All posts tagged: fennel seeds

Kashmiri Dum Aloo (3)

Kashmiri Dum Aloo

There’s nothing more comforting than meltingly-soft potatoes enveloped in creamy, spicy-sweet sauce – even when it’s dinner for one at the Modha residence. Nobody likes cooking for one, do they? For me, it’s a tedious task knowing I’m the only one who will get to sample my efforts. I’m a feeder – I come from a long line of feeders who taught one another to feed others until they could eat no more. Like my mum, I’ll make dinner by the bucket load regardless of whether I’m feeding one mouth or ten. It’s most definitely in our blood. I understand this is the case for lots of Indian girls who are told from a young age that finding the perfect husband involves filling his belly with spicy food, carbs and sugar. Either it’s the way to a heart or the way to heart problems – I forget which one. That’s not to say I started cooking to find a fella. Hell, I started cooking because I was an eight-year old chubster with a penchant for …

dark chocolate fennel seed cheesecake

Eggless Dark Chocolate Truffle Fennel Seed Cheesecake with Almond Pralines

Velvety, bitter chocolate cream cheese sits on top of a crisp base of almonds and ground ginger biscuits. Top with nuggets of crunchy almond and fennel seed-studded praline and drizzle with luxurious homemade caramel sauce.  Have we died and gone to cheesecake heaven? Maybe. The fact of the matter is, once you’ve tasted chocolate and fennel seeds together, you’ll never look back. My love affair with the delicious duo all started as a curious fourteen year old when my family were dreaming up desserts to take to our temple for Diwali. My mum made chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate and fennel ganache and that was all it took; I’d found my first love. Ever since that sweet little Diwali, I’ve been stuck in a little bubble experimenting with chocolate and fennel desserts. This is my most delicious creation so far. Are you ready? My original baked cheesecake recipe is adapted from Kurma Dasa’s Great Vegetarian Dishes. This book helped inspire my love for cooking and I doubt my passion would have grown the way it …

paan-ice-cream

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 …

slideshow-pau-bhaji

Butter Pau Bhaji

All Butter Pau Bhaji Recipe If you love Pau Bhaji with heaps of creamy butter as much as I do, I hope you’ll love my article for FN UK’s blog in honour of all things street food. You discover what happened when I cooked up some Pau Bhaji in their test kitchen and my experience eating Pau Bhaji on the street in one of my most favourite Indian food cities, Leicester.  I was sitting on a burning wall devouring £3.50 worth of hot, spicy Pau Bhaji. It was heavily spiced but not with chillies – the intense heat came from a medley of ground cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and fennel seeds. The bread was hot, buttery and perfect for scooping up the delicious bhaji. Now, I’ve tasted great Pau Bhajis in the past and I’ve also made good Pau Bhajis, but the truth is that I much prefer it when someone else makes the effort to sizzle some up for me. Any takers? Read the article here. Get the recipe here. FYI, my …

pistachio-cauliflower2

Creamy Pistachio and Cauliflower Curry

Whether you wanted to or not, yesterday, you all probably caught a glimpse of the Royal Wedding and that dress. It was on almost every single Sky channel imaginable and there’s no denying the amazing pageantry that was going on. For me, the real stars were those gorgeous fairytale horses pulling the carriage from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace – how cute were they?! The past few blogging weeks have been spent exploring beautiful Mughlai cuisine for the main purpose of putting together a royal-inspired menu. Being entirely honest, after this recipe for Creamy Pistachio and Cauliflower Curry, there are one or two more important recipes I need to add before the menu is complete.   If there’s one thing the Mughals did beautifully, it was their impeccable sauces; and truthfully, the secret to a great curry is a great sauce. If you’re just as much into luscious sauces as I am, then this pistachio and almond dish is just for you. I’ve laced it with whole black peppercorns which soften in the simmered sauce …

biryani-mughlai

Mughlai Apricot Biryani

The past few days have been spent planning an elaborate baking mission composed of sweet treats to make your heart cry out for a detox – though I’m not yet ready for said detox. In honour of all things royal wedding, I’m creating a banquet fit for kings and queens. Our party spread will be formed of rich, sweet and spicy dishes for us to present to our family and guests so they can ‘ohh’ and ‘ahh’ over it while we take all the credit for such an extravagant and mouth watering menu. Biryani is a bit like a newborn kitten – except you don’t cook nor eat newborn kittens. It requires heaps of concentration, patience and love. Each individual component needs to be prepared to just the right level before the ingredients can be assembled in a harmonious fashion, and then gently steamed to create an insanely delicious smelling and tasting dish to fight over at the dinner table.   Swollen soaked saffron strands   In the last post we discussed the origins of …

shahi-paneer-okra

Shahi Paneer Stuffed Okra

Coconut, dried fruits, nuts and rich spices are what make exotic Shahi cuisine fit for royalty – and for you and I.   Dishes created in imperial kitchens during the rise of the Mughal Empire (in the heart of northern India and on the now India-Pakistan border) echoed the deeply aromatic flavours of Persia.   The Mughals, known for their extravagance and majestic style, were no different to their eating habits. Rich sauces made with ground nuts, kebabs, koftas and kormas are some of the most delicious and popular bites to come from this era.   My recipe for Shahi Paneer Stuffed Okra is not a traditional Mughlai dish – it’s entirely my own creation cooked up during a 2am food fantasy. I’ve taken my inspiration from the delicious Shahi cuisine I love to indulge in a little too often.   By now you must know how I love contrasting flavours and textures, and if you do too, you need to try this. Juicy okra stuffed with homemade paneer which has been spiked with golden …

Melt in the Mouth Paneer Kofta

How long did you think it would be? I mean, how long did you really think it would before I came back with another paneer recipe? You must have known it wouldn’t be long because you all know how I can’t resist that rich, creamy, irresistible goodness! Kofta (as they are usually referred to in the South Asian Subcontinent) have a heavy presence over various cuisines; from the Arabian Peninsula to what was once Persia to North Africa and also Eastern Europe. The concept of the kofta (or kufteh, köfte, keftes, kufta, ćufta… I could go on for a really long time so I really think I should stop here) is that a ground form of particular ingredients are spiced (according to what herbs and spices are predominantly available in that country) and rolled into a certain shape. Now, they are usually rolled into spherical shapes but in some Arab counties they are shaped rather like long kebabs, therefore the concept obviously varies according to where it is being made. Kofta can be fried, steamed, grilled …