Tale of Spice must be one of my favourite Indian Restaurants in greater Belfast area. They have innovated in this lockdown by offering a take out and delivery service.
I had a spicy butter chicken and pilau rice take out last night.
Spicy I hear you say, yes spicy…..traditionally butter chicken is a mild, creamy and un sweet dish famous in Punjab. I asked chef for mine to be spicy and loved the heat, but, alas he had sweetened it-no doubt for the local palate. There were a generous number of succulent chicken tikka pieces and the sauce was creamy and spicy!! Definitely 9 out of 10.
My girls and I took very little time polishing it off!!
Tale of Spice, 2b Eastpoint Entertainment Village, Belfast Bt16
I marinated 7 chicken thighs (overnight) in the fridge. For the marinade I used yoghurt, tandoori masala, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Chicken drumsticks or breast can be used however the thigh has loads of flavour!!
I have to ask Santa for a Tandoor oven so I have to suffice with my Halogen oven /air fryer. I placed the thighs as above and placed in oven. I set it at 220oC for 30 minutes. I cooked for 20 minutes, then turned pieces over once and increased the time by 10 minutes.
Once cooked I shredded and added to my salad, which was made from grated carrot, diced cucumber, celery, lettuce, sweet corn and red pepper. I dressed with minty yoghurt. This fed four hungry mouths!!
My 11 year old daughter baked her first cake/tray bake yesterday, under the watching eye of the BFM!!A right of passage or a skill for life and an additional part of her lockdown education.
I made it easy for her by buying a ready to use Chocolate and Salted Caramel kit from Dr Oetker. It is a bit pricey at £3 but has all the ingredients and even comes with a disposable, paper baking tray!! All we had to supply were the 3 eggs, butter and milk. We decided to add a few extras like marshmallows, grated Dime chocolate and red food colouring.
My daughter assembled all the utensils and ingredients and followed the instructions to a tee. I have taught her to make sure she is fully prepped in terms of all ingredients, utensils and then to clean up as she goes along!! She also realised that a silicone spatula was much easier to use than the wooden spoon as recommended.
Great care was taken with the operation of the oven (H&S!!). The baking time was maybe 5 minutes too long and I guess we all know our ovens!! Whilst the bake cooled she whipped up the salted caramel buttery icing and added the food colouring. When cooled she applied the icing, marshmallows and chocolate shavings. We did refrigerate the finished bake for an hour and then cut into 18 pieces (the serving suggestion recommended 12!!).The result was a very, very happy girl!! Suffice to say they went down a treat with a cup of tea during our movie night yesterday!!
My girls wanted to have movie night and snax last night so I had to oblige!! Had homemade pop corn last week and last night it was nachos…..the result is below……..
It’s pretty straightforward, the ingredients are:
1. 150g of your favourite nachos (mine are cheesy Doritos, my wife loves the chilli ones, kids love the plain ones, so I used plain).
2. 100 g grated cheese (our favourite has to be extra mature/vintage cheddar, grated).
3. 1 small, finely diced, white onion.
4. 3, chopped and ripe vine tomatoes.
5. A handful of finely chopped coriander.
6. 2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup and yes Heinz is best!!
7. About 10-15 sliced jalapeños (or more if you are adventurous!!).
8. Salt and pepper.
I had everything prepped before hand and refrigerated except for the nachos. Here’s how I did it:
Dice onions, tomatoes and cut the coriander. Add the ketchup, salt and pepper and mix in a bowl-that’s the salsa done. Grate the cheese and slice fresh jalapeños or use pre sliced ones. At this stage can add fresh garlic, Chillies or chilli sauce to have an extra kick.
When ready to cook/heat place the nachos evenly on a baking tray, lined with foil or parchment paper. Layer the salsa evenly and then sprinkle with cheese (can add more or less as per taste). Lastly sprinkle with jalapeños (I put on half as kids not big fans!!).
I cooked them in our new Halogen oven/ air fryer for about 8 minutes at 240oC but you can put into preheated oven at 250oC for 4-5 minutes or under a grill. I quartered the nachos with a spatula and served up for movie time snax!!
My latest sweet endeavour is now ready to be shared….but quick, it’s rich, it’s sweet and it’s so indulgent!!
It’s straightforward to make, the ingredients are:
1. 400 g (pkt McVities Digestives)
2. 400g Nestle caramel tin
3. 250g unsalted butter
4. tbsp of golden syrup
5. 1 banana, sliced
6. 100 g bar of Milka white chocolate broken up
The method is very simple:
Melt the butter over low heat. Grind the digestives and add to the butter and mix. Add in the syrup and mix, then put into baking tray/dish and chill for 30 mins. Meanwhile slice the banana, break up the chocolate and wait. After 30 minutes take biscuit base out and spread the caramel evenly over. Decorate with banana and chocolate and pop back into fridge…..and wait…..patiently for an hour. Then slice and eat and try stopping!!
In these testing times we all need a lift, none more so than all the courageous and selfless Key Workers…..those at the Coal Face, the nurses and doctors and all the front line staff. These guys have much more value than pop stars, actors or over very highly paid sports stars!!!
Local Belfast Chef, Gary Guiney, wanted to do his bit to help. Over the past few weeks and months he has come up with a 50 page, 17 dish PDF called “Food to Wolf Down”. 50% of all proceeds of this PDF will go towards helping the NHS staff get PPE. At a minimum donation of £5 it is very keenly priced.
I got my hands on my copy at 7 this morning and printed it out. It’s a very heartfelt and genuinely put together endeavour. Chef Gary has distilled his 20 years as a chef and this is very evident in his 17 dishes.
He has a range of soups, salads and mains with a strong emphasis on good quality, local ingredients and easily to prepare, indeed his two kids are very hands on!!
Gary is a very talented young chef and I’m really looking forward to preparing these dishes and knowing that half of all the proceeds are going to a great cause.
To get your PDF copy, please visit
and give at least £5 for your copy. Once again a superb gesture by Gary, thank you and stay safe!!
I concocted my latest lockdown sweet treat- ‘The Lockdown Muesli Chunks’. These are peanut buttery muesli and oat blocks which are full of energy and protein.
My ingredients for these are:
1. 300g tropical muesli
2. 100g of porridge oats
3. 125g unsalted butter
4. 125g smooth peanut butter (unsweetened)
5. 4 tablespoons of golden syrup or honey
This was quite easy to make. I pan roasted the oats until they turned light brown in a pan on medium heat (10 mins). I took these out and added the butter and peanut butter to the pan and allowed to melt, on medium heat, then mixed the syrup (honey can be used here).
I then added the muesli and oats and thoroughly mixed so all the syrupy butter had coated the muesli and oats.
The mixture was then placed onto grease proof foil/paper, rolled and a weight was placed on this before placing in fridge for a few hours to set.
I then cut them into fairly big chunks, about 2 inch cubes. My girls and I really enjoyed!!! Great with a cuppa, as a snack, as part of brekkie or snack after exercise!!