Wednesday, December 22, 2010
A Feast of Indian Food
Jamie Oliver's Vegetable Bhajis
One of my favorite discoveries this year.
2 large carrots (I used sweet potato instead the second time I made these and they were just as good)
a 4 inch piece of ginger root
2 medium red onions (I substituted the equivalent in shallots)
2-3 red chilies (I didn't have these so I used jalapenos instead)
a large bunch of fresh cilantro
2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp tumeric
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp sea salt
1 heaped cup self rising flour (I don't carry this on hand, I used one cup all purpose flour plus 1 1/2 tsp baking powder)
1 quart vegetable oil
a piece of potato (to test oil heat)
juice of 1 lemon
2 limes (optional)
Peel and grate or shred the carrots, ginger and red onions and put them into a large bowl. Finely chop the chiles and add to the bowl. Roughly chop the cilantro. Add the mustard seeds, tumeric, cumin seeds, salt and chopped cilantro to the bowl, Add the flour, plus 1/2 cup of cold water and scrunch together using your hands. The mixture will be messy and thick.
Use a deep fat fryer if you have one, which I don't. I used a large cooking pot. Add the oil. Drop in a piece of potato - when it floats to the surface and begins to sizzle, the oil is ready. Remove the potato using a slotted spoon. Pick up a tbsp of the bhaji mixture, press it together and carefully lower it into the hot oil. Repeat so you are cooking several at once. Cook for 5 minutes until they are crispy and golden. Remove using the slotted spoon and put them on some paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with a little salt and squeeze of lemon juice (I skipped that part). Repeat with other bhajis.
Serve with lime wedges.
*Bhajis can be made with all sorts of vegetables, just keep the onions the same.
Jamie Oliver's Vindaloo
2 medium onions
4 cloves of garlic
1-2 red chiles (I left this out, I knew the vindaloo paste would make it hot enough for me without)
a thumb sized piece of ginger
a small bunch of fresh cilantro
4 ripe tomatoes (I didn't have on hand so I used 4 canned tomatoes instead)
peanut or vegetable oil
a pat of butter
1 3/4 pounds meat (he suggests pork shoulder, I used chicken)
1/2 cup vindaloo or hot curry paste (Patak's is the best)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 cup plain yogurt
Peel, halve and finely slice the onions. Peel and finely slice the garlic. Finely slice the chile. Pee and finely slice the ginger. Pick the cilantro leaves and finely chop the stalks. Cut the tomatoes into quarters.
Use a large casserole type pan. Put it on medium to high heat with a little oil and the butter. Add the onions, garlic, chile, ginger, and cilantro stalks and cook for 10 minutes, until softened and golden. Add the meat and the curry paste. Stir well to coat everything with the paste and season with a little salt and pepper. Add the tomoatoe, balsamic vinegar, honey and 1 2/3 cup water and stir again. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and let simmer for 45 minutes. Check and stir regularly to keep the meal from catching on the pan. Add extra water if you need it. Serve over rice (basamati is best for Indian curries)
Dal with Coconut Milk (from Mangoes and Curry Leaves)
This is a dish from Sri Lanka, and so tasty. Don't get over excited about the coconut milk like I did and add too much, stick with the measurements listed to make a nice, thick dal.
1 cup masur dal, washed (orange-red lentil)
5 cups water
1 tbsp veg oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp minced shallots or red onion
6-8 fresh or frozen curry leaves
2-3 dried red chiles
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1 cup coconut milk
Put dal in a medium pot with the water. Bring to a boil, reduce the head to a low simmer and cook fo 20 minutes. Keep warm over low heat.
Heat a wok or heavy skillet over medium high heat and add the oil.. Toss in the garlic and shallots and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the curry leaves, chiles and ground coriander. Mix well and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the salt and coconut milk. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the tempering mixture to the dal and simmer for a for minutes to blend the flavors. The thicker you simmer it the thicker it will get.