3 Satisfying Comfort Food Recipes From A Cookbook That Helps Others

Want to eat food and do good? This cookbook is giving its profits to charities helping Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

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Want to eat good and do good? Enter: Community Comfort, a new cookbook spearheaded by author Riaz Phillips who, like many others, has turned to comfort food in a time of crisis – and directed that energy to make positive change.

Profits of the digital cookbook will go to two charities set up to help the Black and ethnic minority community, who have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus. Money will go to the Majonzi Bereavement Fund, and the Auntie platform, so individuals can access counsellors and therapists.

Riaz Phillips

Expect recipes from a diverse line-up of more than 100 chefs and food writers, including the likes of James Cochran, Ravneet Gill, Vivek Singh, Benjamina Ebuihi, Romy Gill, and many more.

“In this UK, be it Asian, Latin American or west African, different communities have faced a similar plight of misrepresentation and oftentimes appropriation,” says Phillips. “Many of these smaller communities have bonded together to form an even wider community, shedding light on the political nature of food.

“Through this project, I hope to pass the mic to all these people so they can tell their own stories.”

Here are three satisfying dishes that’ll invoke a sense of nostalgia.

Roasted Plantain With Pistachio Ice Cream And Salted Pistachio Brittle

Serves: 4 | Recipe by: Yvonne Maxwell

Roasted Plantain with Pistachio Ice Cream & Salted Pistachio Brittle
Yvonne Maxwell
Roasted Plantain with Pistachio Ice Cream & Salted Pistachio Brittle

“Plantain is the ultimate form of comfort food. At peak ripeness, it provides a sweet burst of decadence – and, when cooked, the sugars are drawn out from intense heat, the flesh caramelising until soft and golden. This recipe is an adaptation of Boli, a Nigerian street food dish of roasted plantain that’s eaten with groundnut.”


For the pistachio ice cream:

150g pistachios (unsalted, not roasted, shelled)

200g granulated sugar, separating 70g

320ml whole milk (or any alternative milk of your choice)

320ml double cream

4 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract (optional)

For the roasted plantain:

4 plantains

Coconut oil (enough to coat each plantain)

Sea salt flakes


1. For the ice cream, finely grind the pistachios and the reserved 70g sugar in a blender or spice grinder, taking care not to over-grind into a paste. Combine the egg yolks with the remaining granulated sugar in a bowl and whisk until they are fully combined and pale yellow in colour.

2. Separately, place the milk, double cream and ground pistachio mix into a large saucepan and bring to boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and almond extract (if using). Gradually pour the hot milk mixture over the eggs, whisking continuously to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Return the custard mixture back to the saucepan and simmer on a low heat, whisking until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon – roughly 10 mins. Place mix in the fridge until cold, about one hour.

3. If using an ice cream maker, process the mix accordingly and freeze in an airtight container, placing cling film over the mixture before covering – or place the mix in an airtight container as previously instructed, and freeze until firm (about three hours), stirring every hour in order to break up any ice crystals that may form. This will give your ice cream that creamy texture.

4. Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C fan oven. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.

5. Rinse and dry your plantain. With a sharp knife, cut both ends off of the plantain and carefully cut a shallow line down the long seam of the plantain, taking care not to pierce the flesh of the plantain. Peel and discard skin. Coat each plantain with the oil and a sprinkling of sea salt flakes and place on the tray.

6. Bake the plantain for 15-20 mins in total, check and turn over halfway, until the plantain is golden brown on all sides and tender. Now is a good time to remove the ice cream from the freezer to soften for 5-10 mins before serving.

7. To serve, split the roasted plantain in half using a knife and place on a plate, then break up pieces of some optional salted pistachio brittle over it. Scoop a generous portion of the pistachio ice cream and dollop over the warm caramelised plantain. Add more broken pieces of brittle and any spare pistachios you may have lying around, add a final sprinkle of sea salt flakes and devour!

Red Pea Stew

Serves: 6 | Recipe by: Riaz Phillips

Red Pea Stew
Riaz Phillips
Red Pea Stew

“Red pea soup is an institution in practically every nook and crevice of Jamaica. You can find it anywhere from upmarket diners to roadside stalls. Growing up this or cock soup was a staple Saturday dish by mum as the days began to get colder and a single pot would magically last me several days especially when bolstered with extra starch. The only issue was having the patience for it all to cook down properly.”


2 cans (400g each) of kidney beans or 2 cups dried red kidney beans

1 can of coconut milk

10 cups of water

3 cloves of garlic

2 spring onions (green part only)

1 medium onion

1 medium Irish potato

1 medium chayote (chocho)

½ yellow yam

1 medium carrot

8 Allspice (pimento) berries or ½ tsp of ground allspice

3 sprigs of thyme

1 scotch bonnet pepper

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp crushed black pepper

1 tbsp all-purpose seasoning

For the spinners (dumplings):

65g (½ cup) all-purpose flour

1 tsp cornmeal (optional)

1 tsp coconut flakes (optional)

60ml (¼ cup) of water

2 dashes of salt


1. For the dumplings, combine all-purpose flour, salt, and optional ingredients into a bowl and carefully pour in water with one hand, while combining them with the other until a dough consistency is formed. If the mix is too wet, liberally add more flour until you can roll the dough about in your hands without leaving any residue. Once this is done, wrap in cling film, place in a bowl and refrigerate.

2. For the stew, if you are using dried red beans, wash them and soak for a minimum of seven hours or overnight. Rinse in a colander, then place in a large saucepan with the water. Bring to boil on medium-high heat, then turn down the heat to a medium simmer for 25 minutes until beans start to become yielding.

3. During this time, peel and dice the potato, chayote, yam into similar 3-4cm cubes. Peel the carrot and chop into ½-1cm circles. Chop off the white base of the spring onions, discard and finely chop the green body. Finally, peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Don’t worry if this takes longer than 25 minutes, the more the beans simmer and soften for, the better.

4. Add all chopped vegetables into the saucepan along with the whole scotch bonnet pepper (do not chop) and allow to cook for a further 20-25mins.

5. Boil a pan of water on high and add a dash of salt. Collect your refrigerated dough mix and remove cling film. Flour dust a chopping board or kitchen surface and place the dough mix. Tear off pieces and roll into the size of your little finger until smooth. Repeat until the whole mix is used.

6. Remove the lid from the stew and add the tin of coconut milk, the dumplings in addition to the allspice, sea salt, black pepper, thyme, and all-purpose seasoning. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes.

7. If you find the final stew consistency too thick, add water as you feel. It’s not necessary to follow timings exactly. There’s a fine art to making the vegetables soft but dense at the same time.

Side note: if you’re using kidney beans from a tin: add water to saucepan first and add seasonings, vegetables and cook for 15 minutes before adding the beans straight from the tin without rinsing.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Serves: 2 | Recipe by: James Cochran

Buttermilk Fried Chicken
James Cochran
Buttermilk Fried Chicken

“Fried chicken has been a constant love of mine and one which brings fond memories of eating Morley’s fried chicken in Brixton as a youngster with my mum, exploring my West Indian roots and culture in South London. It’s the ultimate accessible luxury and instant comfort for many. It’s also been a solid part of my culinary journey even winning me a Great British Menu dish.”


2 litres vegetable oil

500g boneless/skinless chicken (thigh, breast or wings will all work)

250ml buttermilk (you should be able to pick up some in most supermarkets; if you can’t, make your own substitute: stir one tablespoon of lemon juice into 250ml milk, leave it to settle for 10 minutes and you’re done)

100g flour

4 eggs, whisked

300g breadcrumbs, or stale bread, blitzed

50g any store cupboard spices (I use jerk spice but anything with a kick will work – mild curry, chilli, paprika, turmeric, garam masala, whatever you’ve got)

A handful crushed of nuts (corn nuts, peanuts, almonds, cashews)


1. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and mix them with the buttermilk and spices. Season with salt and leave for six hours; the acid in the buttermilk will tenderise the chicken and penetrate the spice into it

2. Panne the chicken. Start by mixing the bread crumbs with the flour. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Then dip the chicken in egg mix, and coat with the flour and breadcrumb mix

3. If you have a fryer, set it to 180°C. If you don’t, heat a deep saucepan with enough oil to fill it three-quarters of the way up, and get it nice and hot – a kitchen thermometer will obviously be handy here, if you’ve got one.

4. Fry the chicken for six minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and let them drain on paper.

5. Serve with your sauce and herbs of choice. I like to garnish with coriander, spring onion, peanuts and lots of chilli jam – but mayonnaise, mustard mayo, ketchup and yogurt with smoked paprika all work too. And if you’re not into coriander, parsley, basil, mint and tarragon would all do.

For more recipes order Community Comfort compiled by Riaz Phillips, which is out now, published by Tezata Press on e-cookbook. Minimum donation £10.