Turns out that with very little effort at all you can make all kinds of exotic-sounding dishes based on the skills you already have. Go on, push the boat out (a little)
Follow your usual chilli recipe, using lamb mince instead of beef for greater authenticity, and leaving out the kidney beans. While the meat sauce is cooking, slice a couple of aubergines thinly, toss in olive oil and bake in a hot oven for 20-30 minutes until soft and browned with golden edges. Layer the sauce with the aubergine slices, finishing with a layer of meat. Top with white sauce whisked together with 1 egg and 250g ricotta cheese, then bake in a medium oven for 30-40 minutes.
Make fish pie using your usual recipe – but, when you’re making the white sauce, add a heap of curry powder along with the flour. Continue with your normal recipe (adding a generous pinch of turmeric to the water when boiling potatoes if you want a lovely golden, spiced mash topping). Bake as usual for a warming, fragrant twist on the classic fish pie.
Roast sausages in a little vegetable oil in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes until just starting to brown, then make up a packet of batter mix and slosh it into the hot roasting pan around the sausages. Return the pan to the oven for around 30-40 minutes, until the batter is puffed up and golden and the sausages have a good colour. Serve with gravy, mash and green veg.
Make your usual bolognese sauce. Cover the bottom of a baking dish with a layer of passata, then spoon the bolognese sauce into cannelloni tubes. Lay the tubes on top of the passata, cover with cheese sauce and some grated parmesan cheese, and bake in a medium oven for around 40 minutes until the pasta is tender when a knife is inserted, and the top is golden and bubbling.
Start a basic stir-fry using a pack of ready-prepared stir-fry vegetables and chicken or beef strips. Then use smoky barbecue fajita kit to transform it into fajitas. Serve with a selection of grated cheese, some shredded, crunchy Romaine lettuce and soured cream.
When you've assembled your chicken pieces and vegetables, add a chunk of grated fresh root ginger, a pinch of turmeric and a drizzle of honey. Then tuck some lemon wedges or, better still, preserved lemons, between the chicken pieces before baking. Serve with couscous.