Three-course meal that is sure to impress

Words: Neil Ross, Executive Chef

Does the thought of entertaining get you down because you are not sure what to cook? Here's a great three-course meal for you to try out that is sure to impress.


Carrot and Lentil Soup

• 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
• Pinch of chilli flakes
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 600 g carrots, washed and coarsely grated
• 140 g split red lentils
• 1 litre hot vegetable stock
• 125ml milk
• Plain yoghurt
• Naan bread to serve

1. Heat a large saucepan and dry fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for 1 minute or until they start to jump around the pan and release their aromas.
2. Scoop out half of the seeds and put aside. Add carrots, oil, lentils, stock, and milk to the pan and bring to the boil.
3. Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth (you can leave it chunky if you prefer it that way).
4. Season to taste and finish with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkle of reserved spices.
5. Serve with warm naan bread.


Tasty Indian Butter Chicken

• 1 kilo chicken thigh fillets, no skin
• ¼ cup white vinegar or lemon juice
• 1/3 cup coriander seeds
• 1 cinnamon stick, about 2 inches long and broken into small pieces
• 5 brown cardamon pods
• 1 teaspoon whole cloves
• 3 teaspoons ground turmeric
• 2 teaspoons chilli powder
• 2 teaspoons paprika
• 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon ground mace
• ¼ cup plain yogurt
• 2½ tablespoons crushed garlic
• 2½ tablespoons grated fresh ginger
• 2½ tablespoons vegetable oil
• Salt to taste

• ½ cup vegetable oil and melted butter combined
• 1 kilo brown onions (about 6 medium), chopped
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2½ tablespoons grated fresh ginger
• 2½ tablespoons crushed garlic
• 2 teaspoons chilli powder
• 3 teaspoons ground turmeric
• 2 teaspoons chopped fresh green or red chilli
• 1 kilo tomatoes, chopped and pureed in a blender or food processor
• 2/3 cup cream (150 ml)
• ¼ cup unsalted butter
• 4 teaspoons honey
• 2 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves
• 1/3 cup chopped coriander

1. Cut the chicken fillets into quarters. In a glass bowl, combine the chicken with the vinegar/lemon juice. Set aside.
2. In a spice grinder, grind the coriander seeds, cinnamon, cardamon, and cloves to a powder. Place in a bowl and combine with turmeric, chilli powder, paprika, nutmeg, mace, yogurt, garlic, ginger, and oil and mix well. Season with salt and add to the chicken. Mix well and cover. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 240°C and in a shallow roasting pan, place the chicken pieces in a single layer. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and set aside.

1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil and butter over a medium-low heat. Add the onions and 1 teaspoon of salt and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally until onions are dark golden brown. This will take around 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for around 2 minutes. Add the chilli powder, turmeric, and chilli pepper and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add the tomatoes and cook, uncovered, stirring often, until tomatoes are soft. This will take around 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Add the cream and butter to the pan and cook, stirring until the butter melts. Stir in the chicken, honey, fenugreek and cook, stirring often until chicken is cooked through.
5. Stir in the coriander and serve.


Thai Fried Bananas

• 6 bananas
• 200 g filo pastry
• Groundnut oil for frying

• 200 g orange chocolate
• 300 ml thick cream

1. Wrap each banana in buttered filo pastry and put aside.
2. For the sauce, gently melt the chocolate and cream
in a microwave or over double boiler of water.
3. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the bananas until brown.
Carefully drain bananas on kitchen paper.
4. Place on a plate and drizzle with sauce.
5. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream if desired.

Bon appétite.