Have you ever been to India or Pakistan? I imagine it is a tapestry of colour and experiences, my friends Zene and Resham would have shown me how to make authentic food from Pakistan and India. Resham and her mum’s kitchen spice drawers are legendary and they make the best vegan curries. I have found two recipes in a leaflet from a slimming world magazine titled Weeknight winners in association with Frylight, I have adapted them to accommodate ingredients I couldn’t resource. This is a healthy recipe but do get in contact and give me other recipes.
Chicken tikka & mango biryani (main dish)
500g diced chicken breast
250g dried basmati rice (I couldn’t source this, so used brown rice instead)
2 onions finely chopped
5cm finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons medium curry powder
2 teaspoons each of cumin and turmeric
750ml water and dissolve 2 chicken stock cubes to make stock
1 cauliflower (cut into florets)
125g spinach (baby spinach if you can get it, I couldn’t so substituted with spinach)
1 mango, cut into bite sized chunks
2 lemons, juiced
Salt & pepper. Smoked paprika, to serve
- Preheat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
- Wash rice and lentils in a colander until water runs clear. Tip rice, lentils, onions and ginger into deep casserole dish. Whisk spices into the stock, pour over the rice mixture and bake for 30 minutes.
- Stir through the chicken chunks and cauliflower and bake for a further 30 minutes.
- Turn off the oven, scatter the spinach on the top of the dish and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Add salt & pepper, stir in the mango and lemon juice. Scatter a little paprika on the top.
Green lentil and potato dhal (side dish)
In the SW leaflet the recipe is called Aubergine & red lentil dhal but I can’t stand aubergines! I replaced them with potato. Fresh tomatoes, garlic cloves and red lentils were out of stock in my supermarket so I used half a bag of leftover dried green lentils and a can of chopped tomatoes from home. I couldn’t buy fresh or dried curry leaves so I left them out, feel free to add them. No mustard seeds either, so I put in a spoonful of English mustard.
Low calorie cooking spray (Frylight)
2 onions, finely chopped
1 green or red chilli finely chopped
4 teaspoonfuls of pre-chopped lazy garlic
1 teaspoon of finely grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of mustard or 1 tablespoon of black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of turmeric
2 tablespoons of mild curry powder
175g dried green lentils
2 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
1 red and 1 orange pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
2 cans of chopped tomatoes or 8 fresh tomatoes cut into chunks
Handful of chopped coriander to serve.
8 poppadoms and mango chutney (optional)
- Spray saucepan with Frylight, add onions, fry for 6 minutes. Reduce heat and add chilli, garlic, ginger, cumin, mustard (seeds), turmeric, curry powder, fry 2 mins.
- Add lentils and 600ml water. Add potato, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, reduce heat to low for 25 mins.
- Season with fresh coriander leaves and serve. As this is a side dish, you will have dhal left over to freeze for a side dishes or main meals for another day. Home takeaway!
Serve with poppadums and mango chutney (this will add more of calories – just a hint if you want to leave the lockdown phase slimmer!)