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Spicy warm falafel couscous bowl

It is really cold now and in this weather what we all really want is a lovely bowl of warm and spicy food. This should also mean something that is quick to put together and this is where the recipe fits in beautifully.

I have teamed up with Sainsbury’s to give their new falafel and quinoa a go and combined them in the delicious bowl of food.

Sainsbury’s Love Your Veg! Red Pepper & Chipotle falafel adds some lovely flavour and colour to the dreariest of days and these bite size portions are perfect for lunch, combined with the other bits in this bowl they give the body needed in the quinoa meal.

The British Quinoa Company Lemon & Herb Quinoa are microwaveable and contain 100% British quinoa from The British Quinoa Company. In this bowl I am using the Lemon & Herb flavoured pouches that go beautifully with the tahini dressing.

Warm and spicy falafel quinoa bowl

These small bowls are a lovely combination of the lemon & herb quinoa with the red pepper falafel, added crunch from the stir fry veg and lots of flavour and spice from the tahini dressing. Really quick and easy to put together and a delicious way to enjoy a bit of summer in this cold months.

Red pepper & Chipotle falafel

Lemon and herb quinoa

For the Veg stir fry 

1 tbsp olive oil 

150 gms sugar snap peas, cut in half

1 green pepper, thinly sliced

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

2 carrots, thinly sliced

1/4 tsp salt

 

For the tahini dressing 

100 gms tahini

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp sugar

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 small green chilli, finely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

100 ml hot water

Heat the falafel in the oven according to the instructions on the packet and put them in a bowl when ready.

Prepare the quinoa in the microwave according to the instructions on the packet and empty them in a bowl.

Get the stir fry going with some oil in a pan and when hot add all the veg and cook for 3-4 minutes until the veg are slightly done but still have a crunch in the bite. Add the salt and place it all in a bowl.

Now make the dressing by combining all the tahini dressing ingredients in a bowl and giving it a good mix.

Place everything on the table and let everyone prepare there own bowl with bits of falafel, quinoa, veg and finishing with a drizzle of the tahini dressing. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diwali Feast!

DIWALI FEAST

 Diwali is a festival of lights and a great time to get together with family and friends to share some great food.

It’s no surprise then that I love to cook, specially at this lovely time of Diwali. I like to keep the meals simple yet stunning, something worthy of a celebration but at the same time nothing that takes too much planning and organising to cook. My Diwali meals are usually things I can prep in advance so that I can spend as much time with my family and friends as everyone else.

Being a festival it is natural to have food that is shared with everyone so these meals are great as they sit in the middle of the table and everyone can help themselves.

I have teamed up with ASDA to develop this delicious Diwali spread of starter, main and dessert using all the ingredients from my local ASDA store.

The starters are ‘Spicy Herby Paneer Parcels’ that are crispy on the outside with a lovely spicy filling in the middle and a great herby finish. These can be made before your guests arrive and served warm or at room temperature with some chutney or even on its own.

The main is a family favourite ‘Vegetable Whole Spice Pulao’. Not only does it taste amazing it is a really simple recipe to make, something where the whole family can get involved and help with the chopping. Great served with some raita and chutney and even brilliant on its own.

The dessert is ‘Carrot And Pistachio Mini Cakes’. These are inspired by the carrot halwa, which is a great Indian dessert. The cake is baked in a big square tin and then sliced into beautiful mini squares, which is a great portion for serving at a large gathering. The spices and dates in the cake add a lovely flavour to this stunning dessert, with the cream cheese giving it a perfect finish.

STARTER

 

Spicy and Herby Paneer parcels

(makes 16)

For the filling

2 tbsp sunflower oil

1 tsp black mustard seeds

1 onion, finely chopped

1 green chilli, finely chopped

½ tsp salt

½ tsp chilli powder

½ tsp garam masala

1 tsp turmeric powder

200 gms paneer, grated

200 gms frozen peas

1 tbsp lemon juice

 

For the parcels

200 gms filo pastry

50 gms salted butter, melted

 

Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they start to sizzle add the onions, green chillies and cook for 4-5 minutes until they begin to colour.

Add all the spices, mix well and cook for a minute on low heat. Now add the paneer and peas, mix well, cover and cook for 6-7 minutes until the peas are soft. Then take off the cover and cook on high heat for 2 minutes until all the water has evaporated. Now add the lemon juice and leave it aside to cool.

Unroll the filo pastry and cut it into 4 equal squares. Cover them with a moist tea towel while you work with them.

Take a 12 hole cupcake tin and place one layer of the filo in all the holes. Brush it with butter and put another layer of filo on top, repeat till you have 3 layers of filo. Now put a spoonful of the paneer mix into the hole and then cover it with the layers of filo on top. Brush the tops with a little more butter.

Heat the oven to 190 C. Bake for 30 minutes until crispy and golden. Remove them from the tray and let them cool down slightly before serving.

MAIN COURSE

 

Vegetable whole spice pulao

(serves 4)

3 tbsp sunflower oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

6 cloves

6 green cardamom

2 bay leaves

1 cinnamon stick

30 gms cashewnuts

2 onions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cm ginger, finely chopped

2 tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 carrot, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 pepper, cut into 1 inch squares

100 gms prozen peas

150 gms cauliflower, cut into small flortes

1 tsp salt

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp chilli powder

600gms or 4 cups cooked rice

20 gms fresh mint, finely chopped

20 gms fresh coriander, finely chopped

handful of fresh pomegranate seeds

 

Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and let them sizzle for a few seconds. Now add the onions and cashewnuts and cook for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden. To this add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute.

To this add the tomatoes, carrot, pepper, peas, cauliflower and all the spices. Combine it all well, cover and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked.

Now add the rice and the herbs and mix well. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds and serve warm.

DESSERT

 

Carrot and pistachio cake

(makes 16 mini squares)

For the cake

150 gms dates, roughly chopped

100 ml water

200 gms unsalted softened butter

100 gms light muscavado sugar

200 gms carrots, grated

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cardamom

200 gms self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

4 large eggs separated

50 gms pistachios, finely chopped

 

To finish

200 gms cream cheese

1 tbsp honey

handful of pistachios, thinly sliced

 

In a pan heat the water with the dates and cook on low heat for 4-5 mins. Leave it aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease and line an 8 inch square cake tin.

In a bowl whisk the butter and sugar until light and creamy. To this add the grated carrot and date mixture, cinnamon, cardamom and whisk it together. Now add the flour, baking powder and egg yolks and mix well.

In another bowl whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Put this egg white mix into the cake mix with the pistachios and fold it all in. Pour the mix into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes until baked. Leave it aside to cool completely.

Once cooled down cut the cake into squares. In a bowl mix the cream cheese with the honey and spread it over the squares. Now sprinkle the pistachios and serve.

 

 

 

 

Top 4 parathas!

I love stuffed parathas, they are not only easy and quick to make but also quite satisfying and filling to eat, great comfort food. These can be enjoyed with raita, pickle, chutney or on its own. Also good for packed lunches and picnics as they can be prepared a bit ahead. Best to cook them in some homemade ghee but sunflower oil is a good substitute too.

So here are the fillings for my top 4 parathas.

Alu paratha – makes 2
(potato)
100 gms potatoes, boiled and grated
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp amchur or mango powder
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of red chilli powder
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp grated garlic
1 tbsp chopped onions
1 tbsp fresh chopped coriander leaves
pinch of fresh chopped green chillies

Gobhi paratha – makes 2
(cauliflower)
100 gms cauliflower, grated
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of red chilli powder
pinch of fresh chopped green chillies
1/4 tsp carom seeds or ajawain
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp fresh chopped coriander leaves
1/4 tsp cumin powder

Paneer paratha – makes 2
(Indian cheese)
100 gms paneer, grated
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of red chilli powder
pinch of fresh chopped green chillies
1 tbsp fresh chopped coriander leaves
1/4 tsp black mustard seeds

Pyaaz paratha – makes 2
(onion)
100 gms red onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh chopped coriander leaves
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of red chilli powder
pinch of fresh chopped green chillies
1/4 tsp mango powder or amchur
1/2 tsp grated garlic
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp garam masala

And you can watch me make them on my Youtube channel ‘Food with Chetna’ here –
Method for parathas

The dough for the parathas is the basic chapati dough and you can watch the recipe here –
Paratha dough

Hope you will enjoy trying these parathas one or all of them.

Karahi chicken

Karahi Chicken

As promised to all those people sending requests on my Youtube channel to post the list of ingredients for my recipes, here it is. The ingredients list for ‘Best Karachi Chicken Curry’. This is one of my favourite chicken curries, the reason being that it has got so many layers of deep flavours. Cooking the onions until deep golden gives it a caramelised taste and all the spices add lots of smokiness and heat to it. The pepper and onions at the end add the crunch and sharpness to it. All in all this is a crowd pleaser great to serve with some rice or naan.

  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 4 red chillies
  • 4 medium sized onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 chicken thighs with bones
  • 2 heaped tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • 50 ml hot water
  • 1 green pepper, cut into cubes
  • 1 red onion, cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp double cream

For the dry spices

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp fenugreek leaves

Please check out the video for the full recipe here –

Food Month 2018

Waterloo Food Month 2018

With so much good food on offer in London it is sometimes difficult to decide where to go first. So when I got an invite to ‘The Waterloo Food Month’ I was excited about the food. This is a month long festival that happens once a year and is now in its 7th year. The local restaurants, cafes and businesses all take part to make it special.

The food month is organised by ‘We are Waterloo’ and there is lots on offer, from Sunday jazz to mojito masterclass, chicken wing competition and much more.

I chose to do Flavours of Lower Marsh Market walk’ with Market Manager Carole Powell for a summery stroll down Lower Marsh Market. I was looking forward to trying a range of street food from around the world and learn more about the history of one of London’s oldest and best-loved streets.

I started at this stunning mural which felt like it was welcoming me to the food party.

The long street was packed with food stalls and the busy lunch time meant I could hear the food sizzling on the pans and lovely aromas coming from different stalls. Here is a row of wraps being prepared with delicious kebabs, salad and lots of different dressings.

I thoroughly enjoyed this fried chicken pad thai served in an omelette, perfect flavours with unique presentation.

This plate of food is Trinidadian inspired street food with sweet sour mango, beans, tamarind chutney, paratha and lots of deliciousness served together.

Here is some Caribbean food being prepared with some gorgeous chicken served with rice and beans, a complete treat. 

These crispy samosas were difficult to resist and were great with some lentils and rice which was also being served here.

Just at the same time I heard lots of music and cheering and I turned my head to view this carnival headed by this dancing pineapple and it was a joy to watch.

Not only is this market full of great food but also has some great handcraft stalls selling beautiful jewellery, soap, perfumes, plants and much more.

And then I came to this most creative street called the Leake Street tunnel or the Graffiti tunnel and sometimes called the Banksy tunnel! This space is covered in the most creative graffiti from the ceiling to the floor, with amazing colours and designs and mind blowing talent.

This particular face drawn on the ceiling caught my eye and with the lights made quite an impact.

And of course who could miss this one which is on point.

Here was one which was in progress and I caught the artist standing back and trying to decide her next move.

This festival is on all of July and I would highly recommend you visit the food market or attend one of the events as I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope you will too!

A New Challenge!!!

There are things that everyone wants to do once in their lifetime and everyones list is different. One thing that has been on my list for a long long time is to run a marathon. Once I decided that maybe it is time to go for it I thought why not go for one of the best marathons in the world, the London Marathon. It was not a decision I took lightly as I thought for weeks and months and could not make up my mind whether I will be able to it after all.

So a group of bakers from all different years of ‘The Great British Bake off’ decided to enter together as the #bakersdozen and once that was done it was much easier to enter into it. The whole training process has been a learning curve and I have put in a lot of hard work since I started training in January.

One of the best bits of doing this with a group of friends has been their constant support. We formed a group and have been in constant touch for the last few months. We all share the problems we are facing with the training and have been able to help each other out with solutions. I don’t think I would be ready for this without the support and love of the #bakersdozen

Here is the video of when we all met in London a few weeks ago to talk all things running and baking was not too far either.

I am excited and extremely nervous all at the same time. With the marathon only a few days away it is all a bit stressful to think that in a few days time I will be running my first ever marathon.

Also I have decied to run the London Marathon for the fantastic Great Ormond Street Hospital. As a parent I have always been incredibly impressed and amazed by the fantastic work that GOSH does for children and their parents. I am trying to raise as much as possible for this brilliant charity. So please be generous and make a donation by clicking here.

I am hoping to complete this marathon with the many people who will be out there to cheer and support us. See you on the other side, wish me luck!

Featured Video Play Icon

‘Eating Out’ Pasta at PADELLA- New series on Food with Chetna

This is my new YouTube series- ‘Eating out’ where I will be visiting a new restaurant every month and meeting the chef who will show me a recipe. I will also be tasting some of the most popular dishes of the restaurant.

This month I am visiting ‘Padella‘ a popular Pasta bar in the heart of London.

In this video I tried –

Tagliarini with Dorset crab, chilli & lemon
Pici cacio & pepe
Duck mezzaluna with sage butter
Tagliarini with slow-cooked tomato sauce

Padella is the culmination of Tim and Jordan’s long held dream to open a pasta bar serving fresh, hand rolled pasta with delicious sauces and fillings inspired by their trips to Italy.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Food with Chetna to watch more exciting recipes and videos!

My little food trip to Old Delhi!

Being born and brought up in India I have always loved the street food India has to offer. So when I was in India in November I took out time to go and explore a bit of Old Delhi, which I have visited in the past while researching for my book ‘Chai, Chaat & Chutney’. But there is so much more to see and taste and for this trip I went along with my sister Niti and Chef Manisha from ITC Maurya.


We headed into the narrow lanes around Jama Masjid and found this little restaurant serving delicious meat curries served with freshly made naan and tandoori roti and the best sheekh kebabs you could have with some spicy chutneys.


And just outside was a paan stall where I got to enjoy my favourite plain paan which is betel leaves filled with different powders, spice mixes and supari.


Next we walked through the streets taking in all the sounds and noises, the madness of the everyday market in its busiest time of the day. You can find all sorts of things being sold, with shoes to clothes to utensils and between these shops are little food stalls. This market particularly had more meat stalls, busy barbecuing marinated meats serving them with tandoori breads and lots of different chutneys.



Our next stop was the famous jalebi stall in Chandni chowk. After a bit of walk on the busy streets we finally found the stall which was heaving with people queuing or pushing each other to buy some of the famous jalebi, which were piped fresh in the hot oil and once cooked soaked into this sticky sugar syrup, all fresh and ready in minutes. These guys were working fast but the crowds didn’t seem to be getting smaller as more and more people kept coming to buy this. In the end all I can say is that those jalebis were worth all the effort.


The market is full of shops selling clothes and jewellery and between these shops I could see food stalls selling pani puri, kulfi, samosa, pakoras, rabdi and lot more. There were shops that were packed from top to bottom with different kinds of snacks like the bombay mix we all know very well here in the U.K.


Our next stop was a famous tikki chaat stall which was making these stuffed potato cakes and cooking them fresh and serving these hot crispy cakes with coriander chutney and tamarind chutney with some sweetened yogurt. The flavours packed in that dish alone was mind blowing.


On our way out of the market we found the Kanji vada stall which is lentil vadas served in tangy mustard water. I had never tasted that before and I immediately fell in love with the very refreshing flavour of the water and the vadas in it. Something I would love to try and make at home sometime soon.

This was a great way to end our little tour of the busy streets of old Delhi trying some delicious street food. Other than these shots I took on the day I have also made a very short video to give you a glimpse of the chaos and the amazing food on my Youtube channel ‘Food with Chetna’ link to the video here –