Okra Pakora (GF, Vegan)

Okra Pakora (GF, Vegan)

Okra Pakora

My grandma used to make Pakoras all the time. Here classics were potato, bread with chutney in the middle and chilli (which Mr B would eat till his eyes watered). She also used to make pakoras to use up the leftovers, as she hated waste, so we would get spinach or salad pakoras when the leaves were starting to wilt. Whatever she made them out of they were always delicious and addictive

I love Okra Masala but have always been intrigued by Okra Pakoras, so that is where I thought I would start. Okra is a scary vegetable for most cooks to use due to the slimy inside which appears the more you cook it. This is a great recipe as you use this as the moisture of the dish and the more the better!

A little known fact is that the inside is made of sugar and protein and similar to the inside of the Aloe Vera plant. It is also known for being high in vitamin c, vitamin k and folate. It is also known for harnessing a superior fiber, which helps with digestion and stabilises blood sugar. Who knew!

Serve this with any chutney you like, or organic ketchup for the kids!

Ingredients

  • 10 Okra
  • 2 green chilli’s
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2 curry leaves, chopped
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp. hing
  • ¾ cup chickpea/besan flour
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Oil for deep frying

Method

  • Firstly clean and wipe the okra then chop into small pieces
  • Add chilli, ginger, curry leaves, turmeric, chilli powder and hing
  • Add the chickpea flour, rice flour and salt
  • Combine all the ingredients, use your hands to squeeze the moisture out of the okra and bind the pakoras together
  • Add a little water if more moisture is needed to form a batter
  • Take a tablespoon of the mixture into your palm and shape into a ball
  • Drop into hot oil
  • Fry until golden brown
  • Serve with chutney
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Baby Eggplant Curry (GF, Vegan)

Baby Eggplant Curry (GF, Vegan)

Baby Eggplant Curry

This is a luxury curry. It is has a rich masala and is full of layers of spice and taste. Mr B and I tried it at our favourite Indian restaurant and he asked me to make it. This proves how far we have come, as Mr B was a firm ‘food is for fuel’ man before he met me and certainly didn’t ask me to cook savoury dishes, never mind Indian ones

The thing about Indian food that we like is that it can taste really bad for you, given the richness of the sauce, but when you make it from scratch and see the actual ingredients, you realise that they are all good for you and that the spices are actual medicinal in nature

Ingredients

For the curry paste

  • ¼ cup peanuts
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup grated coconut

For the dish

  • 8 baby eggplants
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp. blended garlic
  • 1-2 tbsp. blended ginger
  • 1 tsp. tamarind paste
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • ¼ tsp. mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp. cumin seeds
  • Pinch of hing
  • 1-2 tsp. chilli powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp. coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves

Method

  • Wash the baby eggplants, slit across the top, leaving the stem in
  • Heat two tablespoons of oil and shallow fry the baby eggplants until tender and soft. Once done remove and keep aside
  • Dry roast the peanuts, sesame seeds for a few minutes
  • Place in a blender with the coconut and blender to make a paste (add a little water if needed)
  • In the same pan as that which you fried the eggplant, add the last tablespoon of oil, add mustard seeds, cumin and hing. Add onions and fry till transparent
  • Add the ginger, garlic and mix well
  • Add the grounded paste, red chilli powder, coriander and turmeric powder
  • Add ¼ cup water and bring to the boil
  • Add the tamarind paste and salt
  • Mix in the eggplants
  • Mix it well with the masala and cover with a lid
  • Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes on a medium flame
  • Garnish with coriander and serve with rice or roti

Beetroot Chutney (Vegan, DF, GF)

Beetroot Chutney (Vegan, DF, GF)

Beetroot Chutney

‘A chef must think like a scientist, organize like an accountant, plate like an artist and cook like a grandma’

I am always looking for fun ways to add flavour and colour to my plate and this dish is really an expression of my soul, as it combines my core philosophies of what I want my food to be – Delicious, Nutritious and Beautiful

This chutney from Vineet Bhatia, a famous British Indian chef, he has an amazing way of combining new and old flavors and there are always many exciting elements to his stunning dishes. I tagged Chef Vineet on Instagram, with this dish and he replied asking about the taste – highlight of my year 🙂

I loved this so much I made two different versions, a yellow and a red to play off each other on the plate. You can serve it with anything you like as it is elegant and subtle, so won’t overpower the dish

Ingredients

  • 1 Beetroot
  • ¼ tsp. fennel
  • ½ tsp. ginger, chopped
  • ½ tsp. garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. vegan mayonnaise
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  • Place beetroot into a pot of boiling water and simmer for approximately 40 minutes, or until cooked through
  • Peel when cool enough, dice
  • Place the beetroot and all the other ingredients in a blender, blend until well combined
  • Sieve to form a smooth chutney

Apricot Chutney (Vegan, DF, GF)

Apricot Chutney (Vegan, DF, GF)

Apricot Chutney

I saw these beautiful apricots glistening in the market and I had to get some. I love apricots, they have amazing nutrients, vitamins and minerals and taste as sweet as candy when ripe.

Since I just got the newest addition to my recipe book collection, Rasoi by Vaneet Bhatia and since I was building my second Hand in Hand, Indian Inspired Tapas menu, I decided to try a new recipe out and made these beauties into a chutney. The great thing about Chutney is that it lasts a long time in the fridge, so you can enjoy it when apricots are in season and also when not.

This chutney has a nice kick from the chilli, ginger and spices, which made Mr B and his spicy palate happy, whilst having a sweet, majestic undertone that mellows the chutney out. In the end I served it underneath my goats Sheppard’s pie parcel, which it complemented perfectly.

Ingredients

  • 100g dried apricots or 500g fresh apricots
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • ½ tsp. fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. chilli
  • 1 tsp. chopped ginger
  • 50g raw cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp. ground green cardamom

Method

  • If using dried apricots, soak in hot water for an hour, then strain reserving the liquid (original recipe)
  • If using fresh, pit and chop up (my version)
  • Heat the oil in a deep pan, add the fennel and cumin seeds
  • As they begin to crackle, add the chopped chilli and ginger and sauté for a minute
  • Add the apricots, sauté for 2 minutes and then add water to cover
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer until the apricots turn mushy and the water is almost evaporated
  • Add the sugar and white wine vinegar, simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the ground cardamom
  • Remove from the heat and leave to cool, once cooled pour into a glass jar and keep in the fridge

Easy Masala Sauce (DF, GF, Vegan)

Easy Masala Sauce (DF, GF, Vegan)

Masala Sauce

The classic ‘Indian’ dish, Chicken Tikka Masala, was apparently invented by a chef in Scotland as a hybrid dish for the English palate. This has since become a very popular dish both in the UK and US normally made with a decent amount of cream.

In Indian cooking, we call this cheating, anything that doesn’t take three days of you sitting next to the stove and gets it richness from dumping fat in at the end, would definitely not meet with generations of grandma’s who have passed these recipes down.

Needless to say therefore, this is not a grandma approved recipe, but since the last few weeks have been busy and Mr B loves masala, I decided to make a quick masala, which can be used for multiple dishes, vegetarian (e.g. served with charred cauliflower as above) or meat, used as a sauce for a breakfast bowl or a dip for some nachos. I make it in bulk and store it in the freezer. Coconut milk here is the vegan substitute for that added richness that my hubby loves so much!

Ingredients

Masala Base

  • 2 onions
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 inches grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tbsp. chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • A handful of cashews

Masala Sauce

  • 5 cups of tomato puree
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup water

Method

  • Pulse all the base ingredients in a blender until smooth
  • Heat a drizzle of oil in a pan and scoop ¼ of the mixture into the pan. Fry gently until fragrant
  • Add the puree and water and simmer for 5-10 minutes
  • Add the coconut milk, simmer for another 10 minutes
  • Serve over grilled vegetables, use as a sauce for a rice bowl, or even over pasta

 

Easy Peanut Butter Curry (GF,DF,Vegan)

Easy Peanut Butter Curry (GF, DF, Vegan)

Peanut Butter Curry

This is a lovely, tasty, protein dense vegan curry and takes no time at all

I have been spending my weekends learning and adapting complex multi layered recipes to get a better understanding of Indian cooking, how to temper and mix the spices, which ones are for savory versus sweets, smell versus taste. Sometimes however I need to cook something really quickly (in a jiffy, as the British would say!) and this curry is the perfect, in a jiffy dish!

The original recipe didn’t have peanut butter, but since I have an American husband who thinking anything with peanut butter is ‘the bomb’, I thought this was a good way to get him to eat an entire bag of spinach and peas. Sneaky wife!

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. curry powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Pinch red chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp. organic peanut butter

Method

  • Mix the curry powder and two tablespoons of coconut milk, heat and then add the spinach
  • Let the spinach wilt and when reduced in size add the salt and chilli flakes
  • Add the rest of the coconut milk
  • Add the peas and peanut butter and mix in until it is merged into the sauce
  • Allow to reduce down a little
  • Serve with rice

Indian Arancini (GF, Vegetarian)

Indian Arancini (GF, Vegetarian)

Arancini

This is a fusion of my Italian and Indian heritage. Think about it as an Indian Tikki and Italian Arancini doing a little dance with the spice from the Tikki kissing the melted cheese from the Arancini.

Mr B told me that Arancini in fact isn’t the name of the dish, but what the dish looks like, a little orange. Cute right?!

I served it at my American Classics with an Indian twist dinner party and Mr B’s classic American friends loved. Quite honestly, Mr B’s American friends, love anything with melted cheese or spice, but what better to do than combine them.

Ingredients

  • 300g potatoes
  • ½ tsp. red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp. coriander powder
  • ½ tsp. cumin powder
  • ½ tsp. minced ginger
  • ½ tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. corn or rice flour
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tbsp. coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp. Mozzarella
  • 1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
  • Oil for frying

Method

  • Peel and cook the potatoes until you can put a knife straight through, then leave to cool. Once cooled, grate
  • Add the spices, salt, egg white and flour, mix well
  • Put a tbsp. of the potato mixture in your palm and flatten, take a little piece of the mozzarella and place in the middle. Close the potato around it
  • Roll in the breadcrumbs
  • Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and place in the fridge for 5 minutes to firm
  • Heat your oil to 350f and fry until golden
  • Serve with tomato or coriander chutney