Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Mighty Spice Cookbook and Chicken Kadahi recipe

Now if you spend any time on my blog you can see spice and cooking with spices features a fair amount.
I have a huge basket full of spice, I add to it and replenish favourites often, despite this I still can pick up a recipe book, see something on a website or TV that I fancy cooking and still not have everything in my array that it needs.
When you want to cook a meat dish and then have to buy a dozen other items to season it, most people I expect, give up. Its costly and unless you have other dishes you can make with new spice its a waste.

So when I got sent the Mighty Spice Cookbook that  proclaims each of the 100 plus recipes use no more than 5 spices, I was interested. Very interested and then very happy as I discovered one I could make straight away but never heard of let alone used my collection for.
Now I don't know about anybody else, I can read a cookbook like I can  a good novel, especially if the writer personalizes it with tales of how they came upon a recipe. I like to imagine the food, where it was first discovered and then plan to cook it. 

John Gregory-Smith does just that, he takes you on a tour of places he first tried new dishes. He makes me want to cook straight away, he has me planning shopping trips to buy even more spices!! Yes I know I said its annoying to have to keep buying but there is a section on Lemongrass that has  more than one recipe so not as bad for the pocket. I so want to make the Vietnam chicken, but

I first cooked Chicken Kadahi. Note this is the one cooked by John Gregory-Smith mine will be not so professional looking.

Chicken Kadahi

Named after the pot its cooked in, its a simple stir fry type curry so all the flavours are so incredibly fresh. As you can see five spices are used and as I said I had them all in already!!
I swapped the oil as I am on Slimming World and its interesting to see if I could make a  tasty syn free curry  I have also used Frylight and it works but I prefer the oil.  At the tomato stage I added a splash of water as mine was not making a sauce despite very large vine tomatoes.


Serves 4 

    2 tbsp vegetable oil ( I used 2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Oil as I am a Slimming World target member and this is 1/2 HExB )
    2 tsp cumin seeds
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    1 green chilli, deseeded and finely
    2.5cm/1in piece root ginger, peeled and
    finely chopped
    4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
    1 tsp garam masala
    ½ tsp turmeric
    1½ tsp salt
    500g/1lb 2oz boneless, skinless chicken
    thighs, cut into thin strips
    1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into
    thin strips
    juice of ½ lemon
    rice, to serve (optional)


    1 Heat a wok over a medium heat and add the oil. Chuck in the cumin seeds, allow them to crackle for 10 seconds, then add the onion.

Stir-fry for 3–4  minutes, or until the onion starts turning golden, then add the green chilli, ginger, tomatoes, garam masala, turmeric and salt. Mix well and stir-fry for 5–6  minutes, or until the tomatoes have started to break down and form a sauce.

    2 Add the chicken and green pepper, reduce the heat to low and  simmer, stirring occasionally, for 12–15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked  through. Add the lemon juice and give it one last mix. Serve immediately with rice, if liked.I served with a raita made with 0 % Greek yougurt, finely cubed cucumber and a sprinkling of paprika. Also a raw salsa.

 Sorry you dont see the plate everybody was standing over me groaning, saying hurry up as it had smelt so good cooking. So we just devoured it.

The taste is amazing, all of us loved it. Conor has deemed it his best meal ever, it even got a mention on his facebook wall (now that is high praise!)

I am going to try the Vietnamese Star Anise and Lemongrass Chicken Claypot next. Well I have to use those spices don't I?

Fast, Fresh and Vibrant Dishes. Using No More Than 5 Spices For Each Recipe. John Gregory-Smith



Forget everything you know about spices and let new spice expert John Gregory-Smith teach you how it's done...

Spices have been used in kitchens for thousands of years and they are as relevant today as they have always been - versatile, healthy, economical, easy to obtain, and, more importantly, utterly delicious. However, many people find spices confusing and equate them to endless shopping lists or old jars sitting in their kitchen cupboard. This book will change these misconceptions and show everyone how simple it is to cook with spices - and create mouth-watering recipes, full of flavour. Vietnamese Star Anise and Lemongrass Chicken Claypot, Mexican Chicken with Yogurt & Almonds, Persian Saffron and Honey Lamb Stew, Coconut and  Lemongrass Salmon Curry, Chilli and Basil Scallops, Mayan Hot Chocolate and Mexican Cinnamon Peaches are just some of the inspirational dishes in the book and are suited to any kitchen.

Cooking has always been a huge part of John's life and he learned about spices whilst traveling the world. His food reflects the styles and techniques he picked up on the way. However, he is always adapting recipes to ensure that ingredients and methods are convenient, fresh and appealing to novices and skilled cooks alike.

John, who is 30 and lives in London, is passionate about spices and wants to inspire us all to cook with his favourite ingredients. Several years ago he gave up his job in the city to launch his own spice brand, Mighty Spice, into Sainsbury's and has since gone on to write spicy features for various magazines and websites and now his first book the Mighty Spice Cookbook. He has travelled all over the world in search of perfect recipes including S.E. Asia, India, Sri Lanka, The Middle East and Mexico. Each supermarket friendly recipe uses no more than 5 spices, so they really are easy to make.

John is currently working on his next book and has just filmed a guest slot on a new Good Food series, Perfect. For more information please visit his website

Available in Hardback July 2011.


  1. Your foodie posts make me drool, this book is going on my wishlist for sure!

  2. This is a recipe for me to eat chapatis or, preferably, in whole or roti. Kadai, India is a pot that looks like a wok, two side handles. Kadai dishes are Afghan and Persian origin, and are unique, because the cooking process of a heavy cast iron or copper pan.