Spice up your weekend
Our tasty recipes this week come from Arun Kapil, the Cork-based Anglo-Indian chef who founded Green Saffron - multi-award- winning purveyors of fine spice blends, rice, sauces and chutneys blends.
Devilled hen eggs, chilli, chickpea & chia, charred sweet potato and green relish
5 good free-range or organic hen eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and halved
2 tbsp chickpeas, tinned and drained; retain the chickpea water
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp coriander seeds, ground
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cumin seeds, whole
2 fat finger chillies, 1 red and 1 green, deseeded, finely diced, mixed together
1 tbsp chia seeds
Juice and zest of ½ lemon
5 sweet potatoes, 1 sliced into about 12 thin wedges, the other 4 cleaned, left whole
Fruity olive oil, about 150ml
Sea salt to taste, plus a little more
Large handful of flat parsley leaves, picked and finely sliced
2 lemons, unwaxed, zest coarsely grated
4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled, minced with a little sea salt
Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4. Meanwhile, scoop out the egg yolks into a food processor, add the chickpeas, mayonnaise, ground coriander and turmeric, then blitz. Decant into a small bowl.
Finely dice the egg white of 1 egg, add to the bowl along with the cumin, half the chilli dice (reserving half for garnish), chia seeds, lemon juice and zest. Fold the ingredients together to a clotted cream texture, adding a little chickpea water if necessary. Pop into a piping bag and generously coat the remaining 8 egg halves, or simply and neatly dollop it over the eggs. Cover and set aside in the fridge.
Pop the 4 whole sweet potatoes and wedges into a roasting tray, splash with a little oil and roast until soft - about 25 minutes. Season to taste. Set aside and keep warm.
Mix the parsley, lemon zest, minced garlic and enough olive oil to produce a pesto type consistency. Set aside.
• On a large charger, place the sweet potato wedges; tear and split the whole potatoes in half and pop them on too. Dot the eggs around, a few dollops and splats of the green relish, then sprinkle over the chilli dice. You could always fry the remaining chickpeas in a little oil with 1 tsp smoked paprika and a squeeze of lemon and dot those around too.
Gammon mixed grill with chicory, glazed mango & clementine crème fraÎche
4 thick-cut gammon steaks, surrounding round of fat snipped
4 chicory heads, trimmed, smallish tight heads of white sliced in half through the root
Knob of salted butter
100g Green Saffron mango chutney
300ml crème fraîche, full-fat
1 whole large egg, free-range or organic, lightly beaten
1 tbsp grapeseed or vegetable oil
2 clementines, segmented
2 tbsp parsley stalks, finely sliced
2 tsp black peppercorns, coarsely ground
Grill the gammon steaks for a couple of minutes either side, on high. Set aside.
Gently dry-fry the chicory halves, cut side down, for 4 or 5 minutes until just charred, adding the knob of butter for the last 30 seconds or so. Set aside.
Mix the mango chutney, crème fraîche, egg and oil; add a few clementine segments and gently stir through. Set aside.
Take a large grill pan, place the steaks on it, pour over the mango glaze, pop under the grill and heat until it just catches and lightly scorches. Remove from the grill to add the chicory wedges, pop back for a minute to warm through, then remove.
• Dot the remaining clementine segments around the steaks, and scatter over the parsley stalks and the pepper. Take the grill pan to the table, along with warmed plates and maybe a bitter-leaf salad. Enjoy!
Moroccan charred cauliflower salad with rocket, pomegranate, pine nuts & torn soft herbs
1 head of fresh white cauliflower, green stalk removed, leaves retained
2 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus more for later
1 tsp cumin seeds, whole
2 tsp black peppercorns, coarsely ground
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp turmeric
Good handful each of rocket leaves, picked coriander and mint
Juice of ½ lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp sea salt
4 tbsp pomegranate seeds
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
Set your grill to high.
Chop the raw cauliflower in half. Grate one half on the small-gauge side of a box grater, to create a couscous-type result. Set aside. Pluck small florets from the other half.
In a bowl, mix the florets with the 2 tbsp oil and the spices; tip these out into a grill pan and place on a medium rack under the grill. Once the edges of the florets begin to bubble, keep an eye on them and remove when slightly charred. Set aside.
Finely slice the green leaves of the cauliflower, pop them onto a charger or large plate, and add the grated cauliflower, rocket and herbs. Set aside.
Mix the lemon and lime juices well with 2 tbsp more of oil and the salt; pour over the cauliflower and gently fold everything together. Dot with the florets, pomegranate seeds and pine nuts.
• Tidy up the presentation plate and take to the table; serve with a bowl of Greek yoghurt, if you'd like.
Calcutta 'scorched & spicy' hake with Hispi cabbage and whipped curd
5g fresh root turmeric, peeled
30g fresh root ginger, peeled
2 green finger chillies
2tbsp poppy seeds
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp mustard oil (or rapeseed is fine)
Juice of 1½ lemons and zest of ½ lemon
3 tbsp water
4 fillets of hake, 20mm thick, 300-350g each, cleaned, skin scored in 3 even cuts
1 hispi cabbage, sliced into 4 wedges through the poles, root trimmed
2 tsp cumin seeds, whole
200g cottage cheese
1 fat finger chilli, deseeded, finely diced
Turn your grill to medium-hot. Blitz the spices in a food processor with the salt, oil, juice of 1 lemon and 3 tbsp water. Coat the fillets in the spicy marinade, line the grill pan with foil, give it a rub of oil and place the fish on, skin side up. Grill on a medium rack for 5-7 minutes until just done. Set aside.
Steam the cabbage wedges, having popped the cumin seeds in the simmering water, until just cooked. Set aside and keep warm.
In a small bowl, using a hand blender or in a small food processor, blitz the cottage cheese with the remaining lemon juice and zest of ½ lemon to a smooth, whipped consistency, about 5 minutes of blitzing. Set aside.
• Place a cabbage wedge and a fillet on a warm plate with a dollop of whipped curd to the side.
Purple aubergine, tomato & fenugreek curry with cucumber raita & roti
5 large vine tomatoes, some halved, some quartered, seasoned with a little salt, sugar and pepper
3 medium purple aubergines
50ml mustard oil (or rapeseed is fine), plus a glug more
2 medium brown onions, finely diced
6 garlic cloves, finely grated
30g ginger, finely grated
1½ tsp fenugreek seeds
½ tsp black peppercorns, freshly ground
1 tsp turmeric, powdered
2 tsp sea salt
1 x 400ml tin of chopped tomatoes
Juice of 1 lemon
Large handful of coriander leaf, some finely sliced, some picked leaves
Roti (Indian flatbreads, available from specialist food shops), to serve
For the raita 1 tsp sea salt
½ cucumber, skin on, deseeded, coarsely grated
200ml Greek yoghurt, full-fat
100ml crème fraîche
1 tsp black mustard seeds, lightly toasted
Juice of 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 190˚C/375˚F/gas mark 5.
Grill the tomatoes, cut side up, until they collapse and are slightly charred. Set aside.
Prick the aubergines all over, pop on a baking sheet and into the oven. Roast until well collapsed, soft and charred all over, about 30-40 minutes, then peel. Roughly chop the flesh to a chunky texture. Discard the skin. Set aside.
Heat the oil, gently fry the onions until soft, and add the garlic, ginger, spices and salt. Stir, add the tinned tomatoes, cook and reduce to an unctuous consistency, until most of the water has evaporated and the mix resembles a pesto.
Add the aubergine pulp, lemon juice and grilled tomatoes; stir and warm through to bring the flavours together, about 4-5 minutes. Stir the sliced coriander through. Set aside and keep warm.
To make the raita, add the salt to the grated cucumber and allow to sit for 10 minutes, then pop the salted pulp into the centre of a clean tea towel and squeeze to remove all excess cucumber water. Mix this pulp with the other raita ingredients. Cover and chill in the fridge.
• Spoon the curry into a large wide-mouthed bowl, splosh on a glug of oil and scatter the picked coriander leaves over the top. Serve with my cucumber raita and a hot grilled roti on the side.