A Trip Along the Grand Trunk Road – Part 1 Poussin Penda

DSC_0097

Most of you already know of my love for Indian food (see previous posts here and here).  Any sort at all, from the mildest korma to the more unusual dishes.  I was browsing a charity shop a couple of weeks ago when Big Miss K asked if I had seen this cookery book – she knows where my heart lies you see.  Anyway, it turns out they were selling a whole load of them for 50p each.  Now, I’m still very particular about cookery books in my house and this was the only one I bought from that pile thank goodness, otherwise we may have to get more bookcases.  And I am so pleased I did.  It’s called ‘Food of the Grand Trunk Road’ and must have been a gift for someone originally because it just hasn’t been used – the pages have hardly been turned let alone ending up like most of my spattered books.  These dishes are more unusual, how often do you think about buying a book and then realise you have 10 all which have the same recipes in them already – this is certainly not one of those books.

It took me some time to decide what I was going to make.  Eventually the decision was made, A Rogan Josh (Mr K asked for something spicy), a Poussin Penda and more unsually, and because I currently have a glut of eggs, Aloo Dimer Jhol, an egg curry with potatoes.  I have to say, I have never used eggs in a curry and did follow the recipe to the letter as I was concerned the eggs would fall apart and it would all turn to mush but no, it was amazing.  In fact all of them were delicious.  Mr K loves Indian food but I can have a slightly heavy hand when tipping chillies into a dish, and occasionally he has a look of fear once the heats comes through, only occasionally you understand.  He tells me that although these were hot, they were not ‘blow you head off’ hot, which is a compliment, honestly.  The heat dissipated quickly and you were just left with the full flavour.  I did tell him to drink a Lassi with it but he looked oddly at me and said he would be just fine with beer.  I can only apologise for the photos – by the time I took this it was quite late and we were very hungry – oh, and I might have had a couple of glasses of wine 😉

So the first dish I will tell you about is the Poussin Penda – I will post the others over the next couple of days and hopefully in time for you to give them all a go for an Indian Feast at the weekend.

DSC_0091

Poussin Penda – serves 4 as part of meal – syns per serving 0 (syn if you eat the skin though)

  • 1 Poussin, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt

Heat pan and spray with some frylight, add the onion, garlic and cinnamon and cook until the onion is browned.

Add Poussin pieces and fry until skin is lightly browned, then add pureed tomatoes, chilli powder, coriander, turmeric, cumin, garam masala and salt and mix well.

Stir in 1 litre of water, cover and cook poussin on medium heat for about 20 minutes.

After this time, check chicken is cooked through and remove from the sauce, check if sauce is thick enough, if not, reduce down until it is the required consistency, if too thick, add some more water – this is personal taste.  It is THAT easy!

DSC_0096

Moroccan Jewelled Delight

 

DSC_0070

One of the things I love is picking veggies from our veg plot.  It seems sometimes that is the only place I can get peace and quiet.  I used to put music on and weed, dig and plant but now I relish the solitude and listening to the birds and the wind through the trees.  Only the occasional offering of polite greeting to an allotment neighbour disturbs my peace, or the occasional advice request (me doing the asking I hasten to add, I’m not naturally green fingered).  Quite proud this year of the fact that we have 2 rows of fennel happily growing which I have never grown before.

My plot is certainly by no means a thing of beauty but I can take the children down and they absolutely love digging up potatoes or picking beans or courgettes, getting a little conveyor belt going, big Miss K digs, little Miss K grabs the potatoes and Middle Miss K gets to count them into the trug.  All of this said, one of the best veg is rainbow chard, and luckily you plant it, it grows, as long as it has enough water and sun, it just grows, no fussing over it, no picking out smaller plants, and look how pretty it is, it looks like jewels glinting in the sunlight.

This dish was inspired both by the butternut squash, which seems to have been frequently used in the last week in my house as I made Curried Squash soup with lentils and then another squash appeared and I just thought the colour, along with the chard was a thing of beauty.  Chard has such a lovely earthy quality that it really suits being served with the sweetness of the squash.

I don’t often use pastry nowadays as I adore it and if it is in front of me, I would generally eat too much of it, but 3 of these little beauties are made out of one filo pastry sheet and you spray with frylight so you can really control your syns if you follow Slimming World.  I did try making one by rolling a whole sheet around the cooled mix like a sausage roll and then winding it round like a snail but it did not look particularly pleasant and was rather unwieldy but give it a try if you have more patience that I.

The only other thing to remember is to make sure is that everything is about the same size dice, remember, these are delicate things and not like a whacking great big pie.

 

DSC_0054

Moroccan Inspired Filo Tartlets – Serves 6 – syns per 3 tartlets – 6

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, diced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • rainbow chard or spinach, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ras el hanout
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 0% greek yogurt
  • handful fresh mint leaves
  • 1 pack Just-roll filo pastry (just remember to check syns depending on type of filo used)

Fry off onions and garlic in fry light until softened

DSC_0055

Add butternut squash, then all of the spices and stir to coat, adding seasoning

 

Add enough water to cook the squash, which will take about 15 minutes with the lid on, but not so much that the mixture is wet at the end, no running sauce in this dish

Take off lid and add chick peas and chopped chard and stir until wilted downDSC_0056

At this stage you can either keep this warm while you cook your filo or you can leave it to cool and reheat later

Spray a muffin tin well with frylight

DSC_0064Lay 1 sheet filo on a board, spray liberally with frylight and then cut into 3 squares and place them as you wish in the muffin tin

Place these into a 180 degree C oven for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned

Remove from oven and put warmed mixture into the tarlets

Serve with 0% Greek Yogurt mixed with seasoning and chopped mint and a green salad

 

My Dad’s Favourite Thing!

 

DSC_0963I have to start this post by apologising to my Dad.  Lemon Meringue Pie is his favourite thing but I’m afraid he didn’t even get to eat this.  I was trying to think of a dessert that didn’t involve chocolate.  We are a little boring when it comes to desserts in the Shrinking Queen household, both me and Mr K always go to chocolate as a default – the more chocolatey the better.

However, we were off to some friends for late lunch and were assuming there would be a bbq and really, if the weather was going to be as delightfully hot as it has been recently, chocolate might be a little messy.  Oh, and we had a whole bunch of eggs that needed using – the ones that had to be prized out from underneath Peppa Hen who is incredibly broody at the moment and keeps pecking me every time I reach for them so I have done what any sain person would do and allocated this task to Big Miss K – she has a rather novel way of moving her off the eggs by gently pushing her with a stick until she she gets fidgety and moves, then a swift hand movement and those eggs are ours!

My apologies for this being the second post in a row that isn’t Slimming World friendly to those of you that follow me because of that but it’s a great dessert that needs to be promoted.

Now, can I get into my Dad’s good books by making him one soon?

 

DSC_0946

Lemon Meringue Pie – not Slimming World friendly

For the pastry:

  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g cold butter, cut in small pieces
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk

For the filling:

  • 2 level tbsp cornflour
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • finely grated zest 2 large lemon
  • 125ml fresh lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)
  • juice 1 small orange
  • 85g butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 egg yolks and a 1 whole egg

For the meringue:

  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 2 level tsp cornflour

For the pastry, put the flour, butter, icing sugar, egg yolk (save the white for the meringue) and 1 tbsp cold water into a food processor. Use the pulse button so the mix is not overworked, process until the mix starts to bind. Tip the pastry onto a lightly floured surface, gather together until smooth, then roll out and line a 23 x 2.5cm loose-bottom fluted flan tin. Trim and neaten the edges. Press pastry into flutes. Don’t worry if it cracks, just press it back together as you can see with mine. Prick the base with a fork, line with foil, shiny side down, and chill for 1⁄2-1 hour (or overnight).

DSC_0948

Put a baking sheet in the oven and heat oven to 200 degrees C. Bake the pastry case ‘blind’ (filled with dry beans) for 15 mins, then remove the foil and bake a further 5-8 mins until the pastry is pale golden and cooked. Set aside. (Can be done a day ahead if you want to get ahead.) Lower the oven to 180 degrees C.

While the pastry bakes, prepare the filling: mix the cornflour, sugar and lemon zest in a medium saucepan. Strain and stir in the lemon juice gradually. Make orange juice up to 200ml/7fl oz with water and strain into the pan. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Once the mixture bubbles, remove from the heat and beat in the butter until melted. Beat the egg yolks (save white for meringue) and whole egg together, stir into the pan and return to a medium heat. Keep stirring vigorously for a few minutes, until the mixture thickens and plops from the spoon. (It will bubble, but doesn’t curdle.) Take off the heat and set aside while you make the meringue.

DSC_0952

DSC_0953Put the egg whites in a large bowl. Whisk to soft peaks, then add half the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking between each addition without overbeating. Whisk in the cornflour, then add the rest of the sugar as before until smooth and thick. Quickly reheat the filling and pour it into the pastry case. Immediately put spoonfuls of meringue around the edge of the filling (if you start in the middle the meringue may sink), then spread so it just touches the pastry (this will anchor it and help stop it sliding).

DSC_0954

Pile the rest into the centre, spreading so it touches the surface of the hot filling (and starts to cook), then give it all a swirl. Return to the oven for 18-20 mins until the meringue is crisp and slightly coloured. Let the pie sit in the tin for 30 mins, then remove and leave for at least another 1⁄2-1 hr before slicing. Eat the same day.

 

DSC_0962