Kerelan Prawn Curry

I absolutely love South Indian food, their creamy coconut curries are delicious. In this recipe I’ll show you how to make your own curry paste from scratch. It’s a little bit time consuming and you’ll need to get a couple specialist ingredients (all can be found in large supermarkets though, or local Indian shops), but the effort is worth it as you’ll end up with a fragrant, authentic curry paste. You can also batch prep your paste and freeze it into portions to be used later.

Serves 2
Overall time required: 1 hour

  • Olive oil
  • 2 red onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 tomatoes or 8-10 cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 12–14 peeled raw king or tiger prawns (if you don’t eat seafood, use 2 boneless and skinless chicken thighs, or 1 aubergine)
  • 1 tablespoon plain yoghurt
  • flaked almonds, to garnish
  • Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 8cm piece of ginger
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 heaped tablespoon tomato purée
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste


  1. First make your curry paste. The paste seems really time consuming to prepare, but you can batch prep the paste and freeze portions to use at a later date. You can either use a pestle and mortar or a small food processor. Add the coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, ground turmeric and a pinch each of sea salt and chilli powder to a pestle and mortar or food processor.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a small pan on a low heat and add the mustard seeds and fry until they start to pop. Transfer to your pestle and mortar/food processor and pound/blend. Roughly chop your garlic, ginger and chillies and add to the paste until smooth. Mix in the tomato purée and tamarind.
  3. Start prepping your curry. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan on a medium heat. Add your red onion to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat down to low, add the curry paste and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the fresh tomatoes and cook on a low heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add the coconut milk and gently simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn up the heat and add the prawns (or your chicken or aubergine). Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the prawns are lovely and pink and just cooked through. If using chicken you will have to cook it for a bit longer (5-10 minutes)
  6. Turn off the heat and add the yoghurt.
  7. Garnish with the flaked almonds, coriander leaves and extra yoghurt. Serve with rice or naan.

The Ultimate Fish Pie

A fish pie is the ultimate winter comfort food. I’ve experimented with a few different recipes over the year, some of which really overcomplicate things with mixed results. I think I have come up with the perfect one – it’s very simple to make, doesn’t require masses of ingredients, yet tastes rich and creamy at the same time (and has a bit of a kick to it!).

The choice of fish and seafood I’ve mentioned in the ingredients is a suggestion, feel free to substitute these with your preferred fish. You could include squid for example, or any other types of fish fillet.

Serves 4
Prep time: 30 minutes

  • 450ml fish stock (chicken or vegetable stock will also do)
  • 300g fish fillets, cubed (I use a combination of salmon, smoked haddock and cod)
  • 100g scallops
  • 200g raw prawns, peeled
  • 100ml white wine
  • 150ml whole milk
  • 100ml double cream
  • 50g butter
  • Dash of olive oil
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 50g plain flour
  • handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 200g potatoes
  • 80g cheddar cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper


  1. Peel your potatoes and parboil them (roughly for 10 minutes and drain once complete). You don’t want them to cook through completely, they need to still be firm.
  2. Bring your stock to boil, and add your fish fillets for 1-2 minutes, until cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in your pie dish. Repeat with your scallops and prawns for 1 minute. Don’t overcook them, your fish will continue to cook whilst in the pie in the oven. Season your fish with salt and pepper.
  3. Add your wine, double cream and milk to the stock mixture and leave to simmer.
  4. Add the butter to a frying pan on a low heat then add your leeks. You can add a dash of olive oil to prevent the butter from burning. Add your garlic, some salt and pepper and leave to cook for 4-5 minutes. The leeks should be soft and buttery but not browned.
  5. Turn the heat to medium-high and cover the leeks with the flour. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Start slowly adding your stock/cream/milk/wine mixture to the leeks and stir continuously as you do. Once you’ve added the whole mixture, leave to simmer for 2-3 minutes and then add half of your parsley to the mixture.
  7. Pour your creamy leek sauce over your fish in the pie dish.
  8. Slice your potatoes and position on top of the fish mixture, then season with salt, pepper and the rest of the parsley.
  9. Cook on 180C for 30 minutes. Remove, scatter your cheese on top and cook for another 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

Chorizo & Sweet Potato Risotto

This risotto is one of my favourite autumnal dinners. The chorizo and the smoked paprika work together to create a warming flavour, which goes really well with the sweet potato. It’s a really quick and easy dinner to prepare, that feels impressive! You can sub the sweet potato for butternut squash, or even swede, as these are all in season at the moment.

Serves 2
Overall time required: 30 minutes

  • 100g arborio (risotto) rice
  • 100g chorizo, sliced
  • 10 mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 450g chicken stock
  • 150ml white wine
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 50g cheese (I like to use a combination of cheddar and manchego)
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 25g butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  1. Prepare your arborio rice according to the instructions on the packet. Whilst this is boiling, add the olive oil to a separate frying pan on a medium-high heat, then add the chorizo and fry for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add your onion, sweet potato and mushrooms to the pan and fry for a further 5-6 minutes. Add your garlic, oregano and salt and pepper and reduce the heat to low.
  3. By this point, your rice should be boiled, add it to the pan with the chorizo and vegetables and pour in the white wine and add the smoked paprika. Leave to simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Gradually add your chicken stock to the pan over the next 10 minutes, stirring throughout. You want the liquid to have cooked off before progressing to the next stage. If you find the risotto is still quite ‘soup like’, raise the heat slightly.
  5. Add your cheese and parsley and stir through until the cheese has melted.
  6. Serve, perhaps alongside some garlic bread, it makes a great side!

Herby Crepes

Herby Crepe

Crepes are one of my go-to quick dinners. I love them because they’re light, quick to make, and can be filled with pretty much anything. For savoury crepes, I have found that adding a few simple herbs to the batter goes a long way in enhancing flavour. My favourite crepe filling is ham, mushroom and cheese (a French classic!) but you can adapt the filling to your choice. You could fill it will roasted veg, or shredded chicken, or smoked salmon and cream cheese, for example.

If you’ve never made crepes before, don’t be alarmed if the first few don’t quite go to plan. It takes a bit of experimenting to create the perfect pancake.

My top tips are:
1. Always make sure your pan is piping hot before adding the batter.
2. Use a non-stick pan, make sure it is well oiled.
3. Don’t overcook your crepe – they really are cooked through in a couple of minutes and can go from cooked to burnt quite quickly.

You can also batch cook a large pile of crepes and store in foil for a few days, you can just warm these up on a low heat in your frying pan.

Makes 2 crepes

For the crepe batter:

  • 1 egg
  • 180ml milk
  • 50g plain flour
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • handful of fresh chives, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

For the filling:

  • 1 slice of ham
  • 6 mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 35g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil


  1. Make your crepe batter. Whisk your egg and milk and then add the flour. Whisk again until a smooth batter forms and then add your salt, pepper, parsley and chives. Cover with clingfilm and leave to stand for 1 hour.
  2. Prepare your filling by pan frying your mushrooms on a low heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, parsley and salt and pepper to the pan and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Prepare your frying pan for your crepe by oiling the pan, making sure the oil covers the entirety of your pan to avoid sticking. Heat your pan on a high heat for 2-3 minutes and ensure it is piping hot before you add your batter.
  4. Pour a ladle-full of crepe batter on to your frying pan (this should be roughly half of your mixture), ensuring that the batter is spread out evenly across your pan. Once one side is lightly brown (this should only take 1 minute or less), use a slotted turner to flip your pancake. Once the second side is cooked through, turn off the heat.
  5. With the crepe still in the pan, add your mushrooms, ham and cheese to one half of the crepe and fold in half. Lightly press down on the crepe to ensure the cheese is melted through for a couple of minutes.

Sweet Potato in a Mustard Cream Sauce

I first tried a dish like this at Polpo, an Italian tapas restaurant in London. The mustard sauce was amazing, I’d never tried anything like it before and went really well with the sweetness of the sweet potato. It’s a great way to jazz up a traditional baked sweet potato.

Pumpkin, butternut squash or swede could serve as a good substitute for sweet potato in this dish, and they’re currently in season!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves 1


1 sweet potato
250ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
1 tablespoon double cream
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Slice your sweet potato lengthways and brown in a pan with olive oil over a high heat for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a deep baking tray and pour the chicken stock over the potato and cover in foil. Bake at 200c for 45 minutes.
  2. Remove your sweet potato from the baking dish once cooked and pour the stock into a saucepan. Reduce on a high heat for 1-2 minutes and then add the double cream, mustard, honey and a dash of pepper. Simmer for 4-5 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  3. Pour the sauce over your sweet potato and serve.


Making homemade gnocchi from scratch is a lot easier than I’d imagined. In Italy there has apparently been a longstanding debate as to whether the dough should include egg or not. I have tried both, my recipe doesn’t include egg as I found the dough easier to handle without, and you are left with soft pillowy parcels!

You can also freeze the dough, either pre-cooked or cooked so batch cooking is definitely possible, just defrost overnight in the fridge when you want to use it.

My two favourite sauces include a mushroom cream sauce and a salmon and caper butter gnocchi, recipes below.

I’ve also created a video below of a step-by step guide to making the dough.

How to make gnocchi

Prep time: 2 hours
Serves 4


1kg potatoes, all roughly the same size
Salt and pepper
250g plain flour
Pinch of nutmeg (optional)

Salmon & caper butter sauce:
2 salmon fillets
1 tablespoon capers
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely sliced
100g butter
Handful of chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Juice of half a lemon

Mushroom cream sauce:
10 mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Handful of chopped parsley
100ml white wine
200ml double cream
1 onion, finely sliced
Salt and pepper



Watch the video above for a quick overview of how to make gnocchi.

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5 and wash the potatoes. Dry them well and prick all over with a fork. Bake for about an hour until completely cooked through: this will depend on the size of the potatoes, so check them regularly.
  2. Remove from the oven and as soon as they’re cool enough to touch (be brave!), peel.
  3. Push the potatoes through a potato ricer and add the flour, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Mix together with your hands, add more flour if necessary, but stop as soon as it comes together as a soft dough.
  4. Roll into a ball about 1.5cm thick. Divide this into four and then roll each small ball into sausage shapes.
  5. Lay each sausage out and cut them into 1cm wide segments. Roll each gnocchi piece over the tines of a fork.
  6. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, then tip in the gnocchi (you may want to do this in small batches depending on the size of your pan). Wait for these to rise to the surface (this should only take a few minutes) and count slowly to 10 and then remove with a slotted spoon and tip into whatever sauce you are using.

Salmon & caper butter sauce:

  1. Pan fry the onion in the olive oil on a medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the salmon fillets (seasoned with salt and pepper) for another 3-4 minutes until cooked through.
  2. Add the garlic and capers to the pan and reduce heat to low and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the wine and leave to reduce for another 1 minute, then stir in the butter, lemon juice and chopped parsley and leave to simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Mushroom cream sauce:

  1. Pan fry the onion in the olive oil on a medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Pour in the wine and reduce heat to low and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Stir in the cream, salt and pepper and parsley and leave to simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Indian Fish Pie

Indian fish pie

This fish pie is a fusion take on the traditional fish pie, cooked with Indian spices and herbs. The creamy coconut pie filling is packed with seafood and topped with some spicy potatoes.  It tastes great served alongside some chutney or some papadums!

Overall time required: 1 hour 15 mins
Serves 4


For the pie filling:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli (or to taste), finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 200g cod, cut into chunks
  • 200g smoked haddock, cut into chunks
  • 180g king prawns
  • handful of coriander, roughly chopped
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 5 curry leaves
  • salt and pepper

For the mashed potato:

  • 1kg potatoes, peeled
  • 50g butter
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • salt and pepper
  • handful of coriander, roughly chopped


  1. Make the mash by boiling the potatoes for 20 minutes, or until tender. Then drain.
  2. Whilst the potatoes are boiling, heat the butter in a pan and throw in all the remaining mash ingredients and cook for 2-3 minutes. Once your potatoes are boiled, mash them and stir in the spiced butter.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan on a medium-high heat and cook the mustard seeds, turmeric, cumin, garlic, ginger and chilli for 1 minute.

  4. Add your onion to the pan and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add your flour and cook for 3 more minutes.

  5. Reduce the heat to low and gradually add the coconut milk, stirring until a smooth sauce forms. Add the salt and pepper.
  6. Stir the cod, haddock, prawns, coriander, cherry tomatoes and lime juice into the sauce and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  7. Tip the sauce into a baking dish and spoon your mashed potato over the pie.
  8. Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5 and bake for 30 minutes or until crispy on top.


I’d always thought of paella to be something that I’d only eat in restaurants as it seemed super complex (and expensive!) to make at home. I couldn’t have been more wrong and now it’s become one of my favourite home cooked meals.

Traditionally, some of the ingredients used to make paella are expensive, however using frozen seafood can make a huge difference. Either defrost in the fridge overnight or in the microwave on the defrost setting. You can also add mussels too to the recipe below!

Serves 2

Ready in 40 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 prawns
  • 1 chicken breast, chopped into chunks
  • Handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • 50ml white wine
  • Large pinch of saffron strands
  • 75g cooking chorizo, chopped into chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 6 scallops
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tomato, roughly chopped
  • 50g peas
  • 100g risotto rice
  • 250ml chicken stock


  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the chicken, chorizo and onion and fry for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and white wine and then add the risotto rice. Add the garlic and saffron continue to stir for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, peas, prawns, scallops and squid and reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Leave to cook for 10-15 minutes and continue to stir every few minutes.
  3. Add the lemon juice, parsley and some salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Asian Style Pork


I was recently invited to the Taste of London Festival to sample a 4 course menu developed using Lee Kum Kee’s new sauce range. My favourite dish of the night was easily the sticky BBQ pork dish, and the best bit is, you can buy their sauces and whip up this tasty meal at home.  Compared to the other supermarket brands, Lee Kum Kee’s sauces taste more authentic, and are still reasonably priced. For example, their Premium Oyster Sauce (used in this recipe) is sold at most supermarkets (it’s £2.75 at Tesco).

I’ve adjusted this recipe slightly from the original, as I’ve found this method to be a bit more user friendly when you’re pressed for time, and you still get the same great flavours.  Don’t eat pork? I’ve also tried substituting the pork for salmon or chicken and it works really well too.  The recipe below uses a barbecue, but feel free to pan fry or grill your pork instead. I’ve tried all methods and they all work well.

Prep and cook time required: 20 minutes (plus marinade time)
Serves 2


500g thinly sliced pork belly
2 tablespoons soy sauce
thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Lee Kum Kee Char Siu Sauce 
1 tablespoon Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Sauce


  1. Marinade your pork. Place your pork belly into a bowl and coat in the soy sauce and the ginger. Leave to marinade for at least 30 minutes.
  2. To cook, light your barbecue.  If you are using charcoal, make sure it is fully lit and all the flames have died down, as you want your barbecue to be as hot as possible.
  3. Put the pork slices on to the grill and cook for 2 minutes before turning.  Repeat this process for approximately another 4-6 minutes, or until almost cooked.
  4. At this point you want to add your Char Siu and Oyster Sauce to the pork and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until charred on both sides. Serve with any remaining glaze.

Cooking with Comté

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I was recently invited to a cooking class at L’atelier des chefs on comté cheese.  The class began with some wine and a little introduction to comté and it’s production methods. Comté is a French cheese originating in a fairly remote region in the mountains of Eastern France where there are over 2500 family farms dedicated to producing the raw milk that is used to create comté.  The cows used for producing the milk are only fed with natural feed and their milk has to be processed within 24 hours so it’s extremely fresh.  It is then taken to one of the 150 small village cheese dairies in France that specialise in producing comté, where it is looked after for at least 4 months, and is regularly turned, salted and rubbed in a cheese wheel with brine solution.

It’s a hard cheese that’s from a similar family to gruyère cheese and has over 83 natural flavours that can be detected when tasting it, making it a very versatile cheese that can be added to loads of dishes.

We then had the opportunity to taste three different ages of comté.  In general, the darker the cheese is, the older it probably is, and the older it is, the saltier it is.  Our cheese tasting was followed by a demonstration by chef Laura Pope, of two dishes that she has developed using comté.  First we had the freekeh salad with charred pears, rocket and comté and for the main she made bubble and squeak with melted comté and a fried egg (the recipes can be found below).  We then split off into groups and had a go at making (and eating!) the dishes ourselves.

Freekeh salad with Comté, charred pears & cinnamon, rocket & toasted pecans

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Prep time: 20 – 30 minutes
Serves 4

The freekeh salad was honestly one of the best salads I’ve ever tried! There are so many flavours and textures involved, the freekeh itself has a delicious smoky, earthy flavour, the pecans offer a crunch, the pears a sweet twinge and the lemon a citrusy element.

Freekeh originates in the middle east and is green durum wheat that has been roasted, rubbed and then cracked.  You can buy dried freekeh and prep it yourselves, but we actually cheated slightly and used ready made freekeh by Merchant Gourmet to save time.  It was really delicious and I’d probably buy it again in future because it cuts down prep time but still has a great flavour!  Laura mentioned that we could substitute the freekeh for bulgur wheat or quinoa if required.


  • 250g freekeh (either ready made or cooked according to the packet instructions if cracked)
  • 2 to 4 just ripe pears (depending on size – you want about 400g in total)
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 50g rocket leaves
  • 100g pecan nuts (without shells)
  • Zest of ½ lemon and juice of 1 lemon
  • 45ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 200g 12-14 month aged Comté, cubed


  1. Toast the pecans: heat oven to 160℃ fan / 180℃ normal and lay the pecans out on a baking sheet, then toast for about 10 minutes, until they give off a rich aroma – but do not let them burn. Let them cool, remove a handful to leave whole and then roughly chop the rest.
  2. Add the freekeh to your salad bowl.
  3. If the skin of the pears is rough and thick, peel them – if not, you can leave it on. Cut them into eighths and cut out the cores. Toss the pears in the oil, cinnamon and a little salt and black pepper. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat for a few minutes and then char each side of the pears so that they have griddle lines and are warm all the way through – you don’t want to overcook them or they will fall apart. Chop half the pears into cubes and leave the rest for later.
  4. Mix the lemon zest, juice and olive oil together and season with salt and pepper. Mix this through the freekeh and mix in the rocket leaves, the chopped pecan nuts, the cubed pears and most of the Comté. Lay the pear slices on top and scatter over the remaining Comté and pecans.

Bubble & squeak with melted Comté and fried egg

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Prep time: 20 – 30 minutes (depending on whether you have leftover mashed potato)
Serves 4

Bubble and squeak is a great way to use up leftover potato and vegetables.  It’s also warming and comforting so is the perfect meal for winter (or most of the year if you live in the UK!!) We added cavolo nero and comté which tasted delicious melted! We topped the dish with a fried egg.


  • 400g cavolo nero
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil, for frying
  • 900g cooked mashed potato
  • 8 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 200g 18 to 24 month aged Comté, coarsely grated
  • 4 eggs


  1. Cut out the central rib of each leaf of cavolo nero and discard, then cut the leaves into wide strips. Melt 30g of the butter in a saucepan and add the cavolo nero, a splash of water and season with salt and black pepper. Turn heat up high and stir the cavolo nero to coat it in the butter, water and seasoning, then turn the heat down to medium, cover the pan and cook for about 3 minutes, until it is wilted, giving the pan a shake every now and then. Drain off any excess liquid.
  2. Heat the remaining 30g butter and about ½ tablespoon oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat, then tip in the potato and spring onion and fry. As it cooks, you want it to brown and char slightly – make sure to spread it out over the base of the pan and keep breaking it up and scraping the bottom of the pan so that the lovely, crunchy brown bits are mixed in.
  3. Mix in the cavolo nero and then the Comté and turn the heat down to medium. When the Comté starts to melt, stop turning the mixture over – just press it down every now to flatten the surface and cook over a low heat until it is golden brown on the bottom.
  4. Meanwhile, in a separate frying pan, heat ½ tablespoon of oil and fry the eggs over a medium heat so that the whites are set but the yolks are still runny – season each egg with a little salt and black pepper as they are cooking. Place the four fried eggs on top of the bubble & squeak and serve in the frying pan for everyone to help themselves.

I was sent home with a slice of the comté cheese wheel and have been adding it to salads, pastas and several other dishes, it’s such a versatile cheese and I’m glad I discovered it!  If you want to get your hands on some comté, it is sold in several cheesemongers and supermarkets in the UK (such as Waitrose). See their website for more details at