The classic mussels dish is the Belgian speciality of mussels cooked in a white wine sauce with shallots. This dish of Curried Mussels adds the mussels to spices and coconut milk to produce a mild curried dish.
What you need… • 1kg mussels, cleaned and de-bearded • 1 Tablespoon oil • 0.5 teaspoon mustard seeds • 0.5 teaspoon cumin seeds • 1 onion, sliced • 1 teaspoon garlic paste • 1 teaspoon ginger paste • 1 Tablespoon curry powder • 0.5 teaspoon turmeric powder • 0.5 teaspoon garam masala • 250ml coconut milk • 10 curry leaves • salt to taste • cracked black pepper (to garnish) • 2 spring onions, chopped (to garnish)
How to make it… 1. Fry the oil in a pan to a medium-hot heat and fry the mustard seeds and cumin seeds for 15 seconds. 2 Add the onions and stir-fry for 2 minutes. 3. Add the ginger and garlic paste and cook for 1 minute. 4. Add the curry powder, turmeric, garam masala, stir well and cook for 3 minutes. 5. Transfer the ingredients of the pan to a large saucepan (big enough to hold all the mussels) and turn the heat to medium. 6. Add the coconut milk, stir in well and heat through for 1 minute. 7. Add the curry leaves and salt, mix well and bring to a boil. 8. Add the mussels, being sure to remove any that are already open and simmer until they open (about 5-7 minutes). Discard any that do not open. 9. Garnish with cracked pepper and the spring onion, and serve in the pan as a sharing pot.
There are 1.3 billion people in India and 55 million in the Indian diaspora across the world. Hundreds of millions of these are vegetarians so there is naturally a huge number of vegetable curries. This is the staple British Indian restaurant Vegetable Curry. Take a good serving of your Base Curry Sauce, add a bit of garlic, a sprinkle of spice and the vegetables for a great medium-strength curry. Garnish with fresh coriander.
What you need… • 800g mixed vegetables, cut into bite-sized pieces • salt to taste • 2 Tablespoons ghee • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds • 1 teaspoon garlic paste • 600ml Base Curry Sauce • 2 Tablespoons tomato ketchup • small handful fresh coriander (chop up the stems to add to the curry and set aside the leaves for garnish) • 1 teaspoon garam masala
How to make it… 1. Boil the vegetables in water with a little salt until they are just soft, but not over-cooked, remembering that different vegetables have different cooking times. Drain and set aside. 2. Heat the ghee to a high heat. While it is heating up mix the Spice Mix with the vinegar and enough water to form a sloppy paste. 3. Add the cumin seeds and fry for 15 seconds. They should sizzle immediately. You can test the ghee is hot enough by adding one seed. 4. Add the garlic paste and cook for 1 minute on a lower heat. You may have to remove the pan from the heat initially to stop the paste burning. (If it burns then throw it away and start again.) 5. Add the Spice Mix paste and cook for 2 minutes. It should now be thick and gloopy. 6. Add the Base Curry Sauce and the tomato and cook for 2 minutes. 7. Add the vegetables, garam masala, salt and coriander stems and continue cooking until the chicken is fully cooked. 8. Serve, garnished with the coriander leaves.
Manchurian Paneer is an Indo-Chinese dish that combines the flavours and cooking techniques of both India and China. The chunks of cheese are fried in a chilli batter then stir fried with garlic, ginger, pepper and spy sauce and top with spring onions. The cuisine emerged from a group of Chinese people, now numbering 2,000, in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) and there are a number of restaurants serving the hybrid cuisine in Chinatown in the city.
What you need… • 500g paneer, cut into chunks • 10 Tablespoons oil • 0.5 yellow or green pepper, cut into chunks • 0.5 red pepper, cut into chunks • 1 teaspoon garlic paste • 0.5 teaspoon ginger paste • 0.5 onion, cut into chunks • 3 chillies, chopped • 2 Tablespoons tomato ketchup • 2 spring onions, chopped • 0.5 teaspoon cracked black pepper
For the batter • 5 Tablespoons plain flour • 1.5 Tablespoons corn flour • 1 teaspoon chilli powder • pinch of salt • water, as needed
How to make it… 1. Mix the first four ingredients of the batter then add the water bit by bit to form a thin paste. 2. Add the paneer chunks and ensure all are well coated by the paste. 3. Heat the oil to a medium-hot heat then add the paneer chunks until they brown on all sides (about 3 minutes). Turn them frequently to avoid them burning. Remove the paneer from the oil and set aside on a paper towel. 4. Turn down the heat, add the peppers and cook for 2 minutes. 5. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for 1 minute. 6. Add the onion and chillies and fry for 2 minutes. 7. Add the soy sauce, tomato ketchup and 4 tablespoons of the leftover batter paste and stir fry for 1 minute. 8. Add the paneer and fry until all the ingredients are cooked through. The peppers and onions should be softened but not mushy. 9. Sprinkle the spring onions and crack the black pepper on top and serve fresh.
Tali Machli (Spicy Fried Fish) is a popular street food snack eaten all over India but is especially popular in coastal Maharashtra. It’s lightly spiced so you don’t need a sauce, which makes it ideal for eating on the move, but it’s also delicious with your favourite chutney or pickle.
What you need… • 500g white fish, skinned and cut into four, even-sized fillets • 60g gram flour • 40g rice flour • 10 Tablespoons oil • 0.5 teaspoon mustard seeds
How to make it… 1. Pat the fish fillets dry with a paper towel. 2. Mix the marinade ingredients together to form a thick paste and rub it over the fillets. Leave for 1 hour. 3. Cover the fillets in the gram flour then in the rice flour, ensuring all parts are well covered. 4. Heat the oil to a medium-high heat in a wide, pan, add the mustard seeds and fry for 30 seconds. 5. Add the fillets and shallow fry until the fish is cooked through and the batter crisp (about 3 minutes on each side).