2014 already..? Ultra quickity quick catch up…

Time A-flying byYoo hoo guys, how have you been? It’s my first post of the year, I can’t believe February is around the corner. It feels like someone is fast forwarding my life and all I’m left with is a blurry dash of images. It has been a busy few months though and this January just seems more chocca than usual. In between working on key pieces to be shown at The Octagon Theatre later this week (which I’m naturally thrilled about – I’m doing ecstatic cartwheels in my head as we speak) to working flat out on various writing projects, I have little spare time for mischief.

And I know it’s late, but I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas and even cooler New Year. More to the point, did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? I refrained this year from making empty promises that I feel guilty breaking and decided to go healthy at some point this month. Yes, I find this noncommittal mind-set is the way forward. I’m working out because I actually want to, not because the whole world is at it. Peer pressure sucks guys, it’s best to do things your own way in your own time.

Madhur Jaffrey Curry EasySpeaking of working out and being healthy, I discovered this super healthy winter recipe. If you feel like you’ve indulged in one too many mince pies, and want to show your body some TLC, here is good place to start. In a bid to shed those few extra pounds, I’ve started working out again (gasp!). I came across these delicious recipes via The Happy Foodie, who featured Madhur Jaffrey’s ultra simple dishes in their fabulous weekly email. If you haven’t already done so, I’d encourage you to check them out and subscribe to their free newsletter (it won’t cost you a penny, I promise).

I’ve actually bought Madhur’s Curry Easy cookbook and love it. The dishes are super easy to prepare and I especially couldn’t resist cooking the following, mainly because I think kebabs get a load of bad press and there’s nothing fattening about these delicious turkey chappali kebabs. I served them with a courgette yoghurt and spring salad leaves. For a filling and super healthy meal, get cooking!


Turkey Chappali Kebabs:

2 tablespoons natural yoghurt

450g /1 lb minced turkey (either thigh, breast, or a mixture)

¾ teaspoon salt (to taste)

1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds and 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds (pounded in a mortar or crushed with a rolling pin)

4 tablespoons finely chopped mint

½ teaspoon crushed red chilli flakes

1 teaspoon peeled and finely grated ginger

2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Place the yoghurt in a small sieve and set over a cup as you prepare the rest of your ingredients (10 minutes will do but longer won’t hurt
  • Place the strained yoghurt from the sieve and all ingredients (except the oil) into a bowl. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or a maximum of 24 hours so the flavours can really mingle
  • Divide the meat into six pieces, roll into patties and place to one side. Meanwhile, put the oil into a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Fry the patties for about 1 minute each side, or until browned. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook the patties, turning them frequently until the juices run clear when the patties are pressed.

Courgette Yoghurt:

285g / 10oz coarsely grated courgette

350ml / 12 fl oz natural yoghurt

¾ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sweetener (originally caster sugar)

Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch cayenne pepper to taste

2 teaspoons olive oil

½ teaspoon whole brown or yellow mustard seeds

2 fresh bird’s eye chillies, partially split or 3 long slivers curt from a jalapeno chilli

8 fresh curry leaves or 4 fresh basil leaves, torn

  • Place the courgette into a small pan along with 150ml / 5fl oz of cold water. Bring to the boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Empty into a sieve to drain for 5 minutes, then refresh by letting cold water cascade onto it. Squeeze out as much water as you can then set aside the solids
  • Place the yoghurt in a bowl, adding salt, sweetener, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Beat with a fork or whisk until smooth and creamy, finally adding the drained courgette
  • Heat the oil in a small pan over a medium-high heat and toss in the mustard seeds. As soon as they pop (make sure you have lid to hand), add the chilli and curry or basil leaves. Quickly take the pan off the heat, pour its contents over the yogurt and stir to mix

The fantastic thing about both these juicy kebabs and zingy yoghurt is that they can be made the day before, thus saving time cooking lengthy evening meals. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I did and would love to know how you got on. Happy cooking and see you soon!