I’m so excited that it’s soup season again! Not only is it the perfect meal to come home to when you’ve been out in the cold, but it’s also so easy – whether you get it out of a tin or cook it from scratch. And when it gets cold enough here in Wales we don’t sip soup, we slurp Cawl. In case you didn’t know, Cawl is a Welsh soup traditionally made with lamb and whatever root vegetables happen to be lying around in your cupboard (the word “Cawl” can also mean to make a mess of something). For this version I’ve spiced things up a bit; I’ve kept the base recipe traditional, but have flavoured the lamb and stock with some Indian spices and fresh coriander. It’s all served up with some toasted naan bread – yum!
Indian Spiced Cawl (serves 4)
- Neck of Welsh Lamb
- ½ a white onion roughly chopped
- 1 echalion/banana shallot roughly chopped
- 3 medium potatoes roughly chopped into chunks
- 1 large parsnip sliced
- 1 leek sliced
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp red chilli flakes
- Handful of chopped fresh coriander
- Place the lamb in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Skim off the fat, then leave to cool overnight.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a deep pan and fry off the onions with the cinnamon.
- Slice the lamb off the bone and cut into rough chunks, then add to the pan along with the rest of the spices (set aside the water – that makes up the soup stock). Coat the lamb with the spices and leave to fry for three minutes.
- Add the potato and parsnip, then stir in the stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down heat and leave to simmer for an hour.
- When ready to serve, add the chopped coriander. Serve with warm naan bread.
Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂
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.
What’s your favourite Indian dish? 🙂
In case you didn’t know, my mother-in-law is Indian (…Gotta be careful what I write next, I know she’s reading! Hey Mum!). Before I met Sunny, I could probably count on one hand how many times I’d eaten Indian Food. I just didn’t get it, but then my only experience of the stuff was sloppy school dinner curry (Which had raisins in it…? What even? That still wrecks my head!) and the tinned curry my Dad used to buy. Fast-forward ten years and it’s hand on heart some of my favourite food (…not that I had much choice in the matter!).
My mother-in-law knows good Indian Food (particularly Vegetarian Indian Food as a strict veggie herself) and isn’t afraid to speak up when she’s served something that isn’t up to snuff. So, when she came down to visit a few weeks ago and we decided to take her to one of the top-rated Vegetarian restaurants in Cardiff, I was a little nervous. Also, as a meat eater who’d never set foot in a Vegetarian Restaurant before, I wasn’t sure what I’d even order.
Honestly? The only criticism we had was of ourselves – that we hadn’t visited sooner! Sometimes it’s hit and miss with Indian Restaurants, a bit of a balancing act; the food can sometimes be too spicy, or not spicy enough, or too oily, or too expensive, or lacking flavour. But the food at Vegetarian Food Studio was spot on and very reasonably priced – and the service friendly. The menu was absolutely massive, with plenty of choices and meal options. I quickly picked out a couple of favourites (Channa – chickpeas – and Aloo Parantha – a potato stuffed flatbread), while Sunny picked out a couple of childhood favourites and when they came we weren’t disappointed in either the portion size or the flavour. Yum! No wonder this place takes evening bookings for four weeks in advance!
They also offer takeaway food – including Indian sweets and light bites. Definitely worth checking out if you’re Vegetarian or a fan of Indian Food. 🙂
Vegetarian Food Studio
115-117 Penarth Rd, Cardiff CF11 6JU