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Guest recipes with Tonia Buxton


Winter warmers

Lentil and Coconut Curry with Mini Pork Meatballs

Is this a stew or a soup? I’m not sure, but with all these aromatic spices in it, one thing is for sure – it’s delicious!


2 tsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp olive oil

2 large celery sticks, finely chopped

6 garlic cloves, crushed

2 small red chillies, thinly sliced, plus extra to serve

250g split red lentils

400ml reduced-fat coconut milk

1 litre fresh chicken stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper

400g pork mince

40g mint leaves, finely chopped

4 tsp fish sauce

2 limes


Toast the coriander seeds in a large pan over a low heat for about 4 minutes until fragrant, then lightly crush in a pestle and mortar. Tip onto a plate and set aside.

Heat the oil in the pan over a medium heat. Add the celery, garlic and chillies and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the toasted seeds and lentils and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, stock and 100ml water, then season and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

Meanwhile, mix the pork mince with half the chopped mint and fish sauce and shape into 20 meatballs, about 2 tsp each, then chill for 20 minutes.

Lower the meatballs gently into a frying pan over a medium high heat and turn every few minutes until their outsides are brown and slightly crisp.

Add the meatballs to the lentil mixture and simmer for 10 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. Add the juice of one of the limes and stir through.

Serve topped with the remaining mint, extra chilli and fish sauce with the extra lime on the side.


Baked White Cabbage with Orange, Cardamom and Honey

This recipe celebrates the underrated cabbage in all its glory


8 green cardamom pods

1 large white cabbage

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

125ml orange juice

35ml white wine

100ml chicken or vegetable stock

1 tbsp honey

Generous pinch of chilli flakes

½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 190C.

Crush the cardamom pods until they break open. Tip the seeds inside into a mortar and pestle and grind them as finely as you can. Slice the cabbage into wedges.

Heat the oil in a large ovenproof frying pan. Fry the cabbage wedges over a high heat on both sides so they get a good golden brown colour. You may have to do this in batches. Once all the wedges are browned, put them all back into the pan.

Add all the remaining ingredients with some seasoning and cook in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, turning the pieces of cabbage over occasionally, until tender and you have a little juice left in the base of the pan. Serve.


Tonia Buxton has written four cookbooks and is a well-known TV celebrity and chef. For more information visit

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