Inspired by Kate Humble's new programme, The Spice Trail, we found six spicy and sweet recipes to get your tastebuds tingling
Cooked in an Indian style, these hot mushrooms make for a perfect starter or side dish
4tsp olive oil
4 green chillies, chopped finely
1 garlic clove, crushed
1cm ginger, grated
2 medium red onions, chopped finely
400g button mushrooms, quartered
1 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp cream
Juice of 1 lime
1. Fry the green chillies, ginger and garlic in a pan for 1-2 minutes. Add the onions, cook for 3-5 minutes until soft.
2. Add the mushrooms, black pepper, turmeric and garam masala. Coat the mushrooms in the fragrant oil and cook on a medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked. Be careful not to over-cook them as this can turn them squishy.
3. Mix in the cream and lime juice. Stir in over a low heat.
4. Serve as a starter or side dish.
A traditional cinnamon spice mix blended with juicy king prawns
Ingredients for traditional Sri Lankan spice mix:
2.5cm long piece of cinnamon stick
1 tsp white rice
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 cardomom pod, shelled
1. Dry roast the rice in a small pan until it starts to brown. Add the remaining ingredients and roast until fragrant and the coconut turns golden brown.
2. Remove from the heat and grind into a fine powder.
Ingredients for main dish:1/4 black peppercorns
1. Carry out the same process as above for the black peppercorns, coriander seeds and the cumin seeds.
2. Combine with the pre-prepared spice mix and turmeric in a large bowl. Add 2 tsp of water and make a paste. Gently stir in the coconut milk, white wine vinegar and 100ml water. Add the prawns, half of the chopped onions, the chopped chillies and the spinach.
3. Stir in the ingredients making sure they are fully covered in the mixture.
4. Fry the remaining onions in a large wok or frying pan, until they are brown and soft. Pour in the prawns and spiced coconut milk and gently simmer for three to four minutes, until the prawns are cooked.
5. To finish, sprinkle the Sri Lankan spice mix over the top. Serve piping hot with white rice.
2 tsp olive oil
4 large chicken breasts
1 large onion, chopped roughly
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
800g chopped tinned tomatoes
275ml chicken stock
2 tsp stands of saffron
Handful of fresh coriander and few saffron strands to serve
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Season the chicken pieces and brown them in the pan.
2. Set the chicken breasts aside and brown the onions in the same pan for five minutes. Stir in the garlic, cinnamon and ginger and cook on a low heat for two minutes.
3. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Boil the chicken stock and dissolve the saffron. Pour this over the tomato mixture and bring to the boil. Place the chicken on top and gently cover it with the mixture.
5. Turn down to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 25 minutes.
6. Once the chicken is tender, add the honey and simmer until the mixture thickens.
7. Sprinkle with fresh coriander and saffron strands; serve with couscous.
2 tbsp olive oil
100g shallots, chopped roughly
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1.5cm ginger, grated
3 lemongrass sticks, chopped finely
1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/4 tsp turmeric
600g beef stew meat, cut into 3cm cubes
1 tsp brown sugar
2 cups grated coconut
3 1/2 whole cloves
1/3 cinnamon stick
250ml coconut milk
salt to taste
1. Heat the coconut in a large wok, stir continuously so as not to burn the grated pieces. Set aside to cool.
2. Grind the coriander fennel, cumin and nutmeg. Blend this along with the shallots, garlic, chillies, ginger and lemon grass into a thick paste.
3. Fry the paste in oil for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant. Add the beef and cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer until most of the liquid evaporates and the beef is tender (usually this takes about an hour).
5. Serve with white rice.
These moreish muffins add a sweet treat to the end of any meal
1 1/2 vanilla bean, grated
450g self-raising flour
2 large eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or gas mark 4 and grease a muffin-baking tray.
2. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla bean until light and fluffy.
3. Gradually mix in eggs, vanilla extract, flour and salt. Mix thoroughly.
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin cups and bake in a pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Gently push a knife vertically into the muffin, if it comes out clean they’re cooked.
5. Serve with ice cream or fruit.
Makes 16 biscuits
175g brown sugar
1 large egg
575g plain flour
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1. Cream the butter until fluffy. Mix in the egg and beat for five minutes or until very well blended.
2. Gently stir in the flour, salt and nutmeg.
3. Split the mixture into 12 dough balls. Softly flatten on a baking tray to form small round, but thick discs.
4. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 10 minutes or until golden, on gas mark 4 or 350 degrees F.