Spicy haddock-quinoa chowder


As sad as I am to say farewell to all those lovely summer salads (they just don’t taste quite the same when the weather turns), I’m equally happy to embrace some autumnal offerings – and in the Life and Chai household, that means soup!

This particular recipe has been a favourite for quite some time. It actually seems to cross the bridge between those last few warmish days of summer and the chillier bite of autumn. Its bright colour means it looks like sunshine in a bowl, while the heat of the chorizo and chilli add a warmth that will be most welcome in the months ahead. Continue reading

Prawn and green mango curry


Looks as pretty as a picture doesn’t it? This is a lovely, light summery curry with just the right balance of sweetness from the coconut and tartness from the green mangoes. The succulent prawns are actually just the cherry on top – so to speak.

I doubt you’ll find these particular green mangoes at your local Sainsbury’s, but you should find them at any larger Asian store which stocks a fresh supply of vegetables, or alternatively you can buy them in a pack of frozen slices. They’re not sweet like their fruitier cousins (which can also have green skins), but a bit sour and they’re the mangoes you usually find in Indian pickles. Continue reading

Lightly-spiced rhubarb relish


Whenever I pick up a bundle of pretty pink rhubarb sticks from the market, I tend to go to my trusty, default rhubarb recipes of rhubarb and apple crumble or a sweetened compote to stir into creamy yoghurt. Call me a rebel, but with my latest bundle I thought it was time to leave such delicate English classics behind and – well – pimp up my rhubarb with some chilli and spice. Continue reading

Lush red beetroot pachadi


Aside from being a beautiful, vibrant shade of red, this beetroot dish from Kerala, south India, is so easy to make. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the ingredients – it’s full of flavour and so creamy and moreish that I could probably polish off the whole lot in one go.

A pachadi is a vegetable side dish cooked with coconut or yoghurt and topped with tempered spices (usually chilli, mustards seeds, curry leaves and ginger). However, there’s no reason why this can’t be a light, healthy veggie lunch in itself.

You can make all kinds of pachadi (carrot or pineapple, for example) but here the combination of the sweet beetroot with the yoghurt and spice just creates something quite special. Looks impressive as a side serving at a dinner party too. Continue reading