Month: July 2011

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coconut-noodle

Curried Coconut Noodle Soup

   I’ve always been one to get excited when a great big parcel gets delivered to the house. Itching to get my paws on the contents, I rip at packages, chipping nail varnish and not batting an eyelid over it – very strange behaviour. Recently, the lovely people over at Pataks sent me some sample jars of their curry sauces – Tikka Masala, Phal and Vindaloo (which had unfortunately broken during transit even though they had packaged them up well). Spying the package on the doorstep, I pounced on it, desperate to find out what was inside.   I don’t usually use store-bought curry pastes or sauces, especially Indian ones but I was intrigued to find out how they worked, anticipating that I’d have to make many alterations to suit my taste. This was definitely not the case.   Phal, the jar which I was most drawn to, was adorned with several chilli images indicating it was going to be super spicy – just how I like it. And of course, there’s no better way …

chai

Cardamom Chai

  There’s nothing I like better than a little mug of sweet cardamom tea to unwind after an action-packed day. Today the term ‘chai’ has become a generic term for posh frothy mugs of under-spiced and over-priced drinks available in coffee shops across the globe. This makes me sad.   The recipe for chai is one I email out a lot to readers and I think finally, it’s time to officially share one with everyone. It’s taken me long enough.   If you’ve never tasted a real cup of Indian chai, you won’t know that it should be spicy, not just aromatic but full of heat from ground cloves, cinnamon and peppercorns. The spice should be balanced with a generous amount of sugar, milk (or condensed milk) and of course, well-brewed tea leaves.   This is the epitome of the perfect Indian chai.   Making tea is a fine-tuned art everyone can be a dab hand at. Every family has its own recipe but the balance of flavours will always be in perfect harmony. Don’t …

masala-poori

Masala Poori

  The world of Indian breads is vast and varied. From rotli to naan, paratha and poori, they can be toasted, baked or fried. Adding herbs and spices is common and I love experiment with different flavours. My favourite kind of poori has got to be infused with turmeric and red chilli and is also known as Masala Poori   Serve with Sukha Aloo (Dry Potato Curry) and creamy yogurt for am amazing breakfast or brunch. Poori is also popularly served with spicy chickpea curry and is eaten with the hands, filling the fried bread with curry and broken from the outside in. Fiddly but delicious.   Traditionally a South Indian bread, they can be made into large discs or little puffy balls. I prefer to make them smaller firstly because they’re cute and secondly, because they rise much more easily which is great if you’re a beginner. Sooji or semolina is added to give the bread a crisp finish and it is popularly eaten with Shrikhand at auspicious times. Let me tell you, that …

eggless-wedding-cakes

Eggless Wedding Cakes

Told you I’d be back. Albeit late, but hey, I’m still here. And I’ve come armed with hundreds of little Red Velvet and Lemon Cupcakes topped with handmade sugarpaste Indian elephants and glitter-caked peacock feathers.  Bespoke handmade sugarpaste Indian elephants (want these? Email me) Two very lovely people got married in my hometown last Sunday and the beautiful bride had long ago asked me to make her a wedding cake. I was over the moon and ever so slightly alarmed by the prospect. It could collapse, melt in the heat of the British summertime or even worse, become a refuge shelter for the small mammals of Yorkshire. Handmade sugarpaste peacock feather with edible glitter (want this? Email me) I didn’t dare venture into the stacked eggless cake territory – that would be far too ambitious for an amateur such as myself. So I took the safe route and opted for an elegant clear cake stand, loaded it with cupcakes and topped it with the softest eggless sponge, jam and buttercream known to man (and woman). …

spicy-spinach-lasagne

Spicy Spinach Lasagne

Spicy Spinach Lasagne Guess what I did this weekend? I made my first wedding cake! 300 cupcakes consisting of both Red Velvet and Lemon. Finished with a swirl of vanilla buttercream and the cutest handmade Indian elephants and peacock feathers. The display was crowned with a vanilla buttercream cake and a giant peacock feather. Thankfully, there were no real disasters and I think everyone enjoyed the bite-sized cakes. Plus, I don’t have the skill to pull off a traditional tiered wedding cake… yet! I’ll be posting up images from the event tomorrow so keep your eyes peeled for a whole load of cupcakes and lots of diabetic, drooling Modhas. Some of you will know that it’s Italy Month at Food Network UK and all throughout July they’re featuring delicious pasta recipes. This week, my Spicy Spinach Lasagne made the featured spot in the newsletter. And just between me and you, KO Rasoi reader – Lasagne Indian-style is so much better! I layered up a very basic spicy spinach puree in the same way I would …