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Topics - traveller

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Lets Talk Curry / indian ingredients in grocery stores
« on: August 31, 2006, 05:16 PM »
Hi everyone!
Just wanted to mention I was shocked this past week to see fresh bunches of coriander at my local Tesco!  I dont mean those little sealed packages but big bunches at 49p each or 3/1 pound.  They were really fresh and were a new item.  Also, I noticed a new section in the aisle with the ethnic groceries near the regular indian section and it is for indian ingredients that you would find in an indian store.  I dont mean curry sauce jars but actual ingredients like spices, snacks, desserts and many other items that were previosuly found only in the indian stores.  Prices are reasonable.
Another place i noticed "real" indian groceries was Somerfields but it looks like they are discontinuing the specialty section as everything was half price - they had massive bags of cinnamon sticks and large Kohinoor jars of spices for less than a pound.
There must be a demand for these things at the regular grocery stores..some items are even cheaper than at the indian stores.  For example, for those people who make roti or chappatis, Asda has the best quality aata (East End Gold) flour for less than a pound for a 1.5 kg package.  I buy that from Birmingham or Leicester for 1.75 usually!!!  So worth a look again at local stores - the brands and supply keeps changing!

Traditional Indian Recipes / Chilly Paneer
« on: November 07, 2005, 01:06 PM »
Here is a recipe I came up by combining a few recipes I have seen.  This is an appetizer I have seen offered here in the UK at indian restaurants.  It is a kind of indian/chinese fusion recipe.  I just tried it for lunch today and it came out really good!!  Again, I didnt measure anything but can give a rough idea of what I did.

small paneer cubes
small piece of ginger, grated
1-2 cloves ginger, grated
1 onion, sliced into thin half rings
2 TBSP plain flour
1 TBSP cornflour
black pepper to taste
salt to taste
1 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp. soy sauce or more to taste
2 TBSP chili sauce (I use the Maggi brand one - it is more sweet and sour)
oil to deep fry

- first, make a batter with the flour and cornflour.  Make it pretty thin and add salt and pepper to taste.
- add paneer pieces to it - make sure they get coated a bit with the batter.
- deep fry the paneer cubes until lightly brown all over.  set aside to cool.
- heat 1-2 spoons oil in a pan and add onions.  Cook until soft and add garlic and ginger and cook for a minute.  Add soy sauce, chili sauce, vinegar and more black pepper.
- Cook until it is nice and bubbly - add few spoons and water and cook.  If needed, add some cornstarch in water to thicken it up.  Add the paneer cubes and mix and heat it through.

If you dont have chili sauce, I think you can take some chopped tomatoes (or tomato sauce/ketchup), red chilies, sugar and vinegar and cook it all down to get a sort of tangy chili sauce.  Should come out pretty close to it.  Also, you can add capsicum and carrot sliced very thin into match stick pieces with the onions.
I was surprised to see that even though the paneer did not have what seemed to be a thick coating of the batter, it still got a nice, chewy batter around it!!!  Just like in the restaurant!

This recipe is from "Real Fast Indian Food" by Mridula Baljekar (2002).  I cannot say how close it to a BIR curry as I havnt tried a real BIR curry.  It is very tasty and forms a lovely sauce with few ingredients..maybe it is worth a try.

Makes 1.2 Liters (2 pints)

5 Tablespoons sunflower oil or vegetable oil
55g (2oz) fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
16 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
8-10 shallots, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh curry leaves or 3 tablespoons dried curry leaves
1.5 tablespoons ground cumin
2-3 teaspoons chilli powder
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
85g (3oz) tomato puree
1.2 liters (2 pints) lukewarm water
2.5 teaspoons salt or to taste
1.5 teaspoons sugar
15g (.5oz) fresh coriander leaves and stalks, chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice

- Heat the oil over medium heat and fry the ginger, garlic and shallots for 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the curry leaves, cumin, chilli powder and turmeric.  Fry gently for 2-3 minutes, then stir in the tomato puree.  Cook for 1 minute before pouring in the water.  Stir in the salt and sugar.  bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan.  Simmer for 20 minutes.

- Add the coriander leaves and lemon juice.  Simmer for 1 minute and remove from the heat, then leave to cool.  process the sauce until smooth in a blender.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

That was the recipe and I will post a recipe soon in which this is used as a base with some coconut from the same book.  I do believe that only fresh curry leaves will work for this - I used the frozen ones today with great flavor.  Dried ones wont give the real flavor.


Lets Talk Curry / Fast curry Cookbook?
« on: September 21, 2005, 01:54 PM »
Does anyone have an opinion on this cookbook by Pat Chapman?  I just picked it up from the library - just came in to them - 2005 book.  I want to try making a curry but am not sure where to start - that system to rate the curries would be great!!


Lets Talk Curry / anybody have curry sauce recipe from TV?
« on: August 27, 2005, 08:11 PM »
I saw last night that Jamie Oliver made a curry sauce that deviated very much from anything i have ever seen in the UK.  I missed all the repeats today as I was out.  I assumed his recipe was online but none of his recipes are.  Does anybody have his cookbooks and is willing to post his curry recipe?  It had curry leaves and mustard seeds in it!  I saw his cookbook in a bookstore but didnt want to buy it just for that 1 recipe.  Another interesting thing is that he added the raw chicken strips directly into the sauce to let it cook there.


Traditional Indian Recipes / chicken tikka for butter sauce
« on: August 25, 2005, 02:48 PM »
These are very approximate amounts as I do not measure anything when i cook.
Chicken Tikka

boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into chunks (around 2 breasts)
1 cup yogurt
4-5 garlic cloves, mashed
ginger piece, minced
1 TBL oil
half a small onion, grated
2-3 TBL Rajah tandoori masala (for color and extra flavor)
1 TBL lemon juice

1. mix all marinade ingredients and add chicken to it.  Marinate as long as possible - overnight is best
2. put 3-4 chicken chunks on wooden skewer (be sure to soak skewers in water for 30 min first!!!).  This is when I salt the chicken on both sides.
3. put in hottest oven or grill.  Halfway through cooking time, brush pieces with ghee (or oil) and turn over. 
4. When almost cooked, brush ghee on remaining side and cook for another minute.
5.  When cooked, remove off skewers immediately

The chicken pieces should have a nice red color and some "burnt" type edges just like tandoori chicken.  I unfortunately have not cooked this here in the UK yet so I dont know cooking time or exact temp.  i know it should cook very quickly.

I either add this or most of the time, i add lightly pan-fried paneer pieces to the butter sauce to make paneer makhani


Traditional Indian Recipes / Butter Tomato Sauce
« on: August 24, 2005, 11:43 AM »
Here is the recipe as it appears in the Bombay Palace Cookbook!? My changes are in red but I wanted you all to have the original recipe.

2 pounds (1kg) tomatoes, pureed in blender (about 4 cups) - I use 1 box passata, 500g
1 6-ounce (180 gm) can tomato paste - this is referring to US paste (known as sauce here) - I use 2-3 TBLS of the tubed stuff
8 ounces (240m) butter - I use much less!? Few tablespoons and you may need to add more if it is too acidic still - unsalted butter please!
1 Tablespoon fenugreek powder - very very important - leaves will not give same flavor!!
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cardamom - very important as well
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
generous grinding of pepper
1 teaspoon sugar

In a wok or heavy skillet over a medium-high flame, bhoona the pureed tomatoes, tomato paste, butter, dry masala, and sugar.? Bhoona over medium heat until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 5-7 minutes.
I first put the passata sauce in a pan and add the rest of the ingredients.? Do not cook anything in the butter!!!

NOTE: This is a basic sauce, parallel to a demi-glaze in western cooking.? It can be used as is, or to finish other dishes.? To finish a dish of poultry, meat, paneer, or vegetables, using Butter Tomato Sauce as a base:
makes 2 (could be even 4) servings

6 tablespoons butter tomato sauce (1/3 cup; 70 ml) - I use the entire portion from part 1
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin - roughly use 1 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon paprika - roughly 1 teaspoon
generous grinding of pepper
1 fresh green chili, quartered and sliced into matchsticks
1 tablespoon garlic/ginger paste or (3 garlic cloves, mashed and 1 piecefresh ginger, size of walnut, minced) - i use this same amount? not more - be sure to grind it together - you dont want diced garlic that has bite when eaten
4 tablespoons heavy cream - use according to taste - color of sauce should be slighly pinkish
2 cups cooked ingredients such as: lamb cubes, tandoori chicken, paneer or vegetables - use according to preference

1. In a wok or heavy skillet, heat the butter tomato sauce over medium-high heat.? Add the spices, the garlic/ginger paste and the green chili. bhoona-ing so the sauce does not scorch.
2. Add the meat or vegetables and continute bhoona-ing, making sure the mixture does not stick.? Add 1/4 cup water if sauce becomes too thick.? Stir constantly.
3. Add the heavy cream and half the coriander ( I know coriander was not listed in the ingredient list!!? But fresh chopped coriander is what they are referring to), and keep stirring until sauce bubbles.? Garnish with the remaining coriander, and serve at once.

NOTE: If butter begins to separate out of sauce, add more cream; keep stirring until butter is thoroughly incorporated.

What I do is make the first part of the sauce with the box of passata sauce and then follow through to the second part with the entire pan of sauce.? we like lots of gravy and 6 tablespoons is much too less!!!? The masala amounts can be varied to suit personal taste.? I dont measure anything so I cannot give an accurate listing of amounts.? Just remember to add the ingredients into the sauce without cooking them in oil.? The garlic/ginger paste has to be added raw and it cooks in the sauce - thats the real flavor of the sauce.? Add the water as needed.....the sauce should be rather thick but not saucelike - should almost run if you put it onto a plate.? Hard to explain really.? Salt may be needed to taste.? I made thos few weeks ago but dont remember whether i put salt or not.? Any questions, feel free to ask - this is my first posting ever of a recipe online.

A recipe for the chicken tikka I use in?this sauce will follow under this topic I created a bit later today.

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