Hyderabad baked herby chicken korma

Serves: 4

This is the second dish we have cooked from the wonderful I Love India cookbook and it really does take the otherwise dull Chicken Korma from zero to hero.

The curry is mild, though it’s aroma and creaminess, the fact it is baked… and the fact that you serve it with some thinly sliced baked potatoes make this so much fun.

Your guests will never see it coming.

Not least because you prep the whole thing the night before, pop it all into a baking dish and 45 minutes later, dinner is served.

Just make sure you brown the top and have plenty of rice to mop it all up.

Yum!

(I have varied the recipe slightly and the method reflects it: all in the name of making it slightly easier the night before.)

Ingredients

1 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, roughly chopped
6 large garlic cloves, roughly chi
1 cup Greek yoghurt
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 chicken thigh/breast (around 1.2kg), cut into large pieces
4 tbsp desiccated coconut
Vegetable oil
2 red onions, finely sliced
1 1/3 packed cup coriander leaves and stalks, more to serve
3/4 packed cup mint leaves
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp lemon juice
4 green chillis, chopped
4 tbsp light cream

Method

  1. In a blender, blend the ginger, garlic and yoghurt and 1 tsp of salt. Marinate the chicken in the yoghurt mixture for 1 hour. Meanwhile, pound the coconut in a mortar and pestle until it is powdery.
  2. Heat 4cm of oil in a small-ish saucepan over a medium heat, add the onions and fry until golden and crispy. Drain from the oil and set aside.
  3. Set aside a quarter of the onions as a garnish and place the rest in the same blender used to blend the yoghurt. Add 2tbsp of the onion cooking oil, the herb, coconut, garam masala, lemon juice and chilli. Blend until smooth. Pour over the chicken and mix well, leaving it overnight to marinate.
  4. Heat the oven to 180c and place the chicken and marinade in a large baking dish that can take the chicken in a single layer.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes ensuring that the top is golden; adjust your oven or grill to achieve this.
  6. Stir in the cream; adjust the seasoning and lemon juice to taste.
  7. Serve hot, sprinkled with the reserved onions and coriander, sliced baked potatoes and rice.

Energy Muffins

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Tasty, filling… energy.

Energy Muffins

Serves: 15 – 18

There are muffins and then there are these muffins: energy muffins.

I found them in Delicious Magazine.

They’re dense, they’re soft, they’re incredibly tasty. And they’re really filling. Have one at 10 and you won’t need lunch until 2.

Read the ingredient list and you’ll know where the energy comes from.

You should whip up a batch for the week.

Seriously good.

Ingredients

1 ¼ cups caster sugar
2 cups plain flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sultanas
2 cups grated carrot
1 cup, grated apple
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
Icing sugar, to dust

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c. Use paper cases to line the muffin pans or grease muffin pans.
  2. Sift sugar, flour, cinnamon and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the sultanas, carrot, apple, coconut and walnuts.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, oil and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and fold until just combined; do not overmix.
  4. Spoon into muffin pans and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve dusted with icing sugar.

Coconut chutney

Serves: A dinner of dosai, as a side

Dosais are not the least expensive things on your Southern Indian restaurant menu and even then, I doubt they make much money from them.

There are plenty of ingredients that go into the whole show, they take time and technique and importantly, a truly wonderful chutney like this lasts… 24 hours. Time and economies of scale are not on your side.

The silver lining of course is that a good dosai is to die for and this chutney is simply part of the story. It is amazing.

The extra touch that turns the dial from 11 to 12. The addition that completes the meal, taking you into fine Indian cooking territory. The secret weapon in your cook-off that nobody saw coming.

Sure, you have 24-hours to get from bench to plate, though in-between making your dosai batter, your filling and a wonderful side of lentils, you’re signed up to the task right?

And the fact is, you cannot lose any cook-off – or dinner – if you pull the whole thing off.

Tie maybe, but who the hell are you cooking against?!

Ingredients

Half a coconut, grated
2 fresh green chillis
½ bunch fresh coriander leaves
1 tbsp fresh ginger
Salt to taste

Tempering

10ml vegetable oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
¼ asafoetida powder
1 sprig fresh curry leaves

Method

  1. Grind the coconut, chillis, coriander leaves, ginger and salt in a blender, adding a little water if required.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves and temper the chutney by pouring the mixture on top.
  3. Serve as an accompaniment to dosai.

** Enhances colour and flavour and settles the stomach; unless you have it or feel inclined to get it, you can live without.

Rick Stein’s British Beef Raj Curry

Serves: 4 – 6

This is a really great, Colonial-style curry.

The sultanas and coconut speak to the simplicity and innocence of the British influence – and love – of Indian curry. Something that is so wrong that it is right.

This was one of our many Sunday night curries and it’s spicy, sweet, moorish and just so good.

It has to be done with white rice and a glass of vino – we had a Pinot – and done right, it is the best way to end the week and start the next.

Rick Stein remains one of our favourite curry heros and this is why.

Ingredients

25gm butter
750gm chuck steak, cut into 4cm pieces
2 medium onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp ground tumeric
1 ½ tbsp garam masala
1 ⅔ tsp salt
600ml beef stock
50gm desiccated coconut
100gm sultanas

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a large, sturdy pan over a medium heat. Add the steak, in batches, and fry for a few minutes until browned and then remove to a plate. Add the onions to the same pan and fry for 10 minutes, or until softened and golden-brown.
  2. Add the garlic and fry for one minute, then return the meat to the pan, along with any juices on the plate. Stir in the chilli powder, turmeric, one tablespoon of the garam masala, and the salt, and cook for one minute.
  3. Add the stock, followed by the coconut and sultanas. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over a low heat for 45 minutes to an hour or until the beef is tender. Stir in the remaining garam masala and serve.