Kadhi

Another one of my favourite dishes. It can be made quite thin and drank after meals, or made relatively thick and served with yoghurt. Either option is lovely. So so lovely.

Ingredients:

3/4 pot of soya yoghurt (or natural yoghurt if you aren’t vegan)

2 tbsp gram flour

2 green chillies

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds

3 cloves

1 inch cinnamon

8 curry leaves

1 kokum (optional – smashed down in a pestle and mortar)

Lemon juice

Salt

 

1) In a bowl mix the yoghurt, gram flour,  green chillies and water. Leave out for about 30 minutes to get the yoghurt to sour a bit. Mix a bit of sugar in if you like sweet and sour (I love sweet and sour)

2) In oil fry the mustard and cumin seeds until they crackle slightly. Then take it off the heat and add the fenugreek seeds, kokum, cloves and cinnamon

3) Add the yoghurt mixture to the spices. Leave to cook for about 15 minutes on low – medium heat.

4) Season with lemon and salt.

 

Serve with rice

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Sambhar Masala

I use these spices quite often, particularly for upma and for korma.

 

These are generally South Indian spices and season lentils quite nicely

 

Ingredients

1 tsp mustard seeds

1.5 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp fenugreek seeds

6 whole dry red chillies

18 dried curry leaves

1/2 tsp asafoetida

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

 

1) Dry roast all of the seeds, and chillies. You can add more chillies if you like the heat

2) Add curry leaves, asafoetida, coriander powder and tumeric powder

3) Cool the spices down and then grind them (dry)

 

Stores for roughly 3 months.

Palak Paneer

This is one of my favourite dishes to serve when I have guests. Unfortunately it isn’t vegan but has some fabulous flavours. To make this vegan feel free to substitute the paneer for tofu or mushrooms.

 

The beauty in this dish comes from fresh ingredients and less spices. It’s a pretty simple dish and needs a blender for best results.

 

Ingredients:

Fresh spinach (the more the better really)

Paneer (or mushroom)

3 medium tomatoes

4 green chillies

6 garlic cloves

2 inches of ginger

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander seeds

1 tsp garam masala

1 onion

Oil

lemon juice

salt

 

1) Blanche the (washed) spinach in hot water for 1 minute. It needs to be removed from water the moment it finishes wilting. It should keep its rich green colour. If it goes dark green it’s been in too long.

2) Chop up the tomatoes, garlic,ginger, and 3 chillies. Blend with a little bit of water and put aside.

3) In a little bit of oil, roast the cumins until they crackle. They shouldn’t go black. About 25 seconds should do the trick. Add finely chopped onions

4) After the onions are soft and brown, add the tomato/garlic/ginger/chilli paste. Add the garam masala and coriander powder. Cook on low – medium heat for 15 minutes

5) While that cooks, puree the spinach with 1 chopped chilli.

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6) Put the paneer in boiling water with a pinch of salt. This softens the paneer nicely

7) After the onion/tomato paste is well cooked add the drained paneer. Add the pureed spinach and remove it from the heat

8) Finish with lemon juice and check salt levels.

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It’s a brilliant garlicky chilli dish which reminds me of a dhaba. If serving to guests, drizzle a bit of cream if you want. The colour should be a stunning light green and the flavour should be garlic. It tastes fab.

Garam Masala Version 2

Here’s the recipe for my second garam masala. I use this for most dishes as it has a lot of flavours. It’s a pretty spice blend.

Ingredients:

1.5 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp cloves

4 green cardamoms

6 black cardomoms

1 tsp black peppercorns

4 bay leaves

1/2 nutmeg (grated)

pinch of mace

4 1 inch cinnamon sticks

1 star anise (broken up)

1) Dry roast all of the ingredients lightly for about 5 minutes on low – medium heat

2) Grind it into a powder using a coffee grinder/spice grinder.

3) Store in an airtight jar. Will be good for 3 months. You can keep using it after 3 months, although the flavours will die down slightly so you may have to use more.

Simple Garam Masala

My cooking skills have matured substantially since my last posts and I’ve ventured into making my own spice blends. The taste of freshly ground spices compared to the pre made packaged crap is other wordly. I have 3 different garam masala blends, this one is my favourite, mainly for its black cardomam which gives each dish a gorgeous kick.

This masala blend is fabulous in punjabi cooking, in particular palak paneer. It’s extremely simple and tastes very homely.

I also recommend investing in an electric spice grinder, or a coffee grinder. As my one is horrible to clean, I make 3 or 4 new spice mixes every 3 months in one go.

Ingredients:

8 dried bay leaves

10 black cardamom pods

1.5 tsp cumin

3 x 1 inches of cinnamon

1 tbsp cloves

1) Roast all of the ingredients on medium heat in a small saucepan for around 7 minutes. Do not use any oil or fat.

2) Wait for the spices to cool, then ground them to a powder using a grinder. You can use a pestle and mortar if you are particularly ambitious, but I can never be bothered

3) Leave the spices to cool and transfer it into a small jar. It lasts about 3 months before the flavours begin to go stale.