Date Archives October 2016

Chickpea Curry, Coconut Yoghurt, Naan and Mango Chutney



 am not a vegetarian (lets just make that clear) but sometimes meat just isn’t required. When flavour is so prominent there is sometimes no need for it and this curry certainly has a big punch of spice. If you’re going to make a curry, don’t be timid, the more spice the better in my eyes! And I reassure you that you won’t miss the meat in this one – chickpeas make a substantial replacement. However feel free to replace with diced chicken, whole chicken legs, chunky white fish or even lamb. Or keep it vegetarian but pulse free with chunky cauliflower or broccoli or stirring through some spinach at the end.

Homemade flatbreads, sweet mango chutney and a cooling coconut yoghurt are the perfect side dishes. Who needs a takeaway….

Serves 4


  • 2 x cans chickpeas, drained
  • 1 can (full fat) coconut milk
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large/ 2 small red onions roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 thumb piece ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fengrueek seed
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp each ground cumin, coriander, garam marasal, curry powder, tumeric
  • 5 cardamon pods
  • Bunch coriander
  • 1 lime
  • Spinach or extra vegetable optional

Yoghurt & Flatbread

  • 250g plain yoghurt
  • 2 large handfuls desiccated coconut
  • 500g self raising flour
  • 1 tbsp nigella seeds
  • Milk
  • Mango chutney to serve
  1. Start by mixing the flatbread dough. Add the flour, nigella seeds and some salt and pepper in a bowl. Add a small splash of milk (a little at a time) mixing as you go until you have a smooth dough that is not too wet. If you do add too much milk just counteract with some extra flour. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes until combined and smooth. Leave the dough ball to rest in a floured bowl while you make the curry.
  2. Start the curry by toasting the whole spices in a hot dry frying pan for a few minutes to release the fragrance. When you smell them toasting remove from the heat and add to a pestle and mortar and grind well. Add the dry spices and set aside.
  3. Heat a little vegetable oil in a frying pan/saucepan (bear in mind you will need the curry in a saucepan later so use whatever is easiest) and gently soften the red onion for about 10 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and fry for a few more minutes.
  4. Next add the spices to the onion mix and fry for about 2 minutes adding a splash more oil if needed.
  5. Next add the tinned tomatoes and simmer gently for a minute mixing well to incorporate the onion spice mixture before adding the coconut milk to the sauce.
  6. At this stage I recommend transferring the sauce to a saucepan with a lid if you haven’t already. Simmer gently for 5-10 minutes to thicken the sauce before adding the chickpeas. Season to taste and keep on the simmer while you make the flatbreads and yoghurt. Add a splash of water for a thinner sauce or simmer to reduce for a more concentrated texture (depending on preference)
  7. Toast the coconut in a dry frying pan until just turning golden. Remove and add to the yoghurt. Set aside.
  8. Take the rested flatbread dough and divide out into generous golf ball sized rounds. Roll into flatbreads, the thickness of a 10p piece and set each aside. Heat a dry frying pan on high and turn on the extractor fan! Dry fry the flatbreads on each side. They should puff up a little in pockets and char a little. You’ll have to play with your own hob temperature but a high heat is needed. Continue with all the breads, wrapping them in a pile in a clean tea towel to keep them warm and soft after each one.
  9. (If adding any vegetables, add to the hot curry now and simmer until cooked.)
  10. When the breads and yoghurt are done and the mango chutney is at hand and ready to go, chop a large handful or coriander and the stems and add to the curry. Squeeze in the juice of the lime and taste and adjust the flavour as needed.
  11. Serve the curry in large warm bowls topped with the yoghurt, chutney and a scattering of coriander. Dip in your flatbreads to your hearts content.


Gooseberry Cobbler


 feel ashamed to call this cooking. Assembling if you like. It must be one of the easiest puddings out there – hearty and warming. It doesn’t have a chance against a crumble I’ll be the first to admit but lets just say its the crumbles foreign not so pretty and less intelligent cousin. With a sad tinge of Autumnal chill to the weather this weekend and being the first day of October my expectations of an endless Indian Summer were dampened metaphorically and literally after ending up a little wet at work.

A few weeks back I returned home to my Wiltshire bolt and origins of the real pantry to a bounty of delicious homegrown gooseberries! Picked from the allotment and waiting patiently for my greedy hands! So cobbler it was….adapted from Delia Smith.

Serves 4

  • 500g gooseberries
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp elderflower cordial
  • 225g plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 110g cold, cubed butter
  • 170ml buttermilk
  • Pinch salt
  • Demerara sugar
  • Ice cream/custard to serve. Or my cinnamon creme anglaise
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Start by placing the gooseberries in a baking dish and scatter over the caster sugar and cordial evenly.
  3. To make the topping, place the flour, baking powder, salt and cubed butter in a food processor and blend together until you have a breadcrumb like consistency. Then at this stage add the buttermilk and pulse until you get a sticky dough.
  4. Rustically distribute large tablespoons of the topping over the gooseberries making sure you cover the majority of the fruit.
  5. Sprinkle over some crunchy demerara sugar and bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until the topping if golden, cooked and the fruit is bubbling up underneath.
  6. Serve warm with custard or ice cream. My cinnamon creme anglaise is recommended –  see here for full recipe

Jess - Gooseberry2Jess - Gooseberry3