Tag Archives: coriander seeds

Indian-Inspired Kerala Stir-Fried Beef and Rice

Beef Stir-Fry (9069)The other day I posted one of my favourite entries in C&T on my Facebook page. It was an assignment for a Blogging University course (which has now ended) that included a quote. I remember not knowing what quote to choose, but being a creature of habit, and thus feeling like a hobbit most of the time, I decided to go for one from Tolkien’s masterpieces. I got loads of positive feedback for that piece and the recipe I included in it is one that I make again and again. I’m sure you’ll agree that a walnut and banana loaf cake is one of the most comforting bakes around. That and a scrumptious cup of thick hot chocolate.

So you won’t find many recipes on this blog that venture too much out of my comfort zone. C&T started out, and still is I think, a place to share what I cook at home, primarily in a small kitchen, as the ones I had back in the UK. Now I have a somewhat larger room to play in. I am lucky and I like the space, though it wasn’t easy to adjust to it.

Continue reading Indian-Inspired Kerala Stir-Fried Beef and Rice

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Spicy Cauliflower Curry

Cauliflower-Curry-(6421)

As I was going through many recipes this morning, trying to decide which one to put up on here, I began to feel nostalgic. This photo was taken by the lovely J quite some time ago, when yours truly wasn’t really interested in taking pictures to begin with. Ahh the memories! Don’t get me wrong. Even though taking my own photos is fun and it makes it easier to ‘own’ this blog, I do miss the days when we started out with bad lighting and sharing one camera and one lens. I cooked and J took all the pics, and it felt like teamwork. Now I cook and take the majority of the images. However stirring and mixing and pouring while handling the camera can be somewhat dangerous…when you’re me. I tend to spill things and/or burn myself in the process, so when this happens J steps in…when I ask for help. There are a few times when I’m in the zone (and they are the best days) where I feel I can handle anything. The camera might be smeared with an absurd amount of flour or chocolate, but that’s when I get a few decent pics. And I’m happy. I’m no expert, as you might have noticed…surely noticed…but I love learning and experimenting, and J is a brilliant teacher.

I made this curry or stir-fry, call it what you will, when I wanted something really quick for lunch. Cooking for Friends is not one of my favourite books. I rarely use it because I find that some recipes just don’t work, but this one does with a few changes. If you and your pals like spice then this one’s for you and it’s a good excuse to use some of that fenugreek that’s been sitting in your cupboard doing nothing. If it’s still fragrant then go ahead and use some of it here. It will transform your dish into something special together with the coriander. I love both.

  • 600g of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 1 green pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 courgette, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
  • 1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 100ml vegetable stock (or chicken stock, if you prefer)

Lightly toast the fenugreek, coriander and cumin seeds in a pan over medium-low heat. A couple of minutes will do. Use a mortar and pestle to crush the seeds, together with the salt and pepper, and grind everything into a fine powder.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil and add the chopped onion. Add a tiny amount of salt to draw some moisture out of the onion to soften. When the onion is soft, add the garlic, chilli and the ground spices and stir.

Add the cauliflower florets and the vegetable stock. Cook until the cauliflower is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed or evaporated.

Serve with rice or pasta, or as a side dish with fish or meat. Serves 4.

Enjoy!

Rob x

(Recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Cooking for Friends, HarperCollins, 2008)

Mortar and Pestle

Coriander Seeds and Salt (7365)

I hope you will forgive me for not posting any new recipes this week. I planned to today but unfortunately I don’t really feel well. Woke up this morning with the sniffles again and a sore, scratchy throat. I am currently on a lemon ginger tea marathon which I’m sure will continue throughout the weekend. I hope to satisfy some of my readers interested in photography though by giving you this image.

I am constantly learning and boy have I got a long way to go! I am constantly in search of old school kitchen objects; I think they look so good in photos. In an ideal world I would have good looking tools in my kitchen – and with that I don’t mean having new things. Nope – I just mean used, distressed dishes and stuff – things which are now being categorised as “vintage”. Don’t we just love that word, perhaps a little bit too much I would add, but you know what I mean! Recently I helped my lovely mummy (yes, I still call her ‘mummy’) spring clean her kitchen back in Malta and as it happens she found some baking tins lurking at the back of a random cupboard she wasn’t using anymore. She washed and dried them, put everything in a bag and handed them to me. I was thrilled.

Now my mortar and pestle, and the sometimes yucky-looking chopping board (because let’s face it, it would impossible to keep a common plastic board, or any wood block for that matter, looking immaculate if you cook), are something I use constantly. I use my mortar and pestle to crush salt, pepper and seeds. I’m not a snob when it comes to ingredients, as long as they are fresh and good, and I use free-range and organic whenever I can, but I must say I try to avoid table salt, since the taste can be somewhat artificial; so I prefer using course salt. I will definitely *not* tell you go buy this brand or that brand, because you don’t need to use any “finezzi”, as we say in Maltese – loosely translated as “finery”. (Please correct me if I’m wrong.) I crush whatever I need whenever I need it: I don’t use huge amounts at one time so it’s practical, at least for me it is. And I still find Maltese salt as one of the best kinds I have ever tried.

So please take this photo as it is, taken as I was doing another million-and-one things – I don’t even remember what I was cooking at the time. I think that it is at least decent, and that’s why I put it up. You have *no idea* how many photos end up in my virtual bin! Enjoy and I certainly welcome any critique! (*Wink wink* PhotoSoc.)

Rob x