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Prawn Fritters

Prawn Fritters

Prawn Fritters

(Based on Rick Steins recipe - Ajwain seeds and chilli add a smoky kick to the batter mix)

 Serves 4

 Ingredients

12 Extra-Large (0r 16 Large) unpeeled raw prawns

 For the Batter :-

1 Free Range Egg

70g Chickpea Flour

70g Plain Flour

175-200ml water

Ghee & Rapeseed Oil for frying

½ tsp Ajwain seeds

Pinch of Sea Salt

½  tsp Chilli Powder

 Lemon Wedges & Coriander to serve

 Method

Mix the flours and the seasonings together, whisk in the egg and enough water to give a smooth batter that is not too thick in consistency, more like single cream.

  1. Peel of the head and the shell off the prawns, being careful to leave the tail on.
  2. Butterfly the prawns by running a small sharp knife down the back of the prawns & remove the black intestinal tracts if they are visible. Cut almost all the way through the prawns and gently press them open and flatten them out on a plate.
  3. Pat the prawns dry with a kitchen towel.
  4. Heat enough oil and ghee in a wok or heavy based frying pan so that the base is comfortably coated.
  5. Once hot, dip the prawns in the batter and lower them into the pan. Be careful not to crowd the pan. Fry for 2-3 minutes only, turning once half way through. The prawns should be golden and crispy. Repeat
  6. Drain the prawns on kitchen paper.
  7. Repeat until all the prawns have been cooked.
  8. Serve on a plate with a lemon wedge and sprig of coriander.
  9. Or you can also add some Kuchumber (chopped salad of onion, tomato, cucumber & fresh coriander with lemon and seasoning) and/or a salsa made from fresh unripe mangoes with chopped red chilli, lime, cumin and sea salt.

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My favourite Indian Breakfast

My favourite Indian Breakfast

This is such healthy fuel and perfect after a morning workout !

Ingredients 

Curried Beans

(Double up on the ingredients below if you are mega-hungryJ)

Tin of Baked Beans

½ tsp Mustard Seeds

Pinch Asafoetida

1 tsp garam masala

½ tsp Red Chilli Powder

½ tsp Turmeric

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp sea salt

Olive Oil or Rapeseed Oil

Knob of Butter

 

4-6 frozen parathas

 

Masala Omelette

4 - 6 Free range eggs

3 - 4 Spring onions or medium sized onion chopped.

2 plump garlic cloves, 1 inch piece of ginger, 1 green chilli, chopped, minced or pureed

Sea Salt, Black Pepper

½ tsp chilli flakes (or chilli powder) 

Olive Oil or Rapeseed Oil

Knob of Butter 

Handful of coriander, thyme leaves or flat leaf parsley, chopped.

 

Method 

  1. Heat the ghee or oil in a wok on a medium heat, throw in the mustard seeds until they start to pop, then the asafoetida. Add the chilli turmeric, garam masala. As soon as it sizzles tip in the tin of beans, season with sea salt and black pepper to tsste. Heat through, add a little water and place on the lowest heat. 
  1. Heat up the frozen parathas on a chapatti pan or frying pan. Place 4 plates in the oven on a low heat and place the parathas on the top plate to keep warm. 
  1. Whisk up the eggs with a little milk. Season with sea salt, black pepper and chilli flakes. 
  1. Drizzle the oil and add the butter to the frying pan and heat up. Suggest you cook the omelettes in two batches (perhaps using 2 frying pans for speed) as we are aiming for a fairly thin omelette. 
  1. Add the spring onions / onions and stir until they glisten and change colour. Now add the ginger, garlic, chilli puree and give it all a good stir.
  2. The heat should be high when the egg mixture hits the pan. Turn down to a medium heat and place a lid on the frying pan so the top cooks through or alternatively flip the omelette for a golden finish on both sides. 
  1. Cut each omelette in half and place on the plate and fold over. Cut the parathas into half and place 2-3 paratha pieces onto each plate. Spoon on the curried beans. Sprinkle the omelette with the chopped herbs. 
  1. Enjoy!

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Restaurant Leme - a hidden gem in the Algarve

Restaurant Leme - a hidden gem in the Algarve

We stumbled upon restaurant Leme at lunchtime on a Sunday and fell in love with it's rustic charm, autenticity, quirkiness. Situated at the train station in Parchal and you can sit inside or outside at the front or at the back by the train tracks with the occasional train stopping for passengers. The view is of crumbling ruins and is also a lovely sun trap. Frequented mainly by locals, the food is divine. Starting with incredibly fresh local bread and carapaus (mackeral) "alimados". The most delicious perfectly grilled freshest of fresh sardines served with lush boiled garlic herb potato and the most perfect algarvian salad with lush ripe tomatoes, onions, roasted peppers and herbs in a wonderful olive oil and vinegar dressing. The house wine is excellent and served chilled with nice wine glasses to enjoy it in. Great coffee and the final bill is very low which allows you to tip genrously and still leave smiling :) We cannot wait to return and gradually try the entire menu!

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Bombay Potatoes

Bombay Potatoes

Bombay Potatoes

 Serves 4

 Ingredients

 4 medium sized potatoes (skin left on) – Desiree or Maris Piper work very well.

2  plump garlic cloves, 1 inch piece of ginger, 1 mild deseeded green chilli, coriander stems, chopped, minced or pureed

1 tsp Red Chilli Powder

½ tsp Turmeric

½ tsp Mustard Seeds

Pinch Asafoetida

10 fresh curry leaves (optional)

1 small deseeded red chilli (or ½ tsp chilli powder)

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp sea salt

Handful of Coriander chopped

Tbsp ghee or sunflower oil

 Method

  1. Wash and scrub the potatoes, then chop into pieces roughly an inch in size, rinse and dry.
  2. Heat the ghee or oil in a wok on a medium heat, throw in the mustard seeds until they start to pop, then the asafoetida and curry leaves.
  3. Add the potatoes, ginger, garlic, chilli puree and all the spices and the salt and give it all a good stir. Reduce to the lowest heat possible, add a tbsp. of water and cover with a tight fitting lid or tin foil.
  4. Keep an eye and stir the potatoes from time to time to prevent them sticking. Adding a tbsp of water if needed.
  5. Potatoes should be cooked through in about 20-30 minutes. Remove the lid and add the chopped coriander and stir through.
  6. Serve and you can finish/ dress with a further sprinkling of herbs.

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Seared Indian Spiced Salmon with Raita

Seared Indian Spiced Salmon with Raita

Seared Indian Salmon with Raita & Bombay Potatoes

 Serves 4

 Ingredients

 4 salmon fillets with skin on

2 fat cloves garlic + 1 inch piece ginger

1 tsp Chilli powder

½ tsp Turmeric

Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Handful of coriander – finely chopped

2 tbsp of lemon juice

 Method - Seared Salmon  

  1.  Wash and clean the salmon fillets and dry thoroughly using a paper towel. Mince the garlic, ginger, chilli powder, turmeric, black pepper, sea salt, coriander and lemon juice in a bowl. Smear over the salmon fillets and leave to marinate for an hour or so.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat. Arrange marinated fish pieces and shallow fry till golden brown on both the sides. Do not be tempted to turn or move the salmon fillets around in the pan, allow the skin to stay in one piece and to get nice and crispy! Do take special care not to overcook the fish, approx. 3-5 minutes on each side – depending on the thickness of the fillets.
  3. Gently remove the fried salmon pieces with a spatula and drain on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
  4. Serve on a plate with Bombay potatoes (see recipe) and raita and a handful of rocket and wedge of lemon.

Raita

 Serves 4 or more as part of a mezze plate

 Ingredients

 1 500g tub of greek or thick creamy yoghurt

½ cucumber

2-4 crushed garlic cloves

Handful of coriander and/or mint - chopped

Zest from half a lemon

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground coriander

 Method - Raita

 

  1. Wash and dry the cucumber and grate. Squeeze all the liquid out of the grated cucumber.
  2. Whisk up the yoghurt.
  3. Drain the cucumber one more time to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl of yoghurt and mix.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  6. Finish/dress with a further sprinkling of herbs.

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Zahtar Chicken

Zahtar Chicken

Zahtar Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients

Olive Oil

Butter

4 chicken thighs and 4 chicken drumsticks, any excess fat removed

3-4 cloves garlic – crushed

Juice ½ lemon

125 ml chicken stock

1 tsp cumin

Tsp Zahtar

1 tsp Red chilli flakes

1tsp paprika

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp sea salt

Barbary seeds

4 tbsp yoghurt

2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

 

Method

Season the chicken, heat the oil in a large frying pan using a medium heat, cook the skin-side down for 4-6 minutes until browned. Pour over 500ml/17fl oz water, add the bay leaves and bring the water to a gentle simmer.

  1. Pour off an excess fat from the pan, reduce the heat and cook the onion until it softens.
  2. Now add the garlic, chilli flakes, zahtar and cumin and stir. Return the chicken to the pan with the skin side up, and the barbary seeds. Add the stock and the lemon juice. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and no pink meat remains
  3. Uncover, increase the heat to reduce the sauce a little, reduce the heat, add the yoghurt and stir. Simmer until the sauce has a nice consistency
  4. Add the pomegranate seeds and herbs.
  5. Goes well with steamed rice and a freshly dressed green salad.

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Kidney Bean Curry

Kidney Bean Curry

Kidney Bean Curry

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

260g / 1.5 cups of dried kidney beans or you can use 2 tins of kidney beans. (In general, the two types are nutritionally comparable, but canned beans are usually higher in sodium and slightly lower in nutrients).

Tbsp of sunflower oil or ghee

1 tin of tomatoes – liquidized in blender or food processor 

1 large onion (or 2 small ones) – finely chopped in food processor with 2 cloves of peeled garlic and a 1” piece of peeled ginger

Pinch of asafoetida

Pinch of turmeric

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chilli powder

2 tsp dried fenugreek (as a herb)

Salt to taste

Fresh chopped coriander and/ or mint to stir in at the end and to garnish (or some freshly snipped chives make a nice alternative)

Method

  1. If using dried beans - soak them overnight and boil or cook in the pressure cooker until quite soft ad you are able to crush some of them.
  2. Heat the oil or ghee in a saucepan, then fry the onions until soft and golden.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, dried fenugreek and dry spices and stir for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Pour in the liquidised tomatoes and a bit of water and simmer.
  5. Add the kidney beans, stir through, sprinkle on the garam masala and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in ¾ of the chopped herbs. Use some of the remaining herbs to garnish each plate.

 Health benefits

Kidney beans are low in fat and rich in complex carbohydrates, minerals, proteins and vitamins, they have been linked to reduced risk of various of cancers, heart disease and diabetes. That’s not all either, thanks to their fibre and abundance of nutrients, kidney beans also help with your waistline. They also:-

  • Lower Cholestrol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Help to control blood sugar – can aid glycaemic control due to their high fibre content, low glycaemic index, antioxidant effects and polyphenol content.
  • Combat diabetes - when they are replacing carbohydrate-rich foods
  • Help treat and prevent certain cancers
  • Help with weight loss - the alpha amylase inhibitors in kidney beans help prevent starch absorption and breakdown.

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Raspberry Genoise with Armaguinha

Raspberry Genoise with Armaguinha

The Genoise is the sponge most favoured by pastry chefs.The airiness in a Genoise sponge cake comes just from the ultra-whipped eggs. It is an elgant simple sponge that is very versatile, lends itself to layering with fruit and cream and can be used for everything from the base of a champagne mousse to a simple jam sponge. here we add a luxurious little twist with the addition of Portuguese Armaguinha to both the sponge and the frosting.

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