Local Heart, Global Soul

July 18, 2013

Competition Result: Did YOUR Comment Have The Winning Ingredient?

Filed under: Competition,INDIA,Indian Cusine — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Apologies to everyone who entered my competition to win some specialist Indian cooking  ingredients and have been patiently waiting to see the results.

I will be totally honest and tell you I got distracted by end of year school events, family and work commitments and some traumatic events concerning friends and family.

The days have slipped away like water though my fingers and I complete and utterly forgot to go back and sort out a winner… something I’m rectifying right now. I copied all of the comments into one sheet and handed it to Himself to do the judging…  he’s read all of your comments and chosen:  “Doggy’s Style” as the lucky winner to be the lucky recipient of a box of goodies.

The winning comment was :

“Guess who is gonna reproduce this one over the weekend?
Yeah, that’s right, me!!
I could smell the roasted cumin and cilantro, delicious.
Thanks!

Comment by Doggy’s Style — June 13, 2013 @ 10:15 am | Edit ThisReply

…and Himself picked it out because he said he could really feel the enthusiasm behind the comment.  He was also influenced by the fact that it was clear from Doggy’s responses and links that he’d actually tried out some of the recipes, so double kudos.

Congratulations Doggy!!!

I’ll be in touch soonest to get hold of your postal details so that I can get your box of goodies off to you as quickly as possible.

I’m also going to add that if anyone would like to have a copy of the recipes in their “plain”state (without photos) for easier printing out, just contact me and I’ll email them to you.

Thank you  to everyone who took the time to comment…it’s always fabulous to get feedback and see what you thought of the step-by-step recipe posts.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 27, 2013

Indian Cooking Lesson, Giveaway: YOU Could WIN Some Of The Ingredients…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’ve come to the end of my Step-by-Step recipe series from my Indian cooking class lessons…

I realise fully that not everyone who reads this blog has easy access to an Indian Specialist shop in order to obtain some of the  recipe ingredients.

Since I hope that some of these step-by-step tutorial posts might hopefully entice you to try the recipes yourself, I am offering you the chance to win some of these hard(er) to find ingredients.

All you have to do is to make a comment on any one of the “Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson” posts.

Having sent Himself out to the  Indian Specialist shop,  I have a selection of ingredients here ready to post to the winner. Alternatively, should the winner decide that there is a specific recipe they would like to make, (or set of recipes) then I could also send you more of a specific item in place of ones you might not think you will ever need for instance.

Of course, if you can get any of these items easily in your supermarket or local area (maybe the Ground Ginger?) then you could save me the postage in sending that item to you and again, I’d be happy to pop something in extra that you need instead.

Himself goes to the Haagse Markt regularly and the Indian Specialist is just metres away so packing a parcel “made to measure” is no problem.

I’ll include some photographs here to remind you of all the ingredients we have been using …

I’ll get an unbiased and independent adjudicator (a.k.a. Himself, who has no idea who you all are LOL) to pick what he thinks is the winning comment without any influence from me (he’s guaranteed to be impartial because he doesn’t even know he’s been signed up for this task yet !!!) and then one lucky person will be receiving an Indian Ingredient goodie box in the post.

You have until (until midnight) of July 5th 2013 to comment on as many of the posts as you wish,  …to write something that tells Himself why you’d like to win, something about the recipe, possibly a link  with photos if you have made the recipe, why one or more is your favourite, something you loved learning during the series… or…?  Stand out from the crowd… get creative and be in with a chance!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Looking forward to seeing your entry!

June 26, 2013

Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson: Peas Pulao (Rice)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Peas Pulao (Rice)

2 Cups (260 grams) Basmati rice (for best results use Tilda): approx for 4 persons
Water for rinsing the rice
4 Cups water for cooking the rice

2 Tablespoons Gee or vegetable oil
½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
3-4 small piece cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
1 onion (finely chopped)
3 Tablespoons Gee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil

Frozen peas (approx 50 grams) (the amount can be varied according to taste) Take them out of the freezer at the beginning of the recipe so that they begin to thaw.

This is the final recipe in my Indian Cooking Lesson series… and I’m ending the series as I began it: with one of my favourites of all the recipes.

This is a recipe that I can see myself making again and again and again. It’s spiced up enough to give it some flavour but not so much that you will scare off the fussy eaters. It’s the kind of side dish that will go not just with other Indian dishes, but also with food from around the rest of the world, it’s more exciting for the numerous vegetarians in our family than the usual plain rice and ever since I discovered that the rice can be cooked first in the microwave, it’s easy, easy. easy to make!  Your buffet table will never look the same again.

Our teacher cannot stress strongly enough the importance in getting Basmati rice if you can… it might cost a little extra but the difference in taste is streets ahead every other type. I also like the fact that after splashing out on the rice, all the other ingredients are mainstream ones, cheap and easy to find in the average supermarket.

Yes, there is Gee in the recipe, but you can make your own by slowly simmering a block of butter for some 40 minutes… the butter during the process clarifies itself and turns into Gee. When it’s cooled a little pour it into a container, keep it in your fridge and hey presto, you have Gee (clarified butter) on hand for whenever you want it.  A recipe that’s easy on the budget, tastes great and is simple to make: What’s not to like?

Method:

Wash the rice thoroughly in cold water (three times) in a pyrex or microwave proof container. Add 4 cups of cold water (Important note: always use same cup for measuring rice as well as the water) Place in a microwave for 20-21 minutes at 900 Watts.
For step-by-step photographs of this please see:   https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/new-1118/

In the meantime, heat the gee (or vegetable oil) in a deep frying pan (wok pan is ideal). Our teacher used a little of both which also works…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

To the heated gee and oil  add the cumin seeds and fry for one minute until slightly brown.(Important: do not let the cumin seeds burn or your whole dish will taste bitter).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the bay leaves and cook gently for a few minutes.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the chopped onion and fry for 3-4 minutes until it  starts to often.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Now add the cinnamon sticks and continue frying for a further 3-4 minutes.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Cook until the onion is well sauteed and a soft pale golden colour …

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then add the peas,  stirring them in..

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Finally add the cooked rice and stir thoroughly over a low heat until everything is mixed and the peas are fully cooked.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Teacher’s Serving Tip: Perfect accompaniment  with any type of curry.

Kiwi’s Note: tomorrow a surprise!

June 25, 2013

Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson: Keer with Orange

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Keer with Orange

1 litre (2 pints)full fat milk
a few strands of Saffron
2-3 teaspoon sugar (according to taste
180 ml jar of oranges in syrup (or 1 cup fresh orange segments, must be sweet)

Before I get on with the step-by-step photographs, there are a few tips and notes from or Indian cooking lesson teacher to mention.

The milk should ideally be reduced on the stove at a time when you are not frying any strong flavoured things, particularly garlic or onions, because otherwise the garlic and onion odor will be absorbed into the milk.

The reason that a commercial jar of orange or mandarin segments is used in this recipe is that  our teacher says that usually fresh oranges are too dry and simply not sweet enough to given enough flavour to this recipe.

Method:

Heat the milk in a large pan and simmer gently until it reduces to three-quarters of it’s original volume. This will take approximately 30-40 minutes. Stir frequently, fold in the top skin, scrape the side of the pan and mix into the liquid. Continue until the milk thickens and darkens in colour.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the saffron strands to the milk and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then remove from the heat and allow to cool down completely.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then add the sugar (photograph not included)  and the orange segments. Mix well, taste and add a little more sugar if required. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Teacher’s Note:  This dessert can be made a day before and kept in the fridge.

Kiwi’s Notes: I’ve mentioned earlier that desserts that are heavily dairy based wreck havoc with my asthma, so  this milky dessert really isn’t for me, and was never going to be a personal favourite. I can tell you that the milk, once the keer process is finished is very creamy in taste, which was nice but there was a less strong orange taste to it than I imagined there would be.  Again, my cooking classmates loved it so it’s all personal preference and comes down to if you like this type of dessert or not. It’s definitely easy to make, I think it’s safe to say that you need more time than effort for this one! Enjoy!

June 24, 2013

Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson: Easy Chicken Kebabs

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Chicken Kebab

500 grams Chicken mince
2 Tablespoons grated garlic
2 Tablespoons grated ginger
3-4 finely chopped shallots (or one medium onion)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2-3 Tablespoons plain yogurt
1 egg yoke
3-4 Tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste
2-3 finely chopped chilies (optional)
3-4 Tablespoons Laziza’s seekh kabab powder (optional, it gives a more spicy taste).

I’m almost at the end of my Indian Cooking Lesson Series and I understand that people around the world may have difficulty in finding (or not) many of the specialist ingredients in the recipes that I’ve posted in recent weeks.

Therefore in just a few days time I will be running a competition where you  are  invited to make a comment on getting to know these genuine Indian recipes… or review them if you have tried them out!

One lucky winner will then receive a parcel of the more specialist items so that they can make and enjoy these recipes at home as well.  It could be YOU so  …..Watch this space!

Method:

To your chicken mince…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…Add the finely chopped onion (or shallots)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then the grated ginger…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

And the garlic… and mix well into the minced chicken.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then add the lemon juice…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…and the chopped chilies (if using)… and mix well again.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Separate the egg,  (you will only be using the yoke for this recipe)… add the yoke to the chicken mixture.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then add the freshly chopped coriander…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

And the yogurt…  and mix again.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is what Laziza Seekh Kebab powder looks like,  it gives extra flavour to the mix…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the Laziza Seekh Kebab powder to the minced chicken mixture…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Cover the bowl and put into the fridge for at least one hour so that the flavours meld…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Moisten your palms with a little water and roll the meat mixture into 20-25 evenly sized balls that you flatten slightly…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Place the kebabs under a moderately hot grill for 8-10 minutes… or until they are cooked and golden brown, turning them over once or twice as necessary…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Turned over and back into the oven..

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

All cooked… just have to plate them up nicely.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The finished kebabs… Serve hot!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Teacher’s Serving Tips: These tasty kebabs can be served with drinks or as a starter with rice and lentils (dal). Serve with chopped onions/ spring onions and lemon wedges. These can be frozen but reheat using an oven. The kebabs can also be barbecued or fried in a shallow pan.

Kiwi’s Notes: These are amazing… I’d personally choose a spicy sauce, the raita or coriander chutney recipes from this set of lessons to go with them and my biggest tip? Make a double batch because these are going to disappear fast!

June 23, 2013

Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson: Fresh Coriander Chutney

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Fresh Coriander Chutney

1 large bunch of fresh Coriander
1 green chili
1 clove garlic
½ Cup tamarind juice (or lemon juice)
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt (to taste)

Although our Indian cooking class teacher refers to this as a “chutney”recipe, for me personally the fact the it doesn’t have large solid bits of fruit or vegetable in it makes it more of what I’d call a “sauce”or “dipping sauce”.

Then I googled “Fresh Coriander Chutney” to see if I could find some history behind the recipe and instead found a whole slew of recipes that look somewhat similar to this one (same thin-ish consistency as far as I can make out) so I hold my hands up and stand completely and utterly corrected, this is what more people call “chutney”. (you learn something new every day!).

Method:

Place all ingredients together in a blender and blend into a thick smooth paste. If the mixture becomes watery, place on the heat and let the chutney thicken.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Put the garlic and coriander to the blender…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the salt and sugar…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the tamarind water…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Blend the mixture until all of the coriander has been pureed…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Check the seasonings and serve…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The chutney can be used as a dip for any starter (e.g. samosa, kebabs, fish fry etc).
Teacher’s Notes: The chutney can be kept in the fridge for a week and in the freezer for a month, in an airtight container.

Kiwi’s note:  This is a very tangy chutney / sauce so if you are looking for something bursting with freshness and flavour to go with your spicy dishes, this would be an excellent bet.

p.s. If anyone would like a copy of the Indian Cooking Lesson series of recipes (just the text and not the photos) for easier printing,  just let me know via the comments.

June 22, 2013

Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson: Gajar-ka-Halwa (Carrot Halwa Dessert)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Gajar ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa Dessert)

1 litre full fat milk
200 grams (grated) carrots
2 Tablespoons Gee
6-7 Tablespoons sugar (to taste)
1 ½ Tablespoons raisins
1 ½ Tablespoons chopped pistachio nuts
2 teaspoons crushed cardamom seeds

This particular Keer / Kheer recipe is a little different because grated carrots replace the rice often found in these desserts, so I went looking for more information about one of India’s national desserts.

Wikipedia tells me:

“Kheer is prepared in festivals, temples, and all special occasions. The term Kheer (used in North India) is derived from Sanskrit words Ksheeram (which means milk). Other terms like Payasa or Payasam (used in South India) or payesh (used in Bengal region) are derived from the Sanskrit word Payas which also means “milk”. It is prepared using milk, rice, ghee, sugar/jaggery, Khoya. Some also add a little bit of Heavy Cream to give it more richness in taste. It is often garnished using almonds, cashews, raisins and pistachios.

It is an essential dish in many Hindu feasts and celebrations. While the dish is most often made with rice, it can also be made with other ingredients. It is one of the most significant desserts served in Assamese families and quite often a part of religious ceremonies.

The South Indian version, payasam or payasa is an integral part of traditional South Indian meal. The South Indian payasam also makes extensive use of jaggery and coconut milk in place of sugar and milk.
In a South Indian meal, payasam or payasa (Kannada) is served first at any formal or auspicious occasions.”

Method:

Pour the milk into a medium sized non stick pan and heat over a gentle flame. Stir regularly until the milk thickens and reduces to approximately half its volume, which is a process known as “keer” and takes roughly 40 minutes.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the grated carrots to the keer and stir frequently (to prevent burning) for a further 40-50 minutes until the mixture thickens into a paste-like consistency.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Cover the pan and let the carrot mixture cook down…  remember to stir it every so often.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the sugar…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the raisins…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the pistachio nuts and stir to mix thoroughly.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Continue cooking the mixture down so that it become less liquid…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Now add the gee for extra flavour and to slightly thicken the mixture…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Gajar-ka-Halwa needs to be quasi-dry so continue cooking for another 10 minutes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Remove from the heat and spread the mixture evenly in a shallow dish…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the crushed cardamom seeds…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Teacher’s Serving Tip: This delicious dessert can be served hot or cold. It can be kept in the fridge for a number of days without loss of taste. It is neither too heavy or too sweet whilst retaining the goodness of the carrots.

Kiwidutch Notes: We were advised that some people prefer this dessert served when it’s still warm and others when it’s cold. My classmates and I tried it both ways and my personal preference was for the warm version. One thing  surprised me:  it almost tasted like there might have been rice in this, even though  I had seen with my own eyes that there wasn’t.

As I’ve mentioned earlier elsewhere in this blog I have a lung condition and severe asthma  and have to avoid dairy products most of the time because they give me problems.  Himself isn’t  actually allergic to milk, but suffers from some measure of intolerance to it so unless we are having enough visitors to help us polish off most of this, it’s not realistically going to be high on our family  list of desserts. ( This also means I miss the cooked rice puddings with loads of cinnamon that I love too.)

I was still delighted to have tasted this… and to have learned all about a dessert that was totally new to me.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kheer

June 21, 2013

Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson: Chingri (Prawn) Malai Curry (An Original Bengali Speciality)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Chingri (Prawn) Malai Curry (An Original Bengali Speciality)

16-20 medium sized prawns (approx 1kg)
½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
2 medium onions (finely chopped)
3-4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoon (grated) root ginger
3 bay leaves
4-5 whole green cardamoms
4-5 cloves
½ small stick cinnamon
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon gee (or vegetable oil)
½ teaspoon sugar
salt to taste
1 chopped chili or ½ teaspoon chili powder (optional)

In this recipe we will be using creamed coconut, which at first I thought was coconut cream by just another name and raised the question: How then are either of these different to coconut milk?

I didn’t know so I googled: Wikipedia tells me: Creamed coconut is a coconut product,  the unsweetened dehydrated fresh meat of a mature coconut, ground to a semi-solid white creamy paste. It is sold in the form of a hard white block which can be stored at room temperature. It has an intense coconut flavor. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In cookery it is chopped into pieces or grated before it is added to dishes.

By adding warm water it can be made into coconut milk or coconut cream.
Creamed coconut is added to Indian, Thai and Asian recipes to enrich curries and sauces.

In the west it is primarily used in confectionery items, ice cream, and sauces. Not to be confused with the related coconut cream, which is a liquid.

Coconut cream is very similar to coconut milk but contains less water. The difference is mainly consistency.

It has a thicker, more paste-like consistency, while coconut milk is generally a liquid. Coconut cream is used as an ingredient in cooking, having a mild non-sweet taste.

Coconut milk is the liquid that comes from the grated meat of a coconut. The color and rich taste of the milk can be attributed to the high oil content. Most of the fat is saturated fat.

I understand that people around the world have different access (or not) to specialist ingredients and therefore since I have a few more  recipes in this series I will also soon be running a competition where you will be invited to make a comment on  these genuine Indian recipes.One lucky winner will then receive a small parcel of the more specialist items so that they can make and enjoy these recipes at home as well. Watch this space!

Method:

Clean and wash the prawns thoroughly. Add a little salt and turmeric powder to the washed prawns and leave to one side.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In a medium shallow pan or wok, heat the oil…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Crush the whole green cardamoms slightly in a mortar and pestle to get maximum flavour…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the whole green cardamoms and the whole cloves to the oil…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then add the pieces of cinnamon and the bay leaves… and saute for a few minutes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Now add the chopped onions and chili (optional) and stir fry until the onions turn soft brown (approx 7 minutes).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Next add the ginger paste  and continue frying the mixture until the oil separates from the masala (spices)  This should take 4-5 minutes. If the mixture sticks in the pan add a little water to prevent burning.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Now add about 3/4 the coconut milk (don’t  use it all yet!) and simmer for about 5 minutes. Here is what our block of creamed coconut looked like…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The coconut cream mixed with water…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

How much of it we used at this stage of the recipe…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Ok, this photo should have come before the last one, this the first lot of coconut cream and water going into the pan…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Let it gently simmer for a few minutes on low…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the sugar (not pictured) and salt…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Finally add the prawns to the mixture and stir thoroughly.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Now add the leftover coconut cream and water…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Simmer gently so that the shrimp start to cook through… (they will start to turn from a grey colour on the outside to pink)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add  the gee (clarified butter) , it adds a richness to the taste and helps thicken the sauce just a little. Cook until the prawns are done (5-6 minutes)  Teacher’s Note: Do not use garlic sauce since it will over-power the delicate taste of the prawns.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Finally sprinkle with gram masala powder…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Teacher’s Serving Tip: serve with Peas Pilau or Indian bread.

June 20, 2013

Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson: Lemon Rice (A South Indian Speciality)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Lemon Rice 

2 Cups (260 grams) Basmati Rice (for best results use Tilda): for approx for 4 persons.
2-3 Tablespoons gee or oil.
½ teaspoon asafoeitida (hing)
1 Tablespoon split black gram (urad dal)
1 Tablespoon slip gram (chana dal)
½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
½ Cup peanuts (ie approx 6 Tablespoons)
15-20 curry leaves
5 Tablespoons lemon juice (or lime juice) from fresh lemons or limes.
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 Tablespoons (unsweetened) desiccated coconut (if available freshly grated coconut is preferred)
Salt (to taste)
2-3 chilies, cut in half (optional)

We learn from our teacher:  “Fenugreek  comes from an aromatic Mediterranean plant that produces long pods that contain  oblong brownish coloured seeds. The seeds have a slightly bitter taste and are roasted and ground and used as a flavouring in curries. The leaves from the plant (often sold as “methi”) can be used in salads, and both fresh and dried leaves are used in Indian cookery. The seeds and leaves have a strong aroma.”

I also wanted to know more about “slip gram / chana dal” and more specifically,  if these were  maybe just a different names for split peas.  On the “Yahoo Answers”website I found an excellent answer that tells me the diffeence between Chana Dal, Yellow Split Peas and Pigeon Peas:

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Chana Dal
The native variety of Indian chickpea is called Desi Chana. The mature seed has a seed-coat that is rough brown.

Due to its color, it is also called Kala chana. India is the largest producer and consumer of Desi Chana. Decorticated split Desi chana is called Chana Dal. Chana Dal is yellow in color.

Yellow Split pea
This is the fully mature green-pea that has been dried. In Hindi, green-pea is called Mattar. The deorticated ‘dried split pea’ is called called ‘Peeli Mattar Dal’.

The yellow split pea looks like like Chana Dal. Yellow split pea is cheaper than the Chana Dal. It is illegal but some manufactures mix the two seeds to produce lower cost ground flour called Besan.

Pigeon pea
The pigeon peas are only second to Desi Chana in consumption in India. The seed-coat of the whole seed may be red, or brown. The whole seeds are deorticated and split and called Arhar Dal or Toor Dal. Some of the toor Dal is coated with castor oil for preservation

All the three decorticated split seeds look yellow. The chana dal is more rounder and smaller. The Arhar Dal is flatter. The Mattar dal is about same as chana dal but lighter pale.”

I understand that people around the world have different access (or not) to specialist ingredients and therefore since I have quite a few recipes in this series I will also shortly be running a competition where you  are  invited to make a comment on getting to know these genuine Indian recipes.

One lucky winner will then receive a small parcel of the more specialist items so that they can make and enjoy these recipes at home as well. Watch this space!

Method:

Wash the rice thoroughly in cold water and pour into a microwave container (or Pyrex container). Add four cups of cold water (important note: always use the same cup for measuring the rice as well as the water) . Place in a microwave for 20/21 minutes at 900 Watts.

For Step-by Step photos of how to easily do this in your microwave click on this link: https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/new-1118/

In the meantime, heat the gee (or vegetable oil) in a deep frying pan (Wok pan is ideal)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

To the hot gee add the peanuts, fry for a few minutes, remove, drain and keep to one side.

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

To the same gee, add the split black gram (ural dal) and slip gram (chana dal)…

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Fenugreek seeds (methi seeds) and fry for approx. 3 minutes until the dals change colour to a light brown.

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then the mustard seeds, leave for about 30 seconds…

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Take some curry leaves from your frozen stash…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Stir and add the curry leaves and the chilies (if using).

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the asafoeitida …

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Now add the fried peanuts and stir as they cook for a further few minutes…

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Now you are ready to add the cooked rice…

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Fold the spices through the rice…

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then add the turmeric powder…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then salt (sorry, not pictured) and lemon juice. (or you can use lime juice if you prefer).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Stir well and garnish with grated coconut or (unsweetened) desiccated coconut.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Serve hot.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Teacher’s Notes: Serving tip: Can be served with most vegetable preparations.

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100306031707AAv6pZE

Kiwi’s notes, I was undecided if I liked this recipe or not. I love the flavour but the crunchiness of the Dal’s in the recipe means it might take a few goes to get used to the texture.

My fellow class-mates loved it, so as usual this is entirely personal preference. I have the added difficulty that Himself is not a fan of citrus flavours and would therefore love Lemon Rice if there were no lemon (or lime) in it and that Kiwi Daughter has a severe peanut allergy so I can see that I might be eating this one alone at home. (I loved the peanuts and the lemon!). I am fast liking the idea that plain white rice can be so easily transformed and take it from me, there might be quite a few photos but this is a really easy recipe to make!

June 19, 2013

Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson: Green Beans (South Indian Style)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Green Beans (South Indian Style)

1 large onion (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
10-12 curry leaves (fresh ones that you then freeze and use as required)
½ cup grated fresh coconut (or dessicated unsweetened  coconut if fresh is not available)
1-2 Tablespoon lemon juice
2-3 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 green or red  chili (optional)
Salt (to taste)

This is an amazing recipe  and one of my personal favourites from the course.

One thing I learnt from our teacher is that she believes that dried curry leaves loose most of their flavour in the drying process, so she believes people should buy fresh and then keep them in the freezer.

I have some fresh curry leaves  that I forgot to put into the freezer for about 1o days  because the kids covered up the bag on the dining room side board with some junk that I then didn’t shift because I have a chest infection and have been in bed rather than doing housework.  On the plus side I noted that they don’t dry out very fast at all,  so if you can’t get them locally then I think it should certainly it should be fine to get them on-line and stash them in your freezer as soon as they arrive.

I found it really interesting that no water at all is needed when cooking the beans, they kind of just steam themselves when the lid of the pot is on. I hate pouring vegetable vitamins down the sink with the cooking water so this is a recipe that probably keeps a lot more of the vitamins  in the beans. Yum! As usual, lots of step-by-step photographs to guide you through the process… enjoy!

Method:

Wash, string and dice the green beans into small pieces.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Heat the oil in a pan (or small wok) …

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then add the mustard seeds …When the seeds begin to “crackle”add the curry leaves…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Just a dozen or so curry leaves from your freezer stash…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the chopped onion,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then the chili (optional) and stir for a few minutes using a medium flame.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the green beans…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then the salt… (no, not the entire contents of this bowl, just a teaspoon!)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then cover and cook for 5-10 minutes using a medium flame until the beans are cooked but slightly crunchy.(Note: it’s not necessary to add any water!)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the grated coconut and lemon juice, mix well and serve.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our Teacher’s Notes: Serving tips: French beans can be used unstead of green beans. Can be served with rice lentils and roti (Indian bread).

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