All posts tagged: cardamom

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Vegan Peanut Butter and Cardamom Brownies

Vegan Peanut Butter and Cardamom Brownies

I’m obsessed with brownies; rich, chocolatey, fudgy, incredible brownies. I’ve also got a soft spot for peanut butter and in case you hadn’t noticed, I cannot possibly go a day without eating cardamom. It’s not often I go in to the kitchen completely sure of what I’m going to produce. I’ll have something in the fridge or cupboard I know I want, then I forage about until I find the perfect partners for what I fancy and they could be totally bizarre combinations I’ve never tried before. If I’ve learned anything from all my years of experimental cooking is that you have to be fearless. FEARLESS. Yeah sure, sometimes things don’t turn out the way you plan but that’s what takeaway pizza is there for. I’ve rescued even the most disastrous of dinners and 98% of the time, the antidote consists of lemon, salt and sugar. They are like magic for repairing even the spiciest of curries. Baking is different. As sweet as it can be, baking can also be very cruel – especially eggless …

Slow Cooker Aubergine Makhani

Slow Cooker Aubergine Makhani

Beautiful, butter-soft aubergines simmered in a rich makhani sauce for three hours are what you’ll be dreaming about tonight. It’s velvety smooth and perfect with basmati rice and fluffy Garlic and Coriander Naan. I’ve recently fallen in love with my slow cooker and have been batch cooking soya mince and black bean chilli, spicy coconut daal and this delicious Aubergine Makhani. The basis my sauce is an irresistible combo of butter (it’s not a makhani without butter!), tomatoes, selective spicing and a touch of cream to finish. It makes for a perfectly-balanced sauce to coat juicy aubergine pieces. Slow cooking is a great way of making sure your aubergines remain chunky and don’t fall apart. If you’re looking for an equally delicious aubergine recipe where they are first blackened, then mashed, head this way. One of my favourite dishes to eat in Indian restaurants is Paneer Makhani or Paneer Butter Masala. If it’s on the menu, there’s a 99% chance I’ll be all over it. After trying it in a number of different restaurants, I …

Mandazi Barazi

Swahili Breakfast: Mandazi and Barazi

I spent some time in Mombasa almost five months ago. It’s safe to say I’ve missed sipping on fresh madaf (coconut water) on Bamburi beach, eating fried cassava crisps doused in lemon juice and chilli on the side of the road, and feasting in mind-blowing authentic Swahili restaurants by moonlight. I ate a lot that week. For me, the most incredible thing about East African food is the simplicity of ingredients that go into a dish and the unbelievable flavours that are produced. Basic seasonings like salt, sugar, lemon and chilli are paramount to everyday cooking. Spices like cardamom and turmeric are also popular, although they are used sparingly. Whilst cassava, beans and ground rice make up the majority of the diet, fruit and veg are showcased in such a simple, yet delicious way that vegetarian food is an absolute pleasure to eat. My wonderful aunt and uncle in Mombasa are blessed to have a garden full of palm trees, banana trees and fresh herbs, which allow them to indulge on the freshest exotic ingredients …

Cardamom Wreath with Rose Drizzle and Candied Lemon Peel

Cardamom Wreath with Rose Drizzle and Candied Lemon Peel

I’ve been craving cinnamon rolls all week. Soft, buttery bread with crispy edges, heaps of spice and the best part – lashings of sweet icing. Whenever I make Lotte Duncan’s version with maple icing, they fill the house with the most mouth-watering scent of fresh bread.   In fact, I love Lotte’s buttery cinnamon roll recipe so much, I used it as the basis for my Indian-inspired wreath here. The basic white dough is rolled with a shameless amount of butter, ground cardamom and cinnamon, twisted into a Finnish bakery-style wreath and placed in a hot oven. Once baked, I couldn’t help but drizzle it with icing made with rose syrup (the kind I use to make my Strawberry Cheesecake Falooda), and then scattered with homemade candied lemon peel and pistachios. Need I say more? Okay, let me explain the beauty of these flavours together… The spicy cardamom and cinnamon combined with sugar and butter create the most amazing, rich flavour once baked inside the dough. The fluffy bread mops up the buttery juices and …

Kashmiri Dum Aloo (3)

Kashmiri Dum Aloo

There’s nothing more comforting than meltingly-soft potatoes enveloped in creamy, spicy-sweet sauce – even when it’s dinner for one at the Modha residence. Nobody likes cooking for one, do they? For me, it’s a tedious task knowing I’m the only one who will get to sample my efforts. I’m a feeder – I come from a long line of feeders who taught one another to feed others until they could eat no more. Like my mum, I’ll make dinner by the bucket load regardless of whether I’m feeding one mouth or ten. It’s most definitely in our blood. I understand this is the case for lots of Indian girls who are told from a young age that finding the perfect husband involves filling his belly with spicy food, carbs and sugar. Either it’s the way to a heart or the way to heart problems – I forget which one. That’s not to say I started cooking to find a fella. Hell, I started cooking because I was an eight-year old chubster with a penchant for …

cardamom-tofu-curry-featured-ko-rasoi

Cardamom Tofu Curry

I stuffed myself with Palak Paneer last night. I feel terrible about it and actually had a bit of trouble sleeping. I think it’s time to give that beautiful cheese a break (at least for a little while, anyway). On The Rebound What’s a girl to do when she’s decided to cut the one true love out of her life? Then it dawned on me; I’m going to replace paneer with something similar, something I won’t feel as guilty about. Hi tofu, remember me? We used to have a healthy relationship before I lost all my inhibitions to full-fat Indian cottage cheese. Simple Infusions If you ever asked me what my favourite spice was, I think I’d probably cry. There are so many to choose from and limitless possibilities in terms of creating breathtaking new flavours. Cardamom is one of those spices that’s never really at the forefront of a curry. Well let me tell you something, it really should be given the chance. A combination of both green and black cardamoms impart musky flavours …

cashew-nut-fudge

Cashew Nut and White Chocolate Burfi

A love of sweets must run in my blood. Back in Kenya my grandfather worked in a sugar cane factory, boiling up vats of syrup bigger than a fully-grown wildebeest. He even knew syrup temperatures without having to use a sugar thermometer. My grandad’s passion for cooking with sugar led him to become one of the best sweet makers and teachers I’ve ever known. My other grandfather was head chef to one of the most well-known sugar merchants’ in East Africa. He’d rustle up the most spectacularly orange chickpea flour fudge and be ready to teach anyone willing to learn. Being just a tot when he passed away, my mum passed on his wonderful recipes to me. Indeed, the very nature of both my grandfathers’ livelihoods depended on the sweet stuff, which is why I put my love of sugar down to it pumping through my veins. What the fudge? These diamonds of sweet fudge have a delicious, crumbly and chewy texture from the ground cashew nuts. Laced with ground cardamom and vanilla extract, floral …

peach-cardamom-tarts-fi

Eggless Peach and Cardamom Bakewell Tarts

Peach and Cardamom Bakewell Tarts Like Beyoncé, who transforms into her alter-ego, the confident ‘Sasha Fierce’ on stage, I had to take on a new persona before I embarked upon making my first pastry for the latest Food Network UK recipe challenge using seasonal peaches. But a three-octave vocal range and bootylicious behind wasn’t going to help me in the kitchen – not today anyway. To make the perfect tart, I would need to become someone whose skills lay in the art of flour and butter, a pastry mastermind. And then it hit me – I needed to become Andy Bates. The recipe itself is a simple concept. It’s a pepped-up version of the very English Bakewell Tart, using traditional ground almonds in the tart shell, peach jam, an eggless almond sponge mix, fresh peach slices and a cardamom-spiked mascarpone cream to serve. Sounds adventurous but if I, the world’s worst pastry maker, can do it, you shouldn’t have any problems. Be sure to check out the blog post and recipe and please leave a …

chai

Cardamom Chai

  There’s nothing I like better than a little mug of sweet cardamom tea to unwind after an action-packed day. Today the term ‘chai’ has become a generic term for posh frothy mugs of under-spiced and over-priced drinks available in coffee shops across the globe. This makes me sad.   The recipe for chai is one I email out a lot to readers and I think finally, it’s time to officially share one with everyone. It’s taken me long enough.   If you’ve never tasted a real cup of Indian chai, you won’t know that it should be spicy, not just aromatic but full of heat from ground cloves, cinnamon and peppercorns. The spice should be balanced with a generous amount of sugar, milk (or condensed milk) and of course, well-brewed tea leaves.   This is the epitome of the perfect Indian chai.   Making tea is a fine-tuned art everyone can be a dab hand at. Every family has its own recipe but the balance of flavours will always be in perfect harmony. Don’t …

classic-shrikhand

Classic Shrikhand and Eggless Red Velvet Cupcakes

In case you hadn’t noticed, I have been MIA for a week – but thankfully, I have a great excuse. If you follow me on Facebook you’ll know that I’ve been spending most of time baking for a lovely little party I attended last weekend. On the entirely eggless dessert menu were Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate Fudge Cake, Vanilla & Cherry Sponge Cake, Chocolate & Coconut Cake Pops and Shrikhand Cheesecake. Speaking of shrikhand, here’s my very classic (and simple) recipe for one of my favourite Gujarati desserts. I’m adding this to the royal wedding banquet menu not because it’s an authentic Mughlai dish, but because it’s rich, opulent and incredibly well-suited to that particular style of cooking. Three spices I never fail to add to this dessert are green cardamom seeds, saffron and just a pinch of mace – these aromatic flavours are what make shrikhand, well shrikhand really. An acquired taste for many, this thick tangy yogurt is the perfect way to end an indulgent meal on a warm …

seeroh

Orange and Cardamom Scented Seeroh

I’m snowed in. There’s a party to get to and I’m snowed in. Thankfully the International Incident Colours Party hosted by Penny a.k.a Jeroxie is a kind of party immune to catastrophic weather. The final month of 2010 should be filled with bright colours and big smiles – my recipe for Orange and Cardamom Scented Seeroh (pronounced how it’s spelt) guarantees to make that happen. It’s not too sweet, not too rich and is incredibly addictive. That’s not to say you can chuck a whole load of them in your mouth one after another. Just in case you do decide you want to finish off the whole lot in one go, I thoughtfully substituted a significant amount of sugar in this recipe with friendly agave nectar. You can thank me later. Seeroh is essentially sweetened semolina (don’t gag, it’s nothing like ‘school dinner’ semolina). It can be flavoured anything you like – I try to stick to a couple of complimentary flavours that won’t clash or overpower one another like orange and cardamom. You could …

nankhatai-biscuits

Nankhatai: Spiced Biscuits for Tea

They’re perfect if you’re a chomper, a dunker, or a nibbler. These biscuits were requested by a reader via my Facebook page a long time ago. Wicked me, I’ve only had time to make them now. Nankhatai are a type of Indian tea biscuit. They are most likely to be flavoured with some of the usual suspects- green cardamom, saffron, ground mace… I could go on forever, baby. In my enduring quest to make you all fat and greedy, I’ve not skimped on the butter because there’s no such thing as a calorie-free biscuit. Nope. Not in any country. Although, I’m guessing that if there is, it probably tastes like rabbit bedding. I’ve kept the recipe pretty conventional, apart from the addition of desiccated coconut. So not very conventional, then… Remember to use saffron sparingly, the flavour is very intense and if too much is used, you may end up with a bitter-tasting potpourri-ish-thing-which-I-won’t-call-a-biscuit. Plus, it’s super expensive, so be kind to your pocket. Coarse semolina gives these biscuits a beautiful texture which I simply adore, …