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Cooking Lessons From Epic Expert

Jimmy's Fireworks Chicken Tikka

There are not many people who can say hand on heart that they truly love their job but I am one of those privileged few. I have worked for Epic Fireworks now for a little over a year and a half and I love it.

I have just come out of the other side of my second ‘mad season’ and as the person in charge of the internet orders, it has been completely manic. Organizing orders from one end of the UK to the other has never been easy but with our busiest season yet, it was a little more stressful this year but we survived and now, the calm before the Xmas and New Year rush is upon us.

As anyone who has dealt with Jimmy and the family over the years, they will know that they love to cook and being a big foodie fan myself, it is torture to come to work when Jimmy is cooking one of his delicious curries, kebabs or tandoori chicken.

I was therefore absolutely delighted when he said that he was going to pass some of his expertise onto me.

So, Saturday is upon us and Jimmy walks into the office with bags of all manner of different things from chicken to chapatti flour and fenugreek to garam masala ready for my cooking lesson.

Today, lesson one is about making chicken tandoori, spicy lamb seekh kebabs, chapatti and yoghurt sauce.

Under normal circumstances, it is usual to add a tandoori powder to yoghurt beforehand but Jimmy (from years of practice) believes it better (and healthier) to use olive oil. Create a sticky paste using 3 tablespoons of tandoori powder, 1 tablespoon of garam masala, ½ cup of olive oil, several (handful of) green chillis and a teaspoon of salt. Take 8 chicken legs and remove the skin and score the flesh and rub the paste mixture into the meat and leave to marinate for 1 hour +.

Once you are ready to cook, simply place the chicken legs on a trivet tray and cover with foil and cook at 200c Gas Mark 6 for 50 minutes and then remove the foil and turn the meat and cook for a further 10 minutes. Serve with natural yoghurt mixed with mint sauce and fresh lemon juice.

Next lesson, kebabs….. now we are talking.

Take 2lb minced lamb (or mutton) 1 medium onion finely chopped and 6 chillis 1tbs garam masala, I tsp of fenugreek seeds and 1tsp salt. Mix together and then divide into smaller burger shapes. Cook under the grill (or on the barbecue) for around 15-20 minutes turning regularly.

Then chapatti. Take 1lb of medium coarse chapatti flour and a small amount of water to create a stiff dough. Knead thoroughly and leave to rest for around 10 mins (covered in the fridge). When you are ready to cook, take a skillet (or a chapatti pan if you have one) or a heavy bottomed frying pan and heat gently.

Meanwhile, remove the dough from the fridge and divide up into around 10 small pieces. Roll into balls and then using a rolling pin, roll thinly into circles. Once the pan is hot, drop the first of your rolled out chapatti onto the pan and leave it until the top changes to a darker colour. Then, simply flip over to cook the other side. Once cooked, leave on the side covered up until you finish the full batch.

Serve all your food on platters with the yoghurt sauce, a green salad and some fresh cucumber. Beautiful.

So, what did you do at work today!!!

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