Month: August 2011


Peach and Cinnamon Chutney

  I will make chutney from any fruits I can get my hands on. Fact.   Whether it’s ripe, unripe, something I love or something I’m not too keen on, turning it in to chutney is guaranteed to make it better.   There’s something about seasonal peaches bubbling away in their own syrupy goodness that makes me feel like somewhat of a domestic goddess. I’m filling the house with a beautiful, fruity aroma and there’s no aerosol or plug-in air freshener in sight. Magic.   Whenever I see an abundance of fruits at a great price, I know what I need to do. The first step is to select the perfect spice partners; I think of classic dishes which pair fruits and spices – Shrikhand, biryani and light and creamy curries. This time it was grilled peaches with cinnamon sugar. It just makes sense.   A touch of ground ginger and Kashmiri chilli adds warmth and the savoury notes iconic of Indian-style chutneys I grew up eating with flatbreads like rotli, naan and paratha.   …


Paan Ice Cream

Paan Ice Cream One of my most magical childhood memories is sitting in the back seat of my parents’ red VW Golf during the mid-nineties, slowly peeling back the red-stained paper from a little bundle of ‘Special Meetha Paan’: Areca nuts, fennel seeds, shredded coconut and rose paste, smothered in a ‘secret’ syrup, then tightly wrapped in a peppery betel leaf.   Freshly prepared Sweet Paan from R. P. Barot and Sons ‘Pan Ghar’, Leicester   My last trip to everyone’s favourite paan house got me thinking; I was missing a trick. I’ve always loved the fresh flavours, but all that chewing can be terribly hard work. Then suddenly it dawned on me, why had I never made my own Paan Ice Cream? It’s swelteringly hot over here (in comparison to last week’s pesky rain) and so I let myself go, forgot the diet for an evening and decided to finally give it a go. The first batch curdled on me because the milk I had steeped betel leaves in was too hot to add …


Chilli and Sesame Vermicelli

Chilli and Sesame Vermicelli     Love noodles? So do I. This quick and easy recipe for spicy vegetable noodles is something I recently made for breakfast. You know I love a hearty breakfast. I needed something warming and flavourful and the chilli heat from these stir-fried noodles really hit the spot.   Vermicelli is a thin pasta I usually use to make Indian sweet dishes like Doodh Vari Sev (vermicelli in sweetened milk). A heap of crackling mustard seeds and aromatic sesame seeds spike the dish with light spice and a pinch of turmeric gives the finished dish a beautiful golden yellow colour.    Feel free to add any vegetables you like to this, as I just used what I had in the fridge. A handful of finely shredded strips of carrot make for a fresh and crunchy topping which is a lovely contrast from the soft noodles.    I also added some frozen peas for a little burst of sweetness, but you could also use sweetcorn. And obviously, there’s always room for paneer. …