All posts tagged: gujarati

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Hot Saffron and Lemon Seeroh Pistachio Ice Cream

Hot Saffron and Lemon Seeroh with Pistachio Ice Cream

Seeroh is one of those desserts that brings out the greedy little kid in me. Sweet semolina tossed with spices and so buttery it melts as soon as it hits your tongue. Flippin’ gorgeous. And before you ask, it’s nothing like ‘school dinner’ semolina. Not even close. Years ago we’d make special trips to the mandir (temple) during Navratri and Diwali to pray for the year ahead, see family and have an amazing, spiritual evening. Of course, I was there for all of these reasons, plus for the reason that there would be prashad – sweets like Seeroh offered to the gods that evening. After putting my hands together in prayer, I’d open them up and wait patiently for my Seeroh. I believe glace cherries have three purposes in life; to garnish cocktails, top cherry bakewells and stud this delicious addictive treat. If you really don’t like them, replace with candied lemon or orange pieces. They’ll add an incredible texture to contrast the soft texture of this dessert. I love experimenting with different flavour combinations …

Homemade Chapattis

Homemade Chapattis – Gujarati Rotli

The smell that floods a home when the first chapatti goes on the cast-iron hotplate surrounds me with comfort and joy I cannot even explain. It’s my most favourite smell in the whole world because it represents my childhood, my family and every moment (both happy and sad) in our home. Gujarati chapattis (rotli) are the glue that sticks everything Indian families eat together… or should I say the bread the scoops up all of our daals and curries. They’re an everyday staple and without them, a weeknight meal would be incomplete. I’ve known men who won’t touch their dinner unless there are hot, freshly-made rotlis on the table. Softer and smaller than your average Punjabi or Pakistani Roti (the kind you’d get in most restaurants), these Gujarati Rotli have oil in the dough and are cooked on a super-hot cast-iron tawa/lodhi, leaving them delicious and toasty. I don’t cook them on an open flame because they’re so soft, they’d just break. They still puff up like hot air balloons as they cook on the lodhi. …

Burnt Aubergine and Spinach Curry 4

Melt-in-the-Mouth Burnt Aubergine and Spinach Curry

I live and breathe Gujarati food. Simple vegetarian dishes we’d eat every night when I was young are what have inspired my love of cooking today. Oroh was one of those dishes mum would cook as a midweek dinner after our evening swim at our local leisure centre. Oroh is simply a name for smoky aubergine cooked with garlic, onions, tomatoes and chillies. If you’re a fan of North Indian food, you’ll probably know it as Baingan Bharta – the Punjabi version. Oroh is the Gujarati name for it and here’s how we cook it at home. It’s really easy to be afraid of overdoing it with this dish. You might think it’s mad to add as much garlic as my recipe calls for but please do stick with it. The burnt aubergine needs flavours that can stand up to it so that the result is smoky, spicy, punchy and tangy. I learnt to cook this when I was 12 years old and it blew my mind. I thought it was insane to cook aubergines on …

Peanut Masala Stuffed Aubergines

Baby Aubergines Stuffed with Peanut Masala

Stuffing baby vegetables with spicy, nutty masala can be a beautiful thing. It’s nothing new, Gujaratis have been popping a tray of them onto their dinner party tables for years. Stuffed vegetables are, and always have been the ultimate show-off dish – the more extensive the variety of veggies you manage to wangle into the dish, the more fabulous you are. I remember when I was little it was just aubergines, potatoes and onions in our family kitchen. As I grew, we became more and more adventurous with what we put in; it all began with bananas (my granddad used to add these back in Mombasa), then we added peas to the sauce, stuffed baby courgettes, okra, paneer (you didn’t really think I’d miss that one out did you?) and no matter what it was, it still tasted amazing. Go ahead, be fabulous and experiment with your stuffed veggie curry. Today I’m downsizing. Not because I can’t be bothered, but because I know these fresh baby aubergines I got from the market (no lie, I …

potato-cashew

Potato and Cashew Nut Curry (Sukha Bateta Nu Shaak)

Let me introduce you to the first part of one of the most amazing brunches known to man (and woman) – Potato and Cashew Nut Curry with Little Deep Fried Breads, also known as Sukha Bateta Nu Shaak and Masala Poori. My heart just did a little somersault. My fondest memories of eating this dish lie with the time I lived with my parents. Waking up on sleepy Sunday mornings (or to be more accurate, Sunday midday in my case) to the smell of aromatic curry leaves, fresh ginger and freshly fried spicy dough permeated my nostrils, coaxing me out of bed and into the kitchen to witness exactly what everyone needs to experience at least once in life – Bateta Nu Shaak and Masala Poori for brunch. The whole shebang was like a starved bear waking up from hibernation to the smell of honey-drenched baklava. Well, something like that anyway. This dry curry epitomises Gujarati cooking with its fluffy potatoes, crunchy cashews and light spicing, complimented by a squeeze of zingy lemon juice. Garnish …

mung-bhaat

Gujarati Mung Bhaat- Mung Bean and Rice Soup

Join me in a moment of nostalgia with my recipe for a classic Gujarati Mung Bean Soup. This is nothing like my playful recipe for Spinach and Mung Bean Soup – it’s an untweaked and deliciously traditional soup loved by the Gujarati peoples. Can you believe I didn’t stray from the recipe?   Did you know? Many Indians consider the mung bean to bring luck and so it is used in rituals and offered to the Gods along with grains of raw rice. Like most Gujarati recipes, every family has its own secret version of this mung bean soup, with probably the only similarity across all variations being that it’s always, always served with rice. The rice is boiled separately from the mung bean soup and usually mixed in just before serving. Check out my tips on how to cook perfect basmati rice. I topped mine with sweet, golden onions and fresh coriander. You can also stir in a spoonful of creamy natural yogurt for a mild tang. If you’re feeling lazy and are craving …

Summer Berry Shrikhand

I’m a massive clinger. Ever since the summer sun disappeared behind these pesky autumnal clouds, I’ve been doing everything in my power to cling on to the warm days which were so quickly snatched away from me. Sniff. Due to my recent bitterness towards not receiving delicious freebies on my doorstep like a certain Mr. P, I enquired about sampling some Greek yogurt from Total. Fage Total are specialists in yogurt making and their product range includes choices for all kinds of yogurt lovers. Their full fat Greek yogurt is exactly the thing I need for making Shrikhand. They even have 0% fat and 2% fat Greek yogurts which are perfect for cooking. Bring. Them. On. I’ve been rambling on about Shrikhand for absolutely ages, teasing you with recipes like Eggless Saffron and Lemon Shrikhand Cheesecake and Shrikhand Spice Lamingtons. Evil, no? In all seriousness, I’ve actually been meaning to do this for a long time and thanks to Total, I finally had the motivation to get it done. I chose to combine my sweetened, spiced …

potato-spring-onion

Gujarati Potatoes and Spring Onions Sautéed in Chickpea Flour

      Fresh flavoured, dry curries are done so well by Gujaratis. It’s all about taking simple ingredients and packing in as much flavour as possible. From thalis (3 course meal plates), to dhokras (steamed savoury cakes) and mistan (Indian sweets), the simplicity and variety of Gujarati cuisine is a huge attraction for vegetarians. Around three-quarters of the population of Gujarat are vegetarian for an assortment of reasons. Among religious, economical and health reasons, many Gujarati’s believe that the abundance of nuts, beans and leafy greens available in their region neutralises the need to eat meat. Having said this, Gujarati food is simple, family cooking which can coax the most radical meat-eaters into enjoying a vegetarian meal. This dish is just one of those typical Gujarati specialities which can be adapted according to what produce is in season and available at the time. Chickpea flour curries are great with okra, fresh fenugreek leaves and even whole chilli peppers! That is if you’re feeling brave enough. Why not check out my recipe for Turnip and …

vaal-peanut-sauce-fi

Fresh Field Beans (Vaal) in a Peanut and Yogurt Sauce

Graduation was fantastic! Thank you for all of the congratulations and good luck wishes you left for me. As always, your support is invaluable. Time to start a fresh, new chapter of my life, and the only way to fire up such chapters is with fresh, innovative food. This dish combines firm field beans with a creamy, clean tasting yogurt sauce. Perfect for those who like subtly spiced dishes or those who simply fancy a change from heavily perfumed concoctions.   You can buy field beans from all good Indian grocery or health food shops; they can be found fresh, dried and frozen so keep your beans eyes peeled. Their texture is best described as a cross between white soya beans and cannellini beans. Delicious in soups and stews, they are more popularly added to curries in Gujarati cuisine. The famous young field bean (whole) and aubergine curry (vaalore ringdra) is evidence of its popularity; it has dominated wedding menus for years. And I ain’t gonna question that! Vaal- Mature field beans with the pod removed …

mung-bean-curry-slide

Gujarati Dry Mung Bean Curry

As promised, here is a recipe for a traditional, flavour-packed dry curry which pairs brilliantly with Gujarati Kadhi. If you know someone who is notorious for complaining about ‘boring old lentils’- or indeed you are that person, then I very much doubt you will feel the same way about this dish. Traditionally, the predominant flavours are garlic and a little cinnamon. Have I ever told you how amazing cinnamon is with lentils? I have now. The strong flavours of this Dry Mung Bean Curry completes a meal when paired with mellower dishes like Kadhi and plain rice. I really hope you give it a try… It’s one of my favourites! Ingredients (Serves 4) 1 ½ cups mung beans 1 small pinch baking powder 1 tbsp sunflower oil 1 tsp mustard seeds 2 tsp cumin seeds ¼ tsp asafoetida (optional) 5-6 curry leaves 1 tbsp garlic, minced 2 medium hot chillies, minced 1 medium tomato, chopped ½ tsp turmeric 1 tbsp lemon juice or to taste 1 tsp cinnamon powder Salt to taste Sugar to taste ¼ …

Spring Chicks and Turnip Babies

Before you think I’ve fallen off my lifelong (21 year old) vegetarian wagon, please allow me to explain that this recipe contains neither spring chicks, nor babies. It does in fact contain spring onions, chickpea flour and baby turnips, so it’s all good. This quick and simple recipe is a great everyday Gujarati favourite in our house and can be made with pretty much any veggies you can think of. I like to use radishes, mooli, bell peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, fenugreek and if I’m feeling tough enough, whole chillies. I love that the veggies still retain their natural, sweet flavours among the bursts of spice provided by the chickpea flour masala. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Stay tuned for the asafoetida showcase. Baby Turnip and Spring Onion Curry made the Foodbuzz Top 9 on 28th December 2009 (Serves 4) Ingredients Around 15 baby turnips, washed, trimmed and sliced into 1cm pieces 4 spring onions (scallions), washed, trimmed and sliced 1 large tomato, chopped finely 1 cup water ½ tsp dehydrated kasoori methi …