#cookfromthebooks Week 4


Time is flying by, and after a hectic week of shuttling and collecting my OH to the airport and children to their relevant hobbies, it was lovely to be invited out to friends for a ‘Burns night‘ celebration.  Our wonderful hosts ‘Scottish Juan & Maria‘ always celebrate Burns in style.  Black ties and killer heels were worn, roaring log fire and whisky cocktails greeted us.Burns night celebrations. Thistles decorated the table, along with obligatory tartan.  Cock-a-leekie, haggis, neeps & tatties and creamy cranachan and shortbread, was a fitting feast for the occasion.  Wine and whisky flowed and flowed some more .  Poetry was recited, and our accents became more colloquial as our tongues loosened. A fabulous evening, and an even more fabulous sore head the next morn ! :/

Taking into account that most of my next day, was in a blurr…note to self *say no to whisky* , I needed to create something, comforting, easy, full of flavour and take-away stylee for this weeks #Cookfromthebooks challenge.The faithful Hairy Bikers, came up trumps with their ‘Mums know best’ cookbook, a collection of over a 100 mouthwatering, classic recipes gathered from Mums all across the UK. Family favourites, Sunday dinners, sweet treats and our chosen supper form Picnic Fayre.  The book is well photographed and recipes are easy to follow, with tips and short memoirs from the chosen mums.

Hairy Biker's Mums know best.

Our dishes this week, were Sticky ginger and soy chicken wings, spinach, carrot & potato pakoras and Chana chat.

The wings were wonderful, I used drumsticks too, a little more meat on the bone, and easier to pick-up and eat.

The Pakoras were described as some of the best they’d ever tasted, they were not wrong, delicious ! I made 12 huge pakoras and adjusted the ingredients to suit what I had, added a little more spice and could be bothered (fragile head remember) to prepare.


Big handful of fresh spinach chopped.

2 carrots grated.

2 large potatoes julienned, or very thinly sliced.

2 onions finely sliced.

Chick pea flour.

1 tsp salt

1 tsp dried chillies

1 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp cumin seeds

Oil for frying

  • Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, adding enough chick pea flour to coat.  Add a little lukewarm water at a time until you create a thick paste.  You need to be able to mould the mixture together so it will hold when frying.
  • Using a deep fat fryer or carefully heat oil in a large saucepan, take a large dessert spoonful of the mixture and shape with your hands, carefully lower into the oil.  You will need to do this in batches.
  • The pakoras will take about 4-5minutes to cook, turning crispy and golden brown.
  • They can be kept warm on a plate until serving, or once cooled can be frozen and reheated when needed.


Chana Chat, Pakoras and sticky wings.

Together with the wings, we served the pakoras with a refreshing and vibrant, Chana Chat, an Indian yoghurt and chickpea salad.  To the recipe I added fresh mint and coriander and pomegranate, which gave a very fresh and zingy salad, cutting through the richness of the pakoras.


250 g Natural or greek yoghurt

100ml milk

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried red chillies

1 tsp garam masala

2 tomatoes diced

1/2 cucumber diced

1 red onion chopped finely

1 jar 400g chickpeas, drained and rinsed

handful of mint & coriander chopped


  • Whisk yoghurt and milk together, add salt, chillies and masala.
  • Add tomatoes, cucumber , onions and chickpeas and mix well.
  • Gently stir in fresh herbs and the pomegranate .

Family Rating 8/10 for me 10/10, but average vote bought down by the kids, they don’t rate chickpeas 😉


If you would like to join in this years challenge of #cookfromthebooks I would be delighted :) Just add the hashtag #cookfromthebooks and add the logo below & link to this site.

#cookfromthebooks cooking challenge 2014

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