Sunday, 14 February 2021

Chicken Chaat


Chicken Chaat
Chicken Chaat

There are two stages to this curry, the first is to make the base curry sauce, this base can be used to make a number of different curries but for this recipe we will be using it to make chicken chaat.

Base curry
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 brown onions, finely chopped
  • 1 pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 litre of water

Heat the oil in large pan over a medium heat.  Add the onions and peppers and sauté until softened and then add the remaining ingredients but not the water.  Stir everything well and fry for a minute or so before adding a quarter of the water.  Turn the heat up and let the sauce simmer until the water has evaporated by around half.  Add another quarter of the water and then blend the sauce with a stick blender or transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth.  Add the remaining water and that pretty much is it, the sauce should be quite thin at this stage which is how it should be.  This recipe will make 3 portions of base curry sauce, so you can freeze the other two portions (1 and 3/4 cups per portion).

Now on to make the chicken chaat

  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp good quality curry powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp chaat masala
  • Third of a tube of tomato purée
  • 1 and 3/4 cups of base curry sauce
  • 800g of cooked chicken
  • 1/3 cucumber, peeled and deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 150g drained chickpeas
  • 1 large tomato cut into wedges
  • Big pinch of salt
  • Handful of chopped coriander

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and fry until softened.  Add the garlic/ginger paste and stir through and allow to sizzle for a minute.  Next mix in the curry powder, chilli powder, chaat masala and the tomato purée.  Let this sizzle for another minute before adding the base curry sauce and let it simmer for 5 minutes before adding the chicken and let it cook for 10 minutes before adding the cucumber, chickpeas, pepper and tomato wedges and a good pinch of salt, stir through and cook for a further couple of minutes before serving with a sprinkle of the coriander on top.

I served the curry with basmati rice, naan bread, pickles and tomato, onion, coriander chutney and a selection of bhajis and samosas and boy was it good.  This recipe will serve 4 comfortably and more if you are making additional dishes to accompany the chaat.  

This is so quick and easy to make, I made the base sauce earlier in the day and then it took no time at all to make the chicken chaat.  Watch this space for other curry recipes to make using the base curry sauce!

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Rajma - Red Kidney Bean Curry


Rajma - Red kidney bean curry
Rajma - Red kidney bean curry

  • 1 cup (240ml) dried red kidney beans
  • 5 cups (1 litre 250ml) water to soak the beans in
  • 2 large tomatoes, blitzed in the food processor
  • 1 tsp tomato purée, mix in small amount of water to dilute down
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 2 fresh green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida powder (available in supermarkets)
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1.5 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Garam masala
  • 1 tbsp Katsura methi powder (or dried fenugreek leaves)
  • Large handful of finely chopped coriander
  • 2 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
  • Salt to taste

Rinse the kidney beans and leave to soak overnight in 5 cups of water, for a minimum of 8 hours.

Switch on your Ninja foodi, add the kidney beans and water, switch lids to pressure cooker, make sure the valve is set to seal and pressure cook on high for 7 minutes.  Once the timer beeps, turn off the keep warm setting and leave for 10 minutes and then do a slow release of pressure.  At this stage the beans will be partially cooked, drain them and keep the water as this will be used later.

Now switch the Ninja to sauté and set it to medium.  Heat the oil, add the cumin seeds, bay leaves, chillies and the asafoetida and leave to sizzle for a minute or so.  Add the ginger/garlic paste and fry off for another minute or so(turn the heat down if getting too hot).  Add your blitzed tomatoes and mix through, add the turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, paprika, chilli powder and good pinch of salt, stir and leave to sauté for another minute.

In the next step, add the diluted tomato purée and the kidney beans, give a good mix then add the coriander leaves, kasturi methi and the garam masala, stir through and leave to sauté for around 5 minutes.  Next add the reserved water to the pan, mix well then return to pressure cooker mode (switching lids) and cook on high for 30 minutes.  Once the time is up do a quick release of steam and check the consistency of the curry, if a bit thin for your liking sauté until it thickens up or if too thick add some water to thin out.

This was my first proper recipe I had tried in my Ninja and I have to say it was so straight forward and the end result was fantastic.  The house was filled with amazing aromas and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in!  We are big chilli fiends in this house so the heat wasn’t a problem for us but if you like your curry a bit milder adjust the ingredients accordingly.

I served the curry with basmati rice, naan breads, coriander and mint sauce, onion bhaji, vegetable pakoras and pickles. 
Dinner was a huge hit, the flavours were amazing, I will definitely been doing this again, the recipe serves 4 comfortably.  I hope you enjoy as much as we did, now what to cook next!

Saturday, 30 January 2021

Kala Chana Curry


Kala Chana curry
Kala Chana Curry

  • 200g kala chana (yellow chana), soaked overnight in 625ml water.
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp garlic and chilli paste
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies
  • 2 tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
  • 200g coconut milk
  • Large pinch of salt

Pour the soaked kala chana with the water into a large saucepan, add the baking soda, simmer over a medium heat for around 30 minutes or until tender.  Don’t worry about any foam that rises to the top, just skim this off.  Once cooked, set aside.

Heat the ghee or oil in a large frying pan over a high heat.  When hot add the mustard seeds and when they start to pop turn down the heat and stir in the curry leaves.  Once you get hit with the aromas stir in the asafoetida, ground coriander, chilli powder, cumin and turmeric.  Let this sizzle for a minute then add the onions and fry until soft and translucent.  Stir through the garlic and ginger paste along with the chillies (leave these whole) then add the tomatoes, mix well then add the coconut milk along with the kala chana and any remaining cooking water, let this simmer for 10 minutes or so until it thickens slightly, add salt to taste then serve.

All of the above ingredients are available in most supermarkets or your local Indian supermarket.  I have to say I had never heard of asafoetida but I found this online with Ocado.  It doesn’t smell very nice but once fried it improves, trust me!

We had this alongside my chilli paneer, rice and papadams and my mint and coriander sauce, mango chutney and a selection of pickles I picked up from the Indian supermarket.  This was a huge hit, so tasty and full of flavour, the aromas were amazing, give it a go and let me know what you think!

Kala Chana Curry, Chilli paneer, mint and coriander sauce with mango chutney

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Chilli Paneer


Chilli Paneer

  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 200g cubed paneer
  • 2 bell peppers cut into chunks
  • 3 spring onions roughly chopped
  • 1 chilli finely chopped
For the sauce
  • 250ml tomato ketchup
  • 3 tbsp hot sauce (of choice)
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • Big pinch of salt
  • Good few grinds of fresh black pepper
This is a great dish to prepare ahead, firstly put all of the ingredients for the sauce into a measuring jug/bowl and whisk together, it’s as simple as that!  Leave to one side until ready to cook the rest of the dish.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the paneer and cook until browned.  Add the peppers, spring onions and chilli and fry until cooked through but still retaining some crispness.  Add the sauce, stir through and cook until heated through. 

If you are not a fan of too much chilli you can leave out the chilli and reduce the amount of hot sauce or add more if you are a heat fiend! 

 This is a great dish to have with rice, it makes enough for 2 people or more if serving alongside other dishes.  This dish is quick and easy and a great meat free Monday dish. 

Chilli Paneer

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Homemade Doner Kebab


Homemade Doner Kebab
Homemade Doner Kebab

  • 500g minced beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules
  • Ground black pepper
  • Large pinch of salt

Place the mince meat into a large bowl, add the yoghurt, milk, onion, spices and seasoning and mix together until fully combined.  Put the mixture into a loaf tin and leave to sit in the fridge for at least an hour (longer if you have the time). 

Homemade Doner Kebab
Homemade Doner Kebab

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, put the loaf tin onto a baking tray and cook in the oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove from the oven, cover with foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes before thinly slicing.

I served my kebab on flatbreads with salad, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and homemade tzatziki.  Pittas are also great for this dish, giving you that real takeaway feel.  You can leave out the chilli flakes if you don’t want a spicy kick or put more in if you prefer it hotter!  

Likewise you can drizzle over your hot sauce of choice if you really want to add the heat.  This is a great fakeaway for the weekend and pretty healthy too if using lean mince (not too lean though as you need some fat in the kebab).  Hope you enjoy as much as we did.