I *meant* to get this posted up sooner, I promise! Gordon St Coffee are donating 25p from every hot drink sold this weekend to Macmillan Cancer Support. Why not pop in and treat yourself to a coffee made with The Glasgow Roast – using beans from Kenya, Brazil, Guatemala and India, it celebrates the city’s historical trading links with India, Africa and the Americas. The blend embodies the bold & bright characteristics for which the city and its people are renowned.
Gordon Street Coffee will be open from 6am on the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning (Friday September 26) until 10pm, and 6am-10pm on Saturday September 27 and 9am-10pm on Sunday September 28.
I first heard about Mother India after living in Glasgow for a year or so – I was at a friend’s house nearby, and we were getting takeaway for dinner. The way Mother India was mentioned was with such reverence that I was really curious about this restaurant. Little did I know that there was actually three restaurants in close proximity; Mother India, Dining In With Mother India and Mother India’s Cafe – this time, we were trying the food from the cafe. I remember being really impressed by the difference from takeaway Indian food I’d eaten Australia. Since then I’ve dined at all three restaurants and have consistently been blown away by the variety of dishes, the subtlety of flavours and the amazing, welcoming service.
As Yelp Glasgow’s Community Manager, I was lucky enough to meet Monir Mohammed and Asif Ali to launch the Pakora Passport last year at Mother India on Westminster Terrace. I heard through twitter that they were releasing a cookbook and I knew I had to get my hands on a copy, stat. Particularly so I could finally get the recipe for daal, which is one of my favourite dishes.
The book has loads of recipes, as you’d expect – including the above chana daal with scallops which will be the first dish I cook! But the part of it I enjoyed so far was reading Monir’s story about how Mother India came to be. It is a really fascinating read for anyone who has enjoyed the delights of the restaurants and who loves Glasgow – Monir’s story is simply amazing. I won’t give any of the details away, but I will suggest you pop along to one of the restaurants for a meal, and grab a copy of the book while you’re there.
Mother India at Home, by Monir Mohammed and Martin Gray is available to buy from Mother India, Dining In with Mother India and Mother’s India’s Cafe in Glasgow, and Mother India’s Cafe in Edinburgh, for £20.
I was delighted to be asked by Fraser Wilson to contribute to his book. I met Fraser last year at a food blogging event at Butchershop Bar & Grill and not long after he emailed me to ask me to add a recipe to The Foodies Guide to Glasgow and the West.
Cue total panic.
While I love, love cooking, coming up with a recipe for publication was incredibly daunting and I emailed Fraser many times pestering him about what I should submit. I eventually went for a recipe combining a few of my loves – Scottish salmon and Japanese flavours to make salmon with miso pesto and sautéed sweet potato and kale. You’ll need to buy the book to get the recipe!
He also interviewed me to introduce the bloggers section which was super cool (although nerve wracking, and he was writing in shorthand so I couldn’t check what he was writing down). Anyway, I didn’t have to worry as I’m delighted with the write up!
One of my resolutions for the year was to really get back into home cooking – it’s a little all over the shop, if I’ll be honest! I started to compile a list of tips & tricks (aka kitchen lifehacks!) of things that help me out when cooking and I wanted to share them here. These might be super obvious but have been really handy revelations to me!
Listen! This is such a simple cooking tip but I never even realised how important was until I did a day at The Cook School in Kilmarnock. It makes life so much easier when you’re cooking away to have one (or two) ears focused on what’s happening on the stove – you’ll easily be able to tell if something if cooking at too high a temperature. I’m very much a multi-tasking cook so am normally chopping away, and really appreciate being able to tell if things are going wrong without constantly checking with my eyes.
How to open a coconut: I had a nightmare of a time recently trying to open a coconut. Nothing would work – I’d watched all the YouTube videos I could find and still, no coconut. I finally stumbled upon this trick. Drain the coconut through the eyes as usual (be careful not to stab yourself – I used a meat thermometer which I’m sure wasn’t the best idea). Heat your oven to 180 C and pop the coconut in for about 15 minutes. Remove using an oven mitt and hopefully it will have cracked. Then you’ll find getting the flesh out much easier!
The best way of cooking bacon: I’ve been cooking bacon in bulk recently, a whole packet at a time. It is so much easier to spread it out on baking paper and put it in the oven rather than pan fry it. I find it takes about 15 minutes at 200 C and the result is perfectly crispy bacon.
The easiest way to cut bacon: This is definitely from a Life Hack I’ve read somewhere. Forget about chopping bacon with a knife – just get out the kitchen scissors and chop away. You can do about 4 slices at a time as well, saving time.
Keeping your herbs super fresh: I love herbs but hate the price and the waste. I decided to switch to packets of frozen herbs until I realised they really don’t have enough flavour. When re-reading The Stone Soup e-books I got a while back, I saw her tip for keeping herbs fresh. Simply use some, and pop the rest in a glass of water in the fridge. You’ll extend their life by quite a few days – I found coriander lasted for about a week when it was normally just 2 days.
Perfectly ripe avocado: I’ve fallen for the labels before – and always been disappointed. So much so that I’d stopped buying avo in the UK as it was never ripe the way I liked. Joanna Blythman’s fab book “What to eat” gave me the tip of putting avocados in the same bag as bananas to help them ripen. You still need to beware of oven-ripening but has now saved me from avo wastage.
Simple tips & tricks, but these have saved me lots of time & money! Have you got any great tips or tricks you’d like to share?
You’ll remember my earlier post about Yelp’s Gallery of Glasgow and I’m super excited to announce that the winners have been chosen, the photos printed and framed and they are currently on display at Ubiquitous Chip! Pop along to the Brasserie and have a look at all 76 glorious photos – why not grab a drink and some delicious food while you’re there too?
Yelp’s Gallery of Glasgow
The prints are also up for sale if you want to buy a piece of Glasgow to enjoy at home! Simply donate £10 per print to Glasgow Women’s Aid here: justgiving.com/yelpgallery
Make sure you include the details of which print you wish to purchase!
-All proceeds raised go to Glasgow Women’s Aid.
-Orders will be posted out within 7 business days by Royal Mail, first class.
-You will receive an unframed and unmounted print the same size as on display in Yelp’s Gallery of Glasgow.