Tag Archives: curry

Mushroom Dahl

Mushrooms are full of the good stuff in food that keeps you healthy, lots of vitamins and minerals along with fibre and protein. Add that to all the benefits you get from lentils (especially as a vegetarian or vegan) and you’ve got a bowl of super goodness in this mushroom dhal. Not to mention it’s packed full of flavour. Don’t let the many shades of beige put you off!

A few weeks ago, the children and I had been suffering from the lingering after effects of a cold and Ste wasn’t feeling too great. I would normally whip us up a batch of cream of mushroom soup when the germs strike, but it was wasn’t appealing in the heat of a Caribbean summer. As I’ve been experimenting with curries lately, it made perfect sense to combine this with the mushrooms I’d bought as part of our cold cures. I’m still learning to cook dhals and mostly have to follow other people’s recipes but this one is 100% my own and I’m mighty proud of it.

As long as you remember to rinse and soak the lentils earlier in the day or even the night before (to reduce cooking time), you can have this ready in no time at all and as always with curries, it tastes amazing the next day as leftovers.

Mushroom Dhal

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 100g split red lentils
  • 100g moong dahl
  • 1 litre water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp tandoori masala
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp amchoor powder
  • 2 tsp tomato puree
  • 4 kashmiri chillies
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 250g mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 tbsp water

Directions

  1. Rinse and drain the lentils several times, swirling in the water to loosen, then cover with water and soak for at least an hour. (This will reduce the cooking time)
  2. Once soaked, put the lentils into a large pan with the chopped onion and the litre of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes until soft. Stir often and skim off any foam that forms on the surface of the water.
  3. Whilst the lentil are cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan on medium to high and add the cumin and mustard seeds. When they start to sizzle, stir in the tandoori masala, turmeric, amchoor powder, garam masala, chilli powder, tomato puree, bay leaves and kashmiri chillis. Cook for a minute.
  4. Add your garlic and mushrooms and stir to coat in the spice mixture. Stir in the diced tomato and cook for a few more minutes until the mushrooms are cooked through.
  5. Stir your mushroom spice mixture into your cooked lentils on a low heat. If the dhal is a little dry, stir in 2 tbsp of water and cook for 1- minutes. Put a lid on the pan and remove from the heat until ready to serve

Serve with basmati rice, warm chapatis or potato tahdig as I did.


Enjoy!

Vegetable Vindaloo

You can thank my husband for this one. I always pester him to give me new ideas of things he’d like for dinner and this is the latest.

Until I started researching, I had no idea vindaloo is originally a variation of a Portugese dish (carne de vinha d’alos meaning meat marinated in wine vinegar and garlic) which was modified in Goa to suit local tastes and then again in the UK for the same reason.

The meat is marinated in vinegar and spices, but as we’re using vegetables, how to get the authentic sweet and sour flavour without this marinating step was my first goal. I eventually decided on making a curry paste which I allowed to sit for a few hours before using so the flavours intensified. We actually went out for a few hours and the smell of the house when we came home was AMAZING. Watch me make it below.

We’re lucky enough to have a tamarind tree which we can pick fresh tamarind from, however tamarind paste from the supermarket will work just as well.

I used ghee instead of oil, but if you’re vegan just substitute for vegetable oil or even spray oil if following an eating plan.

The vegetables I’ve used are just what I had available, you can of course use any you like such as cauliflower, green beans, okra, mushrooms, aubergine etc

If your used to eating curry and spice you’ll find this recipe just on the hot side, so add some chilli powder at the same time as the sugar for a little more heat or increase the number of dried chillies in the paste. If you’re more of a mild korma kind of person this vindaloo will be a very hot dish, sort of a spicy challenge rather than a one mouthful and you’re drinking milk from the carton hot.

Vegetable Vindaloo

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Paste

  • 1/2 large onion , roughly chopped
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh tamarind
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 dried kashmiri chillies
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

Curry

  • 2 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli
  • 300g potatoes, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1tsp chilli powder (optional)

Directions

  1. In a frying pan or heavy saucepan on a medium to high heat, add the dried ingredients for the paste (kashmiri chillies, bayleaf, cardamom, peppercorns, mustard seeds, cloves cinnamon, fenugreek, cumin seeds) , until the cumin seeds start to brown and the peppercorns and mustard seeds start to sizzle. Shake the pan often to prevent burning a sticking.
  2. Pop the roasted spices into a liquidiser along with the onion, garlic, ginger, tamarind, tomato puree, cider vinegar, water and ground coriander. Whizz into a smooth paste. Set aside for a few hours until ready to cook. (This can still be used immediately if not making ahead of time).
  3. Heat the ghee or oil in a large pan and fry the finely chopped onion until golden, stir in the turmeric, then add the carrot, peppers and tomato. Mix well, then stir in the vindaloo paste, coating all of the vegetables. Cook for a minute or so before adding the water.
  4. Stir in the sugar, salt and extra chilli powder if using. Add the frozen vegetables and potatoes. Simmer on a medium to low heat until the veg is tender and your kitchen smells wonderful (about 20 minutes).

Serve with naan bread and fluffy basmati rice.

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Enjoy!

Creamy Vegetable Masala

Cayman has an Indian supermarket…YESSSSSSS! It’s small, but cheaper than the big supermarkets and has so much more choice. I used love a trip to MA Brothers in Newcastle to stock up on good quality basmati, spices and all the different dahls and flours. It makes me a happy housewife that I can get some of these ingredients here and make our favourite meals.

I love, love , love this curry. Quick and easy to make and less than a third of the calories of an average tikka masala from a takeaway with a simple ingredient swap. It takes nothing away from the flavour either. Just substitute the double cream for half and half (or half milk, half single cream in the UK).

When I was trying to create dish, I couldn’t quite get it right. After some trial and error and research – eureka!

Mushroom soy sauce.

In an Indian style curry.

Yep, I was just as surprised. It really works and gives it that extra little something. I haven’t tried it with regular soy sauce, but I think it will work just as well.

The vegetables listed are just for guidance, but use any you want as long as the quantity is roughly the same. For example, I’ve used bell peppers, mushroom, green beans etc.

If you’re feeding the family (my toddlers eat this also) and want less spice, omit the chilli powder. If it’s still too spicy, serve with some plain yoghurt.

It’s around 4-6 servings, so if there’s only a couple of you it’ll keep in the fridge in a sealed container for about 3 days and it’s so good the next day.

Creamy Vegetable Masala

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled (1 tbsp if using lazy ginger)
  • 3 dried kashmiri chillies
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp ghee (you could also use vegetable oil)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp tandoori masala
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 225g new potatoes, quartered
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup double cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp mushroom soy sauce

Directions

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic, ginger, kashmiri chillies, tomato puree and tinned tomatoes until smooth.
  2. Heat the ghee in a large pan on a medium or high heat and add the onions. Cook until golden, then add the turmeric, garam masala, tandoori masala and chilli powder. Stir for about 30 seconds. Pour in the blended tomato mixture and cream (or half and half), add the salt and soy sauce and stir to combine.
  3. Add the vegetables and stir in with the sauce mixture. Cover and cook on a low to medium heat for about 20 minutes until the veg is tender.
  4. Serve with Basmati rice and naan bread.

Enjoy!

Indian Supermarkets

MA Brothers – Newcastle

Shop Right – Cayman

Spicy Vegetable Korma

A mild creamy korma has never appealed to me when ordering or making a curry. When I crave a curry, I want spice and heat and full flavour. I do however, like the creaminess a korma delivers. So I thought, why not have both.

I researched korma recipes and different spice combinations and this is what I’ve come up with. I would describe it as a medium spice. If you like your curry with a slightly milder taste just omit the two green chillies for less of a kick.

Note: a couple of weeks after I made the curry in the pictures I recreated the recipe (without the chillies for my mum), but boiled the cashews in water for 10 minutes before blending. It resulted in a very slightly smoother sauce. It didn’t take away from the final flavour or comfort of a creamy curry, so I guess it just depends on time and personal preference whether or not to add this step.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups cashew nuts
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp ginger paste
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 cup water

2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
400g cauliflower florets
220g new potatoes, quartered
1 large carrot, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas

1 tin coconut milk
1 cup thick cream (heavy cream)
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala

Using a food processor or blender, add the cashews, garlic, ginger, roughly chopped onion and water and blend until smooth.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat the oil on high and add the cumin seeds. When the start to splutter, add the finely chopped onion. Once the onion is soft, stir in the chillies, turmeric, ground coriander and ground cumin. Cook for two minutes, stirring often. Add the blended cashew mixture and reduce the heat to medium.

Next, add the vegetables and stir well to coat with the spices and cashews. Cook for a few minutes before pouring in the coconut milk and cream, then add the curry powder, chilli powder and garam masala.

Simmer on a medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked. Serve with basmati rice or naan bread.

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Enjoy!

Aloo Gobi // Recipe

It’s one of our favourite foods, but we didn’t eat any Indian food for over five months when we arrived in Cayman. Five months! In February we finally took ourselves along to Sunset House and those first few mouthfuls of hot and spicy curry were a taste sensation. Oh curry, how I’d missed you. My taste buds rejoiced!

At around $16 a pop for a vegetarian curry and $21 for one containing meat, we’ll not be eating out that often or ordering a Saturday night takeaway. The only answer was to learn to make them at home. I’ve been slowly making my way through a little recipe book I found on amazon last year called ‘An Indian Housewife’s Recipe Book’ by Laxmi Khurana. Its brilliant and every recipe has been easy and delicious. I think the key is to cook the spices first to release the flavour, instead of stirring them in after the main ingredients which creates a generic, bland tasting curry.

However, the Aloo Gobi recipe wasn’t quite what I wanted, so I did a little research and experimenting and this is what I came up with. It may not be authentic or traditional, but it was delicious.

Ingredients

450g cauliflower florets
450g new potatoes, skin on, halved or quartered depending on size
50ml vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger puree
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp gound cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp asafoetida
3 large plum tomatoes, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
4 curry leaves
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
350ml water
1 tsp garam masala
Salt

Heat the oil in a large pan on a medium to high heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook until they splutter. Add the onions and saute until translucent. Stir in the garlic, ginger, chilli, tumeric, ground coriander, ground cumin and asafoetida. Turn down the heat slighty, add the tomatoes and and cook until soft.

Once the tomatoes have softened, add the potatoes, cauliflower, tomato puree, garam masala, curry leaves and half of the fresh coriander and salt to taste. Stir well and add 350ml of water.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the cauliflower and potatoes are cooked. Sprinkle the rest of the coriander to serve.

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Enjoy!