Tag Archives: Saturday supper

Cookin wid the Green stuff…..Curry in a hurry!

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SAM_3387 A lot of what goes on in Indian food is quite complex and sometimes more than a little fiddly, meaning that preparing something tasty and fast is a non starter well that’s what you might think but that is simply not true one of the great gems to have in your fridge is a green Masala  a preparation that is exactly what it says on the label and one that that will allows you to create the highly edible very quickly.

I have touched upon the Daag in previous articles being that staple of the restaurant, well this will do the same job for those busy people wanting curry in a hurry this is a similar preparation that is perhaps even quicker as this takes less time to prepare and will keep for several weeks in the fridge. there are a fairly large number of chillies in this and yep it has a kick like a mule if you use too much, you can experiment but remember the mantra less is more and add the paste to the level you like… let me present something to you that you won’t find in the resaraunt but you will find in most hard pressed Indian cooks fridge, and more importantly if kept in an air tight container with the addition of  vinegar the green will keep for several weeks…..

Green Masala paste……SAM_3383

Fresh Coriander leaves: 1 small bunchSAM_3384
Mint leaves: a few
Ginger:.1 inch piece
Garlic: 5 large cloves
Green chillies: 4
Pepper corns: 1tsp
Cumin seeds: 2 tsps
Coriander seeds: 2 tsps
Cinnamon: 2 inch piece
Cloves: 5 nos.
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp


Method:
1. Wash coriander leaves and take off leaves. Dry well on a clean cloth.
2. Clean and mince finely both the  ginger and garlic.
3. Remove stems of green chillies.
4. Grind all the ingredients to a fine paste using a little water. Green masala is ready for use .SAM_3385
5. For a larger quantity (if bottling) multiply all the recipe ingredients ( X5/X10 times) . Prepare as above Steps 1-3. Grind in a diluted solution of vinegar (2 tbsps concentrated vinegar in a cup of water). Use  diluted vinegar as required to make a thick paste)

Having got your green paste together sitting in the fridge and staring at you wondering what its future will be. That moment arrives when there is that knock at the door and friendly forces come into land, and as you must always do in situations such as this; feed the strangers with something hale and hearty.

You don’t have all night , you don’t even have an hour but you do have the Green Masala paste, a little white fish, an onion, and a few prawns, a small tin of coconut milk, and a fish stock cube in 250ml of warm water, and with those few simple ingredients bring on the

Green seafood curry

Chop the onion nice and fine and fry it until its just starting to go towards the brown, stir in two Tablespoons (which is just about what you will have made if you followed the above paste recipe) into the onions, keep stirring for about a minute and add a little fish stock if needed to keep things from sticking, once the paste is mixed through the onions and looks like it belongs add the rest of the stock, and the coconut milk; bring the sauce to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and reduce the sauce for about ten minutes. Then add the fish, turn up the heat bringing it to the boil, throw in the prawns cover and remove from the heat and allow it to stand for a few minutes. Then serve, result very happy guestsSAM_3388

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My Kofta period… a Load of balls really

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SAM_3366 Like artists, all chefs and cooks I believe have phases and periods in that at certain times they like to cook certain things. It is a way to learn and develop ideas and disciplines that assist in the greater understanding of the food we eat. Currently I am very interested in balls of whatever flesh in sauce, I have over the last couple of months done some lamb Koftas in a Green sauce(click), and most recently some chicken koftas (Click) in what could best be described as a masala sauce . Today I’m going for the Fish Koftas, or to be titled correctly as Machhalli Ke kofte, and like all kofta they only really come into their own if accompanied by a beautiful spicey  and unctuous sauce.

This is a fantastic dish for that Saturday supper.(click) You can pretty much use whatever fish you like or can get hold of but here in England Colley or Cod are two good suggestions I’ve also added some white crab meat  in for good measure for that extra texture , mainly because I like crab and that the crab will bring an additional sweetness to the dish.  Again I promise you a delicious dish that will light the table up as something that is that little bit different.

There are a complex list of ingredients , don’t be too afraid they are all pretty standard ingredients that you should be able to pick up in any good indian supermarket, and they are all ingredients that you will use again so don’t be scared get in there its a lovely dish that will make your taste buds Zing!

There’s enough here to feed two hungry people

Machhalli Ke kofte

What’s in them

240ml whole milk

2 cardamom pods the green lightly crushed

1 black cardamom

.25 tsp turmeric ground

.25tsp cumin ground

500 gm white fish

3 tbsp. white crab meat

1 large potato cooked and diced whatever is good for mashing in your corner of the world

2 tsp desiccated coconut

6 shallots

1 tsp roughly chopped ginger

1 large green chilli deseeded and very finely chopped

2-3 tbsp. chopped coriander

1 tsp roasted cumin seeds crushed

1tbsp gram flour

fresh ground black pepper

1 egg beaten

veg oil to deep fry!

The how to make them bit…

The first thing you need to do is gently poach the fish by placing the cardamom pods, turmeric and ground cumin in a saucepan with the milk and bring to the boil. Place the fish in the milk and allow to poach on a low heat for three minutes. Then Drain and discard the liquid and spices , place the fish in a bowl to cool and set aside, add 1 large tablespoon of the crab when cooled.

Blend the Shallots, ginger, green chilli, and garlic to a smooth paste in a processor with a tbsp. of water, then add this to the fish bringing it all together with the potato and coconut and finally the beaten egg and enough of the flour to bring the koftas together into  balls that are holding together in their own right. Use your hands for this part not a blender as your hands will bring the right texture to the Koftas  so knead all of the ingredients together and form into balls of fishy delight that are no bigger than a ping pong ball. If the mixture is overly sticky, moisten your hands a little with some water. Place the kofta’s  in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes to cool before frying.

You can choose to fry them off before you make the sauce or after the choice is yours; I chose to fry first and warm through in the sauce later as I wanted the Koftas to pick up some of the essence of the sauce.SAM_3364

Now is the time to fry you can deep fry or shallow it matters not just use  a medium heat and cook until they are a nice golden brown .  That’s Job done for the koftas you now need a lovely unctious sauce to go with them and that is for sure what follows….

The saucieness

1 large tbsp. Ghee or  veg oil

10 curry leaves

1 tsp Cumin seeds

3 cardamom

1 tsp brown mustard seed

2 medium red onions sliced

3 green Chillies de-seeded and rough chopped

4 plump Garlic cloves rough chopped

0.5 tsp Cumin Powder

0.5 tsp Coriander Powder

1 Tsp Garam masala

0.5 tsp Turmeric powder

Small tin chopped Tomatos( 200gm ish)

2 tsp Tamarind pulp

1 tbsp. white crab meat

1 Heaped teaspoon Jaggery/ or brown Sugar

200ml fish stock

200ml Coconut milk

A drizzle of yoghurt to finish

Salt to taste

Heat the oil in your chosen pan and add the brown mustard seed, Cumin seeds, cardamom, curry leaves, and fry until the mustard seeds are popping and a spluttering then add the onions and fry until they are a lovely dark golden brown this takes time at least ten minutes and in some cases more so be patient stirring often and don’t allow the onions to burn that patience should extend until the onions reach the browning level you desire  you can then add the ginger and the garlic, and never before as once you add the ginger and garlic all browning of the onions will cease. While you are waiting for the onions to reach that wonderful golden brown take all the spice powders that’s the Cumin ,Coriander, Garam masala and turmeric powders and add a little water to mix them to a fine paste and add them to the onions and when you do, keep stirring vigorously to stop them catching on the bottom of the pan, add a little water or stock f that happens, and that should loosen them off.

Add the chopped tomatoes and cook on a low to medium heat for about 5 minutes, you can also add the tamarind and the jiggery; stirring from time to time before adding as much fish stock as to make a gravy slightly thinner than you would serve at…. This is down to you because it is at this  point you add the fish balls, and they will absorb the sauce they are in; then add  the last of the crab meat for the final couple of minutes of cooking just to heat the Kofta through and reduce the sauce down to how you like your sauces to be.SAM_3365

I’m serving this with some Red onion and Sweet potato Pakoras (recipe to follow) and of course Naan as is my want serve rice if you prefer…..