All posts tagged: garlic

Chilli-Garlic Tofu Noodle Bowls with Crispy Fried Okra

Chilli-Garlic Tofu Noodle Bowls with Crispy Okra

One of my favourite weeknight dinners is stir-fried tofu with colourful veggies, noodles and heaps of chilli. This is a twist on Chilli Paneer – that Indian vegetarian restaurant favourite that has found its way onto wedding menus and dinner tables at home. As much as I love paneer, I find it a little too heavy to have with noodles or rice – this is where tofu noodle bowls come to the rescue. They might look quite ordinary but the sauce packs a real punch, seasoning the golden tofu and noodles perfectly. It’s made using large red chillies, garlic, spring onions, soy sauce, star anise and brown sugar. A combo of ingredients I always have in the house. I throw in any vegetables I have in the fridge – usually a mix of broccoli, mushrooms, beansprouts, mange tout or French beans. My special touch to these is to add crispy okra strips and fried Thai basil leaves. They add the most beautiful crunch and are a delicious way of getting your okra fix as part of …

Chilli Lime and Garlic Mogo

Chilli, Lime and Garlic Mogo

My favourite Sunday afternoon snacks consist of anything that goes with with a cup of masala chai. Whether it’s something deep fried and delicious like samosa or kachori, or a pile of fluffy steamed dhokra, I’m a sucker for savoury snacks. These East African-style Mogo Chips are a childhood favourite. It’s the kind of food we’d prepare if we have guests coming over because it’s so simple to throw together. I’ve also never met anyone who doesn’t love fluffy mogo. Mogo (a.k.a Cassava) is a staple carb in Africa, in many parts of South America where it is known as Yucca and of course, in my house. Countless Indian restaurants all over the UK serve it up in all kinds of ways, popular choices being Tandoori and Indo-Chinese style (with soy sauce). Personally, I think the simpler it is, the better. What I love about mogo is its earthy flavour, which truly comes to life when it’s gently steamed or boiled. It’s so distinct, you’d know within a split second that someone is making ‘bafelo …

Sizzling Chilli Idli (F)

Sizzling Chilli Idli

There’s nothing more OTT than being the table that orders the ‘sizzler’ in a restaurant; the loud crackling noise, the aromatic waft of spices and the annoyingly smug smiles on the diners’ faces. It immediately reminds me of how it feels to be on the receiving end as I sit there with my lacklustre Aloo Chaat, thinking, ‘Sizzlers are so overrated and tacky… but I’ll get one next time. It’s a love/hate thing. Whether it’s crowned with vegetables, paneer, cassava or meat, sizzlers are notorious for their sticky, spicy sauces made with plenty of chilli and garlic. It’s not something you’d order on a first date. I’m not ashamed to admit I own a sizzler (purely for showing-off purposes) and although you know my first love in life is paneer, I’m sizzling up something more unusual this time. Idli or South Indian rice cakes are made with ground rice and split urad daal which have been gently steamed. Because idli are so perfect fresh from the steamer, leftovers are often overlooked (at my house, anyway). …

Garlic and Coriander Naan Large

Garlic and Coriander Naan

When it comes to guilty pleasures, along with paneer, naan is up there on my list. Brushed with the most flavoursome fresh garlic and coriander butter, these are so perfect for pairing with any Indian curry or daal. They’re soft, slightly chewy and a little charred in places – this balance of textures is so characteristic of good naan. Naan is one of India’s most famous breads, and probably the most well-known in British Asian restaurants. Very rarely do I leave an Indian restaurant without having filled my belly with garlic and coriander naan – lest they just so happen to have garlic, coriander and chilli naan on the menu (in which case, I’ll take two). Whenever I’m making naan, I love to add kalonji (nigella) seeds – they impart that special flavour you definitely know, but somehow can never put your finger on. They’re aromatic, slightly bitter, but have an incredibly delicious flavour which mellows out when baked into the bread. Yeast and plain yoghurt help to leaven the naan whilst keeping them moist …


Sizzlingly Hot Garlic Chutney

I always think carefully before I indulge in a dish chock-full of garlic. What am I doing tomorrow? Am I going anywhere? Who am I meeting with? I love it when the answers are, ‘nothing’, ‘no’ and ‘nobody’. Controversially, I think that gobbling garlic swamped dishes should only really be done in the privacy of one’s own home; curtains shut tightly, chain on the door and phone off the hook. We don’t want any disturbances. I admire this almost ritualistic way of paying homage to the humble garlic by eating it privately, behind closed doors. I suppose it’s just human nature to enjoy doing something that makes you ask yourself whether you should really be doing it at all. Did you know that garlic is slightly toxic and even if you are just preparing it, your breath and pores will take on that love it/hate it garlic smell. It is also a top blood purifier. Isn’t it great when the pros outweigh the cons? To get that garlic smell off your hands, wash them with washing …


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 …