Category Archives: Indian

Spiced broccoli stuffed parathas..

 Following on from my previous post, I continued to play with some more broccoli last week, and made these spiced broccoli stuffed breads..they were a huge success, and another great way to get my son to eat vegetables he other would not! 

Before I go any further, can I just make a note here: 

My esteemed Indian food blogging friends make a much better job of putting these breads together than I did, but it worked, so I’m not complaining, they’re just not as pretty as many of yours are! This is what I did as a result of reading your many wonderful recipes.. 

Check out Sonals blog for lots more stuffed flatbread recipes including tutorials on how to make them. 

But before you do that…here’s mine..

 Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole wheat/atta flour 

2 tsp oil (I used rapeseed)

Pinch of salt

Warm water as needed

For the filling:

1 tbsp oil of your choice, I used coconut oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 cup broccoli, chopped into florets

1/2 tsp ginger paste

1/2 tsp garlic paste

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp garam masala or Kitchen King masala (I used the one I made recently)  

 Method 

Boil or steam the broccoli florets as you would normally, without letting them get too soft, then leave them to drain well. I used the tops of the ‘trees’ as much as possible

Once cooled, blend or chop roughly 

Heat the oil in a pan then add the cumin seeds, and when they start to sizzle, as the broccoli and all of the ground spices and cook for a few minutes

Leave this to cool whilst making the dough..

Mix together the flour, oil and salt, and add enough water to bring together a dough. It should be soft and not sticky, knead it for a few minutes, then place it in a covered bowl for 15-20 minutes

To put the breads together, I split the dough into 6 portions, and on a floured surface, rolled them into a ball and rolled them out into as much a round as I could

I then placed a heaped tablespoon of the broccoli mixture in the middle of the dough and brought the dough together around it like a parcel, then rolled the breads out again. 

(I could probably have done with chopping the broccoli mixture up finer as it broke through the dough in lots of places) 

I floured them and placed them on a plate ready to cook

I heated my tawa, you can use a wide flat frying pan, to a medium heat, then placed the bread into the pan.

Once the surface started to bubble, I daubed the top of the bread with rapeseed oil using a pastry brush, then turned it over to cook the other side. I then daubed the new side with some more oil, and once both sides had some healthy brown spots on, I placed them on a kitchen towel and wrapped them up in a tea towel whilst I cooked the rest of the rounds and until we were ready to eat 

  See what I mean..they’re not very round and not very even, but they tasted good! 

I enjoyed these with a special friend that I made lunch for on Friday, along with with a collection of dips that I’d made, plus the leftover salad and broccoli crumb from my previous post. 

 Red pepper and sriracha homous, mutabal with Aleppo chilli flakes, roasted broccoli & garlic homous, homous with my broccoli crumb, chermoula pimped goats cheese and the rest of my toasted broccoli crumb, all sitting pretty on a beautiful olive wood board gifted to me by the lovely Linda from La Petite Paniere, who I was recently extremely lucky to meet up with in London.  

Later that evening I heated the last couple of parathas in the oven and added some cheese to the top to make a quick pizzette and took this very quick photo of it, which has turned out to be the most popular photo I’ve ever posted on Instagram!!! How curious is that?  It was very tasty though! 

Red pepper, mushroom and spinach curry…

 Let me tempt you into a bowl full of colour and health and flavour…I know that this is nothing new for me, that is my aim for every dish I make, but this one does look particularly vibrant doesn’t it? Don’t you feel healthier just looking at it?   

I was inspired to make this after ready Poppy’s recipe for her mushroom and tofu curry in a red pepper sauce – I liked the sound of the of the sauce and the process that she used to make it, so I made my version. I’m not a tofu fan, so I increased the mushrooms, added the spinach at the end, and left out the sweetener. I also used red peppers that I had roasted myself rather than from a jar.

The outcome from a very tasty dish, one which I highly recommend that you try yourself 😀 please do check out Poppy’s blog for more details.  

Spring is definitely in the air here, it is a beautiful spring day here in the middle of the U.K., everything is green and gorgeous, the sun is shining and birds are singing. Bob is loving it, there’s nothing more he loves than just sitting outside in the sun surveying his world..

 

North Indian curry challenge..shahi paneer and gatta curry..

 In February I decided to take part in Lina’s North Indian curry challenge; Lina had put together a list inclduing vegetarian curry dishes for food bloggers to make should they choose to take part…and I did! 

 In fact, I chose two of the dishes, completely new dishes to me, to try making. I chose ‘gatta curry‘ and ‘shahi paneer‘. As you know, I love to cook Indian food, and I make lots of it, but these recipes were new to me, and I do love to learn new recipes and ideas, and I do love a challenge! 

I found recipes online, which I am linking to and fully encourage you to visit if you fancy making these dishes, I have no intention of reprinting their work; I can, however, tell you about the experience and the outcomes.

Firstly, the gatta curry.. 

This is a Rajasthani dish which includes ‘gatta’ or dumplings made from besan/chickpea flour, yoghurt and spices; you create a dough then roll it into cigars and boil them until they float to the top of the water; they are then cut up to be added to the sauce, which also includes yogurt and, of course, more spices..

  I really enjoyed making the dough and dumplings as I have never done so before but have seen similar recipes; it’s quite involved as there’s lots of different ingredients and parts to the recipe, but not difficult at all.
 This dish was very different from anything I have made or eaten before, and I can tell you that the gatta are quite heavy and very filling! And for me to say that is really something, I don’t feel full easily. The best part of the dish as far as I’m concerned, was the sauce.
Onto the shahi paneer.. 

This dish includes chunks of paneer cooked in a lovely cashew nut and tomato gravy. I really enjoyed making this because the recipe includes links to make tomato puree and onion puree, which I happily did, and am grateful that I now have that knowledge for the future. Making the onion puree includes blanching and puree onions and I know I will be doing that again and again, alongside my usual garlic and ginger purées..

I used red onions so my puree turned purple! 

The gravy is the best bit for me – I do like sauces! The basis of the gravy is quite a typical one like many I’ve made before, but this one includes some ground cashews; I’ve seen many Indian dishes utilising ground nuts in their sauces but had not yet tried it out, and again, I will using this practice over and over again. The addition of the cashews made the sauce lovely and rich, and slightly thicker. So good!!!!  

I’m still learning to like paneer, it’s not my favourite I’m afraid, but I will use the sauce recipe and add vegetables in the future. 

I am so glad that I took Lina’s challenge, I really enjoyed trying the different dishes and learning new techniques. I hope that Lina and the other challengers enjoy seeing what I made, especially Parul who is judging the vegetarian dishes. And I hope that everyone at this week’s Fiesta Friday likes the look of my dishes, especially our lovely co hosts, Sonal and Laurie

Happy Weekend! 

Making your recipes..

 Me cooking cauliflower is nothing new, you’ve seen me share many cauliflower recipes, and I roast cauliflower several times a week, but when I saw Lizs post including her pan roasted cauliflower steaks, I knew it would become a new way of cooking cauliflower in my kitchen. I’ve pan cooked cauliflower before, but not as whole ‘steaks’ like this and it was great – and so pretty! 

I enjoyed it with some lovely creamy homous – again, something I make regularly, but this time, I followed Jhuls ‘easy microwave homous’. This was a new method for me to try and involves peeling the chickpeas first, which was fine, except that the tin that I opened held the smallest (and most yellow!) chickpeas I have ever seen!!!! So of course, there was loads of them! But peel them I did..you then microwave them briefly, which shows up just how many skins you’ve missed, and so the peeling continues…

  The method generates a lovely creamy dip and I’m so glad I tried it, and definely recommend it. 

I also served it with sprinkled sumac, toasted flaked almonds and chopped parsley. 

I also made a new spice mix recently; I follow Tanvee on Instagram and her lovely blog, and she told me about Kitchen King Masala, a spice mix used widely in India. You know me, I always like a new spice mix, and I loved making this one too..

 All ready to toast..

I ground this all up and have been using it ever since 🙂 

I have also made the Cajun spice mix from Mollies blog, which the blogs have liked on their chicken and in their quesadillas. And Andreas honey chipotle chicken, another winner with the boys – and eaten far too quickly for me to photograph. Trupti’s spinach dal was also very tasty – but again, no photo, sorry!! Visit Trupti’s blog for the details. 

And finally…more stuffed baby aubergines, this time following Prachi’s recipe..I experimented with purple baby aubergines and little green round Thai aubergines.. 

 Going in

  

 Coming out (they never look as pretty but they sure taste good!) 

 Such great flavours 🙂  

Pictured here with some of an aubergine quinoa bake I recently devised (more about soon). 

I do love making so many of your recipes – thank you for the inspiration x 

My homemade curry paste and aubergine bhaji..

Today I’d like to share my recent concoction with you, a lovely spiced aubergine dish that I threw together recently; packed full of fresh vegetables and spices, it’s full of goodness as well as flavour..
I’ve recently been filling jars with my own ginger paste and garlic paste by blending up fresh peeled and chopped ginger and the same with bulbs and bulbs of garlic, so that I’ve got it readily to hand. I’ve also created a jar of ginger-garlic-chilli paste by mixing them up with a few fresh small green chillies – again, so useful to have ready to go! And whilst I’ve been at it, I put together a ‘curry paste’ full of basic flavours ready to add to any Indian dish, including this aubergine bhaji. 

Ingredients 

Curry paste:

Garlic – 3 bulbs, all cloves peeled 

Ginger – a good hand sized piece of fresh garlic, peeled 

Green chillies – 3 small, stalk removed (add more for your taste) 

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Ground cumin – 2 tsp

Ground coriander – 2tsp 

Blend it all together and store in a well sealed jar in the fridge. This can form a good base or starting point for any curry. 

 Aubergine bhaji: 

2 tbsp oil of your choice, I used coconut oil

1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds 

2 medium red onions, peeled and roughly chopped

2 medium aubergines, cut into chunks

2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped 

2 tbsp curry paste (above)

2 tbsp tomato puree

1/2 tsp amchoor powder (dried mango powder) 

Method

Heat the coconut oil in a large pan over a medium heat and add the mustard seeds

As the seeds start to sizzle and before they start popping everything, add the chopped onions; cook for 10-15 minutes until nicely browned; it’s worth the time and effort to get the onions really tasty 

Add 2 tablespoons of curry paste and cook for a few minutes to cook off the rawness; you may need to add a splash of water to loosen the mixture from the base of the pan 

Add the tomato puree and stir through, then add the aubergine chunks and the tomatoes and cook it all until everything is soft and cooked through; you may need to add some water if it seems too dry

Towards the end add the amchoor powder for a slight shot of sourness, you can use lemon juice as an alternative 

Enjoy! 

NOTE: you can add more spice or heat to this dish based on your taste 

I ate this over several days, some with quinoa, some with added toasted pumpkin seeds for a crunch, some on its own. For me it’s a main course dish, but for you it might be a good side dish? 

And now you also have some curry paste ready to hand in your fridge 🙂

  I’m bringing my aubergine bhaji to this week’s Fiesta Friday, co hosted this week by the lovely Josette and Lily

I’m also sharing the dish with everyone at Throwback Thursday with Alli, Quinn, Meaghan, Mollie and Carlee,  and Cook Once Eat Twice with Corina – this is a perfect dish to cook a huge pot of and eat over several days. It just gets better! 

All of the spices are from Spice Kitchen UK, all of the fresh produce is from my local market, and all of the inspiration is from lots of YOU 🙂 thank you xx

Stuffed baby aubergines..

I have read and drooled over so many recipes for stuffed baby aubergines, so many of my fellow bloggers have made them and posted them, and every time I’ve wished I could reach in and eat them off the screen. I’ve wanted to try them for so long but have had a little nagging fear that they might be difficult to make…! If not difficult, then maybe fiddly?! 

Last week it was time to jump into the breach and give it a go…the only issue being, which recipe to choose???

There’s recipes from PrachiShailja, Naina, Chitra, Sonal and this one that I came across, to name a few (apologies for those I missed, I tried to remember everyone’s!) and the majority of them feature the stuffing including peanuts, coconut and spices. 

Basically, you make the stuffing part of the recipe, which creates a paste; cut into the baby aubergines, but not all the way through; then ‘stuff’ them with the paste…

  You’d think the stuffing would fall out, but it doesn’t. You’d also think that it’s fiddly work, and it is a bit, but it’s not as fiddly as I thought it was going to be.   

You can pretty much prise open the baby aubergine, spoon some of the paste, then squeeze it into the cracks..that will make more sense if you try it out! 

Once they’re all filled, you microwave the stuffed aubergines for a few minutes, then cook them. I chose to roast mine, rather than pan cook. Some of the recipes include a sauce and some don’t; this one did..

  Not so pretty once they cooked maybe, but…OMG! They taste so good!!!!!! Why did I wait so long to make them?!

And even better the next day 🙂

One recipe stood out as slightly different from the rest, which was Sonal’s recipe; Sonals is a Punjabi version of stuffed baby aubergines passed down to her by her Mother. 

 In Sonal’s recipe, the stuffing is made of simply onion blended with spices to make the stuffing paste, hence the colour difference. 

I roasted these again, drizzled with a little oil..

  
It tasted equally good thing, and again was even better the next day. Where there was extra stuffing that cooked in the bottom of the pot it was good just on its own. 

I will definitely be making more stuffed baby aubergines, I plan to work through everyone’s recipes with their slight variations, and probably stuff anything else that I think might work too. 

So, the moral of the story is: get stuffing!!! It’s worth it 🙂  

  (The beauty of the stalks is that you can just pick them up and snack on them like lollies!!) 

(Yes…I did!) 

PS warning..more aubergine recipes are on their way…it’s been an aubergine party in my kitchen recently! 

Saag with quinoa and coriander chutney..

 Welcome to Friday and to this week’s Fiesta Friday – please read this week’s post, join the party and put your name down to co host, just like Margy and Su are this week 😉 

For me, I am bringing along one of my lovely lunches from this week, a dish that also provided two more meals on the following days – and only got better each day. I do love leftovers, I love how the flavours develop as time goes on and I love throwing a selection of things together.  

This is based on Whitney’s saag recipe, an Indian dish packed with spinach, kale, garlic, ginger and spices, and I added yoghurt instead of cream. Once all made, I added some cooked quinoa and additional water to create a this protein packed dish, full of goodness..

I also added a coriander chutney to eat with it, I always like an added dip/sauce of some kind.. 

  The chutney is a blend of..

Fresh coriander, stalks and leaves 

Garlic

Fresh ginger

Green chillies 

Ground cumin

Salt 

Plain Greek yoghurt

This also lasted well and went with lots of other things I ate this week. 

How good does that look?? Who says eating healthy, tasty, vegetarian food has to be boring? Not in this house 😉 

Can I say it….I love my own food!!! 🙂 

I must tell you about the quinoa that I have been using recently, its from a company called Hodmedods who farm British grown quinoa. It’s a lovely product, it’s has a great flavour and cooks well with my method. And all of the spices and the ‘dubba’ spice tin is from the lovely Spice Kitchen UK. (I am not being paid to tell you about these products, I just like sharing.)

Have a great weekend x 

My lunch feast: a royal dal, with ‘churma’ crumb, peanut butter chutney, and red onion & tomato curry..

  

 A couple of weeks ago, Naina brought a wonderful selection of dishes to Fiesta Friday, it consisted of several Rajasthani dishes, including a mixed lentil dal and ‘churma’, a crumb for sprinkling over the dal, almost like an Indian dukkah…check it out, it all looked beautiful…

A ROYAL REPAST: DAL BAATI CHURMA: a heavenly dish with three delectable elements from the princely state of Rajasthan, India!

Of course, it piqued my interest greatly, so I made the dal and churma this week for lunch with my lovely friend, and added a peanut butter chutney, and my own version of a gravy, plus some roasted cauliflower.  

   I’d like to share a few notes on the dishes of Naina’s that I made, as well as sharing the recipes for my ‘gravy’ and the peanut butter chutney. 

 I followed Naina’s recipe completely for the dal..

  For the churma, I did make a couple of changes..the recipe calls for ghee, which I replaced with coconut oil. The recipe also calls for sugar added to the crumb which I replaced with some ground cinnamon and a sprinkle of salt to make a savoury version which is more to my taste.  

 
  The peanut butter chutney was inspired by Mallika Basu, a food writer that I follow on Instagram. She posted a quick peanut butter chutney which I based mine on, but it then grew..basically, I started adding more things! So this is how it began…

  ..but I translated teaspoons to tablespoons and made a bigger serving, plus I added garlic paste and some chilli powder. 
It was so good over the cauliflower, in fact, I’m discovering it’s good over anything. 

  And finally, my gravy. I probably didn’t really need another dish, but I wanted some kind of sauce, plus I made enough to eat it for several more days which I always like. I do like to open my fridge and see a range of things that I’ve made that I can select from during the week. 
  Ingredients 

2 tbsp Coconut oil

2 tsp Mustard seeds

2 tsp Cumin seeds

4 Cardamom pods

1 Cinnamon stick

1 Dried red chilli

4 small red onions, peeled and finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped 

1 tbsp Ginger paste

1 tbsp of my curry paste (garlic, ginger, green chillies, turmeric, cumin, coriander – more details soon) 

2 tsp Ground cumin & coriander 

1 tsp Turmeric

1/2 tsp Chilli powder

680g Passata + 1/2 cup water

1/2 tsp Amchoor powder 

 Method

Melt the coconut oil in a large pan over a medium heat.

Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon & dried chilli. 

When the seeds start to sizzle, add the chopped red onions and cook over a medium/low heat for 10-15 minutes.

Add the garlic, ginger paste and curry paste and cook for 1-2 minutes. 

Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli powder and cook for a minute, then add the passata and water and cook over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes. 

Finally add the amchoor powder, stir through and cook for a further few minutes. 

Eat on its own or add your choice of vegetables and/or chicken. Or, like I did, throw over some of the leftover churma and enjoy.. 

 I hope my Fiesta Friday family will enjoy my lunch feast, join in the fun with Mila and Hilda and share your dishes 🙂 

Have a great weekend!

Making your recipes..

You know I love to make lots of your recipes, I don’t believe in just commenting and then forgetting all about it, I love to go back and make as many as I can..there’s so many fantastic dishes in all of your blogs, it’s impossible NOT to be inspired! 

So this month I’ve made a few different things inspired by you all, including these.. 

This dish was something completely new and completely fabulous! This is ‘kadhi’ a yoghurt curry, it made with yogurt, chickpea flour and spices (including lots of kick ass turmeric! Great for the cold season) and creates a lovely sauce. In Whitney’s recipe she serves it with potato pakoras, I ate mine with roasted chunks of aubergine. It was great day one, and even better the next day!

Check it out: PUNJABI KADHI | YOGURT CURRY WITH POTATO PAKORA
 This is an Indian dish, made with mung beans, or green gram; for some reason my dish above looks a bit dry but I promise it wasn’t, and it was really tasty. The recipe is from Anjana: GREEN GRAM CURRY {KERALA CHERUPAYAR CURRY}. The Mung beans are really tasty and really easy to cook, I highly recommended trying them. 

This bread is an Algerian bread called ‘khobz tajine’. It is a bread made of fine semolina, yeast and nigella seeds, and cooked in a pan over a medium heat of the hob/stove. It’s a recipe from the lovely Linda from La Petite Paniere, a lovely lady and amazing cook. You really have to check out the wonderful food she makes, especially the pastries and breads! 

Serious food porn! 

I’ve wanted to make ‘pav bhaji’ (pronounced pao bhaji) for a while having seen recipes from many food blogs, including Sonal and Anjana, and my version above was an amalgamation of them all. 

Pav bhaji is Indian street food, and the spiced mashed vegetable curry is typically made with lots of butter, and eaten with sweet bread rolls. I made mine with lots of coconut oil instead of the butter, I used a mixture of cauliflower, white potatoes, sweet potatoes and peas, and ate it with the lovely Algerian bread above.   And doesn’t it all look gorgeous on my new hand thrown crockery from the wonderful Sytch Farm Studios. I am so in love with Gill’s work, she’s an amazing potter, and I am honoured to have some of her pieces in my home. 

I hope I’ve provided you with some lovely inspiration! Have a great week 🙂 

My butternut squash vegetable bhaji..

 I do love a bowl of beautifully spiced gorgeous vegetables, and recently I’ve become more and more adept at throwing together my own dishes based on all of the Indian recipes that I’ve made and read and eaten, so this was one of my recent creations..having been overwhelmed and a bit scared of recipes with great long lists of spices in the past, I now find that I absolutely relish them; I just love knowing that I’m adding so much flavour and goodness, and I love knowing what I’m doing! 

Before I start cooking, I open my spice racks and get out everything I need or fancy adding, and then I collect all of the other ingredients I propose to use and have them all on the counter ready to go. That way there’s no darting around the kitchen grabbing stuff as I go along. I’ve learnt the hard way with that one! 

So, here is my spiced butternut squash, which I ate on its own, with quinoa and even on a slice of sourdough!  

  My recipe..

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped into chunks

2 medium tomatoes, chopped 

2 red onions, peeled and chopped

6 shallots, peeled and chopped

5 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp garam masala

2 tsp nigella seeds

2 tsp brown mustard seeds

4 brown cardamom pods

A few curry leaves 

2 tbsp coconut oil 

Note: feel free to use all red onion or all shallots; use your choice of oil; add some chilli powder or cayenne pepper if you like some additional heat. 

   
Method

Heat a large pan over a medium heat and add the coconut oil, once is has become liquid, add the mustard seeds and cardamom pods

Cook for a minute or so until the mustard seeds start to sizzle, but before they start to pop and fire all over the hob/stove (as I did recently!) 

Add the red onions and shallots and cook on a low/medium heat for 20-25 minutes until soft and caremalising, stirring every so often

Add the chopped garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes

Add the turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger and garam masala and cook for a minute, then put in a splash of water to loosen the spices from the pot 

Add the butternut squash and tomatoes and onion seeds, stir well, and cook until the squash is soft. Add little amounts of water as you go along to stop the mixture from burning and sticking to the pan, and to cook the squash.

Towards the end, thrown in the curry leaves and cook for a few more minutes. And serve on its own, as a side dish, or however you fancy. 

Or…then leave it to sit for a day and reheat and eat the next day. I think that most dishes with spices taste even better if you give them time to develop their flavours more.  

  Healthy, tasty food, full of the goodness of vegetables and the wonderful powers of the spices – all so good for you 🙂 

  All of my spices are from Spice Kitchen UK, they are such lovely quality, and the pack sizes are perfect. (I have not been asked or paid to tell you this, I just like to share great producers and I love this company and their ethos, as well as their spices!) 

Enjoy!