Saturday, 31 March 2012

Yottam Ottolenghi's Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters with Lime Yoghurt

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My friend Yuri gave me a copy of Ottolenghi The Cookbook a while ago, as he already owned a copy and was given a second one for Christmas. Lucky me. (Yuri, I haven't forgotten that I owe you a Roast Pork Belly dinner.)

I was really excited about the book when I found that it contained the recipe for Cucumber and Poppy Seed Salad, which I had had at a cafe in the Lake District last summer and had been trying to find online without really knowing what to look for. I just searched for cucumber salad and surprise, surprise couldn't find the right recipe. Anyways, I digress. I'll be blogging about the salad some time soon. In the meantime let me share the recipe for Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters with Lime Yogurt which I made the other night.


They were really good and quite quick to do. I adapted the original Ottolenghi recipe as I don't like parsley and don't like frying in loads of oil. Next time I'll also definitely add some chillies, as the fritters are sweet from the cauliflower and tart from the lime and the yoghurt, but they really need some heat in my opinion. So here's my adapted recipe, in which I have already included chillies, as I'm sure they'll make them perfect.


Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters with Lime Yogurt (serves 4)

For the fritters:
1 small cauliflower (about 320g), trimmed and cut into small florets
120 g plain flour
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro), plus a few extra leaves to garnish
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 shallots, finely chopped
1-2 medium chillies, seeds removed and chopped finely
4 free-range eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
oil for frying

For the Yogurt Sauce:
300g Greek yogurt
2tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
grated zest of one lime
2tbsp of lime juice
2tbsp of olive oil
salt and pepper

For the yoghurt sauce combine the yoghurt, coriander, lime juice and zest and olive oil in a bowl and stir until well mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the fritters put the cauliflower in a pan of boiling salted water and cook for about 15 minutes. You want it to go really soft so that it will fall apart when you add it to the batter later.

In a bowl whisk together the flour, coriander, garlic, shallots, chillies, eggs, cumin, cinnamon and tumeric until you have a well combined and smooth thick batter.

Once the cauliflower is cooked, drain it and add it to the batter. Stir with a fork until the florets have broken up into small pieces and everything is well combined.

Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan. Once hot spoon in the batter with a large serving spoon (about three tbsp per fritter).

My pan will hold about four fritters at a time.

Keep checking the temperature of the oil. You don't want it to get too hot, so that the fritters will burn.

Fry for around 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden.

Remove from the pan, allow to drain on some kitchen paper and serve with the yoghurt sauce and some salad or stuff them into a pita pocket.


a year in (food) pictures

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I seem to have loads and loads of pictures of food stored on my Mac. Going through them is a bit like reading a diary. They remind me of good times shared with friends, family and loved ones. Here are twelve pictures from the last year in no particular order....

Festival Frolics

Great Langdale Bacon Buttie

Brooklyn Diner Pot Pie

Atlantic Supper (half portion)

70s Birthday Buffet

Sisterly Luncheon

Pancake Lovin'


Parisian €5 Fancy (worth every cent)

Shared Grand Central Red Velvet (cake and accessories matched)

Christmas Cheer (too pretty to eat)

Sexy Banoffee Pie

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Sunday, Spring, Sunshine, Smiles & Scones

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I'm done with winter. Hello Spring!





This is how I make scones. Enjoy the sunshine!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Spiced Spinach and Potatoes (Saag Aloo)

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I know, I know, you could think I'm being sponsored by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, because this is another recipe from River Cottage Veg Every Day, but I am not. The only reason why I keep cooking from it and then blogging about it is that the recipes are really, really good and in my opinion the book is well worth buying. So, I don't need any endorsements to write about it.

My sister is visiting from Germany and I got her to choose dinner. She loves baby or salad potatoes more or less in any way, shape or form, so I wasn't surprised when she stopped at the recipe for Saag Aloo.


I love Saag Aloo, or Spiced Spinach and Potatoes, and have already posted a recipe once before here. I did like that the spinach wasn't pureed in this one though, just roughly chopped, which makes for an easier clean up as well. I used the coconut cream which is listed as optional and would definitely recommend it. The only thing I changed was to add about 2 tsp of mild curry powder. I served it with a poached egg for a delicious and easy dinner.

It's funny that. When I grew up in Germany one of my favourite meals my mother used to make was creamed spinach, potatoes and fried egg. Since coming over to Britain fourteen years ago, whenever I mention that combination, most people (or should I say some of the men I met) turn up their noses at it and declare that it must be a weird German thing. When I saw that Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall suggested serving it as a side dish or as a main meal with a poached egg it made me smile. Looks like there are men out there that get me after all.

What is your favourite meal from childhood that people don't seem to get?

I don't want to rewrite every single recipe from the book on my blog of course. I think that would probably get me into big trouble, because surely they still want to keep selling the book, but The River Cottage Veg Every Day recipe for Spiced Spinach and Potatoes can be found online here.

When I realised that we were going for seconds and that there weren't going to be any left-overs to photograph nicely the next day in the daylight, I took a quick picture on my mobile phone. So, if you serve it as a side dish it should serve around four, if you have it as a main like I did, I'd say it serves two (admittedly quite hungry) people.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The winner of Marshmallow Madness....

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.... is Sandie! Congratulations!

Thanks everyone for entering. The winner was selected randomly from all entries.

Sandie, could you e-mail your address to sylvie 77 at hotmail dot com (no spaces, the at is @ and the dot is . ), so that I can pass it on to the publisher who will post you your copy of the book.

sunday morning sunshine

It's spring time!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Roast Broccoli

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Roast Broccoli might not sound quite as exciting as let's say Torta di Spinaci or Lemon Drizzle Cake and I don't even know if you could really call it a recipe, probably more of a method, but it's amazingly good and certainly got me excited. Even my pictures aren't very exciting as I wasn't so sure it'd be worth writing about. It definitely is. I think this might be the way to have broccoli.


My relationship with broccoli is somewhat ambivalent. I like it a lot in theory, it's good for you, it looks great, it's versatile, but I often find it a bit bland. I've probably only got myself to blame for that. I think I tend to overcook it a bit when I steam it, so that the tops of the florets become a bit to soft and loose some of the flavour. But no more! I'll just roast it from now on. It tastes fabulous and the texture is amazing. Soft, yet crunchy, sweet and addictively salty at the same time.


What do you think is the best way to cook and serve broccoli? Do you like it steamed, stir-fried, as a soup? Please share as I think I might need to do some more experimenting!

And a final reminder to have a look at this post for a chance to win the cookbook give away! The deadline is tomorrow.

Roast Broccoli (serves 2 as a side)

1 large broccoli, cut into medium sized florets
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat your oven to 220C/425C/Gas 7.

Toss the florets in the olive oil or brush it on with a pastry brush.

Liberally sprinkle with sea salt.

Spread out in a single layer on a large baking tray lined with baking paper.

Roast for 15-18 minutes, turning once half way through, until the edges are brown and crunchy.

Careful when opening the oven door! There was a lot of very hot steam.


Monday, 12 March 2012

Rich Scones

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Mondays have become 'Making Mondays' at mine. I try and set the day aside and do some of my own work, rather than work work or just wasting the day away not achieving very much at all. So far it's working out quite well, but this afternoon I needed a little pick-me-up, make-me-smile kind of treat to keep going. So did Lucy who had come over to work alongside me.

What better than scones? Quickly made and perfect with some strawberry jam and a cup of tea. It only took about fifteen minutes out of my schedule to make them and then of course another fifteen minutes to sit down and enjoy an afternoon tea break.

Another reminder to have a look at this post for a chance to win the cookbook give away! The deadline is Friday.


Rich Scones (makes about 8)

225g/8oz self-raising flour
a pinch of salt
50g/2 oz butter
25g/1oz caster sugar
50 g, sultanas or raisins, optional (I didn't use any as you can see from the photo)
1 medium egg, beaten with enough milk to make 150ml

Pre-heat your oven to 220C/Gas 7 and cover a baking tray with baking parchment.

In a large bowl mix the flour with the salt and rub in the butter.

Stir in the sugar and fruit if you're using any.

Add the liquid, reserving a little to brush the tops.

Knead lightly. It is important that you don't overwork the dough. Just work it lightly until it has come together.

Roll out to about 1cm (1/2inch) thickness and cut out rounds using a round cookie cutter or a glass or small tea cup.

Re-roll the trimmings and cut out rounds until used up.

Brush the tops with the left-over egg/milk mix and bake for about 10 minutes, until the tops are golden.



Sunday, 11 March 2012

Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry

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When the days are as busy as they are at the moment, I really regret not taking my slow cooker with me the last time I moved. I thought that my current kitchen was too small to find room for it, but on days where I get home late from work and still have a million and one things to sort out in the evening I so wish I'd open the front door to be greeted by the aroma of a quick and easy slow cooker recipe that sort of cooked itself while I was working away during the day.

I guess I could invest in a new one, but until then I'm always up for finding new quick dinners that I can make quickly and without much fuss when I get in. A lot of my inspiration for cooking at the moment comes from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Veg Everyday cookbook (I already wrote about it a couple of weeks ago). There are tons of recipes in there that I want to try and best of all there are plenty that don't involve extra shopping trips for exotic ingredients and I find that I often have everything in to try them out straight away, which is an added bonus since my meal planning is a bit up in the air at the moment, but I will get back to it once this crazy month is over.

This was also the case with Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry, I had a head of cauliflower waiting to be used in the fridge and most of the other ingredients are store cupboard staples in my kitchen. I added a little hot curry powder, used chopped instead of plum tomatoes and added a few peas for a splash of colour and just because I like them. So here is my adapted version of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry.


Oh and of course don't forget to leave a comment on this post for a chance to win the cookbook give away!

Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry (serves 4-6)

1 medium-large cauliflower, trimmed and cut into medium sized florets
2tbsp vegetable oil
3 onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2tsp ground coriander
2tsp ground cumin
a pinch of dried chilli flakes
2 tsp hot curry powder
2 star anise
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained
3/4 cup frozen peas
2 tsp garam masala
a handfull of fresh coriander, chopped
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place the cauliflower in a large pan of cold water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Once it has come to a rolling boil, take of the heat and drain. Replace the lid and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or a sauce pan that won't stick over medium heat.

Add the onions, garlic and grated ginger and fry for around 10 minutes, stir regularly until soft but not brown.

Add all the spices, apart from the garam masala and cook over a low heat for another 5 minutes or so, until fragrant.

Add the chopped tomatoes and drained chickpeas and stir to combine.

Add the cauliflower and enough water to just about cover everything (1/2-3/4 cup). Bring to a simmer.

Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add the frozen peas, bring back to a simmer and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the cauliflower is tender and the peas heated through.

Stir in the garam masala and half of the chopped fresh coriander. Check the seasoning and add salt and freshly ground black pepper to your liking.

Sprinkle the rest of the fresh coriander over the top and serve with rice, naan or chapatis.


Monday, 5 March 2012

Makhani Dhal

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I love Dhal, but maybe I should first explain to you about the lack of recipe posts on A Pot of Tea and a Biscuit lately.

Okay, so my meal planning as gone to pot somewhat over the last two or three weeks, hence the absence of recipes. I got so bad that I think I ate cabbage and potatoes four times last week. Maybe I should add though that it's one of my favourite things to eat in the winter and I did vary between having it with gravy or poached eggs. Does that make it any better? Another night saw me tucking into a plate of baked beans on toast topped with a fried egg and I think there was even a frozen pizza night (I have tried to erase that from my memory though). So there hasn't been much to blog about.


I did make some Makhani Dhal one night a couple of weeks ago and managed to take some pictures, too and today is the first day in what seems like forever that I have time to sit down and catch my breath and share a recipe again. When I first saw the recipe for the dhal here, I thought it sounded interesting as it's made with beans as well as lentils, so I bookmarked it. I wasn't disappointed and here's my adapted version of Makhani Dhal. Oh and don't miss the cookbook give away!

Makhani Dhal (serves 6-8)

225gr black lentils (I used brown)
2 onions, finely chopped
2 green chiles, deseeded and sliced
vegetable oil
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp hot chili powder (optional)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
3tsp curry powder
2 bay leaves
1 vegetable stock cube
2 x 400g cans red kidney beans (I used black beans)
2 x 50g sachet of creamed coconut
handful of chopped fresh coriander

Cook the lentils in salted water according to package instructions until nearly tender (you'll cook them a little longer with the rest of the ingredients later). The time will vary slightly depending on the type of lentil you use. Brown ones take about 15 minutes.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and sautee the onion over medium heat until beginning to soften but not brown. This should take 5-10 minutes. Stir regularly.

Stir in the chili, ginger, garlic, and spices and cook over a low heat for another minute or two until fragrant.

Add the almost tender lentils, beans, bay leaves, stock cube and a bit of water. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes to thicken. Stir regularly to stop it from sticking. You might want to also add a little bit more water at a time if the dhal becomes to thick.

Stir in the creamed coconut until dissolved.

Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Top with chopped coriander and serve with chapatis, naan or over rice.


Marshmallow Madness Give Away

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I have a copy of the brand new Marshmallow Madness by Shauna Sever to give away to one lucky UK reader.


The book is so new it isn't even out yet, but if you like marshmallow you should definitely look out for it. It's bright and fun and the cover is even squidgy like a marshmallow.

I have never made my own marshmallow, but having had a look at this book, I'll definitely be giving it a go. So look out! Marshmallow Madness has step-by-step instructions, tools, techniques, conversion charts from Metric to Imperial and is full of great photographs.

The recipes are really varied from Classic Vanilla Marshmallows to more exotic recipes, such as Sea Salt Caramel Swirl Marshmallows or Maple Bacon Marshmallows, so there should be something for everyone.

All you need to do for a chance to win, is to become a follower of the blog through Google, like A Pot of Tea and a Biscuit on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter by Friday 16th of March. The links for Google Followers, Facebook and Twitter can be found in the menu on the right, just underneath my profile. Leave a comment once you have done so, so that I don't miss you out! The winner will be drawn at random from all entries. Unfortunately, this give away is open to UK residents only.

Good luck!