Fish & Coconut Curry

A really simple and easy curry to make – I normally use frozen basa fillets (I let it defrost before using). The syns in this recipe come from the coconut milk, please check the syns if you use a different brand. I get the coconut milk tins from B&M Bargains (4 for £1 – a real bargain!) and it is just the right size. Each tin is only 7 syns, divided by 3 of us works out at less than 2.5 syns per serving. I used to buy the bigger tins of coconut milk and only use half a tin and throw the rest away, so I’ve stopped doing that. This curry is lovely served with coconut rice if you don’t mind using more syns.

Serves: 3

Syns: 2.5 syns per serving

Time Taken: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Fish & Coconut Curry

Fish & Coconut Curry

 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 200g passata
  • 1.5 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (methi)
  • 1 veg oxo cube, crumbled
  • 165ml tin Full Moon coconut milk
  • Firm white fish fillets

Method

Spray a pan with plenty of syn free spray oil and cook the onion till lightly golden. Add hot water if the onion starts to stick to the pan.

Add the chopped garlic and fry for another couple of minutes. Add the fenugreek leaves, curry powder, crumbled up oxo cube and passata and cook the spices down for about 10 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and the fish fillets and cook on a gentle heat. Try not to stir the fish too much or you’ll end up with broken pieces. Instead, gently shake the pan when you need to.

Served with boiled basmati rice and a speedy salad.

Black Eye Bean & Coconut Curry

This is one of my favourite curries I loved eating when I was younger. The version I used to have would be a lot higher in syns so this is a SW friendly version I’ve adapted. The way my mum used to make this was a lot more complicated and she used some more spices but I find this way works well too.

I had a few people messaging me saying this is an odd combo but I don’t see how it is odd. Maybe because of my background I’m used to having a variety of different foods from different parts of the world that this is just another meal for me. I don’t know where it originates from but I am sure this type of curry is eaten a lot!

It is easy and very economical to make too. We have this served with boiled rice and masala fish.

Black Eye Bean Curry with Coconut

Black Eye Bean Curry with Coconut

 

Serves: 4

Syns: 2.5 syns per serving

Time Taken: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • Pinch of cumin seeds and chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. ginger/garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder (or more if you prefer spicy)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp. tomato puree
  • 2 tins of black eye beans, drained
  • 200ml reduced fat coconut milk
  • 5g desiccated coconut
  • fresh coriander, to garnish

Method

Fry the onions with the cumin seeds and chilli flakes (if using) and the ginger/garlic till the onions have softened and are lightly golden.

Add the curry powder and salt to taste and fry for a further 5 minutes stirring constantly. If the spices start to stick to the pan, add a little hot water and keep stirring.

Add the tomato puree and the beans with the coconut milk and cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes.

Once the curry is done, you can garnish it with fresh, chopped coriander and serve it with boiled rice.

Chickpea & Paneer Curry

Paneer is one of my favourite foods! I don’t cook it often as it is quite high in syns so making it in Ramadan is perfect for me as I don’t tend to use syns like I normally would. There just isn’t enough time to eat any snacks!

25g of paneer is 4.5 syns, I used 150g in this recipe for 3 of us but there was enough to feed 4 people. I guess we just don’t eat as much as we normally would in Ramadan! If your serving is for more or less people then adjust the syns accordingly. We had this served with a pea pilau & salad.

Chickpea & Paneer Curry

Chickpea & Paneer Curry

 

Serves: 4

Syns: 7 syns

Time Taken: 25 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 150g paneer, cubed
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
  • 1/2 tbsp bassar (or any curry powder of your choice)
  • 2 Maggie seasoning cubes (or salt to taste)

Method

Spray a pan with low cal spray and fry the paneer till its lightly golden and set aside.

Fry the onions with the chilli flakes and cumin seeds till golden. Add water if the onions are starting to stick to the pan. Add the ginger/garlic paste, tomatoes, seasoning cubes and bassar. Cook for around 5-8 minutes (adding a bit of water if needed) till the tomatoes have soften. I then blitz this with a hand blender so that there aren’t any lumps in the sauce. You don’t have to this, it is completely optional but we prefer it this way.

Add the tinned chickpeas without draining the water, cook for a few minutes till the sauce reduces and then add the fried paneer.

Bassar Mix!

I realise that not everyone knows what bassar is, I didn’t either till after I got married. I am from an Indian background and growing up my mum used a mixture of different spices for curries. Cooking Indian food looked really difficult and it never interested me. Being the youngest child I guess I got away from going in the kitchen too!

When I got married that is when I came across bassar, it was widely used by the in-laws. It makes life so much easier using this ready made spice mix! My mother in law makes her own, I have bought many different brands over the years and my favourite is the one pictured.

I have recently bought some bassar mix from a lovely lady who makes it herself and that’s what I have been using lately and it is the best! I have no idea what exact spices goes in it but it tastes amazing!

So in my recipes where I state curry powder, that’s what I use – bassar. You can get this from most of your local Asian supermarkets. If you are in Birmingham you can definitely pick this up from shops in Stratford Road, Ladypool Road, Alum Rock Road etc.

If you use bassar in your cooking, comment below which one you use. Do you use a homemade mix or buy ready made? Have you come across a good ready made brand?

Pakistani Bassar

Chickpea & Red Kidney Bean Curry

This curry is super easy to make, I always have these ingredients in my cupboard! You can use all chickpeas or use any other type of tinned pulses you enjoy. Using tinned pulses saves a lot of time in cooking.

Serves: 4

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 20-30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Curry Ingredients

Curry Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ginger/garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp black onion seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 carton passata
  • 2 Maggie seasoning cubes
  • 1 tin each of red kidney beans and chickpeas
Chickpea & Red Kidney Bean Curry

Chickpea & Red Kidney Bean Curry

 

Method

Spray a pan with fry light and cook the onions till they are golden brown (around 10 minutes). Add a little bit of hot water to the pan if needed if the onions start to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add the ginger/garlic paste and cook for another couple of minutes before adding the passata, the curry powder, crumbled seasoning cubes and black onion seeds if using.

Let it cook for a further 5 minutes on a low heat. Then add the chickpeas and the red kidney beans and cook for 10 minutes. You can serve this with boiled rice and a speedy side salad.

 

Jilabi Review

Selfie Time

Selfie Time

I visited Jilabi on Saturday 4th March 2017 with some friends to celebrate a birthday. As you can imagine the restaurant was packed on a Saturday night, but luckily we made a reservation a couple of weeks before.

We were shown to our table straight away and the waiters were very attentive. They even placed the napkins on our laps! Drinks orders were taken straight away and we were asked if we wanted poppadums whilst looking through the menu. I did find them quite pushy with the poppadums though!

The menu is pretty standard as you’d expect to see in a curry house, all the regular dishes were there as well as a few named after people. There is also a selection of ‘Desi Specials’ which is supposed to be slightly spicier.

I ordered one of my favourite food ever for starters – Paneer! Whenever I go to an Indian Restaurant I have to choose a Paneer dish of some sort. I have no idea on the syns for it but this is one the foods that I never make at home so I really enjoy it when I am out. Paneer is an Indian cheese and it is sooo nice.

Paneer

Paneer

For mains I chose a chicken dish from the ‘Desi Specials’ expecting it to be spicy, I even asked them to make sure it was hot but it wasn’t as I expected. It was nice but not spicy. I can’t even remember what the mains was called but it was nice. I had it with boiled rice to save on syns instead of naan bread or chappatis.

Mains

Mains

Jilabi always bring a chocolate cake and ice cream at the end of your meal which is a really lovely touch from them. They did make my friend’s birthday special by bringing her cake with a candle and they sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to her. We were also given a complimentary bottle alcohol-free bubbly! Top marks for the service there. You can see from Julie’s face how happy she was to have us all sing to her.

Birthday Girl

Birthday Girl

I can see why so many of my friends go to Jilabi quite often as their customer service is something you do not expect or receive at any other Indian Restaurant. Absolutely amazing service! You can check out their website and have a look at their menu here.

 

 

 

Chicken Katsu Curry

This is a mild Japanese curry with a Slimming World take! To save on time and convenience you can use ready made breadcrumbs, just remember to look up the syns beforehand. I served it with boiled rice and pickle cucumbers.

Serves: 4

Syns: 1.5 syns per serving

Time Taken: 60 minutes

Difficulty: Moderate

Chicken Katsu Curry

Chicken Katsu Curry

Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 slices of wholemeal (from a 400g loaf)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the curry sauce

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 4 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • Low calorie cooking spray
Chicken Katsu Curry

Chicken Katsu Curry

Method

Pre heat your oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place the chicken breasts between cling film, beat until 1 cm thick and season.

Whizz the bread in a food processor to make fine crumbs. Tip onto a large plate and season well. Dip the chicken breasts into the eggs, then lightly coat each in a quarter of the breadcrumbs. Transfer to the baking tray sprayed with low calorie cooking spray and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Season the breadcrumbs with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place each chicken breast in some clingfilm and flatten with a rolling pin or meat tenderiser. Remove the clingfilm and dip the chicken in the egg, then coat with breadcrumbs and place on a baking tray sprayed with low-calorie cooking spray.

For the sauce, spray a large frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Stir fry the onions for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic, carrots and celery. Stir fry for a further 5 minutes then add the curry powder, stock, soy sauce and season. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Blend the sauce for a smooth curry.

To serve, slice the chicken breast into pieces, spoon over the curry sauce and serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Nargisi Kofta Curry

Nargisi Koftas are basically an Asian version of a Scotch egg! It is packed full of flavour and can be served on its own with a salad or chaat, or you can make it into a curry and serve it with boiled rice and/or chapattis and naan bread. I’ve used Laziza Kofta spice mix to the mince to add more flavour but if you haven’t got that you can use curry powder instead.

Serves: 4

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 60 minutes

Difficulty: Moderate

Nargisi Kofta Curry

Nargisi Kofta Curry

 

Ingredients

  • 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped in half
  • 500g lean mince
  • 3 tbsp Laziza Kofta mix
  • a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 4 onions
  • 1 tsp ginger/garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 5 tbsp passata
  • 1 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 2 tbsp fat free natural yogurt

Method

Chop 2 of the onions finely and blend using a hand blender. Add the onions, fresh coriander and Laziza spice mix in to the mince and mix well.

Flatten some of the mince into the palm of your hand and add one half of the boiled egg and cover it completely with the mince. Repeat this until all the eggs are covered in the mince. If you have any leftover mince you can shape them into meatballs without the egg.

In a frying pan, gently fry the koftas till all the meat is sealed around the egg. Remove from the pan and set aside till needed.

Chop the other two onions finely and fry in a pan with the ginger/garlic paste for around 10 minutes till the onion are lightly golden. If the onions start to stick to the bottom of the pan, add hot water to stop it sticking.

Add the tomato puree, passata and curry powder and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes before adding the koftas in to it. Lower the heat and cook gently for around 20 mintutes until the mince is cooked all around. Try to be very gentle when stirring the koftas to avoid them breaking up. Add the yogurt in the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Serve with boiled rice.

 

 

Chicken & Spinach Curry

Easiest way to cook a chicken curry! You can replace the chicken with any other meat or veg.

Serves: 4

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 60 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 500g chicken breast, chopped
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon worth of Garlic and ginger, chopped
  • 500g Passata
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato puree
  • Frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • ½ tablespoon paprika powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • Handful of fresh coriander stalks and leaves
  • 250 ml chicken stock
  • Salt to taste

Method

Spray a pan with lots of fry light and fry the onions, garlic and ginger until golden with the lid closed. This takes around 15-20 minutes. Add some chicken stock to stop it from burning.

Add passata, tomato puree, frozen spinach, coriander and spices and cook on high heat for about 5 minutes. Add stock if needed to stop it burning again.

Add chicken and cook for another 5 minutes on high heat, stirring constantly. Add chicken stock (however much or little needed) and salt to taste. Let it cook on low heat until chicken is fully cooked, around 25-30 minutes depending on how big the pieces of chicken are.

Kheema & Pea Curry

Love Kheema curry served with boiled rice and a raita. For extra Speed you can serve with cauliflower rice instead.

Serves: 4

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • Low calorie cooking spray

    Kheema curry

    Kheema curry

  • 450g lean beef mince (5% fat or less)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 400g can chopped plum tomatoes
  • 200g frozen peas
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt

Method

Spray a non-stick frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and brown the mince with onion and garlic. Add salt, turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala, and stir in.

Add tin of tomatoes and stir well. Half fill the tomato can with water and add this to the pan. Add the peas and stir well.

Bring to boil and simmer for about 45 minutes. Add more water if necessary.

Remove from heat. Add ground coriander and stir.