I’m feeling more alive these days. I’ve already made my first trip of the year to Brighton, butterfly world and the zoo. We are now frequently taking walks in the park. Today I shook the branch of a tree heavy with pink blossom and to my toddler’s delight; confetti adorned his face and sweater. As I watched his face beam, I took in the sounds of chirping birds, chattering over ducks and felt the glint of sunshine in my eyes. I love spring time.
I’m also eating differently too, as I mentioned in my recent posts. Soups have given way to salads and mugs of green tea with cherries soaked into the mug have been replaced by slim and tall glasses of blueberry lemonade. Snacks of cheesy crackers are no longer the go-to, but strawberries with melted dark chocolates are welcomed in.
Still, I have said it before and I shall again…nothing can cajole me in the way a curry does. It feels natural. It doesn’t have to be an Indian curry though. This week on twitter I caught some of the conversation about a fusion Udon noodle pot that is available in supermarkets. It was something with an ‘Indian twist’ in the recipe. Some people were clearly unimpressed at how these two cuisines could combine, or maybe it was the way that they were combined that was the cause of dismay. Anyway, I don’t see (well-executed) fusion recipes as a modern atrocity. Very simply, I think that if it ‘works’ (tastes good), then all is good.
On that note, I share with you a recipe for Moroccan spiced paneer, potato, asparagus and olive stew that feel fresh with mint and easy spices, light and juicy, zesty with lemon and the stew has bite and depth. I haven’t used a ready-made Moroccan spice blend because there is no point; this one is so easy to make with store-cupboard ingredients. I normally buy large bags of spices from an Indian grocer but the folk from Schwartz pointed me towards their handy spices that are available from supermarkets; handy when I can’t get to the Indian grocer which I have to travel to! They are also conveniently packed so I took them away with me when I was demonstrating in Brighton for Vegfest. I found the spices of great colour and they smell just as they should do-lingering and fresh. This recipe uses ground cumin, coriander, turmeric and cinnamon which you can get from the Schwartz range.
I have also used savera paneer in this recipe because it is the closest thing out there to homemade paneer.
2 medium sized potatoes
150g asparagus tips
225g paneer, cubed
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 medium red onions, finely sliced
3 tbsp. olive oil
Thumb sized piece of ginger, minced
A handful of mint leaves
The juice of one lemon
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground turmeric
600ml vegetable stock
Salt to taste (the vegetable stock would be salty, so only use salt once you’ve tasted the stew)
1 cup of chopped tomatoes (tinned)
125g pitted queen olives
- Heat the oil in a pan and add onions, sauté until they soften before adding the paneer garlic and ginger and cook until the paneer starts to catch a golden colour.
- Stir in the ground turmeric, cinnamon, cumin and coriander and sauté for 30 seconds before adding the potatoes and mixing well.
- Pour in the vegetable stock and the tomatoes and bring the stew to a simmer before squeezing in the lemon juice and the mint leaves.
- Cook for 7-10 minutes before adding the asparagus and the olives and then cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Serve hot with cous cous or fresh bread.
This is a featured post but any views expressed are my own. For more recipes from me and other contributors, you can check out great british chefs