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Posted (February 19, 2015)


Beef chilli

Beef chilli is one of my all time favorite easy one pot wonders. I was given this recipe by a French bloke who owned a Mexican restaurant I once worked in. It has a couple of genius ingredients which you wouldn’t necessarily associate with Mexican food but which really  lift this to a different level.

Beef chilli

1kg beef mince

2 lg onions diced

12 garlic cloves sliced or crushed

2 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon madras curry powder

1/2 dessert spoon (ish) chilli powder  or 250 gm of chipotle chillis in sauce

2 tin chopped tomato

3 or 4 tablespoons tomato ketchup

1kg beans /chickpeas

Beef  stock cube


Salt and pepper

Optional (handful of very dark chocolate 70%+)


Brown mince

Sweat onions and garlic until liquid is gone

Add cumin, curry powder and chilli powder (if using) turn up heat and fry for a few minutes

Add mince stock cube, tomatoes and ketchup

Check seasoning

Add beans or chickpeas

Cook until tomato sauce is rich and glossy

Add chocolate at the end







Posted (November 17, 2014)


Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

This is the first curry that I learned from Rowland when we took over the Deli on Howe Street. its a classic Indian Curry which is heavily influenced by South East Asian flavours with the coconut milk, curry leaves coriander and lime/or lemon juice. Its really fragrant and aromatic and you could almost just swap the curry leaves for lime leaves to give you a result similar to a Thai curry. This dish should be HOT but its fragrant and aromatic nature can be appreciated by going a little easier on the chilli. You can also dish it up with noodles instead of rice if you fancy…


A good glug of vegetable Oil

3lg  Onions, finely sliced

5inch pieces of fresh ginger, chopped

1 head of garlic, chopped

20 curry leaves

4 or 5 indian green chillis

2 Sticks of lemongrass – well bruised with a rolling pin or similar

2 ½ t Ground Turmeric

3 Teaspoon Chilli Powder

2 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon cumin

Juice of 1 lemon or 2 limes

1.5 Tablespoons Ground Garam Masala

1kg Chicken Breast cut into bite sized peices or you can use a whole jointed chicken –

500 ml litre Coconut Milk

5 tomatoes, quartered

500 ml chicken stock




Place the chicken in a bowl with a tablespoon of veg oil. Add the turmeric cumin chilli powder, set aside.

In a big pot heat the remaining oil until its sizzling hot then quickly add the curry leaves and green chillies and lemongrass and stir for 30 seconds. They should sizzle and pop and release a rather potent aroma. Add the garlic and ginger stir for a minute or two and then the onions, cook this slowly until the onions become golden brown. Turn the heat up and add the garam masala and stirfry until the onions start to catch on the bottom of the pan. At this point add the tomatoes and stock and cook on a medium high heat until the tomatoes have softened and the stock is reduced by ½. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the chicken and cook giving a gentle stir for 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk and simmer for a further 10 minutes giving a stir now and then. Season to taste and add some chopped coriander before serving.

Posted (November 7, 2014)

Pork Bhooni headline shot

Pork Bhuni

This is one of our most popular curries which we sell in the deli. Pork is not a staple in the Indian diet for a number of reasons, however in areas where cuisine was heavily influenced by the European settlers such as Kerela in the south where the Portuguese brought vinegar and most likely the chillis we find in most indian cuisine, pork dishes became popular. This is also true of this dish which originates in the Bengal hills around Kalimpong and Darjeeling. Bhooni refers to the fairly thick style of sauce you are left with after the pork has cooked out. I like this one super hot so if you want it spicier add a couple of chopped scotch bonnet chillis but only if you think you can handle it!


INGREDIENTS                                                        GARNISH

1.5k Diced Pork Shoulder                                  2 or 3 waxy potatoes such as charlottes, cut lengthways

Salt and pepper to taste                                     2 teaspoon ground turmeric

4 teaspoons red chilli powder                           Chopped Coriander Leaves

4 Tablespoons Oil

2 t Fenugreek Seeds

20 Curry Leaves

2 Large Onions, finely sliced

4 Table spoon Tomato Ketchup

2 Tablespoon Garam Masala

1 ltr Chicken stock

Large knob of butter or ghee

MASALA – place in a blender and blitz until a smooth paste

4 Teaspoons Ground Turmeric

5 cm piece of peeled ginger Ginger Paste

1 Whole head of garlic – peeled

4 Tomatoes


For the Masala: blitz the Chilli Powder, Turmeric, Ginger and Garlic and Tomatoes. Set Aside.

Caremelise the onions with butter in a saucepan until soft, light brown and catching on the bottom of the pan.

Rub Pork with Chilli Powder and Salt and brown off in a heavy based frying pan. once browned transfer to a large pot or casserole. Once all the pork is sealed add a little extra oil and add the fenugreek and curry leaves. The fenugreek should go a shade darker and the curry leaves will crackle and pop and give off a lovely aroma. At this point add the Masala and stir until all the sticky bits come off the pan. Add this to the pork, stir in ketchup and Garum Masala. Cover with stock, reduce heat and simmer until pork is cooked.

At this point you can add some waxy potatoes cut length ways or you can roast them and  put them in just before serving for a different texture.

Posted (November 6, 2014)


Chilli Sabzi Dhal

This is one of my favorite curries. Its delicious and warming and incredibly healthy. If you put enough veggies it it it will not only go a long way towards your five a day but also has fibre and omega three, folic acid and a host of vitamins and minerals. I like mine pretty spicy but  leave out the finger chillis if you want it with less kick.

Chilli Sabzi Dhal

4-6 Indian green finger chillies- slit them down the side but leave them whole

40 gms ginger cut into matchstick sized pieces

20-30 fresh curry leaves

1 cinnamon stick

1 head of garlic –peeled and grated on a parmesan grater

2 medium ripe tomatoes roughly chopped

100ml veggie oil (rapeseed if possible as its very low in saturates and has omega 3 and 6)

Knob of butter

2 cups red lentils

1 Lg onion sliced

150 gm chestnut mushrooms quartered

1.5 tbl spoon coriander seed

1 tbl spoon cumin seed

½ tablespoon fenugreek seed

½ tablespoon mustard seed (brown if possible)

6 star anise

2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1ltr veggie stock

Handful of coriander – roughly chopped

5 gram palm sugar or raw brown sugar


Get all your ingredients together and ready to go – things happen quickly once you start.

Firstly toast the coriander seed, cumin seed, fenugreek mustard seed and star anise in a dry frying pan until the mustard seeds pop and the fenugreek goes a shade darker – allow to cool and grind to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder– set aside

Heat the oil in a large heavy based saucepan

Once the oil is frying hot add the curry leaves, ginger and cinnamon stick – the curry leaves should pop and sizzle. Cook on a high heat for 2-3 mins until the ginger is withered but not browned.

Add the onions and knob of butter and stir fry for 4 or 5 mins until the onion is soft and beginning to go translucent.

Add all the spices and garlic and stir fry for a further 5 mins – it should be smelling pretty good by this point. Turn the heat down if it is catching the bottom of the pan or looking like its going to burn and add a ½ a cup of water

Add the tomatoes, mushrooms and lentils and stir in. Add the stock and cook until the lentils are tender but not completely broken down (about 25-35 mins)

*At this point you can add all sorts of veg. My favourite veggies are spinach, okra, courgette, corn on the cob (sliced into 2cm rounds) and green beans. You can however use just about anything. Just make sure you add things like spinach, green beans and broccoli just before serving so that they don’t get over cooked.* Add the palm sugar coriander and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with steamed basmati and garlic naan.


Posted (October 28, 2014)

Braised Rolled Pork

8 hour braised pork belly

Winter is fast approaching and evenings have all but disappeared and we are almost to the stage where it’s dark when you get up and dark when you leave to go home. BOO!  We all need something to look forward to in the cold dark evenings, preferably something that doesn’t involve Simon Cowell. For that reason you couldn’t do better than to wrap your laughing gear round one of my favourite winter mains. Serve it up with a seasonal roast butternut squash salad and some nice roast charlotte potatoes.

2kg boned and rolled pork belly –  get your butcher to do this for you or you can have a go yourself, it doesn’t have to be perfect .

2ltr chicken stock

4 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

Tablespoon coriander seeds

Cup of sherry or xaosheng wine

Whole stick of cinnamon

Teaspoon mustard seed

2 large tablespoons of honey

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 bay leaves

1 Roughly diced onion and carrot


This is pretty simple. Put the onions and carrots in the bottom of the tray. Put the pork on top and then throw all the other solid ingredients in. Mix all the liquid ingredients in a large pot (melt the honey into the stock). Pour the liquid ingredients into the roasting tin adding some water if the pork isn’t covered. Cover the whole tray in tinfoil and put in the oven at 130c for 8 hours or 120c for fan assisted.

To check if its ready – poke it with a fork, the fork should go in without any bother. Sieve off the lumpy bits out of the juices and reduce until the sauce will lightly coat the back of a spoon.

You can leave this overnight or put it on first thing in the morning and the best thing about this dish is that you can reheat it for a dinner and it doesn’t lose its moisture. In the unlikely event that you have any leftovers you can pull it (shred) and have it on a roll with BBQ sauce. GENIUS!

Posted (September 23, 2014)

Sri Lankan chicken

Garam Masala – The spice of life

Garam Masala is the key ingredient to literally hundreds of Indian dishes and there are hundreds of different incarnations of this exotic spice mix most of which are passed down through families over generations.  The name comes from Hindi garam (Literally meaning hot) and masala (spice mix). The roots of this masala can be found by looking in to Ayurveda, ancient traditional Hindu medicine. Like all Indian cooking the blend relies on balancing the spices and creating the correct ‘agni’ or digestive fire to make the body work at optimal performance.   Unlike other spice mixes the ‘hot’ spice does not come from chillies but from the core spices of cloves, mace, black peppercorns, cardamom and bay leaves. This is the recipe we use in our curries and you will have had it if you have ever had our pork bhuni or butter chicken. For the best results, toast the spices in a frying pan over a medium heat giving them a shoogle now and then until they turn a shade darker. Grind them in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder until very fine. Either use straight away or save in an airtight container.  I will post our butter chicken recipe next so you can try it out….


Garam Masala

Tbl spoon coriander seed

Tbl spoon cumin seed

4 star anise

5 cm peice of cinnamon

2 teaspoon black peppercorns

2 blades of mace

2 bay leaves

6 cloves

2 black  or 4 green cardamon

Posted (June 3, 2014)


Chefs blog – Bricklane Chicken Curry Recipe

When I bought the shop from Rowland nearly eleven years ago, I liked a good curry but there is a big difference between appreciating a curry and knowing how to make one. Luckily Rowland was on hand to give me a few pointers and a couple of recipes. The first couple of years the results were, well, a bit hit and miss to be honest. It takes a good long  while to learn to balance the spices, temper them and balance sweetness, acidity and heat in order to get that mouthwatering result. There are also loads of new ingredients and techniques to learn as well. After ten years I can honestly say that I am a bit better at making them but that I also still have loads to learn. One good way to do this is to try to recreate a curry from your favorite curry house. Following is a recipe with which I have attempted to reproduce a curry from my local up in Bruntsfield.   In truth its nothing like the original but it tastes pretty good.

Brick lane chicken

500 gm plain yoghurt
4-6 chicken breasts diced
Large onion sliced
Decent knob of butter or ghee
2 bunch spring onion
2 green chillies (or more if you like it spicy)
One bunch coriander
Bunch mint
3cms ginger (peeled)
1 head garlic (peeled)
I chix stock cube (or concentrated chicken stock)
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds and a Pinch of mustard seeds (toast until the mustard seed pop and the fenugreek goes a shade darker
½ tablespoon turmeric
4 level tablespoons of mint sauce


Poach diced chicken breast in water until just cooked through – strain and allow to cool (this will stop your sauce splitting)

In a heavy based pan caramelise your onions in the butter/ ghee on a low heat until light brown and catching on the bottom of the pan

In the mean time blitz in a blender garlic, green tops of the spring onions, ginger and half the mint (pick the leaves off the stems first), all the coriander and chillies

Once the onions are done add a little oil and turn the heat up to medium add all the spices and stir for a minute or two until the oil and juices have been absorbed. Add the stock and reduce until nearly evaporated. Turn the heat down and add the yoghurt and mint sauce. Add the cooked chicken and slowly bring up to a slow simmer for 2 mins. Check seasoning – will probably need a little salt and some fresh ground pepper.

The curry is now ready to serve it should be bright green/yellow – garnish with the remaining mint leaves, coriander, and the sliced white bottom bits of the spring onions. serve with steamed basmati rice….

Posted (April 9, 2014)

salmon en croute

Chef’s blog – Easy Baked Salmon Recipes

Around this time of year chefs everywhere (I imagine) are starting to get really excited about the amazing produce that’s soon going to be on offer- just as you’re wondering what else you can possibly do with root vegetables and have exhausted every imaginable cabbage recipe, you can begin to look forward to lots of lovely spring greens and start putting asparagus on every dish (well, its only in season for a couple of weeks!). But before spring gets underway in earnest there are a few things on offer at the tail end of winter that are not to be missed.

 In the kitchen we’ve been playing with some of this beautiful seasonal produce- purple sprouting broccoli, rhubarb, salsify and watercress for starters, as well as forageable delights like Wild Garlic and Nettles.

Wild Garlic has all the flavour of the regular bulbs without the pungency and makes an excellent soup or pesto (yummy with spring lamb!) as does Watercress which is peppery and tart and really good with oily fish.

 This week we’ve resurrected an old 70’s dinner party favourite- Salmon En Croute. 40 years on its still a crowd pleaser and a cinch to make. Everyone’s done a recipe for it – Gordon, Jamie, Delia, Mary…  Here’s Appetite’s version:

Salmon En Croute with Watercress Pesto.

(if you want to go super-retro start with a Prawn Cocktail served in a hollowed out Avocado and finished with a Baked Alaska!)

Salmon En Croute with Watercress Pastry


 1 x 380g Ready Made Puff Pastry

1 x 2.8k Salmon, skinned, boned and filleted in 2

6 Tbsp Watercress Pesto

1 free-range egg


1 bunch of watercress- only very large stalks removed

2 Tbsps toasted sunflower seeds

50g finely grated parmesan

1-2 cloves garlic (depending on how much you like garlic!) Crushed

50-75ml olive oil (don’t use extra virgin, its too strong, just a light olive oil is fine)


 For the Pesto:

Place watercress, sunflower seeds and garlic in a food processor. Puree them lightly. Drizzle in the oil, pureeing in spurts, until slightly runny.

Place in a bowl, stir in parmesan cheese and season.

 1)     Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.

2)     Roll the pastry out to 40cm/16in x 30cm/12in on a lightly floured surface. Lay on the lined baking tray.

3)     Spread one fillet with 2 spoons of Watercress pesto then turn face down (pesto touching pastry) onto the centre of the pastry.

4)     Spread 2 more spoons of pesto on to the top side of the fish and lay the second fillet on top.

5)     Spread the remaining pesto on the top side of the second piece of fish.Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg.

6)     Fold the pastry over the fish, sealing the ends by pressing the edges together. Turn the parcel carefully over so the seal is on the bottom. Very lightly score the pastry all over (do NOT cut through- the back of a knife is good for doing this) and brush neatly with the beaten egg.

Bake for about 45 minutes (or until all your pastry is lovely and dark golden brown.

Allow to cool a little before slicing carefully into portions

salmon salad-tile


Coming next week……Appetite for something different?

 If you’ve spotted what looks like a bunch of dirty brown sticks in any of these photos and don’t know what it is, let us put you out of your misery. That is the mighty salsify. It may look intimidating but its got a delicious unique flavour we’ve heard best described as a cross between artichoke and celeriac. Most people don’t know what it is, never mind what to do with it, so if you want to have a go then check back here next week for recipes.

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