BOSH! cooking channel stars Ian and Henry share their vegan recipe secrets

BOSH! online cooking channel stars Ian Theasby and Henry Firth have been living together through lockdown and they're positive that this is the perfect time for people to refine their skills.

To help you on your way, they've come up with tonnes of great tips for cooking in quarantine.

Here, they answer questions on lockdown, food and 'Death Row dinner'...

So, what does BOSH! have to offer in the way of lockdown cooking advice?

Henry: Get comfortable freestyling. Learn to cook a little off-recipe so that you can use up the stuff you've already got in your pantry.

When things are drying out in the supermarkets there's no better time to get to the bottom of that cupboard and give everything a refresh...

Ian: ...and don't be afraid to get creative in the kitchen. That way you build confidence - and with confidence comes competence. You'll get better with every meal that you cook.

Ian Theasby (left) and Henry Firth say the best way to improve your cooking is to get creative in the kitchen (Image: Contributor) Read More Related Articles Read More Related Articles

What about your culinary triumphs – what's the best dinner you've cooked in lockdown?

Ian: Lockdown has been a really odd and stressful time for everyone – us included. To alleviate those feelings we've been ending the week with burgers.

We're talking a good vegan patty, some vegan cheese, sticky caramelised onions and all the trimmings. Treated ourselves to something a little bit naughty shall we say. Nothing like a good reward at the end of the week.

Any disasters in the kitchen? Or are you two too professional for that?

Henry: I think our cake week broadcast that we posted to our YouTube channel and Facebook page was a disaster for out health.

We must have made about 20 cakes over the course of the week and ate quite a lot of them, but luckily we managed to give some to our friend who's a nurse. She shared them round at the hospital she works in, so can it really be called a disaster?

Ian and Henry have been posting food themed broadcasts to their YouTube and Facebook channels throughout lockdown (Image: Contributor)

You're both so passionate about food. What was it that sparked that love of cooking?

Ian: My grandparents were farmers, so every couple of weeks I'd go over to my grandmother's house and my grandfather would grow all these wonderful veggies.

We'd spend a Sunday prepping, cooking and eating veg that'd come straight out the ground. I had so much happy family time around fresh produce and that's just stuck with me.

Henry: I remember my mum teaching me to cook veggie lasagne when I was about 11. It was my first ever real recipe – well, there actually was no real recipe, but that was the beauty of it.

It was just a case of bunging things together with a freestyle white sauce. That was my favourite meal for years - absolutely delicious. Now we've perfected it and made it our own, so thanks mum!

Any meals that stick out in your memory?

Ian: I was on holiday in Italy with my parents when I was about 10 years old. We were in a little rental car and I remember being really hot and really tired because we'd been on the road for six hours or something.

We finally arrived in this mountain village on the hunt for some food and found this tiny Italian pizza joint.

Bish Bash Bosh! by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby is out now (HQ, HarperCollins). (Image: Contributor)

We ordered some and sat round a fountain to eat it and when we opened this box it was full of this huge rustic square pizza.

I remember thinking at the time, 'This is the single most tasty meal I've ever had.' It was as basic as they come – just an incredible tomato sauce, regular cheese (at that point) and just really hit the spot.

Henry: When I was with my fiancé in Japan we went to a temple in Kyoto and it served a cuisine called shojin ryori, which translates to "temple cuisine" - kind of like a Japanese dim sum. It was completely vegan and they really respected the vegetables they used.

It's thoughtful food which uses all of the vegetable - proper root-to-shoot cooking.So much love went into that meal and to top it all off we were in a temple garden looking out at a beautiful view feeling very serene and peaceful. That wins it for me.

From best meals to last meals – what would your death row dinner be?

Ian:Christmas dinner is the most special meal of the year, so for me that's got to be it. A full on Christmas dinner with a mushroom wellington, lovely gravy and all the trimmings. If it's going to be your last dinner, you might as well go out with a bang.

Henry: I'd go for a street food frenzy... I'd binge on jackfruit wings, Mexican tacos and a good curry.

Ian and Henry have always loved cooking and their new book includes some perfected childhood favourites (Image: Contributor) Dhal and roti

Ian's Dhal and Roti recipe showcases just how much flavour you can get into your cooking with a simple, yet punchy, spice mix.

And who knew making bread could be so easy? This protein-packed curry dish is super-nutritious and will leave you feeling full and satisfied.

It's also a great base that you can build on by adding all sorts of glorious veggies. Once you've mastered this the possibilities are endless.

BOSH!'s vegan dhal and homemade roti (Image: Contributor)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion
  • 30g fresh coriander
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2.5cm piece fresh ginger
  • 2½ tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 200g dried red lentils
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 75ml boiling water, optional
  • FOR THE ROTI

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil 100ml water
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • Method

  • Start by making the roti. Pour the flour, salt and oil into a large mixing bowl.
  • Make a small well in the centre and pour in the water.
  • Use your hands to mix the ingredients together and knead until it comes together in a smooth ball of dough.
  • Cover with oiled cling film and set it aside to rest for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, start prepping ingredients for your dhal. Peel and finely chop the onion.
  • Rip the leaves from the coriander and finely chop the stems and roughly chop the leaves.
  • Peel and finely grate the garlic.
  • Peel the ginger by scraping off the skin with a spoon and grate finely.
  • Pour the olive oil into the saucepan and warm it over a medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onion and salt and stir for 5–7 minutes, until softened.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, chilli flakes and coriander stems to the pan and stir for 2–3 minutes.
  • Add the cumin, turmeric, garam masala, caster sugar, ground coriander and fenugreek and stir together for 30 seconds.
  • Rinse the lentils and pour them into the pan, then stir for 1 minute.
  • Pour in the chopped tomatoes, fold them into the lentils and bring the thick sauce to a gentle simmer.
  • Add the vegetable stock and coconut milk and stir all the ingredients together until well mixed.
  • Bring the dhal back to a very gentle simmer, put the lid on the pan and leave it to bubble away for 35–40 minutes until thickened, stirring every now and then to make sure the dahl doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan.
  • While the dahl is cooking, return to the roti. Take the dough out of the bowl and divide it into 8 equal pieces, then place the pieces of dough on a chopping board and cover with the oiled cling film
  • Flour a clean surface, take a piece of dough and roll it out into a neat, flat circle, as thin as you can get it
  • Repeat with the remaining pieces
  • Heat your frying pan until it's very hot then pour 1 teaspoon oil into the pan and swish it around to coat the base
  • Place a roti in the pan and cook until it starts to bubble, then flip it over and fry the other side for another minute
  • Transfer to a plate and repeat to cook all the roti
  • Once your dahl is cooked, take the lid off the pan, taste it and season as necessary. If the lentils have too much bite, stir in 75ml boiling water, put the lid back on and simmer for a further 3–5 minutes.
  • Stir in the roughly chopped coriander leaves and serve immediately with the roti.
  • Banana Bread Blondies Banana Bread Blondies from Henry and Ian's book Bish Bash Bosh! (Image: Contributor)

    Henry's been loving this twist on everyone's favourite lockdown treat. Banana bread blondies are a great way to use up any old bananas you've got going brown and minimise food waste. They act as a binder instead of eggs and work a treat with the nutty, chocolatey flavour of this delicious sweet. Plus, it's an incredibly fun one to make and decorate with the kids.

    Ingredients:

  • 125g almonds
  • 4 bananas - 2 ripe (250g peeled weight) and 2 firm
  • 150g peanut butter
  • 6 tbsp (135g) maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 90ml unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 250g plain flour
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp se salt
  • 125g dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/gas 4and line a 20 x 30cm baking tin with parchment paper.
  • Spread out the almonds over a baking tray, put in the oven and bake for 8–10 mins, until deeply golden. Set aside to cool.
  • Put the ripe bananas in a bowl and mash with a fork.
  • Add 100g of the peanut butter, the maple syrup, vegetable oil, milk and vanilla extract and stir.
  • In a separate mixing bowl stir together the our, caster sugar, baking powder, soda and salt.
  • Tip the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold everything together to forma smooth batter.
  • Break the roasted almonds into small chunks using a food processor or rolling pin.

  • Chop the chocolate into 5mm pieces.

  • Add 100g of the broken almonds and 100g of the chocolate chunks to the batter and fold them through.

  • Transfer to the prepped baking tin and smooth the top with a spatula.

  • Dollop the remaining peanut butter over the top of the cake.

  • Sprinkle the remaining almonds over the top and lightly press them into the batter.

  • Peel the rm bananas, cut them in half lengthways and gently press the slices into the top of the cake, seed-side up.Sprinkle the brown sugar over the bananas.

  • Bake for 35 mins, until golden brown on top.

  • To melt the remaining chocolate, place a heat-proof bowl over a pan containing 2cm of water. Bring the water to a boil, ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water, then reduce to a simmer and add the remaining chocolate. Leave it to melt.

  • Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cake.

  • Cut into 12 pieces and serve.

  • – Bish Bash Bosh! by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby is out now (HQ, HarperCollins)

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