‘Fakeaway’ cookbook recipes: Jalfrezi meatballs to flatbread pizza

Forget giving up your beloved takeaway – all you need to do is turn it into a DIY operation with Chris Bavin’s healthy ingredients and savvy shopping ideas. You’ll never notice the difference

Friday 07 February 2020 14:08
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Recreate classic dishes from around the world that are healthy and saves you money
Recreate classic dishes from around the world that are healthy and saves you money

Lamb Jalfrezi meatballs

Lamb jalfrezi is a perfect slow-cooked recipe, but sometime we just don’t have the time to use cuts of lamb that take ages to tenderise. I could use lamb fillet, but it is very expensive, so instead here is a little twist on a lamb jalfrezi: a quick jalfrezi sauce with spicy meatballs.

Serves 4
Prep 10 minute
Cook 45 minute
338 kcal, 18g fat, 15g carbs, 27g protein

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp cumin seed
2 tsp coriander seed
½ tsp crushed dried chillies
½ tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
400g chopped tomatoes
1 slice bread
1 tbsp milk
500g minced lamb
3cm piece fresh root ginger, grated
1 tsp garam masala
salt
2 green peppers, chopped into 2cm pieces
pinch of sugar (optional)
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Heat half the oil in a pan and fry the onion until soft. This will take about 3 minutes. Add 2 chopped garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute. Add the cumin, coriander and crushed dried chillies. Cook for 1 minute before adding the turmeric and garam masala. Cook for a further 30 seconds, then pour in the chopped tomatoes. Cook everything on a medium heat for 10 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking, remove the crusts from the bread, tear the bread into pieces and soak in the milk. Mix together the lamb, remaining garlic, ginger, bread (give it a mush up with a fork) and garam masala with a good pinch of salt. Divide into 12 meatballs.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the meatballs until lightly browned. Add the peppers and fry for 1 minute. Meanwhile, when the tomatoes have cooked out for 10 minutes, blend the sauce until smooth. Add 100ml water to loosen it, if needed.

Drain off any excess fat from the meatballs, then add the meatballs and peppers to the blended sauce. Cook everything together for 3-4 minutes. Check that everything is sweet enough – add a pinch of sugar, if needed. Season with salt and top with the chopped fresh coriander. Serve with rice.Th

This Japanese classic makes the perfect evening meal (DK)

Chicken katsu curry

Serves 4

Prep 20 minutes 
Cook 30 minutes
829 kcal, 19g fat, 103g carbs, 60g protein

If you have ever ventured into a Japanese restaurant, this will be on the menu. Crispy coated chicken with a mildly spicy curry sauce – it’s a recipe that the whole family will love. I use chicken breasts here, but boneless thigh fillets also work well.

4 chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
75g plain flour
150g breadcrumbs
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp curry powder
2 tsp vegetable oil
300g basmati rice
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely copped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
50g smooth peanut butter
400ml chicken stock
5 spring onions, sliced
1 red chilli, finely sliced

Line a baking tray with baking paper and preheat the oven to 180C. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Put the beaten eggs in one bowl, the flour in another bowl and the breadcrumbs in a third bowl. Season the flour with salt, pepper, the turmeric and 1 tsp curry powder.

Dip the chicken into the flour, then the egg and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat the process if you need to, to ensure that the chicken is thoroughly coated. Put the chicken onto the lined baking tray, drizzle over the vegetable oil and bake for 25 minutes until cooked.

Pour the rice into a measuring jug to find its volume, then place in a saucepan with 1½ times the amount of water. Add a pinch of salt. Cover with a lid and simmer until all the water has gone. Leave to stand for 10 minutes with the lid on. Use a fork to fluff the grains.

For the sauce, heat the rapeseed oil in a pan over a medium heat, add the onion and carrot and cook for 4-5 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic, curry powder and garam masala and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the peanut butter and stock and simmer gently for 2 minutes, stirring to make sure the peanut butter has dissolved. Remove from the heat and blend to a smooth sauce with a stick blender.

Put the rice into small bowls and pack it down. Slice the chicken and add it to the bowls with the sauce, spring onions and chilli.

Make your creation as colourful as you want (DK)

Quick and easy flatbread pizza

Serves 4

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
504 kcal, 15g fat, 74g carbs, 16g protein

Sometimes, when we are in a rush, we cheat and use shop-bought flatbreads and let the kids add their own toppings, which they love. My eldest son isn’t a great fan of pizza, but he enjoys making them with flatbreads! You can add some dried herbs to the dough, if you like.

350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
150ml warm water
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g canned cherry tomatoes
large handful of grated mozzarella
½ red onion, finely sliced 
toppings of your choice, such as sliced red onion, sliced mushrooms, tinned sweetcorn, sliced courgettes, sliced peppers, black olives or even pineapple, if that’s your thing!

Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

For the flatbreads, sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Create a little well in the middle of the flour and add 2 tbsp of the olive oil, then start to add the water and mix well until you have a thick, but not too sticky, dough. Knead the dough on a floured work surface for 1 minute or until smooth, then put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and rest for 10 minutes.

For the pizza sauce, heat the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and gently heat the garlic for a minute, taking care not to burn it. Add the can of cherry tomatoes and heat for 3-4 minutes. Using a potato masher, squash the tomatoes – you don’t want to make it totally smooth, just start breaking the tomatoes a bit. Leave on a gentle heat for 10 minutes until it reduces down a sauce that is thick enough to spread on your flatbread.

Preheat the oven to 220C.

Divide the dough into four balls and roll each one out to a thin pizza base. Put them on the lined baking trays and cook in the hot oven for 2 minutes. Remove the trays from the oven and turn the flatbreads over.

Spread the tomato sauce over the cooked sides of the pizzas, sprinkle over the grated mozzarella and then top with your veggies. Pop them back in the oven for 7-8 minutes or until the cheese is all melted.

‘Fakeaway: Healthy Home-cooked Takeaway Meals’ by Chris Bavin (published by DK, £14.99). Out now

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