HERO INGREDIENTS: BLACK LENTILS & SPICES
Homely Black Lentils – Vivek Singh, Cinnamon Collection
- 150g of split urdad dal (black lentils)
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 2 green chillies, slit lengthwise
- Pinch of asafoetida
- 4 tbsp of vegetable oil or ghee
- tsp of cumin seeds
- 5cm piece of ginger, cut into fine matchsticks
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- 1 tbsp of ground coriander
- 1 tsp of ground cumin
- 1 ½ tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of red chilli powder
- 75ml of double cream, lightly whisked
- Soak the black lentils in a bowl of water for two hours, or overnight if possible. Drain the lentils, then place in a pan with half the onion, green chillies, half the asafoetida and salt to taste.
- Add 1.5lt of water, bring to the boil and cook for 30-40 minutes until they are very tender and completely disintegrated.
- In a separate pan, heat the oil and add cumin seeds and remaining asafoetida, stir for 30 seconds or so until the seeds start to crackle, then add the remaining onion and fry for about 10 minutes over a medium heat until golden.
- Add the ginger and garlic and fry for a minute. Add the tomatoes, coriander, ground cumin, salt and red chilli powder and fry for another 5 minutes.
- Add the boiled lentil mixture and enough additional water, if required, to make a thick gravy-like consistency and mix well. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Pour in the whisked cream and mix well. Remove from the heat, check the seasoning and serve with naan bread or paratha of your choice.
HERO INGREDIENTS: SWEETCORN & INSTANT POLENTA
Jalapeno Cornbread – Caravan
For the cornbread:
- 400ml of milk
- 2 large eggs
- 60g of butter, melted
- 150g of sweetcorn
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 30 jalapeno peppers, chopped
- 150g of instant polenta
- 80g of strong white bread flour
- 1 tbsp of baking powder
- 1 tbsp of caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp of salt
For the chipotle butter:
- 250g of butter, softened
- Pinch of salt
- ½ tsp of chipotle, minced
- Juice of ½ of a lime
- ½ cup of chopped coriander
- Lime wedges
- Spring onions, chopped
- Coriander, picked
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, eggs, butter, corn, spring onions and jalapeno peppers.
- In a separate medium bowl, mix together the polenta, bread flour, baking powder, caster sugar and salt.
- Combine the two bowls together and immediately pour into a lined loaf tin and place immediately into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cook for 4 minutes before turning the bread out of the tin onto a cooling rack. Once the loaf is cool, trim off the ends of the cornbread, and slice the remainder of the loaf into 10 equal slices. Set aside.
- To make the chipotle butter, mix all the ingredients together. Serve while the butter is still soft.
- To serve, heat a dash of oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Carefully place the slices of cornbread in the pan and fry until the bottom is golden brown. Flip the slices and fry again until the both sides are golden brown. Repeat this process until all the cornbread slices have been browned.
- Place the browned cornbread on a plate and top with a generous dollop of the chipotle butter. Garnish with some coriander leaves, wedges of lime, and some sliced spring onions.
HERO INGREDIENT: HARISSA PASTE
Harissa Chicken – Carlo Scotto, Xier
- 2 chicken breasts
- 90g of harissa paste
- 200g bag of baby spinach
- 1 tin of peppers
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 shallot
- Olive oil
- Mix the harissa paste with the olive oil and marinate the chicken breasts overnight ideally, or at least for four hours.
- Pour a splash of oil in a frying pan and place the marinated chicken skin down on a medium heat to crisp the skin off. Next place the chicken in a preheated oven at 160°C for 15 minutes until cooked and lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, remove the stalks from the baby spinach and wash them, then open the tin of peppers and remove all the seeds. Slice.
- Slice the garlic and the shallot and then add to a frying pan with a splash of oil and cook for around two minutes. Next add the spinach and the peppers and cook for around 5 minutes on a low heat.
- To serve, place the mix of spinach and piquillo in the centre of the plate and add the chicken on top.
HERO INGREDIENT: PENNE
Penne Giardiniera – Carluccio’s
- 120g of butter
- 30g of red chillies, finely chopped
- 3 medium courgettes, finely grated
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 250g of parmigiano reggiano, finely grated
- 750g of penne
For the spinach balls:
- 100g of breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- ½ a garlic clove, very finely chopped
- 50g of parmigiano reggiano, finely grated
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 300g of cooked spinach
- Olive oil
First, make the spinach balls. Cook the spinach in slightly salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and let cool.
- Squeeze out all the water then cut the spinach coarsely with a knife.
- In a bowl, place the chopped spinach, garlic, eggs and nutmeg and mix well. Add in the parmesan, then half the breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper.
- Roll and fry one ball. Taste and check the consistency. Add a little more breadcrumbs or seasoning if needed. Fry until golden.
- Cook the pasta to al dente in salted water, then drain and keep warm.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter in a pan, add the garlic and chillies. Next, add the grated courgettes and pan-fry for a minute or two.
- Add the cooked pasta into the pan and toss with the grated cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve in a pasta bowl with spinach balls sprinkled over the top.
HERO INGREDIENTS: COCONUT MILK & MAPLE SYRUP
Vegan French Toast – Social Pantry
- 200g of ripe banana
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 300ml of coconut milk
- 20g of cornflower
- 60ml of pure maple syrup
- 8 slices of your favourite bread
- Oil for frying
To serve (or use whatever is in your cupboard):
- Fresh fruit
- Coconut yoghurt
- Something crunchy – we used a nut brittle, but you could substitute in your favourite granola or toasted seeds
- Preheat oven to 160°C.
- Blitz all the french toast ingredients, apart from bread and oil, in a food processor until smooth.
- Soak the bread in the mixture, turning over when fully soaked in.
- Bake the toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, to firm toast up.
- Heat the oil in a pan and fry until golden brown on each side.
- Enjoy with fresh fruit or a dollop of coconut yoghurt, plus a sprinkle of something crunchy.
- Finely chop the shallot, garlic, thyme and chilli and gently fry in the olive oil until soft. Turn up the heat and add the capers, fry for a further 2 minutes.
- Turn down the heat, add the tomatoes and slowly cook until the tomatoes break down in the oil – around 20 minutes.
- Chop the olives finely and add to the sauce, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Boil the pasta, strain and coat in the pasta sauce.
- Finish the dish with grated parmesan.
HERO INGREDIENTS: RED LENTILS, COCONUT MILK & SPICES
Energy Boosting Turmeric Dhal – Paradise Soho
- 250g of red lentils, rinsed, drained
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- ½ tsp of ground turmeric
- 1 tsp of Sri Lankan curry powder
- 6 fresh curry leaves
- 1 long green chilli, sliced
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 500ml of coconut milk
- 60ml of coconut cream
- Coriander leaves, to serve
For the topping:
- 80ml of olive oil
- 1 tsp of mustard seeds
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 5 fresh curry leaves
- 1 tsp of dried chilli flakes
To make the dahl, place all the ingredients except the coconut cream in a saucepan with 250ml water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, for 25 minutes or until lentils are tender and broken down. Add more water if necessary and season with salt.
- To make the topping, cook the temper for the dhal, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Then add the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes or until onions are soft and browned. Remove from the heat and set aside until the lentils are ready.
- Stir the temper into the lentils, then add the coconut cream, stirring to combine. Top with fresh coriander and serve with rice.
HERO INGREDIENTS: RISOTTO RICE & VEGETABLE STOCK
Roast Butternut Squash Risotto – Michael Reid, M Restaurants
- 60g of butter, diced
- Vegetable oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 200g of risotto rice
- 100ml of dry white wine
- 1.5lt of vegetable stock, simmering
- 200g of parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus extra to serve
- Pumpkin seeds, to garnish
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the roasted squash purée and crispy squash skins:
- 1 butternut squash, cut into wedges
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 60g of butter
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying the skins
For the brown butter:
- 125g of butter, diced
- 2 thyme sprigs
- ½ a lemon, juiced
- Roast the squash early in the day, so the skins have time to dry. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Set aside one wedge of squash, then wrap the remaining wedges in kitchen foil with the thyme sprigs and salt and pepper to taste and roast for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Use a spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds. Scrape out all the fresh from the skins and reserve the flesh and skins separately.
- Melt 60g of butter in a large pan over a medium-heat high until the butter is a hazelnut colour, whisking constantly so it doesn’t burn. Add the squash flesh, reduce the heat to medium and stir for ten minutes. Transfer to a food processor and blitz until smooth. Pass through a sieve and season to taste. Set aside until required.
- To make the crispy skins for garnishing, deep-fry and leave to dry.
- To make the brown butter, melt the butter in a large pan over a medium-heat high until the butter is a hazelnut colour, whisking constantly so it doesn’t burn. Add the thyme sprigs and lemon juice, then remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 30 minutes to infuse and cool. Pass the butter through a sieve lined with a double layer of muslin, then set aside until required.
- To make the risotto, melt 60g of butter with 1tbsp of oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. When it is foaming, add the onions and fry, stirring, until they are soft and translucent. Add the risotto rice and continue stirring for five minutes or until the rice absorbs the butter. Add the white wine, turn up the heat and leave it to bubble until it evaporates.
- Slowly add the stock, stirring constantly and making sure each ladleful is absorbed before adding the next. Continue to add the stock until the rice is al dente.
- Just before serving, peel and finely slice the reserved squash wedge. Heat a thin layer of oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the squash dice and sauté for 2-3 minutes until they are tender and hot, then set aside. Reheat the squash puree and the brown butter at the last minute.
- Stir the squash puree and 200g of parmesan cheese into the risotto and season to taste.
- Divide the risotto among four bowls. Drizzle the brown butter around the edge of each portion and top with the sautéed squash and crispy squash skins. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and serve immediately.