The Chronicles of Nadiya episode 1 : Nadiya Hussain visits her family village near Sylhet in the north east of the Bangladesh. Using local produce and techniques she shares her favourite recipes, including baked fish with green mango chutney and a halva called thoosha shinni. As she cooks she reveals the roots of Bangladeshi cuisine.
When she is invited to a relative’s wedding, Nadiya decides to bake a three-tiered pumpkin celebration cake for the bride. It is a decision she may have thought twice about if she had realised the only available oven would be in an industrial bakery.
This trip is also a chance to reconnect with family Nadiya has not seen since her own arranged marriage over ten years ago, and it proves to be a moving trip down memory lane.
The Chronicles of Nadiya episode 1 recipes
This is a lightly spiced, soft, sweet dessert popular in Bangladesh. You can use any cup size as long as you use the same cup for measuring all the ingredients.
- Pour the boiling water into a jug, then stir in the sugar until dissolved. Add the cardamom and cinnamon and set aside.Sieve the flour into a large, wide pan and cook over a low heat, stirring often, until golden-brown. This can take up to 25 minutes, but take care not to burn it as it will make the dish taste bitter.
- Pour in the melted butter and raisins and stir until the mixture resembles a roux. It should start coming away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat.
- Sieve the spices from the sugary water, then add the water to the flour mixture. Return the pan to the heat and mix very fast to avoid lumps. (This can be easier with one person to hold the pan while another stirs vigorously.) Cook until the water is absorbed. The mixture will have the consistency of very soft, sugary dough.
- Serve warm, garnished with pistachios and crystallised rose petals.
Pumpkin celebration cake
Need a colourful cake for a party? Nadiya has got it covered with this simple pumpkin cake.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line three loose-bottomed round tins, 20cm/8in, 18cm/7in and 15cm/6in in diameter.
- Mix together the oil and sugar until combined. Slowly mix in the eggs. Add the pumpkin, raisins and orange zest and mix well.
- Sieve together the bicarbonate of soda, spices and flour. Gradually add this mixture to the pumpkin mixture until fully incorporated. Pour into the prepared tins until they are a little over halfway up.
- Bake in the centre of the oven. The 15cm/6in cake should take 25 minutes, the 18cm/7in cake should take 35 minutes and 20cm/8in should take 45 minutes. Test if each cake is cooked by checking if a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- For the icing, whisk together the butter and icing sugar until combined.
- Once the cakes have cooled, cover the cakes with the icing. Stack the cakes and decorate with flowers.
Clementine and cod curry
We used to eat this fragrant curry as children – it’s one of my earliest memories – and it’s on the table in 30 minutes.
- For the curry, place a large lidded pan over a medium heat and add the oil. Add the garlic and onion and cook until softened. Put 1 teaspoon salt and if the onions stick to the pan add splashes of water.
- Add the chillies and tomato purée and cook for 2 minutes. Put the turmeric, chilli powder and curry powder. Add a little water and cook for 5–7 minutes, or until the oil rises to the surface.
- Meanwhile, thinly slice the clementine peel and add it to the pan with the 200ml/7fl oz water (or clementine juice). Cook for 10 minutes, or until the peel has melted down.
- Add the cod, stir and put the lid on. Cook for a few minutes, or until firm, white and cooked through. Remove from the heat and add the coriander.
- Put the spinach in a large pot with the garlic and a pinch of salt. Dry steam on a low heat for 3 minutes, until wilted right down; it should keep its bright-green colour. Dry steaming is cooking without any oil; rinsed spinach has enough moisture on it to steam it and cook the garlic.
- Serve the fish curry with the spinach on the side.
Whole fish cooked in a banana leaf with mango chutney
Make fish special by cooking it in a banana leaf, and serve with a fast, flavourful chutney.
- The fish can be cooked on the barbecue or in the oven. If cooking in the oven, preheat the oven to its highest temperature.
- Stuff the fish with the onion and coriander stalks and season with sea salt. Wrap each fish in a banana leaf (or foil). Put on a tray and cook in the oven or on the barbecue for 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, for the chutney burn the garlic cloves in their skins on an open flame to chargrill them. When cool enough to handle, remove the garlic from their skins and finely chop.
- Mix the onion, garlic, coriander, mango, lemon zest and mustard seed oil. Add the cucumber, crush it and mix to combine it into the chutney. Season with salt.
- Serve the fish in the banana leaf with the chutney on the side.