Indian-style kale with chick peas and coconut

This is the best way to eat kale (other than deep-fried!) that is full of intense flavors, is luxuriously creamy and absolutely divine!

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1 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely chopped
thumb-sized piece ginger, grated
2 heaped tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp tomato purée
7 oz kale, large stalks removed, leaves finely shredded
14 oz can chickpeas, drained
1 cup vegetable (or chicken) stock
2 oz unsweetened grated coconut (or fresh coconut, grated)
4 heaped tbsp Greek-style yogurt
1 tbsp mango chutney

To serve
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tbsp freeze-dried curry leaves (optional)

Heat the butter in a deep frying pan, add the onion, then soften gently for 5 mins. Turn up the heat and add the ginger and spices; fry for 2 mins until fragrant. Stir in the tomato purée.
Add the kale, chickpeas, stock and two-thirds of the coconut, stir well, then cover the pan. Bring to a simmer and let the kale steam for 10 mins until very well wilted. Mix in the yogurt and chutney, then season to taste – don’t boil once the yogurt has gone in. Remove the pan from the heat, and leave it covered to stay warm.
Heat the oil in a small saucepan. When it’s hot, add the garlic (and curry leaves, if using) and sizzle for 30 secs-1 min until the garlic begins to turn golden. Spoon the oil, garlic and curry leaves over the chickpeas and kale, then finish with the remaining coconut.

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Spiced Mocha Lassi

This is a terrific recipe from Bobby Flay and the only thing you need to do in advance is make the spiced coffee ice cubes. They are well worth having in the freezer as the flavors are incredible when you drop a cube into this drink. A wonderful and different breakfast drink.

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Serves 4

SPICED COFFEE ICE CUBES:

2 cups hot espresso
1/4 cup sugar
1 strip orange peel
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2-inch piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped

LASSI:

3/4 cup to 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (or more to thin down the drink)
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 ripe banana, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder

Make the spiced coffee ice cubes:
Combine the espresso, sugar, orange peel, cloves, cinnamon sticks and ginger in a medium bowl until the sugar dissolves.
Cool to room temperature, and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. Strain the coffee mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl and discard the solids. Divide the mixture among 2 ice cube trays and freeze until solid, at least 2 hours.

Make the lassi:
Add 3/4 cup orange juice, the yogurt, banana and cocoa powder to a blender and puree until smooth (if you’d like the lassi to be a bit thinner, blend in the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice).
Add a few spiced ice cubes to the blender and puree. Pour the lassi into glasses and add 2 more spiced ice cubes to each glass.
Serve immediately.

Roasted figs with pomegranate molasses and orange zest

This is a heady dessert from Ottolenghi. I have not adapted it as there is nothing I could add to enhance these exciting flavors!  I can’t emphasize enough how crucial it is to choose good, sweet, squidgy figs, no matter what you do with them. It makes all the difference.

 

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Serves 4

3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
4 thyme sprigs, 2 whole and 2 picked leaves
Skin of 1 orange, 3 long shaved strips and the rest grated
8 fresh figs, cut in half lengthways
4 oz mascarpone
4 oz  Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp icing sugar
Salt

Put together in a large mixing bowl the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, 2 thyme sprigs, 1 tablespoon of water, the orange skin strips and a pinch of salt. Mix well to dissolve the sugar and then stir in the figs. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together in a small bowl the mascarpone, yoghurt and icing sugar until smooth. Keep chilled.

Remove the figs from the bowl (keeping the marinade) and arrange them snugly inside a small baking tray, roughly 8″ by 8″, the cut side facing up. Sprinkle the figs with the remaining sugar and put under a hot grill, clearing about 15cm from the grill. Grill for 10 minutes, or until the sugar has caramelised and the figs softened.

Meanwhile, pour the marinating liquids into a small saucepan, bring to the boil and then simmer for 2-4 minutes or until the sauce is reduced by half and has a consistency of runny honey.
Transfer the hot figs to serving plates and spoon over any leftover syrup from the baking tray, then drizzle over the sauce reduction and sprinkle with picked thyme leaves. Place a spoonful of the yoghurt cream on the side or on the figs and sprinkle over the remaining orange zest.

Serve at once.

Roasted carrots with cumin yoghurt

This is a gorgeous dish and the little “stubby” carrots roast so well with a really deep flavor. The cumin yoghurt lends a “Middle Eastern” quality and all in all, it’s a must.

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Serves 8

3 lbs Thumbelina or other small carrots, scrubbed and cut into 2″ pieces
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup plus tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup plain Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro (coriander) leaves with tender stems, plus more for garnish
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 450 F.
Toss the carrots with the orange juice, thyme, bay leaves and 1/4 cup olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper.
Roast,tossing halfway through until golden brown and soft, 30 – 35 minutes; remove bay leaves

Meanwhile, toast the coriander seeds in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat, tossing, until fragrant, about 1 minute; transfer to a plate. Repeat with the cumin. Let cool and coarsely chop.

Puree the coriander seeds, cumin, yoghurt,lime juice, 1/4 cup cilantro and remaining 2 tbsp oil in a food processor until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

Serve the carrots topped with the cumin yoghurt, cilantro and sesame seeds

Spicy whole roasted cauliflower

What more do you need with this gorgeous food, than a salad?

This recipe has you slathering cauliflower in a spicy yogurt marinade and roasting it at a high temperature. The result is an amazingly delicious dish that’s as dramatic in presentation as it is easy in preparation. Serve it with a big green salad (I suggest lime juice and olive oil for the dressing) for an easy weeknight supper.

Spicy whole roasted cauliflower

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 head cauliflower
1½ cups plain Greek yogurt
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 tbsp chile powder (or less , if you don’t like spicy)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly grease a small baking sheet with vegetable oil. Set aside.
Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove any green leaves and the woody stem.
In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt with the lime zest and juice, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, curry powder, salt and pepper.
Dunk the cauliflower into the bowl and use a brush or your hands to smear the marinade evenly over its surface. (Excess marinade can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days and used with meat, fish or other veggies.)
Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the surface is dry and lightly browned, 30 to 40 minutes. The marinade will make a crust on the surface of the cauliflower.
Let the cauliflower cool for 10 minutes before cutting it into wedges and serving alongside a big green salad.

Lime and Pomegranate chicken thighs

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This is a recipe from another great food blog, “A View from Great Island”
Very clean and zingy tasting and great for a healthy, light dinner.

Serves 2

For the chicken
1 cup Greek yogurt (I used 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup pomegranate juice (not the juice drink)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)

For the glaze
2 cups pomegranate juice (I used 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (I used the juice of 2 limes)
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Set the oven to 400F
To marinate the chicken, put the yogurt, pomegranate juice, salt, garlic and chicken in a large zip lock baggie. Massage everything until well combined. Put in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight. I turned the bag over once or twice.
To make the glaze, put all the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and boil for about 20-25 minutes until reduced and thickened. Set aside.
Preheat a grill pan over medium high heat until screaming hot. Take the chicken out of the marinade, and let the excess liquid drip off before setting the chicken, skin side down, on the grill. Don’t move it for a minute or so until it gets nice dark grill marks.
Flip the chicken over, and then transfer to a baking pan that has been lightly brushed with olive oil. Bake the chicken for about 30-40 minutes, or until done through. Spoon a generous amount of glaze over the chicken, and garnish with the pomegranate seeds and lime wedges. Serve right away.

An easy chicken curry

 

I made this for dinner tonight and it was very successful. So flavorsome and yet not too complicated, as long as you have the spices on hand. I roast my own cumin, then grind it, but you don’t have to.

Serves 6
2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger root
1 heaped tbsp curry powder
1 heaped tsp ground cumin
1 heaped tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ( or more if you like heat)
1 tbsp chicken stock or water
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup full fat plain yoghurt
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp salt
1 heaped tsp garam masala
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Cut the chicken into large cubes and sprinkle it with 2 tsp salt .
Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat and brown the chicken pieces well, in several batches.
Transfer the browned chicken to a plate and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium high and add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring until the onion is translucent, about 5 to 8 mins.
Stir in the curry powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne and 1 tbsp chicken stock into the onion mixture. Stir well so that any brown chicken bits come off the bottom of the pan and add to the flavor and the spices are well mixed in with the onions.
Mix in the tomatoes, yoghurt, 1 tbsp chopped cilantro and 1 tsp salt into the mixture.
Return the chicken to the pan, along with any juices from the chicken.
If it looks as if it needs some more liquid, you can pour in about 1/4 cup chicken stock, but I didn’t need to.
Sprinkle the chicken with the garam masala and 1 more tbsp chopped cilantro. Mix in and cover the skillet, simmering for about 20 minutes.
Sprinkle the dish with the fresh lemon juice before serving with hot rice