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Friday Night Curry

Hooray – it is Friday and the weekend is nearly here.

It has been a mad few weeks with one thing and another, including filming Roast Dinner recipes for ITV’s Daybreak http://www.itv.com/daybreak/lifestyle/theguide/theperfectroastdinner/ and traveling the country for a ITV’s 10 Mile Menu (out in the spring). I am now winding down and really looking forward to a relaxing weekend with my other half Phil (who is suffering a hangover today after a work Halloween party, ugh!) and our little ones, Olly and Rosa. I am planning a hearty casserole for Sunday but to get the weekend rolling I thought I would do this delicious curry tonight that is not only easy to make but actually contains all your 5 a day in one meal…can’t go wrong really.

VEGETABLE DHANSAK

Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, the recipe really is very easy to prepare.

Makes 2 generous and healthy portions

100g red lentils

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves of crushed garlic

2 green chillies, finely chopped

1 tsp peeled and grated root ginger

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into about 2cm cubes

1 red pepper, seeded and diced

large handful sultanas

¼ tsp turmeric

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground coriander

500ml hot vegetable stock

1 tbsp tomato puree

2 large ripe tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges

100g green beans, halved

1 tsp garam masala

small bunch coriander, chopped

Place the lentils in a bowl of cold water and leave to soak for about 3 minutes. Drain and keep to one side.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion, garlic, chillies and ginger for a few minutes until the onion is starting to soften. Add the carrots, sweet potato and red pepper. Fry for about 5 minutes before stirring in the sultanas, turmeric, cumin and coriander.

Cook for about 1 minute then add the drained lentils, hot stock, tomato puree and tomatoes. Stir well and cover with a lid.

Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Add the green beans and garam masala, then simmer with the lid off, for a further 10 minutes.

Season with a pinch of salt and serve as it is or condiments of your choice.

PS…

If you prefer a mild flavour the seeds can be removed from the chillies before chopping. Kept in and you will have a medium heat curry.

BIRMINGHAM’S NEXT TOP MODEL IS A TART

BIRMINGHAM’S NEXT TOP MODEL IS A TART

They say the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach and Rita Patel of Birmingham created a stylish and tasty strawberry and blueberry tart that would make anyone’s heart melt!

Rita was judged to be the overall winner of Appletiser’s ‘beautiful food’ competition where keen home-chefs from around the country entered photos of their skillfully styled dishes.  The huge variety of photos were posted on the Appletiser Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/appletiser) for public voting, before being paraded in front of the Appletiser judging panel, which included myself. We all agreed that Rita’s tart should be awarded Top Food Model status.

Lucky Rita wins £500 and ‘food fame’ as I will give her delicious tart a food style make-over at a top London photo shoot.  The photographs will be used for a future Appletiser promotion – so all very exciting for Rita.

I really enjoyed working on the appletiser competition as it was a fun way of showcasing and celebrating how we Brits love our food.  After all, we more often than not tend to ‘eat with our eyes’.  It was exciting to see what’s being served behind closed kitchen doors, and it seems that we have a growing number of budding home-chefs. Thanks Appletiser and Phipps Pr for the opportunity, and of course, well done Rita.

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The Gorgeous Kitchen

Next time you are flying from or travelling through London Heathrow’s Terminal 2, then please do come and visit this stunning restaurant and room with a view. Order some of my recipes from our innovative menu’s using fresh, seasonal produce or relax with a drink at our stylish bar.