Month: June 2010

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matar-bhaat

Matar Bhaat- Fluffy Basmati Rice with Fresh Peas

This dish of fluffy, buttery rice with peas alongside a bowl of kadhi encapsulates everything it means to be Gujarati. Ever been to a Gujarati wedding? If so, you’ve probably eaten this before. You’ve heard me say it a hundred and one times before but I know I’ll be saying it again and again; hot, sweet, sour, savoury, fresh and aromatic. These are the flavours of matar bhaat and kadhi and the flavours of Gujarat. I’ve eaten these dishes so many times that a fillet of Sanjana probably tastes similar. That’s not an invitation- you know very well that this is a vegetarian blog. Well, you get the picture. Hot, sweet, sour… blah, blah, blah.   This is a remembered recipe passed on to me by my idol, my mum. She taught me her father’s recipe for matar bhaat and I personally challenge you to unearth a better version of the dish. I’m positive that Nanabapu’s recipe is probably being served to the Rishimunnis (those having reached enlightenment) up in the fluffy, white clouds of …

lemon-preserve

Sweet and Sour Indian Lemon Preserve

      This is such a simple preserve to put together and it tastes out of this world. Small Indian lemons are macerated in a golden sweet-salty turmeric liquid for at least two weeks until the whole mixture becomes delectably syrupy. Both kids and grown-ups will love it!   Enjoy this lemon preserve with Indian breads like puri, paratha or thepla and rice or lentil dishes like khichdi. It’s also a perfect dip for poppadoms!     I used small Indian lemons from my local Indian grocers as they are the perfect size for this preserve, and they pack a huge punch. They’re tiny, yet lethal. Rather like myself. Ingredients 10 small unwaxed Indian lemons 250ml lemon juice 1/2 cup granulated white sugar 2 tsp ground sea salt ¼ tsp turmeric powder Method 1. Gently scrub each lemon under warm water, rinse and dry. 2. Halve the lemons and put them in a sterilised glass jar. 3. In a small saucepan heat the lemon juice and add the sugar, salt and turmeric and heat until …

spinach-puri

Puffy, Fluffy Spinach and Green Chilli Puris

Puris (plural) [also spelt ‘pooris’] are a kind of unleavened Indian flatbread which are hugely popular at weddings. They are typically kept plain or spiced with turmeric and chillies and always, always deep fried. They are beautifully soft, puffy and fluffy and can be eaten with curries, rice, soups, sweet yogurt (shrikhand) and even rolled and dipped in sweet chai for breakfast. You can eat them hot, warm or cold, although I prefer them balloon-like, straight from the hot wok (which I use to deep fry in).   Fluffy. My tormentor.   I’ve flavoured these puris with fresh leaf spinach and green chillies which I pureed with a little boiling water. The only problem is that now I can’t stop finding excuses to devour one every time I wander into the kitchen. Don’t call the psychiatrist just yet, though. First, make them and wait to see if the same thing happens to you. If it does, then you’re welcome. Donations are also welcome, as are love letters (to be sent directly via e-mail). Puris are stupidly …

vegan-chocolate-cupcakes

A Delicious Delicious Delicious Guest Post

Today, the wonderful Mr. P from the delicious ‘Delicious Delicious Delicious’ is going to quite literally make you drool.  Thank you P, for this gorgeous EGGLESS chocolate spice cupcake recipe. I am in love with P’s beautiful blog which I am sure you’re all aware of by now. If you’re not, you’re really missing out- I urge you to visit him over at DDD. He’s a baking wizard and literary genius who I’ve grown to simply adore. It is an honour to present him to you as a guest blogger today… You guys are so spoilt rotten! Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes by P of DDD (No, not P. Diddy) This cherry is absolutely necessary. I’m in a bit of a bad way; these cupcakes have made me question everything I thought I knew about baking and cakes. Basically, for me it feels as if the whole world has been turned upside down at the moment. You see, they are eggless. If you don’t bake very much, that might not sound like a big deal, but I …

kasodi

Kasodi- Ugandan Sweetcorn Cobs in a Peanut and Coconut Sauce

This is vegan. Just had to mention that shocking fact as this is by far one of the creamiest, richest, most delicious dishes I have ever tasted. Having recently posted the Gujarati-inspired African dish Hot and Sour Tamarind Cassava, I have decided to share a little more of these rare combinations with you. Note: I’m currently considering coining this sort of food under the term ‘Gujafrican’ cuisine- pretty accurate if you ask me. These recipes have been simmering in the karahis my family of cooks for year upon years, and now everyone loves a little cassava, sour mango, coconut milk and other delicious East African ingredients. Gujafrican cuisine is light, moreish and perfect for long summer evenings. Let me warn you, once you start cooking these dishes they will leave an everlasting impression upon your tastebuds, which you will never forget. This recipe uses no onions or garlic, and so the dish is flavoured using alternative aromatic spices. Sweetcorn and cumin are like bride and groom; they hold hands, dance, and totally love each other, …

paneer-peas-spring-rolls

Roll Up! Roll Up! Paneer, Sweetcorn and Peas Spring Rolls

I like nothing more than a good spring roll. Add paneer to the mix and you’re halfway there. I think a good spring roll is summed up by a well seasoned, well spiced filling, and a light, crisp pastry. But this recipe doesn’t make a good spring roll. It makes a whole lotta delicious, taste bud tingling spring rolls. Follow these steps and you won’t be able to keep your mitts off of them. I made my own paneer by splitting (with ¼ cup lemon juice) around 3 pints of whole, boiling milk, then straining through a piece of cheesecloth. I then pressed the paneer in the cheesecloth with weights to remove excess liquid. If you don’t want to do this then you can buy a block of paneer from any good supermarket, and grate it to use in this recipe. Peas, sweetcorn and coriander add a mouth-watering lightness that pairs beautifully with the dense paneer. For spicing, I use whole cumin seeds, sesame seeds and lots of coarsely ground black pepper; these ingredients are …

urad-daal

Gujarati-Style Urad Daal

This recipe was requested by Max- A reader with an inspiring passion for Gujarati food. Prepare yourselves to be psychologically transported to Gujarat with this hearty daal dish. Urad daal (also known as black gram) are used all over India, in a huge variety of dishes. They make hearty lunch or dinner stews in Northern and Western India, whereas they grace the breakfast tables of South Indian homes in their skinned-split form. These lentils are so versatile; they can be used whole, split or ground to make curries, soups, steamed savoury cakes (idlis) and even those notoriously delicious lentil pancakes (dosa). The earthy, iron-richness of the whole lentils make a traditional and popular meal for peasant workers on Indian farms, and can be served with a variety of breads like naan, chapattis and rotla, and also plain basmati rice. Add plenty of butter or ghee at your will (and mine), although this will not be necessary to add creaminess to the dish. When cooked, urad daal bleed a thick, glutinous liquid which will make your …