Monthly Archives: April 2013

Salmon and King Prawn Pathia .. Go on spoil the one you love!

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 SAM_2969 First things first this isn’t a budget recipe and therefore not one for the kids, Prawns and Salmon are not cheap where I come from, but the food police tell me the Salmon is good for me lots of Omega 5 whatever that is brain stuff I’m reliably informed. Fish wherever you buy it these days is not a cheaper option than meat that’s for sure but for those of us of a pescatorial persuasion such as I and Mrs Demonology, fish is the protein of choice.

This is a fantastic recipe none the less, delicious and as such one that should be reserved for the one that you love most in the world, they whoever they may be will not fail to be impressed by how deep the sauce flavouring is; so full of flavours and textures that bring the mouth alive in an explosion of curryness……., and further you will win never ending praise for your cooking prowess……… men take note, score big points with this one:)

Although the spicing ingredients are fairly complex it isn’t a tricky dish to cook, but as with all good recipes all you really need to do is ensure that you have assembled the ingredients before you light the stove; and just in case you thought there was a mistake there is no ginger in this recipe all the heat comes from the chillies and to be honest it’s hot and spicy enough enough with a  sauce  on the thick side, sourness coming from the tamarind, and a sweetness from the Jaggery just for good measure. Get those flavours how you like it and “POW” a fantastic dish and taste sensation for sure. Honestly though it may sound complex but its not…….

This dish serves 2 persons….

Whats in it

12 good sized raw Prawns peeled and deveined

2 Salmon steaks

2 tsp Tamarind pulp

4 green Chillies de-seeded and rough chopped

4 plump Garlic cloves rough chopped

1 tsp Cumin seeds

50ml (2 Fl oz ) veg oil

2large Onions Finely Chopped

0.5 tsp Cumin Powder

0.5 tsp Coriander Powder

1 tsp Red Chilli powderSAM_2962

1 Tsp Garam masala

0.5 tsp Turmeric powder

Small tin chopped Tomatoes( 200gm ish)

1 Heaped teaspoon Jaggery/ or brown Sugar

200ml fish stock

10 curry leaves

A drizzle of yoghurt to finish

Salt to taste

The How to

The first job here is to deseed the green chilles, and grind them together into a paste with the 4 garlic cloves and the cumin seeds…..SAM_2959

Heat the oil in your chosen pan and fry the onions until they are a nice golden brown colour at that point add the garlic, chilli paste, and fry off for a further couple of minutes…

At this point it is safe to add all those spices the cumin , coriander, red chilli, garam masala, and turmeric powders, and stir constantly for about a minute, you might need to add a drizzle of water here too just to stop the spices catching on the pan, then add the chopped tomatoes and cook on a low to medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time…..

Add half the tamarind , all the jaggery/brown sugar and the curry leaves, and salt to taste…. Now you need to bring your palate into play and balance the dish to how you like it!

Add more tamarind if you think it needs more sour, or sugar/ Jaggery for the sweet, be carefull though and remember sometimes less is more. Don’t add anymore salt for the moment as the fish stock may well bring some saltiness to the recipe.

Add the fish stock in small amounts and simmer your finished sauce for about 5 minutes or until the sauce reduces to a consistency that in your opinion is little wetter than you would serve it at,  but wet enough to cook the fish through bearing in mind that you have about 10 to 15  minutes of cooking time left…

At this point add the Salmon SAM_2966cover and cook for about 8 minutes on a simmer level of cooking, if it is a little dry during the cooking of the fish you can add a little more stock, coating the salmon flesh with the sauce, then  turn the salmon over after the eight minutes and cook for a further five minutes or until the salmon is cooked and flaking nicely, adding the prawns about 4 minutes before you serve , remember that the prawnsSAM_2967

literally need no more than a couple of minutes so these should be added at the very end, the sauce should be nice and thick and unctuous when the ready to serve, finally add a little more salt if you thinks it needs it.

Add a drizzle of yoghurt when its on the plate and serve with rice Naans or traditionally Daal, whatever you like……SAM_2970Enjoy!

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Fusion Carbon Footprint veg curry

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Masala Spices Mixing it up…..

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Masala Spices Mixing it up…..
 

The following is a list of some of the spice mixes that have the title of Masala, and that’s what a masala is at its most simple a mixture of spices, of which there are many that fit the description of Masala. There is much to learn in getting them right and yes they are to some extent the theory behind the practice in getting to fully understand all that is the cooking of South East Asia. Masala is used in many recipes and the spice masala mixes I offer  here are some of the most common for you to dip in and out of as and when you need them, all of the combinations are to make about 50 grams  of the mix, which I suggest is more than you would need to fill the average dabba pot!

This is pretty dull on the cooking front but these Masala’s are really vital in a lot of dishes so I make no apology for publishing them, I am sure you will at some point find them useful, although these days it is often easier to go to the supermarket and buy a finished mix than to mix your own but take it from me , DIY is a lot more satisfying so get grinding 🙂

For the grinding I always prefer the traditional approach pestle & mortar but for some people automation works, electric spice grinders don’t do it for me like the pestle & mortar the aromas that assault the nose as you grind away is the bonus for the elbow grease you invest!

It is also wise to remember that these mixes are a matter of taste and are always to be regarded as approximate weights and measures experience will teach you what you like and what you don’t…..

The list will grow with the increase in the published recipes and if your in need of something you can’t find here,  all you need to do is drop me a message, in the meantime if you want to find out a bit more about the herbs and spices they include have a look in my Dabba(Click)

Dabba doo

Garam Masala

20 grams cumin seedsHomemade garam masala. Photo taken in Kent, Oh...

7.5 grams coriander seeds

4.5 grams black cardamom

4.5 grams black peppercorns

4 grams green cardamoms

4grams ground ginger

Grind to a fine powder and then sieve out, or strain, store in an airtight container

Chat Masala

7.5  Gm Cumin Seeds

7.0  GmBlack peppercorns

2 tsp Black Salt

3.5 Gm Dry Mint Leaveschaat

0.5 Tsp Ajwain Seeds

0.25 tsp Asafoetida

0.1 tsp Tartaric Acid

15 gm Amchoor

1tsp salt

0.5 tsp Ground ginger

0.5 tsp Yelow Chilli powder

Put all the ingrediedients except the amchoor , salt ground ginger and yellow chilli powder in a mortar and pound with a pestle, orgrind in a spice grinder to a fine powder.

transfer to a clean dry bowl and add the remaining ingredients and mix well sieve and then store in sterilized dry airtight container

Sambhar Masala

12.5 gm Coriander seeds

1 tsp Cumin Seeds

0.5 tsp fenugreek

0.5 tsp black peppercornsparsi-sambhar-masala-250x250

0.5 tsp mustard seeds

0.5 tsp poppy seeds ground

0.5 cinam0n stick

8 curry leaves

0.5 tsp chana daal rinsed and drained

0.5tsp  arhar or toor (toover) daal rinsed and drained

0.5 tsp veg oil

3 large dried red chillies

0.5 tsp ground turmeric

You will firstly need to dry roast each ingredient except the red chillies and turmeric, use a dry frying pan or skeillet over a medium heat for a few moments

or until the spices and curry leaves are fragrant and the daals are golden

Add the oil to the pan and heat through then add the dried red chillies and stir fry for about one minute or until fragrant .mix all the ingredients together in a Mortar and pound with a pestle to a fine powder  then store in a dry airtight container….

The following is a spice mix that is a speciality of Bengali Cuisine and literally translates to the spice that crackles five times…..

 Paanch PhoremPaanch

30g cumin

30g fennel

1.5tsp fenugreek seeds

1.5 tsp yellow Mustard Seeds

2 Tablespoons Nigella seeds

Koftas Hara Masala…Love my meaty balls in Green sauce

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I have been less than productive since I got back from my trip to Kerala that’s not to say  haven’t wanted to cook or write, its been more a matter that I have been busy doing other things and getting on with the life that is mine; and lets face it blogging is a pastime not a lifestyle choice. That said I am now getting my head down and throwing out some more recipes for your delectation. I am often suggesting that I have vegetarian leanings but the reality is that meat matters to me even though I may choose to dip in and out of the wild world of the carnivore.

This recipe is one of those recipes that hits the spot for me with regards to what I like to eat,  and lets face it why cook something that you don’t like to eat?

finished 2Saucy to start, dry curries don’t really do it for me and this little offering is well wet with and a tinge of fusion thrown in for good measure, with a good Naan to soak up the gravy sauce heaven awaits.  There’s also great list of spices that border on the unusual “Allspice” for starters, you don’t see that one much in Indian recipes, more usually  found in Caribbean cookery, but don’t let that stop you using it. Cinnamon as well from Sri Lanka, again a rarity in the dishes I see floating around in the great curyiesphere where all the curry demons live. The beauty of these spices here is that they fuse together with some of the more traditional pure Indian spices to create an explosion of taste that lifts this dish to a great tasting fantastic plate of loveliness, that will set your taste buds dancing the light fantastic, much Joy!

Meatballs for me are something that I generally eat with Pasta although I do have to say I’m not a great lover of Pasta. Meatballs on the other hand, yum yum especially if they are made from pork sausage meat…. the meaty content here is lamb, nicely minced by the friendly local butcher, equally as tasty on the meatball front and better for the cook with religious considerations……

The problem here is that Mrs Demonology doesn’t like lamb so I’m not expecting her to like this very much. but one lives in hope, we will see…..

Cant wait to hear her review on this, she has been known to lick her plate for things she really likes but to be honest I’m not expecting that!

Its a fairly hot mix, with five green chillies, so for those of you that prefer things slightly easier, cut it down to one and a half chillies in the kofta’s, and the same in the sauce, and don’t forget to deseed them. Seeds in chilies for me are a non starter, they can make the curry bitter and the will certainly increase the heat in the dish, so I just take em out!… That said there’s a fair old dollop of yoghurt in the sauce which will bring the heat down a bit so don’t be too scared to go for the whole nine yards, you wont die!

There is also the option to use some vegetable stock, an idea I go for, as for me it offers an edge that bolsters up the sauce nicely giving an extra something that water on its own doesn’t bring………. but if your a purist and aren’t we all at heart, then just go for hot water.  Indians in the kitchen as a general rule do not use stock of any kind and relying on the spices etc to do the whole flavour thing.  For me though a stock cube is like an icing on a cake, which I like to use from time to time, especially on a dish where you are adding a lot of water, as in this particular recipe.

This is a nice and easy recipe that will fill hungry stomachs.

All the work in the dish is in the preparation, as is often the case in Indian cookery; so be prepared and all will go well. Serve this tasty dish with rice and you have a great meal. I for my part prefer Naans  so  I’m making the Naans too, check out these Garlic Naans they go fantastically with this dish……….  so many challenges here for little old me,  as bread making isn’t something that I have oodles of experience in!

This Recipe will serve 4 to 6 persons, or three hungry ones………

For the koftas

450 gm 1lb Minced Lamb

3 spring onions

2 Green Chillies

1 tbsp fresh Coriandermeatball rolled & cold

1tsp Allspice

1tsp Ground Cinnamon

1tsp  Garam Masala

1tsp fresh Ground Black Pepper

2 Garlic Cloves Through a garlic press

2 inch Ginger finely grated

.5 tsp Salt

For the Sauce

1 tbsp Ghee or Oil

3 medium Onions

150ml Natural Yoghurt

3 Green Chillies

handful fresh Coriander    sauce ingredients

1 tbsp fresh Mint Chopped

2 cloves Garlic finely grated

2 inches Ginger finely grated

1 tsp ground Cumin

1tsp Garam Masala

1tsp ground Fennel

700ml Vegetable Stock, or water if your a purist

Salt to taste

Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

.5 tsp ground Turmeric

Juice of half a Lemon!

For the Tempering

2 tbsp fried Shallots.

Toasted Flaked Almonds

2 tbsp. Double Cream and some

Rough chopped Fresh Mint to sprinkle on

The How to…..

There’s nothing too complex here and the meatballs themselves are just about as easy as it gets, simply combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl, get your hands in there and mix them well that’s it job done ; just ensure that before you get stuck into the mix that you have chopped and diced those ingredients that need it to a fine dice ensuring there are no big lumps of ginger and garlic, oh yeah and wash your hands before you do the mixing…Once mixed well

Roll the mixture up into to about golf ball size meaty balls of delight, and set them aside in a fridge, or a cool place until you need them…..how difficult is that ….?

The sauce well that’s not quite as simple but isn’t too taxing and if I can do it anyone can

Heat a tablespoon of ghee in a large flat based pan, fry the onions until they are golden brown, remove the onions using a slotted spoon placing them aside on some kitchen roll to drain.

Then  fry the shallots until they become crispy, remove the shallots again with a slotted spoon and and drain on kitchen towel…..set aside

Place the onions in a blender along with the remaining sauce ingredients and blitz to a smooth pastepre blitz

Reheat the ghee you used to fry the onions and add the onion paste and cook for about four or five minutes, then pour in the vegetable stock or hot water and bring to the boil.

Once the sauce has a fast boil on it you can add the meatballs return the mixture to the boil, lower the heat partially cover and simmer for a good 45 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the oil is beginning to separate out…. that’s it pretty much job done…on the hob

To serve dribble over the cream and the garnish with the shallots, and finish off with the almonds and mint then serve……..

Mrs demonology loved the sauce, loved the Naans, but left the lamb…. bless her for trying!

Lehsuni Naan…..Fan assisted Garlic Naan

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Get the picture I am not anywhere near lucky enough to own a tandoor, so the very best I can manage on the heat front is a fan assisted oven, a pretty poor alternative to the tandoor of my hearts desire; however previously mentioned fan assisted gubbins  produces some fair results, although not near enough for that real restaurant feel, and yes I admit it the restaurant can for  the most part outstrip what I can do on any dish prefixed with the word Tandoori, or suffixed with the word Naan, the Tandoor is King, I admit it, But that don’t stop me trying!Garlic Naan

You see I eat very little rice, fairly strange for someone whose culinary love is curry. It is not that I don’t like or enjoy rice in all its varieties, I just prefer Naans and breads, Roti’s, Parothas, and of course the chapati. We here in England and maybe the west have as usual got ourselves in a spin with a philosophy to curry pretty much in direct opposition to that of the Asian subcontinent. In the west curry is the main part of the dish, and the rice is the supporter, in India the reverse applies and as such you will find more rice on the plate than sauce or curry. Rice is very absorbent, and so is a good quality Naan soaking up a sauce like a sponge. It is the sauce that is the antithesis of curries, the heart the flavour, the wiz bang pop of that so simple word curry, and I suggest that it cannot and should never under any circumstances  be left on the plate, it is where the heart of the curry resides and to leave that heart behind is nothing short of a sin, or at best a travesty. Should you choose rice to do that soak up job that’s cool you enjoy, but for me nothing betters a Naan for its sponge like qualities, similar I suggest to the absorbency of kitchen roll but edible how great is that!

Anyone flicking through my picture by now will understand that for me I prefer to enjoy my curries with breads and the suchlike. I am one very lazy cook and cant really be arsed to go through all that kneading and standing that dough demands;  which is why I generally leave all that stuff to the supermarket and buy them over the counter, that said I do aspire to be able to bake, as bake is what I will need to do to achieve the un tandooried version, hence this article so here’s my thoughts on the best I can do at the moment. Unfortunately my best in my mind is still not good enough but at least I’m still trying and the result is quite edible, just not as authentic as I would like, so anyone out there doing better please let me know I’m not too proud to learn!

You can judge for yourselves if the result is worth the effort

IngredientsIngredients

8gm fresh yeast, or 1 tsp of fast-action dried yeast

1 egg

1 teaspoon sugar

4 tablespoons milk

500gm Plain all purpose flour

pinch of salt

4 teaspoons Vegetable oil

chopped garlic to taste about 200gm for this recipe will flavour the Naans at a strong level

The how to….

Put the egg sugar and milk into a bowl and whisk together

Sift the flour into a large bowl or Paraat, if using the dried yeast stir it into the flour , make a depression in the center of the flour and add the egg mixture and continue by adding enough water to make a soft dough .

When you have fully mixed the dough you must now knead the dough on a lightly floured surface be carefull not to add to much more flour to the mix as you kneadpull stretch and press the dough for about 5 to 7 minutes cover with a cloth and set aside for about 15 minutes.

Add the oil to the dough, now and knead again, punching it down and taking the air out of the mixture then cover again and leave in a warm place for about two hours and allow the dough to riseKneaded Dough

Divide the dough into about eight equal portions roll into balls and place on a floured work surface , flatten the balls slightly and spread the garlic over the dough and set aside for about 5 minutesRisen Dough 1

Flatten the dough ball out into the traditional tear shape, getting the thickness down to about 6 t0 10 mm, place on an oiled baking tray and bake for about ten minutes in a hot oven 200 degrees 220 on the no fan assisted should do it….

Remove from the oven allow to cool and consume with any super duper demon curry you can think of or create!

Man does not live by bread alone … but hey if this was all I had to eat you wouldn’t hear me moaning for a year or two……

Banger Mandori Masala…Sausage & Spicey Dumpling curry!

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Ok not one single person would ever call that stalwart of the British cooked breakfast, the sausage, a health food. However over the last few years the sausage has moved up the scale with less saturated  fats and cereals being used in them. The sausage for me pretty much stands alone in the reasons not to go vegetarian….. I can hear the guffaws and incredulous laughter from here; but I mean it, the sausage for bangras-large-2me is something that I could truly not do without. Sausage sandwiches with mustard and ketchup – wonderful – not to mention sausage, mash and beans with a ladle full of caramelised fried onion, or a great plate of toad in the hole with baked beans, come on it’s the comfort in comfort food – I kid you not!

The sausage casserole I lay before you draws from the traditional British stew with dumplings; a big nod to SAM_2915Mrs Demonology whose recipe they are and whom, I assure you, “probably” makes the best dumplings in the world.  I’ve just added some spices.  One of my more interesting ideas that I have played with here is that the dumplings and the curry share the spicing and balance each other, complimenting one another in the hope that this is where the dish finds its Indian roots. The Sausage, unfortunately pork, which few Indians will eat, but there are many sausages that do not focus on pork.  However sausage in all its forms is a mighty meaty feast that permeates the globe and for me is the essential element that holds this unusual dish together…….Good commercial quality sausages is all you need here but if you like  something more specialised or exotic from the local butcher then that is cool too, the reality is that sausage is the meat in the dish and as sausage connoisseur’s know it comes in infinite varieties…… Alternatively if you’re on the Vegan veggie vibe, don’t feel you’re left out either as Quorn sausages would work just as well. The point here is that this is a sausage curry and one that will take you through to new heights of pleasure if the sausage is your thing… And yes you are reading right –  tinned tomatoes, sorry but they are for me always far better in taste and quality and colour – want to argue about it… well please feel free to use fresh, it matters not!

It looks like a long list of ingredients for this dish, but if you are organised and prepare everything ahead of standing in front of the stove, trust me all will be well and all will come to hand when you need it.

Ingredients(Curry)

serves two

1 tbsp Oil , or Ghee

1 large Onion rough chopped

SAM_29081 Medium Green pepper deseeded and sliced

6 thick sausages

250 gm  Button Mushrooms

400 gm  peeled plum tomatoes

1 tsp tomato puree

200ml vegetable stock

250gm Butterbeans dried or tinned, it matters not

1 inch Ginger peeled and finely grated

3 cloves garlic crushed

2 Green chilli deseeded and finely chopped

1 Dried Red Kashmiri chilli whole

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp mustard seed

0.5 tsp sugar

1tsp Garam Masala

 4 or 5 Curry Leaves

1 Dried red chilli whole

Salt

Dumpling Ingredients

4 oz self Raising Flour

2 oz shredded suet

.5 tsp ground fennel seeds

.5tsp Nigella seeds

.5 tsp turmeric

.5tsp salt

3 Ground black pepper corns

Enough water to bind together to make a  stiff dough

Pre preperation

If you are using dried butterbeans they will need about three hours cooking  in total but for this recipe cook them through for an hour or two, that is of course after soaking them overnight, can you be bothered I couldn’t, use tinned I did….

Grind the spices together for the dumpling mix set aside

Method

Sauté off the sausages in a little Ghee or oil.. in the large flat based pan that you are going to do the stove top cooking in,  give the sausages enough time to give them some colour and not release too much fat, remove them from the pan and set aside until later, once they have cooled cut them into bite sized chunks…..

Then add half the ghee to the same pan and when melted add the mustard seeds followed by the curry leaves once the seeds start to pop, after another 30 seconds or so add the onions and the Green Pepper,SAM_2909 after about 5 minutes of frying its safe to throw in the garlic, the ginger and the green chillies and then fry, fry, fry for about 15-20 mins, stirring constantly, adding the sugar after 10 to twelve minutes, on a low to medium heat, or until the onions are a wonderful golden brown, caramelised and  sweet to the taste. It’s the colour of the onions that will eventually determine how dark and unctuous your finished dish will be. Now is the time to return the sausages to the dish along with the tomatoes, the whole tin juice and all and mix them in well and then add the butterbeans stir and transfer everything into a casserole dish and place in the middle of the oven at a temp of 180 cover and cook for about 35 minutes.

Have a quick look and stir after 15 minutes add the mushrooms and 200ml of veg stock/oxo, so that there is enough liquid to cover all the ingredients, finally adding the garam masala and chilli powder to taste

cover back up and cook for another 15 minutes.

Now is the time to make the  dumplings and that really is just about mixing all the ingredients in a bowl with the spices.  Add cold water dribble by dribble until you have a pastry consistency dough that is not sticky and will roll out without sticking. SAM_2913

Give the dish a final stir before you add the dumplings  then return the casserole to the oven uncovered for the final 20/25 (depending upon the size of your dumplings) minutes of cooking time, or until the dumplings are cooked through, now serve and enjoy!