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26 September, 2013

Mai's Channa Daal

I have adapted this recipe from a recipe my friend Mai described to me. The curry powder and the tomato puree add another delicious layer to this excellent dish.


2 cups dry channa daal (or yellow split peas)
Plenty of water
3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
3 shallots or a small onion finely sliced

3 teaspoons of grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons of cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon of whole cumin (jeera)

1/2 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of mild curry powder
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
1 finely chopped fresh green chilli
Salt to taste


Wash the daal and rinse it, cover with at leat 2cm of water and bring to a boil. Boil the daal on high heat for 2 minutes then simmer until it is soft, stirring and adding more water as necessary. The daal will thicken naturally as it cooks, so adjust the water until you have the right consistency. I like mine quite runny. Once ready, remove from the heat and cover.

Heat the oil until it is hot then add the garlic, shallots, cumin, mustard seeds and chilli and stir. Take care not to burn the garlic or it will taste bitter. Once the onion is cooked, stir in the curry powder and stir-fry it for a minute, then add the tomato puree. Stir to mix and then add the whole lot into the pan of daal and mix well. Adjust for taste with salt and serve.

Serving: I like to serve daal with roti bread or plain steamed rice.

06 September, 2013

Lamb Koftes

The following is a dialog I had on social media with an old friend:

F: Making koftas later in case you know a good recipe

P: I do
You know me!
How much minced lamb have you got?

F: 800g

P: For 800g: Mix the lamb mince with a slack handful of very finely chopped spring onions, 2 carlic cloves mashed with 1 tsp salt and an egg.
You can add a teaspoon of dried rosemary and a finely chopped hot chilli pepper - both are optional. Other good herbs are marjoram, savoury and of course dried or fresh mint.
Chill the mix until it is stiff, then shape it round a chopstick to a 4 inch kofte, then grill or fry.
The hollow helps it stay moist and cook fast.
Serve with a rice or bulgar wheat pilaff, minted joghurt and chilli sauce, with a nice salad on the side.
For wine, something full-blooded like a Rhone red.
I prefer beer with it though.

F: Fantastic Thanks mate I have a lot of both ready.  Wish you were coming.   Next time 

P: you can freeze any excess shaped and raw. Cook from frozen.
I have a great recipe for veggy rice: 

F: I'm planning on making the koftas now then cooking them tomorrow or cook them now and eat cold tomorrow?  Thoughts?

P: I wish I was, it sounds like you are set for some yummy fun.
They take no time to cook, once shaped, and lamb gets too waxy when cold.
The egg helps them cook like sausages, so they hold together as long as you don't play with them
A cucumber and mint raitha would work well too. Mix cucumber chunks with greek yoghurt and english mint sauce! trust me it works.
Only pork kofte taste okay cold, but pork kofte are not authentic - even christian arabs don't eat much pork.
Can I paste this as a kind of novel way of presenting a recipe?
I will sanitise your name if you want.

F: Sure sanitise away

04 September, 2013

Beef and Pork Jerky - Chinese Style

I have eaten this kind of jerky in Hong Kong in the 80's, where it was often sold as a snack in cinemas. The taste is superb, like teriyaki only better: