Horse Gram Series – Olan (stew)

As promised earlier we are going to try and pull together a few recipes using horse gram over the next few months.  Olan is one of the simplest dishes to make with the fewest of ingredients and the addition of fragrant coconut oil makes it one of our favourite comfort foods.  We normally make this dish with pressure cooked black eyed peas, however for this recipe we have substituted it with pressure cooked horse gram.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 2 courgettes peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup horse gram – soaked overnight and pressure cooked
  • 4-5 green chillies slit
  • Handful fresh curry leaves – washed and crushed in the hand to release their aroma
  • 2 1/2 tbsp of coconut milk powder (can be substituted with 200 ml of tinned coconut milk)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Cook the courgettes, green chillies and curry leaves with a little bit of water over a low heat.   Once done add the pressure cooked horse gram and bring to a boil.   Sprinkle the coconut milk powder and adjust seasoning.   Switch off the heat and drizzle the coconut oil over the dish – serve hot with rice.

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Creole/Mexican inspired casserole

Here’s a recipe for a scrumptious Creole/Mexican inspired casserole using one of our favourite cupboard essential spice – Scwartz Blackened Cajun seasoning.   Initially we were apprehensive with the heat intensity but were pleasantly surprised how mellowed the dish turned out.  We had it for lunch yesterday on its own but think the dish would work well with a bowl of rice.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 8 boneless chicken thighs
  • 6 potatoes peeled and quartered
  • 8 mushrooms halved
  • 1 green pepper cut in large pieces
  • 1 stick of celery  chopped
  • 2 carrots roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of frozen or canned corn
  • 1/2 cup red kidney beans (pressure cook if not using tinned variety)
  • 1/2 cup black eyed peas (as above)
  • 8-10 baby onions peeled (we used a combination of baby white onions and small Indian red shallots)
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp pickled green jalapenos
  • 3 tbsp pickled red jalapenos
  • 3 tbsp Schwartz Blackened Cajun seasoning
  • 2 gluten free chicken stock cubes
  • 1 tsp chipotle chilli paste
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Big handful of fresh coriander chopped

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Wash and dry the chicken thigh fillets and marinade with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and Blackened Cajun seasoning.    Let the chicken marinade for as long as you can – we cooked it after an hour.  Heat a cast iron casserole and brown the chicken thighs.  Remove chicken and add remaining oil to saute the whole onions, celery, green pepper and garlic for a couple of minutes.   Add the potatoes, carrots and mushrooms and continue sauteing for a couple of minutes before adding  the jalapenos and chipotle paste.    Give it a good stir before adding the stock cubes, 600 ml of water, the corn, kidney beans, black eyed peas, chicken thighs and half the chopped coriander.  Cover the casserole and cook in pre-heated oven at 190 degree for an hour.   Remove and check that most of the water has evaporated before garnishing with the remaining coriander.   Serve hot with a nice crusty bread of choice or a bowl of rice.

NB:  The Blackened Cajun seasoning has salt so you shouldn’t have to add any more – if you are using any other brand check the ingredient list.