Saffron & Spice

Spice Roasted Cauliflower with a Pea, Yoghurt and Coriander Dressing

New beginnings and temple food.. and I need a January full of all things restorative and soothing.. well.. for at least a week anyway 🙂 I’m starting off my healthy break with a spiced cauliflower, roasted in in coconut oil, ground spices and cumin seed until golden and served with a pea, yoghurt, fresh coriander dressing.. with a fresh chilli and lemon kick to give that bit of freshness and heat.. My kind of temple food x


Spiced Roast Cauliflower

with a Pea, Yoghurt and Coriander Dressing

Serves 2 – 3 as a starter or a side dish 


1 medium sized cauliflower, cut into florets

2 tbsp coconut oil

2 tsp chilli powder 

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cumin and coriander

1/4 tsp garam masala

1 tbsp cumin seeds

For the dressing: 

50g frozen peas

50g Greek yoghurt (or unsweetened coyo if you want to make this vegan)

Half a bunch of fresh coriander (plus a little chopped coriander for the garnish) 

1 tbsp fresh garlic and ginger paste

1 tsp of chopped fresh green chilli

A squeeze of lemon juice

Salt to taste 



Pre-heat the oven to 225C. Heat the coconut oil in a roasting pan over the hob and turn the heat off when the oil has melted. Add the ground spices and the cumin seeds to the oil and mix thoroughly. Toss in the cauliflower florets and coat each floret with the spice mix.

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Spread out the cauliflower so that you have one layer and put in the oven to roast for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden and tender.

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While the cauliflower is roasting, blitz the chilli, garlic, ginger and fresh coriander and lemon juice together until you have a fine paste. Then add in the peas and blitz until smooth. 

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Add the yoghurt to the pea mixture and add a little water to loosen the mixture until you get a dressing consistency and leave in the fridge until the cauliflower is ready. 


When the cauliflower is ready, pile onto your serving platter and generously pour the dressing over the cauliflower and top with some chopped fresh coriander.. Serve immediately while still warm.. Feel good at first soothing bite…



Spiced Pork Belly Kebabs with a Fresh Apple and Chilli Chutney

The last days of summer.. So not my favourite time of year.. but, at  l e a s t  its apple season, which means I’m getting lots and lots of tart apples from the garden.. ready for me to happily make some easy warming autumnal dessert or other..  or to use them with spices in savoury dishes too.. like in a fresh apple and chilli chutney, to accompany spicy pork belly kebabs.. 

Pork belly is one of my favorite cuts of the meat, as essentially it’s the fattiest cut and that is the reason I love most things.. and it keeps the meat nice and juicy too, so nothing not to love there.. The pork in this recipe is coated in a simple dry rub of hot chilli powder, warming ground cumin, coriander and garam masala, with a little sugary note too, in the form of brown sugar (or palm sugar) to give the meat those dark sticky caramel edges… My kind of lazy end of summer weekend food… 




Indian Pork Belly Kebabs

with a

Fresh Apple and Chilli Chutney

Serves 2 – 3 


For the kebabs – 

600g pork belly strips, cut into 1 inch cubes 

1 tsp chilli powder 

1 tsp brown sugar or palm sugar (jaggery)

1 tsp ground cumin and coriander 

1 tsp garam masala


For the apple chutney – 

1 large fresh green apple (The one I used weighed about 220g), peeled and cored

1 fresh hot green chilli 

1/2 tsp ground cumin 

1/2 tsp salt 



First the chutney. Blitz the apple, green chilli, ground cumin and salt in a food processor until smooth. Put into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and refrigermerate (I like to cook and make up words).


Now the kebabs. Mix the chilli powder, brown sugar (or palm sugar), ground cumin and coriander and garam masala in a bowl.


Add the pork belly cubes into the bowl and coat the meat with the dry rub.


Skewer the cubes, spacing the meat equally and with little gaps in between each cube.


Lightly oil a griddle pan and put on a medium heat. When the pan is hot, place the kebabs in.


Griddle the skewers, turning them frequently until they are crisp and golden all over. 


Serve the kebabs straight away with L O T S of the apple chutney.. Feel good at first kebaby bite…



Hot Courgette Fritters with a Cool Chilli & Mint Yoghurt Dip

There isn’t anything like your mum’s cooking.. and I love my mum’s muthia.. hot fritters, made with chickpea flour and spiced with fresh green chilli, garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric with sesame seeds for an added little of texture.. Traditionally, these Gujarati steamed fritters are made with fenugreek or bottle gourd but we love to use new season courgettes as a little twist.. I’ve added a traditional chilli and mint yoghurt raita as a little dip as the fresh mint goes so well with the courgette.

Like all the good foods.. simple to knock up and oh so moreish.. and you may have to stop yourself from eating the whole batch.. or just give in, like me.. Seriously, that’s how good they are 🙂


Courgette Fritters

with a 

Chilli and Mint Yoghurt Dip

Serves 4 as a starter, snack or brunch 


For the fritters – 

2 large courgettes, grated

100g chickpea flour

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp fresh chilli 

1 tbsp fresh garlic and ginger 

1/2 tsp garam masala 

1 tbsp sesame seeds 

Vegetable oil for shallow frying


For the chilli and mint yoghut dip – 

200g yoghurt 

A small handful of fresh mint

1/4 tsp salt 

1/4 tsp cumin 

1 small hot green chilli



First the dip.  Blitz the mint, cumin, salt and fresh chilli in a little food processor until smooth. Put the mint mix in a bowl, add the yoghurt and mix thoroughly.  Cover the bowl with clingfilm and put in the fridge for later.


Now for the fritters. Mix the grated courgette with the salt, chilli, garlic, ginger, garam masala and sesame seeds and chickpea flour and mix thoroughly.



Get a big frying pan and add enough vegetable oil so that the fritters can shallow fry.  Place large spoonfuls of the fritter mixture, equal to two tablespoons, into the pan, The mixture should make 8 fritters and maybe a little extra fritter as a cooks treat for you too.


Cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side and flip over when golden-brown. Cook for a minute on the other side and cover the frying pan so that the fritter can steam a little while frying. When golden brown on the other side, remove the fritters and drain on kitchen paper. Serve hot with lots of the cool yoghurt on the side.. Feel good at first dip…



Crab Bhajia with Hot Tamarind Chutney

Crab curry has long been a family favourite, and I have had a craving for that white flesh for a while now.. with it’s delicate sweet taste, perfectly coupled with fiery hot chilli, warming garam masala and lots of butter.. Sorry, got a little dreamy there.. Crab bhajia is a simple recipe I dreamt up using fresh Cornish crab meat and adding to it a little fresh green chilli, ginger, garlic, garam masala and melted butter to add some heat and richness.. Classically, tamarind is used as a souring agent in fish and seafood curries so I thought a tamarind chutney would be a great seamate for these bhajia, a sour and spicy note to cut through the sweetness of the crab and the salty richness of the butter.. I recently made this for a family dinner.. a new family favourite for you to love..


Crab Bhajia


Hot Tamarind Chutney 

Serves 2 as a generous starter 


For the Tamarind Chutney – Adapted from a recipe from a great Indian recipe website, ‘Manjula’s Kitchen’. One of my faves.

60g Fresh tamarind – Which you can buy already podded and seeded at any Asian food store

20g Sugar

150ml Boiling water

1/2 tsp Roasted cumin seeds

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Red chili powder

1/4 tsp Ground black pepper

Pinch of dried ginger powder 


For the Crab Bhajia – 

240g White crab meat (Fresh crab meat is best if you can get your hands on some but tinned crab meat is good if you need a quick fix)

50g Self raising flour

25g Fine cornmeal

1 tbsp of finely chopped fresh ginger and fresh garlic

1 tsp of finely chopped fresh hot green chilli

1 tbsp melted butter

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander 

A pinch of garam masala

Vegetable oil for deep frying



First the chutney. Break the tamarind into small pieces and soak in boiling water for one hour. After soaking, Mash the tamarind it into a pulp and strain, pressing the tamarind into the strainer to remove all the pulp and seeds. Add the sugar to the pulp and mix well until the sugar has dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients and mix.


Add more sugar, salt or pepper as needed for taste. Chutney did. 


Now for the bhajia. Put the crab meat into a mixing bowl and add the self raising flour and corn meal and mix with the crab. 




Add the melted butter, ginger, garlic, chilli and coriander to the crab and mix in thoroughly to make a crabby dough-like mixture.


Time to make the bhajia. Put your vegetable oil on a medium to high heat ready for deep frying the bhajia and while that’s heating up, you can start rolling the crab mixture into 1″ balls, roughly making about 14 in total.


The vegetable oil should be hot (be careful kids) and ready for frying the bhajia. Carefully drop a few of the bhajia in the oil  and fry until golden brown. Feel good at first steamy bite…


Chilli Chops: Spice Crusted Tender Lamb Chops

My chops. Hot juicy roasted lamb chops, spiced with garam masala and hot with chilli and paprika.. I’m such a carnivore, I need a lamby fix every so often and this recipe really just takes care of me. This recipe is easy and great for a bank holiday weekend, when all you want to do, is relax, unwind, and feed your chops.. Now pass that mint chutney..


Chilli Chops

Serves 2 


500g lamb chops

2 fat garlic cloves

1 inch piece of ginger 

Juice of half a lime

1/4 bunch of coriander

1 tsp of garam masala

1 tbsp vegetable oil 

1 tsp paprika

Salt to taste



Firstly, pre-heat the oven to 200c. Using a fork, prick the chops so that the marinade can be absorbed all the way through the meat.


Blitz the garlic, ginger, lime, chillies, coriander, garam masala, vegetable oil in a blender and make a smooth paste for the marinade. Once the paste is ready, add the paprika and salt.


You can marinade the chops for a few hours so that the flavours of the paste really get into the lamb or even overnight if you want to prep this for a barbeque.. but you really don’t need to.. like, if you don’t have time or you just can’t wait (guess which once I was..), the flavours don’t need much time to really do their thing.. and I’m always too hungry too wait.


Place the chops on an oiled tray and bake in the centre of the hot oven, for about 20 to 25 mins depending on the thickness of your chops. Turn the chops over halfway through cooking and the chops should be dry and starting to char when you take them out. 


These chops would go perfectly with a mint raita and some buttery new season jersey royal potatoes.. Feel-good at first taste.


Perfect served with: Kachori Spiced Pea & Potato Tray Bake


Asparagus Bhajia with a Fresh Coconut and Coriander Chutney

Deep fried errything. That’s what I like. Coated in a batter spiced with garam masala, fresh green chilli, garlic and ginger and deep fried until golden.. with a hot chutney on the side for dipping into.. Somehow, I think that’s what you’ll like too. 

Bhajias (bhajis) are an Indian feel-good favourite, and works so well with a variety of vegetables, but my new favourite vegetable to use right now is asparagus. Newly in season, asparagus tips are perfect to have in bhajia, with the batter encasing the tender stems so that the intense heat from the hot oil steams the inside, while the spices in the garam masala enhances the delicate flavour of the asparagus. To go with the bhajia, I made a fresh coconut and coriander chutney which is so simple and delicious, it’s worth making to go with any indian meal.

Bhajias always remind me of weekends, lazy days and holidays.. so simple and so so moreish, you’ll find yourself taking the time to savour every bite.. the way that all good indian food should be eaten..



Asparagus Bhajia

Serves 2 as a generous starter 


For the Bhajia

200g new season asparagus tips 

150g gram (chickpea) flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garam masala

2 – 3 hot green chillis

1 fat clove of garlic

1 inch piece of fresh ginger

150ml cold water

2 tsp of hot vegetable oil

Vegetable oil for deep frying

For the coconut chutney

90g freshly grated coconut 

50g fresh coriander

1/2 small onion

1/2 inch piece of ginger

1 fat garlic clove

2 – 3 green chillies (I used three but I like it hottt) 

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar


The chutney first – Blend the chillis, garlic, ginger, onion, coconut, coriander and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth, and add a little water to get the mixture really fine. Add the salt and sugar and mix in. Cover and put in the fridge until the bhajia are ready. 

Now for the bhajia. 

Put on your vegetable oil for the deep frying on a steady medium to high heat,  While the oil is heating up, put the gram flour, garam masala and salt in a bowl and finely chop the chillis, garlic and ginger. Once chopped, add the chillis, garlic and ginger to the batter mix.



Slowly  add the cold water to the flour, adding the water a little at a time while whisking to avoid the lumps. Once you have a smooth batter, add two teaspoons of hot oil to the batter and mix until glossy.


Put a few of the asparagus tips in the batter and coat lightly in the batter.


Carefully drop the tips into the hot oil, one by one, in small batches.


Fry until golden and drain the tips on some kitchen paper. Best eaten straight away, while the asparagus tips have a bit of bite.. Feel good at first bite.