Tag Archives: indian

Sweet Potato and Pea Samosas

16 Sep

Sweet potato and pea samosas

The ingredients:

1 large sweet potato


Small handful of cashew nuts

Rapeseed oil

1 onion

1 clove garlic

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp garam masala

1 handful fresh chopped coriander

1 tsp chilli powder

1 fresh green chilli

150g plain flour (I made several batches and used doves farm bread flour blend AND Juvela white flour mix)

50 butter (melted)

The recipe:

  1. Score the skin of the potato and cut into large chunks and boil until cooked.  Add the peas for the last few minutes.  When cooked, drain and put the potato and peas into a mixing bowl.
  2. Dice the onion and crush the garlic and add to hot oil in a frying pan.  Sauté until the onion becomes soft and translucent.  Don’t let the onion go brown.  Then add the cumin seeds and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes
  3. Add the onion to the potato in the mixing bowl, along with the coriander, garam masala, chilli powder and fresh chilli.  Mix well.  (You can afford to crush the potato at this point, but make sure you leave some chunks, it’ll make a good combination of textures in the finished product!
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  5. Cover and pop in the fridge for the flavours to blend for up to 2 hours.
  6. Take the plain flour in a new mixing bowl, add 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil and bring together with a fork, adding small amounts of cold water to the flour until it comes together in a dough.  Take care not to add too much water, but if you do, just add a sprinkle more flour to balance it out.  You end up with a dough like this:
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  8. Cover in cling film and pop in into the fridge to rest for 15-30 minutes.
  9. Make a floury paste with a little flour and enough water to make a thick sticky paste (try to avoid making it too lumpy, too thick or too runny)  this will be the “glue” to keep you samosas in shape.
  10. When ready, roll out the dough to about 1mm thickness.  If you find the dough crumbles a bit too easy, just add a tiny splash more water.
  11. Cut the dough into circles the size of a tea plate, then cut in half to make semi circles.  (Top tip: If you are not immediately making the dough into a samosa, cover with a damp cloth or the cling film to keep it from drying out.)
  12. Take a semi circle of dough, imagine cutting it into 3 slices of pizza (but don’t cut!!)  fold the 1st third over the middle third like this:
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  14. Then fold the last third over the centre third, using a little of the flour paste to stick it together.  You should now have a little cone.
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  16. Take a spoonful of the potato samosa filling and gently put it in the cone, taking care not to overfill the cone
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  18. Now add a little more of the flour paste to the top of the cone and push the edges of the cone together to close the samosa
  19. Brush with melted butter and pop in the over at 220 degrees celsius for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown
  20. Serve with chutney as a yummy snack

Lentil Dahl

1 Aug

Lentil Dahl

After a girl at work bought in some dahl for lunch, I just couldn’t get it out my head.  So I picked up some chilies on the way home and this is what I created.  I used a mix of green lentils and puy lentils (because that is what we had in the cupboard), but there is a whole world of knowledge behind the simple dahl.

In Indian, Nepali, Pakistani, Sri Lankan cuisines dahl is the cornerstone, a staple food that varies across the region, across the climates and throughout the seasons.  Yellow split peas are probably the most commonplace, the most well known, and have that recognizable yellow colour (obviously), but dahls can be made from a whole variety of split peas, lentils, beans and chickpeas.

I love a thick creamy dahl, as seen in the hilly and mountainous regions because of its high protein content.  But in the more tropical climates of southern India, you tend to see more watery dahls, to help cope with the dehydration and make a lighter meal.

Having said all this, my approach to dahls, is that almost any split pea or lentil will do.  Feel free to play around with the thickness by adding more water to get make a soup like consistency, or simmering off the excess water to get a thicker, more porridge-like viscosity.

Serves 4

The ingredients:

250g lentils/split peas (I used a mix of green and puy lentils)
1 litre vegetable stock (gluten free)
2 cloves garlic
2cm root ginger
2 tsp turmeric
2 green chilies
50g butter (or you can use ghee (clarified butter) if you have it)
2 small red onions (alternatively you could use shallots)
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp crushed chili flakes
Juice of a lime (optional)
Splash of single cream/natural yoghurt/coconut milk (optional)
Fresh coriander

The recipe:

  1. Wash the lentils/split peas thoroughly until the water runs clear. Put lentils/split peas in a large saucepan and cover with the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and skim off any scum that rises to the surface (you can do this delicately with a ladle).
  2. Peal and crush the garlic, grate the ginger and finely chop the chili and add to the lentils along with the turmeric and a large pinch of salt
  3. Simmer for 40 minutes (or longer if the lentils/split peas require.  Check the packet instructions).  Add extra water/stock if you see the lentils are drying out
  4. Whilst the lentils/split peas are simmering, finely slice the onions
  5. Heat the butter/ghee in a frying pan and add the onions.  Sauté until golden and starting to crisp
  6. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and chili flakes – BEWARE the mustard seeds pop and will jump out of the pan so have a lid to the frying pan to hand to keep the seeds in the pan!
  7. Add the onions and spices to the dahl.
  8. Add a squeeze of lime juice and stir
  9. Add some chopped fresh coriander and a little splash of cream/natural yoghurt/coconut milk (to taste – this will also help tame the spice if you find this too hot) and serve with basmati rice (or gluten free naan bread)

Not just a curry

26 Jun

Impromptu Mushroom Biryani

I hadn’t really planned dinner tonight.  Actually, that is a lie, I had.  I just hadn’t had time to contemplate for hours about how I might craft the perfect recipe from a number of other recipes I can find through trawling the net.  So here is my recipe for a mushroom biryani.  I must admit you could perfect it by grinding some almonds in with the garlic and ginger, or sprinkling in some cashew nuts near the end, or throwing in other veggies such as aubergines, green beans, peppers, or even stirring through some freshly cut tomato just before popping the biryani in the oven.

Anyway enough chit chat, this is how I made it:

The ingredients:

200g mushrooms

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2cm ginger, grated/diced very small

2 tbsp vegetable oil/ghee

1″ stick of cinnamon

3 cloves

2 pods cardamom

5 peppercorns

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

½ tsp garam masala

1 cup yoghurt

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp Tomato puree

1 handful finely chopped coriander leaves

1 handful finely chopped mint leaves

Salt to taste

200g Basmati rice

The recipe:

  • Dice the onion, crush the garlic and grate the ginger
  • Wash the rice until water runs clear, then cook according to packet
  • Heat oil in a pan; add the whole spices (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and peppercorns).  Fry for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the onion and fry until translucent
  • Add ginger and garlic.  Fry for a further 2-3 minutes
  • Add all spice powders (coriander, cumin and garam masala) and mix well
  • Add the mushrooms and sauté with the onion and spices for 3-4 minutes
  • Pour in to the pan, the yoghurt, lime juice, and a splash of boiling water to loosen the ingredients
  • Add the chopped coriander and mint leaves and salt to taste
  • Combine the rice with the spice and mushroom mix.  Pour into an over proof dish. Cover and place in a preheated oven at 200 degrees (Celsius) for 20 minutes

Tandoori Aubergine Kebabs

I love the smells you get emanating from tandoori ovens when you walk past Indian restaurants.  It is quite a unique aroma, and delivers well known tasty treats such as Tandoori chicken and naan bread.  Obviously as a vegetarian and a coeliac, these are beyond thee realms of my diet.  Henceforth, this recipe is to try and take tandoor matters into my own hands.

The Ingredients:

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Ground coriander

1 tsp Ground cumin

Pinch Salt

Pinch Pepper

1 tsp Sugar

2 cloves

1 tsp Fenugreek seeds

3 Green cardamom pods

1 tsp Turmeric

½ tsp Ground nutmeg

1 tsp Garam Masala

2 cloves

1 tsp Fenugreek seeds

3 Green cardamom pods

150g natural yoghurt

1 large aubergine

The recipe:

  • Put all powder spices into a large bowl (including the salt, pepper and sugar)
  • Put the fenugreek seeds, cardamom pods and cloves into a pestle and mortar and crush.  Add to the powder spices
  • Add the yoghurt to the spices and mix well
  • Cut aubergine into large chunks and then stir into the yoghurt and spice mix until all the aubergine is coated.
  • Leave to marinate for 1-2 hours – optional as you could cook it right away, but leaving it will allow the flavours to intensify
  • Thread the aubergine onto skewers and place on a lightly greased oven dish
  • Place into a preheated oven at 200 degrees (Celsius) for 20 minutes (or until starting to char)

I served both the Aubergine skewers and the biryani with a raita.  The raita was just chopped cucumber, a bit of natural yoghurt and a squeeze of lemon juice all mixed up.