Archives for posts with tag: Indian

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We all need an easy dhal recipe to have up our sleeve – and hopefully this is gonna be yours. It’s light, flavoursome, and will taste so much better than getting takeaway (I promise!).

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Baigan means eggplant in Hindi, and the vegetable forms the main component of this lightly spiced Indian dish. Charring the eggplant (using the same technique as in the Eggplant and Lemon Risotto recipe) gives it a fleshy,creamy texture and endows this dish with a lovely smoky flavour. I’m not generally a huge fan of peas, but in the interests of staying true to the traditional version of the recipe I’ve succumbed and added them. Despite my general bias against them, the peas work well here and contrast nicely against the beige backdrop of the eggplant.

This is a delicious, light dish that is best served hot with roti for a wonderful lunch or dinner.

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This type of rice dish is called chitranna in South India which directly translates to ‘colourful rice’ and it perfectly fits that description. Now this is my mum’s recipe but I’m sure there are many variants of this dish that are cooked across households in India everyday. It makes for a nice lunch and generally forms a staple component of many religious celebrations. Because this dish can be served warm or cold it can also be a great work lunch. The peanuts are my favourite part of this dish, so make sure you don’t leave them out to ensure that wonderful nutty bite.

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It seems we are on a bit of a roll with the Indian recipes this week so I’ll continue the trend with this classic curry recipe that my mum taught me. A kadai is an Indian cooking vessel that resembles a wok and was originally made out of cast iron, but these days is more commonly made out of stainless steel, often with a copper bottom (like the one pictured below). Paneer is a soft cheese that’s made quite laboriously out of curdling milk. I personally don’t bother making paneer by hand because I think you can get good quality paneer, at the right texture, in Indian stores and even supermarkets these days. George Calombaris on Masterchef (currently the TV show I’m most addicted to) likened paneer to haloumi cheese in its consistency, and I think it’s a pretty good textural comparison.

This curry base is really versatile and you can replace the paneer with vegetables such as cauliflower and capsicum if you want to. It is light and delicate compared to a lot of the curries you will find in most Indian restaurants. This is one of those standby recipes in our house, because though it has a lot of ingredients, the method is relatively easy and failproof. I think it’s best served with roti or naan, but basmati rice would do quite nicely too.

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I promised in my first ever blog post that I would put up Indian recipes and I have failed to deliver on that promise.  I’m sorry. The only excuse I can offer is that my mum is an excellent Indian cook, and instead of trying to cook something that will inevitably pale in comparison I generally tend to stick to other cuisines that aren’t directly comparable. I’ve realised however that my most favourite, comforting and heartwarming foods are invariably home-cooked Indian dishes, and I’m going to eventually have to learn to cook these meals for myself.

Parathas are a flat-bread that are generally stuffed with potatoes, cauliflower or radish. I made these based on a recipe from Tava Cooking (tava = flat griddle), a cookbook by Tarla Dalal who is India’s answer to Martha Stewart. My mum swears by all of Tarla Dalal’s recipes and I have to say I completely agree with her.

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