All posts tagged: potatoes

Potato and Pea Coconut Milk Curry

Potato and Pea Coconut Milk Curry

One of my favourite quick dinners growing up was pea and potato curry.  It’s a simple staple in every Gujarati home and perfect with just rice and/or Homemade Chapattis – Gujarati Rotli depending on how hungry you are. Not forgetting the obligatory dollop of natural yoghurt, which brings any dinner together. My brother wouldn’t even touch his dinner unless there was a pot of yoghurt on the table. He still doesn’t. This was one of those after-school meals that, when scooped up with garam garam rotli would give you the same feelings as you get when you cuddle your mum, curl up in your cosy bed and hear your favourite song all at the same time. For me, it’s always been the epitome of comfort food. It can be done with just tomato sauce and whole cumin seeds but I’ve injected a little more richness and flavor into the sauce with a touch of coconut milk and some sesame seeds.  I love the flavour combination of sesame seeds and potatoes. Silky soft potatoes simmered in …

Mombasa Kachri Bateta

Mombasa Kachri Bateta

I’ve always strived to be a great cook like my grandfathers. My parents tell me their Gujarati and East African classics like Mombasa-Style Daal Kachori, Jalebi Paratha, gathia were inspiring. Their tips and tricks are recalled in the conversations of our extended family with a joy that I cannot even describe. I wish they’d have been here long enough for me to watch them at work. Someone who had the pleasure of spending many hours in the kitchen with my Bapuji (paternal grandfather) was my wonderful aunt in Mombasa, Kenya. She’s an incredibly-talented cook with an edible garden I could only dream of. Packed with mangoes, coconuts, bananas, tree tomatoes and herbs, she’s an expert at cooking everything from Gujarati classics, to East African staples. When I visited their family home last year, I was treated to it all and my word was it dreamy. One of the dishes she cooked up was this Mombasa Kachri Bateta – a light potato stew with sour green mangoes, topped with coconut fresh from the garden and fried …

Tamarind Glazed Tofu Sliders (F)

Tamarind-Glazed Tofu Sliders with Kachumbar Slaw

Yes, I’m back. After a week in Mombasa, six weeks of family time and a week of tech issues, I felt it was time I blogged again. I offer you a summer spread of these mini burgers filled with tamarind-glazed grilled tofu, masala potato wedges and spicy Indian slaw (kachumbar). When I was young, my dad would call me from work at 6.30pm to ask me to quickly make his favourite kachumbar before he arrived home in time for one of mum’s gorgeous home-cooked dinners. It was always a pleasure and allowed me to perfect the recipe – one which now has a very special place in my heart. Even though kachumbar means ‘cucumber’ but I often make it without. I often just crave the simplicity of juicy tomatoes, red onions and mixed spices. For this recipe, I’ve added grated carrots, cucumbers and spring onions to create a kachumbar-inspired slaw to offer a delicious crunch to these tofu sliders. Masala wedges are a staple at home and are usually made with either sweet potatoes or …

Crispy Potato Bhajia (2)

Crispy Potato Bhajia

Served in paper cones with fried green chillies for that ‘bhajia on the beach’ feel I’ve always been a sucker for ordering too many starters in restaurants, especially when it involves Crispy Potato Bhajia (paper-thin potato slices coated in a bespoke spice blend), Hara Bara Kebabs (pea and cauliflower cakes) and Daal Kachori (spiced daal in semolina pastry). I’m told my eyes are bigger than my belly and I’ve never been one to argue with legitimate allegations. Although I love eating out as much as I love home cooking, there’s always one question lingering on my lips as I attempt to make a choice of which restaurant to spend my Friday evening in  – do they serve decent starters? In all honesty, I think I can judge an Indian restaurant menu by the starters they have to offer. If the vegetarian appetisers are limited to samosas and onion bhajis (to this day, I still don’t understand onion bhajis – what are they and where did they come from?) I know I’m not going to be …

aloo paratha

Aloo Paratha

I fell in love with paratha at the age of four, when I was the proud owner of various miniature kitchen utensils that looked like they’d been manufactured in toy town. I’d use my hot pink chapatti board and rolling pin to make baby paratha, which my mum would cook and my pa would wolf down with gusto, whilst telling me I was a great chef. And that was all it took – I had discovered my love of Indian breads. Forget your typical puff of glitter – for this strange little Indian Barbie, childhood was all about that magical cloud of chapatti flour. Indian breads, without a doubt, are perceived as the fiddliest things to make at home, especially if you’ve never done them before. Aloo Paratha are made by stuffing mashed, spiced potatoes and onions into chapatti dough and rolling so that the dough envelopes the layer of filling inside. Then they’re lightly sizzled in ghee, butter or oil until golden all over. Once cooked, the filling will remain enclosed in the crisp …

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 …

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 …

puff-pies

Cheese and Potato Puff Pies

I haven’t fallen off of the edge of the Earth, just in case you’ve been wondering where your favourite Gujarati food blogger has gone. I hope you’ve been wondering – have you been wondering? I trust you all had a delicious Christmas and New Year. I’ve been spending my precious time recovering from the most brutal lurgies seen this side of London. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve hardly cooked, feeding only on unsatisfying take-aways and frozen pizzas. Interestingly, I’ve lost weight on this questionable diet full of fat, salt and cholesterol. FYI, I’m not endorsing this depressing diet in any way – just observing an unexpected fact. I cannot begin to describe how much I’ve missed blogging and sharing my favourite recipes with you. Working full-time really takes its toll, especially now I must resign blogging to the weekends. Thankfully, I’m feeling much better now and can’t wait to get back to dreaming, cooking, photographing and writing about my favourite things to eat. I have some big dreams for 2011 and the determination to accomplish …

potato-gratin

Two Potato, Chilli and Cumin Gratin

I don’t know about you but cold weather always makes me lazy. I crave simple, hearty dishes which leave me feeling satisfied and ready to cosy up on a welcoming sofa with a good cookbook. This Two Potato, Chilli and Cumin Gratin is just the trick for such occasions. A combination of sliced potatoes and sweet potatoes, baked in an aromatic infusion of cream and earthy spices is about as comforting as you can get – all you need is a spoon and an appetite to fill.     You can serve this as a vegetarian main course for Christmas, a side for your Christmas dinner, or a substantial starter. This is just the kind of dish I want to make ahead of time, wrap up in foil and effortlessly pop into the oven after a long days work. Serve this gratin with a leafy green salad and it’s the most perfect, inexpensive winter meal. I adore the crisp, golden edges which catch in the heat of the oven and add an abundance of flavour …

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 …

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 …

bateta-poha

Gimme, Gimme Bateta Poha

Let me introduce you to the most wonderful breakfast/brunch/lunch in the whole entire world. Well, almost. Not counting ice cream. Ice cream IS a breakfast item, right? Poha (pronounced: puhwa) are cooked, flattened and dehydrated grains of basmati rice. You can find them in most Indian grocery stores packed in regular plastic bags. The bateta part is cubed, deep fried potatoes, but you probably worked that one out already; bateta-potato-bateta-potato-bateta-potato. They do sound similar. The ingredients in this dish vary from region to region and family to family. I’m making a classic Gujarati version, which of course must be like all Gujarati dishes are: hot, sweet and sour. This dish is very forgiving, so if you want to omit certain ingredients like onions or not add too much chilli then that’s totally up to you. At home we add plenty of peanuts and cashews to bulk the dish up for a more filling meal. If you’re ever stuck for making something for a large amount of people then this is the perfect recipe. You can make …