Spiced Winter Vegetable Cous Cous

I mentioned a little while back about cooking a birthday dinner for my friend Jenny, when I shared the dessert recipe ‘Chocolate Heartache Cake‘. Well here is part of the mains, we had grilled meat (steak or chicken) with this spiced winter vegetable cous cous, an Ottolenghi recipe (bound to be delicious) shared by one of my favourite blogs, Orangette. It was so good that I also made it as a side dish to accompany the rhubarb and ginger roast belly pork that I cooked for mother’s day; which I promise to share soon, it would be criminal not to (it was to die for). Don’t be put off by all the ingredients and stages in this recipe, once you’ve cooked it once, you’ll have it down. It isn’t complicated at all, there is just a few spices involved; it is worth it though, trust me.

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Punjab Curry with Yellow Sticky Rice

This summer, James and I went of a cookery course in London. It was a Christmas gift from my family, what a great idea! The location was stunning, St Katherine’s Dock, and the lesson courtesy of The Smart School of Cookery, run by ex Master Chef contestant Ann Hood. We had a great afternoon; we learnt a great way to finely chop onions and that you can keep ginger, lemon grass, chillies and fruit in the freezer to grate or zest from frozen. Other tips we learnt were to use rape seed oil to fry, as it burns at a much higher temperature than olive oil (a whole 60°C higher!) and that when buying oils, always go for cold pressed and good quality. We cooked three curries; Padang, Vietnamese and Punjab. They were all so tasty but my favourite was the Punjab, probably because it has nectarines in it.

Punjab curry and yellow sticky rice

One thing I found really interesting was that  all the curries used the same base, to which curry specific additions were added later. You can make large quantities of the base and freeze it in ice cube trays, to add a cube or two to a curry from frozen. A great time saving tip.

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