It Just Has To Be Delicious

Posts tagged ‘Indian’

Bombay Talkies, Whitfords

Bombay Talkies is a cosy eatery in the recently refurbished Whitfords mall cinema area.

We popped in for a light bite following a film, and we received a warm greeting from the staff. The menu is designed so that you can have as much or as little as you like, and includes Indian street favourites like pani puri, kati rolls and sheekh kebabs as well as curries and biryani.

We started with some poppadoms and mint sauce – they were crispy, fresh and good.

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I decided to have a chicken biryani, which was plentiful, and came with a curry sauce. I couldn’t eat all of it and the waiter kindly packed up the leftovers for my work lunch the next day.

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My partner chose a tarka dhal and rice. He loved every mouthful – a nice fresh dhal with plenty of lentils, a nice coriander taste, and a little heat from the chillies. Rice was fluffy ans separate – everything you would expect from good rice.

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I was very impressed and would be happy to go back to try another meal. This is definitely one of the best restaurants in the Whitfords strip. They are also on Uber Eats, so if you fancy a curry in a hurry – Bombay Talkies could be your best bet.

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Bhuna Sauce

I made an epic prawn bhuna the other day and I’ve had a few people asking me for the recipe, so here it is.

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I make mine dairy free, so I use coconut yoghurt or coconut cream instead of usual yoghurt, but if you don’t mind dairy, feel free to use lovely thick Greek yoghurt. I also use fresh tomatoes because the produce here in Perth is outstanding, but feel free to use tinned tomatoes if you wish.

This is how I skin and prepare my tomatoes – it’s quick and easy and by the time you have chopped your onions and garlic, the tomatoes will be ready to peel. I boil the kettle, and with a sharp knife I cut a shallow cross in the top where the stem was and again on the opposite side. Then I place them in  bowl of boiling hot water for about 5-6 minutes.

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Be careful when you remove them because they’ll be hot. The skin should come away easily just by rubbing it slightly, if it doesn’t then they need a bit longer.

20181028_083338.jpg I also remove any thick inner stem and the fibrous part where it attached to the plant. For this recipe I also remove most of the watery seedy part so that the final product is chunks of skinless tomato flesh.

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This recipe is enough to serve 6 people, you can also freeze portions of sauce to use later then you can add fresh chicken or prawns on the day that you serve it.

You need:

a quarter of a teaspoon each of:
coriander seeds
cumin seeds
fennel seeds
black mustard seeds

2 onions (chop one and a half of them and puree the other half in a blender)
2 teaspoons of garlic (either crushed or pureed with the onion puree above)
2 teaspoons of fresh grated ginger (or from a tube if that’s more convenient)
4 large ripe tomatoes
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
2 teaspoons of chilli paste (or 1 teaspoon of chilli powder)
4 teaspoons of medium curry powder (I use Clive of India but choose your favourite brand or make your own)
300mls of chicken or vegetable stock
2 generous heaped dessertspoons of Greek yoghurt or coconut yoghurt or approx (150-200ml coconut cream)
4 tablespoons of tomato puree
2 teaspoons of garam masala
oil – vegetable, groundnut or something else with a mild or no flavour
salt and pepper

  1. Get everything chopped, pureed and ready.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large pan and add the whole seeds.20181028_08505320181028_085505
  3. Once you hear them pop and crackle, add the onions, ginger, and garlic and stir to coat them in the spicy mixture.20181028_085635
  4. Once the onions start to soften, add the turmeric, chilli, and curry powder.20181028_085927
  5. Give everything a good stir, cook for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes and tomato puree.20181028_092055
  6. Cover and cook for approximately 10 – 15 minutes then stir in the yoghurt and the garam masala. The garam masala will make the sauce take on a brown colour. Once the tomatoes and onions are soft and a bit mushy, turn the heat off and leave the sauce covered to cool down in the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. If it’s too spicy, add a little sugar to balance the spices. Freeze in appropriate portion sizes.
  7. If using the same day, reheat the sauce and add the protein of your choice e.g. raw prawns, chicken, lamb, veggies and cook until the meat or veggies are cooked through. I used lovely fresh large raw jumbo tiger prawns and they were delicious.
  8. Bhuna tends to be quite a dry curry, so use as much sauce as you like that suits your needs. I prefer more gravy so I tend to be quite generous with the sauce. If you reheat it uncovered, you can reduce the sauce if you prefer a thicker, richer flavour.

 

Kabalason, Joondalup

Kabalason Indian Cafe & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We popped into Kabalason one evening on a whim. The last time we dined here was many years ago and we ate thali which was nice, but not amazing. I remember the flavours as being very strong and the spices a bit raw. Anyway, that was ages ago and last time we walked past Kabalason there were many people dining and we felt that it was worth another try.

We were quite early, and there was one other diner. A buffet was laid out under heat lamps, but our experience of buffet food is not good, so we decided to eat a la carte. The waitress did try to persuade us to have buffet ($24.50) but we wanted something freshly cooked and relatively light.

We chose chicken tikka, seekh kebab, cauliflower capsicum masala curry and two garlic naans.

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The tikka was served with a limp looking salad and a mint yoghurt sauce. The meat was a bit tough and didn’t taste as if it had been freshly cooked. It tasted more like a part cooked tikka that had been warmed up, the flavour was okay, but the mouthfeel was dense and I have had much better tikkas.

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The seekh kebab was better than the tikka, but again served with a limp salad that we didn’t touch. I suspect that the salad had been made up quite some time earlier and left in the fridge. The meat was nicely spiced, and a bit on the salty side, but a nice flavoured kebab.

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The cauliflower capsicum masala started off okay, but as I ate more of it I found it quite strongly spiced, and the spices had a raw edge to them as if they had not been cooked through. One of the secrets of a great curry is to cook it long and slow so that the spices really get a chance to develop and lose their hot rawness. The first few spoonfuls were okay, but as I ate more, I found it salty, hot and overbearing and I left most of it.

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The garlic naans were nicely flavoured but variable in texture. One was soft and a little doughy, but the better of the two. The other one was quite crisp and stiff, so I couldn’t wrap my curry in it.

So will I go back to Kabalason ? Probably not. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that they make a lot of food in advance for the buffet and then just reheat as required. Other than the naan nothing tasted really fresh and bright, and the constant throat-clearing and sneezing coming from the kitchen was quite off-putting. We spent over $60 on a very average meal.

Shehnai, Ocean Reef

Shehnai Tandoori Indian Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I haven’t been to Shehnai for over 3 years. It used to be our favourite local Indian restaurant, but we had a few lacklustre meals there, and just stopped going.

Today we decided to give it another try and were delighted to find that the food was good. The restaurant was full and everybody seemed to be a local regular. The wait staff were really friendly too and very helpful.

We just chose pappadoms and pickles for a starter, deciding to save ourselves for the mains.

First up was Chicken Korma, this used to be a favourite, and did not disappoint. Very rich, slightly sweet, with huge chunks of chicken and a nice coconut base, we made sure that we ate every last drop from the bowl.

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The pilao rice was light and fluffy and perfectly separated.

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Prawn Bombay had a rich tomato flavour and was brimming with juicy fat king prawns. A lovely succulent dish, beautifully spiced.

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We also chose a garlic naan – light slightly crispy at the edges and well flavoured with just a hint of garlic that wasn’t too overpowering.

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After all of that we were very full and didn’t have room for dessert. Whatever happened to Shehnai a few years back has now passed, and they are back in the game as one of the best Indian restaurants in the Northern suburbs. Highly recommended.

 

Mustard – High Street, Hornchurch

Mustard Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I paid my second visit to Mustard tonight, having first tried this restaurant with friends a few years ago, and remembering that the previous meal was quite nice.

The menu has all of the standard UK curry fare along with some very nice sounding chefs specials, however tonight I wanted a standard curry fix, so I chose something that I knew would satisfy.

The restaurant is modern and stylish – no flocked wallpaper or moving light pictures – the lighting is subtle, pictures modern, and general ambience is clean and minimal with wooden floors.

We chose some pappadoms to start a mixture of plain and spicy, and they were accompanied by mango chutney, yoghurt sauce, onion salad and tomato onion relish. All were really nice.

We didn’t go overboard with mains, I chose a king prawn dopiaza and my companion chose a chicken jalferezi. We asked for aloo peas as a side dish (not on the menu) and the chef happily provided this. Then a pilau rice each – the rice being lovely, fluffy and separate.

King Prawn Dopiaza

King Prawn Dopiaza

Chicken Jalferezi

Chicken Jalferezi

Aloo Peas bhajee

Aloo Peas bhajee

The Chicken Jalferezi was made with chicken tikka and a lovely gravy which was spicy but not overly hot. The King Prawn Dopiaza was full of juicy prawn meat, onions and capsicum in a plentiful medium heat gravy. The Aloo Peas was nicely spiced and delicious.

We cleared our plates ! A perfect amount of food to fulfil our curry craving, very nicely presented with good service. Everything was tasty and as expected. Lovely food, and I will return.

Rajmoni Indian Restaurant, Brentwood Essex

Having not had a good old British curry for ages, I carefully read reviews of Indian restaurants local to Brentwood and plumped for Rajmoni in Warley Hill. It seemed to be a local favourite.

Chutney Tray

Chutney Tray

We were made very welcome and the restaurant was moderately busy for a Monday night. The first thing that made me go ‘ooh’ was the chutney tray. Chutney trays are a rarity in Perth and this made me very nostalgic with its quartet of mango chutney, tomato chutney, mint sauce and onion salad. Perfect with pappadoms.

Pappadoms

Pappadoms

Cobra Beer

Cobra Beer

I also had a Cobra Beer – such a nice refreshing accompaniment to a curry.

King Prawn Dhansak

King Prawn Dhansak

I chose King Prawn dhansak – which had just the right amount of sweetness, a hint of lemon sourness, enough lentils to add texture (I really object to dhansaks with just a runny sauce containing a few lentils), and chilli heat. The key to getting the heat correct is to cook all of the spices thoroughly so that they don’t taste raw, and hot curries often benefit from a day in the fridge to mellow the spices. If a curry is gauged correctly it can still be quite hot but comfortably edible, and Rajmoni managed to get the combination just right.

Chicken Madras

Chicken Madras

My companion chose chicken madras which was tasty and nicely spiced. It was also nice to have two curries with very different sauces – with Indian restaurant batch cooking, you can sometimes find that all of the curries end up with the same sauce.

Aloo Peas

Aloo Peas

I asked for Aloo Peas (peas and potato) which wasn’t on the menu, but the staff were happy to prepare it for me. Again a delicious side dish, nicely prepared. (Indian side dishes are a rarity in Australia, so again this is something which I miss about UK curries).

Keema Naan

Keema Naan

Pilau Rice

Pilau Rice

Accompaniments were a keema naan (naan stuffed with minced lamb) and  fluffy pilau rice.

What a nice meal, my UK curry fix was complete and it was everything that I wanted it to be. I would definitely recommend Rajmoni and will be revisiting next time I am in the UK.

India Cottage Clarkson

It’s not easy to find a nice curry restaurant in Perth. My personal favourite has always been Shehnai in Ocean Reef, and I have tried lots of recommended restaurants in Perth City but tend to find that they are either bland or the spices are too raw due to undercooking. India Cottage in Clarkson is a pleasant surprise – the curries similar to the UK style curries. I found the naan was cooked perfectly and each curry that we ordered was individually flavoured (didn’t taste like they were made with the same sauce). The rice portion was huge – a portion for one will serve two people.

The wait staff were also really nice and smiley. I will definitely be paying a return visit.

India Cottage Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Vegetable naan

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Tarka dhal

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Prawn jalfrezi

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Chicken dhansak

Veggie samosas

Veggie samosas

Naan bread

Yesterday I was chatting with my work colleagues who were drooling over the thought of a curry, and I mentioned that I cook my naans on the barbecue. When you think about it, it’s an ideal substitute to a tandoor, you can get it very hot, close the lid and cook the naans for a few minutes each side – they puff up really well.

This is the standard naan recipe – if you want to make it more interesting you can mix fresh coriander, into the dough, or fold some cheese in, stuff it with potato or spicy mince (keema), or cook off some minced garlic and mix that through.

Home made naans

Home made naans

Makes 6

yeast mix:

2 teaspoons dried yeast

2 teaspoons caster sugar

150ml lukewarm milk (use soy or rice milk for dairy free version)

Stir the above 3 ingredients together in a small a bowl and leave to froth and dissolve.

450g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

half teaspoon salt (you can also use onion and garlic powder, but if you do this omit the salt)

150ml plain yoghurt (for dairy free version use a tablespoon of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons dairy free spread, or omit the yoghurt completely)

1 egg (lightly beaten)

2 tablespoons oil (vegetable oil is ideal – don’t use a strongly flavoured oil)

1. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl – flour, baking powder, salt.

2. Add the wet ingredients – yeast mixture, egg, yoghurt, oil.

3. Mix together to form a ball of dough. Knead well.

4. Form into a ball, put a few drops of oil in a bowl and roll the dough in the oil, then wrap the bowl in cling film and leave in a warm place for an hour.

5. Knead the dough again and divide into 6 balls.

6. Roll the balls into naan shapes.

7. Cook on a very hot barbecue for a few minutes each side, or on the bars of a very hot oven. If you have a tandoor, of course, cook them in the tandoor. They should puff up nicely.

Indian Mixed Vegetables

This is my general recipe for indian mixed vegetables – it is basically an aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower) recipe which you can adapt to suit your taste and to suit whatever you have in the cupboard.

It helps if you have green masala paste and dhania/jeera spice mix already made up, but don’t worry if not – you can adapt the recipe for a one-off version, but if you find that you are making it regularly, I would advise making up a batch of each to save time.

See my page on home made indian food for instructions on dhania/jeera and green masala.

Aloo gobi

Aloo gobi

Here is the recipe for my aloo gobi, but feel free to change the vegetable content (carrots, broccoli, swede, spinach, capsicum, butter beans etc) – I would recommend always having potato and onion in it, but you can use sweet potato if you prefer. If you like a good variety of veg, you can make it with frozen diced mixed vegetables too.

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2-4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium to large onion – chop half of it finely and the other half quite chunky

1 -2 potatoes (or sweet potatoes) diced

half a cauliflower cut into bite sized pieces

2 ripe tomatoes chopped (skin them too if you are fussy)

2-3 large mushrooms sliced

1 tablespoon of dhania jeera mix (alternatively use a heaped half tablespoon of ground coriander and a heaped quarter tablespoon of ground cumin)

half a tablespoon of ground turmeric

2 teaspoons of green masala (alternatively grate a green chilli, 2cm ginger and 2 cloves garlic)

1-2 teaspoons sugar

half to one teaspoon salt (depending on taste)

a handful of frozen peas

a handful of fresh chopped coriander

Method:

1. Prepare all of the veg.

2. The amount of oil you need can vary depending in how many veggies you have and how watery they are – if you are not using tomatoes or mushrooms, add a little extra oil. Heat the oil in a large pan (use a huge saucepan or wok, but make sure it has a lid).

3. When the oil is hot add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds – fry until they pop and crackle.

4. Now add everything else except the peas and coriander. I find it easier to stir the spices and masala paste into the oil, then add the veggies. You won’t coat them all in spice to start with, leave them to reduce a bit and stir occasionally. Put the lid on throughout the cooking. If the veggies seem to be sticking a bit you can add a splash of water to help steam them, but don’t add too much water.

5. The veggies will take approx 30 minutes depending on how many hard veg you have. Stir them every 5 minutes and test them with a knife. When nearly done, add the frozen peas and coriander and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

6. Serve as a veggie curry on it’s own, or as a side dish, or in Indian bread with yoghurt. Add fresh shopped chilli if you like it hotter. If it’s too hot, add a little extra sugar and stir it in well.

Prawn Puri

Have you ever tried prawn puri as a starter in an indian restaurant ? The puri does not refer to a ‘puree’ i.e. mashed food, but is the name of an indian bread which is flat and lightly fried – also called poori in some regions.

It is remarkably easy to make.

For the puri bread you need 2 1/2 cups of chapatti flour (low gluten atta flour) and one cup of water. Mix them together to form a dough, knead the dough, then wrap it in cling film and leave it in the fridge for at least 2 hours. You can leave it for a few days if you want to make it in advance. Knead it again and divide it into 6 portions. Roll each portion into a round and fry lightly in a frypan which has been lightly greased with some vegetable or peanut oil. If you like them buttery, you can butter the breads while they are still hot.

For the prawn bhuna you need:

½  tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp coriander powder

½  tsp cumin powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp garam masala

1 tsp green masala paste

2 onions

3 tbsp tomato paste

approx 6 large raw prawns per person with shells removed

  1. Blend one onion until mushy. Chop the other one into small pieces and fry it in oil and butter until soft.
  2. Put the dry spices in a large pan and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add half a cup of hot water. Cook to reduce the water by half.
  3. Add the green masala paste, tomato paste and mushy onion to the spice mixture.
  4. Cook for 10- 20 minutes until the’ rawness’ of the onion has dissipated.
  5. If the onions still taste hot, add half a teaspoon of sugar and stir well.
  6. Add the fried onions and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Peel the prawns and rinse them.  Stir the juice of half a lemon (or a whole lime) into the prawns, leave for a while to marinate, then when ready to serve add them to the curry sauce. Stir in some fresh coriander.

To assemble the prawn puri, place a puri on a plate, and spoon prawn bhuna over the top. If you like you can add some minty yoghurt sauce, onion salad or cucumber raitha. I often serve mine with some dhal. You can also serve the curry with chicken or crab instead of prawns.

Prawn Puri

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