish is so much more than the sum of its parts. It has a deep flavour that you would only think could come from hours of cooking but this whole dish from prep to serving is ready in just 30 minutes. Serves 2 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil…

Cacio e pepe pasta

A truly quick and delicious dish that’s ready as soon as the pasta is. This is a perfect winter lunch with all that warm heat from the black pepper. Serves 1 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 750ml boiling water 100g dried spaghetti 1 tbsp black pepper, coarsely cracked Sea salt 25g grana padano cheese,…

Salsa di pomodoro classica

This is a rich, slow cooked tomato sauce which is a lot heftier than my other go-to pomodoro sauce (although that one only takes about 10 minutes to rustle up!). I learned this version at the excellent La Cucina Caldesi cooking school. Serves 4 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 small red onion, finely…

Mini sausage rolls

‘When a man is tired of sausage rolls he is tired of life.’ Isn’t that the saying? Well it should be. Sausage rolls are one of my ultimate comfort foods. These just-bigger-than-bitesize rolls are quick , easy and absolutely scrumptious. I’ve used premade puff pastry here because I can’t be bothered with all the faff…