Category Archives: Indian

chapati trials

I tried making chapatis (rotis/Indian flatbreads) the other day, to go with my matar mushroom. I’ve made them twice before and it seemed pretty simple at the time. Hmmm. I got overly enthusiastic and lugged a huge sack of wheat flour (or atta) home from the shops. Meanwhile my friend searched out a YouTube video with clear instructions of what to do (a video that now seems to have disappeared).

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It was a lot like making pastry: work flour and fat (oil) into crumbs, add water to make into a dough, rest and roll out. But I haven’t quite got the hang of it yet…

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My chapatis didn’t puff up in the pan like they did in the video. They just sort of stayed hard and flat. You’re meant to press down on the bubbles that form, so forcing the air into other parts of the chapati. When I did this, either the air refused to budge or I popped a hole in the dough so it escaped altogether. Each one got a little easier though, until they were just about decent and half puffed up.

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Filed under breads, Indian

matar mushroom

This dish is on many menus in Delhi and I first tried it at Tadka . I’d never thought of using mushrooms in Indian cooking, and it’s true that they’re not often used, but this is still a popular dish. The cashew nuts make it surprisingly creamy. Serve with chapatis, rice and dal. No photo as the presentation left a lot to be desired (I was hungry!) but I can assure you it was really tasty.

Ingredients (serves 6-8 as a side dish, 3-4 as a main):

200g closed cup mushrooms

250g frozen peas (matar)

2 onions

4 tomatoes

4 green cardamoms

An inch of cinnamon stick (not too crumbly or you will end up picking bits of cinnamon out of your teeth)

Fresh ginger (about 2 inches squared)

3 cloves garlic

1 packet unsalted, uncooked cashew nuts

1 tbsp chilli powder

1 tbsp corriander powder

1 tsp tumeric

1 tsp garam masala

1 tbsp vegetable oil

salt to taste

1) Finely chop onions and fry on a low heat vegetable oil with the cardamoms and cinnamon stick until the onions are translucent.

2) Meanwhile grate the ginger (you can leave the skin on) and peel and crush the garlic. Add these to the pan and stir.

3) Chop the tomatoes into eighths, add to the pan and cook gently, stirring often for about ten minutes.

4) Meanwhile simmer the cashew nuts in in a small pan, with just enough water to cover them, for five minutes. Take off the heat and blend to a paste, adding water as you go if the mixture is too sticky.

5) Add the chilli, corriander, tumeric, garam masala and salt to the onion pan mixture and cook for two minutes.

6) Add the cashew nut mixture to the pan along with a cup of water. Stir thoroughly and bring to the boil.

6) Meanwhile wash the mushrooms (I don’t really believe in the brushing v washing debate) and chop into quarters.

7) Add the mushrooms and peas to the pan and cook until the mushrooms are tender but not mushy – about five minutes.

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Filed under Indian, vegetarian

christmas korma…

Left-over-goose curry sounds weird, but this turned out quite nicely, so thanks to Dirty Kitchen Secrets for her white curry suggestion. The korma would probably taste better with chicken though, as described in Darina Allen’s brilliant Ballymaloe Cookery Course book. I recommend drum n bass for grinding spices. Continue reading

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Filed under English, Indian