Chopped salad with peanuts

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1 tomato, finely chopped
4 tbsp finely chopped cucumber
1 green chilli, finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
handful coriander leaves and stalks, chopped
2 tbsp salted peanuts, roughly chopped
1 heaped tbsp desiccated coconut
¼ tsp grated ginger
salt, to taste

 

1. For the salad, mix together all the salad ingredients in a bowl.
2. For the spices, heat the oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they begin to splutter, add the curry leaves and remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice and stir.
3. To serve, pour the spice mixture over the salad and stir to coat. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

spinach wrap

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225g/8oz baby spinach leaves, washed
45g/1¾oz fresh coriander, leaves and stalks
6 large garlic cloves, peeled
5cm/2in piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
6 tbsp roasted and salted peanuts
2-3 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-3 green chillies, seeds removed, roughly chopped (optional)

 

1. For the spinach paste, place all the spinach paste ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
2. For the tandoori mushrooms, place all the ingredients except the mushrooms into a blender and blend to a smooth paste. Add the mushrooms to the paste and leave to marinate for 20 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
4. For the paneer, heat the oil in a large non-stick pan. Add the spinach paste and the water and cook over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the paste starts to thicken. Add the paneer and the onion and cook for another minute, or until the onion just starts to soften.
5. Meanwhile, thread the marinated mushrooms onto skewers, place onto an oiled baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time. Once cooked, add the mushrooms to the paneer mixture.
6. To serve, divide the filling into five portions and place each portion onto a warmed tortilla. Roll up and cut on the diagonal.

Tandoori lamb wrap

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150ml/5fl oz Greek-style yoghurt
½ small onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
2.5cm/1in piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 tsp each garam masala and ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground fennel seeds
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves
½ tsp red chilli powder, or to taste
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt, or to taste

 

1. Place all the marinade ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and stir in the lamb cubes. Mix well and leave to marinate in the fridge for as long as possible, preferably overnight. Bring back to room temperature an hour before cooking.
2. Preheat the grill to medium. Thread the lamb cubes onto the skewers leaving a space between each piece and place under the grill. Cook for around 5-6 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, until tender. Alternatively, cook in an oven preheated to 200C/400F/Gas 6 for eight minutes. Baste with the melted butter and cook for another minute or two for slightly pink meat, or longer if you want the lamb well done.
3. Divide the lamb pieces into five equal portions and place each portion in the centre of a warmed tortilla. Top with a handful of the sliced vegetables and a spoonful of chutney. Roll up and serve.

Succulent chicken tikka wraps

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150ml/5fl oz Greek-style yoghurt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2.5cm/1in piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
¼-½ tsp red chilli powder, or to taste
1 tsp garam masala
generous pinch green and black cardamom seeds and fennel seeds, ground together
¾-1 tsp salt, or to taste
30g/1oz cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
1½ tbsp lemon juice
1 free-range egg, beaten
2 rounded tbsp gram flour

 

 

Savoury semolina cake

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165g/6oz semolina
125ml/4½fl oz plain yoghurt
125ml/4½fl oz water
two handfuls frozen peas, defrosted
2 tbsp chopped onion
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
handful fresh or frozen (defrosted) green beans, roughly chopped
2.5cm/1in piece fresh ginger, peeled and crushed
¾-1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp ground turmeric
salt, to taste (season well)
3 tbsp oil, plus extra for greasing
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

 

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and oil a loaf tin.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the semolina, yoghurt, water, vegetables, ginger, chilli powder, turmeric and salt to make a fairly thick batter. Taste and adjust with more salt or spices if necessary.
3. Heat the oil in a small pan. Add the mustard, cumin and sesame seeds and cook, stirring frequently, for 20 seconds, or until the mustard seeds have popped and the cumin and sesame seeds are aromatic. Stir the seeds and oil into the batter. If the batter is too thick, add a splash of water.
4. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and immediately pour the mixture into the tin. Transfer to the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown. It’s ready when a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool and become crisp in the tin.
5. Serve in wedges, either on its own or with green chutney.

Chocolate brownies

These are insanely rich, dense, and moist, so you can cut them very small and they’ll serve a crowd. And I guarantee you, that crowd will be
pleased. They’ll keep for several days in a tightly sealed container at room temperature, and they freeze well too. Be sure to allow time to let the
butter come to room temperature for about an hour before you start baking.

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1 cup (2 sticks) butter, plus a little extra for the pan
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. About an hour ahead of time, unwrap the butter and place it in a large bowl. Use a table knife to cut it into 1-inch pieces, and let it stand at room
temperature to soften.
2. Adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 350°F (325°F if you’re using a glass pan). Put a little soft butter on a paper
towel, a piece of waxed paper, or a butter wrapper, and lightly grease the bottom and corners of a 9-by 13-inch baking pan. (No need to grease the
sides.)
3. Fill a smallish saucepan with about 2 inches of water, and place a heatproof bowl that is large enough to hold the chocolate chips directly on top
of the pan. The bowl should rest firmly in place, clutched by the pan’s rim, and the bottom of the bowl should not be touching the water. Pour the
chocolate chips into the bowl, and put the whole setup on the stove over low heat. Let the water simmer gently until the chocolate chips are all
melted (there should be no solid pieces when you give it a stir). Remove the pan from the heat, and carefully, using pot holders or oven mitts,
remove the bowl of melted chocolate from the pan. Set it aside to cool a little.
4. Use a handheld electric mixer at high speed (or if you don’t have one, use a whisk, with enthusiasm) to beat the butter (by itself, for now) for a
couple of minutes, or until it becomes light and fluffy. Crumble in the brown sugar, and continue to beat at high speed (or with your own arm at its
personal best) for another 2 minutes or so. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times during this process.
5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well enough after each addition to thoroughly mix it in. Add the vanilla extract, and continue to beat for
another minute or two, until everything is very well combined.
6. Keep beating as you slowly drizzle in the melted chocolate. (If you are beating manually, you might want to get someone to help hold the bowl
steady for this.) Beat well until the chocolate is completely incorporated. (The constant movement prevents the heat of the chocolate from cooking
the eggs.)
7. Sprinkle in the flour and salt, and stir (you can finally stop beating now) until they disappear into the batter. Transfer the batter to the prepared
pan, taking care to scrape all of it in with a rubber spatula. Then use the spatula to spread the batter evenly.
8. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the top springs back a little when lightly touched in the center. (They might seem under-baked, but they will firm
up as they cool, and these are moist brownies. That said, if they seem too soft for you, it’s okay to leave them in the oven for a few minutes longer,
until a toothpick inserted all the way into the center comes out clean. At that point, they’ll be cakey brownies, rather than fudgy ones.)
9. Let the brownies cool in the pan for about 10 minutes; then cut them into squares of your preferred size. Let them sit for another 10 minutes or so
after you do the cutting, so each piece can solidify. Then remove the squares from the pan and let them cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room
temperature.

Chip mint cookies

The world’s best holiday cookie awaits you. And my definition of a holiday cookie is that when you bite into it, a holiday happens. I believe this is
the only recipe I’ve ever written that uses peppermint extract, but these cookies are worth the price of several bottles. The cookies freeze beautifully
when stored in a tin, and even taste good frozen. In the meantime, the peppermint extract has a half-life of about 2,000 years, so keep that bottle
around for the next batch, which will likely happen sooner than that. Heads up: You’ll need to take the butter out of the refrigerator about an hour
before you start baking so it can come to room temperature.

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1½ cups (3 sticks) butter, plus a little extra for the cookie sheets
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder Scant
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (one 12-ounce package)

1. About an hour ahead of time, unwrap the butter and place it in a large bowl. Use a table knife to cut it into 1-inch pieces, and let it stand at room
temperature to soften.
2. Adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Put a little soft butter on a paper towel, a piece of waxed paper, or a
butter wrapper, and lightly grease two cookie sheets.
3. Pour the granulated sugar, and crumble the brown sugar, into the bowl holding the softened butter. Use a handheld electric mixer at high speed
(or if you don’t have one, use a whisk, with enthusiasm) to beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. (Use a
rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times during this process.) Add the vanilla and peppermint extracts, and continue to beat for
another minute or two, until everything is well combined.
4. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl, and whisk slowly to blend. Add this to the butter mixture,
along with the chocolate chips, stirring with the spatula until the dough is thoroughly combined.
5. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoons onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them 2 to 3 inches apart and flattening each mound slightly
with the back of a spoon. (You will need to bake these in batches, so just spoon out as many as will comfortably fit on your cookie sheets.) Bake for
10 to 12 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies are dry and the bottoms are lightly browned.
6. Let the cookies sit on the cookie sheets for about 5 minutes after you take them out of the oven, and then gently transfer them to a cooling rack
using a thin-bladed metal spatula. Repeat with the remaining dough.