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Indian Inspired Dinner

Three quick and easy recipes in one post: A quick homemade Tikka Spice, convenient store cupboard Dhal & stir together Raita served with shop bought Paratha.

The flavour of this homemade Tikka Spice is mild, delicate, delicious and versatile. It is quick to prepare and if you are a keen cook, all the ingredients can be found in your store cupboard.

Use the Tikka Spice in summer or autumn:

In summer, add a new spice to your BBQ repertoire by preparing a marinade using the Tikka Spice and Greek yoghurt (1 cup of yoghurt to 1 quantity of the Tikka Spice). Marinade chunks of chicken thighs or breasts, lamb leg steaks, thick pieces of fish or a selection of vegetables. Serve the meat or vegetables in a wrap or chapatti, with a chopped salad of cucumber, tomato, optional chopped onions and a generous amount of fresh coriander. A dollop of refreshing yoghurt raita (recipe below) served as a dipping sauce or in the wrap is delicious.

In autumn marinate meat, fish or vegetables as above. Serve with a lovely quick dhal (see recipe below) and paratha (the latter can be purchased from the freezer aisle of your supermarket). Alternatively serve the summer version in winter, I call these sunshine on a plate meals. There is something about serving BBQ style food in winter that brings a smile to your face. 

This Indian Inspired Dinner will give you a memorable feed a crowd or midweek meal that everyone will enjoy.  


Tikka Spice
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Quick, easy, delicious and versatile Tikka Spice can be used to marinade chicken, lamb, fish, vegetables or prawns. Fantastic for summer or winter catering for a crowd.
Recipe type: Mains
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (according to taste)
  • 1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 fresh red chillies or 1 teaspoon dried chili
  • 1 Tablespoon desiccated coconut
  • 2 Tablespoon flaked or ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 small bunch fresh coriander, chopped to serve
  • 2 Tablespoons sunflower oil
  1. To make the Tikka Spice:
  2. Peel and chop the garlic.
  3. Scape the ginger with the back of a metal spoon and finely chop.
  4. In a frying pan on a low heat add all the spices and toast them for a few minutes in the dry pan, until they are golden brown and the aroma from the spices fills the air.
  5. Keeping a constant eye on the spices they can burn quickly.
  6. Remove the frying pan from the heat.
  7. You have two options to grind your spices:
  8. Using a food processor:
  9. Blend the spices until they are finely ground.
  10. Add oil to form a smooth paste, if desired.
  11. Using a pestle & mortar:
  12. Add the spices to a pestle and mortar and grind until fine.
  13. Depending on how you are using your spice mix you can add the oil to form a smooth paste.
  14. Add to the spices to chicken, lamb, mince, fish or shellfish once cooked add freshly chopped coriander onto your dish.
  15. You can also add the Tikka Spice without oil to yoghurt and your chosen meat or vegetables can be marinade in a creamier mixture.
  16. Or use this spice in a traditional Tikka Masala curry recipe.
Increase or decrease the amount of chilli to suite your taste.
Quick & Easy Dhal
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A cheat's version of the very nutritious Indian lentil dish called Dhal. A brilliant quick and easy store cupboard option when you need to put something nutritious on the table quickly.
Recipe type: Vegetable
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 2-4
  • 250g cooked lentils (Merchant Gourmet )
  • 1 small jar Patak Korma sauce
  • 1 level tablespoon of Shan Special Bombay Biryani seasoning mix
  1. In a dry pot add the spice mix and heat gently until fragrant.
  2. Add the lentils and stir together to coat them in the spices.
  3. Pour in the Korma sauce.
  4. Heat through stirring often for about 10 minutes.
  5. Serve as a main or side dish.
250g will serve 2 as a main, 4 as a side dish.
This recipe is easily be doubled.

Lentil Options:
If you have the time cook your own lentils.
If you are pushed for time keep Gourmet Merchant Beluga or Puy Lentils they work well, as do tinned Puy lentils.

Shan Special Bombay Biryani
If you can't find the ready mixed spice use a ¼ teaspoon of all or as many of the following ground spices you have:
Red chilli, fenugreek, turmeric, ground cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, nigella seeds, a bayleaf, fennel seeds, cardamom and ground ginger.
Quick Raita
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A refreshing yoghurt sauce to accompany BBQ Chicken Tikka or served as a dip to poppadum's.
Recipe type: Sauces & Dressings
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
  • 250ml Greek yoghurt
  • 1 Tablespoon dried mint
  • a little milk to thin the yoghurt (if needed)
  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Add a few drops of milk if the yoghurt is not thin enough to roll off the spoon.
Enjoy your Indian inspired meal.

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