Meat Madras, almost: there's some eggplant in there too!

Meat madras, almost

This Madras curry, my cookbook tells me, is a popular hot and spicy dish names after Madras, the major city of southern India. The hot and spicy label is hardly surprising once you read the recipe: it tells us to include at least five chillies! I have to admit using about half the recommended dose of chilli when…

Our basic minestrone

Sunday soup: Our basic minestrone

Minestrone soup is one of those soups that every student would have learned how to cook. It’s tasty, cheap, and you can make enough to feed a household easily. These same features make it ideal for a family with growing teenagers, or to fuel a committed athlete. My Italian cookbook tells me that minestrone is…

Ratatouille served on polenta rounds and cucumber


Ratatouille is flavoursome and versatile. Mostly we pair it with Basmati or brown rice for a healthy, vegan main course (until the kids add cheese to theirs!). But it also makes a great snack with polenta rounds or even cucumber slices. I’ve also seen it used in wraps. Really, you can’t go too far past ratatouille as a great all rounder.

Turkish aubergine meatballs

Turkish aubergine meatballs

These meatballs are ‘packed with flavour’, according to the kids, and ‘don’t taste like they’re not all meat’ according to my-other. They are fiddly, as are all meatballs, but really, really worth the effort.