Seafood is at its best in Goa and all along the coastal region of southern India. Beautiful fresh prawns, some of them weighing almost 500g each, are a common sight in this part of the country. I tasted tandoori prawn made from these prawns at a Christmas Eve dinner on a sun kissed Goan beach a few years ago. The following recipe is recreated based on the memories of this delightful dinner. They are wonderful when barbecued as was done in Goa.
Aloo tikka is very popular all over India. They are easy to make and wonderful finger food for both vegetarian and meat eaters alike. They can also be served as a first course with a few rocket leaves drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, firm ripe tomatoes and chutneys of your choice
Cumin Chicken Tikka
In India, a variety of chicken tikka is cooked all of which have their own distinctive appearance and taste. This version has the warm and assertive taste of cumin. Both Royal cumin and the standard variety are used here. It is known as ‘Shahi Zeera’, but if you cannot get it, just use the standard variety. The yogurt used to marinate the chicken needs to be relatively moisture-free. You can strain plain yogurt through a muslin cloth.
Egg and Potato Dum
This recipe originates in South India where a combination of fresh fruits is cooked in fresh coconut milk. In this version I have used coconut milk powder. Any combination of fruits can be used and it is delicious as a summer side dish or as a light and refreshing dessert. Fresh apricots give it a luscious look, but I have used dried, ready-to-eat apricots to save time.
These onion bhajiyas are quick and easy to make. They can be fried in advance and warmed up in the oven for 6-7 minutes and you do not even need to preheat the oven. Cumin and fennel seeds aid digestion and nigella seeds add an intense aroma. Sparkling water makes them crispy and very moreish.
This recipe is based on a traditional Tibetan recipe known as Momo. I have created this recipe using lean pork and omitted the covering made of plain flour, in order to make it suitable for those with a wheat allergy/intolerace. Small balls (koftas) are made with the minced pork and steamed. It has ravishing flavours.
Saffron Poached Pears
Plump, juicy pears, bathed in a pool of golden saffron syrup, spiced with cinnamon and star anise, make a dream dessert for any dinner party. Saffron evokes romance and rarity always elevates an ordinary dish to a gourmet status. There are many different variety of pears and they are in season from July to early Spring. Choose ripe, but firm pears with an unblemished skin.
The famous ‘Shrikand’ is Maharashtra’s signature dish. You will need a large quantity of yogurt as it has to be strained so that you remove all the water content. Traditionally it is served with ‘puri’ which is a deep-fried puffed bread but I like to serve fresh seasonal fruits.
Stir Fried Onion
PA quick and easy recipe from Kerala, the exotic spice land in southern India. Serve it as an accompaniment to any meat poultry or fish dish. Combined with a daa, it makes a nutritious vegetarian meal. Coconut is an everyday ingredient in this coastal region because it grows in abundance. If you do not like coconut, you could sprinkle about a tablespoon of ground almond instead.
Tandoori bread or Tandoori Roti is one of the basic breads baked in the tandoor. The original recipe is unleavened, and nothing other than plain water is used in the dough. In an ideal world it should be eaten as it comes off the oven. As my approach to recipe-writing is always more towards the practical side, I amended the recipe so that you can enjoy it hot or cold.
Tandoori Lamb Chop
Anything that is cooked in the tandoor (Indian clay oven) can also be cooked on the barbecue or under the grill. This is a quick and easy recipe once you have marinated the lamb chops. They can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours if necessary. They have to be marinated twice and this method results in deliciously tender and succulent chops.
Pineapple was first brought to India by foreign traders from South America. Today the fruit grows extensively in the foothills of the Himalayas and is used throughout the country. This recipe is from Kerala and is known as ‘kalan’. The natural tanginess of the pineapple provides the perfect background to create an enticing flavour.