Tag Archives: spice in the city

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!

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What would you feed me…Naina?

  

Welcome to this week’s guest post, coming today from Naina from the wonderful blog Spice in the City. Naina’s blog is packed full of the most amazing photos and recipes, full of colour and flavour, her posts are always a joy to behold. And today’s is no different, Naina has brought me a gorgeous looking and sounding dish…enjoy..

So, over to you, Naina, what would you feed me? 

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So this week, I am playing host, albeit virtually, to a very special person. She is I think the healthiest eater I know! She is completely honest about her food journey and how it has now brought her to a place where she truly enjoys what she eats and how good it makes her feel.

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Isn’t that inspirational? Meet Elaine, who blogs at Foodbod 😀 She makes healthy look oh so good! Nut butters, fabulous dips, goodness bars, beautiful salads… and don’t even get me started on her sourdough breads!! Glorious!

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She loves and eats lots of vegetables, but no meat, no junk food and no refined sugars. She does love her spices though and that makes us soul-sisters, doesn’t it 😀 Elaine runs this series called ‘What would you feed me?’, where she challenges fellow food bloggers to come up with healthy dishes that they would serve her, if she came to dinner.

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When it comes to cooking for Elaine, I know it has to be something extremely flavorful and clean, a dish where you can taste and experience each ingredient that has gone into it. Something fresh, that also looks and tastes wonderful!

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I thought through a lot of vegetarian curries, many of which were prime candidates for the ‘What would I feed Elaine?’ challenge. But knowing Elaine’s love for vegetables, I wanted a dish where the spices don’t overpower the vegetables. Where the veggies shine through, still retain their crunch and are the real stars 😀

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So, drumroll please… I present to you, Elaine, the divine Kerala Ishtu!! All the way from God’s Own Country! Talk about temple food 🙂

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Delicately spiced with whole cloves and cinnamon, freshly crushed peppercorns, with just a hint of turmeric thrown in to impart that golden hue, this ‘Ishtu’ or stew lets the vegetables do all the talking.

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They are quickly stir fried in coconut oil (another favorite of Elaine’s) and then simmered in a couple of minutes in coconut milk. Ginger and curry leaves provide the finishing touches. Clean eating at its best!

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This stew is generally made with only potatoes, but I’ve also eaten some with carrots and green beans in them. When I went to my supermarket yesterday, I found some gorgeous pink radishes, which I thought would work really well in the stew (and they did!)

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Instead of green beans, I added sugar snap peas, which tasted just brilliant here 🙂 I really, really love the flavors in this gorgeous, delicate stew and I hope Elaine will too.

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Ishtu is traditionally served with Rice Appams (the kind that Angie made!), but I bet it will taste scrumptuous with a loaf of Elaine’s beautiful sourdough bread, to mop up all that fragrant sauce 🙂

Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons Coconut Oil

6 Cloves

2 inch stick of Cinnamon

1 large Red Onion, chopped

1 Green Chilli, slit lengthwise

2 inch piece Ginger, finely chopped

2 sprigs Curry Leaves

A Pinch of Turmeric powder

4 medium Carrots, diced into cubes

100 grams Sugar Snap peas, cut into halves

100 grams Radishes, cut into halves

(Feel free to substitute with other vegetables: potatoes, cauliflower, green peas)

200 ml Coconut Milk

½ teaspoon coarsely ground Black Pepper

Salt to taste

Directions:

Heat oil in a heavy bottom large sauce pan on medium heat. 

Add the cloves and cinnamon and fry for a few seconds. 

Add the onions and fry for a few till they soften. 

Now add the green chilli, ginger, 1 sprig curry leaves and turmeric powder. 

Stir well and fry for half a minute to mix the spices well. 

Add by the carrots (if using potatoes, also add at this point). Stir well and fry for 2-3 minutes.

Next add the  add the radishes and sugar snap peas (or other vegetables)  and fry for a further minute. 

Now add a quarter cup of water and season to taste. 

Simmer on a low heat with the lid on for 3-4 minutes until the vegetable have cooked, but still retain a crunch. 

Add the coconut milk and simmer for a further 2 minutes. 

Now add the black pepper and remaining curry leaves. 

Serve warm with appams, rice or bread of your choice.

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Naina, this is a beautiful dish, absolutely full of everything I love: spices, flavour, fresh vegetables, colour, coconut oil…it’s all wonderful. Thank you so very much, and thank you for all of your lovely, kind words xx