13
Mar
2015

Eating my words

30-minute Baked Samosa Recipe

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Samosa 550

I once said: I’d rather eat my shoe than make a samosa from scratch. I am delighted to report that the samosas I have been making regularly for the last few weeks aren’t from scratch.

The quest started when I craved the proper samosas I grew up on. I’d never seen a filo pastry wrapped one until I moved to Britain. Neither did I see fancy fillings. Aloo and potato were the holy duo. And the really adventurous would go as far as Keema Samosas. All rather delicious, but not quite the Halwai treats I crave.

So, I grabbed a roll of Shortcrust Pastry from the supermarket and got trialling this baked samosa recipe with a stash of leftover boiled potato. Shortcrust pastry is the nearest thing to the oil rubbed salted dough in the real thing, and if anything, a buttery superior. The filling needs to be suitably punchy to balance the creamy texture out. Since my first attempt, I’ve made these for a School Social evening, a casual brunch and even for a Sunday lunch with four hyper pre-schoolers running around. Make them in small batches to avoid death by stuffing, and enjoy freshly out of the oven.

 
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    27
    Feb
    2015

    Indian fish cakes

    Macchli kebabs

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    Machli tikka

    I thought I was being clever sharing Mini Basu’s Birthday Party with her little friend from the same class. She first tore through the house at the planning meeting, then illegibly scrawled her friends’ names on invites and finally requested a half and half cake that is part Frozen and part Star Wars.

    The two mothers-in-suffering were ready for anything. We had my Masala Chai and deliciously simple Macchli kebabs, Indian fish cakes with green chillies and ginger, which went down a treat. I am not a huge fan of fashioning little pieces of food for hoards of people. So tikkas, patties, chops – anything that requires shaping in the palms of my hands – are served up strictly to small groups.

    This is best served with the simplest tomato sauce – ketchup spiked with a drop of the hottest chilli sauce you can find – to keep your cool when all else fails.
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      16
      Feb
      2015

      Pancake Day

      Besan Chilla

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      Chilla 550

      Every Sunday is Pancake Day. The kids start scaling the kitchen cupboards as soon as they wake up, racing to the dining table clutching a barrel of Nutella and a cask of local bee honey. No matter how fast I go, I can’t get the darned things flipped and plated fast enough. And then from Monday, the question reappears for six more sleeps: Is it Pancake Day today?

      Are you ready for university yet?

      This Pancake Day I’ll be plating up a family breakfast favourite: crispy Besan Chilla steeped in fresh coriander, onions and green chillies. My nan made this savoury pancake recipe on a flat Tawa when I was little for weekend breakfasts and after school tea time treats. I love them dunked in my favourite mango pickle. But they taste so good, they need nothing more than eager hands and a hungry belly. Go ahead and make them in a mini egg frying pan for an American Pancake vibe.

      I also made the Gujarati version of Besan Chilla, called Pudla, which was featured on The Kitchn. Enjoy!
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        13
        Feb
        2015

        Strictly Vegetarian

        Navratan Korma

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        Navratan Korma 550

        If I had to turn vegetarian, I’d happily live on Indian food forever. Even my man, a strict meatarian, doesn’t notice the absence of his beloved ingredients when faced with a vegetarian Indian meal. This Navratan Korma recipe is a case in point. The nine key ingredients (Nine gems or Navratan) include Paneer, Cashewnuts and Almonds, with a moveable feast of other ingredients of your choice. This creamy, wholesome Navratan Korma is versatile enough to form the centrepiece of your dinner when you’re trying to impress, or as a rescue operation for leftover vegetables in the fridge. Replace the milk and yoghurt with coconut milk for a delicious, vegan alternative from the South of India.

        This recipe first featured in my book. A lovely and very patient reader got in touch to say the milk kept splitting in her attempts. When Indian dishes use milk and yoghurt, it’s very important to get them to room temperature first. Hot oil + cold milk = Split milk. Also, I woud always recommend Greek yoghurt or hung curd owing to its thicker texture and weight. Also, don’t be put off by the splitting. The curry reconsitutes as it cooks and the the end result is irresistibly delicious.
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          09
          Feb
          2015

          Two in one

          Baked Salmon curry with tomato, tamarind and coconut glaze

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          Baked salmon

          Fish curry usually calls for meaty-textured fins that won’t disintegrate in masala. This often leaves me wondering what in the world to do with the endless salmon fillets in my freezer. I whipped up this baked salmon curry, with a spicy sweet and tangy tomato, tamarind and coconut glaze. It was an evening after a long, hard day’s work and a near empty fridge, and the recipe was the centrepiece for a casual dinner and drink with my neighbour. It was such an instant hit, that I made it twice in the same week. And that too as a special request from the fish-hating husband! Now there’s a sign… Try it spooned over steaming hot Brown Basmati rice for a guilt free weekday meal.
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            09
            Feb
            2015

            Introduction to Indian Cooking – learn with Miss Masala!

            New Indian Cookery Class

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            menu-4 550

            No rest for the wicked! Now the dust has settled on Christmas and the little sister’s big fat Indian wedding, I have a new event to look forward to.

            On 3rd March, at 7:00pm, I will be sharing tips, tricks and know how for time starved lovelies along with a three-course meal complete with crispy onion pakoras, hand rolled chappattis, lamb-on-the-bone Korma and perfectly matched wine. The venue is Maida Hill Place, London’s premier food venue in Westbourne Park, W9.

            This is an Indian cookery class with a difference. If you’d love an informal introduction to cooking and eating Indian food the authentic way, you’d be mad to miss it.

            Read all about it here, do book tickets to come along and if you’re not in London, share with your friends who are. Hope to see you there!

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