Posts tagged with spicy:

Biryani

Who doesn’t like biryani?? The perfect party-food when everyone has had their fill of turkey!

I have used goat on the bone here. But you could just as easily substitute lamb pieces or even chicken. If it’s off the bone, 1kg should be more than enough.

Thanks to Uday for the recipe! Its taken me about 6 months to get around to making it, but it was worth the wait :-)


Ingredients

  • 2kg goat on the bone (or 1kg lamb pieces)
  • 500g basmati rice, soaked for 30 mins
  • 500g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup natural yoghurt
  • 2 onions, sliced into rings

  • 6 hot green chillies, finely chopped
  • 4 tsp ginger & garlic paste (or equivalent)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 8 small green cardamom
  • 4 large black cardamom
  • 10 cloves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5-10 prunes

  • 1 bunch coriander leaves
  • ½ bunch mint
  • 2 tsp saffron
  • 1-2 lemons
  • 2-3 tomatoes, sliced
  • salt, to taste

Directions

  1. To prepare the spice mix, dry fry the cumin seeds until aromatic. Crush both types of cardamom pod and remove the seeds. In a spice grinder, or pestle and mortar, grind the cardamom and cumin seeds to a powder. Mix with the garlic, ginger, salt, chilli powder, cloves and chopped chillies. Add a little oil to form a paste
  2. Fry the onion rings in oil until lightly brown
  3. Add the spice mix, tomatoes, cinnamon and bay leaves and fry for a few minutes
  4. Add the meat and stir until nicely browned all over. Add a little water if it feels too dry
  5. Stir through the yoghurt and prunes and continue cooking for 5 minutes
  6. Add enough water to cover the meat, reduce the heat and simmer slowly for 2-3 hours, until the meat is tender
  7. The dish can be prepared in advance until this stage. If doing so, cool and refrigerate overnight. Reheat before continuing with the next step
  8. Preheat the oven to 200°C
  9. Drain the rice. Fry it in a little butter before stirring through the saffron and simmer until slightly under-cooked
  10. Remove the meat from the pot with a slotted spoon. If on the bone, it should fall off quite easily at this stage. Pull it off and discard the bones. Reduce the liquid until about 500ml remains
  11. Add the meat and potato back in and simmer until the potato is almost cooked
  12. Once everything is ready, take the biggest casserole dish you have and build up the layers as follows
    • Rice
    • Meat mixure
    • Chopped mint, coriander, tomato slices and a good squeeze of lemon
  13. Repeat until the dish is full, with the top layer being layer 3. Finish with a few thin lemon slices
  14. Bake for 30-45 mins until crispy on top, but still moist inside
  15. Allow to sit for 10 mins before serving

Onion Bhaji & Aloo Bonda

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Thanks a million to Vimi and Rekha for the recipes, they went down a treat when I made them last weekend! I never knew how easy it was to make bhajis! I must experiment with other veg another time. I have to admit though, I left out the fresh coriander when making both recipes. It’s one of those things that some people, including myself, aren’t that keen on. I’ve left it in the ingredients list though, for those who do like coriander

I also deviated from Rekhas recipe and made what we christened “Paddy Bonda” - adding some chopped black pudding to the original recipe (thanks Greg for the suggestion). Definitely not authentic Indian, but it was delicious!! The last photo below is of the experiment


Vimi’s Onion Bhaji

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Ingredients

  • 3 onions, finely sliced
  • 1 cup besan/gram flour
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 3 sprigs fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • pinch asafoetida
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves, finely chopped
  • pinch garam masala
  • salt, to taste

Makes about a dozen

Directions

  1. Mix all the ingredients, except the onion. Season well. Add a little water at a time and stir to form a smooth, lump-free, batter. The consistency should be thick but flowing
  2. Fill a wok or saucepan with oil on a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions to the batter and mix together
  3. Take handfuls of the battered onions and drop into the oil. Flip every few seconds until golden brown. Remove and drain on kitchen paper

Tips

  1. If you add the onions too early, they will “bleed” and water down the batter. So make sure to add them at the last minute, when you have the oil on and you’re ready to cook
  2. If the oil is too hot, the bhajis will cook too quick on the outside, but remain raw on the inside. So keep an eye on them and reduce the temperature a little if needed

Rekha’s Aloo Bonda

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Note that the pic above is of the “Paddy Bonda”. The first pic at the top of this post is of the authentic Aloo Bonda

Ingredients

  • 1 pinch ajwain seeds
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp cashew nuts, chopped
  • 1 pinch chilli powder
  • 1 bunch coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 slice of ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 2 cups besan/gram flour
  • 1 pinch mustard powder
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • salt, to taste
    • Makes 10-12

      Directions

  1. Heat a little oil in a pan, and fry the onion, nuts and spices for a few minutes. Mix with the mashed potato and season well. Form into walnut sized balls
  2. To make the batter add a little water at a time to the gram flour. Stir to form a thick, smooth, batter. The consistency should be thick but flowing
  3. Dip each ball into the batter and fry until golden brown

Chilli Lettuce Parcels

Adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course.
If you prefer, you can just use minced beef, though the combination of pork and beef works best.
Thanks to Liz for passing on the recipe :)


Ingredients

  • 200g minced beef
  • 200g minced pork
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5cm ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 mild red chillies, chopped
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • zest of 1 lime, juice of ½ lime (save the rest for the dressing)
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 little gem lettuces, separated into leaves
For the dressing:
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 mild red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • ½ tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a light main

Directions

  1. Heat a large frying pan and add a little oil. Mix the minced beef and pork in a bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Fry the mince in hot pan for approx 10 mins until the liquid evaporates and the meat starts to brown and crisp. Depending on the size of your pan, you might want to do this in batches. Doing too much at a time will cause the meat to simmer rather than fry, and it wont go crispy. Set aside in a sieve over a bowl to drain
  2. Wipe out the pan and add 1tbsp sesame oil. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli. Fry with a pinch of salt and the sugar for 2 mins. Add back in the drained mince and stir together
  3. Add the fish sauce, lime zest and juice, mixing well. Throw in the scallions and cook for a further minute before turning off the heat
  4. Add all the dressing ingredients to a bowl and stir well to combine
  5. To serve, top the lettuce leaves with a spoon or two of the meat mixture and top with a drizzle of dressing

Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken thankfully isn’t nearly as fattening as the name suggests.
Its often made with a mix of cream and yoghurt, but I’ve just used low-fat natural yoghurt here. It still tastes rich and creamy but without the guilt.
It’s quite a saucy curry, and unusually mild for me, but you can always garnish with some chopped chillies for an extra kick.


Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4 chicken legs, divided into thigh and drumstick (Use thigh fillets or breasts if you prefer and reduce the cooking time accordingly)
  • 2 tbsp ghee or butter
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 400g tin whole plum tomatoes, puréed (or 400g passata)
  • 1-2 tsp sugar
  • ¾ cup plain low-fat yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • toasted almonds, to serve (optional)

Serves 4

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large flame-proof casserole or saucepan. Add the chicken pieces and turn until browned all over. Remove and set aside
  2. Reduce the heat and melt the ghee/butter. Add the garam masala, paprika, coriander, ginger, chilli powder, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods. Mix with the butter and continue stirring for a minute or two until fragrant. Return the chicken to the pan and stir to coat with the spices
  3. Add the tomato and 1 tsp sugar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes (15 mins if using diced meat) or until chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened
  4. Add the yoghurt and lemon. Simmer for a further 5 mins. Taste and add salt or more sugar to taste
  5. Top with toasted almonds (if using) and serve with rice, naan or poppadums

Dhal Bat

Inspired by an article in the Guardian last week on meals that cost less than a fiver
Absolutely delicious, the nicest dhal I’ve ever had!


Ingredients

  • 250g lentils or dhal (I used a mix of moong and urid dhal)
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 whole dried chilli
  • 1 tsp (heaped) cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida
  • ½ small garlic bulb, cloves peeled & thinly sliced
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp salt
  • thumb-size piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped (seeds in or out, according to taste)
  • 2 tsp (heaped) ground coriander
  • 1 tsp (heaped) ground cumin
  • bunch scallions, green parts only. sliced
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree, or a couple of tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • fresh coriander or sliced chillies to serve (optional)

Serves 4

Directions

  1. Boil the lentils or dhal in a pan with 1.5 litres water. Simmer until they’re cooked to your liking (see packet instructions for guidelines on the type you’re using, mine took about 10 mins). If there is an excessive amount of liquid left, pour some out. though you don’t want to drain them completely
  2. Pour the oil into another saucepan and set on a medium/high heat. Once hot (test by dropping in a cumin seed), add in the dried chilli and the cumin seeds. Next add the asafoetida and half the garlic. Allow the garlic to brown a little before adding the onion. Again, give the onion a minute or two to brown
  3. Add the turmeric, salt, ginger, green chilli, ground coriander and ground cumin. If you get hit by a burst of steam, pop on a lid to hold it all in and continue once it’s calmed down again. Allow to cook until the oil seperates from the mixture. If your spices are too dry and starting to stick to the pan, add a small bit of water and deglaze the pan by scraping with a wooden spoon to form a paste again.
  4. Add the tomato (or purée) and sugar. Mix well and stir to dissolve the sugar
  5. Stir the whole lot into the cooked dhal (or vice versa) and mix thoroughly. Add the remaining garlic, scallions and garam masala. Simmer for another 5 minutes on a low heat. Serve garnished with coriander or sliced chillies. Or eat straight from the pot as I did :)