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Cover: Some like it hot

Recipes with Indian dish

01May 12

Malai Kulfi (Pistachio and Almond Ice Cream)

Malai KulfiKulfi is a dessert that most of us are familiar with if we’ve eaten out at a few Indian restaurants. I’m sure that you’ll agree, however, once you’ve tried and tested this Malai Kulfi recipe, that nothing beats making it fresh at home – it’s much more aromatic and definitely creamier when home-made!

Lots of Indian desserts combine milk and cardamon, and this recipe is no exception. The play of the sweetness of condensed milk with the fragrance of the cardamon seeds is surprising to some, a taste to acquire for others, and simply delightful to most. Mango and rose Kulfi are also very tasty.

Kulfi is often described as ice cream because this is the closest way to express what the dish looks and tastes like, but in fact Kulfi is denser in texture and takes longer to melt than traditional British ice-creams, which are usually whipped. (Try this homemade strawberry ice-cream.) Kulfi tends to have a richer flavour too.

Ingredients
• 205g evaporated milk
• 150g condensed milk
• 150ml whipping cream
• 2 drops of vanilla essence
• Pinch of ground cardamon
• 12g ground almonds
• 12g ground pistachio nuts and a few left whole for decoration

Preparation Method
1. In a large pan, pour in the 2 types of milk and the cream. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes by which time the consistency of the contents should have thickened and the quantity reduced.
2. Add the vanilla extract and the cardamon powder. Stir, remove from the heat, and allow to cool.
3. Once the mixture is cool, stir in the ground nuts.
4. Pour into 4 x 100ml freezer-proof moulds and freeze for 8 hours. If you don’t have any moulds handy, you can use cleaned-out yoghurt pots which work just as well.

When you are ready to serve the Malai Kulfi, take the moulds out of the freezer and run a little warm water over them to loosen the contents. Serve in a pretty bowl with a few whole pistachio nuts sprinkled on the top.

Takes: 5 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook
Makes: 4 servings

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21Mar 12

Vegetable Samosas

Vegetable SamosasVegetable Samosas make a delicious snack at a party. They also work well as an accompaniment to a curry dish such as this Mussel Rassam recipe or as a starter. Eat them hot just after you’ve cooked them, or keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days and eat them cold. I like them with a big dollop of mango chutney, but if you don’t want the fuss of spoons and forks, just enjoy them as a finger food.

Ingredients

To make the pastry
• 380g plain white flour
• 155g white self-raising flour
• 130g butter

To make the samosa filling
• 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 pinch of panch phoron (Bengali five-spice)
• 2 onions, chopped finely
• 3 large potatoes, cut into small cubes
• 100g peas
• 1 green chilli, chopped finely (add another if you like your samosas hot!)
• 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
• Salt
• Vegetable oil in which to deep fry

Preparation Method

To make the pastry:
1. Put the 2 types of flour along with the butter into a mixing bowl and work the contents together. Drop in a dash of warm water and knead the mixture into a dough that should be elastic in consistency.
2. Make 12 dough balls and with a rolling pin, roll each ball into a circle. Then cut each circle in half.

To make the samosa filling:
3. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan; add the panch phoron and the onions; and fry until the onions turn a lovely golden brown. Add the chillies, turmeric, potatoes and peas; then season with salt. Cook the vegetables on a low heat until they are soft, stirring the contents of the pan frequently.

4. Make little islands with the filling on the half-circles of dough, using a teaspoon. 1 teaspoon on each piece of dough should be enough. Fold the dough into triangle shapes.

5. Take a heavy-based pan, fill it halfway with vegetable oil, and heat on high. You’ll know when the oil is ready to use if you drop a tiny piece of onion or other small piece of leftover veg into the oil and it sizzles immediately. Lower a few of the dough parcels into the hot oil and deep fry for 4-5 minutes or until crisp-looking and golden brown in colour.

6. Using a slotted spoon to drain the oil, carefully scoop the samosas out onto a plate covered with a piece of kitchen roll which will remove some of the excess oil. Repeat the process with the remaining parcels, cooking a few at a time. When all of the samosas are cooked and drained, they are ready to serve.

Note: Hot oil can be dangerous and should never be left unattended.

Takes: 65 minutes

Makes: 24 Vegetable Samosas

 

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14Feb 12

Sweetheart Chicken Curry with Fragrant Rice

Sweetheart chicken curry with fragrant riceThis is one of my all-time favourite chicken curry recipes that grew out of experimenting with the combination of spices and fruit. You can make sweetheart chicken curry mild or give it a real kick by varying the type and quantity of curry paste that you use. However, I would always recommend a paste rather than a sauce, which in my opinion gives a nicer texture and a better flavour.

The turmeric powder in the fragrant rice turns it a beautiful warm yellow, and the spices give a wonderful fragrance which complements the sweetness and zest of the curry. If there’s any left over, it’s really tasty eaten cold the next day as a coronation chicken alternative, or try it cold in a sandwich.

Ingredients for the sweet chicken curry
• 2 large chicken breasts, skinned and cut into chunks
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 4 shallots or 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
• ¼ tsp cumin seeds
• 2-3 tsp Pataks Madras curry paste
• ½ small tin of breakfast apricots in juice, roughly chopped or torn, plus the juice
• 3 tbsp light crème fraiche
• Bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
• Mango chutney to serve

Ingredients for the fragrant rice
• 1 mug of dried Basmati rice
• 5 cloves
• Pinch of turmeric powder
• 3 cardamon pods, shells removed and discarded
• ½ tsp cumin seeds
• Salt, pinch

Preparation Method
1. Dry fry the fragrant rice spices in a deep-based pan for a minute until you smell the scent released.
2. Add the rice and cover well with water, freshly boiled from the kettle. Bring the water to the boil, add the salt, stir the contents very lightly just once, cover the pan with a lid, turn down the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.
3. Whilst the rice is simmering, heat the oil in a shallow-based frying pan, add the cumin and shallots, and fry on a medium heat until soft.
4. Stir in the curry paste – you can play with how much you add depending on the kick you’re looking for – and fry for a minute.
5. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.
6. Add the apricot pieces and about half to three quarters of the juice from the tin, depending on how much sauce you want to make.
7. Add the crème fraiche and the coriander and stir in lightly so that the curry takes on a slightly marbled look with the white of the crème fraiche against the colour of the curry sauce.
8. Serve the rice and the curry onto plates along with a generous portion of mango chutney, and enjoy with a nicely chilled oaked chardonnay.

Takes: 15 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook
Makes: A generous portion for 2

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