Other than a Chicken Jalfrezi, there are two dishes I’m likely to have a strop over if they’re not on the table when I go out for an Indian; Aloo Gobi, and Aloo Parantha. Both potato dishes (Aloo Aloo!), Aloo Gobi is a vegetarian dish made from potato, cauliflower and Indian spices (my mother in-law makes great Aloo Gobi) and Aloo Parantha is basically a veggie flat bread stuffed with potato and fried in butter (yum). They are my absolute faves – they’re such great comfort food, perfect for this time of year. So why not combine the two and have the best of both worlds, eh? 😉
Aloo Gobi Parantha
250g of Potatoes, chopped (I used one Maris Piper and one Sweet Potato)
1 Echalion Shallot, finely chopped
250g roughly chopped Cauliflower
100g roughly chopped Green Chillis (the smaller, the spicier!)
225g Atta Flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp Oil
100g Melted Butter
125 ml Warm Water
50g roughly chopped fresh Coriander
1tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garam masala
First, make the dough: If you’ve got a bread maker then you’re good to go – pour in the water and oil first, followed by the flour and salt. Run the “dough” program and then leave it to do the hard work! 😉
Next make up the Aloo Gobi filling: boil the potatoes and cauliflower until soft, then pour out the water and mash. Add the onion, green chillis, coriander and spices and stir together.
Once the dough is ready, divide it into six equal balls. Now the tricky bit; filling the parantha and then rolling it out without it spilling out the side, AND trying to keep it in a perfectly flat circle. I’m RUBBISH at this part; I’m sure there’s a knack to rolling them out perfectly, but I’m still nowhere near figuring it out! You’ve basically got to roll them out a little, plonk a spoonful of filling in the middle and then parcel it up and roll out the dough again until it’s flat and round. Sounds easy, right?
Heat up your frying pan with a little melted butter and cook the parantha on both sides, brushing with butter as you go.
Serve hot with fresh yoghurt (I flavoured mine with a little turmeric) and tamarind sauce.
I’ve made (and scoffed) Madeleines more than a few times. They’re so easy to make and are the perfect kind of tea cake to stick out on a plate whenever you’ve got someone coming over for elevenses (they’re made to be dunked!). Traditionally they’re flavoured with lemon, but since it’s Christmas I thought I’d do something a little more fancy pants. These ones are dunked in melted chocolate and then sprinkled with praline and a little bit of edible glitter (if you can’t use glitter at Christmas, then when can you?). I’d never made praline before and to be honest it took two attempts; I made the mistake of stirring the sugar as it was heating and it crystallized in the saucepan and looked like snow. Oops! How many times have I rolled my eyes as Bake Off contestants make exactly the same mistake?! Typical! I got it the second time round though and had more than enough left over. It’ll be jazzing up my porridge over Christmas I think! 😉
100g butter melted (and a little extra to grease the tin)
100g chocolate (I used milk, but I bet dark chocolate would be even better!)
100g chopped hazelnuts
50g brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 200° and grease the madeleine tin with a little butter.
Whisk together the eggs and the caster sugar in a bowl until combined and frothy.
Pour in the melted butter (be careful if it’s still hot – if you pour it in too quickly you’ll get scrambled eggs!), and then stir in the flour.
Pour the mixture into the tray – about a desert spoonful for each madeleine mould should do the trick. Leave them to rest for about 10 minutes before you whack them in the oven.
Bake for around 10 minutes until the madeleines have risen and cooked through. Leave the madeleines to cool while you work on the toppings.
To make the praline, scatter the chopped hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes until golden. In a saucepan, heat the sugar and water together on a low heat until it caramelizes (don’t stir!). Pour the caramel over the roasted hazelnuts and leave to cool. Once it’s cooled, smash it with a rolling pin.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave, then dunk the tips of the madeleines. Once they’re all coated in melted chocolate, dunk them into the praline to coat the melted chocolate tip. Leave to set, then scoff! 🙂
Have a great week everyone! Hope the final run up to Christmas hasn’t got you too stressed! X
Last Wednesday the hubs and I planned to meet in town after work for dinner, so I ditched the hoodie and holy yoga pants (there’s nothing sacred about them, they’re just full of holes from Bungle nipping at them!) and with Christmas on the brain decided it was worth getting a little dressed up. But, our fancy dinner out ended up turning into a couple of hours of soggy, impromptu Christmas Shopping followed by a cheeky Chinese Takeaway on the way home instead (hands down the classiest takeaway I’ve ever had 😉).
I wore my new lace dress from Coast which kind of reminds me a little bit of Self Portrait and a little bit of a flamenco dancer because of the dropped hem. It’s so comfortable to wear (no worries about scoffing too many mince pies and turkey at the Christmas Party) and the skirt has a lovely shape and movement to it.
Big cheers to the hubs for the photographs (…and the Takeaway!). Who else is excited for party season?Have a great week everyone! 🌠
Now that we’re officially a week into December (coupled with the fact that it actually snowed this morning! Not for long… but still!) I declare it officially safe to bring on the Christmas baking. I’m easing you in gently though with these Chocolate Orange flavoured Welsh Cakes. I LOVE Welsh Cakes, not only because I’m Welsh and it’s practically criminal not to love them, but also because they’re so easy to play around with! If you’re not a fan of the traditional mixed fruit filling, then just swap it out with something you fancy – like chocolate! 🙂
Chocolate Orange Welsh Cakes
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice
50g caster sugar (+20g for dusting)
pinch of salt
100g chopped pieces of orange-flavoured chocolate
110g butter/margarine (+ a little extra to grease the pan/skillet)
1 large egg
a splash of milk if the dough is too dry
1. Sift together the dry ingredients into a bowl, then rub in the butter/margarine (get in there with your fingers and rub until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs). 2. Stir in the chocolate. 3. Mix in the egg until the dough comes together (if it’s too dry, add a splash of milk). 4. Roll out and cut into rounds. 5. If you haven’t got a skillet, a greased, level frying pan will do; cook the cakes for 3 minutes on each side (low heat), or until golden brown. 6. While still warm, sprinkle with a little caster sugar and then scoff!
Today’s my birthday. I’m 32 years old, which is crazy to me because the truth is that most days – in my head – I still feel like I’m 17. And I suppose I still am in some ways; I still listen to the same kind of music, I still love doughnuts just as much (and more to the point still eat them for breakfast sometimes like I did when I was 17), still have a crush on Robert Downey Jr, still have the occasional volcanic eruption on my chin, and I still (and always will) think that mayonnaise is rank – get it the hell away from me.
How do I feel about hitting 32? I feel good. Better than good. Which is strange because for a long time I was absolutely terrified of hitting my thirties.
I feel like during our twenties we’re made to feel like our thirtieth birthday is an expiration date of some kind. You know, that by thirty we’re supposed to have travelled the world, ticked a few things off of our bucket list, met “the one”, know our personal style, have our own place, feel ready to create little humans (if we haven’t already), have reached a certain point in our chosen careers and just generally have life figured out. We spend our twenties making Before 30 Lists of things we want to do or accomplish – and that’s not even taking into account society’s ideas about what we should have achieved before reaching the big 3-0. And because of that we turn our thirtieth birthday into an expiration date. The real life version of what midnight was to Cinderella… minus the pumpkin and glass slipper.
As I take another step into my thirties I can safely say that I’m happier and more comfortable in myself now than I ever was in my twenties. And that’s not because I ticked everything off my 30 Before 30 List, or because I have life figured out – I really, really don’t. Who does? But I definitely understand myself a little better; who I am, who I’m not, and who I want to be.
We need to stop turning 30 into something to be feared and instead treat it as something exciting. There’s something empowering about turning thirty. It’s a whole new decade. A whole new you… if that’s what you want. You might not have x, or done y, or been to z, but hopefully you’ll know yourself a little better, and what and who matters to you the most. And at the end of the day, those things are more important than whether you’ve backpacked the world or run a marathon or partied until the sun comes up. You can still do all those things in your thirties, by the way. No one’s stopping you! 😉