Paneer/Tempeh Lollipop

Paneer/Tempeh Lollipop

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This was a canapé that I served at my Indian Fusion Tapas party

It can be made using paneer or tempeh if you want to make a vegan version. It is super easy and fun visually – we all have a little artist in us, trying to get out!

You can also increase or decrease the spice levels, depending on who is coming to dinner. Mr B likes the highest spice levels possible and if he had it his way, this dish would be just a chill pepper covered in sesame seeds!

Ingredients

  • 1 block paneer/tempeh, cut into rectangles
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. organic ketchup
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha
  • ½ tsp. tamari
  • 2 tbsp. white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 2 tbsp. black sesame seeds
  • Hand full of bamboo skewers

Method

  • Cut the paneer/tempeh into rectangles, important for the sesame layering
  • Mix the ketchup, Sriracha and tamari, marinate the paneer in the mixture for 10 minutes
  • Heat the oil and sear the marinated paneer/tempeh on all sides
  • Let cool and place on bamboo skewer
  • Paint with leftover marinade to act as an adhesive
  • Sprinkle white sesame seeds on half the piece, turning as you go
  • Do the same with the black sesame seeds
  • Serve as a lollipop for a fun canapé
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Methi Matar Malai (GF, DF)

Methi Matar Malai (GF, DF)

Mattar Malai

This is a beautiful fragrant vegan curry from the north of India. It is made with Methi, which is Fenugreek, Malai which is cream, which I substituted for tofu cream and Matar which is green peas

It is a beautifully balanced dish, due to the bitterness of the Fenugreek and sweetness from the onions, almond milk and sugar

Fenugreek is good for liver function, cholesterol and digestion and is therefore used a lot in Indian and Ayurveda cooking

‘When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use, when diet is correct, medicine is no need’

I served these as a canapé at my Indian inspired dinner party, but it is good with rice or a flatbread also

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups of Fenugreek/Methi
  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • 1 cup tofu cream cheese
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 1 chilli, chopped
  • ¼ cup cashew nuts

Method

  • Blend the onions, cumin, garlic, ginger, chilli and cashew nuts into a smooth paste
  • Heat the oil and fry this mixture for 5-10 minutes until the raw taste is gone
  • Add the fenugreek, cook for 2/3 minutes
  • Add ½ cup almond milk, mix well and cook for 3-5 minutes
  • Add the cooked peas, tofu cream cheese, garam masala, salt, sugar, mix well and cook for 5 minutes on a low flame
  • Garnish with the coriander leaves and serve with roti, rice or in tart cups as a fun canapé

Chicken 65 (GF, DF)

Chicken 65 (GF, DF)

Fried Chicken

This is an amazingly addictive dish and very popular at my Indian Inspired dinner party. It is real mash up of flavours, with spiced chicken and cooling yogurt or my favourite way of serving, with a little smoked maple syrup glaze for contrast

I don’t usually cook much meat and when I do, it is organic, free range and listens to opera when indoors, but fried chicken is such a classic in the USA that I had to give it a go. I did a cauliflower version (Gobi 65), which I will post another week

Mr B liked both versions and noted that it was the spicing and contrast of flavours that really elevates either one

Go Mr Foodie B!

Ingredients

For the chicken marinade

  • 1 tbsp. chilli powder/smoked paprika (dependent on spice preference)
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

For the coating

  • 4 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp. rice flour
  • 5 tsp. chilli powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Neutral oil, for frying

For the yogurt sauce

  • ¼ cup. Almond yogurt
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the smoked maple syrup glaze

  • ¼ cup. Maple Syrup
  • Pinch of smoked salt, to taste

Method

  • Cut the chicken into bite size pieces
  • Whisk together the marinade ingredients and cover the chicken, allow to sit for at least an hour/overnight if possible
  • To make the seasoned coating, stir together the coating ingredients and place in a bowl, beat the egg and place in another bowl
  • Heat the oil in a deep pot to 375f. Dredge the chicken pieces in the egg, then in the coating. Carefully deep fry the pieces, 4-5 minutes each
  • Remove from the hot oil, using a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel lined plate
  • To make the yogurt sauce, whisk together the yogurt, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper
  • Serve on the side or stir fry with some curry leaves
  • Instead of the yogurt sauce, I like to brush the chicken with smoked maple syrup, giving a spicy, smoky, sweet flavour
  • Either way is great

 

Spinach Paneer (GF)

Spinach Paneer (GF)

Spinach Paneer

The word Paneer is of Persian origin and is used to refer to any type of cheese. Paneer is normally homemade by Indian families, boiling whole milk and adding some lemon juice. My Grandma tried several attempts to make Paneer using Soya Milk and Almond Milk, but it didn’t work, so this is a vegetarian recipe using full fat dairy paneer and is dedicated to my brother

My brother loves Paneer and will eat it, in pretty much any form. This paneer dish is packed with amazing healing spices and antioxidants from the spinach and thus is a complete meal full of your veggies and protein. I hope you love it, a much as I love you, Mr D!

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. cayenne
  • ½ tsp. salt (to taste)
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 12 ounces paneer
  • 16 ounces spinach
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chilli (deseeded)
  • ½ tsp. garam masala
  • 2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder

Method

  • In a bowl mix the turmeric, cayenne and salt and paneer, make sure the pieces are well covered
  • Heat half the oil and pan fry until at least golden on a couple of each side, set aside
  • Steam the spinach in a little broth, let cool and blend
  • Add the remaining oil to the pan, add the onions, tomato, chilli, ginger and garlic and cook until the onions are soft and starting to caramelize
  • Add the garam masala, cumin, coriander continue to cook until the spices are well incorporated, c. 5 minutes
  • Add the spinach, combine and cook for another 5 minutes
  • Add the paneer and continue to cook, make sure well combined and try not break the paneer pieces as you mix
  • Serve hot with rice or roti

Cheese Rolls (GF, V)

Cheese Rolls (GF, V)

Cheese Rolls

This is a classic grandma dish, which until recently we had thought was made up for us, until I started finding different versions of the recipe on the internet

It is an Indian version of grilled cheese and can be made in many different ways, depending on your family’s palate

It can be fried or baked and made with different types of bread or cheese. My favourite adaptation is gluten free or rye bread with vegan cheese, but my grandma made it with a classic white loaf and cheddar

Mr B loved these as I added some extra chillies in the mixture for him. He ate an entire portion of 6 in one go, which is the equivalent of half a loaf of bread. I wouldn’t advise this, but it proves that the old recipes are the best!

I am still doing research on this, but it looks like the Turkish dish, Sigara Borek, which has a similar filling but is made with phyllo pastry not bread, influenced these. I’d love to hear from anyone who knows different, as I haven’t been able to track down the exact Indian lineage

Ingredients

  • 6 slices gluten free bread
  • 1 cup grated vegan cheese
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbsp. coriander, chopped
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to brush or fry if you prefer

Method

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cheese, onion, coriander and spices
  • Take the bread slices and cut the edges off, roll them flat with a rolling pin, roll as thin as possible
  • Brush the edges with water
  • Place some of the cheese mixture in the middle of the bread, roll and press the edges to seal
  • Brush the rolls with oil and bake
  • Or heat an inch of oil in a deep pan and fry until golden brown
  • Drain and place on kitchen towel
  • Serve hot, chutney optional

Goan Ambotik – A hot, sour, spicy prawn coconut curry (GF, DF)

Goan Ambotik – A hot, sour, spicy prawn coconut curry (GF, DF)

Prawn Ambotik

Ambot means sour and tik means spicy. This dish is also known for it’s fiery quality, but has a cooling coconut element to it. So the trick to this dish is balance.

“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create’.

I personally find it easier to create balance in food than in life, but i fully accept that it is a journey and something to work towards, just as with any good cooking technique

This dish comes from the south of India and this recipe is adapted from Maunika Gowardhan.com. It can be made with pomfret, mackerel or sardines. You can make the sauce in a big batch and use it for multiple dishes, or even just eat it as a soup or with rice.

Mr B enjoyed this and noted it as being an addictive and beautiful bouquet of flavours, to which I promptly fainted. When I recovered he said, he had read that comment in one of my food & wine magazines, and was waiting for the right moment, which happened to be now. This day will be marked as the day; Mr B became an official foodie!

Ingredients

  • 10-12 king prawns, deveined, shells off apart from the tails
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 100g white onion, finely chopped
  • 70g tomatoes, chopped
  • 400ml water
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. tamarind paste

For the paste

  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 8 dried Kashmiri chilies
  • 150g grated coconut
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • ½ ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 60ml apple cider vinegar
  • 150ml water

Method

  • Add the prawns to a bowl with the turmeric and salt
  • In a frying pan add the cumin and coriander seeds to a dry pan and roast for 5 minutes or until they change colour
  • Add the dried spices to a blender with the dried chillies and cloves
  • Blitz to a fine powder. To this add the coconut, garlic, ginger and vinegar. Blend with the water until a smooth paste is formed
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the oil over a medium flame and cook the onions till translucent
  • Add in the tomatoes and continue to fry for a few minutes till softened
  • Add in the paste you made and cook through for 6-8 minutes
  • Add the water and season to taste along with the sugar
  • Simmer for 2/3 minutes on a low heat and add the prawns, cook for another three minutes with the heat on low
  • Add the tamarind paste and stir
  • Serve hot, with rice of a Tikki

Stuffed Naan Bread

Stuffed Naan Bread

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This recipe is adapted from The Guardian, which does a, ‘how to make the perfect’ series, taking tips from the best chefs and working out the pros and cons.

I adapted this recipe to add in the goat’s cheese and salted honey glaze, as a riff on the Indian Accent blue cheese naan, which was so good we could have eaten it on a loop.

This was my first attempt at a naan, but Mr B, said that it was love at first bite!

A quick shout out to the honey I used in this. An artisanal Brooklyn brand, ‘Bees Knees Salted Honey’ by Bushwick Kitchen, check it out on line or in the shops.

Ingredients

  • 5 tsp. fast action yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 150ml warm water
  • 300g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 5 tsp. sheep yogurt
  • 2 tsp. melted butter to brush
  • 50g soft goats cheese
  • Salted honey

Method

  • Put the yeast, sugar and two tablespoons of warm water in a bowl and stir well. Leave until it begins to froth
  • Put the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine
  • Stir the yogurt into the yeast mixture, then make a well in the middle of the flour and pour it in, plus the melted butter
  • Mix, then gradually stir in the water to make a soft, sticky mixture that is just firm enough to call a dough, but not at all dry
  • Tip out on a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately 5 minutes until smooth and a little less sticky, then put in a lightly oiled bowl and turn coat
  • Cover and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size (90-120 minutes)
  • Tip the dough back out on to a lightly floured surface and knock the air out, then divide into 8 balls
  • Meanwhile heat a dry pan for five minutes and put the oven on low
  • Flatten one of the balls and roll into a flat circle, place the cheese in the middle and fold over, flatten out again
  • Place in the hot pan and when it starts to bubble flip over. When browned on each side take off the pan and brush with salted honey
  • Put in the oven to keep warm and cook through