Indian evening

 

Yesterday evening I’ve decided to try my abilities with my personal version of a traditional vegetarian dish from the Indian cuisine. I also made the naan bread and the rice. Here you can find the recipes to replicate them at home and enjoy a dinner full of Indian flavour that is good for everyone…not only the vegetarians!

 

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Naan bread

Ingredients for 2

  • 180 gr of white flour
  • 1 tsp of ground coriander
  • 1 garlic clove mashed
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 66 ml lukewarm water
  • 3 tbsp natural yogurt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp black onion seeds
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (you can use the dried leaves but in this case the quantity will be 1 tsp)

Method

Put the flour, salt and ground coriander in a bowl then add the garlic mashed with the opposite tool and the yeast. Mix together. Make a hole in the centre and pour in the honey, water, yogurt and oil. Stir well everything until it starts to leave the sided of the bowl. Move the dough on a lightly floured surface and work it for 10 minutes or until it becomes smooth and elastic. Brush the bowl with some oil and put the dough in it covering everything with a damp tea towel. Leave it to rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours (I usually put it inside the microwave without turning it on).

After 2 hours pre-heat the oven at 220ºC and cover the 2 baking trays with baking paper. Take the dough from the microwave and work it for 5 minutes on a wooden floured surface. Divide it in 2 balls and start to roll the first in a teardrop shape, don’t worry if it isn’t perfect the taste will not change. Move the bread on one of the trays and do the same with the second ball. Remember to make them 8mm thick otherwise it will fall into crumbles when you eat it. Brush both the bread with some vegetable oil, sprinkle the onion seeds and the coriander taking care to press them well in the bread with your fingertips. Bake them in the oven for 5-7 minutes, until puffed up. Serve warm with the curry.

 

I use this recipe for my naan bread no matter which curry I’m cooking because it is quite basic and the flavours are good with everything. I’m encouraging you to prove doing it at home, first of all it is cheaper than a take-away and secondly the pride of presenting food cooked by you is something that no take-away in the world will ever give you.

 

 Aloo Saag Gosht

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Ingredients for the curry paste

  • 2 tsp of ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tsp of ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp of ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp of asafetida
  • 1 tsp of dessiccated coconut (if you are able to find it fresh it would be much better but the dessiccated does the job equally well)
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 red dry chilli
  • 1 thumb size fresh ginger
  • 3 spring onions
  • water if necessary
  • a pinch of salt

Ingredients for the curry

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • a bunch of curry leaves
  • a bunch of kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tsp of caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp of coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 2 potatoes cut into chunks
  • ¼ of a bag of frozen spinach
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 1 tin of coconut milk
  • lukewarm water
  • chopped coriander

Ingredients for the rice

  • ½ cup of basmati rice
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 cardamom seeds
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup of saffron vegetable broth

Method for the paste

Mix everything together in a blender or mixer adding some water if necessary until it becomes the consistency of a paste.

∗ you decide how spicy you’d like it to be adding more chilly. This recipe is for a mild one.

Method for the curry

In a small pan roast the 3 seeds (caraway, mustard and coriander) until they start to pop up then move them in a mortar and pestle them until they resemble a powder. In the meantime heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil and when it is very hot throw in the potatoes. Cook them until they are brown on almost all the sides then remove them and set aside. Add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in the wok, put the curry leaves and the kaffir lime leaves followed by the seeds powder, let them cook for 2 minutes and add the paste. Stir well and add some water if necessary. After 5 minutes add the red onion, mix well and put the frozen spinach (if you have time you can use the fresh spinach. Personally I think that the frozen are perfectly good and easier to use). Keep adding the water if you think that it is too dry. After the spinach are defrosted add the coconut milk, stir well, and finally the potatoes again. Turn down the heat and let it cook for at least 30-45 minutes. When it is ready serve with the naan bread and the rice. Before take it on the table, sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves on top.

Method for the rice

Put the rice in a small pan with the spices and the broth.Remember to open the cardamom seeds and put in the rice only the little black seeds that are inside. If the broth is a leftover and it is cold just add a little bit of hot water and cook until the rice is al dente and has absorbed all the broth. Remove from the hob, take away the spices apart from the cardamom seeds and serve it warm. You will notice that the smell and the taste are so delicious and different from the rice that is in the supermarket…I’m sure you will find yourself wondering why you didn’t cook it at home before?!

 

Notes

You can make more of the paste just doubling the ingredients, when it’s ready put it in an airtight container or a jar in the fridge ready for the next time! Just think how lucky you will be…coming home from work and having a nice portion of curry paste in the fridge for you and your loved ones. You will be able to cook something delicious without any fuss, in a short time and it will taste delicious!!!

If there is some leftover re-heat it the day after with some chickpeas and cauliflower rice. It will still be delicious, maybe better than the original because the flavours had enough time to mix together

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