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Fruit & Veg of the Month – February

 

 Heath Benefits of White Cabbage

  1. Cabbage is a low-calorie vegetable that is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  2. Cabbage contains powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation.
  3. Your body needs vitamin C for many important functions, and it is a potent anti-oxidant. Red cabbage is particularly high in this nutrient, providing about 85% of the RDI per cup (89 grams).
  4. Cabbage contains insoluble fibre, which keeps the digestive system healthy by providing fuel for friendly bacteria and promoting regular bowel movements.
  5. Cabbage contains powerful pigments called anthocyanins, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
  6. Potassium helps keep blood pressure within a healthy range. Increasing your intake of potassium-rich foods like cabbage may help lower high blood pressure levels.
  7. Cabbage is a good source of soluble fibre and plant sterols. These substances have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol.
  8. Vitamin K is critical for blood clotting. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K1, with 85% of the RDI in 1 cup (89 grams).
  9. Cabbage is a versatile veggie that’s easy to incorporate into your diet. You can use it to make many different dishes, including salads, stews, soups, slaws and sauerkraut.
  10. Cabbage contains calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which all are necessary for bone health.

The Bottom Line:

Cabbage is an exceptionally healthy food. It has an outstanding nutrient profile and is especially high in vitamins C and K. In addition, eating cabbage may even help lower the risk of certain diseases, improve digestion and combat inflammation. Plus, cabbage makes a tasty and inexpensive addition to a number of recipes. With so many potential health benefits, it is easy to see why cabbage deserves some time in the spotlight and some room on your plate.

Vegan-Friendly Coriander Chutney Recipe

This dip is bursting with fresh, vibrant flavours guaranteed to satisfy all your dinner guests. With a list of ingredients that conforms to the strictest vegan diet, this coriander dip (or chutney) does not suffer at all from being dairy-free. In fact, this is one of my favourite dips or sauces, and I love to serve it up with anything from onion bahjis to daals and dosa. The delightfully deep green colour is a treat for the eyes as much as the stomach and is a low-fat alternative to other high calorie dips containing yoghurt or loads of sugar.

Ingredients:

Fresh coriander – lots and lots of it! (If you by coriander from Asian shops then use 1 bunch or if you buy from a supermarket use 10 packets)
1 heaped tsp chopped garlic
1 heaped tsp green birds eye chilli
The juice of one whole lemon
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 squeeze of tomato ketchup
½ tsp jeera powder (or ground cumin)

Method:
Roughly chop the coriander and pop it in the blender/food processor and blitz
Add in all the other ingredients and give it another blitz
Taste it now and adjust it to your liking, whether you’d like it saltier, more tart or sweeter.

Serve it up with your favourite Indian snack or meal!

January Pop-Up Menu Revealed

 

The eight course menu for my January pop-up is inspired by looking deep into my heritage and picking out what reminds me of my childhood. The food I grew up on was mainly vegetarian and vegan, but some of theses dishes are not so well known in British culture and I didn’t want to frighten anyone away by preparing a feast of dishes that are completely new and unfamiliar.

The first dish on the menu is called ‘Khandvi. Khandvi is the Hindi name of the dish, but in Gujarat the dish is called ‘Patuli’ – which is guaranteed to tantalise your taste buds and leave you wanting more. It’s a traditional Gujarati snack prepared with gram flour and yogurt, seasoned with sautéed sesame seeds and spices including cumin, mustard, curry leaves, coriander and coconut. It comes served with my favourite dipping sauce – coriander chutney.

Within the menu, I will include some of my classic and most beloved takeaway dishes, but elevated with refined touches to exceed all expectations; such as chicken tikka, and lamb biryani & aubergine & pea curry and to bring a touch of elegance and luxury to the event, I will also present my king prawn dish and spiced scallops. The meal will end with the British classic Eaton mess with an Indian twist – of course!

The menu has a British slant to all the flavours and will be plated beautifully to ensure that all guests experience nothing short of pure culinary delight. The night will end on a high, talking with all my guests and making sure they are happy and full with a lovely class of Malbec in my hand!

 

January Pop-Up at Pinkney’s Arms

Miss out on a ticket for 2019’s first pop-up at the delightful Pinkney’s Arms? To be sure you don’t miss the boat again, sign up to my newsletter where you’ll be the first to find out about my next pop-up.

For those who did get tickets, I look forward to seeing you on January 29th for an 8-course feast of Indian specialities from the Gujarat region.

Keep your eyes peeled for the menu details which will follow soon, and if you missed out, don’t despair, you can always order a smaller feast for a party at home with my take-away service that operate twice a week. To order your take-away, sign up to the private group on my Facebook page.

Natural Remedy for Cold and Flu

During the festive period, with all the added demands on our time it’s important to look after ourselves by eating well and use nourishing ingredients. With germs flying about from kids and colleagues, even friends and family, and with exposure to the cold impacting our immune system, it’s easier than usual to come down with a cold or worse, the flu.

I have an amazing Indian remedy that has been passed down from my family for generations and still to this day I use it on myself and my child. It can be made easily with everyday ingredients and I also add a little twist for an adult option; a sneaky shot of brandy. This healing remedy will make you feel warm and fuzzy and acts like a boost to your system.

How it Works:

GINGER: Ginger root contains essential oils and oleoresin and contains compounds including a variety of hydrocarbons, aldehydes and alcohols. Ginger contains at least a dozen antioxidants, plus a protein-digesting enzyme called zingibain, which appears to relieve arthritis pain by reducing inflammation.

Ginger is rich in two groups of compounds known as the shaogals and gingerols. These compounds prevent cells from premature destruction due to exposure to environmental toxins and by-products of the metabolism. Furthermore, these compounds are potent anti-inflammatory agents, and are proven to relieve inflammation throughout the body. Given that oxidation and inflammation are part and parcel of all chronic degenerative diseases, ginger can play a key role in disease risk reduction.

HONEY: Known for its antioxidants, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that can help us fight the common cold and its symptoms, honey and cold symptoms have been long-associated because honey helps to soothe the sore or scratchy throat naturally. Honey boosts the immune system, which helps us recover faster and helps reduce the chances of cold in future.

BLACK PEPPER: Pepper is antibacterial in nature, and therefore helps to cure cold and cough and alleviate chest congestion, often caused by pollution, bacterial, or a viral infection. You can add it to hot water and eucalyptus oil and take steam. Given that black pepper is rich in Vitamin C, it also works as a good antibiotic.

TURMERIC: Containing curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, turmeric root possesses natural oils, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and phytochemicals that combine to provide healing properties for almost every area of the body. Phytochemicals are naturally occurring plant compounds that boost the healthy functioning of cells, tissues, organs, and systems. These compounds include antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, analgesics, and a wide variety of protective, preventative, and health-promoting derivatives that help support the natural functions of the body. The powerful phenols contained within the flesh of the turmeric root are varieties of curcuminoids: curcumin, desmethoxycurcumin, and bisdesmethoxycurcumin, which not only help combat germs, bacteria, and viruses but also help aid in digestive processes, support immunity, improve energy, maximize metabolic functioning, cleanse the blood, regulate blood sugar, and increase mental processes.

Cold and Flu Remedy Recipe

Ingredients:
1 big clump of Ginger (5x5cm)
1 tablespoon Honey
½ tsp Turmeric
Pinch of Black pepper
Pinch of salt
Water
OPTIONAL – 25ml of brandy

Method:

  • Add all the ingredients in a pan (except the optional brandy)
  • Add ½ cup of water
  • Simmer for 5 minutes
  • Let it cool down and strain all the juice into a cup to remove any ginger pulp
  • After it’s cooled, you can drink 3 times a day
  • If you add a shot of brandy stick to drinking this before bed only

 

Pinkney’s Arms Diwali Pop-Up

For the Diwali pop-up menu at The Pinkney’s Arms on November 7th, I have chosen my menu from a combination of ideas; going back to my roots, takeaway night favourites at Priya’s Kitchen and observing the Gujarati dishes that are popular around the nation. Pub manager Ian Norman insisted on pani puri for starters; an iconic street food and a great way to start a meal with a burst of flavours and a hint of what’s to come. These were followed by vegetable samosa chaat, served with crispy noodles and a selection of sauces.

 

 

 

For mains, mutton curry has that Sunday night feel, comfort-food for the soul and dhansak, ranks as one of the nations favourite dish, combined with some elements of Persian flavour we created something quite unique. The day after Diwali, Indian New Year’s Day is celebrated and most Indian houses will cook pan fried Masala fish. Sides included chilli paneer in a tomato-based sauce rich with Indian and Chinese spices, tarka daal, chapattis and steamed rice.

 

 

 

Mango Shrikhand is one of my favourite Indian desserts which is made with hung Greek yoghurt, mango puree, pistachios, saffron and almond. I loved working in the professional kitchen at Pinkney’s Arms and I couldn’t have done it without my mate (and professional chef) James Smith. I enjoy plating the dishes up and greeting all my guests. There was such a great buzz and I love that everyone loved it so much. Local business networking guru Amanda Ayres said “truly stunning food. Authentic, fresh and utterly delicious. It was exciting to wait for each of the eight courses to see what was coming next! Priya is an incredible and talented Chef who clearly has a passion for authentic Gujarati food.”

 

Lighting Up Pinkey’s Arm Pub

I will be lighting up the Pinkney’s Arms on Wednesday 7th November for a sold-out pop-up meal that coincides with Diwali. A bit like the Indian equivalent to Christmas, Diwali honours Rama – the seventh avatar (incarnation of the god Vishnu). It is believed that on this day Rama returned to his people after 14 years of exile during which he fought and won a battle against the demons and the demon king, Ravan.

Known as the festival of lights, the Hindu celebration occurs each autumn and is one of the most popular events of the Hindu calendar and probably the most well known in Britain. Diwali symbolises a spiritual victory of light and goodness over darkness and evil. To represent illumination over ignorance people celebrating Diwali light up their temples, homes, shops and office buildings with candles. The preparations, and rituals, for the festival typically last five days, with the biggest day of celebration occurring on the third day which coincides with the darkest night of the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika. In the Gregorian calendar, the festival generally falls between mid-October and mid-November.

In the lead-up to Diwali, homes and workplaces are cleaned, renovated, and decorated and on the third day, revellers adorn themselves in their finest clothes. Oil lamps and candles are lit, offerings are made to Lakshmi – the goddess of prosperity and wealth. Fireworks are set-off and families feast together in celebration.

Gujarat Cuisine

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The food I cook is largely taken from the Gujarati cuisine, which is where my family heritage comes from. Gujarat is on the western coastline state of India and is sometimes called the Jewel of Western India. While the generous coastline provides an abundance of seafood, the influence of Jain culture and philosophy means the region is actually a predominantly vegetarian with the exception of some communities who incorporate non-vegetarian items such as goat, chicken, eggs and seafood in their repertoire.

Gujarati cuisines are not only incredibly varied and delicious but also highly nutritional value. Many different cooking styles and combinations of spices make it an exotically variegated cuisine. A traditional Gujarati thali comprises rotli, kadhi or dal, rice, and shaak/sabzi, and some of the dishes are stir fred, while others are boiled.  Gujarati dishes are known for subtletly of flavour that making it distinct from other Indian cuisines.