Although not the first ingredient that springs to mind when making, cabbage works well with spices. This dryish Cabbage Curry, slow-cooked with potatoes, is a recipe from Mauritius. It makes an excellent side dish.
What you need… • 1 Tablespoon oil • 1 teaspoon garlic paste • 1 teaspoon ginger paste • 2 teaspoon curry powder • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes • 0.5 teaspoon coriander powder • 0.5 cabbage, shredded • 1 large potato, peeled and chopped into chunks of about 3–4cm in size • 100ml water • Salt to taste • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste • A few coriander leaves, torn, to garnish
How you make it… 1. Heat the oil to a medium-hot heat and fry the garlic and ginger pastes for 1 minute. 2. Add the curry powder, chilli flakes and coriander powder and fry for 3 minutes. Add a tiny splash of water if need to avoid it sticking. 3. Add the cabbage and fry for a few moments then add the water and potato. Cook, covered, for 35 minutes. 4. Add the salt and tomato paste, mix well, and cook covered until the water has all evaporated and the potato is soft (about 5-10 minutes). 5. Garnish with the coriander leaves and serve.
Freshness is central to Indian food and what could be fresher than this popular salad. This Spiced Indian Mixed Salad is a popular vegetarian Indian dish that combines a host of tasty ingredients and then topped off by whole spices cooked in ghee. This colourful salad is an excellent accompaniment to all of your favourite curries.
What you need… • 12 large, crispy lettuce leaves, ripped into smallish pieces • 2 green chillies, chopped • 1 onion, chopped • 1 carrot, stripped into slivers • 12 baby red tomatoes, halved • 0.5 red pepper, chopped • 0.5 yellow pepper, chopped • 1 Tablespoon ghee • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds • 5 curry leaves • Juice of half a lemon • Small handful of coriander, torn, for garnish
How you make it… 1. Mix all the first seven ingredients together in a serving bowl. 2. Heat the ghee in a pan to a medium-hot heat and add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves for 15 seconds. The seeds should should sizzle immediately. You can test the ghee is hot enough by adding one seed. Allow to cool for 1 minute and pour over the salad. 3. Squeeze the lemon over the salad and garnish with the coriander.
These Stewed Taro Leaves are a Mauritian dish that is served as an accompaniment. When stewed this tropical green leaves (also called kalo) turn a dark brown, almost black and are thick and delicious when cooked with onion, a few spices and tangy tamarind paste. Mauritians eat this as street food with a roti.
What you need… • 20 stalks of taro with leaves. Peel the first layer, clean thoroughly and chop. • 1 Tablespoon oil • 0.5 onion, chopped fine • 0.5 teaspoon garlic teaspoon • 0.5 teaspoon ginger paste • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes • 0.5 teaspoon cumin seeds • 5 curry leaves • 1 Tablespoon tamarind paste • Salt to taste • 1 tomato, chopped • A few coriander leaves to garnish
How to make it… 1. Heat the oil in a pan to a medium pan and fry the onion, garlic and ginger until the onion softens (about 5 minutes) 2. Add the chilli flakes, cumin seeds and curry leaves, and cook for 3 minutes. 3. Add the taro leaves, tamarind paste, salt and a little water, cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes. 4. Add the tomato and cook until the colour darkens and is fully stewed (about 15–30 minutes). Add a little more water if needed but not too much as this should be served thick. 5. Garnish with the coriander leaves and serve. • Photo of leaves by Thierry Caro, published in Wikipedia
How to make it… 1. Cook the prawns in a little water in a pan until they turn pink (about 5 minutes). Allow to cool and peel. Set aside. 2. Heat the milk gently in a pan until it bubbles gently, add the Spice Mix and onion and cook for 1 minute. 3. Add the fish and poach for until it is cooked through (about 7–8 minutes). 4. Add the fish to a baking dish of about 22cm x 22cm and flake it (any skin should peel off easily and you can discard this). Spread the prawns and the parsley evenly on top of the fish. 5. In another pan heat the butter to a medium heat, add the flour and mix for 1 minute. 6. Turn down the heat to low, add the milk (not the solids) bit by bit to the butter and flour. Add the cream and cook gently for 5 minutes, constantly mixing to avoid it sticking. 7. Add the solids (you can remove the whole spices if you don’t want them in the pie), warm through, then pour over the fish and prawns evenly. Add salt. 8. Spread the Aloo Bhorta evenly on top of the sauce. 9. Heat the oven to 200 C and cook for 30 minutes. The potato should be slightly browned on the top.
Mashed potato is a favourite around the world and the sub-continent is no different. This Bengali favourite, which uses garlic, chopped onion and spices in a mustard-flavoured oil, is also popular in Rajasthan and Bihar. You may also see it called Aloo Bhatte or Chokha.
What you need… • 500g potatoes (about 3 medium-sized potatoes), peeled and chopped • 1 teaspoon oil • 1 teaspoon mustard oil • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 0.5 onion, finely chopped • 2 chillies, chopped • 0.5 garam masala, • 0.5 crushed black pepper • Small handful coriander leaves, chopped • Salt to taste • 1 teaspoon ghee
How to make it… 1. Boil the potatoes in water with a pinch of salt until they are very soft. Mash and set aside. • While the potatoes are boiling warm the oil in a pan to high heat and fry the mustard seeds and cumin seeds for 15 seconds. Be careful not to burn them. • Turn down the heat to medium, add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. • Add the onion (keep a few pieces back for the garnish) and chilli and fry for 2 minutes. • Add the garam masala, pepper and coriander leaves, and cook for 3 minutes. Add a little water if necessary. • Add the mixture to the mash, add salt, and mix together well. • Garnish with the remaining onion, add the ghee to the top, and serve.
This mix of mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes and onions, marinated in Tikka Marinade and grilled makes a fresh-tasting starter or you can double up the portion for tasty main dish. The trick is cook the Vegetable Shashliks just enough so they soften and the edges are charred.
What you need… • 1 recipe Tikka Marinade (omit the water) • 16 thick slices or chunks of mushroom • 12 chunks of red pepper, about 3cm square (stab them a few times as this absorbs the marinade better) • 12 chunks of green or yellow pepper, about 3cm square (stab them a few times as this absorbs the marinade better) • 1 tomato, cut into 8 segments (stab them a few times as this absorbs the marinade better) • Half an onion cut into chunks
How to make it… 1. Slide the pieces, alternately, onto a skewer. 2. Coat all the pieces generously in Tikka Marinade. Leave for 30 minutes. 3. Grill the Shashliks, turning a couple of times, until they soften and start to char on the edges (about 15 minutes). 4. Serve with Mint Yoghurt Sauce.
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.
Biryani is a popular dish all over the sub-continent and among the Indian disapora. Rice and the other ingredients are mixed together with whole and ground spices and slow cooked to create a fragrant, rich dish. Biryani is a celebration dish and this vegetable version from Mauritius and party pre-cooks ingredients before layering them and leaving covered so all the flavours infuse. You can cook the rice while the vegetables are cooking but keep an eye on it as you don’t want to overcook it.
What you need… • 7 Tablespoons oil • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips of 5cm-long pieces • Salt to taste • 100g runner beans, topped and tailed, split and cut into thin 5cm-long pieces • 2 big potatoes, peeled and cut into 4cm-sized chunks and mixed with a drop of yellow food colouring and a pinch of salt • 2 onions, thinly sliced • 2 teaspoons fresh mint, finely chopped • 2 Tablespoons coriander leaves, finely chopped (keep a couple for garnish) • 2 Tablespoons yoghurt • 100g peas (frozen are good) • 3 chillies, chopped • Salt to taste • 2 Tablespoons ghee • pinch of yellow food colouring • 300ml water • 300g rice • 3 cardamons, cracked open • 3 cloves • 1 cinnamon, 5cm long
How you make it… 1.Heat 3 Tablespoons oil to a medium heat and fry the carrots with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes. Remove the carrots and set aside. 2. Add the runner beans to the same oil and fry with a pinch of salt for 3 minutes. Remove the runner beans and set aside. 3. Add another 1 Tablespoon oil to the pan and once heated add the soya beans and fry with a pinch of salt and fry until they brown (about 5–7 minutes). Remove the soya beans and set aside. 4. Add 3 Tablespoons oil and once heated add the potatoes and fry until the edges are crisp and they are nearly cooked through (about 10 minutes). Don’t crowd them in the pan. You may need to cook them in two batches depending on the size of your pan. Remove the potatoes and set aside. 5. Add the onions and fry until they brown (5–7 minutes). 6. Meanwhile mix the carrots, runner beans and soya bean in a bowl and add the mint, coriander, yoghurt, garlic and ginger pastes and mix well. When the onions are ready add them and mix everything together. 7. Add 1 Tablespoon ghee to the pan to a medium heat then add the Biryani Mix with a splash of water and cook for 2 minutes. 8. Add the vegetables, the peas and the chillies, mix well and remove from the heat. 9. In another large pot (it will need to be large enough for all the ingredients and leave plenty of space on top) layer the uncooked rice evenly along the bottom. Add a layer of vegetables, then a layer of potatoes, then a layer of partly cooked rice, adding a pinch of salt every so often to taste. Repeat until all the ingredients are used up. 10. Add the water, spread the rest of the ghee and the food colouring on the top, cover with a tight lid (you can seal with some tin foil and put something fairly heavy on top to keep it down) and cook on a low-medium heat for 30 minutes. Don’t remove the lid during this time. 11. Remove the lid, garnish with coriander leaves, enjoy the aromas and serve.
To make the rice… 1. Wash the rice well to remove the starch. This may take 7 or 8 rinses. Soak the water for 30 minutes. 2. Remove a third of the rice and put to one side (this will be added to the bottom of the biryani). 3. Cover the rest of the rice with water by about 2cm, add the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and bring to a boil. As soon as it comes to a boil turn off the heat and drain the rice. You do not want the rice fully cooked.
Paneer works excellently with this creamy, buttery and super moreish sauce. Fry the paneer chunks first so they are crispy on the outside and enjoy the rich sauce. The dish will be much better if you make your own paneer.
What you need… • 1 teaspoon ghee • 800g paneer, cubed • 150g unsalted butter • 2 onions, finely chopped • 1 teaspoon garlic paste • 1 teaspoon ginger paste • salt to taste • 6 fresh tomatoes, finely chopped • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional, if you like it sweet) • 150ml cream • coriander leaves for garnish
How to make it… 1. Heat 1 Tablespoon ghee in pan to a low-medium heat. Add the paneer cubes and fry until they brown. This should take about 3–4 minute. Remove from the pan and set aside. 2. Heat 100g of the butter on a low-medium heat until melted, add the onion and cook until it starts to brown (about 4–5 minutes). 3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. 4. Add in the Spice Mix, salt and the chillies, stir well and cook for 1 minute. 5. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes, then add 250ml water and cook for a further 2–3 minutes. 6. Transfer the ingredients to a blender (or use a hand blender) until smooth. 7. Return to pan and reheat for a couple of minutes. You can now add in the optional sugar. 8. Add the paneer, cream, the other 50g of butter and and cook on a low-medium heat until everything is warmed through. 9. Serve garnished with the coriander leaves. The dish also looks good with a small swirl of cream and/or tiny knob of butter in the middle of the dish (it will melt quickly).
What you need
• 4 tablespoons cooking oil
• 4 tablespoons cornflour
• 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 500g paneer cheese, chopped into small, evenly sized chunks or strips)
• 1 large onion, roughly chopped
• 1 each of red, yellow and green capsicum peppers, chopped into bite-sized chunks
• 20g garlic, roughly chopped
• 2 tablespoons Baj’s Blazin’ Original Hot Sauce*
• 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar
• 4 green chillies, sliced down the middle and cut into chunks (deseed if you wish, but what a waste!)
• Small handful of coriander to garnish
How to cook
1. Mix the cornflour with 20ml of water, the red chilli powder and some salt and pepper. Coat each piece of paneer in the cornflour mix.
2. Heat a little oil in a frying pan to a medium heat and shallow fry some of the paneer for a couple of minutes until slightly golden. Set aside on kitchen towel. Repeat until all the paneer has been cooked.
3. Add the onions, peppers to the oil and cook for 3-4 minutes on a medium heat.
4. Add in the garlic, Baj’s Blazin’ Original Hot Sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar to the onions, peppers and garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes on a medium heat.
6. Add in the paneer and cook for a further 3 minutes, then add in the chillies, salt and pepper to taste and stir well.
7. Once everything is warmed through, sprinkle on the coriander leaves and serve.