SPICED CANDIED ALMONDS
200ml white sugar
15ml ground cinnamon
500ml whole almonds
Combine the water, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, clove and allspice in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then add the almonds. Cook until the mixture seems thick.
Working very quickly, pour the sugary almonds on to a baking sheet and, using a fork, separate them immediately.
Allow to cool before storing in a jar.
HOMEMADE GINGER ALE
250ml peeled, finely chopped ginger
2 whole cloves
2 whole cardamom pods
50ml lime juice
sparkling water, ice and lime wedges to serve
Combine the ginger, water, sugar, cloves and cardamom in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes.
Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer, discarding solids. Add the lime juice and serve diluted with sparkling water and ice and garnished with lime.
Serves 4 - 6
8 chicken thighs
5ml ground cumin
5ml ground turmeric
5ml ground coriander
2ml ground ginger
salt and pepper to season
30ml olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 baby leeks, chopped
10ml crushed garlic
500ml chicken stock
2 cinnamon sticks
100g green olives, drained
3 wedges preserved lemon, flesh removed and skin cut into strips
100g dried apricots
400g can of chickpeas, drained
100g fresh dates, chopped
Combine the chicken with the spices and seasoning and leave to marinate for an hour.
Heat half the oil in a large oven-proof casserole or pot and brown the chicken, remove and set aside.
Add the remaining oil to the pot and fry onion, carrots, celery, leeks and garlic until soft.
Return the chicken to the pot with the stock, cinnamon, olives and lemon. Cover and cook in the oven at 160°C for one hour.
Add the apricots, chickpeas and dates and cook another 30 minutes.
Serve with harissa rice.
4 cups (1000ml) cooked Basmati rice
30ml harissa paste
250ml frozen peas, blanched
a handful of shelled pistachios
a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
In a large pot, mix the rice, harissa paste and frozen peas, heat on a low heat and add the pistachios and coriander just before serving.
Serves 4 - 6
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
5ml red chilli powder
5ml ground cumin
10ml ground coriander
5ml garam masala
15ml crushed garlic
2 potatoes, peeled, diced and par-cooked
2 carrots, chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
100g baby spinach
250ml frozen peas
625ml cooked Basmati rice
125ml boiling water
75g roasted cashew nuts
2 medium onions, finely sliced and fried until golden brown
coriander to garnish
Heat oil in a pot and fry cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cumin seeds and onion until golden and fragrant.
Stir in the red chilli powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala, salt and then the crushed garlic, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, spinach and frozen peas. The spices should evenly coat the veggies.
Cook on low for 15 minutes and then remove from heat.
Layer cooked Basmati rice over the veggies. Sprinkle turmeric on top of the rice and add the boiling water. Allow to steam on a low heat until the water evaporates and the rice is thoroughly heated, adding more water if necessary.
Sprinkle the nuts and brown onions over and garnish with fresh coriander.
5-SPICE BUTTERNUT SOUP
1kg butternut, peeled and cut into cubes
2 large onions, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
15ml Chinese five-spice powder
3ml ground cinnamon
salt and pepper
2 litres of chicken stock
Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC.
Put the butternut and onion chunks in a large roasting pan, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle over the spices, salt and pepper and toss thoroughly.
Roast the vegetables until they are completely tender, turning them with a spatula every 15 minutes. This will take 45 minutes.
When the vegetables are tender, transfer them, along with any juices in the pan, to a large pot.
Add the chicken stock and purée with a hand-held stick blender until smooth. Bring to a simmer.
While the soup is heating, put the pancetta in a small, non-stick pan and fry over medium-high heat until crisp.
Serve the hot soup with a drizzle of cream and a garnish of pancetta.
2 litres of red wine
180ml castor sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves
Pour the red wine into a large pot and put it on the stove on a very low heat – do not let the wine boil.
Cut the oranges into slices and add them together with the sugar, cinnamon sticks and cloves.
Stir on and off for at least 30 minutes to give the spices time to infuse the wine.
Taste to check the balancing, adding more sugar if necessary. Add the brandy and serve steaming. - The Star