Dishoom

This branch near Kings Cross is within walking distance of the train station. They only accept bookings for 6 diners or more. We went for lunch on Sunday and managed to get a table. Huge restaurant with seating outside, upstairs, ground floor and lower ground,

This is rather unusual-puffed rice with herbs, spices and pomegranate seeds.

Squid – not my favourite as found it a bit greasy and when you mixed it with the sweet sauce it lost its crispiness and became chewy.

The grilled lamb chops were tender and juicy and pretty spicy.The chicken tikka was equally delicious and the black dhal excellent. Two romali rotis rounded off the meal really well.

Excellent meal and reasonably priced.

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Being beside the seaside

Whitstable

Just 1 hour and 15 minutes from St Pancras station and we were beside the sea. The harbour was a 15 minute walk from the train station. Lunch was at The Lobster Shack which is right on the beach and which has superb

sea views. We had the famous Whitstable oysters, fresh grilled lobster, razor clams, scampi and huss.

Looking forward already to our next visit!!

Mussels in a Thai broth

These mussels are rope grown and from the Shetland Islands. Although tasty we did not find extracting the meat from the small ones easy, however, the big ones were, as they were used in a fish pie.

Ingredients:

1 kg mussels washed and scrubbed

1 stalk lemongrass, roughly chopped

1 small banana shallot, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 chilli

bunch of coriander stalks

1 teaspoon fish sauce

juice of 1/2 lemon or more

2 teaspoons fish paste

200 ml coconut milk

palm sugar

chopped coriander leaves

Place all the ingredients except coconut milk, palm sugar and coriander leaves in a food processor and process until smooth. Add a touch of oil if too thick.

In a non stick pan, fry the paste (oil not needed if you have added some when processing ingredients). Fry gently for 5 minutes.

Add coconut milk and cook gently for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. I needed no salt as the fish sauce and lemon juice balances out just right. Add palm sugar.

Add your mussels. Cover with a lid and steam for a few minutes. Shake the pot gently to encourage mussels to open. Discard any that does not open.

Remove mussels with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings again and if too thin turn up the heat and reduce uncovered. Do not boil or coconut milk can split.

Spoon into bowls, pour on sauce and sprinkle with coriander.

Guyanese Eggplant dip

Prepping today as I am catering for a ‘stag night’ tomorrow. The best and tastiest way to make this dish is to barbecue all the vegetables as you want that smokey taste.

The guys have chosen to have a mezze as their first course and this dip is just one that makes up the mezze.

I made a slit in each eggplant and pushed in half a clove of garlic. I then rubbed oil over each vegetable and placed them on the grill. Once the vegetables were cooked I put them into a colander to drain……some eggplants can be a bit bitter so this gets rid of the liquid.

Skin all the vegetables and remove the seeds. Chop the flesh.

Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, pinch or two of cumin powder and some finely sliced green onions.

Add some finely chopped coriander and taste and adjust seasonings.

Cheesy Smoked Haddock Pots

These little first course dishes were pretty easy to put together and tasted rather fab.

1 x 300g ripe tomatoes, peeled, de-seeded and cut into strips

600g skinless and boneless smoked haddock – bite size pieces

300ml double cream

3 tablespoons snipped chives

6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

75g Gruyere, finely grated

bread to mop up the juices

Heat oven to 180 deg C. Grease 8 oven proof dishes.

Mix the tomatoes, haddock and chives in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Divide between your 8 bowls. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of double cream into each bowl. Mix the two cheeses together and pile into the bowls.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 12-15 minutes until sauce is just bubbling and the top golden.

Keep an eye on it as mine bubbled a bit too much and was on the verge of splitting the cream.

They smelled so good and was so eager to get them to my guests, I forgot to photograph the finished product.

Lentil fritters

This is my version of a Guyanese snack. I rinsed and soaked over night 500g of yellow lentils.

Next morning, I drained the lentils and pulsed as finely as I could in a food processor. I added a roughly chopped onion, 3 cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, 3 tablespoons of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, teaspoon of turmeric and a tablespoon of cumin.

Heat a deep fat fryer or oil in a wok or saucepan to very hot. To get the round balls I used an ice cream scoop. Deep fry until golden and cooked through.

My dipping sauce was plain yogurt mixed with some lime pickle and a spicy mint jelly.

Makes about 32.