South Indian Potato and Coconut Curry

I made this using some lovely potatoes from my garden. I have a lot of Charlotte potatoes that are ideal for this sort of curry, they taste very good, and they hold together during the cooking. 

This is a Madhur Jaffrey recipe from Curry Easy, super delicious, one of my most used and reliable recipe books. I made a tweak, I have a thing about not putting olive oil in curries, I don’t think it heats well enough for cooking the spices. I served it with braised kale and dal. It goes well with rice.


  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp yellow split peas
  • 2 birds eye chillies
  • 15-20 fresh basil leaves, torn (should be fresh curry leaves, but these are not available locally)
  • 1/2 medium red onoin, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, or a tablespoonful of tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 450g potatoes (I used Charlotte potatoes)
  • 1 level tsp salt
  • 120ml coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp chopped coriander


  • Pour the oil into a medium saucepan over a medium to high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, yellow split peas and the chillies. As soon as the seeds begin to pop, add the basil leaves and the onion, lower the heat a bit and fry for around three minutes. Don’t let the onion start to brown.
  • Add the tomato, ground coriander, cayenne pepper and garam masala, stir them in until the tomato is hot, and then add the potatoes and 250ml water and the salt. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. 
  • Add the coconut milk and fresh coriander, stir and heat through. 

Tofu (or chicken) and egg noodles with black bean sauce

This is a very versatile recipe; it is possible to substitute ingredients quite successfully and still get a delicious result. It is based on a Wagamama recipe, but it has been through a number of versions in our own home. This makes two servings.


  • 100g egg noodles
  • 1 tsp cornflour or kudzu powder
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 150g firm tofu (you can substitute chicken breast)
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into 2cm squares (you can also use mange tout peas)
  • 1 small hot red chilli pepper
  • 1 sprin onion
  • 1/2 jar black bean sauce
  • 600ml light stock, such as marigold stock
  • 1 tbsp sake or dry sherry


  • Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the pack. Drain and rinse in cold water
  • In a small jug, blend the cornflour with soy sauce, sake, and stock. 
  • Slice the tofu and pat dry
  • Heat a wok and when it is very hot, add the oil, then the tofu and chopped pepper, and stir-fry for a minute or two. 
  • Add the black bean sauce and the chopped chilli and cook for another couple of minutes, until the tofu or chicken look cooked. 
  • Stir in the stock mixture, and simmer for a couple of minutes
  • To serve, spoon the noodles into large plates or bowls, and then top with the sauce. 
  • Garnish with finely chopped and sliced spring onion. 

Chocolate Mousse Pie

As made by one of my children.


For the pastry

  • 60g hazel nuts, toasted and finely ground (use a spice grinder)
  • 165g plain flour
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 1 small egg, lightly beaten
  • A little cold water

For the mousse filling

  • 125g plain cooking chocolate
  • 60g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp self-raising flour
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp brandy, rum or other liqueur
  • plain chocolate curls or other decoration
  • cocoa powder

  • Start by making the pastry case. Put the hazelnut flour and plain flour in a large bowl and rub in the butter.
  • Once the mixture is like breadcrumbs, add in the sugar, then mix in the small egg, and just enough cold water to make a stiff dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 200 C
  • Roll the dough on a floured table and use it to line a large flan tin, around 3.5cm deep and 23cm in diameter. Line the bottom with greaseproof paper and weigh this down with dry baking beans.
  • Bake the pastry case for ten minutes, remove from the oven, and remove the beans and lining paper. Return the pastry case to the oven for a further 8 minutes.
  • Time to make the filling. Melt the chocolate and butter together and set to cool.
  • Whisk the eggs and sugar in a large heatproof bowl over hot water for around ten minutes.
  • Sift in the flour, and fold it in, then add the chocolate mixture, cream and alcohol. Use a delicate hand and just mix enough to combine the ingredients well. You need to keep the air trapped in the egg and sugar mix.
  • Pour the mixture into the pastry shell and bake at 190 C for 15 minutes.
  • Once the pie is cool, decorate with chocolate curls and a dusting of cocoa.

I like something a little fruity with chocolate, you can experiment. We used a bramble liqueur, but sloe gin, raspberry liqueur, cointreau, all would be delicious. It keeps in the fridge, but is best on the day of baking.

Roast Lamb with Oranges and Paprika

We have just finished eating this, and it was tender and delicious. I think this is a version of a Spanish recipe, I have a note that one of my daughters copied it from Gordon Ramsey’s Healthy Appetite .


  • 1 leg of lamb, around 2kg – part-boned if possible
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 oranges, sliced
  • A sprig of thyme


  • Heat the oven to 220 C
  • Trim the joint of any superfluous fat. Mix the ginger, thyme and paprika with 1 tsp salt and a few good grinds from the pepper grinder, and rub this mixture all over the lamb, including the boned cavity, if it was boned.
  • Fill the boned cavity with the garlic and half the orange slices. If the lamb is not boned, create a pocket in the meat, and fill that instead.
  • Put the lamb on a rack in a pan, baste with olive oil, and put a bit of water in the bottom of the pan. Roast the lamb for 20 minutes in the hot oven, then replenish the water.
  • Turn the heat down to 190 C and roast for a further 25 minutes per 500g. If the top of the lamb is getting a little dark during the cooking, cover with foil. Keep the water topped up as well, if it is in danger of becoming dry.
  • For the last half hour, cover the lamb with the remaining slices of orange.At the end of the cooking time, transfer the lamb to a suitable platter for carving, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Carve thin slices and serve with potatoes and vegetables.

Brown rice with spinach and tomatoes

This is another old recipe from 2009. You can use any green leaf if you don’t have spinach, it works well with New Zealand Spinach, or chard as well. New Zealand Spinach grows well here, but I’m not sure whether people know much about cooking it.


  • 450g brown rice, soaked in cold water and drained
  • 50g butter or vegetable oil
  • 300g spinach or similar
  • 1 can of chopped organic tomatoes
  • 1 finely sliced onion
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 900ml stock or water


  • Steam the spinach for three minutes, and chop.
  • In a pan, fry the sliced onion in the oil until it begins to brown.
  • Add the drained rice to the pan with the spices and fry for two minutes
  • Add water, salt, spinach, tomatoes and bring to the boil
  • Cook over a low heat for 35 minutes, covered. Check ever five minutes or so to make sure it hasn’t boiled dry.
  • Turn off the head and uncover, and leave to stand for ten minutes before serving.

You can add a can of pinto beans, or fry the onion with garlic, to add a twist.

Gluten free pastry

I tried out this recipe first in 2009, after trialling a few. There are two key  differences from standard pastry making when dealing with GF varients.  Firstly  you MUST knead the pastry for a good 2 minutes.  This helps to prevent the pastry from breaking up when cutting out and placing in your chosen tin.  Second, GF pastry does not need to be blindbaked so this cuts down on cooking time considerably. It also has less shrinkage as it is not so stretchy.  Once you have made your pastry – let it rest for 5 minutes and then away you go.


  • 250g gluten free flour (Doves Farm)
  • 125g soft butter
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • cold water


  • Rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the salt and the egg and mix well, adding just enough cold water to make a soft dough.
  • Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for at least two minutes, until the dough is smooth and pliable. Let it rest for five minutes
  • Roll out on a floured surface and use as for conventional pastry, but without blind baking.
  • Bake at 180 C

Munchy Seeds

Here’s a recipe from a previous wholefoods co-op member. These are healthy, easy to make, and are ideal to have in kids lunchpacks too.  Sprinkle a handful onto your dough before baking for a tasty topping to homemade bread as well.  Quantities are entirely according to your own needs. This can be popped in the oven after you have finished cooking something else.


  • Equal quantities of sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds
  • Small handful of poppy seeds and linseed (go canny with the linseed, it is a bit of a laxative)
  • 2-3 tbsp soy sauce


  • Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl, so that all the seeds are coated in soy sauce. If you have a large batch of seeds, you may need more sauce. 
  • Spread the seeds on a large baking sheet and place in a cool oven, 160C, until the seeds are dry. This should take around 20 minutes
  • Turn off the oven and leave until the seeds are cool 

The seeds keep well in an airtight container. 

Organic Lamb Casserole with Ras el Hanout, Mint and Chickpeas

Here is another recipe for organic shoulder of lamb. These local lambs have a lot of shoulders! We have just finished eating this, and it was tender and delicious. We adapted it from Two Fat Ladies: Full Throttle and I used herbs and spices from seasoned pioneers.


  • 1 shoulder of lamb, about 2kg
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 1 pint of water or stock
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 2 tsp Ras el Hanout
  • Salt and pepper
  • 450g local potatoes peeled and chopped into large dice (e.g. Charlotte potatoes)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon.


  • Heat the oven to 140C
  • Trim the joint of any superfluous fat
  • Heat the oil in a large casserole and brown the lamb. Set the lamb aside. 
  • Add the onions and cook until they are soft but not brown.
  • Add the chickpeas and water, bring to the boil and then stir in the herbs, spices, salt and pepper, and the lamb. 
  • Put the casserole in the oven for 3 hours
  • Add the potatoes and lemon juice, cover again and cook for a further 45 minutes until the potatoes are cooked. 

Any left-over chickpeas and gravy are excellent as a separate dish. I served this with couscous and a salad. 

Banana and Cinnamon Steamed Pudding

This recipe is courtesy of the splendid ‘Pudding Club’ recipe book. We tried it on account of the two elderly bananas in the fruit bowl, and very good it was too. We customised it with a couple of pods of cardomom, ground and added this in with the cinnamon.


  • 120g butter
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 120g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cardamom pods, optional, grind the seeds
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 tsp lemon juice


  • Cream the butter and sugar together, then gradually beat in the egg and milk. 
  • Sift the flour, spices and baking powder together
  • Mash the banans until they are smooth, and add the lemon juice. 
  • Stir the bananas into the egg mixture, then fold in the flour
  • Spoon the mixture into a greased 1 1/2 pint (900ml) pudding basin. Cover securely, and steam for an hour
  • Turn out and serve with custard or cream, or even vanilla icecream.

Bread with Tofu

This is a very tasty and reliable recipe which I have adapted for the bread maker. The original recipe is in Baking Bread by Audrey Ellison.


  • 1 large organic egg, beaten
  • 150ml water
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp organic sunflower oil
  • 150g Tofu
  • 3 tbsp mixed seeds, for example sesame and sunflower
  • 400g organic wholewheat flour (you may need slightly less depending on how moist the tofu is)
  • 1 1/2 tsp organic dried yeast


  • put the yeast in first, followed by the dry ingredients then the wet ingredients. Select the wholemeal bread dough program. 
  • Once the dough is made, shape by hand and set to rise in a bread tin
  • Bake  at 200C for 45 minutes


  • Warm the water, and mix in the yeast with a little sugar and keep in a warm place until frothing. 
  • Sift together the flour and salt, mix in the rest of the sugar, and then mix in the water/yeast mixture and the rest of the ingredients. 
  • Kneed together by hand, adding flour if required. Keep kneeding until the tofu is well incorporated. 
  • Leave in an oiled bowl until double in volume. Knock back and kneed again for at least five minutes. 
  • Put the dough into a well-greased loafe tin, and leave to prove until double in volume. 
  • Bake in a hot oven, 200C for around 40 to 45 minutes.