Category Archives: ginger

turkey masala burgers

turkey masala burgers with sweet potato wedges and cauliflower pickle

A turkey isn’t just for Christmas. It’s for all year round.

That was the message put out by the British Turkey board. Headed up by Paul Kelly – a good Essex boy – me and a bunch of others were entertained as a guest of Cyrus Todiwala to help promote the use of turkey throughout the year. Cyrus was an affable host, preparing dinner and chatting away. We were blown away by dishes like turkey heart pie and turkey cafreal tikka. All of us were stuffed with the amount of turkey dishes served, it really did showcase the bird!

It inspired me to cook an Indian-flavoured dinner. I have to be honest and say I’d not used turkey outside of December for a few years; it’s appearance in supermarkets seems to have declined. I would quite often but the breast strips for marinating, stir frying or for pies. Using mince here I made a burger with rich masala flavours, inspired by Cyrus Todiwala’s tikka recipe. I marinated mine in clotted cream, because I had some knocking about, but traditionally you’d use yoghurt.

My turkey here was succulent and meaty, and supported by spiced flavours it was a real hit. I will definitely be putting turkey in my basket more regularly.

Based on a recipe by Cyrus Todiwala

Turkey masala burgers (serves 4):

800g British turkey mince

¼ teaspoon turmeric

2 heaped tablespoons clotted cream

40g ginger

4 cloves garlic

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon red chilli powder

Juice of 1 lime

½ teaspoon garam masala

For the sweet potatoes:

5 sweet potatoes, scrubbed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

For the cauliflower pickle:

400g frozen cauliflower

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon nigella seeds

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

½ red onion, peeled and sliced

Burger buns and mango chutney, to serve

  1. Season the mince with the turmeric and plenty of salt and pepper. Combine well then form into 4 patties, and leave covered in the fridge while you make the marinade.
  2. Bash up the garlic and ginger with the cumin, coriander and chilli powder in a pestle and mortar until you have a paste. Add the lime juice and cream and mix well to combine. Smother the turkey patties in the marinade, cover (twice!) and leave in the fridge overnight.
  3. When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200°C, get a saucepan over a high heat and the grill on medium high. Slice the potatoes into wedges, dust with the cumin and drizzle with oil. Roast for 30 – 40 mins, turning frequently until starten to blacken at the edges. Sprinkle salt over as they come out of the oven.
  4. When the potatoes are in the oven, put the onion in a bowl with the vinegar and a pinch each of salt and sugar. Stir occasionally.
  5. Add the cumin and nigella seeds to the saucepan and allow to heat for a minute. Add the cauliflower and jam the lid on. Toss frequently and cook for about 15 minutes or until tender. Add the onion for the last minute of cooking and check for seasoning.
  6. Grill the burgers for about 6 – 9 minutes each side, until browned and cooked through. Serve in a toasted burger with plenty of mango chutney.

empire chicken with indian gravy and bombay roasties

empire chicken with indian roasties

What a triumph this is. Just when I was feeling a bit indifferent to Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain along comes this absolute belter. Jamie introduces this by saying most people when asked about their favourite foods will mention roast chicken and curries, and this utterly unites the heart of both of these.

With blackened, tangy skin the chicken comes out juicy and tickling on the tongue, although be warned it will make a mess of your oven as it sits on the rack.

Being the kind of blog this is though, I have to talk about the roast potatoes. They are a triumph. I used to get “spicy spuds” from a dubious takeaway near me and these are very, very close to those – crispy, spicy and fluffy.

I’ve made a few changes to the spices in the potatoes based on what I had, and used floury over new pots to get them really crispy. I’ve served mine with a refreshing salad.

I cannot recommend this recipe enough.

Jamie’s original recipe is here.

Empire chicken, Bombay roasties, Indian gravy and refreshing salad (serves 4):

For the chicken and marinade

1.4kg free-range chicken

1 heaped tablespoon each finely grated garlic, fresh ginger and fresh red chilli

1 heaped tablespoon tomato purée

1 heaped teaspoon each of ground coriander, turmeric, garam masala and ground cumin

2 heaped teaspoons natural yoghurt

2 level teaspoons sea salt

For the gravy

1 stick of cinnamon

2 small red onions, peeled

10 cloves

3 tablespoons each of white wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce

3 level tablespoons plain flour

500ml chicken stock

For the Bombay-style potatoes

800g new potatoes

sea salt and ground pepper

1 lemon

2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil

a knob of butter

1 heaped teaspoon each of nigella seeds, ground coriander, garam masala, fenugreek and turmeric

1 bulb of garlic

Pinch of chilli flakes

For the salad

½ a cucumber, peeled

3 carrots, peeled

1 red onion, peeled

½ lemon

    1. Slash the chicken’s legs a few times right down to the bone. Mix all the marinade ingredients together and smear all over the chicken. Leave to marinate overnight.
    2. Preheat the oven to 200°C and organize your shelves so the roasting tray can sit right at the bottom, the chicken can sit directly above it, right on the bars of the shelf, and the potatoes can go at the top.
    3. Cut the potatoes into golf-ball size pieces then parboil them in a large pan of salted boiling water with a whole lemon for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. Drain the potatoes then let them steam dry. Stab the lemon a few times with a sharp knife and put it right into the chicken’s cavity.
    4. Roughly chop the onions and add to a roasting tray along with the cinnamon stick, cloves, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, then whisk in the flour. Pour in the stock or water, then place this right at the bottom of the oven. Place the chicken straight on to the bars of the middle shelf, above the roasting tray. Cook for 1 hour 20 minutes.
    5. Put a roasting tray in the oven for five minutes to get hot. Add the olive oil, butter, the spices, halve a bulb of garlic and add it straight to the pan. Add your drained potatoes to the tray, mix everything together, then season well. After the chicken has been in for 40 minutes, put the potatoes in.
    6. Once the chicken is cooked, move it to a board to rest. Pass the gravy through a coarse sieve into a pan, whisking any sticky goodness from the pan as you go. Bring to the boil and either cook and thicken or thin down with water to your preference (I had to add some boiling water to deglaze the surface and make a sauce out of it.
    7. For the salad, use a vegetable peeler to make thin strips of the carrot and cucumber. Then finely slice the onion and add this to it. Add a pinch each of salt and sugar, then squeeze over the lemon and toss to combine. Leave for 15 minutes while everything else finishes off.
    8. Get your potatoes out of the oven and put them into a serving bowl, then serve the chicken on a board next to the sizzling roasties and hot gravy.


kalbi with ssam jang sauce with lettuce and rice

After revealing to me that her favourite meal in Atlanta was Korean BBQ, I sheepishly admitted to @SlowFoodKitchen that I’d never tried the cuisine. So I asked around for ideas to knock up tonight. I settled on this recipe from renowned chef Judy Joo. Thanks also go to @gourmetraveller for the tips.

I didn’t quite have everything to hand for the Ssam Jang sauce – I approximated flavours and texture from the ingredient list. What I ended up with was an angry peanut butter, and dead more-ish to boot. The beef itself was great, all sticky and sweet with that savoury tang of those best buddies garlic and ginger.

Consider me a Korean BBQ convert!


500g beef rib steak, sliced into thin pieces

100g sugar

4 cloves garlic, minced

15g fresh ginger, minced

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon fresh black pepper

For my not- Ssam Jang sauce:

2 tablespoons chilli sauce

1 teaspoon tomato puree

1 tablespoon tahini

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

  1. Cover the beef in the sugar and leave to cure for 30 minutes. Shake off the excess sugar and discard what’s left in the bowl.
  2. Combine the garlic, ginger, soy, oils, pepper and sesame seeds and leave the sugared beef to marinate in this for 2 hours.
  3. To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients together in a bowl.
  4. Get a pan or griddle really darn hot and fry the beef quickly for a minute on each side until nicely caramelized. Serve with rice and crisp lettuce leaves.

tikka paste

tikka paste

After garam masala, the next logical step is to make some tikka paste as the basis for a curry.

tikka masala pasteInto a blender went: my garam masala, a smal piece of ginger, two garlic cloves, a squeeze of tomato puree, a de-seeded green chilli, paprika, a touch of cayenne, touch of cumin, fresh coriander, dessicated coconut, ground almonds, smoked sea salt, and a splash of veg oil to bind it together. Whiz it up, and I’ve got this pungent mix bursting with potential. What will become of it?!