Salads & Suppers

Crazy Easy Curry sauce & DIY paneer

There is lots of licky-sticky goodness crammed into this curry sauce. Think of it as a powerful *cream*, perfect for homemade paneer (below), tofu chunks, cubes of halloumi, steamed baby potatoes or any leftover veg loitering in your fridge. The creaminess comes from soaked cashews, so the sauce is vegan friendly. Here’s the recipe from my weekly Sunday Independent column.

And for those of you who have milk and lemon at home on this thunderous wet day, I definitely recommend giving home made paneer a go! You don’t want to be trotting to the store in this weather …

Hope it brings as much joy to your table, as it does to ours.


x Susan Jane


Fermentation Station

Given the continuation of social distancing, cabbage may be the closest thing we’ll get to a massage this season. So let’s get funky!

Lacto-fermented foods such as the sauerkraut pictured above will help feed the good bacteria in our mini metropolis. At any one time, our gut contains 1kg-2kg of bacteria. This is our microbiota – an inner dynasty where the good guys are constantly trying to crowd out the nasty challengers.

If you’re suffering from chronic constipation, bloating or industrial gas, your gut ain’t happy. And neither are you. The great news is that you can do something about it. Fermentation Station is here to help.

We’re going to start pimping our pipes with fermented foods like those listed below to help restore the little ecosystem inside our gut. Listed below are 4 easy ferments for beginners (and great reminders for the seasoned fermentalist!) The recipes will be available for a limited time free of charge over on (but indefinitely if you’re already a subscriber, with access to my back catalogue of Sunday columns horrah!)

(1) Basic sauerkraut

(2) Turmeric-spiked kraut

(3) Fermented fennel

(4) Beginner’s kimchi

(5) Pineapple & ginger kraut (I’ll be making this live on TV this Friday, Virgin Media: Six O’Clock Show)

Treats & Snacks

Vegan Chocolate Mud Pie

This is a pitch dark, fudgy chocolate pie with a salted cocoa crumb. It’s the missionary position of tarts, so go ahead and add your own signature moves. We love a dusting of coconut sugar to ramp up the sweetness. You could try slicing fresh raspberries in half, then pressing them into the chocolate , cut side up, before setting. Yumdinger. A swirl of lickysticky caramel or espresso syrup can raise it up an octave. Or maybe a glorious side of vanilla ice cream will suffice. Let your taste buds vote.

You’ll need to get your mitts on a 20cm or 18cm fluted loose-bottom pan. Loose-bottom pans are not expensive to purchase online, but it might be worth asking a neighbour or relative if they have a fancy fluted one to borrow. A regular loose-bottom brownie tin also works in a pinch.

For the gluten-free crust:

80g (gf) oats

100g ground almonds

4 tablespoons cocoa/cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt

3 tablespoons of maple syrup

3 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted

For the vegan ganache:

225g dark chocolate, chopped (I love Vivani)

225ml oat milk

1 To make the crust, blitz your oats into a fine flour using a coffee grinder or blender. Let the ground oats party in a bowl with the ground almonds, cocoa/cacao and salt.

2 Whisk the melted coconut oil and maple syrup together until glossy. Then pour over your dry ingredients and coat everything really well. I like to wait for 10 minutes before pressing the crust into the fluted pan – I find it much easier to handle.

3 In the meantime, you can grease your pan with clean fingertips and coconut oil. Your pan doesn’t need to be fluted, but if it is, extra attention to the frilly edge is important to prevent cracks and tantrums. Once your pan is well greased, start pressing the dough into the pan. It’s not like pastry – absolutely no rolling required.

4 Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Bake in a preheated oven of 180 Celsius for 12-14 minutes or until the sides naturally start to pull away from the pan’s edge. Leave to cool for at least 1 hour.

5 To make the filling, heat the oat milk until you can see steam rise from the surface – almost scalding, but not boiling. Pour the hot milk over your finely chopped chocolate and stir with a spatula (not a whisk or fork). I do a figure eight with my spatula around the bowl. The ganache will come together fairly quickly. As soon as it’s dark and smooth, pour into your cooled pastry shell. Let it relax at room temperature before setting in the fridge.