Spinach, mushroom and cashew curry

Well I’m feeling mighty pleased with myself today having come up with what I feel is a tasty combination. I hope you like it too. The cashews only work if they are crunchy so add those at the last-minute.


  • 50-60 g whole cashew nuts lightly dry roasted until golden in a frying pan. Allow to cool completely (kaju)
  • 2 tbs ground nut oil (tel)
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds and a few fenugreek seeds (rai, methi)
  • 1 stick cinnamon (tuj)
  • 1 small onion diced finely (dhungri)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced (lasun)
  • 5 small new potatoes cut into 1/2 cm cubes (bateta / aloo)
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms – wipe clean and slice thickly
  • 1/2 tsp salt – or to taste (nimak)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (lal murcha)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (hurder)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin coriander powder (dhana jeeru)
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 400g fresh baby spinach (palak)


  • Heat the oil in a large heavy bottom pan over a medium heat
  • Add the cinnamon and mustard/fenugreek seeds.
  • Once the seeds start to splutter add the onion and cook until they start to brown
  • Add the chili and garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes
  • Throw in the mushroom, potato and spices and soy sauce. Stir well and cook until the potato starts to soften (about 5 minutes)
  • Add the spinach and cook until wilted, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Do not add any water as both spinach and mushroom have plenty
  • When it is cooked, turn off the heat and add in the cashew nuts.
  • Serve immediately with freshly cooked basmati rice.

Sugar and spice (and all things nice) roasted nuts!


Oooh I do like to have a nibble and since chocolate is off my list right now, I’m turning to nuts.

Hubby likes spicy nuts and I’ve been promising for ages to make him some. So today I had a go and you know what, they were so YUM, I may have to hide them for him and hoard them all for myself like a little demented squirrel.

The quantities of spice I used give a nice buzzy spice to the mix but if you like to blow up your mouth, then double the amount of chili powder and cayenne pepper. Also, it would be great with some red skin peanuts and almonds both of which I have but both of which I forgot!!


  • 100g raw whole cashews
  • 50g raw brazil nuts
  • up to 2 tbs olive oil or a lighter flavoured oil like sunflower if you prefer
  • 1/2tsp  chili powder
  • 1/2tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2tsp sugar
  • 1/2tst black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees (or 170 for fan oven)
  • Put your nuts on a baking sheet and put in the oven until they go golden – mine took about 7  minutes
  • While the nuts are roasting put 1tbs of the oil in a large bowl and add the sugar and spices.
  • When the nuts are roasted take them out and let them cool for a minute or so. Then added to the spiced oil and stir to make sure they are full coated. At this stage, you can add more oil if you need.
  • Place the oil nuts back on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 2/3 minutes.
  • Take out, let them cool down and serve with a huge pint of cold cold beer.

Colour me beetiful!

When it comes to juices I’m a run of the mill kinda gal – I like orange juice, apple juice is yum (esp when it has a large dash of vodka in), pineapple, coconut and lime (pina colada anyone?), guava/berry juice. But when it comes to vegetable juices my experiences are limited to a rather delicious combination of Carrot and Ginger. I’ve had the latter in many places and one of the best is Wagamamas.

Now as we know variety is the spice of life and my life needs that spice. The Beeb recently aired the Great British Food Revival where chef-y types try to convince us to eat more British produce.  Some of it was great like the shows the Hairy Bikers did on cauliflowers and Jason Atherton on cabbage. Some was less convincing like Michel Roux Jr on bread – IMHO he comes across downright loony. However, one show focussed on beetroot and featured a new beetroot juice called Beet it! Woohoo, I like beets and as I don’t have a juicer, having it ready made is a big bonus.

Unsurprisingly, it’s very beet-y so I had to add more apple juice to drink it down. Strangely when I had it with food, it wasn’t as strong in flavour. I wish I had bought a smaller bottle as once opened it lasts 4 days and it isn’t an everyday juice for me. But it’s definitely on my list of juices now. I wonder whether I could add a drop to icing to make pink icing?

If you have any recommendations on great vegetable juice combinations, I’d be happy to hear them.

P.S. Beet it! turned my pee a lovely rose wine colour which was funny. Unfortunately, on the day I drank 200ml of the stuff, it turned my poop a dark, dark colour which is not good to see at 4am when you are bleary eyed and need to be on the look out for tarry stools. Hilarious when a minute later I remembered!

Spicy chickpeas with savoy cabbage

This is not a new recipe. It’s the same recipe as the Kala Chana  with a few substitutions. I used 560g of the more familiar white chickpeas instead of black, used a white onion, 3 diced Maris Piper potatoes and also added 9 savoy cabbage leaves shredded very finely. I added the cabbage at the same time as the chickpeas and potatoes but in future, I’ll add it nearer the end of cooking so it retains some crunch. I removed the main vein in each leaf too as that can be chewy.

Truthfully, the cabbage didn’t add tremendously to the flavour. I did it as I’m trying to eat more brassicas for health reasons. So if you don’t have any, or don’t fancy it, thinks it’s a dumb idea then just omit it.

Today I served the shak with brown basmati rice. I love white basmati rice so much and think it has a lot more flavour. But again, for the old health, I tried brown. And you know what, though this dish looked too much like something a sock wearing sandaled hippie vegie would eat, it tasted pretty good.