Thursday, 31 July 2014


Serves 2-4 depending on what you serve with it.

This is a traditional Greek stew that maybe doesn’t sound exciting, but boy I am addicted! The flavours meld together and tastes so summery and this is a great way of using up a glut of runner beans which was the reason for making it. The amount of olive oil is really worth it.

I have eaten masses of this just on its own with crusty bread to mop up the sauce. Or its great with simple grilled fish with a squirt of lemon as in this picture or lamb chops. If you don’t like dill use fresh parsley or marjoram. You can eat hot, warm or at room temperature. It also freezes well.

250g Runner beans, de-stringed and cut into 2 inch diagonal lengths
4 tablespoons good olive oil
1 large onion – half finely chopped and half sliced into half moons
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium potato or 4 new potatoes, sliced into thickish chunks (I don’t bother to peel)
Salt and pepper
Small pinch chilli flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
Water to cover – about a small glass or half a tin canful
Feta cheese, a really thin slice crumbled per serving
Dill or parsley, roughly chopped

1. wash the prepped runner beans and drain.
2. heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok and gently cook the onion until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of mins, stirring so it doesn’t burn.
3. Add the beans and potatoes and cook for 3-5 mins, coating well in the oil and onions. Season well and add the chilli and dried oregano.
4. Tip in the tomatoes and tomato puree, and pour in some water just to cover. Bring to boil and put on a lid or transfer to a lidded casserole then simmer for 1 hour (or cook slowly in oven at 160C for same time)
5. After an hour if it is too liquid, remove lid and cook for another 10-15 mins. The sauce should be rich and velvety.

6. Sprinkle over chopped dill and crumbled over feta.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014


I love Dhal – thick, gently spiced, cheap as chips  and very filling. You could add cooked diced chicken or lamb to it and some stock to loosen it more, which would give it more of a Dhansak curry feel. Also nice!

Serves 2-3

150g dried split yellow peas
500-750ml water
Salt and black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds (black onion seeds)
½ tbsp cumin seeds
A pinch of ground turmeric
10 curry leaves
1 onion, sliced
1-2 large green chillies, sliced (deseed if you don’t like too much heat)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp garam masala
3 tomatoes, chopped
Juice of ½ a lemon
Fresh coriander, chopped
2 shallots, sliced into rings (optional)
Naan or tortillas, warmed, to serve

1 Wash and drain the split peas in a sieve and place in a saucepan. Pour 500ml of water over, boil for 10 mins, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 35 minutes, or until the peas are very soft. You may need to add the extra 250 ml water if it evaporates too fast. Season.
2 Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the spices and curry leaves and fry over a medium heat until the mustard seeds start to pop.
3 Add the onion, chillies and garlic and stir well. Cook for another 3 minutes, then add the garam masala.
4 Mix well, and then tip into the cooked dhal with the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, adding more water if the mixture becomes too thick.
5 Add the lemon juice and coriander. (If you like fry the shallot in a little oil and garam masala until crisp and tip over the dhal)  Serve with warm flatbreads for scooping.