Sunday, 25 January 2009

Pans = smiles

Ohisashiburi (long time no see)! I think I need a quick boot to get me back in to gear...

Actually, this week has been quite good for a number of reasons. Firstly, I managed to persuade K to let me buy a new pan! You wouldn't believe how excited I got over this. Since arriving here in the summer I have been cooking with camping pans. And I only had two. So I went out and bought a beautiful stainless steel pan with a lovely thick base, and could hardly contain my excitement about cooking dinner that night (I am obviously very easily pleased). Not only that, but I'd told him about a Le Creuset-type casserole that I'd seen on Amazon for a fraction of the price of the genuine article (a snip at 4,350 yen!) and before I knew what was happening he'd ordered it for me! Perhaps he read what I wrote about him previously...

Isn't it gorgeous? And it won't class with my posh dinner service, either!

The second reason was that I'd finally managed to lure some friends over for dinner that very night - what a great day! We'd decided on having an Indian night, and so here's the menu I came up with:

Spicy Prawn Soup
Naan Bread
Chicken Balti
Potato and Mushroom One-pot Curry
Saffron Rice
Grilled Pineapple with Mint and Toasted Coconut
Spiced Chai

I'll have to post the recipes over a couple of days, I don't want to bore you. So today I'll start with the recipes which needed some preparation the day before, and I'll make you wait til next time for the rest!

I took the recipe for Naan Bread from Weight Watchers' Spice Up Your Life. They were pretty easy to make, although the result wasn't very authentic and I will look for a different recipe next time. Maybe I should check how many calories are in proper naan bread before doing so, as these are 265 calories per serving.

Naan Bread

425g plain white flour
1 teaspoon salt
150ml low-fat plain bio yogurt
1 teaspoon dried active yeast

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and use up to 150ml warm water to form a dough. Knead for 5 minutes until the dough is soft and feels springy. Cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge overnight. Uncover the dough and knead for 3 minutes, then cover and chill for at least another 4 - 5 hours. Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll each into a ball. Flatten and pull into a long oval so that the dough is about the tickness of your fingers. Lightly oil a couple of baking trays and put the naan on them to rest for 15 minutes. Heat the oven on it's highest temperature setting, sprinkle the naan with a little water and bake for 5 - 10 minutes, until they start to brown.

Dessert was taken from Gordon Ramsey's Fast Food (not that fast when you realise it needs to be started a day ahead). I love, love, love fresh pineapple so couldn't wait to try this:

Grilled (should be griddled but I don't have a griddle( Pineapple with Mint and Toasted Coconut

75g caster sugar
small bunch of mint
1 large, ripe pineapple
30g desiccated coconut

Put the sugar in a small pan with 150ml water and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, before increasing the heat and bringing to the boil. Drop in the mint, remove from the heat and leave to cool. Cut the pineapple into 8 wedges and cut out the core. Stick under a hot grill for a few minutes each side and leave to cool slightly. Cut away the skin, then slice thinly and put the fruit in a bowl. Pour the infused syrup over and chill until ready to serve. Put the coconut in a dry frying pan and heat, stirring, until nicely browned. Sprinkle over the pineapple just before serving.

Fortunately, this recipe made plenty for me to be able to enjoy left-overs the next day!

Yikes! I've just realised that I haven't ironed J's school uniform for tomorrow, so I'd better dash. Promise not to keep you waiting too long for the other recipes...


  1. I have been wanting to add to my crockery.. That is not a bad price for Le Creuset-.. that is a steal.

  2. P.S. The naan looks SO delish!

  3. NAAN!! I have a secret love affair going on with naan. Mmmm. Makes me crave curry from our local Indian restaurant! Honestly, there isn't much difference between the calories in the naan recipe you made and regular naan. I've made this recipe before and it turned out fantastic.

    I did add less sugar (2 tbsps) instead of the full 1/4 cup and I use skim milk instead of full fat, but it turned out just fine for me. You could even skip brushing it with butter if you wanted to cut back even more. I also omitted the garlic since already had so many yummy flavors going on in the curry.

  4. Oooh Jenn, thank you for the recipe - will definately be giving it a try! This one was only OK, more like a flat bread roll really.

    Girl Japan, it's a fake - shhhh! Don't tell anyone!!

  5. Ooooo Anchan the casserole pot is a beauty!!!
    Amazon, you say? Excellent...
    Shikoku L