Cauliflower, eggplant and green bean #curry #mixedveg

A nice vegetable curry is delicious just with some dhal and rice or alongside other curries or grilled meat.

The combination of cauliflower, eggplant and green beans with the warmth of mild Indian spices is a tenure winner. I love eggplant and in this recipe I use the long, skinny variety cut in discs.

The onion mixture with dried red chillies, mustard seeds and curry leaves is a classic base for many a South Indian curry and you really can’t go wrong with any vegetable combination you add.

Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion finely diced
  • Handful fresh curry leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 piece cinammon bark or quill
  • 1 teaspoon cummin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 dried chillies
  • 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic pounded to a paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tomato diced finely
  • 2 Thai long eggplants
  • 1.5 cups cauliflower florets
  • Greens beans, top and tailed chopped into small pieces (about a cup’s worth)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Method:

1. Heat oil in a flat, heavy based pan which has a lid, add cinammon, cummin seeds , fenugreek seeds, dried chillies and curry leaves and heat over medium heat until fragrant.

2. Add onions and simmer gently until onions are transparent then add turmeric, cummin powder, mustard seeds and mix through.

3. Add ginger and garlic paste, tomatoes and mix through, stir fry until tomatoes just start breaking down, add 1/2 cup of water to stop mixture from sticking.

4. Add cauliflower florets and cook for 10 minutes with the lid on.

5. While cauliflower is cooking, cut eggplant into discs and then add with green bean pieces to cauliflower mixture. After 5/minutes, Add in peas and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 1/2 cup of water to stop mixture sticking. Simmer for 5 minutes until eggplant is tender and going transparent but not mushy.

6. Taste to see if additional salt required. Garnish with coriander and serve with fluffy white rice or naan, or just as a delicious side dish with other dishes.

#Keralan #Pork Curry with Coconut Milk and Green Beans

The addition of coconut milk in this curry gives the sauce a creamy texture and a delicious soft spiciness quite different to the sharper “zinginess” of the Indian Green Pork Curry recipe, although there are similarities to marinating the pork in vinegar.

Traditionally it a dish that the Syrian Christians, who eat pork, serve at special occasions. The history of the ongoing “survival” of this group of Christians thought to date back to AD52 in Kerala is interesting. Here’s a bit of background Syrian Christians in Kerala

My version is adapted to use leaner pork shoulder instead of pork belly and only involves cooking for about an hour.

Kerala is also famed for it’s spices including black pepper and tamarind which are widely used in Keralan cooking and I have added to this recipe. If you haven’t used tamarind before here’s a good how to guide Cooking with Tamarind

Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time:1 hour

Ingredients:
  • 500g pork shoulder cut into medium sized cubes
  • 2-3 handfuls of green beans
  • 3 cloves of garlic and equal amount of peeled ginger
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of tomato passata or diced tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red chilli powder or cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (coconut oil would be most authentic)
  • 3 dried chillies (exclude these for a milder version)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • Large handful of curry leaves(optional)
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 1 stick of cinnamon bark (1/2 small quill)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds(optional)
  • 25g tamarind pulp soaked in 1/2 cup of warm water until dissolved or 1 teaspoon of tamarind concentrate dissolved in half a cup of warm water
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • Coriander to garnish

1. Put pork into bowl and add black pepper, salt, cummin powder(not seeds), turmeric powder and chilli powder. Add vinegar and tomato, mis thoroughly and set aside for at least 25 minutes.

Marinate pork in spices, salt, vinegar and tomato which help the meat to tenderise.

2. Chop onion finely.

3. Peel garlic and ginger and pound into a paste in a mortar and pestle.

4. Top and tail green beans and slice very finely on an angle.

5. Heat oil in a casserole pot over medium heat, add cummin seeds, dried chillies, cardamom pods, curry leaves and heat until fragrant.

6. Add onions and cook gently until transparent then add fenugreek seeds if using, ginger and garlic paste and mix through onion mixture.

Cooking the spices and onions in oil creates a fragrant base for the curry.

7. Add pork to onion mixture and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring regularly until pork is sealed – without allowing to burn or stick to the pot, add some after if needed.

8. Add tamarind water, and 1/2 cup or more of boiling water to just cover the pork mixture and simmer for 40 minutes. Keep an eye on the curry to make sure it isn’t sticking at the bottom and add a little additional water if needed along the way.

9. after 40 minutes, then add coconut milk and cook for a further 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened to a creamy consistency. The pork should be tender and cooked by now. Taste to check if additional salt is needed.

Cook the pork simmering in tamarind water and plain water, then add coconut milk after 40 minutes and green beans at 55 minutes.

10. Add the finely sliced green beans and cook for 5-10 minutes until tender.

11. garnish with chopped coriander and serve with white basmati rice, dhal, mango chutney and salads.

Delicious Keralan Pork Curry with Coconut milk and Green Beans

#Homestyle #Pork #Vindaloo

This is what we’re having for dinner tonight! It’s not as fiery as it sounds and is downright delicious.

The vinegar tenderises the pork and it cooks to a beautiful texture without drying up. It”s not one of my family recipes but it is a favourite now in our home.

Here’s the link to my original post from 3 years ago when I had a lot fewer than 3,395 followers. Hope you try and enjoy!

https://freespiritfood.net/2017/06/11/pork-vindaloo-with-dried-and-fresh-chillies/

Benares on a budget #michelin #indianfood #london

I had read about Benares’ reputation for the best Indian food in London, laying claim to having been the first Indian restaurant in London to receive a Michelin star and it has retained this star in 2019.

Having looked at the a la carte and tasting menu prices which are whopping by Australian dollar prices, we decided the lunchtime thali menu at £33 would be a great way to taste a range of their dishes and fit into our schedule nicely.

So after visiting the special Leonardo Da Vinci Life In Drawings exhibition, commemorating 500 years since his death, at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace we sauntered through Green Park, across Picadilly to Berkeley Square were Benares occupies a prominent position between the Rolls Royce and Bentley showrooms.

Our meal started with a traditional serving of papadums and chutneys and yoghurt. The papads had obviously been made at the restaurant were a tasty, crispy nibble to begin with.

The thali came with naan and turmeric spiced rice, a crunchy quinoa salad, a fabulous piece of lightly spiced sea bass, a delicious lamb Rohan Josh, a smokey Chicken tikka Masala, very interesting spinach and baby corn curry, dhal and yoghurt. It was all more than enough for one very hungry person and certainly too much for me.

The Thali was followed by a serving of Indian steamed yoghurt pudding with rhubarb and jelly and a sprinkling of nuts, followed by a special birthday platter of petit fours.

A great way to sample the renowned Indian food from Benares on a budget.

#Quick Fish Curry with #Tamarind

This recipe is for my friend Jennifer who especially asked for a fish curry recipe using Tamarind and no fenugreek. The use of tamarind in fish and seafood curries is traditional in South Indian curries and adds a beautiful tangy flavour.

Tamarind has all sorts of health benefits and is rich in many nutrients. This is a good link for more info https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tamarind#section4

I keep a block of pressed tamarind handy in the fridge but sometimes use concentrate. If using pressed tamarind then slice off a thick bit and steep in boiling water and using gloves rub the skin and pulp off the seeds, the resulting mixture looks brown and murky but adds delicious flavour to the curry.

Some curries use a lot more tamarind for a dark, rich sauce but this one is quick and lighter.

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
2 thick boneless fillets of monkfish or similar meaty white fish, cut into medium size pieces (about 500g)
1 large onion diced
2 large ripe tomatoes diced
3 cloves garlic and equal fresh ginger pound to a paste
Handful of fresh curry leaves (optional)
1/2 stick of cinnamon bark (optional)
1 teaspoon cummin seeds
2-3 fresh chillies tops sliced off, left whole (optional)
Thick “slice” of tamarind or 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chilli powder depending on your taste
1/2 teaspoon fennel powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Coriander to garnish

Method

Steep tamarind in 1/2 cup boiling water whilst preparing other ingredients, or mix tamarind concentrate with 1/2 cup of boiling water and set aside.

Heat oil in heavy based pot over medium heat

Add cummin seeds, cinnamon bark, curry leaves and green chillies if using until spluttering stops.

Add onions and cook slowly over medium heat until transparent, stirring from time to time to prevent caramelisation.

(if using block tamarind ….While onions are cooking, rub tamarind to seperate and remove any seeds from mixture, strain and set aside tamarind juice. You can use the pulp as well but make sure it has no seeds left in it.)

Add ginger and garlic, mix through into onions until just heated.

Add turmeric, chilli powder and fennel powder and mix through onions, taking care not to burn spices

Immediately add tomatoes, salt and mix well, cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking to the bottom

Add the tamarind water mixture and bring to a bubble.

Add fish and another half cup of water to bring sauce up to sides of fish.

Cook for 5-8 minutes on a slow simmer until sauce is reduced and fish is cooked to your liking, turn fish during cooking so both sides are coated in sauce.

Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with rice.

This curry is delicious with Indian Spicy Mint and Coriander Chutney on the side.

Indian #Thali and Sweets at #Maya Indian Sweets, #Sydney

Indian vegetarian Thali at Maya Indian Sweets on Cleveland St, Surry Hills has been a favourite comfort food spot for our family for years. As well as the famous Indian Sweets on offer, Maya offers dhosas and Thalis.

A few weeks ago on an unseasonably chilly day, when the “kids” were visiting us from Canberra, we went for Sunday lunch.

Thali means “chain” and refer to the chain of small dishes served on a tray with rice, bread, pickle and papadums. The restaurant is primarily an Indian take-away sweet shop but eating in is cheap and cheerful.

They also have traditional Indian street food snacks such as samosas, aloo boonda, chaat and vhada as starters.

At Maya Sweets you can choose from a number of Thali versions including either a South Indian or Punjabi version…the first comes with Rasam (South Indian tamarinds and pepper water soup) and Poori bread and the second with a bean dhal and naan bread.

Both are just as satisfying the variety of vegetable curries and dhals that are on offer depends on the season. They are consistently good and very filling.

This visit we also shared the Vhada which are fluffy Urad Dhal fritters served with coconut chutney and a tangy sambar on the side which were delicious.

Finishing the meal with an Indian sweet is always tempting and there is a very wide range to choose from….but we managed to resist.

Consistently good food. Doesn’t open until midday so brunch is sadly not an option. There a number of other more formal Maya restaurants including a vegetarian restaurant next door and a non-veg across the road. So make sure you fo to the right one if you are looking for the street food and Thalis.

Maya Indian Sweets

468-472 Cleveland St