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Posts tagged ‘Indian’

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

Home made Indian food

Indian is one of my favourite cuisines, and I don’t know how I have managed to blog so far without posting anything about Indian.

Today I made a mushroom bhajee. I wanted something to go with a home made curry in the week, and I usually make a vegetable mix of spicy cauliflower and potatoes, but I fancied mushrooms and was thinking of how I could reproduce the lovely buttery mushroom bhajee from UK takeaways that I know and love. My Indian friends will be laughing at me now, wondering why I need to have veg to go with my curry – they tend to have meat curry and rice or veg curry and rice, and think it strange that I want to have meat curry with a veggie side and rice. It’s just what I am used to though – my idea of a balanced meal is some meat, some veg and some carbs.

Because I love indian food so much, there are some basic things that I have in my house: 1. A Braun multiquick blender – ideal for whizzing up curry pastes 2. A cheap coffee grinder which has never seen a coffee bean – freshly ground spices are so much better than pre-ground. If you get used to grinding your own spices, you will be making your own curry powders and garam masala, and you will love the aroma. 3. A supply of green masala paste in the fridge – this paste is so versatile, I use it to make everything from curries to veggies, and you can even mix it in with basics like beans on toast and scrambled eggs to give them a touch of spice 4. A pot of dhania/jeera – this is coriander and cumin in a nice proportion, roasted, ground and ready to use 5. Good curry books like Madhur Jaffrey recipes and Ramola Parbhoo’s ‘Traditional Indian Cooking’. 6. Plastic pots with snap-on lids to keep your spices in – spices degrade quickly in non-air tight containers, and I love the plastic ones – I just write the name of the spice on them in marker pen, and wash the writing off when the pot is used up.

Here are the recipes for the green masala paste, the dhania/jeera and the mushroom bhajee.

There will be more Indian recipes to come – this is just to get you started.

Green Masala Paste

100g green chillies stalk removed – you can remove some of the seeds if you are a ‘lightweight’

40g garlic peeled

50g fresh root ginger, peeled

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

1 teaspoon salt

a pinch of turmeric

Blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor (I use my Braun multiquick) until you have a lovely green paste – doesn’t it smell good ? Transfer it to a suitable size jar or tub, press it down a little so that the surface is even, and pour a little oil on top. Store in the fridge.

Dhania/Jeera

65g coriander seeds (dhania)

35g cumin seeds (jeera)

Learn the indian names of spices – it helps when you are in the indian supermarket.

Gently roast the spices in a dry frypan over a low heat for 2 minutes. You should smell the aroma. Transfer them to a coffee grinder and grind them until you have a medium coarse mixture. Store in an airtight container.

Mushroom Bhajee

500g mushrooms (I use the white round mushrooms, but you can use any)

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds (Rai)

1 teaspoon cumin seeds (Jeera)

2 large teaspoons green masala paste

1 tablespoon dhania/jeera powder (see above)

1 onion chopped medium fine (however you like it)

2 tomatoes chopped and peeled (optional)

1 teaspoon turmeric (Haldi)

2 tablespoons butter (optional)

oil such as sunflower, peanut

1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped

1. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan, and add the black mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Fry quickly for a minute or two – they will crackle, and this initial spice/oil mixture is called a ‘vagaar’.

2. Fry the onions in the vagaar, until they begin to soften slightly, then add the green masala paste, dhania/jeera and turmeric.

3. Now add the mushrooms and mix well to coat them with spices. Put a lid on the pan.

4. After approx 5 minutes, add the tomatoes (if using), butter, stir in the coriander leaves and cook on low for a further 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft.

5. Taste, and add salt, pepper and a sprinkle of garam masala if needed. There should be enough to serve 4 people as a side dish.

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