Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gateway to India

Week 2
Theme: Indian
Cookbooks Used: Madhur Jaffry Indian Cookery &
Charmaine Solomon Complete Vegetarian

I love cooking and eating Indian food, so this week was an absolute pleasure. The only thing I don’t like about Indian food is that it is not always particularly photogenic- I find it so hard to photograph and make it look appetizing…so looking forward to seeing everyone else’s pics.
Anyway, again I made 3 dishes from the theme.
Pork Vindaloo - Goan Style Hot and Sour Pork (Madhur Jaffrey)
Sweet Corn and Potatoes with Mustard Seeds and Mint (Madhur Jaffrey)
Eggplant Pickle (Charmaine Solomon )

Sweet Corn and Potatoes with Mustard Seeds and Mint

Of the 3 recipes, this is my favourite. Made it on a Friday night after a couple of drinks at work- it was quick, easy and satisfyingly carb rich with delicious fresh flavours. And it is pretty healthy too. If you’re on a diet, apparently you can substitute water for the coconut milk.

Serves 2 as a main meal
3 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp black mustard seeds
¼ tsp cumin seeds
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
150g potatoes, peeled, diced and boiled
200g ripe tomatoes, cut into fine dice
4 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
3 tbs mint , finely chopped
1 fresh hot green chilli, finely chopped (I left the seeds in, but if you want it milder, take them out)
Fresh corn kernels measured to the 450 ml level in a measuring jug (you could use frozen to be even quicker)
85ml coconut milk
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp ground cumin seeds

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, put in mustard seeds and cumin seeds, as soon as they start to pop, add garlic and potatoes. Stir and fry until potatoes are lightly browned.
Add the tomoatoes, fresh coriander and mint and green chilli. Stir and fry for another couple of minutes.

Put in the sweet corn and stir. Add the coconut milk, salt, cayenne and lemon juice. Stir and bring to a simmer.
Cover and turn heat to low and cook for 3-4 minutes- or until the corn is cooked.
Uncover, add some black pepper and the ground cumin.
Stir through, check for seasoning and serve.

Pork Vindaloo - Goan Style Hot and Sour Pork

Serves 6

2 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 dried hot red chillies
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp cardamom seeds
Cinnamon stick
1 ½ tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
5 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
10 tbsp vegetable oil
200g peeled and sliced onions
900g boneless pork, from the shoulder, cubed into 2.5cm cubes
2.5 cm piece of ginger, roughly chopped
Whole head of garlic with the cloves separated and peeled
1 tbsp ground coriander
½ tsp turmeric

Grind the cumin seeds, red chillies, peppercorns, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, black mustard and fenugreek seeds in a coffee grinder- put in a bowl. Add the vinegar, salt and sugar. Mix well and set aside.
Heat the oil in a wide, heavy pan and put on medium heat. Fry the onions till brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and put them into the container of an electric blender with 2 – 3 tbs water. Puree. Add the pureed onion to the ground spices (This is the vindaloo paste- it can be frozen at this point if you want to make it ahead of time).
Use a blender to puree the ginger and garlic- again adding a couple of tbs of water.
Heat the pan again to medium heat and brown the pork in batches. Remove all the pork. Add the ginger-garlic paste to the pan, fry off the paste for a minute or two, then add the coriander and turmeric. Stir.
Add the meat with any juice that has accumulated and the vindaloo paste as well as 250ml water.
Bring to the boil and the lower heat to gently simmer for an hour- stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Serve with rice and raita (I used just plain greek yoghurt- as this dish is pretty hot, depending on the chillies you are using).

Eggplant Pickle

I made this to give friends and family, this made 2 nice medium size jars, with half a one left over that I’ll use myself. This would be delicious served with curries, but would also be nice to spice up a ham or cheese sandwich.
1 kg eggplants
12 dried red chillies
4 tsp chopped garlic
3 tsp chopped ginger
2 tbsp black mustard seeds
1 ½ tsp ground turmeric
1 ½ cups oil
3 tsp salt
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup vinegar
2 tsp. garam masala

Wash eggplants and slice crossways. If eggplants are very large, you can also cube them.
Soak chillies in hot water for 5 minutes.
In a blender, combine chillies, garlic, ginger, mustard seeds and some of the chilli water and puree. Combine with the turmeric.

Heat the oil and fry the blended mixture for a few minutes, then add the eggplant. Cover and cook on low heat till the eggplant is soft, stirring now and then.
Add salt, vinegar, sugar, and simmer till thick, stirring to prevent burning. Stir in garam masala, remove from heat and bottle.

If you like these, here are another couple of recipes you might like:

7 comments: said...

I love the sound of the pickle dish as for some reason I can't seem to get enough of that flavour at the moment. Perfect idea as pressies for Christmas. Yum! Leigh

Agnes said...

I agree that Indian food can be hard to photograph! I made vindaloo too, I loved it, and yours sounds good as well.

I really like the sound of the corn and potatoes dish - will definitely have to give it a go!

Rilsta said...

Oooh, you made 3 recipes again! Good on you! :) I like the look of the eggplant pickle!

Anonymous said...

vindaloo seems popular. i think im going to have to try it.

Maree said...

Thanks Leigh- I posted my jam picture today- absolutely love it- adore the colour especially!
Agnes, love the look of your vindaloo- I thought your photos came up really nicely- the cauliflower too!
Rislta, the pickle is lovely- I've been having it on my sandwiches every day...nice and spicy!
Spatula, love the look of your rogan josh- I adore food safari- the recipes are so heart-felt. I'm going to give your recipe a try- hopefully on Saturday night!

Maria said...

This sounds amazing and as I have some large eggplants in the fridge awaiting their turn in the kitchen, I may make this today.

viji said...

Thanks for sharing, I will bookmark and be back again

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