All posts tagged: curry leaves

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Curry Leaf Cream of Tomato Soup and Twisted Naan Knots

Curry Leaf Cream of Tomato Soup & Twisted Naan Knots

“Indian soup again?! Urgh!” I said as my mum prepared a weeknight meal of Indian-style tomato soup to be eaten with buttered rolls. As a hungry eight year old I wondered why we couldn’t just be like a “normal” family and eat cream of tomato straight from the can, with not a speck of masala in sight. I didn’t realise it at the time but deep down, what I was really asking for was the soup my “normal” non-immigrant white friends had for tea. I thought we weren’t normal and most worryingly of all, I thought normal was good. I grew up in a small village in West Yorkshire. We were one of three Asian families living there and until I reached my first decade I never felt too different to anyone else. My brother and I were the only Hindus of Indian and African descent at our school and sometimes our customs would get poked fun at by the other kids, but never in a way that made us feel embarrassed. The rakhis I …

Vegan 'Butter' Cauliflower and Perfect Jeera Pilau

Vegan ‘Butter’ Cauliflower and Perfect Jeera Pilau

Bring me a head of cauliflower over a bunch of flowers any day. Yep, I’ve always been this easy to please. My first memories of cooking with cauliflower began at the supermarket where mum trained me in how to pick the freshest veggies for our homemade vegetarian feasts – all reliant on the senses. Think Karate Kid but with more legumes and fewer spinning leg kicks. “Look for the slimmest aubergines – they contain the fewest seeds”, “Always feel for the firmest okra – they’re the freshest”, “Shake the coconut and listen to hear if there’s water inside – the flesh will be more tender”. 20 years on and I remember these and hundreds more tips every time I pick fresh fruit and veg. I’m talking Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind but with zero algebra and loads of brassicas. My lesson on picking the perfect cauliflower? The florets should be firm, pure white and the leaves enveloped around the cauliflower head. Bonus points for a lack of baby caterpillars. When I was growing up …

lassi

The Ultimate Savoury Lassis

Last week I ordered a salted lassi at an Indian restaurant and got it in a pint glass. I didn’t even get a straw. It was an entirely bizarre experience which I can’t say I’d like to try again – lassi moustaches really don’t suit me. Got lassi? Forget beer and wine, I think nothing compliments an Indian meal better than lassi. It’s a cooling, yogurt-based drink with palate cleansing properties that balance out a spicy Indian meal perfectly. You really couldn’t get a more traditional drink. The roots of lassi are firmly embedded in Punjabi cuisine from Northern India and parts of Pakistan. Many Indian and Pakistani regions have adapted the refreshing beverage to suit their individual cooking styles and tastes.    Tempered lassi with curry leaves and mustard seeds. A fragrant South Indian touch. There are so many variations of lassi out there that I had to limit myself to just four versions of salted lassi. In case you hadn’t noticed, I prefer salted over sweet. Sweet lassis are really popular equivalents to smoothies, in …

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 …