Good Day All! It’s time for a cookery related blog post today. If you follow me on social media you will have seen me share images of this one already, it’s a great alternative to a take away, and it costs a fraction of the price of one too! It’s a simple recipe, easy to make and complete in just a few minutes. Of course I am making mine dairy free because of my sons allergies, I have worked on this recipe for months. You can use alternatives and I will outline those in my recipe below if you want to alter it.
So why am I sharing this particular recipe? Well, I really miss a proper Chicken Tikka, and I thought with a little experimenting I could make a recipe I would really enjoy. Coconut is often used in curry sauce anyway, so by using coconut yoghurt as part of the base it eliminates the dairy aspect and allows me to play with the spices. This recipe I have made is great, although proper Tikka has nuts and dairy in, usually Almonds, and I can’t have either because of my son. It is also more red in colour, so I am considering adding some Paprika next time! So I will be continually trying to better this recipe and cooking in every aspect of my life, but this is the best I have so far. If I make an awesome adjustment I will edit this post! But for now my Curry is both Tasty and a little spicy too!
This is my Dairy Free Chicken Tikka Style Curry Recipe
Author: Severn Sabrina Prep Time: 20 Minutes Cook Time: 40 Minutes Total Time: 60 Minutes Serves: 2 for Curry & Rice OR 4 (if you add sides) Allergens: This Recipe is Dairy Free unless you change the Yoghurt
You Will Need
A Teaspoon A Wooden Spoon A Bowl for the Marinade A Medium Saucepan A Knife for Chopping A Flat Oven Tray Scissors for Cutting the Chicken
Pilau Rice (it compliments the flavours of my sauce but you can have plain white rice if you would prefer) I sometimes just use a microwave rice packet for convenience. 300g Chicken or for a Vegetarian Alternative use Quorn Chunks White Onion – 2 Onions chopped two different ways, large chunks and diced 2 Pots of Coconut Yoghurt (average size from a usual pack of 4 pots)
Optional Extras (to increase it for the amount peopleyou’re serving) 1 Pepper diced into bite sized cubes and fried off with the onions 1/2 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes (if you prefer a more tomato based curry with less spice) Poppadoms and Chutneys Naan Bread (Shop bought usually contains Dairy) Chips
For the Marinade 1 Pot of Coconut Yoghurt 1 Teaspoon of Tikka Curry Powder (or something similar)
For the Sauce 6 Teaspoons Tomato Puree 1 Small Pots of Coconut Yoghurt (You can use regular yoghurt if not doing DF) 2 Tspn Tikka Curry Powder OR 1 Tspn of Garam Massala + 1 Tspn Cumin Salt and Pepper to taste
(If you want to make a more complex curry sauce look through my blog for my other recipes).
1. Start by chopping your onions and frying it off in a saucepan with a little oil. You want the onions to be softened but not caramelised. Once they are cooked you can start to build the sauce up. Start by using a teaspoon to measure out the other sauce ingredients and add them into the onions. Including the spices, yoghurt and tomato puree. Stir gently to combine. Leave this on a low heat stirring it frequently. Your sauce should resemble mine in the image below.
2. Then take your chicken, cut it bite size pieces, try and get them all roughly the same size so they cook evenly. You want to marinade the raw chicken for as long as possible before cooking it, so I would often do this as a first step and then go ahead to chopping and cooking. But it all works the same way and it will be just as soft and tender but slightly less flavoursome than if you marinaded it for a few hours! So if you’re planning to do this recipe and have some time on your hands, marinade the chicken in the fridge for a couple of hours before putting it in the oven. (With a toddler in tow I often just get a short window to cook!) When you do get to this stage you should lay the chicken pieces out evenly on a tray and oven them for around 20 minutes at 180’c. They should look baked and coated, cooked through and still tender. See my images below as a guide.
3. For the next step you want to remove the cooked chicken pieces from the oven tray gently, and set them down in the sauce, try not to lose much of their tasty marinade coating! This will add extra flavour to your sauce. Stir all of the chicken up with the sauce and then leave it on a low heat for around twenty minutes.
4. Serve the curry as soon as your rice is cooked and hot, half and half works well, you could even accompany it with some poppadoms and chutneys, a naan bread to tear and share or even do half rice and half chips while the oven is hot – if you’re that way inclined! 😉 There should be plenty of that tasty sauce for dipping things in whatever way you decide to serve it!
Thank you very much for reading this post today, if you do try my recipe let me know how you got on. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment, I’m more than happy to answer them.
In coordination with Endometriosis Awareness month this March 2020 I am going to be telling my diagnosis story. I know I have talked about my Endo in many of my posts, but this is the real true and honest story of mine. I will also be sharing statistics, symptoms and other information, as well as giving links to the websites you might find useful to find more out about Endometriosis if you wish to.
Not only is this going to be emotional post, it is raw, and it could also be disturbing for others. I am choosing to share some pictures post surgery too. I will therefore by putting a Trigger Warning on this post, because I am showing pictures but also talking about things that may upset others.
Please don’t let this put you off reading it, I think people need to see what effect this horrible condition can have upon the body. The female body already endures so much, so to have to deal with this condition too, it is exhausting. I should know.
There was light at the end of the tunnel for me, so this post does end on a positive, but I do believe more people need to realise the repercussions of having this debilitating and incurable condition.
Please continue reading now as I tell my story of pain, loss and eventual diagnosis.
Endo and Me
I have a love hate relationship with my body. Sometimes I love that I have a fast metabolism, it keeps me slim and I’m generally quite fit and strong despite my thin frame and small bones… however the Endo side of me causes unimaginable pain at times. It’s a chronic and incurable illness that doesn’t just affect your period like so many ignorant and uneducated people might believe. It is so much more than that because a number of things that happen to you can have a real negative affect on your life as well as your body. Let’s start at the beginning for me. I first had issues with my body when I was around fifteen years of age. I began getting unusual pain that I had to take medication for. All you could get at that age was paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets which were 200mg a piece and trust me; they barely touched the sides of my pain. As I got older I began having more symptoms, I didn’t know back then they were to do with Endometriosis. Except that whenever I sat in front of a doctor they tried to tell me it was anything and everything but that, it was never even mentioned. When I was seventeen I lost weight suddenly and quickly, I was tested for Thyroid issues and even Cancer! All tests came back negative and I tried to just deal with my awful periods and pains. Doctors were reluctant to explore further, so I let it go. At 19 I was fed up with the ridiculously heavy flow I had every month and the fact that I had no regular cycle, it was so exhausting and an anxious time. So after some persuasion on my part, I went on to a contraceptive pill. Regulating my cycle was a bonus of the tablets, and for the first time in my life I could be social with confidence. By knowing when things would be occurring allowed me to be at home with my hot water bottle and tablets when I needed to be.
When I was 25 I came off all medication in the hope of starting a family. Little did I know that all the pill had done for years was masking other symptoms of my Endo. When I had been off it for just six months I had such pain that it began affecting my everyday life. I cancelled social time with friends and family, I ended up avoiding things that I usually enjoyed because I was worried about being unwell in front of people. This caused me to suffer with anxiety, and that never went away, it just got worse as years went by… and so did my pain.
When I failed to conceive for years I went to my doctor and had various tests, blood tests for Thyroid, Hormones and Vitamin Deficiency amongst them. Then when everything came back with no issues and my pains were so bad that they affected me daily, I began seeking more answers. Endometriosis or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome was just two conditions that female members of my blood line suffer with. I must have told this to over a dozen doctors over the years. There are correlations between female genes that are often ignored. It wasn’t until I finally conceived after three years of trying, and then I tragically miscarried, that I ended up in Accident and Emergency every four weeks when I got my period, and I began getting sussed on this…
When I lost my baby I blamed myself and it made me depressed. I was so unwell physically I just didn’t know to what extent just yet.
So to help my state of mind I kept a diary, what I ate, what I did daily, what my pains were and where, I kept track of my cycle down to the hour and tried to make sense of it all. I looked for answers online and anything that told me what it could possibly be. Going in and out of hospital with no answers was exhausting, and it was wasting so much time too.
One afternoon I had written out all of my symptoms and matched them to the condition Endometriosis. All I wanted was someone to take me seriously and try and attempt to diagnose me. Instead I was in hospital nine times over the course of eighteen months. I had one MRI, seven ultrasounds, I went on a drip three times due to dehydration, I was given antibiotics twice, I had examinations with five internal swabs checking for infections… Nothing came back with anything concrete. On an ultrasound they told me that I had had a cyst that had burst. That time I ended up almost passing out in the bathroom at home from the pains, I was vomiting and couldn’t keep anything down. A&E was the only option when I had so much blood loss and was so sick from pain that I became dehydrated and needed a drip.
When I was admitted during the period that came after I lost my first child it was clear that I was incredibly ill and needed help. I had doctors who wanted to take me to surgery to check my appendix and my bowel, but I kept telling them it was Gynaecological. After I had a complete meltdown and shouting because I was kept nil by mouth for three whole days while two doctors argued over what to do with me, a lovely doctor who was a cancer specialist offered to do a basic laparoscopy on me that evening, to simply look inside me and take some pictures, so I could be passed on to whichever department I needed to be. This was the turning point for me; it was the start of my actual diagnosis. Over thirteen years since my first unexplained pains had begun…
It was severe. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Endometriosis, with a mass the size of a Tennis Ball attaching my Left Ovary, Bladder, Bowel and Womb to each other. My organs were all pulled off to the left side of my body, which was contributing to other symptoms that I was having, including bloating, bowel pain and problems, pain when I had a full bladder and pain during intercourse. The pictures that were taken inside my body showed extensive Endometriosis, like a mesh of tissue, thick cobwebs and various sized pockets of blood. At this time I had been ill for a long time, and I had lost weight, I was a size 6 and I didn’t feel like me anymore. The pain was all I knew some days. Having a diagnosis was like a light bulb had been turned on in my darkened room…
I was lucky because there was an Endo Gynaecologist Specialist at my local hospital. After speaking with him he agreed to operate, to try and save my left ovary. I wanted to be a mother so badly and he understood this. We also agreed to check for reasons why I couldn’t carry a baby thus far, four years of trying and a miscarriage was an indication things weren’t right. And he wanted to find out if it was all down to this Endo and the position of my organs. He would also do the dye test on my Fallopian tubes while I was under to see if they were clear of Endo too.
So I was popped onto his waiting list for surgery twelve weeks later. Every day was hard during that time, it was a blur of medication and hot water bottles and I had to give up work and go off sick after trying and failing to do my shifts and ending up just collapsing. After dealing with the chronic pains during that time, having hardly any sleep because I couldn’t get comfortable and my constant anxiety and nausea… I finally went in for my surgery…
The day afterwards I felt like a new woman, this man and his team had literally given me my life back. It was bad, but they had fixed me for now… I had had the Endo mass and tissue removed, then my organs gently coaxed back into place, my tubes flushed, my bowel that was damaged had a resection, and my left ovary was carefully saved. I could feel that constant pressure was gone; there was no more dull pain in that area. In fact recovering from the surgical incisions wasn’t anywhere near as bad as the pain I had lived with every day for years. I stopped taking pain medications three days after I got home from my surgery, because I felt like I could deal with the pains I was getting, which were less than ten per cent than what I was used to. How mad is that?
The worst thing about the surgery for me was the gas, it fills every part of your body as it absorbs and fills the spaces between your organs, it can be very painful until it’s gone. I had to drink so much peppermint tea to help with the bloating! Below is my abdomen after surgery, you can see I’m swollen and bruised and you can see the three incision sites.
The worse thing about having Endo is that it has stolen friendships away from me, and it put strains on other relationships too. People don’t understand how you can look so “well” on the outside but feel incredibly ill on the inside. Pain is something your body gets used to but it is the fatigue that most people struggle to deal with. Sometimes I would visit family and I would be talking one minute and falling asleep the next. Even after my surgery, although I didn’t have the same pain levels as before, I was still keeping up with the feelings of being tired, and my periods were exactly the same.
Did you know that Endometriosis also causes a whole range of other issues? I had over half of these when I eventually got diagnosed. Most women get told they have painful periods and IBS. Most of us only have these things because we have Endo. Here is a great diagram that was shared on the social media Endo pages earlier this month outlining most of what women like me have to deal with, sometimes these are daily symptoms, some are infrequent but they still occur, often brought on by hormone changes and cycles.
Endo Warrior is a term I use often to describe myself, because some days it feels like a battle just to get through the day. I am extremely lucky because I got the time to recover from my surgery, both body and soul searching too. Then when I was ready I had to do IVF in order to have my son. He is my entire world and I would be lost without him. I look back at all that I’ve been through and I am proud that I never gave up, despite everything.
If you want something in life and you have to work harder to get it then it makes it all the more worthwhile. I overcame a needle phobia and dealt with my Endo pain during my IVF treatment. But I would do all of it again if I had to. Being a mother is one of the most incredible and rewarding things I have ever done.
I realise some women have too bad a diagnosis and never get the chance to be mothers because of this condition, and that makes me sad. I class myself as one of the lucky ones.
To anyone out there who is suffering, make your voice heard. I once said to a friend that “Living a life in pain is like letting pain decide your life for you” and I got to a point where I just couldn’t live like that anymore. If your pain is ruling your life, then perhaps it is time to do something about it. Find a Doctor willing to listen and willing to take you seriously. Keep a diary, show that to a specialist if you’re lucky enough to get referred quickly.
Endometriosis has cost me so much in my life already, and because there is no cure I deal with those uncertainties for my future every single day. I still class myself as one of the lucky ones, I still have all my organs at the moment, and I was able to carry and have my son. I love being a mum. I try not to let my pain get in the way of that. As my son gets older I will be able to explain why mummy cannot bend and play today, and I will come up with other things for us to do together on those, my bad days. But I know it won’t stop me from being the mother he deserves. Of that I will make sure.
Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes today. If you would like to leave a comment please do so, I hope that my words help even just one person to stand up for themselves, to explain to a doctor that you want answers, that you deserve to live a life without pain.Stay strong.
As most of you regular Severn Wishes readers will know, my son was born with a number of allergies. I love to cook and baking is something that I am gradually getting better at. I wanted to make up a recipe that was easy and that I could use with what I usually find in my baking cupboard. But not only that, it had to taste like proper chocolate cake. There’s nothing worse than it not resembling what you know and love!
This moist and soft chocolate cake recipe is egg free and dairy free. You could even change the flour to make it gluten free too if you like. I made it normally first, and then with gluten free baking flour when my sister (she’s coeliac) visited us, and both times it still baked as a soft sponge. Delicious! A great treat if you’re doing Veganuary this year! Why not make this Vegan delight at the end of the month? Give you a treat to look forward to!
This cake serves 10 people, you only want a small slice as it’s rich! Time to Prepare, Make and Bake is… 1 Hour 30 Minutes Preheat your Oven to a Temperature of 180’c or 360’F You will need baking parchment to line your 8″ Tin You shall need a Jug for the Sauce, one Large Bowl and one Small You will also need a Sieve, a Spoon and a Whisk And finally a Cooling Rack
For the Cake:
175g Flour – I used plain or a mixture of Plain and Raising, or use GF 200g Caster Sugar 50g Cocoa Powder 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract – You could use Mint Flavouring instead 240ml Tepid Water 120ml Vegetable Oil
For the Sauce to pour on top:
4 to 6 Tablespoons of Tepid Water 2 Tablespoons of Golden Syrup or Maple Syrup 2 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder 130g of Icing Sugar
Method – Making the Cake
Step 1. Sift the Flour, Cocoa Powder, Caster Sugar and Baking Soda together in a large bowl. Make sure you mix them together thoroughly to combine.
Step 2. In a small bowl mix oil, water and vanilla together and stir until mixed.
Step 3. Gradually stir your wet mix bowl into the dry ingredients. Once you have combined them use a whisk or hand processor in order to make the mixture smooth. Mix until all the liquid is combined with the dry mixture.
Step 4. Pour your smooth mixture into the lined cake tin and shake gently from side to side to make it even inside.
Step 5. Bake in the Centre of your Preheated Oven, between 26 and 32 minutes depending upon oven type. Keep an eye on your cake so that it doesn’t over bake, use a knife of skewer in the centre, when it comes out clean it’s baked.
Step 6. Once cooked gently transfer the cake to a rack so that it can cool. You don’t want to pour on your sauce until it is cooled. Make sure the cake is completely cool before serving, you don’t want your sauce running off!
Method – Making the Sauce
Step 1. Sift the cocoa powder and icing sugar together in a bowl. Mix with a spoon until combined and a brown colour over all.
Step 2. Pour the syrup of your choice and the water into the bowl, make sure you stir it immediately and keep stirring until the ingredients resemble a smooth consistency. Start with 4 Tablespoons of water, if it’s not resembling a sauce that is pour-able then you can add more, one spoonful at a time until it’s how you want it to be. It can vary on the size of the spoon you use for example. TIP: Always better to start with less water and add it gradually, if it’s too wet to start with then you’re going to be measuring out more sugar which is a consistency much more difficult to get right.
Step 3. Cover this sauce until your cake is cooled and ready to serve, cut your cake slices, plate them up and then pour the sauce on to each piece. It’s easy to make more sauce if you need it and only takes a matter of minutes!
Thank you for coming to Severn Wishes today to read this recipe blog post. I hope you have enjoyed it. Can you please leave me a comment on this post if you try the recipe, and let me know what you think!
Hello everyone! Welcome to the December 2019 Treatbox Reveal and Review.
It’s time to open the Treatbox for the month and we know that this box shall have a partial Christmas theme or treat inside!
This box has a lovely festive red tissue paper wrapping all the lovely treats inside. I can smell something wonderful as I open the cardboard lid and find the calendar print…
… inside the December box I find…
Calendar Print December 2019 Heart Shaped “Merry Christmas” Hang-able Christmas Decoration Desk Calendar for 2020 East of India Page of Beautiful Stickers Sass & Belle Re-usable Fold-able Shopping Bag Christmas Pudding Korean Beauty Radiant Skin Pearl Hydrogel Mask Recipe Card for Chocolate Log Festive Smelling Soap Slice – Snowberry – Vegan & Handmade
Don’t forget you can follow my social media such as Instagram for more Treatbox photos and updates throughout the month including me using items!@SevernSabrina
My Honest Opinion
Overall this box is great! I love the Christmas themed items such as the recipe which is a great to my recipe box. The decoration is well made and the bag is useful to carry presents to give out during the festive season. The stickers are of nice quality and I look forward to using them during the next year. I am a little disappointed to receive yet another Korean Beauty item, because I haven’t had the time to try the last mask yet! However the Calendar for a desk or table is excellent and I like to be organised and use this sort of thing.
Are you thinking of ordering a TreatBox for yourself or for a gift for someone? Then you can find Treatbox subscriptions and build your own box at their website
Check out my previous Treatbox unboxing posts in this unique category of mine called ‘Treatbox’ it is specifically for these box reviews and reveals – Severn Wishes Treatbox.
Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes, I hope you enjoyed this Review. See you again soon.Have a great Festive Season!
✩ Sabrina ✩
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