Easy Tandoori Chicken

One of my favourite Indian dishes is tandoori chicken. In this dish tender chicken pieces are marinaded in yoghurt and flavoursome spices, and cooked to a slight char. This is a great dish to include if you are having a barbecue and want an alternative to the usual sweet barbecue marinades. However, with a little advanced preparation, this also makes an easy mid-week meal.

Easy Tandoori Chicken Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 kg skinless and boneless chicken thigh fillets chopped into bite size pieces
  • 300 g natural yoghurt
  • 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 cloves garlic crushed
  • 4 tsp cumin
  • 4 tsp ground coriander
  • 4 tsp garam masala
  • 4 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

METHOD

  1. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for a minimum of two hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 °C fan (or 220 °C conventional). Prepare two baking trays by adding a rack to each one.
  3. Skewer the chicken – distribute the chicken pieces over 12 metal skewers.
  4. Spread the skewers evenly over the racks on the baking trays. Cook for 25 minutes turning after 15 minutes. Alternatively, the skewers can be cooked on a barbecue.

NOTES

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

These cupcakes are inspired by one of my favourite desserts, lemon meringue pie. They have a light and fluffy sponge with a creamy, but zingy lemon curd centre and a crispy meringue top.


Never miss a RECIPE!

Subscribe below to receive e-mail updates:


Lemon Meringue Cupcake Recipe

Makes: 16 cupcakes
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

For the cupcakes:

  • 215 g plain flour
  • 190 g caster sugar
  • 0.25 tsp baking soda
  • 1.25 tsp baking powder
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • zest of one lemon
  • 170 g unsalted butter melted
  • 3 egg whites from large eggs
  • 120 ml sour cream
  • 120 ml whole milk
  • 8 tsp lemon curd

For the meringue:

  • 3 large free range egg whites
  • 155 g caster sugar
  • 0.25 tsp vanilla essence
  • 0.75 g tbsp cornflour

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C fan (or 200 °C conventional oven) and line two muffin trays with 16 cup cake cases.
  2. In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and lemon zest) and mix well.
  3. In another bowl whisk together the wet ingredients apart from the lemon curd (butter, egg whites, sour cream and milk).
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients – add the liquid into the dry ingredients little by little whisking well after each addition until a smooth batter is formed.
  5. Half fill the cup cake cases with batter, add half a teaspoon of lemon curd to each case and then fill the case with additional batter such that the cases are three quarters full.
  6. Bake the cupcakes for 18 minutes until a cocktail stick pierced into the cupcake comes out clean and when the cakes spring back up once you press down lightly on them.
  7. In the meantime make the meringue. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff. Use the fastest setting.
  8. Add the sugar to the egg white one spoon at a time whisking well after each spoonful.
  9. Add in the vanilla essence and cornflour and whisk until the egg white is glossy and it stays in the bowl when you tip it upside down.
  10. Once the cupcakes have baked, allow them to cool for around 10-15 minutes.
  11. Add a generous spoonful of meringue to the top of each cupcake. Use the spoon to create a peak at the top of the meringue.
  12. Add the cupcakes back to the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 180 °C until the meringue starts to go slightly brown. Then reduce the temperature of the oven to 100 °C and bake for a further 15 minutes.

NOTES

  • Ensure that all ingredients, especially the eggs, butter and sour cream at room temperature to prevent the cake batter from curdling.

Vietnamese Turkey Meatballs with a Sweet Soy Glaze

I’ve never been to Vietnam, but based on the Vietnamese cuisine I’ve tried here in the UK and in the US it’s definitely on my bucket list. I especially love the aromatic mix of lemongrass grass, mint and coriander with the warmth of chilli that is signature to many Vietnamese dishes. So with that said, this recipe is inspired by my favourite dish on the menu at Pho, the Nem Nuong Pork Balls. Instead of minced pork I use turkey mince, just because I happened to have some in my fridge one day and was up for an experiment. I found that turkey mince works so well with the chilli and the herbs. The glaze adds a slight sweetness that pulls all the flavours together. As a bonus turkey mince is also lower in saturated fat than pork mince.

Vietnamese Turkey Meatballs with a Sweet Soy Glaze Recipe

Serves: 5
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

For the meatballs:

  • 1 kg turkey mince
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed or grated
  • 2 tsp lemon grass paste
  • 1 tsp crushed chilli flakes
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp dried coriander
  • 2 tbsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

For the glaze:

(this makes enough for the meatballs plus extra to use as a dressing on your side dish)

  • 90 ml soy sauce
  • 75 g brown sugar
  • juice of one and a half limes

METHOD

  1. Heat oven to 200 °C fan (or 220 °C conventional oven). Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the meatballs and form into golf ball sized meatballs. I made around 30 balls.
  3. Spread the meatballs out on the baking trays and bake for 25 mins turning once after 15 minutes.
  4. In the meantime combine all the ingredients for the glaze and stir well.
  5. When the meatballs are cooked drizzle half the glaze over them and toss them to give them a good coating. Use the rest of the glaze as a dressing for your side dish.

NOTES

  • When turning the meatballs you may find that they have lost some water which fills the baking tray. Don’t worry about this as it will evaporate, and the baking paper will make it easier to clean the trays afterwards.
  • Serve with whole wheat noodles and a salad of lettuce, shredded carrots, fresh coriander and fresh mint leaves.

Oven Baked Crispy Chicken Wings

This is my slightly healthier version of fried chicken wings, ideal for when you fancy fried chicken but don’t want to go through the faff and mess that comes with frying (using and then having to find a way of discarding lots of oil, and oil splatters on your hob and splash back etc). These seasoned chicken wings are tender and juicy on the inside, but nice and crisp on the outside.


Never miss a RECIPE!

Subscribe below to receive e-mail updates:


Oven Baked Crispy Chicken Wings Recipe

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 5 mins
Baking Time: 50 mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 kg chicken wings cut at joints
  • 40 g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp butter

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 °C fan (or 220 °C conventional).
  2. Use kitchen roll to pat the chicken wings dry and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour and all the dry seasonings (garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne powder, paprika, mustard powder, salt and pepper).
  4. Add the chicken wings to the seasoning and mix well.
  5. Add the butter to a roasting tin and put into the oven until the butter has melted (approximately 2-3 minutes).
  6. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and use tongs to carefully add the wings to the hot butter. Turn each wing in the butter to ensure it is coated well.
  7. Ensure the wings are evenly spread on the baking tray and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 mins.
  8. Turn the wings and cook for an additional 20 minutes.

NOTES

  • These wings are great as a starter and perfect as a finger food for parties.
  • Serve with barbecue sauce, buffalo sauce or sweet chilli dip.

Blackened Salmon with Garlic Lemon Butter

This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission on any purchases made via these links at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclaimer here.

I always feel a little bit fancy when I eat salmon, so this dish is great for a date night or special occasion. It’s perfect for when you want a bit of “wow” factor at the dinner table, but you don’t want spend the whole day and evening in the kitchen. The seasoning in this salmon recipe has a creole influence, and the salmon is pan fried on a high heat. This allows the seasoning to go a nice deep brown colour producing that “blackened” crust. The garlic lemon butter adds a complimentary tangy-ness to the fish.


NEVER MISS A RECIPE!

Subscribe below to receive e-mail updates:


Blackened Salmon with Garlic Lemon Butter Recipe

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 17 minutes

INGREDIENTS

For the salmon:

  • 520 g salmon slices with the skin on (around 4 slices)
  • 0.5 tsp cumin
  • 0.5 tsp smoked paprika
  • 0.5 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 0.5 tsp dried oregano
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp light olive oil

For the garlic lemon butter:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon sliced (discard the ends)

METHOD

  1. Mix the dried spices (cumin, paprika, chilli powder, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, pepper) together.
  2. Sprinkle the seasoning over the flesh side of the salmon.
  3. Heat the olive oil in heavy-based frying pan over a medium high heat.
  4. Place the salmon slices flesh side down in the pan cook for 5 minutes. Be careful not to over crowd the salmon slices, fry them in two batches if there is not enough space in the pan. I find that my 28 cm Anolon Sauté Pan is ideal for this as it has a big enough area to cook all four slices of salmon at the same time. It’s a really versatile high quality pan – honestly the most used pan I have in my kitchen. Click here for more details.
  5. Carefully flip the salmon onto the skin side. Cook for and additional 7 minutes.
  6. Remove the salmon from the pan and place the fillets on a plate and set aside.
  7. Add the butter to the pan, once it is melted add the garlic cloves and stir for 2 minutes.
  8. Slowly add in the lemon slices, be careful as they will sizzle in the pan. Cook the lemon in the butter for a further 1 minute on each side.
  9. Pour the butter sauce over the salmon fillets and top each one with a slice of lemon and serve with the garlic cloves.

NOTES

  • Serve with wild rice or sweet potato mash, and steamed asparagus spears.

Easy Garlic Naan

Recently I’ve been really inspired by South Asian cuisine. Curries and dal are currently my bag. I’m loving the heat from the spices, the wholesomeness of the pulses and satisfying savouriness of the sauces. Plain steamed rice was my accompaniment of choice, but I was craving the soft buttery naan you get in restaurants and decided to have a go at making my own garlic naan. It was way easier than I thought and super tasty. I can honestly say that I will not be buying dry supermarket naan bread again.

Easy Garlic Naan Recipe

INGREDIENTS

For the naan:

  • 7 g fast acting yeast
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt (optional, see Notes below)
  • 300 g plain flour
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • 150 g natural yoghurt
  • 25 g butter melted plus an extra tbsp
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 100 ml water (room temperature)

For the garlic butter:

  • 50 g butter melted
  • 2 cloves garlic grated

METHOD

  1. Place the yeast, sugar, salt, flour and baking powder (i.e. all the dry ingredients) for the naan bread in a bowl and mix with a spoon.
  2. Add in the melted butter, and yoghurt. Then gradually add in the water whilst stirring with a spoon.
  3. Once a the mixture has come together use your hands to knead the dough for around 5 minutes. The dough should be a little tacky, but not overly sticky that a lot of it sticks to your fingers and you have difficulty kneading it. If you find that it is too sticky then add in a tablespoon of flour.
  4. Grease a large clean bowl with the additional butter and add the dough. Grease the top of the dough and cover the bowl with clingfilm. Place a tea towel on top and leave the bowl in a warm room for around 2 hours in order for the dough to rise.
  5. Once the dough has risen preheat your oven to the lowest heat setting.
  6. Make the garlic butter by mixing the butter and the garlic.
  7. Split the dough into 6 small balls.
  8. Place a non-stick frying pan on a medium high heat. Do not add any oil.
  9. Use your hands to press and stretch one of the dough balls into a flat tear shape. Wet your hands slightly with clean water to stop the dough from sticking to them.
  10. Dry fry the raw naan in the frying pan until it starts to puff up, around 3 minutes each side. Reduce the heat a little if you find it burns before reaching 3 minutes.
  11. Once cooked use a pastry brush to brush each side of the naan with the garlic butter and place on a baking tray.
  12. Repeat steps 9 to 11 for each of the dough balls.
  13. Place the baking tray of naans in the oven to keep warm.

NOTES

  • The salt in the naan bread is optional. I only add it if I am using unsalted butter.
  • Don’t worry about the naan sticking to the frying pan. The butter in the naan seems to prevent this.
  • Serve as a side dish with a curry or kebab.

Beef Meatball Curry

I used to associate meatballs with Italian food or IKEA 😉, but they are a lot more versatile than I initially thought. They work really well in this Indian inspired curry. The meatballs themselves are seasoned with onion and chilli, and the tomato-based sauce contains an aromatic blend of spices and creamy coconut milk which ensures full-on flavours with every bite.

Beef Meatball Curry Recipe

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

For the meatballs:

  • 1 tbsp light olive oil
  • 700 g lean beef mince
  • 0.5 large onion finely diced
  • 1 green chilli finely diced
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 tbsp dried coriander leaf
  • 1 tsp salt

For the curry sauce:

  • 1 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1.5 large onions finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 thumb sized piece ginger finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 0.5 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 0.5 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 400 g tin chopped tomato
  • 400 ml tin coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 180 g spinach

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C fan (or 200°C conventional oven), line a baking tray with grease proof paper and brush with the oil. In a large bowl combine the mince, onion, chilli, garam masala, garlic powder and coriander leaf.
  2. Shape into 24 meatballs and spread them out on the prepared baking tray. Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes until the balls have browned turning halfway.
  3. In the meantime make the curry sauce. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan on a medium heat and fry the onion, garlic and ginger until softened for around 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Pour in the spices (coriander, cumin, turmeric, chilli powder, mustard powder and cinnamon) and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir in the coconut milk.
  6. Add the cooked meatballs to the pan.
  7. Cook on a low heat with the lid on for 40 minutes. Be sure to stir the curry every 20 minutes.
  8. Add the spinach to the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes with the lid on until wilted.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.

NOTES

  • For an even more flavoursome meatball, prepare the meatballs the day before and leave overnight in the fridge to marinade.
  • This also works well with lamb mince.
  • I use mild chilli powder in this dish to make it toddler friendly, but if you like spice then you may want to use the hot (or extra hot) version.
  • Serve with steamed basmati rice and a side salad.

Seasoned Potato Wedges

This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission on any purchases made via these links at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclaimer here.

Potato wedges are a great alternative to chips. These wedges seasoned with garlic oregano and parmesan are crispy on the outside and nice and fluffy on the inside. They take minutes to prepare and are so full of flavour. They make the perfect midweek side dish.


Never miss a RECIPE!

Subscribe below to receive e-mail updates:


Seasoned Potato Wedges Recipe

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 30-40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 550 g peeled potatoes (about 4 medium potatoes)
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp pepper
  • 80 ml of light olive oil
  • 20 g parmesan

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (or 200°C for a fan oven).
  2. Chop the potato into wedges and place in a bowl.
  3. Add the paprika, garlic powder, oregano, and parmesan and toss together to coat the wedges.
  4. Sprinkle over the oil and toss the wedges again.
  5. Line a large baking sheet with grease proof paper and spread the wedges evenly on top. For the family sized portion this recipe produces I would recommend the Masterclass Large Professional Premium Non-Stick Baking Tray – Masterclass make really good quality heavy bake ware that doesn’t warp. You can find out more about this baking tray here – just make sure that your oven is wide enough to accommodate it.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the wedges are brown and the centres are soft.

NOTES

  • I use Maris Piper potatoes for this dish.
  • I normally get 8 wedges from each potato.
  • For more rustic potato wedges you can leave the skin on. Just be sure to give the potatoes a good scrub before cutting them.

Ackee and Saltfish

Ackee and saltfish is the national dish of Jamaica. In Jamaica it is eaten as a breakfast dish, but I think it is perfect for any time of the day. Ackee is a fruit, and like in this dish, it is often cooked as a vegetable. When cooked it resembles and has the texture of scrambled eggs, but has a mild nutty and slightly sweet flavour. The saltfish is dried salted white fish, normally cod (but sometimes pollock or snapper), that has been soaked or boiled in water to rehydrate it and remove most of the salt it was preserved in to make it palatable. The preservation method definitely gives the saltfish a flavour that you cannot obtain from using fresh fish. When combined together the nutty sweetness of the ackee melds so well with the texture and flavour of the saltfish, and it’s so deliciously unique.

Ok, so by now if you were not already familiar with ackee and saltfish then you’re probably thinking of exploring the other parts of my blog or leaving my site completely, BUT PLEASE DON’T RUN AWAY! As exotic as ackee and saltfish seems, it is actually such an easy dish to cook. The ingredients can be found in the “World Foods” section in many of the larger UK supermarkets. And the flavour explosion you’ll have is definitely worth sticking around for.

Now, from my “About” page you may already know that I’m half Jamaican. I’m very proud of my Jamaican heritage, which is why I’d love to share a little bit more about the history and origin of this dish which is steeped in colonialism. I think ackee and saltfish is a perfect reflection of the history of the Jamaican people and is so fitting as a national dish.

Ackee is actually indigenous to West Africa and was brought over from Ghana to Jamaica in the eighteenth century. The fruit itself grows on trees and the closest thing I can liken it to in appearance is a sweet pepper (or bell pepper). As the fruit grows it changes colour from green, to red to orange and as it does this it splits open to reveal three black seeds, and this is how you know it is ripe and ready to be picked.

As for saltfish, this was introduced to the Caribbean in around the seventeenth century. It was brought over from North America in trade ships which would return from the Caribbean with delicacies of this era such as rum and sugar. The preservation method of the cod was ideal for preventing the fish from perishing during the long transatlantic journey. Due to the abundance of cod at the time saltfish was bought as an inexpensive source of protein for the enslaved people. It blows my mind to think about how people going through so much injustice, pain and sorrow could find the passion and creativity in their hearts to produce a dish as resplendent and flavoursome as ackee and saltfish. I’d like to imagine that when this dish was eaten it provided a moment of comfort and hope, even if it was just a fleeting moment.

Ackee and Saltfish Recipe

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 35-40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 250 g skinless and boneless salt fish
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 0.5 tsp dried thyme)
  • 3 spring onions (white and green part separated and finely chopped)
  • 2 tomatoes diced
  • 0.5 Scotch bonnet chilli finely diced
  • 4-5 pimento berries crushed
  • 0.5 tsp ground black pepper
  • 540 g tinned ackee (drained)

METHOD

  1. Hold the salt fish under the cold tap to rinse off the visible flakes/grains of salt. Then place in a medium sized saucepan.
  2. Cover the fish with cold water and bring the pan to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Use a fork to break off a small piece of and taste it to check the salt levels.
  4. If it is too salty then drain the water and repeat steps 2 and 3 until the salt level is just right for your taste. Remember, you want to remove most of the salt, but leave in just enough for the flavour.
  5. Once the salt level is to your taste drain the water and use two forks to break the fish into large chunks. Set aside for later.
  6. Next, preheat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan using a medium heat.
  7. Add in the onions, the white parts of the spring onion, chilli, pimento, and thyme and give them a good mix. Then add in the garlic.
  8. Once the onions have softened and are translucent add in the chopped tomatoes and stir for about 3 minutes.
  9. Stir in the salt fish and season with black pepper (and salt if you feel you have removed too much during the boiling of the salt fish).
  10. Add in the ackee. Gently use a wooden spoon to distribute the ackee evenly in the pan, but do not mix it as it is very soft and delicate and will start to break up. Cover the pan with the lid and leave to steam for five minutes. Garnish with the green part of the spring onion before serving.

NOTES

  • As I mentioned above, saltfish, ackee, pimento and the scotch bonnet pepper can normally be found in the larger supermarkets here in the UK. Head to the fruit and veg section for the scotch bonnet pepper. The ackee, saltfish and pimento should be found in the “World Foods” section. The ackee will be in a tin, the saltfish will be packaged in a plastic tray normally wrapped in a clear plastic film, and the pimento berries are normally packaged in a plastic tube.
  • Break the saltfish into large chunks around 2-3 cm long as it will break down further when cooking.
  • Tinned ackee is very soft and fragile (it is boiled first prior to being tinned) so always add it in last and do not stir heavily.
  • Serve with white rice, fried dumplings or hard food (a combination of boiled yam, green bananas and dumplings).

Yoghurt and Mint Dressing

Salad definitely doesn’t have to be boring! This is my own version of Indian raita and it adds some pazazz when drizzled over a simple side salad. It has cooling yogurt, refreshing mint, some warming spices and a slight lemony tang. This is one step recipe is fail-proof.

Yoghurt and Mint Dressing Recipe

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 heaped tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 0.5 tsp dried mint
  • 0.5 tsp dried coriander leaf
  • 0.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp water

METHOD

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a jar and give it a good stir.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc_1013-2.jpg

NOTES

  • The water is used to thin the dressing dressing out in order to get it to a nice consistency for pouring/drizzling over salad.
  • This goes well over a salad of lettuce, sliced red onion, tomato wedges and mango chunks. For a nice lunch dish you could even add grilled chicken for a filling salad.