Indian Spicy Mint and Coriander Chutney

This crunchy, spicy mint and coriander chutney, which is almost like a pesto, goes brilliantly with grilled meats, prawns and fish. It is a great accompaniment for any Indian meal, Aussie BBQ or just spread on toast! I have also used it as a chutney with cheese and biscuits.

Easy and quick to make, it will keep well in the fridge for up to a week. Best to bring to room temperature before serving.

Traditionally made by roasting and then grinding the peanuts, I cheat and use super-crunchy peanut butter which works very well to bind the herbs into a pesto like texture.

Prep time: 10 minutes  Cooking time: 15 minutes
Ingredients:
1 bunch mint – leaves removed from stalks and washed well
1 bunch coriander – with roots removed, washed well and chopped into large pieces
1-2 red chillies chopped into large pieces
2 cloves garlic and equal amount of ginger crushed to a paste
1 medium onion finely diced
1 medium ripe tomato finely diced
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cummin seeds
1 stick cinnamon
2 tablespoons super-crunchy peanut butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Method:
Whizz coriander, mint and chillies in a food processor until finely chopped

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Mint, coriander and chilli chopped finely in a food processor

Heat oil in non-stick frying pan, add cinnamon, cummin seeds and mustard seeds and cook until mustard seeds pop, but be careful not to burn

Add onions and cook slowly over medium-low heat until translucent

Add ginger and garlic paste, tomatoes and a pinch of salt and fry with onions until soft and slightly caramelised

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d garlic with onions and spices

Add mint, coriander and chilli mixture and heat through

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Add mint, coriander and chilli to tomato onion mixture

Just as leaves start to change colour, add peanut butter and mix through as it starts to melt, cook for 1 minute, then remove from heat

Allow to cool slightly so peanut butter firms up again, then serve warm or at room temperature as an accompaniment.

Roasted eggplant with cummin and yoghurt

This is a delicious accompaniment served with Indian curries but just as good with roast meats like the Pulled pork or served as a dip.

Roasting the eggplant first gives it a lovely texture and a smoky flavour and the cummin and mustard seeds add spice and crunch.

Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time:60 minutes
Ingredients
1 large eggplant
1/2 brown onion thinly sliced
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon cummin powder
1 teaspoon cummin seeds
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
Handful curry leaves(optional)
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste

Method
Heat oven to 180 degrees celcius
Prick eggplant deeply in a few spots on each side with a fork or small knife to allow steam to escape. (This is important to avoid eggplant explosion in oven!)
Roast eggplant for 45-50 minutes, rotating 3 or 4 times to allow for even cooking. Don’t worry if skin blackens or burns.
Remove eggplant from oven and place immediately in a plastic bag and tie/seal. Leave for 5-10 minutes. The steam created will loosen the skin as eggplant cools.

Roasted eggplant cooling in plastic bag
Roasted eggplant cooling in plastic bag

Remove eggplant from bag, cut off ends, then “peel” the skin off.

Peel skin off the roasted eggplant
Peel skin off the roasted eggplant

Chop/dice eggplant finely on large chopping board to save as much of the juices

Roasted eggplant, peeled and diced
Roasted eggplant, peeled and diced

Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
Add cummin seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves and fry until fragrant but take care not to burn
Add onions and garlic, cook for 5 minutes or so until transparent and slightly caramelised
Add diced eggplant and juices, cummin powder and cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time
When eggplant and onion mixture is thoroughly “melded” and heated through, take off heat and add the yoghurt
Mix through while off the heat which stops yoghurt curdling, then return to medium heat and allow to reheat. (About 3 minutes)
Serves 4-6 as a side or dip

Kamsila’s Chilli Sauce with apricot jam, garlic and mustard seeds

This is my cousin Kamsila’s recipe which I wrote down on my last visit to see my family in South Africa in 1997! It has stood me in good stead ever since. It is perfect to add that extra chilli bite when served alongside samosas, meatballs, or as a chutney with roast meats. It’s quick and easy to make but best if you soak the chillies and garlic in vinegar overnight. Lasts for up to 6 weeks stored in the fridge but is usually long gone by then in our household.

The recipe does use Indian pickling masala which combines chilli powder, salt, fenugreek, mustard seeds,nigella seeds,turmeric and asafoetida. Easy to buy pre-packaged at an Indian grocer or spice shop.

Example of packaged pickling masala available at indian spice shops
Example of packaged pickling masala available at indian spice shops

Prep time: marinate overnight, then 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
50g fresh red chillies stalks removed
5 cloves garlic
1 cup white wine vinegar
400g apricot jam
750mls good tomato sauce
1 tsp oil
2 tspns “pickling masala”
1 tspn black mustard seeds
Small handful of fresh curry leaves

Method
Soak chillies and garlic in vinegar overnight
Process in a small blender until liquidised
Add tomato sauce and apricot jam and masala and mix, don’t worry if apricot jam stays in chunks
Heat oil in non-stick frying pan, add mustard seeds and curry leaves and sauté for a minute
Add chilli, tomato, jam mixture to pan, simmer for 4-5 minutes
Cool and bottle in sterilised jars or serve immediately
Keeps for up to 6 weeks in fridge

Chilli, tomato and apricot jam simmering in oil, mustard seed and curry leaf mixture
Chilli, tomato and apricot jam simmering in oil, mustard seed and curry leaf mixture

Black bean Dhal with ginger, chilli, onions and tomato

This rich and delicious Dhal is made with black beans stewed with ginger, dried chillies, tomatoes and then finished with fried onions and spices. A great accompaniment with other vegetable curries and eaten with rice or naan or rotis. I use canned black beans which you can find in the Mexican section of the supermarket. The key is long, slow cooking adding stock or water until the mixture takes on a thick, soup like consistency and the beans have broken down.

Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 1.5-2 hours
Ingredients
1 can black beans
1 large piece of ginger, peeled and cut in 2 pieces
3-4 dried red chillies
1 large tomato cut into large cubes
500ml Salt reduced chicken or vegetable stock
500ml water
Salt
1 tspoon cummin seeds
1/2 tspoon Turmeric
1/2 tspoon Chilli powder
1/2 tspoon cummin powder
Handful curry leaves
1 small onion sliced
1 tspoon ginger and garlic paste
50g butter and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Chopped coriander for garnish

Method
Bring water to boil in a medium-large saucepan
Strain beans in colander and rinse thoroughly
Add beans, ginger and dried chillies to water and add a cup of stock
Beans should be well covered with water and stock
Cook own a low rolling boil for 1 hour, adding water,or stock as required as you would for a soup
After an hour use a masher to break up beans and add 1/2 cup of water and add the tomato
Continue to cook for another half an hour to 45 minutes
Once the mixture has reduced and reached a thick soup-like consistency turn off heat.
In a seperate large frying pan, heat oil and butter over medium heat
Add cummin seeds and curry leaves and fry until fragrant
Add onion and cook slowly until golden and transparent
Remove large pieces of ginger from the bean mixture and then add to onion mixture, add salt to taste, bring to a boil to heat through
Garnish with chopped coriander and serve

Thick black bean dhal with rice
Thick black bean dhal with rice

Serves 3-4 as an accompaniment

Easy Spicy Sweet Corn Fritters with onion

These easy and quick to make sweet corn fritters have a spicy twist through the addition of “Slap Your Mamma” New Orleans Spice mix and slow fried onions for an extra touch of sweetness. Served with bacon and rocket and herbs for brunch/breakfast or good for a lunchbox snack, these fritters also pair well with avocado and sour cream.
Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 6 minutes
Ingredients
1 small can (310g) sweet corn kernels
1 egg beaten
1/2 onion sliced finely and slowly fried until slightly caramelised
1/2 cup wholemeal or plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Slap Your Mama or other spice mix to your taste

Spicy sweet corn fritters frying
Spicy sweet corn fritters frying

Method
Slice 1/2 an onion and slow fry until translucent and slightly caramelised
Whizz 3/4 of the sweet corn in a small food processor to form a creamy paste
Transfer sweet corn paste to mixing bowl, add remaining corn kernels, egg, spice mix, onions and flour and mix well
Mixture should be firm but moist, add more flour as required if too runny
Heat frying pan over medium heat, spray lightly with olive oil,add dollops of sweet corn, flattening slightly to form a circular or oval shape.
Fry over medium-high heat to golden brown on one side, then flip fritters to cook through and brown on the other side.
Serve with bacon, rocket and other accompaniments.
Makes 6 medium size fritters

Healthy Chicken and zucchini meatballs

These chicken and zucchini meatballs are quick and easy, light, fluffy and healthy. They can be teamed up with a spicy tomato sauce, wrapped in a flatbread with salad or enjoyed as a canapé with a dipping sauce of your choice.

Prep time: 25 minutes  Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients
400g chicken mince
2 small zucchini peeled and grated
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp cummin powder
2 red chillies very finely diced, seeds removed
1.5 tsp ginger and garlic crushed
Handful coriander chopped
4 spring onions white and green parts finely chopped
1/2 tsp Salt

2 small zuchinni peeled and grated for chicken and zuchinni meatballs
2 small zuchinni peeled and grated for chicken and zuchinni meatballs

Method
Pre-heat oven to 150’degrees celcius
Line a baking tray with baking paper
Mix all ingredients and chill in fridge for 15 minutes
Form meatballs and place on baking tray

Chicken and zuchinni meatballs on baking paper ready for oven
Chicken and zuchinni meatballs on baking paper ready for oven

Cook until golden for 20-25?minutes
Serve with dip and wedges of lemon
Makes about 15-20 meatballs