Tag Archives: #realfood

Sweet Potato Curry with Coconut Milk from Karnataka

When we lived in India I needed to go to Cochin in Kerala for work. The market research session I was attending didn’t start until the afternoon, so I had the morning to explore Fort Cochin. There amoungst the alleyways I found a tiny little bookshop piled high with books. A wonderful little treasure trove. From that store I bought a South Indian Vegetarian cookbook which I love exploring. This recipe is based on that for Urulaikizhangu Saagu which is a Potato Curry from Karnataka. Using sweet potatoes to make a Sweet Potato Curry gives it a slightly richer flavor (and a few more vitamins), and I skipped the process of making homemade coconut milk, and stuck to a store bought can for convenience. It is truly delicious!


  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 270ml can coconut milk
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 2cm piece of ginger, peeled, grated
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Spice paste

  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 3 dried chillies
  • 1 Tbsp Bengal gram or Moong dal
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp Bengal gram or Moong dal
  • 1 dried chilli
  • 1 sprig curry leaves


  1. Peel the sweet potatoes. Cut into 1-2cm cubes. Cook in salted, boiling water until tender. Drain and set aside
  2. Grind ingredients for spice paste in a mill accessory on a blender or food processor. Gradually add 2-3 Tbsp to make a paste
  3. Heat some oil in a large frying pan. Add all the Tempeeing ingredients and fry until the mustard seeds start to splutter
  4. Add the onions to the Tempered spices and fry until golden, around 3 minutes
  5. Add green chilies, ginger, tomatoes, turmeric, and salt. Fry for about 2 minutes
  6. Add 1 cup of water and turn up the heat (from 6 to 7 on an induction cooktop). Simmer for 4-5 minutes stirring occasionally
  7. Turn down the heat (to 6 on an Induction cooktop). Mix in the spice paste and sweet potatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure all ingredient should are well mixed together and the mixture does not catch on the pan
  8. Pour in the can of Coconut Milk and stir to combine thoroughly. Simmer for a few minutes over a low heat.
  9. Serve with rice, idli, dosa, or roti

Thai Pumpkin and Mushroom Curry

Thai curry with mushrooms and pumpkin
This recipe has become one of our go to staple dinners. We keep a pot of homemade Thai curry paste in the fridge (it lasts a couple of weeks) and whip this up as a quick after work meal together with rice or cauliflower rice.
  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the curry paste. Fry until the paste becomes fragrant.
  2. Add the coconut milk and stir.
  3. Add fish sauce, water and vegetables and bring to the boil.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes or until the veggies are done.
  5. Add the kaffir lime leaves, stir and serve with rice or cauliflower rice.

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: William Fitzsimmons – Gold in the Shadow


Thai Green Curry Paste

Thai Green Chicken Curry
This is a basic Thai Green Curry paste recipe that can be used as the basis to make Thai green curries with any number of fresh vegetables, chicken or other meats, such as our Thai Pumpkin and Mushroom Curry and Thai Green Chicken Curry.
  • 15 medium green Thai chillies
  • 1 tbsp fresh galangal
  • 2 tbsp lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp zest of kaffir limes, chopped (substitute with zest of regular limes if not available)
  • 2 tbsp scraped and chopped coriander root (from the stems of fresh coriander)
  • 3 tbsp red shallots, chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds, roasted and ground
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, roasted and ground
  • 10 white peppercorns
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste (substitute for fermented tofu in brine for a vegetarian / vegan version of this recipe)
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender – except the shrimp paste – and blend until smooth. You might need to use a little water to get the blending started. Never use oil in your paste!
  2. When the paste is smooth, add the shrimp paste and blend a little more.
  3. Use or store in a glass container in the fridge. Will keep for a few weeks.

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify:  Emily Rice – Find Me Here

Zucchini Pappardelle with Avocado sauce and Mushrooms

Zucchini Pappardelle with avocado nut sauce and mushrooms

This is a light, healthy, lunch that gives you a lot of vegetables in one meal. Is made more substantial through the avocado sauce, and given a little bite through the chilli, which you can leave off if you are not a chilli fan. It is enough for 2 people, but for bigger eaters you might like to add an additional zucchini.


  • 2 zucchinis (1 per person)
  • 50g soft nuts (Brazil, almonds, walnuts, cashew or a mix)
  • 2 avocados
  • juice of half a lemon
  • handful mint leaves
  • 50ml olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 150g mushrooms
  • chilli flakes
  • coconut oil to cook


  1. Using a flat peeler or grater shave slices of the zucchini (courgette) to make the pasta
  2. Slice the mushrooms into 1-2mm slices
  3. Take a blender jar or food processor bowl. Add the nuts and blend for 15-20 seconds to chop the nuts roughly.
  4. Cut open the avocados and remove the pits. Scoop out the flesh and add it to the blender. Add the lemon juice, mint leaves, olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Blend the mix to a smooth mix. There might still be some nut chunks, and that is ok. It adds texture.
  6. Pan fry the mushrooms in a pan with a little coconut oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper for 2-3 minutes until softened. Remove from the pan.
  7. in the same pa, heat a little more coconut oil, add the zucchini pasta and quickly pan fry for about 2 minutes. You are only trying to soften and warm them through, not to cook them until golden. 
  8. Pile the zucchini pasta onto 2 plates. Top with half the avocado mix on each plate. Top with the mushroom mix. Garnish with some chili flakes, freshly ground black pepper and some olive oil. 

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Gin Wigmore – Gravel & Wine

Pumpkin Zucchini Omelette with Lamb and Spinach

Pumpkin Zucchini Omelette with Lamb and Spinach

Lunch does not have to be boring, but it also does not have to take an hour to cook. This pumpkin and zucchini omelette is sweet and delicious, but won’t take you all morning to prepare. We paired it with lamb tenderloins and a salad of spinach leaves to complete the meal.


  • 3 eggs
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp dried herbs like oregano, thyme, rosemary
  • 50 ml coconut milk
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 Garlic cloves, sliced
  • 100 gr pumpkin, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 large Zucchini (courgette), cut into small cubes
  • 3 mushrooms, sliced
  • Handful of fresh mint leaves
  • Large handful baby spinach
  • Splash of good quality red wine vinegar
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 1 x 250 gr lamb tenderloin


  1. Beat the eggs with salt, pepper, dried herbs and coconut milk. Set aside.
  2. Chop up the pumpkin, onion, garlic, mushrooms, zucchini.
  3. Heat a little coconut oil in a oven proof frying pan and fry the chopped vegetables for a few minutes until they are getting soft.
  4. Add the egg mixture and cook until it starts to set.
  5. Transfer the pan to a preheated oven and grill for around 5 minutes or until the top start to brown.
  6. Take the pan from the oven and let cool off a little.
  7. Garnish with a few mint leaves and sprinkle with olive oil
  8. Season the lamb and fry for 2 minutes on both side for medium – rare. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes, slice and serve with the omelette

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Gregory Isaacs – Night Nurse

Fried Spinach with Garlic and Pine Nuts

Fried spinach with garlic and pine nuts

An easy to prepare side dish, that goes well with Lebanese Lamb burgers and sweet potato fries with aioli to create a meal. Pine nuts are available in most supermarkets these days, try the nuts aisle or a middle eastern goods section.



  1. First toast the pine nuts in 1 tsp of coconut oil with a good pinch of sea salt.
  2. When the pine nuts are ready, set them aside and wash the spinach.
  3. Transfer the spinach to a large pan and cook with the lid on for 10 minutes until done.
  4. Drain the spinach but do not squeeze it.
  5. Heat 3 tbsp of coconut oil in a large frying pan and fry the garlic until they turn brown.
  6. Discard the garlic
  7. Add the cooked spinach. Fry for about two minutes, transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts.

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Woods – With light and love

Chrysanthemum, Plum, Goji Berry tea

Chrysanthemum plum yoji berry tea

Living in Asia is a great way to learn about the tea cultures that exist around the region. This is a simplified version of the Chinese Eight Treasures tea, and substitutes the rock sugar for honey to give it a lovely mellow taste that avoids processed sugars.  


  • 1 Tbsp Chrysanthemum
  • 1 Tbsp green tea leaves (or 1 tea bag)
  • 1 Tbsp goji berries
  • 2 dried plums
  • 4 slices fresh ginger


  1. Place all of the ingredients into a tea pot with a wire mesh barrier in it to hold the ingredients when you pour the tea (alternatively you can strain the tea from the tea pot with a strainer when you pour it).
  2. Pour over hot water, preferably at 80 degrees Celsius (170 degrees Fahrenheit), or boil the water and let it cool a little first.
  3. Let the tea steep for at least 10 minutes before you drink it.
  4. Strain the tea into a glass or cup and enjoy

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Atlas – Real Estate





Rucola Mint Pesto

Rucola and Mint pesto

This is a very versatile pesto sauce that can be used as a dip for sweet potatoes, as a topping on fish or chicken, or even to stuff chicken wrapped in prosciutto. We’d love to hear how you have used what has become one of our favorites. 


  • Large handful of rucola lettuce leaves
  • 10-15 mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • juice of half a large lime
  • 1 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
  • 50ml olive oil


  1. Put all of the ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth.
  2. It should be a bit of a thick sauce, so be careful with the amount of olive oil that you add. If it is too thick then you can add a little more olive oil.

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Sola Rosa – Get it together

Spinach coconut curry with meatballs

Spinach meatball curry

This is a substantial and warming meal that is great paired with cauliflower rice or rice. You can adapt it to your own level of preferred spiciness by adapting how much chili powder you include. This is a slightly spicy version.


For the meatballs

  • 500 gr lamb mince
  • 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ghee or coconut oil

For the curry

  • 220ml coconut milk
  • 100 ml water
  • 5 green cardamon pods
  • 15 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
  • 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 500 gr baby spinach (or similar green vegetables)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. First make the meatballs. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Now, make around 15 golf ball sized meatballs. Wet your hands before making a ball so they won’t stick to your hands.
  3. Put them on a plate and let them firm up in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  4. Heat the ghee or oil in a large frying pan and brown the meatballs on all sides. When ready, put them on a plate and set aside.
  5. When all the meatballs are done, fry the curry leaves and cardamom pods for a few seconds until fragrant.
  6. Add the onion and fry until soft.
  7. Add the spices and the ginger-garlic paste and fry for a minute more.
  8. Then add the coconut milk and water and bring to the boil.
  9. When boiling, add the spinach, cover and cook until wilted.
  10. Take the lid of, add the meatballs, season with salt and pepper and cook until the sauce thickens a little and the meatballs are heated through.
  11. Serve with rice or cauliflower rice

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Hindi Zhara – Homeland



Almond Milk and Flour

Almond Milk and Flour

Almond Milk is a great substitute for milk in cooking and baking. This is an easy way to make it at home, and also gives you almond flour as a very welcome by-product of the cooking process.


  • 2 cups almonds
  • 1 litre water, plus extra for soaking
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes

Directions for Almond Milk

  1. Place the almonds in a large bowl and cover with enough water to sit 2cm above the almonds. Allow to stand at room temperature for 12 hours.
  2. Drain, discarding the soaking liquid and rinse well under cold running water.
  3. Put the almonds, water and sea salt into a blender and blend at a high speed for 3-4 minutes until fully mixed. (Depending on the size of your blender you might need to blend it in two batches of 500ml and 1 cup of almonds)
  4. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the almond pulp. You may need to work in batches to strain the almonds.
  5. Press the almond pulp with the back of a spoon to extract as much milk as possible. It should end up quite dry. The more moisture you leave in, the more you will have to dry out to get the Almond Flour.
  6. Retain the Almond pulp in the strainer to use in the Almond Flour (below). 
  7. Pour the milk into glass jars or bottles and seal well. Refrigerates for up to 3-4 days. Can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Makes approximately 1 litre of almond milk.

Directions for Almond Flour

  1. Preheat the oven to 100 degrees Celcius.
  2. Spread the almond pulp thinly and evenly over a lightly greased baking tray lined with baking paper.
  3. Bake for 1 hour.
  4. Toss the almond pulp, re-spread it out over the baking paper and cook for another 1 hour.
  5. Allow to cool completely.
  6. Place the almond mixture into a food processor and process using the knife blade until finely ground.
  7. Store the almond flour in a air tight container in the refridgerator for up to 1 week, or use immediately to make Dried fig and Cranberry Almond Loaf.

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Eternal Summers – The Drop Beneath