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So, the festive season is over, all the food and chocolate is eaten and we are all watching our weight after eating too much! This time of year I either do healthy eating or winter warmers, but I thought I could combine both with a few curry recipes. Most curries when made from scratch can be made healthy with lots of vegetables and they will certainly warm you up depending how hot you like it? I have started with the basic curry mix which can be added to most things, but can also be stored for up to 3 months. The other recipes are all easy to make and low calorie to help with my healthy eating. Now, if I could just give up chocolate!

Buen Apetito

Curry Powder Mix

30ml (2 level tbsp) cumin seed

30ml (2 level tbsp) whole fenugreek

7.5ml (1½ level tsp) mustard seed

15ml (1 level tbsp) black peppercorn

120ml (8 level tbsp) coriander seeds

15ml (1 level tbsp) poppy seed

15ml (1 level tbsp) ground ginger

5ml (1 level tsp) hot chilli powder

60ml (4 level tbsp) ground turmeric

Combine all the ingredients in a blender of coffee grinder until a fine powder. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Vegetable Curry

1½ tbsp, plus 1 tbsp olive oil

2 small yellow bell pepper, cored and cut into bite-size pieces

Salt and pepper to season

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 tsp curry mix or more to taste

Medium carrot, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces

4 cups water

Other vegetables (cauliflower and sweet corn go very well)

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large and deep pot over medium heat. Sautée garlic and onion until onion is tender, (about a few minutes). Add carrot and stir-fry with garlic for a minute. Add water, stir well and simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes, or until carrot is tender. Stir in curry mix to taste. Add peppers and any other vegetable you have.  Potatoes will help to thicken if needed without adding curry mix. Simmer for about 5 minutes.

Curried Parsnip Soup

40g butter

1 medium onion

700g parsnips (peeled and finely diced)

5ml curry powder (as above)

1 litre of chicken stock

Salt and pepper

150ml milk or single cream

Paprika to garnish

Melt butter in pan, add onions and parsnip and fry gently for 3 minutes. Stir in curry powder and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the stock and seasoning and bring to the boil and then simmer for 45 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and then add cream or milk. Once milk or cream is added you can reheat, but do not re-boil. Serve as it is or purée in a blender until smooth. Sprinkle paprika to serve.

Broccoli and Curried Eggs

700g broccoli

6 hard boiled eggs

30ml mango chutney

50g butter

225g onion

20ml curry paste

30ml flour

300ml milk

284ml soured cream

Toasted almonds to garnish

Trim 175g off the broccoli stalks, cook broccoli stalks until cooked but firm and chop finely. Halve the eggs; mix the yolks with the chopped broccoli, chutney and seasoning. Spoon the mixture back into the eggs. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onions, curry paste and cook gently. Stir in the flour and cook for further 1 minute while stirring. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the milk and bring to the boil. Add the soured cream. Meanwhile cook the broccoli for about 8 minutes until tender and drain. Arrange the eggs and broccoli in a dish and spoon the sauce over the eggs. Garnish with almonds

Curried Rice

25g butter

1 medium onion – chopped

225g long grain rice

25-50g currants or seedless raisins

15ml curry powder

600ml chicken stock

Salt and pepper

Melt butter in a saucepan, add onion and fry for about 5 minutes until soft. Add the rice and fry for a further 2-3 minutes stirring all the time. Add the currants, curry powder, stock and seasoning and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes until tender but firm. Serve without draining into a warm dish.