Serves 4 as a light meal

375g baby spinach, finely chopped
300g cooked basmati rice (cooked weight)
130g gram flour
3tsp cumin seeds
pinch of asafoetida (optional)
3/4tsp khar (optional)
1/2tsp red chilli powder
1-1/2tsp salt or to taste
2tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
3/4tsp ginger paste
3/4tsp garlic paste

Fill a large saucepan with water to a depth of 4cm and bring to the boil. Place a steamer basket on top, preferably one that stacks so you can steam all the dumplings at the same time. Oil a plate that will fit inside the steamer.

Place all the ingredients into a deep bowl and mix together well with your hands. You will need to squeeze the mixture well to help the spinach release its water which will bind the whole thing together. This takes about 5-6 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Divide the mixture into 12 portions. Form these into balls, flatten slightly and place on the steamer plate. Place the plate in the steamer basket, cover tightly with a lid and steam for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of one comes out clean.

Serve hot with seasoned thick-set yoghurt.


Serves 4-8

4 large or 8 small red or green peppers, tops cut off and seeds scooped out 3tbsp vegetable oil
1tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, peeled and chopped
3 large tomatoes, chopped
2tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 good handfuls of frozen peas
70g green beans, chopped into small pieces
salt, to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4-1/2tsp red chilli powder
2tsp ground coriander
1 1/2tsp garam masala
250g paneer, ideally freshly made (see recipe below)
5tbsp double cream
handful of fresh coriander, chopped
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Place the peppers on a baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until soft.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Add the cumin seeds and fry until they darken, around 20 seconds. Add the onion and cook until soft and golden. Add the tomatoes, ginger, peas, beans, salt and spices and cook until the tomatoes have softened, around 8-10 minutes.

Crumble in the paneer and add 100ml water; stir well to mix. Add the cream, check the seasoning and add a little more than you would normally as the pepper will absorb some. Add the coriander and enough water to the pan to be able to spoon in a tablespoon of liquid with every serving. The paneer will continue absorbing liquid, so add a little more, if necessary.

Halve the peppers. Fill the open halves with the paneer mixture, adding some of the gravy. Place under a preheated grill to brown the top before serving.


Paneer is homemade, unsalted white cheese. It tastes like a fresh farmer's cheese and has a dense, crumbly texture that works well either combined with spices or served simply with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of good-quality olive oil.

Paneer is a huseful source of protein and is full of vitamins nad minerals. You can buy it ready-made from the supermarket, but it is really easy to make your own.

Makes 250g

2 litres full-fat milk
200-250ml fresh yoghurt or 2tbsp lemon juice
Bring the milk to the boil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Once the milk starts to boil and rise up, stir in 200ml of the yoghurt or all the lemon juice. Keeping the milk on the heat, stir gently to help the milk curdle- it should only take a minute or so. If it does not separate, add the rest of the yoghurt and continue stirring. The curds will coagulate and separate from the watery whey.

Remove the pan from the heat.
Line a large sieve with muslin or cheesecloth and place over a large bowl or saucepan. Pour the cheese into the lined sieve and run cold water through it. Wrap the cheese in the cloth and hang it from the tap over the sink for 10 minutes to allow excess water to drain. Then, keeping it fairly tightly wrapped, place on a work surface with a heavy weight on top (I refill the same saucepan with the whey or water and place it on top) for 30-40 minutes or until it is flattened into a firm block. Then cut into cubes or crumble, depending on how you want to use it.

Stored unused paneer in water in a covered container in the fridge or freeze it in an airtight container (defrost thoroughly before use).


Serves 4

100ml Greek yoghurt
100g red radishes, grated and squeezed to get rid of excess liquid Salt, to taste
1/2tsp of cumin seeds, dry roasted
4 fresh mint leaves, finely shredded
1/2 green chilli, deseeded and chopped (optional)
Simply mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, then chill until ready to serve.


Serves 2

300g blackberries
200ml natural yoghurt
1/2tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 - 2 1/2tbsp sugar, depending on the sweetness of the berries ice cubes and mint leaves, to serve
Puree together the berries, yoghurt, lemon juice and most of the sugar with 140ml water. Sweeten to taste.

Pour through a sieve into glasses to remove the seeds. Serve chilled over ice cubes, with a mint leaf on top for colour and freshness.