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 19, 2013

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

Filed under: FOOD,INDIA,Indian Cusine,PHOTOGRAPHY,Recipes — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,
(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).

October 31, 2011

Chef India Express Take (-a-way) Two…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back in early October,  I had my first taste of Indian food made here in The Hague by British Indian chefs who have come over to The Netherlands to start a UK style Indian restaurant.

Last time, they were a little disorganised but I really enjoyed the food,  so when by chance various kid play-dates ended up being extended to kid dinner invitations, and our fridge sported the ” probably  would have been advised to have done the grocery shopping yesterday”  kind of empty shelf look, we opted for an easy meal rather than have Himself sprint to the supermarket for emergency supplies.

Having skipped lunch and thinking that a wrap for Euro 4,- would not be very big at all,  we thought we would go for a wrap each as entrée and to have one of the meat dishes for Main course.

Himself thought the lamb sounded tasty and unusually for him,  didn’t fancy much spice so ended up with:
Naan wrap with Tandoori Lamb Seekh Kebab – Euro 4,–
Chef India Special Lamb Karahi  (mild) –  Euro 8,50
Fresh Garlic Naan – Naan with garlic and butter- Euro 1,70

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’ve just realised that I didn’t get photos of Himself’s meal…  the Lamb  Karahi and the Naan bread are the same as I had the first time I tried this place so photos of those are in the previous review, the wrap was almost gone by the time I asked to get a photo.

Himself’s verdict  was that he really liked the Lamb Karahi and the Garlic Naan, but that the wrap he ate because he was starving hungry rather than really enjoyed. He did share a bit of his wrap with me and I loved it so much that I simply can’t understand how he could fail be to impressed.  He said that  he thought it didn’t have enough flavour, but I on the other hand thought it had heaps of flavour and am looking forward to ordering one for myself when we next decide to have an easy meal again.

Years ago when we were choosing curtains for the house, Himself was going though the pattern books saying “this one is nice, that one is old fashioned” what he actually meant was “I like this one, I don’t like that one” and ‘old fashioned” had nothing to do with it.

I’m starting to think that Himself’s taste buds work on the same principle,  if a taste suits his particular preferences then it’s ” got flavour” and if it doesn’t, then apparently it hasn’t. It would certainly explain many comments culinary around our table at various times.  For example: Himself doesn’t love potatoes and so if I make a stew with potatoes in it he often says it could do with more flavour even though I always deliberately add extra herbs galore and it would  also explain how he thinks that plain boiled spaghetti (that he adores) on it’s own sans sauce, herbs or cheese  is “flavourful”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I on the other hand really fancied something spicy so ordered:
Naan wrap with Tandoori Chicken Tikka – Euro 4,–
Chicken Tikka Masala – Euro 8,50
Fresh Garic Chilli Naan – Euro 1,80

Since Chicken Tikka is made with a creamy sauce it’s not a dish that comes in various heat varieties so that’s why I opted to try out a garlic chili Naan… and yes, with all those freshly chopped green peppers… it was definitely fiery enough to satisfy a heat craving.

We stuffed ourselves on this, we didn’t need to eat it all but it tasted great and we made pigs of ourselves. One wrap in it’s own would make a great lunch, for dinner I might even be tempted to skip the main dishes and go for two wraps instead.

It’s annoying that they are still disorganised (the delivery of the order was late, but to their credit they did phone us to tell  us that they were running late, something that no Dutch take-a-way has ever bothered to do).

I would like it if someone got their website into an intelligible state, it’s  still sporting the Latin sample text and ordering on-line doesn’t appear to work, so you have to phone your order though… for a new take-a-way these days, and competing with other places where ordering on-line is made easy, that’s something they should be giving some priority to.

We will be back… hopefully they can only get better organised as time goes on. If you are a local in The Hague here are a few links:

 http://www.chefindia.nl/ and my first review: https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/22767/

October 3, 2011

Ah Chef, an Express to India?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m still on the road to recovery, and haven’t been in the kitchen for ages.

Himself has been cooking, meaning that we’ve had an awful lot of his speciality  menu or close variations thereof: plain boiled pasta and quick to make veggies like broccoli, peas, sugar snaps and sweetcorn.

Don’t get me wrong , I like all of this, it’s just that I like it less four times a week for months on end.

Friends told us that there was a  new Indian take-a-way, different to others here in the city in that the chefs were formerly  UK based and have come The Hague and set up a British style Indian Restaurant.

I’ve heard excellent  things about many UK Indian restaurants but never been to one, so when friends of ours got food there and were impressed.  I pricked my ears up.

The other day, Himself and the kids went after school to Oma (Grandma’s) to do some shopping, general chores and to cook, and knowing that they would all out to dinner there, I opted for a take-a-way at home at lunch time.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There is a website,  but I have food allergies so phoned them so that I could ask  about the contents of  the various dishes and to ask about the levels of  spiciness on offer.

The staff were friendly, and after a few questions about my preferences and the allergy checks,  I decided to order the Lamb Karahi,  Garlic Nan bread and rice. The heat levels available were mild, medium and hot and I choose medium so that I could gauge my heat  tolerance against their levels of spicy.

I discoverd during our telephone conversation that the home delivery service is only available after 5.00p.m. (at least at the present time) so we arranged that Himself would pick up the food that they said would be ready in 4o minutes.

Since Himself was running to a tight work schedule he only left the house some 40 minutes later so I was worried that the food would have been left standing and cold, but the chefs are rather disorganised and Himself had to wait another 10 minutes after arriving before the food was even ready.

Himself did however confirm their friendliness, and remarked that he was pleasantly surprised at a nice looking meal for Euro 14,–  not too expensive at all. I was pleased with the taste results, lamb in it’s sauce was delicious, but one small detail detracted from the meal, quite a few bits of the lamb had a lot of fat on them, what a pity since that bits without lashings of fat tasted brilliant.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I was surprised at the heat factor… clearly my tolerances for heat are greater than I thought because my “medium heat”  meal had a pleasant after-taste of heat but really wasn’t what I would have called hot, next time I will have no hesitation to choose the “hot” version.

The garlic nan bread was good, very tasty, but I also wouldn’t have minded an extra-garlic option on it.

Somehow I missed ordering pompadoms,  ( I couldn’t find them on the menu and I forgot to ask when I phoned) …pity because for me no Indian meal is complete without them. My final verdict is that this is one of the best Indian meals I have had in The Netherlands,  and that I would be  very pleased to order from here again. I do hope though that they can trim a little more fat off their meat and that they can become a bit more organised.

That said, this establishment is very  new on the scene, they are ex-pats who will be still finding their way into Dutch living and their learning curve will be rather steep at the moment: especially as they will eventually have to master the Dutch language as well.

Of course for me a switch to the English language was no problem at all, and naturally a British Indian restaurant will  initially build up a fairly instant following amongst the English ex-pat community here in The Hague, so they have time to gain some Dutch as they progress.

Early days and it’s looking promising… I’m keen to check out more of their menu  in the near future and see how it measures up to the lamb.

Chef India Express

Prins Hendrikstraat 54
2518 HT
Den Haag (The Hague)
Tel: 070 785 28 14

http://www.chefindia.nl/

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