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Archive for the ‘Indian’ Category

Mushroom Pullao - Khumbi pullao

A gently spiced rice dish flavoured with mushrooms. The perfect accompaniment to a meat curry.

Mushroom Pullao (Khumbi pullao) – serves 6

  • 450ml long-grain rice (use a jug to measure)
  • 1.2 litres plus 600ml of water
  • 150g mushrooms, sliced into 3mm thick slices
  • 1 small onion, peeled and sliced very thinly
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ tsp peeled, finely grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt

Wash the rice in several changes of water, then drain. Put the rice in a bowl with the 1.2 litres of water and leave to soak for 30 minutes, then drain.

Heat the oil in a heavy pot over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions and garlic and stir-fry for about 2 minutes or until the onions start to brown at the edges. Add the mushrooms and stir for another 2 minutes, then add the rice, ginger, garam masala and 1 tsp of salt. Turn the heat to medium-low, then stir and sauté the rice for 2 minutes.

Pour in the 600ml of water and bring to a boil. Cover very tightly, turn the heat to very, very low and cook for 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and sit, covered and undisturbed for another 5 minutes.

(Original recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking, Barron’s Educational Series, 2002.)

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Spicy Green Beans - Madaledar sem

These green beans are full of Indian flavour and make a great side for curries and other Indian dishes but they would also add interest to a roast chicken. Chopping them up small changes the texture in a nice way too.

Spicy Green Beans (Masaledar sem) – serves 6

  • 750g green beans, trimmed and cut into 5mm lengths
  • 4cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 350ml water
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 dried hot red chilli, lightly crushed in a mortar
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped (to peel the tomatoes drop into boiling water for 15 seconds after which the skins should come off easily)
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1 tsp ground, roasted cumin seeds

Put the ginger and garlic into a blender or food processor with 120ml of the water and blend until fairly smooth.

Heat the oil in a wide, heavy pot over a medium-high heat. When hot put in the cumin seeds, and 5 seconds later the crushed chilli. As soon as it darkens add the ginger-garlic paste, then stir and cook for a minute. Stir in the coriander, then add the chopped tomato. Stir and cook for 2 minutes, mashing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon.

Add the beans, about 1¼ tsp salt and the rest of the water, then bring to a simmer. Cover, turn the heat to low, and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the beans are tender.

Remove the cover. Add the lemon juice, the ground roasted cumin seeds, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Increase the heat and boil away the liquid while gently stirring the beans.

(Original recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking, Barron’s Educational Series, 2002.)

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Akhrote ka raita

We’re sad to say that we’ve finally used up the enormous stash of walnuts we couldn’t resist at a French market. When we got home we thought we’d never get through them. This dish was a fitting end for the last few handfuls and we need to plan another trip. Try this raita with Indian dishes as a refreshing change from the usual cucumber raita.

Yoghurt with walnuts & coriander (Akhrote ka raita) – serves 6

  • 600ml plain yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • ½ a fresh hot green chilli, very finely chopped
  • 1 scallion, very finely sliced
  • 65g shelled walnuts, roughly broken into small pieces

Put the yoghurt into a bowl and beat lightly with a fork or whisk until smooth and creamy.

Add the rest of the ingredients plus a good grinding of black pepper and about ½ tsp of salt. Stir to mix.

(Original recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking, Barron’s Educational Series, 2002.)

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Spiced Paneer and Pea rice

This is barely a recipe, more a quick assembly of things that happen to be lying around. Typical of the sort of meal we have near the end of the week, when ingredients are running low. The paneer cheese bulks out the rice and the cool yoghurt negates the need for a sauce.

Spiced paneer and pea rice – serves 2

  • 200g pack of paneer (Indian cheese), diced
  • 2 tbsp curry paste (we like Patak’s Madras)
  • a pouch of ready-to-eat brown basmati (or use can cook your own)
  • 100g frozen peas, defrosted
  • 4 tbsp natural yoghrut
  • a handful of mint, chopped
  • naan breads and lemon wedges to serve

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan, then fry the paneer until golden.

Add the curry paste and fry.

Heat the rice in a microwave according to the pack instructions, then tip into the pan with the peas and toss together.

Mix the yoghurt with the mint and season.

Serve the rice with the yoghurt, naan bread and lemon wedges.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, September 2017.)

 

 

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Prawn & Spinach Curry

An easy weeknight curry and perfect for using up that bag of frozen prawns in the freezer. Serve with steamed rice.

Wine Suggestion: As it was a hot night and we needed cooling down, a bottle of beer (Peroni to be precise) from the fridge hit the spot with this. Refreshing and we just like beer with curry.

Prawn & Spinach Curry – serves 4

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp hot curry paste (we like Patak’s Madras)
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 200g carton creamed coconut
  • 400g raw peeled tiger prawns, defrosted
  • 250g baby spinach leaves
  • large handful of frozen peas
  • bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions for about 5 minutes to soften, then stir in the curry paste and fry for another minute. Add the tomatoes, stock, sugar, and coconut cream, then season. Cook gently for 15 minutes until thickened.

Add the prawns and spinach, then cook for a few minutes. Stir in the peas and heat for another few minutes. Sprinkle with coriander and serve with steamed rice.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine, July, 2005)

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Sweet potato vindaloo

It hasn’t happened just yet but there will come a time when we will grow tired of all the winter root veg and will be hankering for spring and some lighter dishes. If you start to feel this way we recommend turning to cookbooks inspired by India which often contain some of the most interesting and delicious veggie dishes. Don’t be put off by the fiery connotations of ‘vindaloo’, this is a spicy dish but nothing too scary and is tamed by the additions of fluffy white rice and cool yoghurt.

Sweet potato vindaloo – serves 4

  • 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 4cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 5 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ¾ tbsp chilli powder (feel free to adjust to your own tolerance level)
  • 2 medium onions, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 x 400g tin of plum tomatoes
  • 1kg sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
  • yoghurt, to serve
  • steamed white basmati rice, to serve

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frying (for which you have a lid) over a medium heat, then add the cloves, star anise, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick and cumin seeds. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes until fragrant and then remove from the heat and grind in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Add the garlic, ginger & vinegar and continue to grind to a smooth paste, then mix in the chilli powder.

Heat the remaining 3 tbsp of oil in the same pan over a medium heat, then add the onions. Cook for 15 minutes or more until brown and caramelised. Add the spice paste, salt and sugar, then cook for another couple of minutes before tipping in the tomatoes and crushing with a wooden spoon. Fill the empty tomato tin half full with water and add to the pan. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for around 5 minutes, then add the sweet potatoes.

Bring the curry to the boil, then cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the sweet potato is completely tender. Serve with cool natural yoghurt and hot basmati rice.

(Original recipe from Fresh India by Meera Sodha, Penguin, 2016.)

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Mango chutney

Mangoes are cheap at this time of year so if you see them on offer pick them up and make this delicious chutney. Very straightforward but you do need to start the night before.

Mango Chutney – makes 700ml

  • 1 tsp each of cumin, coriander and cardamom seeds
  • 4 firm mangoes, sliced
  • 350g golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp each of cayenne pepper and turmeric
  • 1 green chilli, split lengthways
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • small knob of fresh ginger, grated
  • juice of 4 limes and zest of 2
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 300ml white wine vinegar

Toast the cumin, coriander and cardamom seeds in a dry frying pan, then tip into a bowl with all the other ingredients except the vinegar. Mix together, then cover and leave to macerate overnight (or for a minimum of 3 hours).

Tip the mix into a large pan and pour in the vinegar. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 1½ hours or until sticky, stir regularly as it gets closer to the end of the cooking time to ensure it doesn’t catch on the bottom. Leave to cool, then tip into sterilised jars.

To sterilise jars: wash the jars in very hot water, drip-dry and put into the oven at 160C/Fan 140C/Gas 4 for 10 minutes.

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