Tag Archives: Tomato

Shevandi Kada…King Prawn and Baby Onion

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SAM_3457Two of my most favourite things in the world prawn and onion and this “nearly” traditional recipe which features both in a symphony of taste. Although you really will have to love onion to fully appreciate this recipe the sauce is unctuous  and full of the sweet and sour flavours of the Jaggery and the tamarind with chopped onion making the basis of the sauce and if that’s not enough onion for you, whole baby onions or shallots bringing a final hint of sweetness, truly delicious, and all held together with some juicy large king Prawns to bring that extra texture and taste that make for a fantastic seafood curry!

I have “demonised” the recipe as the original I was gifted essentially had no seasoning or spice and a very large glass of Goan fire water “Feni”, made from coconut or cashew nuts and in Goa & kerala where this recipe originates and available everywhere in those two provinces, however in downtown Nottingham I have to admit I couldn’t find it anywhere. The recipe also demands baby pearl onions, these may be a bit tricky to lay your hands on too but shallots will do just as good a job using the smallest you can get.

So there is no alcohol, is that a loss…. Nah don’t think so!

The What’s in it (2 persons)

5 or 6 baby onions or shallots per person

Salt to season

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3 Tablespoons Mustard oil

8 Curry leaves

1 large Onion finely chopped

1inch Ginger

1heaped teaspoon garlic paste

2 green chillies de-seeded and finely chopped

1tsp fenugreek

1tsp turmeric

1tsp Garam Masala

25oml Fish stock

2tsp Tamarind paste

1 flat tbsp Jaggery/brown sugar

1 fine chopped Tomato

1tbsp Plain yoghurt

36 pearl onions(Shallots as many as you think for 3 persons) peeled and kept whole

350 gm  RAW prawns as large as you can find, peeled and deveined

Salt to taste…..

The How To……

Peel the baby onions or shallots and boil in salted water for about fifteen minutes until soft set aside until required

Bring your mustard oil up to heat add the curry leaves, and fry for no longer than a minute or two or until the curry leaves change colour, add  the onions and fry until golden brown, take your time with this as this is the base of the sauce. Then add the green chillies, the ginger and the garlic pastes and fry for a minute or two longer until the garlic smell has dropped away. Add the Fenugreek , Turmeric and Garam masala cook for a further couple of minutes, then add 250ml fish stock, and the jaggery and Tamarind paste, the chopped tomato and reduce to a thick sauce. Finally adding the baby onions and yoghurt for the last five minutes.SAM_3455

Now you can add the prawns and cook them  through this shouldn’t take more than five minutes, serve with whatever you like to eat your Indian food with!

Bhare Baghare Tamate (Stuffed Tomatoes)

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SAM_3450 I have been very quiet lately principally I believe if you have nothing to say then do that….. quiet is something that it is very difficult to find in the world that surrounds us all and as such one of the few things that can always one hope be done quietly is eating good food. Todays dish is a traditional one  that is not something you can bring together in ten minutes it will take you at least 90 minutes in the initial preparation and perhaps 30 to 4o minutes in the cooking so don’t undertake this recipe if you are looking for something quick. Its vegetarian all the way and one of those dishes that needs little else to help it along , but if you must have some more protein a fillet of white fish would compliment it for sure

The Whats in it

4 Beefsteak Tomatoes

Salt

For the Filling

Unsalted butter, for frying

150g/5oz (2 cups) chopped mushrooms

250g/9 oz Paneer, grated or crumbled

1 tablespoon chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves

4 green chillies, slit in half lengthways and de-seeded

24 cashew nut halves

1 teaspoon black cumin seeds

For the Paste

4 tablespoons peanuts, roasted

2 tablespoons desiccated (dried flaked) coconut

4.5 tablespoons sesame seeds

250g/9 oz (2 small) onions

4 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

For the Sauce

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1.5 teaspoons chilli powder

125ml/4.5 fl oz (0.5 cup) vegetable oil

0.5 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

16 curry leaves

150g/5oz (1 medium) onion, sliced

3 tablespoons Ginger Paste

1 teaspoon Garlic Paste

100g/3.5 oz Fried Onion Paste

0.25 teaspoon Tamarind Extract

The How To do It

Blanch the tomatoes by putting then in a large heatproof bowl of boiling water for 30 seconds, then plunging them in cold water.  Remove the skin and slice off the top neatly with a sharp knife, then remove the core, taking care not to pierce the flesh.

To Make the Filling

Melt the butter in a large, heavy based pan over medium heat.

Add the mushrooms and lightly fry for about 2-3 minutes, or until the moisture has evaporated.

Transfer to a bowl, then add all the other ingredients for the filling, season with salt and mix together.

Put a portion of the filling in each of the blanched tomatoes and set aside, until 20 minutes before you wish to serve

Place in an oven at 180 degrees for as you begin to make the sauce if you prefer your tomatoes cooked through, then add to the sauce and follow the “sauce” part of the recipe

To Make the Paste

Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor, with a little water if necessary, and process to make a paste.  Set aside.

To Make the Sauce

Put the turmeric and chilli power in a small bowl, add 2 tablespoons water and stir together.

Heat the oil in another large, heavy-based pan over medium heat

Add the mustard and cumin seeds and stir-fry for about 1 minute or until they start to splutter

Add the curry leaves, stir

Add the onions and lightly fry for about 2 minutes or until they are translucent.

Add the ginger and garlic pastes and stir fry for about 5-10 minutes or until the onions are golden.

Add the ground spice mixture to the pan and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes or until the moisture has evaporated

Add the pastes and stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes or until the oil has separated out.

Pour in 750ml/1.25 pints (3.25 cups) water and season with salt.

Bring to the boil then stir in the tamarind extract.

Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is a thin sauce consistency

Place the stuffed tomatoes in the sauce, cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Uncover and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce is thick.

Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Serve and enjoy, fantastic with a Naan!

Fish curry of the sitting Patiently kind!

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SAM_3414  SAM_3416This recipe springs from all of those hung over individuals who tell me that take away curries taste better the morning after.

Hey if cold curry is your thing for breakfast who am I to argue! Personally I never have left overs and I guess that says more about me than anything else, I only mention this as this sauce is left to sit around for “as long as it takes” well four or five hours or longer if you like… overnight is good too. Apart from that little similarity the comparison with take away food ends there!

The dish I offer up here is a fish curry for which I used a firm white fish, Cod in this case but any fish or sea food will thrive in this sauce, which I do have to say is robust and spicy enough for most, you could cut back on the chilli if that is your want, as in this particular case this curry is not and I say again is not traditional other than the spices that are added that are common to the cuisine that is Indian. However this is one very tasty curry that if you take the time with and leave it to stand for hours avoiding the temptation to gobble it down, will result in a taste spectacular try it once and you will be hooked. I am suggesting that preparation and cooking time together with the patient bit in the middle is ok at five hours but brilliant at eight to twelve hours

The sauce should always be made first and allowed to cool to room temperature and left for at least five hours, but use it at two or three if you really must!

My advice is make the sauce then do the marinade then bring the two together in something around five hours, the time invested will I assure you reflect in the taste that is a sweet and sour curry experience for which I make no apologies, so go on head down and cook, I hope you enjoy it!

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The LONG LONG Sauce

1tsp brown mustard seeds

1tsp Fennell seeds

.5 tsp  peppercorns

3 green cardamom pods

.5 tsp cumin seeds

6 Curry Leaves

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1 large Onion chopped

2 Green Chillies deseeded and chopped

2 cloves Garlic Finely chopped

2.5 cm sq Ginger, finely chopped

1tsp Turmeric

.5tsp Asafoetida

6 Medium Tomatoes  rough chopped

300ml Vegetable Stock

2 tsp Tomato Puree

2 tsp Tamarind puree

2 tsp Jaggery

Salt to taste

3 tsp ground Cashew Nuts

Getting saucey

Skin the tomatoes by placing them in  boiling water for a few moments, then roughly chop.

To a tablespoon of Coconut oil bought up to temperature in your karahi or heavy based pan you can use ghee if you prefer, add the whole spices, the brown mustard, Fennell seeds, peppercorns, green cardamoms and cumin seeds and fry until the mustard seeds are all a splutter.

Then add the onion and fry until golden brown but not caramelised.

Add the garlic and the ginger and the chillies and cook for a couple of minutes more before adding the turmeric and asafoetida, with a splash of the stock if required to ensure that the spices don’t stick!.

Add the chopped tomatoes and continue to cook until they soften and have passed that raw uncooked stage.

Add as much of the stock as you need to cover all the ingredients bring to the boil and then reduce  the heat to a simmer, adding the tomato puree and the Tamarind paste, taste and adjust the seasoning of salt and pepper before finally adding the jaggery, and the cashew nut paste.

I also added a little extra chilli powder here too but the choice is yours when you taste judge it to the as you like it and then leave it alone, all that’s left then is to continue cooking at a simmer for about fifteen minutes whilst ensuring that everything is well mixed before setting aside to cool for as long as you like, but at least until the sauce is at room temperature.

                                                               Now  to make the marinade

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1tbsp level Ghee or coconut oil

75 g diced shallots

1 tsp clove garlic paste

1 teaspoon ground aniseed

1 Dried Red chilli crumbled

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

.5 tsp garam masala

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Salt and pepper

3 tbsb yoghurt

500gm white fish cut into large bite sized chunks

Marinade Patiently

To a level tbsp. of ghee or coconut oil add the shallots and fry until translucent adding the garlic and frying for  a few minute more…..set aside to cool

Add the powdered  spices and crumble in the dried red chilli add the lemon juice to the yoghurt and stir well. Add a little salt and pepper to taste, stir in the fried shallots mix well and add to the fish ensuring all the surfaces of the fish are covered in the marinade, refrigerate for a minimum of three hours…..

After you have sat patiently doing the things that patent people do now is the time to bring the two things together

The Final Straight

Pour the sauce into a heavy based pan and heat gently until just below boiling, and then add a large tablespoon of the fish marinade to the sauce do not add the fish yet and continue to heat until the sauce reaches a thick gravy consistency then introduce the fish and ensure that the fillets are completely covered in the sauce increase the heat slightly and bring the sauce up to a gentle simmer cover and cook until the fish is cooked through … serve with whatever you like to eat with a fish curry….SAM_3415

Fish & potatoes……Putting it inconveniently

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Ok I admit it… Yes I do have some weaknesses and sometimes convenience wins over pure gastronomic excellence that my kitchen is reputed to be famous for.  Fish fingers, sausages, burgers and the very occasional pizza too, can also be seen at those times when I or Mrs Demonology just can’t be bothered .  Yep I use convenience foods!

I have a busy life just like you, and sometimes I really can’t be bothered to peel onion and grate ginger; so give me convenience, with something that takes five minutes to eat and even less to prepare, meaning I am also not a stranger to the microwave meal when the going gets really tough.  Although I do draw a line under that one by saying that my microwave meals are, as a general rule, coming from the chiller cabinet and when I do grab an Indian dish at this level it’s always of the fresh variety, and generally of very good quality considering it is daag based!

I don’t make my own pasta either, and can’t stand the dried variety, so confessions over, I am no stranger to convenience food. Fresh pasta bought from the aforementioned chiller cabinet at the local supermarket, boiled for five minutes with a nice sauce microwaved for less than the pasta’s five minutes boil time, a shaving or two of parmesan and job done, convenience food!

I was raised through the fifties and sixties and through that period the introduction of convenience foods became the norm, with the very famous VESTA being a curry that you just needed to add water too – ah I can feel myself salivating at the thought – and in all honesty was probably one of the reasons that I developed a love for the taste textures and myriad delights that are curry.

I am not afraid to say that not all convenience foods are bad or unhealthy, as the years have rolled by and the pressures of modern life have come to the fore; the day of the woman being chained to the stove and cooking her man a meal on his return from a busy day at the coal face are pretty much over with the nuclear family very much the norm today ensuring a place for the “Convenience foods” appearing to be the menu of choice for a great many people.

That said, there are a great number of convenience foods that are simply there as a shortcut in life.  For instance, boil in the bag fish. Stick it into a pan of boiling water as the name suggests and Pow you have a “nice” piece of fish in a sauce, serve that with a pile of smooth buttered mash and a few garden peas and deliciousness awaits you, this is the comfort food of my youth. This plate of food I offer here is an homage to that; and the reasoning for all of the above inane ramblings in that this dish it is essentially fish and potatoes, but it is far from tricky to put together and it is also a long way from convenient, so sharpen your peeler, and dust off your measuring spoons its time to cook inconveniently!

This plate of food is a fusion of flavours from Hyderabad where the fish recipe originates and the potato dish  from Awadhi; uniting together to become the Indian cousin of the fish and potatoes I was rattling on about before, although varied slightly in that the cold water Mackerel, the fish of choice here that is found swimming round the coasts of this great island in its tens of thousands,  which however is not to be found in the Arabian sea or the Indian ocean so the fish I have used is local, and for those of you from pastures other than Northern Europe use any firm oily fish, so its all yours to enjoy as I have already!

This is a recipe for two to three persons, and I have laid it out so that it can be easily followed but as with all my recipes get yourself as prepared as you can before you light the stove!

To give it its Indian name…… for those of you that like to get your gums round that sort of thing

Shai Dum Ki machhali & Aloo Qorma

Preparing the Fish

500 gm Mackerel or similar oily firm fish

Marinade how to! 

1 tblsp fresh chopped Coriander

1 tblsp fresh chopped mint

4 green Chillies de-seeded and slit lengthways

1 tblsp. garlic pasteSAM_3044

1tblsp ginger paste

1 tsp ground turmericSAM_3045

Put all of the above in a blender or pestle and mortar and grind to a fine consistency, rub the marinade into the fish, cover and place in the fridge for an hour minimum and a couple of hours for the best results

Whilst the marinade is doing its thing, it’s time to make up the following paste in which to cook the fishSAM_3046

The Paste Thing!SAM_3049

1 tbsp. roasted and ground cumin

1 tbsp. desiccated coconut

3 tsp sesame seeds

3 tsp Poppy seeds

Place the cumin, coconut, sesame and poppy seeds into a blender or pestle and mortar and grind to a smooth paste use a little water if required ….cover and set aside until required

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The whats in the Aloo qorma (Potato Curry)

1 kg Potato peeled and quartered.. used Maris Piper, a nice fluffy potato when cooked.

1/4 tsp Ground Turmeric

1 tsp poppy seeds

1 inch fresh ginger Peeled

1tsp ground garlic

1tbsp Cashew Nuts

1tbsp desiccated coconut

4.5 fl oz .5 cup Ghee or Vegetable oil

2 green cardamom pods

2 inch Cinnamon stick

2 cloves

4 green Chillies

1 small tin chopped tomato

1/2 tsp Red chilli powder

8 fl oz 1 cup Natural plain Yoghurt

2 tblsp chopped fresh coriander

Juice of 1 lemon or 2 limes

After the fish has marinated, and before you are ready to cook the final dish, first boil the potatoes in a saucepan for about 15 minutes with the Turmeric, until just cooked bearing in mind that you will be finishing them off a little later….drain and set aside

Grind the poppy-seed, ginger, garlic, cashew nuts, and coconut in a pestle and mortar and set aside ready to bring the whole potato dish together whilst the fish is cooking

The final stage for the Fish

2 Onions finely chopped

300 ml fish or vegetable stock

1 tsp Turmeric

juice of 1 lemon

Take the two medium onions and some ghee or oil and fry the onions until light brown.  Add a tsp of turmeric and the spice paste and fry for a few minutes longer, drain off any excess oil, add the lemon juice, and vegetable stock bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about fifteen minutes until reduced,  then set aside until required…

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F Gas mark 7

Heat the remaining oil in a pan and add the fish and fry lightly for a few minutes

Place the fish carefully into a shallow dish and add the sauce. Cover tightly with a lid or foil and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the fish is cooked to your liking!

Now the fish is in the oven prepare the potato as followsSAM_3053

Heat the oil or ghee in a heavy base pan.

Add the whole spices and chillies and fry for a minute or two.

Add all the ground spices and fry for another minute or two

Add the chopped tomatoes and the boiled potato and cook for a further minute or two, season with salt.

Add the chilli powder and yoghurt, Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes more to heat the potato right through (ensure the potato is cooked)

Add the chopped coriander and remove the pan from the heat finally adding the lemon juice….

Serve with the fish and think of India on a warm summers evening, oh bliss……

Tamatar Bhatkalikura

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Sometimes I just get home from the office and I want a dish that’s only going to take me a few moments to prepare and one that will explode the old taste buds, fill the stomach, and remind me just why I love curry…Its just about as vegetarian as it gets, and will make you wonder if you ever need to eat meat again.

Try this fantastic little dish easy to prepare tasty and easy to eat soft to medium Chilli heat, and something that can be prepared and left to stand for up to 12 hours,  maturing like a fine wine when reheated, alternatively can be made in no time, and eaten when ready!

Tomato (Tamatar)

Tomato (Tamatar) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tamatar Bhatkalikura (that’s Tomato curry with Coconut and Spinach)

300ml Vegetable Stock

8 Medium Tomatoes  rough chopped

2 Green Chillies deseeded and chopped

6 Curry Leaves

1 Medium Onion rough chopped

Salt to taste

2 Tsp Tomato Puree

2 cloves Garlic Finely chopped

2.5 cm sq Ginger, finely chopped

1tsp Ground Cumin

1tsp Turmeric

3 tablespoons desiccated or fresh Coconut

45gm Baby Spinach, chopped

 

For the TEMPER

1tsp Mustard Seeds

1 Medium Onion chopped

0.5 tsp Chilli Powder

1tbsp (approx) Ghee or Veg oil

 

Method

Bring the Veg stock (and yes you can use an oxo cube) to the boil, add the tomatoes, chillies, curry leaves, and onion, season with salt.  Add the Tomato Puree after 10 minutes, then reduce the heat slightly.

Continue to boil and reduce the liquid for about another 15-20 minutes.

Add the garlic, chopped ginger, ground cumin, turmeric and coconut, and finally the spinach, then continue to simmer until the moisture has evaporated…

That’s it, how difficult is that all you need now is the tempering…….

Tempering

Heat the ghee or the oil in a large frying pan, I prefer Ghee as this brings a richer taste to the dish but for those on a health kick then Veg oil is fine, throw in the mustard seeds and when the seeds start to pop, add the chopped onion and the chilli powder.  Fry for about 5-7 minutes or until the onions are golden brown……Pour over the tomatoes and cover until served, to hold in that awesome aroma…..

On those days I am really tired I will serve this on a Peshwari Naan in the style of tomatoes on toast and the sweet element of that particular Naan compliments the curry –  wonderfully delicious.

Alternative with plain white rice is just as good….