Betty White Chocolate, Pumpkin and Walnut Cookie

Baking, Side, Snack, Sweets, Thankgiving for being a friend

Despite the fact my girl Betts is the only surviving Golden Girl, I applied yesterday’s logic with Rue – that she’d be upset if I disappeared after catching-up with Bea and Estelle – so decided to stick around in ‘87 to see out this year’s thanksgiving. Well, technically that year’s thanksgiving. But in lieu of this year’s.

Fuck – time travel can be a confusing bitch, no?

I’ve known Bet for years and years, after meeting on the set of Match Game in ‘63. Side note: based on how much fun we had, I suggested Ru do a version on Drag Race … and Snatch Game was born. You’re welcome.

While Betty and I talk on the phone every other day in the present day – I got super paranoid about a Golden curse in 2010/11 after Rue passed away a year after Bea, and she a year after Stell – we weren’t able to see as much of each other as we liked in the ‘80s. I mean, between my various crimes, scams and love affairs and her hit show, we were lucky to catch up once a month.

I rolled up on the lot for the fourth day in a row – talk about deja vu – as Betty raced into my arms for a hug.

“My dear Ben. I’ve missed you! It will be so wonderful to have my turn marking Thanksgiving with you.

“I’ve been so happy all day … Bea wanted to kill me!”

She burst out laughing while a fear gripped me … before I realised it wasn’t the present and she has outlasted the curse thus far. We gossiped and laughed as we drove back to her house. Both thankful, most of all, for each other’s company. And, obviously, my festively approved Betty White Chocolate, Pumpkin and Walnut Cookie.

 

 

Yes, cookie. In the singular – this was our first foray into the majesty of the skillet cookie. And dare I say it, we nailed it. Perfect spiced dough combined with the sticky sweet chocolate and pumpkin, and the earthiness of the nuts join together for a perfectly festive dessert.

I mean, how can you not be thankful for nuts in your mouth?

Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Betty White Chocolate, Pumpkin and Walnut Cookie
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
½ small butternut pumpkin, cut into a 1cm dice
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
150g unsalted butter, chopped
½ cup firmly packed muscovado sugar
¼ cup raw caster sugar
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¾ cup plain flour, sifted
½ tsp bicarb soda, sifted
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
2 cups white chocolate chips
⅔ cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place the pumpkin on a lined baking sheet with a lug of water and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Toss to combine, transfer the tray to the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and sweet. Allow to cool while you get to work on the cookie.

Combine the butter and sugars in a 20cm, ovenproof skillet and cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, or until the butter has just melted and everything combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Whisk the egg and vanilla into the mixture before folding in the flour, bicarb soda, remaining cinnamon and nutmeg until just combined. Fold through the pumpkin, chocolate and walnuts, transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Allow to cool for half an hour before serving just warm with ice cream.

 

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Massamanda Peet Curry

Main, Poultry

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but for the second week running I’ve put an end to one of my most vicious and longest running feuds with Amanda Peet. I also can’t believe I’m saying this, but it turns out Mandy never actually did anything wrong and we’ve been feuding for five decades for no reason.

Well actually, not even five decades. Just the one.

You see, our feud started in 1966 after I was Harvey Weinstein-ed out of our joint company, Peet’s coffee after we time travelled back to build our empire. Only it never actually happened and *gasp* Peet’s Coffee has absolutely nothing to do with Mandy or I.

While time travel exists and Annelie and I most definitely invented it, gloated about it to Michael J. Fox and had our lives turned into the Back to the Future series, time travel had nothing to do with this saga.

I should have first been tipped off to the fact that it wasn’t time-travel related, is because Mandy and I were catching up for coffee at Peet’s Coffee near Haight-Ashbury fifteen years ago joking about the company being hers and how we should fight them for ownership. I then had a dickload of mushrooms and dropped some acid, before hallucinating our entire journey back to the sixties. I probably should have also been tipped off by the fact my memories looked like the Yellow Submarine and Annelie and I had vowed to never time travel with anyone else, which is a promise would never break. It also explains why Mandy spoke about her concerns for my mental health in the press and her fear that her ‘best friend’ was losing his mind.

Given the absurdity of what she was saying, I wasn’t quick to believe her but gurl, knowing me so well, had receipts. She pulled the Peet’s security footage and played me my entire breakdown and hallucinated feud, before pulling me in close and crying, telling me how much she has missed me.

We spent the afternoon laughing and crying – she said Dave had actually wanted to cast me as a gender flipped Khaleesi, given how beautiful Jon Snow and my babies would look – as we plotted the perfect end to our feud, making her the face of Peet’s Coffee. Which sounds like the most perfect marketing move for them, though that could be the Massamanda Peet Curry.

 

 

Warming, spicy and full of kick, this curry ticks all the boxes and leaves you feeling happy and fulfilled. Plus – it is the perfect thing to represent the fiery rage of our one-sided feud, and the hearty, nutty nature of our love.

Enjoy!

 

 

Massamanda Peet Curry
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
coconut oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
a chunk of ginger, grated
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp tamarind paste
2 red chillies, sliced
1 stalk lemongrass, minced
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
pinch of ground cardamom
3 bay leaves
⅓ cup roasted cashews, roughly chopped plus extra to garnish
500g chicken thighs, roughly diced
1 cup chicken stock
400ml can coconut milk
2 potatoes, roughly diced
1 capsicum, thinly sliced
1 tomato, diced
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp palm sugar, grated
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Heat a lug or large dollop – depending on your current temperature – of coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and sweat the onion for a couple of minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, tamarind, chillies and lemongrass and cook for a further minute, or until nice and fragrant. Add the dry spices, bay leaves and cashews and cook for a further minute.

Add the chicken to the deliciously stanky pan, and lightly brown before slowly adding the stock while stirring until well combined before adding in the coconut milk. Add the potatoes, capsicum and tomato, bring to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered for about half an hour or so.

Remove from the heat and stir through the fish sauce, palm sugar and a whack of salt and pepper. Serve immediately with rice, preferably of the coconut variety, topped with coriander and/or extra cashews. Then devour, of course.

 

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Coffee and tea or be with me

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

After Tara graciously agreed to end a feud that I was wholly responsible for, I felt that it was time for me to extend the courtesy to one of my dearest ex-friends slash Tar’s former co-star Amanda Peet.

Who is completely and utterly responsible for the mess our friendship is in.

While you probably assumed that our feud was caused by her not convincing her husband to cast me as a gender flipped Khaleesi to allow me to bed Khal Drogo and Jon Snow, that is not the case.

Way back in 1966 – I had shown Mands the wonder of time travel, which Annelie and I invented – we created the great Peet’s Coffee business together … before I was removed from the company “due to a scandal” – now known as Harvey Weinstein style – and lost the coffee fortune I would have accumulated in the preceding 50 years.

I mean, sure, I was caught up in a scandal but she should have protected me. What says I am finally willing to forgive you for abandoning me and costing me my fortune?

Image source: Unknown.

 

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Pico de Vincent Gallo

Condiment, Dip, Sauce, Side

The pain of losing Locky from Australian Survivor combined with a date with one of my more controversial friends got me feeling all misty for my wild, artsy and extremely controversial youth. With that, I picked up the phone and begged Vincent Gallo to end his self-imposed exile and reconnect.

Obviously, he said yes and hopped on the next plane for Brisbane.

While we haven’t seen much of each other in the last few years – Chris Rock and I had a huge fight on the set of 2 Days in Paris and Vin refused to leave with me – we’ve be the closest of friends for the past couple of decades after meeting on the set of Buffalo ‘66.

I was working as Angelica Houston’s stand-in, Mickey Rourke’s dialect coach and Christina Ricci’s personal assistant at the time, but found more than enough time to make things work with Vin. The affair was torrid and passionate, and shockingly somehow survived our break-up to become the best of friends.

Given our past, he reached out to me in the early noughties and asked me to complete the infamous scene in The Brown Bunny due to my insane abilitiessimilarities with Chloë Sevigny. I mean, talk about doppelgangers!

It was such a treat to get him out of his exile and to reconnect whilst discussing a crossover sequel to The Brown Bunny and Buffalo ‘66. I mean, sure, he had no interest in doing my project, but at least we got to yack it up like we did in the good old days with some Pico de Vincent Gallo.

 

 

Now I know that most people wouldn’t consider pico de gallo a meal but Vin and I are not like most people, so gladly down it at any and all opportunities. I mean, fresh, zingy and packing a punch – how can you go wrong?

Enjoy!

 

 

Pico de Vincent Gallo
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
6 ripe tomatoes, diced
½ red onion, diced
4 shallots, sliced
1 red chilli, sliced
small handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 limes, juiced
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Combine the tomatoes, onion, shallots, chilli, coriander and garlic in a large bowl.

Toss through the lime juice, a lug of olive oil and season to taste.

Devour … or you know, serve with a taco or something.

 

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Meatzza Doherty

Main, Pizza, Snack

Where do I start with my dear friend Pete Doherty. I mean, despite all the ups and downs – the latter of which there were many during the noughties – we’ve always had a solid friendship and he was been the greatest support a guy could hope for.

I don’t know if it had anything to do with the fact that we met whilst working as grave fillers at Willesden Cemetery in the late ‘90s – let’s be honest, it may have been the ‘00s, I wasn’t the most reliable narrator at the time – or not, but we’ve always tried not to sweat the small stuff with each other and have made the most out of every day.

Sadly though making the most out of every day back then involved a lot of coke, in addition to his blossoming music career.

Since we both recently got clean, I don’t want to dwell on coke years – plus, it will make the musical of our lives more exciting for you – but it goes without saying that I was his muse and was instrumental in the success of Babyshambles and the Libertines.

After leaving rehab in 2015, we made the difficult decision to keep our distance from one another to avoid falling into the temptations of our old habits. I would be lying if I said that I haven’t wanted to hang out with Pete every day of the past 18 months, so I’m glad that we both feel well enough to catch-up and prepare to tell our story, one step at a time like we are Sharon Needles as Caitlyn Jenner.

As soon as I heard footsteps in the hall, I ran to the door, flung it open and threw myself into his arms, saying everything I couldn’t during the course of our absence. Despite having our break, it felt like only yesterday that we’d last caught up, laughing and joking, and sharing what we’ve been up to.

While he was a little bit reticent about the musical at first, my Meatzza Doherty made quick work of winning him over.

 

 

No I don’t make it a habit of talking smack about my dear friend Saint Nigella Lawson, but I felt just one meatzza was nowhere near enough. While I couldn’t convince him that a Meatlovers Meatzza is a good idea, he was definitely sold on my chargrilled veggie version. But really, how couldn’t you be – artichoke, olives, capsicum, (non-grilled) mushrooms and feta … on a big-arse patty of meat. Could you ask for anything more?

The answer is no, FYI. I know you’ll enjoy it!

 

 

Meatzza Doherty
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
3 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
3 tbsp breadcrumbs
3 tbsp basil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 egg
salt and pepper, to taste
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
4-6 chargrilled artichokes, quartered
⅓ cup olives, pitted and halved
⅓ cup chargrilled capsicum, sliced
200g mushrooms, sliced
150g feta, crushed

Method
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Combine the mince, parmesan, breadcrumbs, basil, garlic, egg and salt and pepper in a bowl, and scrunch to combine. Press the mix into a lined pizza tray.

Next, combine the tin tomatoes and oregano and smear over the bloody patty. After that, throw all the veggies over the top, followed by the feta and throw into the oven for half an hour, or until cooked and golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for five minutes, before serving / devouring.

 

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Bloginshambles

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

All this celebrating theatre and the musical arts have made me feel misty for my dear, musically inclined friend Pete Doherty.

I’m sure it is quite obvious already but Pete, cocaine Kate and I were dear friends in the noughties, before he and I formed a true, coherent connection whilst completing rehab together.

He was super inspired by all the Broadway babies I caught up with recently and called to see if I’d be interested in turning our relationship into a musical. While asking made me question whether he knew me at all – of course, I’d sell anything to further myself – I giddily said yes.

What says I’m glad we’re sober enough to exploit our scandalous relationship?

Image source: Unknown.

 

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Linguine Truffle Miranda

Main, Pasta, Tony Gold, Tony Gold: Hamilgold, Vegetarian

Guys, the day you’ve been waiting for is finally here – happy Tony’s Eve. Sadly though, that means our Tony Gold coverage is about to come to a crushing end but I can assure you, I am not throwing away my shot.

In addition to it being the pinnacle of Tony Gold, today also marks our 400th – yes, four FUCKING hundredth – recipe. And when a milestone like that rolls around, I am not throwing away my shot. He yo, I don’t like the country, I’m young, scrappy and this is fame hungry and I’m not throwing away my shot celebrating this milestone, so invited my dear friend and true Broadway treasure Lin-Manuel Miranda.

But seriously can you take a brief pause here to think about the fact that I’ve had this many celebrity friendships survive my horrific behaviour? Say what you will about the entertainment biz, but those people truly have the patience of saints when it comes to my transgressions (I guess that comes with the territory when you’re a white male).

Anywho, I’ve known my boy Linny-Mans for years, having grown up together in the heights which inspired him to write his first hit musical In the Heights. It would come as no surprise that the character of Sonny was inspired by me and my sassy attitude.

Given the phenomenon of Hamilton and the fact that it inspired this year’s celebrations, I knew we had to finish the celebrations with my dear, sweet friend who I love is love is love so damn much.

Oh and I had to honour the fact he inadvertently inspire my high school drama teacher to write an original musical compiling the plots of Blood Brothers, Bootmen and Romeo & Juliet that I played as high comedy, to distract from the fact it was poorly written.

Sorry – I mean it was wonderful and Trapt is essentially the Tweed Heads/Banora Point version of Hamilton, Muriel’s Wedding be damned.

Since we’ve pretty much covered all the major categories, Lin-Man and I only had to look at the OG Score. While he is more forgiving and has chosen to back the men that robbed him of his EGOT for Dear Evan Hansen, he know how far I’ll go … and that is to undermine their chances and back Come from Away our my compatriot Tim-Min for Groundhog Day.

After getting the serious part of our date out of the way, I got to work whipping up a meal while he toasted the success of this patch of future-Peabody-winning cyberspace. He then said something about looking forward to the next 400, though he could have been saying something about looking forward to 400g  of my Linguine Truffle Miranda.

 

 

Full disclosure, this is a Nigella Lawson recipe with minimal – emphasis on minimal – tweaks, but even the domestic goddess herself has said that she enjoys seeing how people adapt the recipes to suit their tastes. And it isn’t like I’m slumming her as recipe 392 or something – this is a milestone, dammit!

While Nige’s is a little more delicate,  I go for an aged parmesan that smells like your feet and shoes died six months ago and have been rotting in tropical heat and an extremely generous lug of truffle oil, meaning the pasta punches you in the mouth in the best way possible.

Happy Tonys / thanks for reading / enjoy!

 

 

Linguine Truffle Miranda
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g linguine
4 eggs
¼ cup double cream
¼ cup grated aged parmesan, plus more to serve
2 tbsp white truffle oil, or to taste
60g unsalted butter
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Place a big old pot of salted water over high heat and bring to the boil.  Once bubbling like a revolution, add the linguine and cook as per packet instructions.

While the paste is cooking, combine the eggs, double cream, parmesan and truffle oil in a jug, and whisk to combine.

When the pasta is good to go, drain it in a colander, reserving a cup of the boiling liquid. Place the butter in the pan with about a quarter of a cup of the aforementioned – or abovementioned if you’re a moron trying to sound smart while defending yourself in legal proceedings – cooking liquid. Add the pasta, stir and then add the creamy liquid, still stirring, to combine.

Place the pasta over low and heat and cook stirring for a minute or so. Remove, serve, cover in more old-foot-smelling parmesan and devour, ok?

 

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Harvey Fiersteamed Buns

Main, Party Food, Snack, Tony Gold, Tony Gold: Hamilgold

As we move into the second half of our inaugural Tony Gold celebrations, I knew I had to go with some even bigger Tony Awards legends and there is no one more legendary when it comes to the multi-hatted Harvey Fierstein.

I honestly don’t even know where to start about my dear friend Harvey Fierstein, the man can do just about anyoneanything and truly is a Broadway legend. I mean, he’s won Tony’s for acting and Best Play and for writing the books of musical, there aren’t many of my friends that can say they’ve achieved more. Which is a huge part of why we’re friends, as I assume you suspected.

I first met Harve’s through my dear friend Andy Warhol – I was one of his muses – when he came in to audition for his play Pork. While I was ropeable that Andy didn’t hand me the part, I begrudgingly knew that Harves was the better man for the job and instead of tearing him down, hitched my wagon to his for inevitable fame and fortune.

Fun fact: he wrote the roles of Alan and David in the Torch Song Trilogy in honour of our love affair and my childish attitude, respectively.

Given the fact that he can do pretty much anything on Broadway, I decided to wrote the best book of a musical and best production odds, so buckle in. For the book, it seems to be a two horse race between Dear Evan Hansen and Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, the edge I give to the former and Harves gives to the latter. For the plays, we agreed on Six Degrees and of Separation and A Doll’s House, Part 2 taking the gold, with the musical gongs going to Hello, Dolly – never bet against Bette – and Dear Evan Hansen, despite Come from Away taking out the Drama Desk.

Given the conversation was robust, I couldn’t go past whipping up our old favourite post-coital meal, Harvey Fiersteamed Bun.

 

 

There is a lot I could say about Harve and my passion for a tempting, hot bun but these are far and away the best ones we want to have in our mouths to devour. I mean, steamed buns are amazing – they even ended my feud with the artist formerly known as Cumberbitch – but have you ever had a mexican themed one? Because they’re amazing. A light, fluffy cornbread enclosing a piping hot chilli and gooey cheese? Sign me the hell up.

Enjoy!

 

 

Harvey Fiersteamed Buns
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1-2 cups of Chilli con Kim Carnes
7g active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup plain flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup cornstarch, talk about corny
¼ cup raw caster sugar
¼ cup canola oil
2 ½ tsp baking powder
grated cheese

Method
Start out by whipping up the Chilli con Kim Carnes, remove the two cups required and cook a little bit further to get rid of as much liquid as possible. Remove from the heat and allow to cool while you carry on, not necessarily calmly, with the dough.

Combine the yeast and warm water in the large bowl of a stand mixer before adding the flour, cornmeal and cornstarch, stirring with the dough hook to kinda combine / avoid a kitchen resembling an anthrax scare. Place the dough hook in the mixer and mix on the lowest setting. Slowly add the sugar and oil and continue mixing until a smooth ball forms. Remove, cover with a damp cloth and allow to prove for a couple of hours.

As its had a chance to prove itself, add the baking powder and return to the mixer on low for a couple of minutes. At this point it may be looking a bit dry since the cornmeal acts like a sponge, so add a couple of tablespoons to keep it smooth and soft … but not sticky. Nice and simple instructions, no? Once the dough is smooth, cover with the damp cloth again and allow to prove for half an hour.

While the dough is proving, cut out 12, 10-15cm squares of baking paper. Once the dough has proven itself again, punch it back and divide into 12 equal balls. Press each into a 15cm wide disc and place on a piece of baking paper. Place 1-2 tablespoons of filling in the middle of each disc with a pinch of cheese before pulling the edges in to enclose like a bun.

Once the buns are prepared, bring a pot of water to water with a steamer over the top. Once the water is going off like a frog in a sock, add 3-4 buns and steam for 10-15 minutes, or until puffed, fluffy and gorgeous. Repeat the process until they are done.

Once you’re ready, serve with any combination of chilli sauce, sour cream or guacamole and devour.

 

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Tony Gold: Hamilgold

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Tony Gold, Tony Gold: Hamilgold

How does a bastard, whore-fan, son of a bitch and a lover of men, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Tweed on the GC, embellishing no squalor, grow up to be a hero and a star?

Not getting out of bed for less than ten-dollar Founding Father without a actor father got a lot farther by workin’ a lot harder, by scheme’n a lot smarter, by not letting anyone be a self-finisher, by fourteen, they placed him in the lead of a school musical.

And every day while extras were being slaughtered and carted, away across the waves, he struggled and kept his star up. Inside, he was longing for something better to be a part of, the brother was ready to beg, steal, borrow or barter his way to Hollywood or the great white way.

That’s right people, we are finally celebrating the final piece of the EGOT puzzle – welcome to Tony Gold: Hamilgold.

Image source: Unknown.

 

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Chicken Cormac McCarthy

Main, Poultry

Full disclosure, Cormac is one of those celebs that I’ve always assumed has died and I’ve got the time machine half way out of the garage, before I realise that just because his beautiful prose is timeless does not mean the man is dead.

And boy doesn’t he remind me in the kindest, most elegant of ways. Every. Damn. Time. We’re. Together.

As I mentioned, Cormac and I connected in the 50s at a writing workshop and I was brought to tears by the beauty of his words. I mean, it completely took my breath away and I knew that I was just what he needed to go from unrefined talent, to the literary icon he is today.

I’m sure that Cors would have a different take on our early years together – he’d downplay his talent, or something … I’m sure he is aware the my mentorship was the key to his success – our friendship has always been consistently strong.

Despite never being asked to write a foreword or a blurb for a novel, not that I’m bitter or anything like that!

Given that Cors is getting on, I met him at the airport and drove him straight to my home for a 4PM dinner. I mean, yes, we reconnected, caught up and chin-wagged the early afternoon away but by 4 we were well and truly done, so sat down for his favourite writing food, my Chicken Cormac McCarthy, and toasted to our beautiful friendship.

 

 

Fun fact: all the pretty horses was actually named after my original version of this dish … which he didn’t realise I actually made using horsemeat. Upon discovering that horrid little secret, he implored me to change over to chicken and this smooth, spicy delight was born.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Cormac McCarthy
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
800g chicken breasts, diced
50g natural yoghurt
sunflower oil
2 onions, diced
5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp grated ginger
12 cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp hot chilli powder
1 bay leaf
4 whole cloves
1 tbsp plain flour
small pinch of saffron
2 tsp muscovado sugar
1 cup cold water
¼ cup double cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Chuck the chicken in a bowl with the natural yoghurt and a good whack of salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large pot and sweat the onions, garlic and ginger over low heat for about fifteen minutes or so, or until your kitchen is so fragrant you just can’t control yourself anymore. Add the crushed cardamom seeds, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli, bay leaves and the end of the cloves – throw away the stalks, I hate them – and cook for a further five minutes.

Stir in the flour, saffron, sugar and a good whack of salt, then slowly pour in the water while stirring. Cook for a further ten minutes before removing from the pan, removing the bay leaf and blitzing the mixture until smooth.

Return the pan to the heat and add the chicken and yoghurt, and cook over low heat, stirring, for about half an hour, or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir through the cream and cook for about ten minutes.

Season to taste and serve immediately with some freshly cooked rice … to help with the devouring.

 

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