Daily Archives: September 6, 2017


#6 Curry in a Hurry by Nigella Lawson (from Nigella Express)

I cooked this recently, wanting to use up the tamarind paste that’s sat unused since the first time I cooked this recipe. However, after buying all the ingredients, arriving home and opening Nigella Express only to realise that I hadn’t in fact cooked Curry in a Hurry before. I had confused the recipe with Nigella Kitchen’s South Indian Vegetable Curry. My dusty bottle of tamarind paste will have to languish in the ‘exotic’ cupboard for another day.

Focusing back on Curry in a Hurry, what a success! As a recipe from Ms. Lawson’s most time-efficient tome, Nigella Express, you would expect this Thai-inspired curry to be a dream to whip up. From getting the chopping board out to dinner table in 30 mins. The Curry in a Hurry was ready before my Jasmine rice had cooked. Express indeed.

Nigella Lawson Nigella Express Curry in a Hurry

You can see the error of my over-reducing ways here.

Not all curry pastes are born equal.

It’s also a perfect store cupboard meal. It required very little shopping beyond picking up some chicken thigh fillets. I often have some green Thai curry paste in the fridge begging to be used up and the green vegetables are interchangeable. Not all curry pastes are born equal, I bought one from the Asian section of Tesco and it was a lot hotter than the westernised Tesco one. In terms of veggies, I usually use a combination of frozen peas and broccoli as I ALWAYS have both in. Broccoli also has the benefit of being cheaper and having more substance than green beans. A thrifty substitution! Oh and sod the soy beans. I’ll stick to a double portion good old frozen peas. On my first attempt I over-reduced the curry, aiming for a thick British gravy consistency. The curry is quite wet, intentionally so. Don’t make the same mistake as me, it will be unpalatably salty and remove the hurried element of the curry. Luckily I rescued that attempt at Curry in a Hurry with some more coconut milk. That said, the ‘authentic’ thinner broth is delicious to finish off with a spoon or continue to dip some prawns crackers into.

Fresh. Fast. Delicious. Great for reheating. You can find the recipe here.

Nigella Lawson Curry in a Hurry Food Photography

The finished dish, complete with some veggie spring rolls.


#5 Honey Pie by Nigella Lawson (from Simply Nigella)

I first made this sweet n’ salty Honey Pie at a little dinner party I held to celebrate the launch of Nigella Lawson’s last book, Simply Nigella back in November 2015. I reviewed the book and the Honey Pie in a now defunct blog – both received glowing praise from myself and my guests.

It’s been nearly two years since I made it, but inspired by the fond memories of this divine sweet treat, I set about making another Honey Pie for the same guests (give or take). Thankfully it went down just as well the second time – and in the week since, I’ve made three further pies. My friends and colleagues might thank me, but their blood-sugar levels won’t be so appreciative.

The Honey Pie itself was a recipe simplified from a Four and Twenty Blackbirds Bakery pie. I’d hankered after this pie since Nigella posted about it on Instagram. I’ve since compared the recipes – you can find the original one on Nigella’s Cookbook Corner, or her own recipe via google. The main difference is the pastry. Having not made the original I can only comment on Nigella’s adaptation. Her olive oil pastry is simplicity itself. A quick whizz with a handheld mixer creates a rough, damp dough that you then just have to squish with your fingers into the sides of a flan tin. It’s all very rustic, but very forgiving.

Honey Pie Nigella Lawson Simply Nigella

I’ve never been able to get a good photo of the Honey Pie, it never last long enough.

Sugar Pie Honey Bunch… I can’t help myself.

The filling in both recipes is a honeyed iteration of a treacle tart, with a bit of polenta and the usual eggs, sugar and butter. It’s the addition of the sea salt flakes (in the pastry, filling and sprinkled on top) that elevate this pie from merely decent to divinely decadent.

The pastry cooks from a quick blitz in the freezer, no blind baking! The filling is simply stirred ingredients. Even my pastry averse self can manage this one. The pastry cooks through and has a short texture. The pastry base doesn’t have the most even thickness, I suppose because it’s not been rolled. However in all four attempts I’ve had no disasters. I suppose if you wanted something a bit tidier you make (or buy) a more traditional shortcrust pastry to roll. The filling is a rich and smooth custard with an attractively caramelised skin. The medicinal notes of honey flatter but don’t overpower the custard.

The Honey Pie is a cloyingly sweet dessert, just about balanced by the generously sprinkled sea salt flakes, but it is still very sweet (!) and very cloying (!). When Nigella says to be mean with the portions, she isn’t being a greedy miser with her pie – its genuinely very good advice. Take heed.

If the above paragraphs haven’t convinced you to make yourself a Honey Pie then I don’t know what will.