Midweek Indian supper plus how to make spelt chapattis

Last week I had the pleasure of cooking for our very own fabulous Fern Whittaker who was taking a well-deserved evening off her MC&L duties, It was a  mid-week, post work dinner so it needed to be quick to prepare, easy to dish out and also not too decadent for a Wednesday night. (I won’t lie and say there weren’t any bubbles involved… but you can’t be THAT clean all the time?!)

I wanted to do a traditional Indian mid-week supper which is usually very light on meat and relies on pulses and greens instead as main courses rather than side dishes. I did a last minute fish dish too after discovering some lovely cod fillets waiting patiently in the freezer.

So the menu was as follows:  Saag Aloo (potatoes with spinach) Chana Masala (chickpeas) and Baked Cod with Coconut. Instead of serving up with heavy naan breads, I made some fresh chapattis on a griddle (and flame!) which we enjoyed immediately. I’ve included a step by step guide to chapatti making – easy, cheap and light on calories!!

Potatoes in the Saag Aloo can be replaced with chicken or lamb (a lot of you have tried the chicken version!), chick peas, nothing stopping you from using any pulse, kidney beans work great and are brilliant with plain rice and the cod again can be any white fish of your choice.

Oven Baked Cod with Coconut 
Serves 4

  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Bunch fresh coriander chopped
  • Half carton Alpro coconut yogurt
  • ½ lime squeezed
  • 1-2 chillies to taste
  • 1 thumb ginger peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 4 fillets fish
  1. Whizz all ingredients apart from coriander and fish in a food processor to create marinade
  2. Place fish in an oven proof dish and pour over marinade ensuring fish is coated on both sides
  3. Scatter over half of coriander
  4. Cook fish as per cooking instructions (usually 25-30 minutes for 4 cod fillets at 200˚C
  5. When fish flakes easily, removed from oven to prevent over cooking, garnish with remaining coriander and cover with foil until ready to eat

Saag Aloo 
Serves 4-6 depending on whether eating alone or with another dish

  • 1 kg new potatoes scrubbed and halved
  • 1 large packet spinach washed and sliced
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 thumb garlic grated
  • 1-2 chillies to taste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Half lemon juiced
  • I tablespoon coconut oil melted
  1. Parboil potatoes for 5 minutes and drain
  2. In a roasting tin add half of coconut oil, 1 tsp cumin seeds and mix in potatoes
  3. Roast for approx. half an hour at 200 degrees C
  4. In the meantime, heat rest of coconut oil in a large pan, add remainder of cumin seeds, onion and garlic and fry until onion is brown
  5. Add chilli, ginger and salt and garam masala, stir in and add spinach immediately
  6. Cook down spinach until wilted and has taken on flavours of spices
  7. Add potatoes and if they need cooking further, cook on hob until they’re soft.

To make the chickpeas see Kala Chana recipe from previous blog and repeat with pulse of your choice. 

Spelt Chapattis

2 cups spelt flour
1 jug warm tap water

  1. Preheat a flat griddle pan or heavy bottomed frying pan on a medium heat
  2. Put flour in mixing bowl and start adding small amounts of water with one hand and folding into the flour with the other.
  3. Keep doing this until you have formed nice tight firm dough that is easily pliable in your hands and retains its shape
  4. Make small golf sized balls with the kneaded flour
  5. Flatten out balls into discs the size and thickness of an American pancake using your hands
  6. With a rolling pin, flour the discs one by one and roll out as thin as you can manage where you can still lift off the surface.
  7. Carefully lift chapatti from work surface and place on griddle pan without burning your fingers!
  8. After literally a couple of seconds flip sides (might be easier with tongs rather than fingers unless they’re almost heatproof like mine!)
  9. You can cook both sides on the griddle pan, using a clean tea towel to help puff up the chapatti (as this is unleavened bread with no yeast you are literally puffing with air not doughy bread!!)
  10. Or if you have a gas cooker, flame grill quickly to give a chargrilled texture
  11. Keep warm in an insulated container or between foil and kitchen paper
  12. Can be served with or without a light smattering of butter/coconut oil 
I use this flour; the lighter the flour the better the texture. 

I use this flour; the lighter the flour the better the texture. 

Add flour to the water and keep folding in to create a pliable dough. 

Add flour to the water and keep folding in to create a pliable dough. 

Knead at the end to get a good texture. 

Knead at the end to get a good texture. 

It should end up looking like this. 

It should end up looking like this. 

Split into even sized blobs about the size of a golf ball. 

Split into even sized blobs about the size of a golf ball. 

Smooth into balls using floured hands. 

Smooth into balls using floured hands. 

Press into discs about this size. 

Press into discs about this size. 

Roll out as thin as you can manage whilst still being able to handle. 

Roll out as thin as you can manage whilst still being able to handle. 

Put on griddle pan.

Put on griddle pan.

Flip over after a few seconds. The other side will start to have bubbles forming. You can continue like this and keep flipping on the pan until cooked

Flip over after a few seconds. The other side will start to have bubbles forming. You can continue like this and keep flipping on the pan until cooked

or finish on a flame for an authentic chargrilled taste! 

or finish on a flame for an authentic chargrilled taste!