Tag Archive: Food

FOOD FRAUD: 37% say takeaways are the least trusted type of food outlet in the Midlands

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A new food fraud report shows that almost two thirds of people in the Midlands (64%) regularly take measures to ensure their food is legitimate, and 17% avoid certain foods altogether that they believe could be susceptible to fraud.

As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, new research reveals that only 11% of people in the Midlands have confidence in the European food chain and just 9% in the global chain, fewer than one in every ten people.

Takeaways are the least trusted type of food outlet in the Midlands (37%) followed by online (20%) and convenience stores (15%). The least trusted product types are processed foods (36%), red meat (16%) supplements and animal feed (15%).

Almost three quarters (70%) believe there to be an issue with food fraud in the UK, with a quarter also believing that they have personally experienced it (25%). Hearing about high profile cases of fraudulent food in the media, such as the horse meat scandal in 2013, is the most common cause of reduced confidence in nearly half of consumers (44%).

The NFU Mutual Food Fraud Report 2017, published on 7th September, also reveals that one third of consumers across the region (34%) are less trusting of products and retailers than they were five years ago, compared with only 10% whose trust has increased. A further 34% believe that food crime is likely to increase in the future.

Commenting on the report, Frank Woods, Retail Sector Specialist at NFU Mutual, said:  “There has never been a more important time for tackling food fraud and getting regulation right as we plan to leave the European Union, but Government proposals for where we will get our food from are already under tough scrutiny from industry and consumers alike with concerns over skilled workers and quality.

“Producers are under immense pressure to offset price rises caused by the weakened value of sterling and higher import costs, squeezing already tight budgets and resources and potentially cornering them into using cheaper global suppliers that may be more vulnerable to fraud.”

The UK food and drink industry could be losing up to £12bn annually to fraud, entering the food chain through means including falsified or inaccurate documentation, and redirection of waste products back into the supply chain or re-dating of stock.

Frank continued: “Our research exposes the damaging effect that various influencers have had on consumer confidence over time. Much of the industry is addressing this by changing its supply strategy and supporting British producers - likely to be popular with a majority of consumers who want to support local businesses on home soil. How British producers and retailers will be supported and enabled to deliver the quantity of food required and improve consumer confidence remains to be seen.

“Our Food Fraud Report provides businesses with the research findings alongside advice from NFU Mutual experts and partners to help them combat fraud and appeal to customers through transparency and trust.”

The NFU Mutual Food Fraud report, which is designed to understand challenges facing businesses working across the ‘field to fork’ supply chain, explores attitudes and influencers of trust, perceived blame, impact upon behaviour and awareness of food crime. The report includes viewpoints and advice from major industry bodies including the British Retail Consortium, Food and Drink Federation, British Hospitality Association and National Farmers Retail & Markets Association.

High-risk of food poisoning in our region

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We all love it when the weather gets warmer but people are being asked to think harder about food safety in the summer months.

New research indicates that people in the Bradford District could be putting themselves and their families at risk of food poisoning through lack of knowledge of the 4Cs of food hygiene: Chilling, Cooking, Cleaning and avoiding Cross-contamination.

The Food Standards Agency’s Food and You Survey, which collects information on food safety through 3,118 interviews across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, found that in Yorkshire and the Humber

A third (32%) of people in Yorkshire and the Humber said they never change chopping boards between different types of food; more than any other region.

A third said that they generally defrost meat or fish in the microwave (6%) or fridge (30%), in line with FSA guidelines.

Half (51%) did not know that a fridge should be kept between 0°C and 5°C.

More than a third (37%) sometimes washed raw chicken. Washing chicken risks spreading bacteria and should be avoided.

One in seven (14%) don’t always wash their hands before starting to cook or prepare food.

Angela Brindle, Environmental Health Manager for Bradford Council, said: “Most of us love a good barbeque over the summer on a sunny day and this campaign is about making sure we get to enjoy the good weather without the risk of you, or a loved one, becoming ill.”

“It can be very serious if you get food poisoning from badly prepared food, however, the basic rules set out by the Food Standards Agency website can help you avoid the risks in the first place.”

Cllr Val Slater, Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing in Bradford Council, said: “These figures show that more people in the district could do more to keep themselves and their loved ones safe this summer.

“That's why Bradford Council is working with the Food Standards Agency to promote good hygiene over the summer by encouraging better food preparation.”

For tips on how to stay safe this summer visit:



Common summer bugs


Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK. You can’t see, smell or even taste it, but it can lead to people being very ill indeed with abdominal pain, diarrhoea, headache and fever. It can even lead to permanent disability. It is usually found in poultry, meat, dairy products, unpasteurised milk and shellfish and can be spread by cross-contamination, contaminated water or infected animals and their food.

Salmonella is another common bug found in raw meat, undercooked poultry, eggs and unpasteurised milk. Most commonly spread by inadequate cooking and cross-contamination, it leads to diarrhoea, fever, vomiting and stomach pains and it can make you ill for up to three weeks.

Listeria (L. monocytogenes) is less common than Campylobacter and Salmonella but it has a high hospitalisation and mortality rate. Individuals with an increased risk of listeriosis include those over 65 years of age, very young children and babies less than one month old. Listeria is particularly dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn babies. Listeria causes flu-like symptoms and it is most commonly associated with ready-to-eat foods. Special care should be taken with soft cheeses, smoked fish, meat pates and pre-packed sandwiches.

E coli is often passed on through raw and undercooked meats, but can also be spread through other contaminated foods, such as vegetables and salads, water or unpasteurised milk and from person to person. Symptoms can include diarrhoea (about 50% of people infected have bloody diarrhoea), stomach cramps and vomiting and the illness usually lasts between one and five days, although symptoms can persist for up to two weeks. Infection can be more serious in children, particularly those aged 1 to 4 years, when in rarer cases it can lead to haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), a serious condition affecting the kidneys.




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YORKSHIREMAN: Philip Bull, Managing Director of Eurostar Commodities with the ‘healthy’ spelt and rye flour packs

YORKSHIREMAN: Philip Bull, Managing Director of Eurostar Commodities with the ‘healthy’ spelt and rye flour packs


Yorkshire company doubles production of ‘healthy’ chapati flour with low GI suitable for diabetics

“Spelt and Rye are one of the oldest cultivated grains

A Yorkshire company is leading the game as a supplier the finest commodities and innovative ingredients, is to double production of its chapati flours.

In what the West Yorkshire company - Eurostar Commodities, calls a massive trend toward healthy alternatives, as the leading supplier of sales of Spelt and Rye chapati flour they’ve exceeded all expectations in its launch year.

Spelt and Rye chapati flour blends older grains of rye and spelt to produce a tasty chapati, high in quality and with the softness and flexibility required for producing a great result.

Produced by Eurostar’s development team, who trialled different grains and blends to create the optimum combination of rye and spelt, the product is available in two chapati flour varieties: Medium brown and Wholemeal.

Rye and spelt give a rich hearty taste and retain a larger quantity of nutrients than other types of grains when milled. They’re a good source of fibre and minerals and are higher in protein than wheat flour. Because they are low GI the products are also good for diabetics.

Spelt is one of the oldest cultivated grains tracing is roots more than 6,000 years back to ancient Mesopotamia. Spelt has kept many of its original characteristics which provide an impressive nutritional profile, along with ease of digestibility and anti-inflammatory qualities.

Rye is also a very good source of dietary fibre, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin B1.

Philip Bull, Managing Director of Eurostar commodities says: “We are delighted by the success of this product and it reflects a larger consumer trend toward ingredients which have increased health benefits.

“Many of these products, because of their more natural processing have enhanced flavour properties and increased absorption benefits. We are excited to continue developing new products in this area.”

Eurostar is an innovative family business from Yorkshire, formed in 1994. The company supplies over 10,000 tonnes of product to the UK and Europe every year, and are experts in ingredients. Eurostar source the finest grains in small supply chains to ensure quality and provenance.

The company also supplies gluten-free and organic flours.

DRIVERSTOP: New app takes the headache out of takeaway deliveries

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Ayaz and Faraz Saddiq and Kameran Khan have developed a new app which is the “Rolls Royce” of takeaway and restaurant delivery service

Ayaz and Faraz Saddiq and Kameran Khan have developed a new app which is the “Rolls Royce” of takeaway and restaurant delivery service


With new sophisticated phone apps and online food ordering options for the customer seemingly endless and convenient, for takeaway and restaurant owners it’s imperative that they deliver their customer’s food on time.

But things don’t always go to plan. One of the biggest headaches in the food delivery service industry is ensuring there are enough drivers on the ready to meet customer’s expectations.

Now a trio of innovative Asian businessmen from Leeds, have teamed up to provide the perfect solution that takeaway and restaurant owners may face when their delivery driver can’t make it in for their shift.

Brother Ayaz and Faraz Saddiq and friend Kameran Khan recognised the niche in the market and have developed the perfect solution, which is sure to be a win-win for takeaway owner, customer and delivery driver.

Ayaz Saddiq, who’s worked in the food industry for a number of years, experienced this first hand when he took on evening jobs as a takeaway delivery driver.

“I witnessed the stress takeaway owners were enduring if their delivery driver let them down and struggled to source a driver at very short notice,” explains Ayaz.

“I realised this was quite a big issue for takeaway and restaurant owners and was discussing it extensively with my brother Faraz.

“I’ve also heard experiences of hard-working delivery drivers who would be called into work on their days off but did not receive the appreciation for their hard work.”

Ayaz and Faraz decided they could offer a food delivery service agency and so went door-to-door promoting their services. Very soon they couldn’t cope with the sheer volume of “last-minute” delivery requests.

Whilst discussing the scenario with their close friend Kameran, the team have developed a delivery-driver booking app ‘DriverStop’, which is set to revolutionise the way eateries manage their deliveries.

DriverStop is a new app that brings together takeaway/restaurant owners and delivery drivers at a very short notice.

A takeaway owner can submit their driver request through the app for the number of hours work required, a message is sent to all the pre-registered drivers and the first to accept will get the job.

“The idea is simple but it’s a service that is long over due,” says Kameran.

“This app is set to revolutionise the fast food delivery industry.

‘We’ve had the likes of JustEat and HungryHouse bring orders to takeaways at the touch of a button, but what was lacking is the ability to get those orders to the customers in good time.”

There is more to DriverStop says Faraz: “Delivery drivers are the backbone of the takeaway industry.

“They work tirelessly to bring us our food fresh and tasty, yet their hard work has gone unnoticed far too long, the DriverStop gives flexibility to delivery drivers so they can work when they want and achieve a good work-life balance.

“The app has been received really well by takeaway and restaurant owners, they all love the idea and see it as a life-saver.”

As well as paying great rates according to the driver’s delivery experience, it offers advice on customer service, best routes for optimum delivery times and tips on ensuring customer confidence.

“I have heard first-hand accounts of mothers mixing water with sugar for their babies because they couldn’t afford baby milk.”

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GOOD SAMARITAN: Nazim Ali will be travelling to the Turkish-Syrian border with SKT Welfare to deliver food parcels to starving families

GOOD SAMARITAN: Nazim Ali will be travelling to the Turkish-Syrian border with SKT Welfare to deliver food parcels to starving families


Bradford man on a self-funded pre-Ramadhan food aid trip

A Bradford man who is self-funding his fifth aid trip to the Turkish-Syrian border, this time to distribute Ramadhan food parcels to displaced Syrians, says he’s compelled to do what he can as the images of their desperate faces haunts him.

Devoted humanitarian Nazim Ali has raised almost £100,000 over the last 19 years for numerous charities both locally and globally, by partaking in numerous challenges such as marathons, 10K runs and mountain treks.

Now, ahead of Ramadhan on 15th May, during his annual leave as a Careers Adviser, he’ll be travelling to Reyhanli and surrounding areas to provide supplies to displaced families in the Turkish/Syrian border.

Leaving the comforts of his home for a week, Nazim - also a Non-Magistrate for the North and West Yorkshire Advisory Committee, will make his way to the Turkish-Syria border accompanied by other humanitarians from Dewsbury-based international humanitarian charity SKT Welfare.

Speaking to the Asian Express, Nazim says: “This is my fifth visit to the region for the fourth consecutive year, it is also the third consecutive annual Pre-Ramadan Aid Trip.”

“My trip is self-funded ensuring 100% of donations go towards the food parcels.

“I can tell you the situation has not changed for the displaced Syrians. Many families are living in partially built homes with no windows or doors, some are living in tents and are in need of food and water – commodities we take for granted.”

The crisis in Syria is the biggest humanitarian emergency in our era, with almost three-million Syrian refugees fleeing to Turkey for safety and struggling to survive

“They (Syrians) need our help. The conflict has been going on for over six-years now and sadly shows no sign of ending.

“I have heard first-hand accounts of mothers mixing water with sugar for their babies because they couldn’t afford baby milk. Large families are rationing the very little food they have so that it lasts as long as possible.”

Nazim adds that one of the primary reasons he keeps going back are the Syrian refugees who have told him that it’s not just the aid he delivers that is appreciated, but the fact that his presence gives them solace.

“They are so thankful that someone has left their family 3,000 miles away in the UK to help them.

“They say ‘we (Syrian refugees) feel the world has forgotten about us but you being here (delivering aid to us) shows us and gives us comfort that we are not alone and in our hour of need are here to support us’.

“Just as many Muslims will be fasting in Ramadhan (for up to 20-hours without food or drink), so will they.

“The only difference is that we will be opening our fasts in our homes with our loved ones and in the presence of an abundance of food. They (Syrian refugees) however will be struggling to afford basic items such as dates and water.

“Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are suffering and in desperate need of assistance. In Reyhanli alone it is estimated there are almost 80,000 externally displaced Syrian refugees.

“I am also like previous aid trips planning to, God willing, take a suitcase full of toys for the Syrian Orphans and will hopefully visit SKT Welfare’s flagship state of the art ‘Springs of Hope Orphanage and Family Centre’ in the Turkish/Syrian border town of Reyhanli.

“For the last two years I have run 10K Runs in Ramadan for the aforementioned orphanage raising over £22,000."



Nazim had requested readers of Asian Express to assist in this aid mission. People can donate on: or for further information can call 07825 698283 or e-mail: - one food pack costs £50 and consists of two parcels each weighing 20.5KG each, providing enough food for a family of five people for one month.



Ten foods to help you lose weight

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EXERCISE: Metabolism-boosting foods could help you in your quest to get fit

EXERCISE: Metabolism-boosting foods could help you in your quest to get fit

Give your metabolism a boost with these foods

Everyone knows that the main key to losing weight is to eat less and move more, but there are things we can do to help the process along.

The efficiency of your metabolism is mostly down to genetics, but there are ways to give your system a boost, which could help with weight loss by burning fat and making you a generally healthier person.

Protein-rich foods are a great place to start. Eating your recommended daily amount of protein is thought to have a positive impact on the metabolism, as well as being great for building muscle and aiding in digestion.

Combined with a balanced diet and exercise, the following foods could help you get in shape, and some of them might surprise you.

Almonds (eaten in moderation as they are quite high in calories) contain fatty acids, fibre and protein that can kick your metabolism into gear.

Fruits are full of fiber and carbohydrates, both of which are important for a speedy metabolism. Berries in particular are great, as they are rich in antioxidants, known as flavonoids and carotenoids.

Chocolate – yes, chocolate! – will be a very welcomed suggestion for many.  Dark chocolate especially, which has a higher cacao content, can help maintain healthy glucose levels. Dark chocolate is also a great source of magnesium which stimulates the fat-burning hormone adiponectin. Eating a small amount of dark chocolate can also help you to feel fuller for longer, as well as helping you kick your sugar cravings. Be careful not to eat too much though, as chocolate is high in fats and calories.

Curry offers multiple advantages for your metabolism. Combining different spices can have a positive effect on your metabolism – especially chilies, which a compound called capsaicin, the component of chili peppers that causes the burning sensation in your mouth, which increase the rate at which energy is burned.

Apple Cider Vinegar is another food with positive health benefits as it aids in the production of hydrochloric acid, which helps you to digest your food more thoroughly and absorb more nutrients.

Caffeine lovers will be delighted to learn that coffee can boost your mind, you body and your metabolism. It’s only a temporary jolt though, and you should try to limit your intake to no more than three cups per day.

If coffee isn’t your thing, a cup of green tea is another option. Green tea can increase the number of calories your burn, and it’s also a great source of antioxidants.

Rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, eating fish will have positive effects on your health. It’s also been said to help relieve stress by reducing the circulation of stress hormones, which is an added bonus.

Cinnamon contains thermogenic properties, which means that you’ll automatically start burning more calories throughout the day.

Seaweed is rich in iodine, which helps keep your thyroid healthy, which can aid in weight loss. It’s also great for detoxing as it helps to purify your blood.

Of course, not matter how many metabolism-boosting foods you eat, there’s no substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Keep toasty while storm Doris rages

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SUPER FOODS: Avocado is a delicious choice to top your toast

SUPER FOODS: Avocado is a delicious choice to top your toast


Did Doris wake you up several times last night, too? Storm Doris is ravaging the UK and the thought of going outside couldn’t be further from our minds.

Forget getting dressed up and going out for dinner. Forget trailing around the supermarket before cooking for hours. The 23rd February is National Toast Day – what better dish to keep you warm and hide away from the elements with?

The first National Toast Day, back in 2014, was organised by the Tiptoe World Bread Awards.

Check out our top tips for getting your toast fix on a day that celebrates one of the nation’s simplest, yet most comforting dishes.

Don’t be afraid to keep it classic – You don’t have to do anything fancy to enjoy great toast. There’s nothing wrong with simply spreading your bread with butter or jam.

Go sweet or savoury – Top your bread with Marmite (if you’re into that sort of thing) or grab a jar of Nutella for a sweet treat.

Full of beans! – Beans on toast is one of the great British classics, probably because it’s so delicious, cheap and easy to make. If you’re lucky, you’ll already have the ingredients lurking in your kitchen.

Stock up on super foods – We’re always being told we need to eat more super foods, but what does that really mean? Lots of foods are good for us, but some are especially nutrient-rich and beneficial to our health. A simple way to get some goodness into your system: avocado on toast. Super trendy, super healthy and super delicious.

Get your protein fix – If you’re trying to get more protein in your diet, eggs (cooked your favourite way) or peanut butter are both great choices.

Which bread is best? – When it comes to what type of bread you want to use, this is entirely down to preference. Flaxseek, rye or whole-wheat are all healthy choices, but sometimes you can’t beat a thick slice of white.

However you take your toast, make sure you keep yourself toasty’s cold out there!

Specialists of authentic Bhel Puri and Pani Puri dishes

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Indian street food arrives in Dewsbury

Ever wanted to sample the finest range of Indian street foods but don’t fancy the 9,000 mile round trip?

Well now, thanks to Bhel Puri Pani Puri, all these flavours and more can be sampled much closer to home, at their Dewsbury and Leicester branches.

Opened in 2003 by devout food lovers, husband and wife, Satish Prajapati and Varsha Patel, the all vegetarian cuisine is freshly prepared to order in-store and includes all the classic favourites alongside some more exotic dishes.

From famed pani puri to irresistible samosa chaat, tastes and flavours guarantee to transport diners to the streets of Mumbai, Kolkatta and Dehli.

Initially opened in Leicester, customers in the East Midlands quickly grew accustomed to the unique style of freshly prepared home food, cooked up daily by Varsha in the kitchen.

bhel-puri-inset-pic-300x450Satish said: “Mumbai is known to be a haven for food-lovers and culinary enthusiasts. Street Food is a way of life and part of the culture all over India.

“They are ready to eat meals and snacks, generally sold in streets, markets and public areas by a vendor with a portable stall sometimes referred to as bhelwalas.

“Indian streets are famous for their cheap and tasty food items, with every city having its own specialty of all time favourite snack.

“At Bhel Puri Pani Puri, we share this amazing culture and cuisine in a fun and healthy way that is inviting to everyone.  

“We promote a healthy and responsible way of living, sourcing our food locally when available and using healthy, fresh ingredients in all of our foods.”  

As well as a must-try menu in-house, Bhel Puri Pani Puri also run an outdoor catering service for all those special occasions.

From their own mobile food unit, the specialist caterers can provide food for parties of all sizes, with three dishes available from just £6.50 per head – and extras bookable for the more adventurous customers.

“We launched our customised catering unit to travel to any area in the UK to bring the taste of India direct to your doorstep,” Satish added.

“We have catered for all occasions in the past, including: weddings, birthdays, indoor/outdoor parties – and work all year round.”

So, be sure to head down to Bhel Puri Pani Puri soon and experience the place where it’s not only the name which requires a big mouthful.

6A South Street,

Savile Town,


WF12 9ND

Tel: 01924 488812, 07811 336 757

Foodie temple: A huge community success for Bolton food festival

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BUSY DAY: Hundreds of people turned out throughout the day to sample some international flavours

BUSY DAY: Hundreds of people turned out throughout the day to sample some international flavours

Bolton’s diverse communities gathered in their hundreds last weekend as the local Vishwa Hindu Parishad Temple held their inaugural food festival.

Bringing delicacies of the world to the centre of the town, the event was warmly received by all who ventured down, including the Mayor of Bolton Cllr Lynda Byrne, who cut the ribbon to kick off the festivities.

OPEN FOR FOODIES: Mayor of Bolton Cllr Lynda Byrne officially opened the food festival with a ribbon cutting

OPEN FOR FOODIES: Mayor of Bolton Cllr Lynda Byrne officially opened the food festival with a ribbon cutting

Alongside the selection of spicy treats, crowds were entertained by dance acts, activities and even a human fruit machine.

Project co-ordinator, Ila Kothari, organised the festival with volunteer Kala Kerai, and their team of willing helpers.

Labelling the day a ‘great success’ she added: “To see over 300 people turnout on the day was a fantastic achievement and the feedback we received was really good.

“The community really got behind the event with people of all backgrounds coming down to try out the range of foods on offer and join in the fun.”

The community centre behind the project caters for mostly over-50s with funds raised from the day going to Bolton Hindus’ Age Inspiration.

The site provides a space for Bolton’s older Hindu community to socialise with events also held throughout the month.

Ila said: “This place is very important to so many people as it gives members a chance to get out of the house and meet with friends.

“The money raised from the food festival will go towards ensuring we can continue to provide the services we do.”

She added: “A big thank you goes out to all the volunteers who made the festival possible and to those who came down on the day.”

ENTERTAINMENT: Dancers performed for the crowds

ENTERTAINMENT: Dancers performed for the crowds

The Big Lunch: Three tasty recipes to try out with your own neighbours

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FANTASTIC ALL DAY EVENT: The Big Lunch is an excuse to get to know your neighbours better whilst sharing delicious food

FANTASTIC ALL DAY EVENT: The Big Lunch is an excuse to get to know your neighbours better whilst sharing delicious food

The Big Lunch takes place annually in June - but you can join in and host one whenever you like. This year's Big Lunch is on Sunday 12th June 2016. If you need some last minute tips or have any questions, call 0845 850 81 81 to speak to one of the team.

Here are some recipes from Jack Monroe to get you get started. Whether it’s a few neighbours coming together to share sandwiches in your front gardens, a traditional street party or big community bash, holding a Big Lunch is simple.

Penny Pizzas

penny pizzas (350x350)Ingredients:

Makes approximately 10 pizzas (depending on the size of your cookie cutter)

250g plain flour, plus extra to knead the dough

a 7g sachet of fast-acting dried yeast
1 tablespoon oil, plus extra to oil the baking tray

200ml boiling water

3 tablespoons tomato purée

Topping ideas: Mozzarella cheese, any grated cheese, olives, chopped onion, leftover bolognese sauce or leftover chilli…The possibilities are endless!


  • Measure the flour and yeast into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour, add the oil and most of the water, and stir together with a spoon to make a soft, sticky dough. Add more water if required.
  • Tip the dough on to a floured work surface, lightly knead for a few minutes and shape into a round. Pop it back into the mixing bowl, cover with cling film or a clean tea towel and leave for an hour to rise, or until doubled in size.
  • When the dough has risen, tip out on to the floured work surface and roll out with a rolling pin. I make mine less than 0.5cm thick, as the cookie cutter I use is tiny, but it’s up to you. Bear in mind when rolling out the dough that the bases will double in thickness when cooked.
  • Cut out dough circles or shapes using your choice of cutter until all the dough is used, transferring these mini pizza bases on to a lightly oiled baking tray as you go. (You may need to do them in batches!)
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Top each dough pizza base with a thin spread of tomato purée and your topping of choice.
  • Pop the baking tray into the oven for 10 minutes, until the mini pizzas are slightly crisp around the edges. Larger pizzas may need longer cooking time.


  1. The penny pizzas will keep in the fridge, covered, for 2 to 3 days, making them ideal for little lunches.
  2. Allow to cool completely and freeze any leftovers. They will keep for three months in the freezer, and can be reheated in a low oven.
  3. For quicker pizzas, halve a pitta bread, spread with tomato purée and top with a topping of your choice. Cook for 10 minutes at 180°C/350°F/gas 4 for a speedy snack.

Peach and Chickpea Curry

peach curry (349x450)Serves 2


100g dried chickpeas, left to soak for at least 8 hours

1 onion

1 clove of garlic

1 chilli

a splash of oil

a shake of ground cumin

1 x 400g tin of peaches

1 x 400g carton or tin of chopped tomatoes

a handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped

1 vegetable stock cube



  • Drain your soaked chickpeas and rinse them vigorously to get rid of the stagnant water that they’ll have been sitting in. Pop them in some fresh water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for a good 10 minutes to boil out any toxins.
  • Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the onion and garlic, and chop the chilli. Put the oil into another saucepan and add the onion, garlic and chilli, then the cumin, and cook gently on a low heat. Allow the onions to sweat, not brown. If they burn, the burnt taste will permeate through your whole curry, whereas sweating them will add a delicious sweetness.
  • Drain the peaches, reserving the juice, and chop into small chunks. Add to the onion mixture in the pan, along with any juice from the tin. By this time, the chickpeas should have finished vigorously boiling so reduce them down to a simmer.
  • Pour the chopped tomatoes over the peaches and onion, add the coriander and crumble in the stock cube. Then stir everything together. Reduce the heat to a low setting, and allow to cook gently for at least 30 minutes. This thickens the sauce and melds the flavours together – if chopped finely enough, the onions will disappear as they make the sauce thicken with a sweet spiciness. You may need to add a cup of water to the sauce if it starts to get too thick.
  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas and tip into the sauce. Stir together then serve.


This curry keeps in the fridge for 2 to 3 days and freezes well, if there’s any left! Leftovers can be served cold in a pitta bread the next day for a delicious, portable lunch.

White Chocolate and Pear Traybake

traybake (350x233)Ingredients:

250g butter, plus extra to grease the cake tin

200g sugar

3 eggs

200g tinned pears (drained weight)

100g white chocolate

200g plain flour

1 heaped teaspoon bicarbonate of soda or baking powder


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and lightly grease a square cake tin or small roasting tin.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl with a fork or wooden spoon until well combined. Break in the eggs and mix together, beating until smooth.
  • Drain and chop the pears into chunks – fine chunks will ensure a subtle distribution of fruit throughout the traybake, but larger chunks give a delightful sweet, juicy bite. Add to the mixing bowl and stir through. Using a sharp knife, chop the chocolate into small chunks – or you can put it in a freezer bag and bash it into chunks with a rolling pin – and fold into the mixture. Add the flour and bicarbonate of soda or baking powder, and mix well to combine into a soft, sweet-smelling batter.
  • Pour the batter into the tin and bake in the centre of the preheated oven for around 45 minutes – depending on the size of your tin. A shallow tin will cook faster, whereas a deeper tin will take its time. To check, insert a sharp knife into the centre of the cake. If the knife comes out clean, the traybake is ready.
  • Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out and chopping into squares.

International Food Festival at Leeds Grand Mosque set to tantalise tastebuds

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FLAGS OF FLAVOUR: Organiser Mohammed Omar tucks into one of the dishes that could be served up at the festival on 28th May

FLAGS OF FLAVOUR: Organiser Mohammed Omar tucks into one of the dishes that could be served up at the festival on 28th May

Melting pot of cultures! 

Calling all foodies, Leeds Grand Mosque is hosting an International Food Festival on Saturday 28th May to raise money for Diabetes UK and the mosque itself.

Local people of different cultures from all over the world are going to be cooking up a medley of delicious foods from their home countries, which will be entered into a cooking competition and judged by TV presenter Nadia Hussein and uber popular food blogger - Curry On Haleema.

Organisers Heena Mahmood, Mohammed Omar and Ruth Townsend wanted to have an all female judging panel to ‘spark some conversation and interest’.

Heena said: “The Festival will begin at 2pm until around 6pm. The reason behind this event is the fact that there’s a diverse population that attend this mosque and also the entire neighbourhood is multicultural.

“We wanted to do something that would bring everyone together- and everyone loves food.”

Heena said that there has been an ‘excellent response’ from the community, “people from all different backgrounds have been supportive,” she continued.

“Everyone has shown an interest. Asians have got involved; Nigerians, a lot of Middle Eastern people are going to be coming - Sudanese families too. It’s been really exciting to hear the feedback so far.”

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The competition will see prizes for the best rice/pasta/potato/bean/lentil dish,
chicken dish, meat dish, vegetable dish, sweet food dish, best junior cook (any dish cooked by child under 16 years), best national team and best male chef.

The categories are very open to allow for cultural interpretations of that type of food and as long as dishes broadly match the category, they can enter.

The event organisers spread the word through social media.  

“Initially, we were going to have each culture having its own table but because we’ve had such a variety of dishes flooding in, we’ve decided to group it into categories,” Heensa said, “such as all the rice dishes together and all the sweet dishes.

“There’ll be a flag and a label with each dish.”

The mosque has suggested a minimum donation of £2 per plate for savoury food and £1 for sweet food.

Raz’z Diner dazzles in Batley: Find your perfect dish on Purlwell Lane

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IMG_4860 (338x450)One of Batley’s favourite secrets is celebrating its reopening this month, with a new look and new menu launched at Raz’z Diner.

Located on Purlwell Lane, the restaurant and takeaway has built up a tasty reputation over the past four years, bringing a hearty Italian menu to the fore, with an American twist.

Today, as the much loved establishment continues to thrive, new tastes are being introduced to appetise diners, from gourmet burgers to exotic venison and ostrich steaks.

Owner at Raz’z Diner, Raza Ayoub, explained why he had decided to bring new life into the already bustling restaurant.

“We wanted to create a quality place for our customers where they can enjoy themselves in a setting complimentary to the food we prepare,” he said.


IMG_6615 (338x450)“It has been a big investment on our part and we are still waiting for our huge fish tank to be installed. Until then, visitors can dine in our relaxing restaurant or takeaway and experience the freshest menu around.”

All dishes cooked up at Raz’z Diner involve the freshest ingredients, sourced daily from local grocers and butchers, to ensure taste is always at a premium with every bite.

Amongst the many steaks available on the new gourmet menu is a mouth-watering 10oz Wagyu Sirloin Steak.

The melt-in-the-mouth steak is regarded as one of the world’s finest cuts, with its marbling texture absorbed into the muscle to give meat its tenderness and flavour. Served up with a drizzle of peppercorn sauce, it is a dish you have to try to truly appreciate.

A range of fully-loaded chicken and succulent steak burgers are also now available at Raz’z Diner, alongside classic favourites – parmesans, shredded steaks and pizzas - which the establishment built its success on.


“Our dishes have always been made fresh to order but recently we noticed there was still room to grow with our menu,” Raz added.

“That is why we have decided to launch the gourmet selections. The food is beyond compare with other eateries in the area, yet you won’t have to break the bank to experience them in the restaurant.”

Perhaps you would rather enjoy your meal at home? Well worry not, Raz’z Diner not only provide a takeaway service for all their dishes but have a delivery service - free to all homes in a three-mile radius when spending over £7.

With a menu to fulfil every foodie’s desire, head down to Raz’z today and find your perfect dish on Purlwell Lane.


Contact details:

Raz’z Diner,

2 Purlwell Lane,

Batley, WF17 5BH

Telephone: 01924 474 392


Syrian-born dentist organises Leeds Town Hall vigil for starving

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DEVASTATED: Syrian-born Fawaz Alghofari wants greater public awareness regarding Assad’s brutal regime

DEVASTATED: Syrian-born Fawaz Alghofari wants greater public awareness regarding Assad’s brutal regime

Drop food not bombs!

A Syrian refugee living in Leeds, Fawaz Alghofari, is holding a vigil in front of Leeds Town Hall this weekend for Syrian civilians affected by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Approximately 150 people are expected to turn up to the town hall steps on Sunday 17th January from 5pm to support the plight of Syrian people.

Residents in the beleaguered town of Madaya are just some of the civilians who have seen food supplies cut off with over 40,000 people now facing starvation and death. Reports issued by the WHO say that children are ‘too weak to play’.

Fawaz, who was born in Damascus in 1970, does not want to stand by and watch the disaster unfold further.

He said: “It’s devastating to see your homeland people dying from starvation. Watching babies die without any food supply because Assad’s brutal regime has been besieging this town for more than six months now. The death toll is increasing every day.”

Fawaz wants to highlight the humanitarian crisis with his peaceful vigil.

“We need to make sure that British people know about this situation and also the British government needs to step up,” he added.

“We feel the most important support we can get at the moment is from the British people. We want them to pressurise the British government to drop food instead of dropping bombs. Our main issue is to save those civilians.”

Fawaz is standing for equal rights and democratic rights for everyone in Syria.

“I have two sisters in Damascus who are trapped. They can’t get out of Syria. I worry about all Syrians.”

In an interview with CBC News, Elizabeth Hoff described her conversations with people in Madaya when she arrived as part of an aid convoy on Monday. 

She said: “They didn't talk about politics; they didn't talk about the Syrian crisis. They all talked about the lack of food and that they were hungry.

“A little boy of six years said that he had a brother at home who was so hungry he couldn't come to wait for the food [being delivered by the convoy] but he hoped to bring [him] home some food.”

National Langar Week: Sikhs take food to the streets in Leeds

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SHARING: Sikh volunteers from across Bradford and Leeds handed out langar last week, speaking with recipients about the concept

SHARING: Sikh volunteers from across Bradford and Leeds handed out langar last week, speaking with recipients about the concept

For over 500 years, the international Sikh community has been preparing, cooking and offering up free food, known as ‘langar’ to the wider public.

Today, this tradition continues in gurdwaras across the world, and last week, seven days were held nationally to promote langar amongst the non-Sikh community.

BUSY: Over 900 meals were served up in Leeds with people of all faiths and backgrounds receiving their langar

BUSY: Over 900 meals were served up in Leeds with people of all faiths and backgrounds receiving their langar

FOOD: Langar has been served up for 500 years and is available to all communities

FOOD: Langar has been served up for 500 years and is available to all communities

Alerting the public that Gurdwaras are places to go for free food for anyone, with no expectations or stigmas attached, Langar Week ran from Monday 5th to Sunday 11th October.

In Leeds, a team of volunteers took to the streets in Dortmund Square on Monday to dish out some free meals and spread the word of the world’s ‘oldest soup kitchen’.

Ripaljeet Kaur was part of the organising team for the local event and said she was amazed by the response.

“We had around 900 people, from all backgrounds – professionals, students and homeless, come down for the event which was bigger than any of us could have imagined,” she said.

“All the food was donated for the day by gurdwaras in Leeds and Bradford, and it was just an amazing thing to be a part of.”

SONY DSCAs well as serving up free food, volunteers, proudly wearing their slogan ‘Hello Hunger, Goodbye Langar’, spoke with visitors about the concept of langar.

Langar sees young and old, rich and poor, Sikh and non-Sikhs all share the same vegetarian food, in the same place, all seated at the same level.

The idea is that no one knows about your background and therefore you are not judged but accepted as equals.

“A lot of people we spoke with didn’t know about langar when we met them on the day,” Ripaljeet added.

“Regardless of beliefs, backgrounds or cultures, gurdwaras offer langar to the whole community and it is important that people know this option is available to them.”

Langar was first served up in the 16th century by the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

Every meal served is suitable for vegetarians as to cater for people of all beliefs, including Muslim (halal) and Jewish (kosher), regardless of where the Gurdwara is in the world.

The central Gurdwara for the Sikh faith, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, serves up to 50,000 meals a day free of charge with that number often increasing to more than 80,000 during celebrations.

AWARENESS: Organisers said many people were unaware of the free food scheme at gurdwaras

AWARENESS: Organisers said many people were unaware of the free food scheme at gurdwaras

Harbans Singh Sagoo, chairman of Leeds’ Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha, said he does everything he can to ensure all people are catered for when they come to the door of the Beeston-based Gurdwara yet accepted that there are sometimes challenges to overcome.

“Langar has been abused in the past with people who are perhaps drunk or on drugs coming to the gurdwara and being disruptive,” he explained.

VOLUNTEERS: Dozens of people handed out the langar last weekend in Dortmund Square

VOLUNTEERS: Dozens of people handed out the langar last weekend in Dortmund Square

“This causes a conflict, because as men of faith we need to show compassion, yet they cannot come in to a place of worship if they are behaving poorly.

“Therefore, we invested in plastic boxes to carry food so now if someone comes to the door and is drunk or disorderly, we give them the food in a box to take away and eat.

“We would still much rather people come inside to sit down and talk to us because that is how you forge friendships and learn about each other’s lives.”

Stepping up support for Iraq’s most vulnerable

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AID: The latest £20million funding will help up to 50,000 internally displaced people in Iraq who have been forced to flee their homes due to the Islamic State

AID: The latest £20million funding will help up to 50,000 internally displaced people in Iraq who have been forced to flee their homes due to the Islamic State

Food, water and essentials to be provided for the displaced 

The UK will provide new life-saving support to tens of thousands of Iraqis, who have been forced to flee their homes by the brutal rise of Islamic State, International Development Minister Desmond Swayne announced last week.

Speaking during a visit to Iraq, Mr Swayne set out how £20 million in new funding from the UK would provide medical care, clean water and improved sanitation, shelter, cash support and other essentials to displaced Iraqis.

He also warned that the international community should not forget Iraq when responding to the wider instability affecting neighbouring Syria.

More than eight-million people require humanitarian assistance inside Iraq, with 3.2 million Iraqis internally displaced by ongoing conflict - an increase of 1.5 million people in a year.

With reports of cholera inside the nation, provision of clean drinking water and improved sanitation is particularly important to help prevent a wider outbreak, as Mr Swayne explained.

“We cannot separate out what is happening in Iraq from the instability gripping Syria and the wider region,” he said. “The obscenities committed by ISIL (another term for Islamic State) show no respect for borders, just as they show no respect for creed or gender.

“These terrorists torture and kill Muslims, Yazidis and Christians alike and enslave and brutalise girls and women - in direct violation of the teachings of the religion they purport to represent.

“A year ago, the eyes of the world were fixed on the plight of thousands of people trapped on Mount Sinjar.

“A concerted, urgent international effort meant the difference between life and death for them. But as the number of displaced people in Iraq continues to grow daily, the world’s gaze appears to have wandered.

“The UN’s latest appeal is seriously underfunded and we do not want to see more Iraqis being forced to move because they cannot get the help they need where they are. Donors must step up to meet the shortfall now, to prevent Iraq’s problems spilling over its borders.”

Food Fraud: Restaurant fined for serving ‘misleading meat’

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FINED: Mr Rafiq, of Stazione Pizza and Sanam Balti, was fined for selling beef instead of lamb in one of his takeaway’s dishes (pic: Google Maps)

FINED: Mr Rafiq, of Stazione Pizza and Sanam Balti, was fined for selling beef instead of lamb in one of his takeaway’s dishes (pic: Google Maps)

The director of a popular Leeds takeaway has been fined £500 and ordered to pay costs of over £2,000 after beef was found to be used as a substitute in the lamb bhuna.

Mohammed Rafiq, of Mar Takeaway Ltd – trading as Stazione Pizza and Sanam Balti, in Cross Gates, appeared before Leeds Magistrates Court on Thursday 24th September, where he pleaded guilty to offences under the Food Safety Act 1990.

On 10th September 2014, as part of routine sampling work, an Officer from West Yorkshire Trading Standards visited Stazione Pizza and Sanam Balti, where an order for a Lamb Bhuna, advertised on the takeaway’s menu, was placed.

The meal was collected by the Officer and an inspection of the premises was undertaken.

The Lamb Bhuna was then submitted to, and was subsequently analysed by, the Public Analyst, whose analysis determined that the meat used in the bhuna was actually beef.

Upon being interviewed by West Yorkshire Trading Standards, Rafiq claimed he didn’t know the restaurant was supplying beef having thought he had ordered lamb from his supplier.

Despite providing receipts to Officers, the documents only showed ‘meat’ had been purchased and did not identify the species.

David Lodge, Head of Trading Standards said Rafiq’s punishment highlighted the tough stance the law takes on all traders.

He said: “Consumers rightly expect to get what they pay for. This takeaway made substitutions seemingly to save money, without informing the customer.

“Trading Standards will continue to take action against takeaways or restaurants flouting the law.”

Cross Gates and Whinmoor Councillor Pauleen Grahame, Deputy Chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee, which oversees the work of the Trading Standards, added: “Takeaways must take steps to ensure all menu descriptions accurately reflect the dishes they serve.

“The mis-description of food, whether verbally or in writing, is an offence and samples are taken to identify those businesses failing to comply with the law.”

Last year the Food Standards Agency (FSA) introduced new tests on lamb takeaway meals after the consumer watchdog found evidence of cheaper substitutes such as beef and chicken being used.

An FSA review of local authority sampling data from July to December 2013 found that 43 out of 145 samples of lamb takeaway meals contained meat other than lamb, with other meat species identified including chicken and turkey.

If anyone suspects that their restaurant or takeaway meal is incorrectly described contact Trading Standards, via the Citizens Advice Bureau on 03454 040506 to report the matter.

Berries, Bagels and Shakes

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Bringing a new dining experience to Bradford

berries-bagels-frontFrom travelling the world to featuring on the front cover of Forbes Magazine, Liva Alberta has achieved a lot in her life yet her latest project is taking place a little closer to home.

Bradford’s Berries, Bagels and Shakes is the realisation of a dream come true for the established entrepreneur who has long wanted to bring a new level of food service to her adopted home city.

Born in Latvia, Liva moved to the US where she experienced a dining experience described as ‘unlike anything she had ever tasted before’.

Ten years ago she arrived in Bradford and after successfully establishing and running her own estate agency ‘Concierge Estates’, Liva decided it was time to bring a taste of the States to Yorkshire.

With the aim of ‘bringing bagels to Bradford’, Berries, Bagels and Shakes was officially launched in July 2014.

Since its opening, the unique menu has only grown in popularity with diners travelling from across the city to enjoy a new slice of dining in comfortable surroundings.

SONY DSC“I want people to experience foods which they have been missing out on here in Bradford and know that bagels are not just for lunch,” Liva explained.

“Everything we sell here is created fresh and made-to-order from our renowned bagels to creamy shakes and a lot of time and effort was invested in developing the menu.

“I have had the opportunity of eating in famous restaurants around the world and have taken the best of these experiences and implemented them into this one site.”

She added: “Our staff pride themselves on customer service and always deliver the highest quality meals which I am sure Bradford will love.”

As well as a delectable menu, Berries, Bagels and Shakes provides a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere where people can enjoy their meals inside or take them away to be enjoyed at home.

A delivery service has proved extremely popular with businesses in the local area who are taking advantage of the healthier, fresh options, brought directly to the workplace at a time convenient to them.

With more sites set to open in Bradford and Leeds in the near future, your chance to experience American deli dining at its best looks to be just around the corner thanks to Berries, Bagels and Shakes.


Opening times:

Monday-Saturday 11am-12am

Sunday 3pm-11pm

20 Killinghall Road, Bradford BD3 8DS

01274 662123