27 February 2014



A year ago, I came across this recipe for Swedish meatballs or köttbullar. What's interesting is that it is from 1960! And as I didn't have any ideas of what to cook this week-end, I decided to give this one a try. The original recipe is for 300 g of minced meat. I adjusted for 500 g, which is what I had.

Ingredients (original amounts)
2 tbsp fine breadcrumbs
1.5 dl milk
300 g mixed mince
1 boiled cold potato
1 onion
1 tsp salt
1 pinch of finely ground white pepper
1 pinch of ground allspice
2 tbsp butter for frying

Ingredients (adjusted)
6 tbsp fine breadcrumbs
2.5 dl milk
165 g peeled, then boiled and cooled potatoes
1 large onion (190 g after peeling)
500 g beef mince
1.5 tsp salt
2 ml ground black pepper
2 ml ground allspice
butter for frying

2 tbsp plain flour
1 dl water
3 dl from the liquid used to boil the potatoes or liquid from canned mushrooms
salt and ground white pepper to taste
Boiled potatoes for serving


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 80 °C and place a large oven proof dish to warm up.
  2. Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk and let them swell.
  3. Blend the potatoes and onion as smoothly as possible
  4. Mix together all ingredients. Note that the mixture will be fairly runny.
  5. Have a small bowl with water, wet your hands and form small balls. Place on a plate ready for frying.
  6. Heat up some butter in a frying pan and fry the meatballs in batches, taking care not to crowd them.
  7. Remove each batch to the oven proof dish and keep warm in the oven.
  8. Make the sauce by stirring in the flour into the water.
  9. Pour the potato/mushroom liquid into the frying pan and bring to the boil.
  10. Add the flour water and stir vigorously for 5 minutes.
  11. Season to taste and it's ready to serve.

Now, the runny mixture meant that I couldn't use my meatball maker. Instead I made 21 meatballs and fried them, as Lundulph was hungry and we had them for lunch together with chilli flavoured spaghetti and the 1960's gravy, which went a bit lumpy in the cooking process. Needless to say, it was not possible to keep the meatballs in constant motion during the frying, they were way too soft and wouldn't keep a round shape. Not to mention that they were difficult to turn and wanted to just disintegrate. However, they smelt and tasted very nice, as did the gravy.


So, later in the evening, when I was going to cook the remainder of the mixture, I stirred in a large egg with the hopes that it would help with binding the meatballs better. I also rolled them in flour before frying. Neither seemed to make much difference. I think I got about 50 meatballs from the 500 g mince recipe, I didn't really count. I'll need to find a more recent recipe next time though.

24 February 2014

Birthday Cake for Roger

In the last week, there were many events in the family, one of the good ones was Roger's birthday. Roger is Lundulph's older brother.

P1010841 - edited

The plan was to celebrate Roger over the whole week-end in his new house. However, he was one of the many that got flooded and evacuated even, bang on his birthday. Lundulph's Mum had asked me to make a cake and Lundulph and I'd worked out what to do and I'd made a big shopping list and so on, when all this happened and the celebration was cancelled.

However, the decision was made to move the celebration to my parents-in-law's house. So I spent Valentine's day baking the cake. Now, Roger is a huge fan of squash, so we decided that the cake should be in the shape of a squash racquet.

The first thing was to make a template, thus after searching for images on the internet, I taped two pieces of A4 paper together, the short side of one with the long side of the other. I then folded this along its entire length and drew half of a racquet and cut it out, thus achieving symmetry. Lundulph inspected it and approved.

Next, decide on the cake recipe. I flicked through my cook books and decided the Caramel Layer Cake from my book "Great British Bake Off Showstoppers". I made a double dose of the sponge and a single dose of the filling.


Sponge (single dose)
300 g plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
0.25 tsp salt
300 g caster sugar
250 g unsalted butter at room temperature
4 tbsp buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling (single dose)
225 g unsalted butter
450 g soft dark sugar
175 ml double cream
300 g icing sugar
0.25 tsp salt
100 g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C and line 2 Swiss roll trays with baking paper, about 34 x 23 cm in size.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl.
  3. Cut up the butter in pieces and add to the bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla extract, then add to the bowl with other ingredients.
  5. Beat everything with an electric whisk on low speed until well combined and smooth.
  6. Distribute equally between the two baking sheets and bake one at a time for 23 minutes. Check readiness with a skewer, it should come out clean.
  7. Allow to cool a couple of minutes in the baking tray, then turn out onto a cooling rack covered with baking paper and leave to cool down completely. Repeat with the second tray.
  8. Mix a second batch and bake in the same way.
  9. Once everything has cooled down, use the template to cut out three racquet shapes. You'll need to do some puzzling to get whole shapes.
  10. Now make the filling by gently heating together 175 g of the butter, the soft dark sugar and the double cream. Once the mixture starts to bubble, reduce the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes, while stirring.
  11. Transfer to a heat-proof deep bowl and gradually beat in the icing sugar with an electric whisk.
  12. Once the icing sugar is in, add the salt, then break up the chocolate and stir it in. Keep whisking until the mixture is barely warm, then beat in the remaining butter.
  13. Lay out one of the sponge racquets on a suitable tray and spoon some of the filling over it. Smooth over with a knife so that the whole sponge is covered and about 5 mm thick.
  14. Place the next sponge racquet and cover with filling in the same manner, then place the third sponge racquet on top and leave for about an hour to set.

For the decorations, I needed some sort of white icing, but given the amount of sugar that has gone into the cake already, I was reluctant to use fondant icing to cover the cake as well. Instead I opted for ready made frosting with the hope that it wouldn't be as sweet. There were two types in the shop and I wasn't sure what the difference was, so I bought two tubs of each.

IMG_3840 IMG_3841

The "Vanilla icing" one seemed a bit paler than the other one. It also tasted a bit yoghurt-y. Frankly, I didn't like the taste of either of them, but then they're not supposed to be eaten on their own. I decided to go with the "Vanilla buttercream style icing" and covered the cake. It was a bit crumbly and I wasn't able to get it as smooth as I would have liked. I had half a tub left from the icing, which I kept for repairs, once we got to Lundulph's parents' place.


Next, I used black fondant icing for the handle. I rolled a piece as thinly as I could between to layers of cling film, then cut into 3 cm wide strips, long enough to go across the bottom of the racquet handle. Also make a rectangle to go at the bottom of the handle. Here is the end result:

IMG_3845 IMG_3843

I'm quite pleased that the cling film gave a leather-like pattern on the icing, I hadn't expected that at all. The next thing to do was the logo of the brand that Roger uses - this one. I rolled out more of the black icing and carefully cut out the first letter of the brand. I then used the tiny digit cookie cutters that Lundulph bought for Falbala's hidden design cake to punch out Roger's age in the bottom of the logo letter. Finally, I rolled out two circles to cover the two squash balls that would accompany the racquet cake. They would be vegan, so that my niece Lou can have them and join in the celebrations. My original plan was to make the squash balls in layers, with ice chocolate with roasted hazelnuts in the middle and caramelised popcorn on top of that, finally covered with black icing. However, I ran out of time. Thus, I skipped the popcorn and made the balls entirely from ice chocolate. I didn't shape them very well, though.

The final part to do on the cake was the strings on the racquet. Lundulph said they were very important and it struck me - hazelnuts dipped in caramel and with a caramel spike. I saw these ages ago and have been wanting to try them out. First working out how many hazelnuts I'd need...


At this point Lundulph was home, so I stopped working on the cake and focused on our Valentine's dinner.

The next day, Lundulph and I drove over to his parents. Because of the size of the cake, I had to sit in the back and about two-thirds into the drive, I had to ask Lundulph to pull over, because I was very car sick. Still, we made it and with the cake mostly intact - the icing had cracked where each layer parts met and this only because the cake drum was actually two that I'd taped together. I'd planned ahead and had brought the remaining icing, so repairs were easy.

Once my stomach and head had settled, I completed the decorations. Some preparations are required. First a tooth pick or a cocktail stick needs to be carefully inserted into a hazel nut. Then a heavy chopping board or book should be placed on the work surface, so that the edge of the board/book and surface are aligned. Next, a piece of paper should be placed on the floor right under the board/book. This will catch caramel drips. A couple of pieces of baking paper should be placed nearby on the work surface. Here the ready items can be laid out. A heat mat should also be within reach, to place the saucepan with the caramel and a large bowl with very cold water should also be ready. Clearing the kitchen of other people will of course help as well.

I melted about 300 g of granulated sugar to caramel stage in a thick-bottomed saucepan. I didn't have a sugar thermometer, but it seems that the trick is to use white sugar. Once it goes pale yellow, like honey, it's reached the right temperature for caramel. Using a wooden spoon, I kept stirring the sugar until all had melted and reached the beautiful golden colour. Then a quick dip (about 10 seconds) into a large bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process and it was ready to start dipping the hazel nuts. I had to work fairly quickly and it's not easy the first time, but it's not difficult at all. Dip so each nut is completely and generously covered, then push the toothpick under the chopping board or book and allow the caramel to drip onto the paper on the floor.


I needed to do about 30 of these and I put them too close together under the chopping board, so the spikes sort of tangled up a bit, but were long enough to work for the cake. The caramel set fairly quickly as well. This is not a problem - just re-heat to make it runny again. However, this will make it a little darker. I even did a second re-heat, before it went too dark and bitter. But it was enough to get all the hazel nuts done. After a couple of minutes, the hazels should be cool enough to handle. Using the kitchen scissors, I cut the spikes at the length I needed, took out the tooth picks and placed on the baking paper I'd prepared. I scraped out as much as I could of the burnt caramel, then cleaned the saucepan by filling it with water and bringing to the boil. This dissolved the caramel stuck to the saucepan and could easily be poured out in the drain. I had to repeat three times. Then I made a further batch of caramel, and with less sugar. This also allowed me to try my hand at caramel baskets.


For this I brushed the back of a ladle with some vegetable oil, then using the wooden spoon, I scooped some of the caramel and let drizzle over the back of the ladle, criss-crossing to form the basket structure. Because the ladle was metal, it took a little longer for the caramel to set, but once it had, I carefully slid off the ready basket. If making more than one, it's important to brush vegetable oil before each, otherwise it may stick to the ladle and break when attempting to remove it.


Finally, I noticed that the spike tangle under the hazels had actually become like a nest of spun sugar. I didn't have any use for it this time, but it's good to know. The cake itself was a great success and we ate quite a big part of it on the day. But for me, it was very sweet and dry, so not one of my favourites. I should have moistened the sponge layers a little. However, given its size, this was a good thing, there's no way I could get it into the fridge and a moist cake doesn't really keep in room temperature. I need to work on how to spread icing and make it smoother, though. I did a second run of caramel with my nieces, so they got to try making hazel nuts with caramel spikes as well as caramel baskets and we also found out what happens if you use a saucepan with a thin bottom - some of the sugar burns badly and some doesn't melt. Also using small amounts of sugar and keeping an eye on the caramel reduces the waste. I remember reading somewhere that adding water and glucose gives more control over caramel work, I need to do more research for this. Besides, I'd bought 500 g of hazelnuts and I barely used 100 g, so I have plenty to practice with.

17 February 2014

Happy Valentine's Day


With all the flooding and power cuts across the UK and me looking for a new job, it was a bit late to book a restaurant or do something with Lundulph. Instead, I decided to cook a nice dinner.


I was thinking along the lines of lamb - Lundulph's favourite - and perhaps something marinated with garlic. But how do you marinate a piece of meat with garlic? Simple - add balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The original Swedish recipe is here. Thus I wandered down to our butcher and once again requested cannon of lamb, the finest fillet and very expensive. The red wine sauce recipe comes from here.

To go with the lovely lamb fillet, I opted to make hasselback potatoes and for greens, part of the clearing the freezer challenge - steamed green peas.


500 g cannon of lamb (two pieces)
1 dl olive oil
1.5 dl balsamic vinegar
5 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper
about 20 g butter for browning

Red wine sauce
The juices from the browning of the lamb
more butter if needed
1 medium red onion
1.5 dl red wine
1.5 dl beef stock
2 tsp dried rosemary


  1. Place the lamb fillets in a bowl or in double bags. Pour over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  2. Peel the garlic, press and add to the marinade. Stir around to get the meat well coated. Cover the bowl or tie the bags and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer.
  3. When ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 175 °C, take out the fillets from the marinade, but don't scrape/pat clean. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat up the butter in a frying pan on medium-high heat and brown the fillets briefly,
    then place in an oven-safe dish and finish off in the oven. The inner temperature of the meat should be around 58 - 60 °C to be pink.
  5. After about 15 minutes, take out the meat and let it rest for 10 minutes, covered with aluminium foil.
  6. In the mean time, peel and dice the onion and heat up the frying pan again. Add a bit more butter if needed.
  7. Fry the onion until it goes soft, then add the wine, stock and rosemary and simmer until it's reduced by half.
  8. If you wish, strain away the onion and discard it. The sauce is ready.

Now, the hasselback potatoes take about an hour and 15 minutes and are baked at 220 °C. I only have one oven and I didn't think I'd get the correct temperatures for a "multi-zone" cooking, so I timed things and baked the potatoes at 220 °C for one hour, then turned down to 175 °C and added the lamb fillets for the last 15 minutes. This worked very well.


For dessert, we had a jelly flower.


As luck would have it, the power cut came as we were finishing off our pink Champagne. Well, the silver lining of the rain cloud, I suppose. The power cut lasted through most of the week-end as it turned out. Still, Happy Valentine's Day!


16 February 2014

Playing with Jelly

Last week when I wandered aimlessly around the supermarket and into an isle I normally don't visit, I discovered Hartley's jelly bricks. Basically "concentrated" gelatin with flavours and colours. It seemed like an intriguing product, so I bought some with a vague idea of how to prepare them.

I'm still not very confident with gelatin, even if it's worked out OK on some occasions, there have been a few disasters in the past as well. This time, I searched for instructions about these on the internet and found a video, which I should have watched a few times, before embarking on my experiments.

The instructions on the packets seem to vary from country to country. The ones on my packet said cut up the brick into cubes, then dissolve them in 285 ml of boiling water. Once dissolved, add a further 285 ml of cold water, then pour in moulds, allow to cool and chill in the fridge until set. A hot tip on one website was to use only half the amount of boiling water and increase the cold water accordingly and this would cool things down faster and thus result in an overall quicker set. This also meant that the boiling water wasn't quite up to dissolving the cubes, I had to whizz the mixture some 15 s on max in the microwave in addition. So I'm not sure if I achieved a quicker set jelly.

As for shaping, I made the assumption it would be strong enough to stand up on its own. I had three ideas in mind - one was to create flowers in small glasses, a second was to make rainbow-coloured lollies and a third was to make colourful layers in one of my brioche moulds. The first idea was the most complicated one - I realised I would need to do each flower petal on its own and let it set before making the next one. It looked really pretty in my head: the bottom layer would be green and lime flavoured. Next there would be five red strawberry flavoured petals, then a layer of five orange coloured and flavoured petals, then finally a yellow coloured and pineapple flavoured circle in the middle. To get the petals, the glass would need to be kept at an angle in the fridge, so that the jelly would set up along the side, rather than at the bottom. I had six available glasses and took to a box from eggs in the hopes I could use it to balance the glasses on it. I also marked up the glasses with rubber bands to know how high up I wanted the jelly petals. And got started...


This contraption didn't work, but luckily there were shelf edges which I could use to lean the glasses against, and with the help of a couple of jam jars, make stay in that precarious position.


Sorry, not easy to photograph the inside of the fridge. Not to mention that I realised that a second layer of petals wouldn't work at all. The end result was far from impressive. But the jelly set within about 4 h, meaning I could do 3 petals on one day. Here is the first petal


And here is the second petal

You get the idea...

The lollies and the brioche mould were a lot easier. Lundulph obviously knew something was up and was getting eager to try it out, so we started with the brioche moulds. It wasn't easy to get them out, I cut the edge of the surface with a knife, but had to eventually partly destroy the shape, in order to get it out of the mould. In addition, the first layer had not bonded with the following layers, not sure why, so it remained in the mould and I had to scoop it out with a spoon. I guess you can sort of see the shape, but there is no strength to stand up on its own.


Not sure where the colours have gone either. Flavour-wise, it was OK, though a bit on the slimey side. I've yet to try and get one of the lollies out... I'd better stick to traditional gelatin and get to grips with that in the future.

Update on 27th February 2014:


Yes, we're still working our way through the jelly. After establishing that the jelly made like ice lollies would not come out voluntarily, Lundulph suggested I freeze them to see what happens. This turned out to be a stroke of genius, because what we ended up with was an ice lolly with a very nice texture! It seems there are some parts to the jelly that just won't freeze, so there was a velvety smooth feel to the ice lollies, yet they were solid. I would have preferred these ice lollies a bit sweeter - they were good at room temperature, but frozen, they were a bit bland. However, Lundulph was quite happy with them. I wouldn't have thought of freezing a jelly, but thanks to Lundulph, I now have a few ideas to try out next.

7 February 2014


Yes, I'm getting inspired by my lovely Sister Bip. Not only did she manage 20 days of veganism, she managed so well, that she's continued with it and has started buying kitchen appliances in order to make interesting food concoctions.


Her latest thing is the so called "råbollar" or raw balls, which is a really tasty and hopefully fairly healthy sweet/snack. So when I last spoke with her (she's very busy these days), I pushed her to let me know the recipe and the other day I got to work.

Makes around 35

55 g walnuts
50 g pecans
50 g Brazil nuts
55 g cashews
50 g almonds
50 g pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp water
200 g Mozafati or Bam dates, pitted
20 g coconut fat at room temperature
dessicated coconut for rolling


  1. Use a food processor to grind all the nuts and seeds as finely as possible, but don't let them turn into butter.
  2. Add the water, dates and coconut fat and whizz until it comes together to a dough
  3. Roll small bite-sized balls, then coat with dessicated coconut.
  4. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

Now I don't have a food processor, only a hand held blender with a number of attachments, among which is a mini-processor. So what I did was grind each type of seed on its own, because I didn't think all would fit in.


Well aware how thick the mixture would be, I added the water, dates and coconut fat and changed to the liquidizer attachment. Needless to say, it wasn't able to cope, went hot and started smelling of burnt. I stopped, packed everything up, put in the fridge and decided to call it a day. The blender took forever to cool down, so I almost wrote it off. But the next day, I decided to try again, and even managed to squeeze the whole mixture into the mini-processor. The blender still worked, miraculously, and eventually I managed to get the mixture to a paste, but had to give it a lot of help on the way, by carefully removing the parts that had the right consistency and then pushing the non-ready parts down to the blades.


So, eventually with a lot of care, I reached a point where the mixture/dough seemed to be of the right consistency and I rolled the balls and coated with coconut. When Lundulph came home and had a look in the fridge, he exclaimed joyfully that there were secret fancy things in there. And he really liked them! Not too sweet, nice texture, a bit like some Indian sweets we've tried in the past. He tried to work out what sorts of nuts I'd used - he got 3. Personally I would have liked them a little sweeter.

On the whole, I'm very pleased with this recipe - it allows for plenty of variation - basically use the nuts/seeds you have at hand and I believe raisins or sultanas or other dried fruit would work just as well. Lundulph did some research on nuts a couple of years ago and commented that I should try to cut out the cashews and Brazil nuts, apparently they are not as healthy as walnuts, pecans and almonds. Also he was wondering if I could skip the coconut fat as well. Maybe it's possible - I'd need to increase the amount of fruits.

A brief word on dates. When we went to Dubai last year, we bought a box of dates from the market. In fact there was a whole section dedicated to just dates there. Now I've never been a fan of dates, I always found them gritty, so was highly reluctant when the seller tried to almost force-feed us in order to get the sell. But I'm glad he was so insistent, because I had an epiphany and immediately bought the box, vaguely wondering if I should get a second one, so I wouldn't have to share with Lundulph, who was also very pleasantly surprised about the taste. Well back home, I investigated the box and discovered that the dates were called "Mozafati" and were the sweetest, creamiest thing ever. I used them for my carrot and date cupcakes last year. Since then, I've been searching for this type of dates in the UK, without success and came to the conclusion that these aren't exported to the West and the chap that sold us these dates knew exactly what he was doing. However, after having given up, I spotted a stack of boxes in our local farm shop and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the magic word "Mozafati" printed on them. Needless to say, I bought 6 boxes, any more would have attracted way too much attention, I suspect. Now we're rationing them, to make them last as long as possible. In my research, I managed to find out that these are mainly produced in Iran and around the city of Bam, thus they are also known as Bam dates. The tricky thing with them, which also makes them expensive is that they are picked when they are half-dried, meaning each date palm needs to be harvested several times, as opposed to other types of dates, where the whole bunches are picked in one go. On occasion, I've also come across Medjool dates, which come close to the Mozafati, and Medjool are more readily available too.

Speaking with my Dad the other day, he told me he'd been treated to these lovelies twice and said that Bip had added agave syrup to the second batch and then they'd tasted nicer. When I told Lundulph, he said no to additional sugar. Oh well, we'll see. At least my first batch is almost gone now, it's quite nice to have a couple of so along with a cup of tea. And speaking of variations, I'm getting the idea of perhaps even hiding a whole nut or a piece of dried fruit in the middle. I'll try that next time. I might also see what appliance I can get rid of and get myself a proper food processor...

1 February 2014

Chicken in Green Sauce with Sprouted Chickpeas and Fenugreek


Since I started using my sprouter, I've been purchasing all sorts of seeds, nuts and pulses to try out. It's exciting and I suspect I'm well stocked already for the rest of the year.

Now, sunflower seeds have become a staple in our salads and Lundulph seems to like them too. But apart from that, I'm experimenting. I bought a bag of black onion seeds, because I thought it would be nice with a mild onion flavour in the salad, but sadly they didn't sprout. The latest seeds I tried were chickpeas and fenugreek, both of which worked very well. I had some doubts about the chickpeas - they were so dry and hard and I know that in Bulgaria they are roasted and ground and used as a coffee substitute, but isn't it amazing what a few hours of soaking does to a viable seed? Actually, the sprouting book said soak for 8 h, then sprout for 2 - 5 days. The packet said soak for 18 h, then sprout for 3 days. So I tried both and can reveal that the ones soaked for 8 h sprouted a bit better, perhaps because they had those 10 extra h for sprouting. Other than that, I didn't notice any difference in taste, so 8 h it'll be in the future too.

The fenugreek seeds were interesting - not only do they smell like they should be in a curry, but they have a weird shape too, so you wonder if it really is seeds you have or something fabricated and shaped in that way. But they did sprout and well too. We had some in our salad the other day, which was OK. However, I think they are better in a curry.

So yesterday I decided to do just that. Now that I'm clearing out the freezer, I discovered a bag full of puréed ginger, shaped in ice cubes and frozen ready for use. And also some baked elephant garlic, conveniently sliced. When I found these, I realised it's been ages since I made a curry from Mridula Baljekar's book.

Flicking through the pages, there were several recipes that looked nice, in the end I decided on the one called Chicken in Green Sauce or Hariyali Murgh. But with a number of alterations, partly due to lack of the right ingredients and partly additions, as I wanted to use up the chickpea and fenugreek sprouts.

3 - 4 portions

30 g fresh coriander
6 green finger chillies, stalks removed
10 - 12 pickled onions, roughly the size of a medium sized fresh onion
2 tsp dried mint
4 slices of elephant garlic, each about the size of a regular clove
6 tbsp of puréed ginger
125 g canned tomatoes, without the juice
55 g plain yoghurt
500 g chicken breasts
0.5 tsp hot chilli powder
2 tsp ground coriander seeds
4 green cardamom pods
4 tbsp sprouted fenugreek seeds
3 dl sprouted chickpeas
salt to taste


  1. Wash the fresh coriander and finger chillies and cut into smaller pieces and place in a deep bowl. Rinse the pickled onions and quarter, then add to the bowl.
  2. Add the mint, garlic, ginger, tomatoes and yoghurt to the bowl, then blend until smooth. Transfer to a large non-stick pan.
  3. Trim the chicken breasts if needed, then cut into bite-sized chunks and add to the pan along with the remaining spices except the salt.
  4. Place the pan on high heat and stir through to mix everything. Let fry for about 5 minutes until the chicken turns opaque.
  5. Now cover the pan and turn down the heat to low, then let simmer for 20 - 25 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid, turn up the heat to medium and add the sprouts and salt and let cook for a further 5 - 6 minutes.
  7. Serve with pita bread.

OK, so there's nothing green in the photo of my curry, I think it's because I only used coriander stalks, having used the leaves for the look-a-like tabbouleh the other day and stalks are much paler. Using dried mint, instead of fresh also contributed to the lack of green-ness. But it's Winter and so our mint plants are dormant, I must remember to pick some and freeze this year. If using fresh mint, use 15 - 20 leaves. It still turned out to be one wonderfully tasty curry.

When it comes to the pickled onions and canned tomatoes, well, I thought I had fresh onions, but no, so I had to resort to the pickled ones. But I'm glad to have used them up, they were tasty, but would have lived in the fridge for a long time. As for the tomatoes, I did have fresh ones, but wanted to keep them for our salads, now that we're having salad for dinner every other day.

Lundulph wasn't too keen on the chickpea sprouts, he reckons the texture was wrong for a curry, he would have liked them more "cooked". That can be amended by adding them a bit earlier, I wanted to try and preserve the freshness of the sprouts as much as possible. Personally, I quite liked the extra crunch.

Next up for the sprouter are two types of lentils. I'll start them off tomorrow night and have them ready for next week-end.