I’ve been using Beef cheeks in a variety of dishes ever since I was introduced to them many many years ago when I was a spotty faced “no all no nothing” young commis chef by an old boss of mine who’d made a beef chilli using cheeks, I tasted it and thought it was absolutely fantastic, so beef cheeks make frequent appearances in one form or other on my menu, they’re reasonably inexpensive, have a wonderful beefy flavour, and, can be used for a multitude of dishes

This recipe does require you to marinade the cheeks over night, not essential, but definitely benefits from doing so,

“Bhuna is a term you commonly find on restaurant menus. It refers to cooking meat with spices with little or no water added. This requires constant stirring to prevent the spices sticking to the bottom of the pan but the resulting dish is rich and intense in flavour from the caramelisation of the onions and the frying of the spices.”

Serves 4-6 people


1kg of beef cheeks cut into 4cm cubes

A good splash of rapeseed oil

½ tsp cloves

4 cardamom pods

½ tsp black peppercorns

2 bay leaves

3 green chillies, slit lengthwise in half

250ml water

2 tomatoes, finely chopped

A piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped

3 tbsp tamarind paste

Juice of ½ lemon

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

A pinch of sugar


2 onions, finely chopped

3 tbsp ginger garlic paste

2 tsp salt

2 tsp chilli powder

2 tsp cumin seeds roasted in a dry frying pan and then ground

2 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground turmeric


1. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade. Add the beef cheeks pieces and coat it well, and set aside, overnight if possible but at least an hour

2. Heat the rapeseed oil in a large heavy based pan, add the whole spices and bay leaves and let them splutter, but don’t allow to burn.

3. Add the marinated meat and stir well over a high heat, until the juices are absorbed and the meat begins to brown and caramelise.

4. Now Add the green chillies and water, reduce the heat, cover and cook gently for 2 hours, until the beef is about two-thirds done.

5. You can now Add the tomatoes and ginger and cook for 10 minutes over a high heat, stirring all the time to mash up the tomatoes. You may need to add a couple of splashes of water to prevent the sauce sticking to the bottom of the pan.

6. Now stir in the tamarind paste and lemon juice, followed by the chopped coriander. Finally add the pinch of sugar.

You’re Bhuna should by now be absolutely unctuous, serve with some basmati rice and naans



I’m not sure why but I’ve never been a huge fan of aubergine, I’ve absolutely nothing to base my opinion on, maybe it was the poorly made moussaka I had when I was younger, sure! I cook with them, a lot in fact, but I still wouldn’t thank you for any on my plate!

That is until I was introduced to the wonderful Bhegan Bhartha

” Punjabi baingan ka bharta is just one of several versions of aubergine bhartha in Indian cooking. The word bharta (pronounced BHURR-taah) refers to dishes in which the ingredients are roughly mashed either before or after the dish is prepared. Bhartas are largely North Indian in origin and made from all sorts of vegetables.”

Punjabi baingan ka bharta requires that the aubergine is roasted, giving the aubergine a wonderful smokey flavour,

This can be done in several different ways.

The first is to roast it on an open gas ring by just placing the aubergine straight on the burner and keeping the flame on low setting. Keep turning and cooking until all the skin on the eggplant is charred and the inner flesh looks really soft.

Or, you can grill the aubergine on your barbecue grill. This is my preferred method Again, keep turning periodically till all the skin on the aubergine is charred and the inner flesh looks really soft. The barbecue method will give you the distinctive smokey flavour that authentic bhartha has.

The third method is to roast the aubergine in your oven till all the skin is charred and the inner flesh looks really soft.


3 medium-sized aubergine

A good splash of rapeseed oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 medium onions (finely chopped)

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1-inch piece ginger finely chopped

2 large tomatoes finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala

A good handful of fresh green coriander finely chopped

2 green chilli finely chopped

1 400g tin of drained chick peas


1. Once the aubergine is roasted, allow to cool fully and then peel off and discard the charred skin. Once cool, coarsely mash it and keep aside for later use.

2. Now put a pan on medium heat and add a splash of rapeseed oil, When hot, add the cumin seeds and cook for 1 minute

3. Now Add the onions and fry until soft and translucent.

4. Now Add the garlic and the ginger and fry for 1 minute.

5. Now Add the tomato, green chilies, and all the powdered spices, including the garam masala. Stir well and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent the spice mix from sticking to the pan. Add a little water if needed.

6. Now add the aubergine and mix well. Add the chopped fresh coriander and the chick peas, Cook another minute and turn off the heat.

Serve hot with chapatis


This recipe has come about because I’m really chuffed to be cooking along side the wonderful Mr Hardeep Singh Kohli again, he has an infectious enthusiasm for everything foodie, his knowledge and passion for his spices makes visits to the kitchen an amazing place to be, and, of course, his quick witted banter invariably has me in hysterics, so little gets done! I love having him around, food, chat and laughs, what more could you ask for?

This recipe will serve 4 people and can be easily made in 30 minutes


6 shallots peeled and finely sliced

4 cloves of garlic peeled and finely sliced

A good piece of fresh ginger peeled and finely sliced

1 fresh green chilli finely sliced

8 fresh trout fillets, trimmed and boned

a splash of rapeseed oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

20 curry leaves

1 tablespoon chilli powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 pinch of saffron (optional)

1 x 400 g tin of light coconut milk

1 x 400 g tin of quality chopped tomatoes

a few sprigs of fresh coriander


1. Heat a good splash of rapeseed oil in a large pan, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and cook until the seeds start to pop.

2. Add the shallot, garlic, ginger and chilli, and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes.

3. Mix the chilli powder and turmeric together with a splash of water, and the saffron if using, and stir into the pan.

4. Fry for 1 minute, now add the coconut milk and tomatoes.

5 Season, bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, until the sauce has reduced, now add the trout fillet and cook for no longer than 4 minutes.

6 chop the coriander leaves and scatter over the trout. I’d serve with some lovely basmati rice and warm naan bread.