The cherry is very much in season at the moment, and we love just to grab a bag and eat them wherever we happen to be! But there are many interesting things one can do with a cherry, among them this lovely pickled cherry recipe, which will mean you have the flavour of these little beauties long after the season has finished. The pickled cherries go so well with charcuterie and especially smoked duck, and they certainly earn a starting place on the cheeseboard. If you leave the stones in the cherries, make sure you let your guests know before they partake!
There are many deliciously addictive Indian streetfood stars around, but this lovely dish must be near the top of the list! A bashed up samosa, drenched in a chickpea gravy then adorned with a selection of pickles and relishes to create a crunchy explosion of flavour – what could be better? The Indians will always use a balance of relishes – one sweet & sour (usually a tamarind sauce), one fresh and vibrant (often a spicy mint sauce) and one hot and spicy (either chilli sauce or chopped fresh chilli). They will then add sev (the crunchy bit in Bombay mix) and raw onion, pomegranate and more chilli to finish it off. Wonderful. Once you make this for the first time, you will be back again and again! If you have some samosas in the freezer and some of the chickpea gravy handy in the fridge this makes the ultimate snack, as it is quick and easy to put together. Just a note on the samosas – use whichever is your favourite, by all means, but we find the Shan brand Punjabi samosas perfect (find them in the frozen food section of most large supermarkets).
This recipe stars the wonderful tomato, discussed at more length in this month's feature. Here we use cherry tomatoes seasoned with spices and smoked garlic to make a delicious puff pastry tart. The spices used are chosen to bring out the best in the tomatoes rather than to dominate, so it's best to use them in moderation. You will end up with a light tart which is packed full of summer flavour, perfect for a Saturday lunch alongside a crisp salad, or part of a buffet. Of course you can make your own puff pastry if you choose, but using frozen saves an awful lot of time. Choose a good one however.
A long-term favourite for picking up from the deli counter, there are as many recipes for hummus as
there are chickpeas in a sack, but we make no apology for stating that this recipe is the best! The
reason for the variety in recipes is that hummus is a staple in most of the countries surrounding the
eastern Mediterranean and into the Middle East, all of which have their own little foibles when it
comes to seasoning the hummus. Our take is based on the Israeli version, which is always served
with a blob of harissa-style hot sauce in the middle – this procedure is highly recommended. Tinned
chickpeas are far and away the easiest (and fortunately the best) to use for the recipe.
This recipe is a Spice Mountain original, inspired by the Spanish fabada stew which is a dish
consisting of beans and various bits of pig (chorizo, morcilla, belly pork and lomo can all feature).
We have adapted this to a lovely summer salad, full of the flavours of the Spanish countryside and
perfect to be enjoyed alongside a plate of melt-in-the-mouth pata negra ham and a crunchy baguette
for a leisurely lunch in the garden. We use butter beans, but feel free to switch pulses if you're not a fan – chickpeas are always a winner too. Also bear in mind that the recipe works better with tinned
or jarred butter beans, and the same goes for the piquillo peppers – we would point you in the
direction of our friends at Brindisa in Borough Market for purchasing these, as well as the
Another chance to make one of your takeaway favourites at home, this recipe is one of the best things that can happen to a spare rib! The recipe originates in the north of China, around the capital city of Peking (thus the name). Double cooked to give a tender inside and a crispy outside, the ribs are then doused in a sweet/sour/chilli sauce, resulting in an incredibly tasty (although admittedly very messy!) finger food treat. The sauce is basically a slightly tarted up sweet and sour, in which the secret ingredient is our freeze-dried pineapple powder, and to give extra chilli crunch and heat, just add more chopped chillis right at the end. Serve as a starter to a Chinese meal, or just alongside it – or go fusion and simply accompany with a fat baked potato!
This cake highlights the wonderful flavour of the tonka bean, out Spice of the Month, and is given a little punch by the addition of rum. It is a basic sponge, so will be easy to make for pretty much anyone, and is wonderful served alongside a nice cup of tea on a summer afternoon in the garden.
This recipe is from Pakistan, and involves marinating lamb chops in a fiery blend of spices before grilling or, ideally, barbecuing the chops juicy perfection. It works best with the small, thinly cut lamb cutlets which are widely available in Asian butchers, as these cook though quickly allowing a high temperature to be used for cooking. They are great served as a starter with a mint raitha for a dipping sauce, and are the best bit of a barbecue for those who like a blast of spice!
Any fan of Japanese food will be aware that a Katsu Curry is a heavenly experience! What sets it apart are a couple of things - First, the chicken is breadcrumbed and fried, second the sauce is made separately and then used to smother the crispy chicken in a blanket of smooth, silky luxury. The sauce is not hot by any means, more warm and aromatic with distinctive fruity notes. It has a marked sweetness, especially once the honey is added. The texture of the sauce makes for a wonderful contrast with the crunch of the chicken. This recipe is perfect as a midweek supper, and due to the mild, fruity flavour of the sauce kids will love it. To sum up - a combination of fried chicken and yummy curry sauce? Yes please!