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"To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day."

Somerset Maugham

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Entries in cloves (4)

Wednesday
Jul042018

Preserved lemons

I’ve been eagerly anticipating today for two months now. Birthday? Holidays? No! My preserved lemons are ready.

I love Love LOVE preserved lemons. They transform any dish into something special. I mostly use them in Middle Eastern inspired dishes – tagine, cous cous, Ottolenghi-style salads. They also add an interesting twist to fish dishes, dips and seafood pasta.

I used Amalfi lemons from Natoora for this batch, so I am especially excited about them, but any unwaxed lemons will do. You need to leave them for at least two months before using and they get better and better with age. These ones are still yellow, but my Dad used to have some so old they had turned brown. You can still use them, just be aware that their flavour intensifies with age so you don’t need to use very much with very mature ones.

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Tuesday
May312016

La nonna Pettineo's ragu

For my 30th birthday my friend, Geraldine, sent me a care package from the USA, which included a handwritten recipe and photos of her nonna’s ragu. Like everyone with an Italian grandmother, she says hers makes the best. And like every Italian grandmother, hers doesn’t follow a recipe, so you have to watch her to learn it.

A few years ago, Geraldine and I got into a friendly debate about what constitutes the best ragu and what one should call it. (You can read about that here). I argued with her about it, but mostly for the sake of it. Actually, I was very keen to learn her nonna’s secrets.

When she next visited her, she watched her make it and wrote down all the details step-by-step. The recipe is written in Geraldine’s beautiful cursive handwriting and comes with lots of notes and tips:

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Tuesday
Apr212015

Loquat chutney

Loquats are a new discovery for me. I had heard of them before I started working at Natoora, but I only tried one for the first time last week. So when I was asked to do a cooking demonstration in the shop this Friday I thought I should experiment a bit with this lovely fruit. 

Loquats have a texture and flavour akin to apricots, but with a sweet and sour element that lends itself well to Asian cooking. In its initial stages, without the Indian spices, this chutney tasted like a fruity Chinese sauce for duck or pork. Had that been my desired outcome, I would have stopped there, but it tasted a little odd as a chutney.

I added cumin, coriander seeds and cardamom and it was transformed. The result: a sweet and sour and sour Indian chutney with warming spices and a little kick.

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Wednesday
Jan262011

Mrs Kumar Raste's Kolhapuri lamb, care of Dick and the Madhur

 

Sorry for my silence! I have been über busy in the week and a half since I have been back in the UK ...and even if I hadn’t been the fun factor in my mealtimes has diminished significantly as I attempt to do the same to my waistline; a healthy, but abysmal diet of exercise and be good to yourself pastas from Sainsbury’s, yawn!
 
In my post on NZ I told you about the extensive Indian feast cooked up by our hosts in Christchurch. Under the instruction of Madhur Jaffery, our friends Dick, Jocelyn and Cilla cooked up some wondrous dishes, including this lamb curry.
  
Within Maharashtra, as in much of India, districts, even towns, have their own distinct cuisines. Kolhapur is associated with the foods of the Mahrattas, who were once the bravest of Indian warriors, fighting both Moghul emperors and imperial British forces with great success.

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