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Myakka Blog

Indian furniture, Dining Table, Nest of Tables, Cushions and Accessories

Visit our Shops!

Monday, 26 October 2015

As one of the busiest shopping times of the year is nearly upon us, why not take the opportunity to pop along and visit us. There are now two places to visit Myakka, our warehouse outlet in Wincanton and our shop on Guildford High Street.

Our Warehouse Outlet in Somerset is just off the A303 trunk road in Somerset and is open 7 days a week including bank holidays (most bank holidays, obviously not Christmas and Easter!). If you are heading down to the West Country you may well be driving past! Our Clearance section, which is open at the weekends, is kept well stocked and full of great deals. It is brimming with well-travelled customer returns, samples and end of line furniture all at bargain prices, with up to 70%. These items aren’t available online and are sold on a purely first come first come first served basis so visiting us is the only way to bag yourself a real bargain.

Our shop in Guildford is on the high street and couldn’t be easier to find. Guildford is a popular shopping town so if you’re near pop and say hello to Bryony and the team. It is full of design inspiration for your home with unique home accessories and soft furnishings.

We have a big collection of our hardwood furniture on display in both shop and warehouse outlet, as well as a large range of soft furnishings and accessories as well as a massive selection of gifts and cards so you can really get the full Myakka experience. We know that choosing furniture for your home is a big decision so being able to really see the furniture as well as being able to touch and feel the furniture is really important. The Myakka team is always on hand with some useful advice and knowledge and there is always a handy tape measure ready to aid you with your decision making!

For the Wincanton Warehouse Outlet, we keep a good selection of items on display at all times so should you wish, you can come and view the ranges before you purchase. If you are looking for specific items to take away with you, please call 0345 460 3122 to check our stock situation before you travel. For directions to help find us please click here - it really is very easy!

The Guildford shop has a comprehensive range of furniture on display, but space is limited so if there is something in particular that you would like to see, please call us on 01483 370740 to check if it is on display. For directions to help you find us please click here.

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Starting to get Festive!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Is it too early to mention Christmas...?

The Myakka creative team are busy on photography this week in preparation for Christmas and spring. Over the past few weeks we have been deciding which products need new photographs and have been gathering lots of exciting props and coming up with lots of creative ideas for styling the new photos.

Over the two days of photography we have been shooting for both spring and Christmas so trying to create these two different looks was at time a little challenging, but with some carefully selected props and the right lighting we were really happy with the results. Luckily, we had clear blue skies which really helped create a lovely spring feeling.

We chose some of our favourite pieces and the next couple of competition prizes (including our big December give away) to make Christmassy. We know it is a little early to be talking about Christmas, so make sure you look out for these pictures through November and December.

For this shoot we are once again working with our photographer David McDowall who we have been working with for a number of years. For the two day shoot we returned to one of our favourite photography locations, Bazeley House in Micheldever near Andover. This house set in the beautiful Hampshire countryside and has lovely flagstone floors with lovely big windows for beautiful pictures of our furniture and accessories.

Keep your eyes peeled in November and December for some new Christmas images (including two new competitions!) but you will have to wait until early March 2016 to see our new spring images in the Spring catalogue…

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Curry Week - Day 5

Friday, 16 October 2015

For the last day of curry week, we have taken two recipes from the Dalit Spices curry recipe book and made a traditional Tandoori Chicken and a Aubergine Bartha.

Tandoori Chicken
Ingredients

800g chicken thighs and drumsticks
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
200g of yogurt
1 tsp red chili powder
Salt to taste
2tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp  crushed garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp garam masala powder
2 tbsp cooking oil
Melted butter for basting
1 tsp Chaat Masala
Onion rings and lemon wedges to garnish

Method

  • Skin the chicken and pat dry.
  • Make some incisions into the meaty parts of the chicken ready for the marinade
  • Mix the first lot of chili powder, lemon juice and salt and rub into the chicken.
  • Put the chili coasted chicken in the fridge for half an hour
  • Mix the remaining chili powder, salt, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, garam masala and cooking oil with the yogurt. Apply this marinade to the chicken and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours, ideally for as long as possible, if possible over night. .
  • When ready to cook, heat the oven to 200˚C and then cook the chicken for 15 minutes
  • Baste the chicken with the melted butter and return to the oven for 45 minutes or until done.
  • Sprinkle with chaat masala (I missed this bit off as I didn’t have any and it was still delicious!)

Aubergine Bartha (This is a great vegetable curry by itself!)
Ingredients
300g Aubergine, washed
250ml vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 tbsp crushed garlic
2 tbsp grated ginger
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ garam masala
¼ tsp chopped coriander
250ml water

Method

  • Heat the oven to 180˚C
  • Coat the aubergine liberally in the vegetable oil and pierce them with a fork in a few pieces.
  • Bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes until very soft.
  • Remove from the oven and let them cool slightly.
  • When cool enough to handle, remove the skin and discard.
  • Return the flesh of the aubergine to the pan and add the tomato, onion and all the remaining spices except the fresh coriander. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes until the onions are brown
  • Add the water and cook for a further 20 mins until the aubergine is very soft.
  • Remove from the oven and mix until very smooth. 
  • Garnish with fresh coriander

These were together with some rice, naan bread and a wedge of lemon and some onion rings. Bon appetit!

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National Curry Week - Day 4

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Curry number 4 of 5 is a British curry house classic, a Chicken Korma cooked by Sally from our Marketing department.

Ingredients
1kg Chicken breast
1 heaped tablespoon of finely grated fresh ginger
3 cloves of garlic, minced
150g thick (plain) yogurt
1 dried red chilli
2 finely chopped onions
1 tbsp  vegetable oil
1 tbsp ground coriander
Pinch of ground black pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
water
75g creamed coconut
salt, to taste
2 heaped tbsps ground almonds
finely chopped Coriander Leaves, to garnish
Juice of  1/2 lemon

Method

  • Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks
  • Mix chicken with the ginger, garlic and yogurt. Cover and marinade for 12 hours or in the fridge overnight.
  • Liquidise the chopped onion and red chillies, add a little water if you need to. Blend until smooth.
  • Heat the oil in a pan.
  • Add the ground coriander, ground black pepper, turmeric and garam masala and stir fry for about 1-minute over a low heat.
  • Turn up the heat, add the onion and chilli paste and stir fry for 10 minutes.
  • Add the chicken and the marinade and continue to stir fry for another 10 minutes.
  • Add the creamed coconut and enough water to just cover the chicken and bring to the boil, stirring until the coconut is dissolved. Stir in the ground almonds.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover the pan and simmer until the chicken is tender (30-40 minutes).
  • Remove from heat, add lemon juice and salt to taste. Mix well.
  • I served this with Basmati rice, naan bread, poppadom and mango chutney. Eat and enjoy!


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National Curry Week - Day 3

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Our next curry for National Curry week is from our Designer Naj, who has made a delicious chicken curry.

'Easy As' Chicken Curry adapted from the Steamy Kitchen blog.

Ingredients
500g (approx) chicken
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large (or 2 small) onion, thinly sliced (I used red onion but white is fine as well)
1 tablesp
oon grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 can diced tomatoes (or same amount of ripe chopped fresh tomatoes)
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon cayenne powder (or add more if you like it hot!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 can coconut milk
60ml water
1-2 fresh chili peppers, diced (optional)

Method

  • Cut the chicken into 2-inch pieces.
  • Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and swirl in the oil. When the oil is heated, add the onion, ginger and garlic. Turn the heat to medium-low and let the aromatics cook slowly. Sauté for 5-10 minutes. The longer you cook it here the more intense the flavour will be. Take care not to let it burn!
  • Add the tomatoes to the sautéed onion, garlic and ginger and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Use your spatula and smash the tomatoes a bit, to break them up.
  • Add the garam masala, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes until nice and thick. This is the masala (spice base). Add in the water and stir well, cook for a further 5minutes until sauce has reduced slightly.
  • Add in the chili pepper if using.
  • Add in chicken and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Turn the heat to medium-high. Pour in the coconut milk and cook until desired consistency.
  • Serve with rice or naan bread but it is equally as good on its own!

Naj's top tip - freeze your fresh ginger as it is easier to grate.

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Curry Week - Day 2

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Our curry for day two of curry week is the classic Chicken Tikka Masala adapted from Jamie Oliver. It does take a little time but it was really delicious and full of flavour.

Ingredients
For the Chicken:
1 level teaspoon ground cloves (goes easy on the cloves as they are very strong!)
1 level teaspoon ground cumin
1 heaped teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 heaped teaspoon garam masala
3 lemons
6 cloves of garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
6 heaped tablespoons natural yoghurt
800 g skinless boneless chicken breasts (I used thighs instead)
3 fresh green or yellow chillies
For the sauce:
2 onions
4 cloves of garlic
1–2 fresh red chillies (I left the seeds in for extra heat)
30 g fresh coriander
olive oil
1 level tablespoon ground coriander
2 level teaspoons turmeric
1 heaped teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 heaped teaspoon garam masala
6 tablespoons ground almonds
2 x 400 g tins of plum tomatoes
1 chicken stock cube
2 x 400 g tins of light coconut milk
Bunch of spring onions sliced into chunks (this is an addition of mine)

Method

  • Cut chicken into 5 cm chunks and put into a large bowl
  • Toast the ground cloves, cumin, paprika and garam masala in a dry pan for a minute, mix with the yogurt
  • Grate the zest of 1 lemon and add the juice to the yogurt mix
  • Crush the garlic and grate the ginger into the yogurt mix and add a pinch of salt. 
  • Mix together well with the chicken so the meat is well covered. 
  • Skewer the chicken along with the cut up green/yellow chillies and wedges of the lemon making sure not to pack to tightly together. Leave to marinate for at least two hours in the fridge – the longer the better. 
  • For the sauce, in a food processor, combine the garlic, chillies and onions with the stalks of the coriander. This can be chopped by hand but I think it works better as finely chopped as possible
  • Add this to a warm pan, on a low heat, along with a glug of olive oil and gently fry for 20mins until soft and golden. The longer you fry this for the better the flavour.
  • Add the powdered spices, turmeric, paprika, coriander and garam masala and cook for a minute
  • Toast the ground almond in a dry pan for a minute or two taking care not to burn  and then add to the pan combining everything well.
  • Add in the tinned tomatoes, followed by a stock cube and 300ml of boiling water. Bring to the simmer for five minutes.
  • Add in the two tins of coconut milk and stir everything well into nice and combined. 
  • Leave to simmer for about 40minutes stirring occasionally until sauce is nicely thickened then season to taste. 
  • Stir in the spring onion just before you add the chicken so they keep the crunch 
  • When it is time to cook the chicken, heat the grill up to high and put the chicken under turning regular so it goes very golden and brown around the edges. 
  • Take the chicken & chillies off the skewers and add into the sauce. Squeeze the lemon wedges into the sauce, but don’t add to the sauce! 
  • Simmer for 2 minutes and then you can stir though some yogurt (I didn’t add any as it wasn’t too hot and was already quite creamy.)
  • Add the chopped coriander and serve. 

I served this curry with boiled basmati rice and naan breads. Jamie’s original recipe served it with homemade paratha bread, but this was a little much for a Monday night supper!

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National Curry Week - Day 1

Monday, 12 October 2015

This week is national curry week and we have been celebrating by making lots of curry. Over the course of the next five days, we are going to be sharing our favourite curry recipes that are both delicious and easy to make at home…

We start with a Butter Chicken recipe taken from the Dalit Spice Cook Book. To find out more about Dalit and all the good work they do, simply click here.

Ingredients
1 kg free range boneless chicken (I used a mixture of cuts and breast meat)
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsps coriander powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 cup of fresh yogurt (I used 1 small pot of Yeo Valley Natural Yogurt)
Juice of 1 lime
6 cloves
8-10 pepper corns
1-inch stick of cinnamon
8-10 almonds
2 bay leaves
Seeds from 3-4 cardamom pods
2 tbsps fenugreek powder
2 chopped onions
2 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 can of tinned tomatoes
3 tbsps vegetable/sunflower oil
½ litre chicken stock
3 tbsps butter
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish

This does seem like a lot of ingredients but it is really worth it!

Method

  • Place all of the chicken in the bowl
  • Add the chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, yogurt and lime juice and mix them well.
  • Take the rest of the spices and fry them in a dry pan (no oil) until golden brown. Powder them in a pestle and mortar and add them to the chicken marinade.
  • Place marinating chicken in the fridge and leave for a least an hour.
  • Heat a the oil in a large pan and then drop in the sliced onions. Fry them until they turn golden brown.
  • Add the ginger and garlic paste followed by the chicken.
  • Fry them for about five minutes and then add the tomatoes.
  • Pour in the chicken stock a little at a time and keep stirring to create your gravy.
  • Add the rest of the marinade and salt to taste.
  • Simmer until the chicken in cooked through and tender
  • Melt the butter in a separate pan and then add to the gravy.
  • Finally serve and garnish with a little chopped coriander.


To go with this delicious curry I cooked basmati rice with 2 tsps of curry powder in the water and then added some chopped and cooked vegetables.

Although this does seem like a lot of ingredients, it is really easy and doesn't take too long to make, and it tastes amazing!

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Meet the New Rugs

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Over the last month or so we have been adding lots of new kilims & rugs to the collection in a number of different colour, patterns and styles. We have something that will suit every room in a home whatever the style and décor.

If you are looking for something that is both sustainable and hardwearing, then the Jute Diamond Woven Rug is the perfect option. Made from 100% jute, this rug has been woven into a contemporary diamond pattern available in three colour options and four different sizes. Jute is a natural and very sustainable product as it is fast growing. It is fantastically hardwearing and is 100% biodegradable. This stylish and sustainable style is also available in coordinating cushions and pouffes.

If you’re looking to add a bit of colour into you r home, the Andaman Stripe Wool Rug and the Nicobar Stipe Wool Rug are a great choice. Made from 100% wool, these rugs are a great way to brighten up your decor and the stripes will set off any room.

For a more traditional, eastern style rug, the Karom Kilim Rug would be a lovely addition to any home. Made using a mixture of 80% wool and 20% cotton, this is a hardwearing, traditionally flat woven rug.  Woven in a traditional pattern using earthy, natural colours that will bring a real touch of the east to your home.

The Kaveri Kilim Rug is a traditional style kilim rug with a slightly more modern colour palette. An attractive sky blue colour is striped with a natural kilim colour complete with a gentle pattern that works its way through the stripes.

For a more modern and brighter look, the Rani Kilim Rug is perfect. Available in three colours, this rug with its Moroccan inspired pattern uses a strong accent colour and a natural colour to create a contemporary, geometric design which will add a splash of colour to your home. Traditionally woven from 100% wool and available in terracotta, teal and charcoal colourways.

Rugs and kilims are a really easy way to update your home and a perfect way to add some colour and warmth. Here at Myakka we have lots of designs, colours and styles of rugs which will be perfect for your home.

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