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A New Zealander, Hansen brought international attention from the opening of her Modern Pantry in 2005, which combined unusual ingredients and international flavours. She has since been recognized with an MBE for her services to cookery.


Method for den miso

  1. Place all the ingredients in a pan and whisk over a medium heat until dissolved.
  2. Cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Method for steak

  1. Place the tamarind paste, den miso, garlic and thyme into a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add the steaks and stir to coat then leave to marinate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Heat a griddle or a heavy- based frying pan over a high heat until hot but not smoking (if the pan is too hot, the outside of the meat will burn before it has cooked enough.)
  4. Brush the steaks with the oil and season.
  5. Cook for 2-4 minutes on each side, depending on thickness.
  6. Transfer them from the pan to a rack, cover with foil and leave to rest in a warm place for up to 3-4 minutes - this helps the meat to 'relax' and maximises taste and tenderness.

Method for besan chips

  1. Heat the oil in a medium-sized heavy bottomed saucepan.
  2. Add the spices and cook for a few minutes to release their aromatics.
  3. Sift the besan into a bowl and then whisk in the cold water beating constantly to ensure that there are no lumps.
  4. Pour the paste into the pot with the spices, add the coriander, salt and pepper and stir over a moderate heat with a wooden spoon or spatula until the mixture thickens and comes away from the sides of the pot (approx 3-4 mins) - the process is similar to making firm polenta, only the besan takes a little longer to cook out.
  5. Oil a small oven tray and sprinkle with the nigella seed and a little polenta.
  6. Pour over the besan mix, top with more polenta and nigella seeds and lay a piece of baking parchment on top of this, then using your hands quickly and evenly flatten the mixture out.
  7. Refrigerate until set.
  8. Preheat a fat fryer to 180°C.
  9. Remove from fridge and turn out onto a chopping board.
  10. Cut into chips dusting with polenta as you go.
  11. Deep fry the chips until golden brown and drain onto kitchen paper.

Method for watercress

  1. Whisk the molasses, vinegar together with the olive oil then season with salt and black pepper.
  2. Dress the watercress with the dressing.

To serve

Place the steak onto the plate with the chips and watercress alongside.