All posts tagged: mustard seeds

Chilli Lemon Cauliflower FI

Chilli Lemon Cauliflower

It’s the simple pleasures in life I’ve always appreciated the most; chapattis with mango pickle, paratha dipped in raita and from time to time, maybe peanut butter and banana sandwiches (let’s keep that one between us). From sitting on a Mombasa beach nibbling on maize, smothered with lemon and red chilli powder, to scoffing cassava fries doused in citrus hot sauce in university halls, these flavours are an integral part of my food memories. I think it reason this combination works so well is because the chilli heat is mellowed out with the sharp acidity of fragrant lemon. Indeed, it’s not only Indian and East African dishes which take full advantage of this mouth-watering duo – just think about your favourite Mexican salsas and Thai salads made with the native lime. I never remove seeds or membrane from fresh chillies – I don’t see the point. However, if you prefer to remove them for a mild flavour then remember to adjust your use of lemon accordingly. A general rule of thumb is that the hotter …

khaman

Khaman

Guess who’s back? Over the next four weeks I’ll be running a series called Indian Cooking Step-by-Step in which I’ll be exploring classic recipes from a handful of Indian regions. Join me as I prepare Khaman – a Gujarati favourite in under 50 minutes. I’m not too proud to admit that I’m a terrible teacher, but when it comes to cooking Indian food, I can’t help but put my two pence in. I become a wannabe Gujarati (hailing from the state of Gujarat in western India) Mary Poppins who’s full of the old-school tips I picked up watching various female family members squabble over how much ginger to put in the daal. Khaman are fluffy, steamed, savoury cakes made with chickpea flour and a divine topping of tempered mustard seeds, sesame seeds, curry leaves, shredded coconut and coriander. The tempered topping is the most magical part of the recipe, as hot oil with sizzling spices is (very carefully) splashed with water, and then drizzled over the top of the delicately-spicy savoury cake. The result is …

chilli-sesame-vermicelli-fi

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. …

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 …

masala-dosa

Mini Masala Dosa

I’m yet to meet a person who doesn’t love masala dosas. A light, healthy meal full of nutrients and flavour, dosas are widely popular on restaurant menus and in roadside cafés. Ever since I was a little girl I have always associated these crispy rolls of spicy potato with family outings to a nearby vegetarian restaurant which serves ‘monster dosas’. If you hadn’t already guessed, these are gigantic versions of the South Indian speciality. When I say gigantic I’m talking over a ft long. We didn’t always go out to eat moster dosas, sometimes we were treated to the special type of masala dosas – homemade ones. Fresh curry leaves On strained tiptoes, I used to peek over the stove top to watch my mother swirl the thinnest sheet of batter you’ve ever laid eyes on, as glorious mix of anxiety and hunger slowly took over my pot belly. As soon as I saw the faintest tinge of golden brown through the pancake, I’d run to pick up one of our very Indian Pyrex plates …

sev-tameta

Quick Sev and Tomato Curry (Sev Tameta nu Shaak)

  Firstly, I’m going to make an attempt at guessing what you’re thinking; “What the heck are sev and where do I get them from?” These are great questions, great questions to which I don’t have great answers. I know that’s not very helpful however, I’ll do my best to explain the deliciousness of this mysterious ingredient. Because you need to know. Sev are a Gujarati snack, closely related to ‘gathia’ in the way they’re made from chickpea flour and fried. They come in all different sizes and are classed as a ‘farsan’ or savoury snack. They’re best described as crunchy, nutty and great for sprinkling on top of cassava dishes and spiced yogurts. In this classic Gujarati recipe I’ve re-created à la KO I’ve used jinni (small) sev which is very traditional and also very cute. The tiny little strands soak up the sweet, tangy and spicy flavours of the rich tomato base.   I used cherry tomatoes because that’s what I had, but you can use any variety of fresh tomatoes you have. …

whole-chillies-mustard

Whole Chillies in a Zingy Mustard Yogurt

Once upon a time I made the mortal mistake of slicing a chilli and then rubbing my itchy eye. I propose that the pain factor is on par with a stinging nettle thrust into the eyeball. Coming from a chilli-mad family I was almost as irritated as my weeping red eye that I hadn’t been forewarned to never ever let this happen. And never will it happen again (I hope). Other activities to avoid after handling chillies: Blowing your nose Cutting your nails Scratching any sort of itch on your body, nor anyone else’s for that matter Petting the dog/cat/bird/domestic rodent Squeezing your spots- you shouldn’t be doing this one anyway Going to the bathroom- you really don’t want to do that What I don’t understand is when recipes call for de-seeded chillies. What’s that all about? Throwing away the seeds of a chilli is like throwing away the juice of a lemon, or the soul of a sadhu. It just defeats the object.  Your fingers will be glad to hear (?) that with this …

three-lentil-daal

Three-Lentil Daal

Great news. No, not great news. Amazing news. KO Rasoi’s recipe for Melt in the Mouth Paneer Kofta has been selected as one of the top 100 entries for the Foodista Best of Food Blogs competition. The recipe will feature in a full colour cookbook which will be published by Andrews McMeel Publishing this October. I’ll give you more details as and when I find out information. How exciting is this for us?! The little veggie blog is taking baby footsteps and I like where it seems to be heading. Cooking, eating, writing; these are the things that I can use to escape in to a world where my passion for food roams freely and relentlessly. Rather like a starving gerbil on Shandy. What I would like to do most is thank you all for such wonderful feedback and supportive comments. You are the people that make KO Rasoi shine, not other things like scrummy cheesecakes (although, those are yummy and almost as attractive than you are). Stop blushing. Moving swiftly on… In order to celebrate this exciting …

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 …