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Archive for the ‘Indian’ Category

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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Turkey & parsnip curry

A regular post-Christmas dish in our house. It’s a bit Bridget Jones but really tasty and fairly light and healthy too. Just what you need if you’ve been on the mince pies 😉

Wine Suggestion: We love a nice Alsace Pinot Gris with this which is rich enough to stand up to the flavours and also contributes it’s own spices and freshness. We had an older Marcel Deiss Pinot Gris which was found in the cellar and it was deliciously complex, but an easier, younger wine would be good too.

Turkey & Parsnip Curry – serves 4

  • 2tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 500g parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 5 tbsp Madras curry paste (we like Patak’s)
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 500g cooked turkey, torn into chunks
  • handful of chopped coriander, to serve
  • 150g natural yoghurt, to serve
  • cooked basmati rice, to serve

Heat the oil in a saucepan, then fry the onions gently for about 10 minutes or until softened and lightly coloured. Stir in the parsnips.

Stir in the curry paste, then add the tin of tomatoes with a little salt. Add 1½ tinfuls of water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the parsnips are just tender.

Stir in the turkey, then cover the pan and cook for another 5 minutes to heat through.

Serve over steamed basmati rice with some yoghurt on the side and coriander on the top.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine, January 2003.)

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Butter chicken

Not an authentic recipe by any means but really tasty and much healthier than anything available in the local take-away. We have also made this with leftover cooked chicken with good results.

Wine Suggestion: We want to like wine with curry but most times we prefer something cool and bubbly – like beer! With this we had a bottle of Cooper’s Original Pale Ale to remind us of recent travels in Australia.

Butter Chicken Curry – serves 4

  • 500g skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • a thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • ½ a lemon, juiced
  • 35g butter
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • curry paste (we used half a jar of Patak’s Madras which is quite spicy but use what you like)
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 175ml full-fat natural yoghurt
  • 150ml chicken stock
  • coriander leaves
  • cooked basmati rice, to serve

Toss the chicken pieces with the turmeric, ginger, garlic, lemon juice and ½ tsp salt. Heat the butter in a large wide pan, then cook the onion for about 10 minutes or until soft and golden. Add the curry paste and tomato purée and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the chicken and cook until opaque (if using cooked chicken just heat through).

Mix the almonds and yoghurt together in a bowl then stir into the curry and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the stock and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Scatter over the coriander and serve with the rice.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, April, 2017.)

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Coconut fish curry

We love to serve a fish curry alongside other Indian dishes to serve a crowd. Try this with some chicken tikka, mint & yoghurt chutney, cinnamon lamb curry, steamed basmati rice & some naan bread from the takeaway. Also great on its own with rice of course.

Coconut Fish Curry (Fish moilee) – serves 4

  • 5 cm piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 green chilli, roughly chopped (deseed if you don’t want too much heat)
  • salt
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil/rapeseed oil
  • 20 fresh curry leaves (optional but handy to buy fresh, then keep in the freezer for dishes like this)
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 big ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • ¾ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 300ml coconut milk
  • 4 white fish fillets e.g. hake, haddock or cod (we use hake as it’s cheaper)
  • 1 lime, quartered

Put the ginger, garlic,  green chilli and a pinch of salt in a pestle & mortar and bash until you have a paste.

Put the oil into a wide, shallow pan over a medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the curry leaves, followed by the onions and cook for 8-10 minutes or until pale gold. Add the ginger, garlic & chilli paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 1½ tsp salt, the turmeric & chilli powder. Cover the pan and cook for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, dilute the coconut milk with 100ml of water and add to the pan. When the milk begins to bubble, add the fish, then turn the heat down, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

Serve with a squeeze of lime and rice on the side.

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

 

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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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