For such a small state Goa has a rich and varied cuisine. Drawing on influences from Portuguese (who ruled Goa for 450 years until 1961) and Indian cooking and naturally using the the abundant fish and shellfish, Goa has produced some superb dishes. Prawn Balchão is one of them. The fiery prawn dish, considered a pickle by many, includes dried chillies, peppercorns and tamarind to create a hot but tart flavour.
What you need… • 600g prawns, shelled and deveined • 1 teaspoon turmeric • 0.5 teaspoon salt • knob of butter • 1 Tablespoon garlic paste • 1 teaspoon ginger paste • 2 Tablespoons vinegar • 2 Tablespoons tamarind paste • 2 Tablespoons oil • 1.5 onions, finely chopped • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped • 1 Tablespoon tomato ketchup • Salt to taste • 15 curry leaves
How you make it… 1. Mix the turmeric and salt with prawns and set aside for 30 minutes. 2. Dry roast the Spice Mix in a pan until they release their aromas (about 3 minutes). 3. Add together the roasted Spice Mix, garlic paste, ginger paste, vinegar and tamarind and blend to a paste. 4. Heat the oil in a pan to a medium heat and fry the prawns until they turn pink (about 3 minutes). Set aside. 5. Heat the oil to a medium heat and fry the onions until soft (about 5 minutes) 6. Add the tomatoes and fry for 5 minutes, mashing the mixture as it cooks. Add a little water as necessary to start creating a thickish sauce. 7. Add the tomato ketchup, Spice Mix paste and curry leaves, mix well and cook for 3 minutes. 8. Add the prawns and stir fry until they are all cooked through (about 3–5 minutes).
Classic Tandoori Chicken is great when cooked in a smoker. It’s a fairly long process and the final taste is way smokier than you’d get in a grill or a tandoor but it’s well worth it for tandoori lovers. Marinate the delicious spices in the Tandoori Marinade and then smoke away…
What you need… • 4–6 deboned chicken thighs, skinned and trimmed of excess fat • juice of 1 lemon • 1 recipe of Tandoori/Tikka Marinade
How you make it… 1. Make 2–3 small cuts about 3mm deep into the flesh of each thigh. This helps the chicken absorb the the marinade and gives the cooked thighs a nice look too. 2. Squeeze the lemon over the thighs, rub it in well and leave for 15 minutes. This will degrease the chicken and also helps the chicken absorb the marinade. 3. Shake off the excess lemon and coat the thighs in the Tandoori Marinade. Leave for at least 15 minutes but preferably 24–48 hours. 4. Heat your smoker to 150 C. If using a manual smoker make sure the flames from your fire have died down and the wood/coals are just producing smoke. 5. Place the thighs in the smoker, keeping them at the farthest end from the heat source, and cook for 90 minutes, turning once.
Goa’s location along the western coast of the country, by the ArabianSea, means seafood naturally features prominently in its cuisine. Coconut milk, tamarind, juicy white fish and blazing heat from the chillies creates a delicious Goan Fish Curry.
What you need… • 2 Tablespoons oil • 1 onion, finely chopped • 3 red chillies, roughly chopped • 1 teaspoon garlic paste • 1 teaspoon ginger paste • 150g coconut milk • 4 Tablespoons fresh coconut, grated (you can use desiccated coconut but add another 50g coconut milk if you do) • 1 Tablespoon tamarind chutney • salt to taste • 800g any firm white fish, cut into bite-sized pieces
How you make it… 1. Heat the oil to a medium heat and add the onions until they start to brown (about 5 minutes) 2. Add the chopped chillies and cook for 1 minute. 3. Add Spice Mix and the garlic and ginger pastes with a splash of water and cook for 2 minutes. 4. Add the coconut milk, fresh coconut and tamarind and reduce until the sauce thickens (about 10 minutes). 5. Add the salt and the fish and cook until the fish is all cooked through (about 5–6 minutes). 6. Let the fish rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Malai Sag Muttar is a popular dish all over the sub-continent but especially in North India. It is simple dish, with just a few spices added to wilted spinach, onions and peas, and a dash of cream added just before serving.
What you need… • 100g spinach • 1 onion, finely chopped • 0.5 chilli powder • 0.5 garlic • 0.5 ginger • 0.5 fenugreek seeds • 70g peas (frozen are good) • salt to taste • 1 Tablespoon cream
How you make it… 1. Wash the spinach with hot water in a colander. Drain. 2. Heat oil to a medium heat and fry the onion until it softens (about 3–4 minutes). 3. Add the chilli powder, garlic, ginger, fenugreek and cook for 2 minutes. 4. Add the spinach and cook for 10 minutes until it well softened and wilted. 5. Add the salt and the peas and cook until they are warmed through (about 3–4 minutes). 6. Transfer to a serving bowl and add the cream just before serving.
This Chicken Wings Curry is great for a large family or gathering of friends. Lots of chicken, lots of butter and lots of chilli; fill up the pot and let everyone tuck into this rustic Punjabi home-style curry.
What you need… • 125g butter • 20 green chillies, chopped • 6 medium-sized onions, roughly chopped • 8–10cm piece of ginger, roughly chopped • 2 whole garlic bulbs with cloves, roughly chopped • 800g chopped tomatoes • 1.5 teaspoon salt • 0.5 teaspoon turmeric • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds • 2kg skinless chicken wings • 2 cups boiling water • 1.5 teaspoon garam masala • large bunch coriander, chopped
How you make it… 1. Heat butter in a pan to a medium heat. Add chillies, onions, ginger and garlic, and cook until onions are golden brown. 2. Turn down the heat and add tomatoes, salt, turmeric, cumin seeds. Cook until the butter starts to rise to the edge of the sauce. 3. Add the chicken wings. Cook on low heat until the water comes out from the meat. Then raise heat for 5–8 mins to dry out the water. 4. Add the water, the garam masala and coriander and cook on high heat for 5 minutes. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for another 15 minutes. The butter will rise to the surface. • Recipe courtesy Desi Indian, Greenwich Market