Serves 4, ready in 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1cm piece of root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black p
  • Large bag baby leaf spinach, roughly chopped
  • Small handful of finely chopped fresh coriander, to garnish (optional)
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced, to garnish (optional)

Method:

Cook the potatoes in lightly salted boiling water for 10 minutes or until just tender. Drain and set aside.

Spray a non-stick wok with low-cal spray and place over a medium-high heat. Add red onion, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds and mustard seeds and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the potatoes and peppers and stir-fry for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Turn the heat to low and add the ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, garam masala and chilli powder. Season well and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.

Stir in stock and bring mixture to boil. Turn the heat to medium, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the spinach and let it wilt into the potato mixture. Season well and scatter over the coriander and chilli, if using.

 

The science bit: Why spicy is the new superfood

by Andrew Gregory, Health Editor

Eating spicy food more frequently as part of your daily diet can help you live longer, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal .

Experts monitored 500,000 people in the landmark study and discovered those of us who eat spicy dishes once or twice a week are 10% less likely to die than those who have them less often. Enjoying spicy foods daily can lead to a 14% lower risk of death, they added.

Curry and chilli peppers
Hot stuff: Those chillis will do you good – if you skip the beer (Image: Getty)

They defined spicy food as including fresh chilli, dried chilli, chilli sauce or chilli oil – which is why it’s a must in all our recipes.

In the biggest study of its kind, the China Academy of Medical Sciences also found regular spicy food eaters were far less likely to die if they developed diabetes, cancer or heart or respiratory disease.

A bioactive ingredient in spices, ­capsaicin, is believed to hold the secret to the benefits of spicy food – because of its
anti-obesity, antioxidant, anti-inflammation and anti-cancer properties.

Research is also looking at the possible weight loss benefits of capsaicin.