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Archive for the ‘Indian’ Category

Chana masala

Meehra Sodha describes this as a Workers’ Curry variations of which are eaten all over India. We love the flavours and textures here and have eaten this part of a wider spread of dishes and also on its own with some naan bread from the local takeaway. It’s worth soaking your own chickpeas if you can as they have a better texture. Thi

Wine suggestion: a simple, medium-bodied and earthy red is required here, nothing fancy. We had a bottle of the Monfil Garnacha from Cariñena in Spain which is uncomplicated but satisfying.

Chana masala – serves 4

  • 200g dried chickpeas (or 2 x 400g tins of chickpeas)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3cm piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 green chilli, roughly chopped
  • salt
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 tin of plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric

Put the dried chickpeas into a large bowl, cover with cold water, then add the bicarbonate of soda and soak overnight or for at least 6 hours. Rinse and drain the chickpeas, then cover with more cold water and boil for 30-45 minutes, until soft, keep spooning off any scum that rises to the surface. (If you are using tinned chickpeas you just need to rinse and drain them.)

Crush the ginger, garlic & green chilli together in a pestle and mortor with a pinch of salt to make a paste.

Put the oil into a large frying pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir the ginger and chilli paste through the onions, then tip in the tomatoes, crushing them with your hands. Add the tomato puree, stir well and cook for 8-10 minutes or until you have a rich, thick sauce.

Add the garam masala, 1½ tsp of salt, cumin, chilli powder & turmeric, and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the drained chickpeas. You can add some water at this point to thin the sauce a bit, start with about 5 tbsp and add more if necessary. Taste and season.

Serve with naan breads or as alongside a few other Indian dishes.

(Original recipe from Made in India by Meera Sodha, Penguin, 2014.)

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Howrah Express

Brown food is just not photogenic but this really is a delicious lamb curry. Lamb neck is one of our favourite cuts; cheap and meltingly tender when cooked slowly.

Wine Suggestion: We’ve yet to find a wine that we think works with the intense flavours in this dish. Try an Indian beer such as Singah.

Cinnamon Lamb Curry – serves 8

  • 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin of plum tomatoes
  • 1½ tsp garam masala
  • 1¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1.2kg lamb neck fillet, chopped into chunks
  • 150ml full-fat yoghurt, whisked

Heat the oil in a large, heavy casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the onions when the oil is hot and fry until golden, about 8-10 minutes, then add the garlic and stir-fry for another couple of minutes.

Pour the tinned tomatoes into a bowl and crush a little with your hands before adding to the casserole. Cook for about 6 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

Add the garam masala, chilli powder, cumin, cinnamon and salt, and mix. Add the lamb and cook until sealed all over. Add the yoghurt one spoon at a time while slowly stirring (to prevent splitting) and then add 200ml of warm water – you want it to just cover the lamb.

Bring the mixture to the boil, then cover and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 1½ hours or until the lamb is soft and falling apart. Take the lid off the pan and reduce the sauce to a consistency you like, then remove from the heat. Season to taste and serve with naan breads or steamed rice.

(Original recipe from Made in India by Meera Sodha, Penguin, 2014.)

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Egg & potato curry 1

A tasty mid-week veggie curry for two. Not much more to say really. Serve with a cold beer if you’ve got one.

Bombay Egg & Potato Curry – serves 2

  • 2 onions, 1 chopped and 1 quartered
  • sunflower oil
  • 2 green chillies, 1 halved and deseeded and the other finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • a handful of coriander, leaves and stalks separated
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 vegetable or chicken stock cube
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 150ml coconut milk
  • 400g potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5cm dice
  • 3 eggs
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • basmati rice to serve

Fry the chopped onion in 1 tbsp of sunflower oil in a large frying pan or shallow casserole until soft and golden.

Meanwhile, whizz the quartered onion, halved chilli, garlic & coriander stalks with ¼ tsp salt to a paste – you might need to add a splash of water.

When the onions are softened, stir in the paste and spices and fry for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. Crumble in the stock cube, stir in the tomatoes and coconut milk along with a tinful of water and bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes, then cover and simmer for about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil the eggs in boiling water for about 8 minutes, then cool under cold running water, peel and quarter.

Remove the lid from the curry and continue to simmer for another 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened.

Taste the curry and season with salt, black pepper and lemon juice to taste. Gently lay the quartered eggs into the sauce, turn off the heat and replace the lid to allow the eggs to gently warm for a minute or so.

Serve with the sliced green chilli, coriander leaves and steamed basmati rice.

(Original recipe by Sarah Cook in BBC Olive Magazine, April 2015.)

Egg & potato curry 2

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Moong dal

This is Madhur Jaffrey’s “everyday moong dal”, the one she serves regularly to her family and friends alike. It is quite a wet style which we really liked. Serve alongside your favourite curry; it was particularly good with the pea & cauliflower one below.

Moong dal – serves 4-6

  • 200g moong dal (skinned and split mung beans), washed and drained
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or ghee
  • 1/8 tsp ground asafoetida
  • ½ tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1-2 whole hot, dried red chillies (we used 1 tsp dried chilli flakes)
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and cut into fine slivers

Put the moong dal in a medium saucepan, add 800ml water and bring to the boil.

Skim off the white froth and stir in the turmeric.

Cover partially, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Stir in the salt, then turn off the heat.

Heat the oil in a small frying pan over a medium-high heat, then quickly add the asafoetida, cumin seeds and chillies in that order. As soon as the chillies start to darken (a few seconds), quickly pour the contents of the pan over the cooked dal. Stir to mix through.

(Original recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Easy, Ebury Press, 2010.)

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We got the Indian vegetarian cookbook, Prashad, some time ago but haven’t used it much, something that needs to be remedied as the recipes are delicious. The balance of spices has a real depth but be careful with the asafetida as it can easily overwhelm the dish. We served this with a home-made dhal and naan breads from the Indian takeaway.

Pea & Cauliflower Curry – serves 4

  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp asafetida
  • 1 medium cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 400g frozen petits pois
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 large handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 3-6 fresh green chillies, seeds in
  • 5cm root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

Crush the chillies and ginger together with a pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar (or a blender) to make a fine masala paste.

Heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat, then add the cumin and mustard seeds. When the seeds start to pop, turn the heat to low and stir in the asafetida.

Add the cauliflower, then turn the heat back to medium and stir in the masala paste, turmeric, ground coriander, salt and sugar. Cover and leave to cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Stir in the peas and tomato, cover the pan again and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the chopped coriander, then leave to rest, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.

(Original recipe from Prashad: Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Kaushy Patel, Saltyard Books, 2012.)

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Marinated Tuna with Cherry tomato salsa

Tuna steaks are definitely at their best when seared on a hot barbecue. The marinade would also work well with other firm fish fillets such as swordfish or kingfish.

Wine suggestion: we think a light bodied red would be a treat here which goes against traditional pairings. The trick is to get a lighter body and lower tannins. We drank a Beaujolais-Villages from Domaine Rochette, a delightful wine which balances it’s lightness with an obvious care from the winemaker and good fruit from the vineyards; polished and elegant as well as joyfully youthful.

Paprika- and Oregano-Marinated Tuna with Cherry Tomato Salsa – serves 4

  • 4 x 150g fillets of fresh tuna
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for cooking
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked spanish paprika
  • lemon wedges, to serve

For the Cherry Tomato Salsa: 

  • 250g cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp sherry or red wine vinegar
  • sea salt and black pepper

Put the fish in a shallow non-metallic dish. Mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano and paprika. Pour this over the fish, cover with cling-film and refrigerate for half an hour.

Preheat the barbecue to high and brush lightly with olive oil. Barbecue the fish for a couple of minutes on each side (longer if you prefer the fish well done).

Toss all of the ingredients for the cherry tomato salsa together and season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve the fish with some salsa over the top and a lemon wedge.

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Keema with Peas

Keema with peas

This is a simple and cheap curry to whip up and it’s full of flavour. Grab some naan breads from your local takeaway and serve with some mango chutney and extra yogurt.

Keema with Peas – to serve 4

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4cm piece ginger, grated
  • 2 green chillies
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 200g chopped tomatoes (from a can or use 2 medium fresh tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp natural yogurt
  • 200g frozen peas
  • 1 small bunch coriander, chopped

Chop the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies in a food processor.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the mixture until very fragrant. Add the mince and fry until starting to brown, stirring to break up the lumps.

Add the spices and fry for a minute before adding the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, cook for a minute, then stir in the yogurt and some salt and pepper. Add a splash of water if the mixture looks dry, then cook for half an hour.

Add the frozen peas and cook for 5 minutes, then stir in the coriander.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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