30.4.10

indian feast

My blog friend from Croatia Tadeja suggested that since I live in UK, it might be interesting to my girls from Croatia to see some English cuisine recipes.
So, I thought I should start this with the best liked cuisine in England – Indian :D

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It's true, the English love Indian food very much, they cook and eat curries regularly and even though English cuisine has many wonderful domestic dishes, I came to view especially North Indian food as a regular part of the menu in the UK.





Indian food is wonderfully fragrant and tasty, often quite hot (ljuta), especially if cooked according to the traditional recepies, and is very good for you because it has detoxifying and clensing properties due to large amounts of chillies and spices. Many spices that are often used in this cuisine, like turmeric, have been extensivelly studied and found to have various medicinal properties including a protective effect against bowel cancer.
Indian food in restaurants can be very oily, partly because it is cooked with ghee – an original form of vegetable fat used in India, but at home you can cook it with olive oil and lose none of the flavour.
In any case, the curries are typically very strong, to be eaten with a lot of rice and special flat breads, often with fresh salad and yoghurt.

MY CARDINAL RULES ABOUT COOKING AND EATING INDIAN FOOD

1. Use olive oil to make them lighter

2. Make sure you have the authentic spices, these are absolutely essential: cumin, cardamom, cloves, chillies (dried and fresh), coriander (seed and powder), garam masala, mustard seeds, turmeric, peppercorns, fresh ginger, fresh coriander, paprika (hot and mild). You can also use a generic curry poweder if you like, but you should still have all the original spices.

3. First thing you do, most of the time, is to heat up the oil and fry the spaices until they are fragrant. This works much better than adding the spices later and you should assume this to be the first step unless otherwise specified.

4. Cook your curries (like Rogan Josh and other main dishes) on slow fire for upwards of 1 or even 2 hours. Only the side dishes like bhajis are cooked quickly, the real curries take time, much like croatian stews.

5. Eat your curries with a lot of rice, breads, salad and fresh yoghurt. Curries are much stronger than stews or goulashes, and the same amount can feed twice as many people, because it is supposed to be eaten much more diluted with carbohydrate staples.

These are my all time favourite Indian dishes to cook at home – they are simple to make, very tasty and full of vegetables, I must admit I often buy my chapatis in the supermarket but they are really easy to make at home, so I will include the recepie I got somewhere off the internet, I can’t remember where, but it is very good.

CHAPATI

This is the simplest type of flat indian bread that is served with all the curries and accompaniments.

for 8 chapatis you’ll need :

130 g wholmeal flour
65 ml of warm water
splash of olive oil

Make a hole in the middle of the flour and pour in water. Mix and make into a dough. Add oil and knead for 5 - 8 mins until nice and elastic. Cover with a damp cloth and leave for 1 hour.
Heat up the frying pan with no oil in it.
Make 8 balls out of the dough and on floured surface, roll out into thin pancakes.
Place on the pan on high heat until brown spots appear, turn over and cook on the other side briefly (all up, each chapati takes just a few minutes to cook).
Set aside covered with foil to keep them warm, until they are ready to serve.

ALOO CHAT

This is an entrée, served on a warm chapati or just an ordinary pancake or a tortilla, it is wonderfully fragrant and fresh due to fresh vegetables mixed with spicy fried potatoes.

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3-4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp chaat masala (or garam masala)
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
salt to taste
fresh coriander
2-3 fresh tomatoes, finely chopped
About 10cm length fresh cucumber, finely chopped

Dice potatoes and boil for 5 minutes. Drain well and shallow fry them in oil until golden. Add finely chopped onion, garlic and spices. Fry until fragrant.
Take off heat and mix in finely chopped fresh tomato and cucumber.
Stir well, garnish with fresh coriander and serve with chapatis.

BHINDI BAHJI

This is a very tasty okra curry (okra in Croatian is “bamija”) that is served as a side or a vegetarian dish. If you don't like okra, you may substitute it with aubergine (eggplant), zucchini (courgette), mushrooms or even potatoes (in which case add more chillies to make the dish more spicy).

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You’ll need:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp ground turmeric
3-4fresh tomatoes, chopped
450g okra, cut into 3cm pieces

Heat the oil in a pan and fry spices briefly. Add the onions and fry for 3-5 minutes until the onions are transparent. Tip in the tomatoes and cook for a minute or two.
Throw in the okra and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the okra is cooked through.
Season with salt and fresh coriander and serve.

ROGAN JOSH

This is a main course dish, there will be lots of it and it’s perfect to keep for a day or two in the fridge, in fact, the longer it stands the more flavoursome it becomes.

1 kg lamb or chicken
2 onions
8 cloves of garlic
2.5cm ginger stem
2 bay leaves
10 whole black pepecorns
10 cardamom pods
6 cloves
1 stick of cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp hot paprika
2 tsp sweet paprika
3 red hot chillies
or cayenne pepper (as much as you can handle)
1 tsp salt
splash of olive oil
1 can (400ml) chopped tomatoes
6 tablespoons yoghurt
sprinkle of garam masala
coriander for garnish

Place a roughly chopped onion, fresh ginger and cloves of garlic in a food processor, with a little water added, until you get a nice uniform mixture.

Warm up the oil and add bay leaves, peppercorns, whole cardamom pods, cloves and a stick of cinnamon to the pan, and let them fry for a minute or so until they become really fragrant.

Add meat to it and brown lightly (meat on the bone will give tastier curry, but I most often use either skinless chicken breasts or lean lamb chops to reduce the calories. It also is nice but the most authentic taste will be achieved by meat on the bone).
To this, add one finely chopped onion and allow to fry for a few more minuts until adding onion puree.

Add ground coriander, cumin, paprika and as much cayenne pepper as you can handle. Start with a little over a third of a teaspoon and work upwards from there. A teaspoon of salt is also needed. Stir and fry gently for about five minutes.

Add chopped tomatoes, mix well and simmer on low fire for 90 minutes, stirring regularly.
When cooked, add yoghurt, one tablespoon at a time stirring each spoonful in to make a rich and creamy sauce.

Finish with a good sprinkling of garam masala a twist or two of ground black pepper and roughly chopped fresh coriander just before serving.

Bon apetit!

10 comments:

  1. Hmmm mmmmmmm mljac, have to organize myself and cook some ... love Indian food , adore it and thank you for the recepies :)
    zadarskosunce

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  2. you are very welcome my dear :hug: it's something a little bit different :D

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  3. Obožavam indijsku kuhinju i stalno nešto eksperimentiram i kombiniram s njom. Hvala na novim idejama i receptima, sigurno ću nešto isprobati. Jedino bamiju nikako ne volim tako da ću to zaobići. :)

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  4. @Andrea: tu umjesto bamije mozes staviti patlidzan, sto onda ovaj recept cini da se zove brinjal bhaji :))
    a mozes skuhati velike cetvrtine krumpira i napravit na isti recept dobit ces laganu verziju Bombay potatoes (stavi malo vise chillija u ovo jer su oni vise spicy) :)
    tak da, slobodno supstituiraj okru, ona je samo jako hranljiva pa ju u indiji jako puno i rado koriste.
    a zacini ovdje,osim za Rogan Josh koji su precizni, su inace neki moj izbor sto najcesce imam u kuhinji, jednom kad skuzis sve te zacine, sama mozes praviti kombinacije kak ti odgovara, jako su versatilni

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  5. I ja sam se ovdje zaljubila u indijsku kuhinju! I to preko usiju! toliko da na mom blogu ima vise indijskih nego hrvatskih i engleskih recepata skupa! :)

    sto se tice maslinovog ulja, trebalo bi ne koristiti extra djevicansko ulje nego nesto laganije jer ima prejak okus. ja uglavnom koristim obicno ulje, a ghee za tarke i dhalove.

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  6. bok Maninas :)) i ti si u UK! bas mi je drago :D
    cuj, ja licno uopce ne osjetim okus maslinovog, koristim ga u svemu od salata do bilo koje etnicke kuhinje i to od kada mi se vrhunski chef pekinske kuhinje povjerio da on sve doma svojoj familiji kuha smo na maslinovom ulju :)) pa reko ako moze kineska onda moze sve :D
    tarka dhal pravim s njim, iako je sve to puno manje "jako" sto se tice fats nego kad se u restoranu naruci. u stvari, ja sam vise fan juznoindijske kuhinje, pa su mi ovi sjevernoindijski recepti prejaki, premasni nekako. ali to je samo licni ukus jer pravim kak ja volim pojest, ne nuzno i potpuno autenticno. ali i moje se pojede i bude bas fino tak da, modifikacija radi ok.
    u pravu si, i ja koristim mahom ono svjetlije, ne ono zeleno jer mi je i pregusto. njega eventualno za umake i sl. inace, peanut i sesame oil dodam po par kapi u stir frys i tak, ponekad suncokretovo (radije bih canola oil ali ovdje toga nema za kupit

    ghee je meni premastan, pojedem u restaurant curry, ali puno lakse probavljam ovako kad napravim laganije sama doma.
    no slazem se, pravi autenticni curry trazi ghee.

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  7. Ti si to odmah triplicirala! :)
    Hehhhh, zgodno ovo, ja pitam za britansku kuhinju, ti opališ po indijskim jelima, dobili smo odmah i lekciju iz povijesti. Bilo bi zapravo strašno da nakon svih stoljeća kolonijalizma nisu bar nešto usvojili kao svoje, od domicilnog stanovništva. To je jedan od razloga zašto sam se uvijek čudila izjavama kako britanska kuhinja nije ukusna. Zaboga, stoljećima su ratovali, osvajali, kolonizirali i trgovali upravo začinima, a nisu ih bili u stanju upotrijebiti u svojoj vlastitoj kuhinji. Neobjašnjivo.
    Ali ajde, barem su prisvojili neka autohtona jela zemalja koja su kolonizirali kao svoja. :)
    Super su mi recepti, vidim da ima i bamije. Jela sam je svega jednom u životu, u Mostaru, zaljubila sam se u nju. Bila je napravljena kao svojevrstan gulaš sa mesom, meni je ona kao mahuna "de luxe".
    Nedavno mi je frendica poslala maleni vijenčić sušene, nikako da je iskoristim, ali svakako namjeravam konačno kupiti svježu. Navodno je jedan čovjek u Hrvatskoj, kraj Karlovca počeo s uzgojem.
    Neću tvrditi, jer ne znam, nisam probala, ali mislim da bih s gheejem imala problema. Ja ne volim niti biljno ulje, kad je od uljane repice, mora biti suncokretovo, maslinovo i to pravo obožavam, biljnih vrhnja se kao zamjena za mliječna, užasavam.
    O margarinu kruže horror priče, potpuno sam ga izbacila.
    Ja sam nekako, nakon što sam probala sama napraviti British pudding , promijenila mišljenje o britanskoj kuhinji. Mislim da je osnova ok. samo se začini i okusi moraju prilagoditi nama. Izvorni recept je prilično bljutav, ali ako staviš začina, čitava stvar se radikalno mijenja.

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  8. Ja se jos nisam asimilirala po pitanju hrane, lol.
    Od indijske samo mogu pojesti chicken korma, makar kad smo bili u Indiji mi je jako pasalo jesti spicy hranu.
    Muz je naravno pravi Englez po tom pitanju, sto ljuce ,to bolje. On nekada uzme samo chili i pojede ga!

    (znam da sam obecala neko jelo, mozda bude sto uskoro, wink,wink)

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  9. @Tadeja: oh, no, nisam htjela davati lekciju, ali izgleda da si nemrem pomoci :))
    inace, i ja sam mislila da im je kuhinja bezveze dok nisam probala, i zaista, cak i ona neka originalna jela su jako fina. recimo Tudori (dinastija za vrijeme Henrija VIII) i tu oko njega, Elizabeta i sl, imali su jako finu kuhinju na dvorovima, po 14-15 jela na dan, jako finih salata, pasteta, mesa, kolaca, svega i svacega. Samo sto jos tada nisu imali krumpir ni paradajz, ali uprkos tome, jako su se fino hranili (gledala ja neki dokumentarac nedavno).
    tako da, znaju englezi sto je fino, a i to je istina, osvajali su da nadju finiju klopu, zacine i da imaju gdje otic gdje je suncano :)) ziva istina, vrijeme ovdje je grozno.

    bamija je super i jako puno vitamina ima. malo je sluzava kad se nareze friska, ima neki trik kako da se ta sluzavost smanji, ne sjecam se tocno jer meni to nije problem, ali u svakom slucaju kad se skuha nema sluzi, i bas je zdravo. indijci to jako vole jest.

    ni ja uopce ne koristim margarin vec godinama, nikad ne mazem putar na kruh ali ga stavljam u kolace i sl. stvar je samo navike, recimo dok smo bili mali obozavala sam upravo margarin, bio mi je finiji od putra, ali poslije sve te price, i nije to dobro. mozes ga ostavit vani godinu dana nece se pokvarit sto znaci da ga ni bakterije ne vole jest. ja inace imam pravilo, ako moj pas nece to probati, onda nije dobro (posebno salame i sl), isto tako i za margarin, ak nece gljivica i bakterija, mora da je neki otrov :D

    sad cu za koji dan napravit neke njihove engleske pite, svidjet ce ti se to vise of british pudinga, koji je tebi, moram priznati, ispao super, ja to sve sto se kuha 5 sati a nije gulas ili curry nemam zivaca raditi :D

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  10. @zvrk: ja sam ti kao tvoj muz, obozavam ljuto, ja obavezno narucim Vindaloo, ovi moji domaci u restoranu zbilja sjajno to rade :)) i chilli bi ja u sve, i u juhu sa tofuom sam ga sibnula danas, super je ispalo :D

    javi pliz, ja bih bas volila da mi budes kuharica u gostima, bas je super ovdje drustvance i ima jako puno krasnih food blogova nasih cura, prava su inspiracija, tak da, jedva cekam, wink, wink :))

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