Indian Style Salad

My parents-in-law are now home from their grand overseas adventure – so we wasted no time in scheduling a family dinner over the weekend. For there were lots of baby cuddles to catch up on (and two bigger sisters who had missed their grandparents dearly!)

And, as is proving to be the norm for our family dinners, there was no shortage of food.  We decided to pull together an Indian-style dinner – with spicy lamb shoulder (slow coked for 6 hours) and a tomato / potato curry being the stars. The usual sides – raita, kachumber, rice, naan and pappadums also made an appearance – but I couldn’t resist trying a new dish to throw some green into the mix.

Enter: an Indian-style salad. Inspired by this Jamie Oliver recipe.

Crunchy lettuce, radishes, carrots, spring onions and tomatoes, mixed with a good amount of fresh herbs (coriander and mint). Dressed with toasted spices (fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and mustard seeds), mango chutney and lemon juice.

The salad was finished with crumbled pappadums – adding some extra crunch and a little saltiness.

A lovely little addition to our Indian dinner indeed.  Oh and it made for a pretty good lunch the next day too!

Curry ‘samosa’ puffs

In addition to my dessert contribution to our recent Indian feast, I wanted to make something savoury too. Cue this plate of curry samosa puffs, that seemed to work well with the Indian theme. IMG_7190 - Copy It was 38C outside, and not exactly perfect pastry making weather, so I opted to use some pre-made puff pastry instead (needless to say this caused its own set of challenges when it thawed pretty much instantaneously). IMG_7171 I found this recipe online, which seemed to have the flavours and method I was looking for. Not to mention being a tasty ‘almost-Samosa’ addition to the dinner table. IMG_7173 I changed it up a bit – using tikka curry paste (that’s all I had), and grating the carrot instead. IMG_7175 I had to work quickly to encase the mince mixture in the rapidly thawing pastry – using some beaten egg as ‘glue’ and crimping the edges with a fork. IMG_7180 The result being a tray of rather rustic parcels – but rustic can be good no? IMG_7184 Baked for 20 minutes, and all pastry-dramas were forgive. For when I opened the oven, I was met with crispy golden brown puffs. IMG_7188 I soon realised that a dipping ‘sauce would work well – so I made a raita-style sauce with yoghurt, mint, cucumber, garlic, allspice and a sprinkle of paprika. IMG_7193 Even Charlotte ate 3 of these – so I’m calling them a win! Fiddly, yes, but I’m sure they would become easier with practice (and cooler temperatures outside). IMG_7192 What about you? Are you a fan of curry puffs like these?

Lamb curry and ginger molasses pudding

The lovely Em reminded me that I never posted the lamb curry and ginger pudding from our recent Indian Affair. A complete oversight on my part, as the weeks seem to fly past so quickly these days! So without further ado, both dishes came courtesy of this cookbook…. IMG_0111  Aka my new favourite cookbook! IMG_9850 I think what made this lamb curry so very delicious, was the abundance of spices. You can find the recipe online here. IMG_9848IMG_9849 And also a long sloooooooow cooking time. While the recipe asked for the curry to be cooked for 1.5-2 hours, I put it on at lunchtime and let it slowly cook throughout the entire afternoon. IMG_9887 The result? IMG_9888 Melt in your mouth lamb, that was full of flavour. IMG_9889 Spicy and aromatic, without being ‘hot’ for the milder palates at our dinner table. IMG_9890 And it must have been good – for my biggest critic (Miss C) ate a big bowl of it for dinner the next night! IMG_9892 But now, onto dessert. Again courtesy of this cookbook (email me if you want the recipe) IMG_9851 Ginger and treacle pudding. Or in my vase, ginger and molasses pudding as that’s what I had in the cupboard. IMG_9852 So very simple to put together. Cream the butter, add the sugar and molasses, then the remaining ingredients. IMG_9854 Spread into a lined baking dish, and baked for 40 minutes. IMG_9856 What a pretty and aromatic pudding this turned out to be. IMG_9857 Moist and flavoursome… IMG_9895 Served with double cream while warm, then sliced and served with a big scoop of homemade vanilla ice-cream the next day. IMG_9903IMG_9913 Simply delightful. And one I will definitely make again! What about you? What is your ‘go to’ meal when cooking for a crowd?

An Indian Affair

Sadly, we farewell my sister in law and niece this week, as they embark on an overseas trip. They are headed to Vietnam to volunteer at an orphanage for 8 weeks, which will be, I have no doubt, an amazing and fulfilling adventure. IMG_9860 To say ‘bon voyage’, we had the family around for dinner the other night – a perfect opportunity for me to get busy in the kitchen. I had been wanting to try a lamb curry recipe that I found in a cookbook, and the theme for the evening kinda grew from there. I’ll be posting the dishes / recipes next week, but for now, here is a glimpse into our Indian Affair. From the prep… IMG_9848IMG_9852IMG_9847IMG_9863 To the wine… IMG_9869 (We opened this bottle – and it proved to be the perfect accompaniment to our dinner). And, to the all important food! IMG_9879 Pappadums to start – with mango chutney and lime pickle (that I had combined with natural yoghurt). IMG_9877IMG_9882IMG_9881 For main we had a fragrant lamb curry – that had been slowly cooking on the stove for 6 hours! IMG_9890IMG_9893 Served with a cucumber raita, tomato/onion salad, coriander, roti and fresh lime. IMG_9871IMG_9873IMG_9888 But no meal would be complete without dessert. Well no meal in our household, at least. IMG_9898 And it was here that I deviated from the Indian theme, opting instead for a ginger and treacle pudding, topped with homemade orange ice-cream. IMG_9899 Need I say more!?! Only 8 weeks until we can throw the girls a ‘welcome home’ party! Until then, I will be living vicariously through them as they explore a region I have wanted to visit for so long! What about you? Are you a fan of Indian food?

Indian Feast – Part 2

Training: Upper body weights / Elliptical 30mins IMG_7966 So yesterday I shared with you the first two dishes served at our Indian Feast. Paneer with mushrooms and peas.  IMG_7958 And a refreshing tomato, cucumber and onion salad. IMG_7937 But the real star of the show – actually came care of a free magazine I picked up at our local health food shop. Lentil Potato Dahl with Cashew Almond Sauce. I doubled the recipe, and it ended up being quite the generous dish. So much so that Mr BBB and I had leftovers for 2 nights afterwards. That’s a lot of dahl. Like so many wonderful Indian dishes, the magic came with time. IMG_7807 Once the ingredients were measured, into a pot they went, then it was all a matter of  time. IMG_7835 Time to simmer. IMG_7838 And time to let the flavours develop. And, as is often the case with dishes like these – it was even better over the next few days. Finished with a nutty yoghurt sauce.. IMG_7840 Almonds, cashews, yoghurt and cayenne pepper. IMG_7843 Blended, then stirred through the dahl… IMG_7966 Topped with a generous amount of fresh parsley and coriander, and a sprinkle of flaked almonds. IMG_7970 The result? IMG_7964 A spicy, hearty and fragrant vegetarian dish. IMG_7980 Packed with flavour and nutrition, IMG_7981 (2)  And a perfect addition to our Indian Feast! But, of course, our feast did not stop there. For what feast would be complete without a little sweet treat to end the meal? Particularly one that involves oranges and almonds…. Part 3 to follow…. What about you? Do you have a favourite Indian dish? Happy Baking 🙂

Indian Feast – Part 1

Training: Ride 15km Our weekend was not only about biking fails. As mentioned, it was also about food wins! IMG_7939 But before I get to that, Katie asked what sort of snake it was that we encountered on Sunday’s bike ride. P4170001 And by encountered, I should mention that it was more of a "I rode over it without realising". Well, not realising until Mr BBB casually pointed it out a few moments later by saying "hey you know that you just rode over a snake?!". WTF?! Obviously that meant I had to go back and check that it was ok…. Mr BBB tells me that it was a red bellied black snake which, according to the wik:

“The Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus, is a species of elapid snake native to eastern Australia. Though its venom is capable of causing significant morbidity, it is not generally fatal and is less venomous than other deadly Australian snakes. It is common in woodlands, forests and swamplands of eastern Australia.”

So basically I rode over a deadly venomous snake. And lived to tell the tale ;)  And Mr BBB is trying to cover his grief by saying that it was a small baby snake. Pfffft – more like 10 foot long I say 😉 (Ps – The snake slithered away so I don’t think that it was hurt. I am sure he will be there next time we venture to Kowen Forest.) But I digress. Didn’t I promise you some food???? We invited two of our friends over for dinner on Saturday night, for our first proper dinner party in our new house (well aside from Christmas!). And, with the cooler temperatures having arrived, we decided that a slow cooked Indian feast would be the perfect way to warm up and catch up! On the menu:

  • Paneer with mushrooms and peas
  • Lentil and potato dahl with cashew almond sauce
  • Chicken Tikka
  • Tomato, cucumber and onion salad
  • Persian orange cake

The first curry came from one of our favourite curry cookbooks and proved to be a spicy, yet tasty addition to our menu. Paneer with mushrooms and peas Paneer is a traditional North Indian cheese, made from rich dairy milk. It is white in colour, and smooth textured, and is available at most supermarkets. The recipe I followed to cook our paneer was relatively simple, but it was packed with flavours. Starting with a spicy paste… IMG_7870 Onion, mint, garlic, ginger, chillies and coriander. Processed until smooth. IMG_7871 IMG_7874 With some extra spices… IMG_7879 Garam masala and turmeric. IMG_7880 Heated until fragrant, then in went mushroom,peas and the paneer cheese (that I had cubed and pan-fried in a little oil until golden brown). IMG_7883 Cooked until warmed through, then it was time for the final ingredient – yoghurt! IMG_7939 Topped with mint. IMG_7955 A creamy, spicy dish… IMG_7942 Packed with flavour… IMG_7951 And definitely not one for the chilli-shy ;)  I not only loved the little cubes of fried cheese… IMG_7958 But also the vegetables that had soaked up the spices, and the fresh herbs scattered throughout! IMG_7963 Alongside the paneer, we served a simple tomato, onion and cucumber salad. IMG_7937 Brought together with a little green chilli and a splash of fresh lime juice, IMG_7945 And finished with a good amount of fresh coriander. IMG_7938 Such a simple little dish – but it worked really nicely when served alongside the creamy, spicy paneer. IMG_7981 But wait – there’s more!  You will just have to stay tuned for part 2 of our Indian eats!! What about you? Do you like paneer? Happy Baking 🙂

BBB goes to India!

Happy Monday! I hope you have had a wonderful start to the week. — First – a little admin -  I finally worked out how to add a subscription link to my blog! hehe I may be able to run / bike / swim / bake, but technology is not something that comes naturally to me 😉 You should be able to see the link on the right side —–> So, if you would like to stay updated with all things bakebikeblog, feel free to sign up 🙂 —- Now where did I leave off? While Saturday was all about biking and apple butter baking, Sunday was all about running ……and a trip to India (well for my tummy at least). IMG_2329  I had planned to head out for my long run nice and early to avoid the heat, however a late night on Saturday night + sleeping later than expected = not hitting the pavement until almost 9.30am.  Which meant, of course, the sun was out and shining – and had quite a bite to it. IMG_2328 Solution …camel bak! Oh and lots of sunscreen to prevent more dodgy tan lines. My training plan called for a long run, and rather than doing and out and back course, I decided to run to the city.  From Isaacs. The scenic way. IMG_2330 See ya! IMG_2331 2 hours and 19 hot and sunny kilometres later, I arrived at the lake and was so glad to find Mr BBB (who had driven there to pick me up) waiting for me with a gatorade in hand. IMG_2333 I swear I finished this in 20 seconds flat. I love my electrolytes! I found the training run to be quite hard, particularly because of the heat. However, considering that by the time I hit the run leg of the Half Ironman it may almost be lunchtime, it was perfect ‘training’ for running in hot weather. It was also a great opportunity to work on hydration throughout the run – to find that balance of taking in enough liquids, without taking in ‘too much’. I found that a couple sips from the camel bak every 10 minutes seemed to work just fine, which should also be about the time between the aid stations during the race. I have never actually run with a camel bak before but now I am a complete covert! I thought that it would bounce around, however once the straps were done up firmly, I didn’t even notice it was there. Long run for the week – done! And so starts the taper…. ——- I spent the remainder of the day with Mr BBB’s mum, transforming her Aussie kitchen into quite the Indian Restaurant, in order to prepare an Indian banquet of epic proportions for the family Sunday dinner. IMG_2380 IMG_2358 Complete with loads of spices and their wonderful fragrance. IMG_2359 Seriously, the house smelled a-mah-zing by the time the rest of the family arrived, no doubt owing to the spicy curries and vegetable dishes that had been slowly simmering away all afternoon. On the menu was beef vindaloo… IMG_2376 Saffron rice, with peas, almonds and sultanas. IMG_2381  Spiced cabbage…   IMG_2385  Green beans with coconut…  IMG_2387  I contributed some old favourites including red lentil dahl… IMG_2363 And a butter chicken. IMG_2370 Both of which have featured on this blog before – see here and here for recipes. Served with flaked almonds and coriander… IMG_2406 Roti… IMG_2389 Pappadums… IMG_2365 And cucumber raita. IMG_2395 I didn’t hold back in helping myself to a little of everything…        IMG_2412 Except for the roti, although I did make up for that in pappadum consumption! IMG_2410   This was such a rewarding meal after an afternoon in the kitchen.  Although I did make sure to save room for a little dessert.   IMG_2438 I don’t know whether it was my post-run hunger, or the inclusion of apple butter, but this was possibly one of my favourite desserts of all time….   IMG_2430  You will just have to wait until tomorrow for all the details… What about you? Do you have a favourite Indian dish? Happy Baking 🙂