This curry is a street snack favourite in India especially in Mumbai where they are eaten Eggs are an excellent source of high quality protein and provide vitamin D to keep bones and teeth strong. And to check whether eggs are fresh, place an egg in water, if it sinks it’s fresh, if it’s stale it will float.
This dish comes from Maharashtra in western India and is a recipe that works well in the winter because of its robust spice blend consisting of warming (garam) spices. This can be served with plain basmati rice or some plain naans. Image by Monir Ali. Kolhapuri Masala Ingredients: Serves 4 500g stewing lamb 2 tsp crushed garlic 1/4 tsp tamarind concentrate 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp turmeric 3 tbsp groundnut or sunflower oil 2 tbsp Kolhapuri masala (see below) 125ml coconut milk For the Kolhapuri Spice Blend: 4-6 dried red chillies 1 tbsp dry coconut or desiccated coconut 1 tsp coriander seeds 1 tsp cumin seeds a pinch of poppy seeds (optional) 1/4 tsp brown mustard seeds 1 tsp black peppercorns 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds 1 bay leaf (optional) 7-8 cloves 1/4 tsp fennel seeds 1/4 tsp chilli powder a pinch of nutmeg (optional) First, place the lamb (or your choice of meat) in a bowl, add half of the crushed garlic, tamarind concentrate, salt and turmeric, mix well and set aside to let the flavours infuse. Then for the Kolhapuri Masala spice blend, Heat a frying pan on a medium heat, add all the spices except for the nutmeg, Dry fry the spices for a couple of minutes, this will warm up the spices and allow them to release their full flavour. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, before placing them in a spice grinder or a pestle and mortar and blend to a medium to fine powder. Mix in the nutmeg, if using. With your spices ready, heat the pan with a little olive oil, sauté the remaining garlic until slightly brown, tip in the Kolhapuri masala and mix well. Add the marinated lamb, let the meat brown all over, stir in the coconut milk, then simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes.
Keralan cuisine has adopted colonial British stew recipes, adding spices to make them their own. In southern India, stew is made with coconut milk and Malabar Coast spices. Serves 4 4 green chillies, roughly chopped, plus 2 more, slit lengthways, to garnish 1/4 tsp turmeric 1/2 tsp ground coriander 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp peeled and finely grated root ginger 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped 1/4 tsp salt 4 tbsp groundnut or sunflower oil 5-6 curry leaves (optional) 2-4 cloves 2 onions, thinly sliced 1 kg chicken drumsticks and thighs, skinned and pricked 200ml coconut milk In a blender or with a pestle and mortar, blitz the chillies, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, garlic and salt with 1 tablespoon of the oil and 2 tablespoons of cold water to make a coarse paste. Heat the remaining oil in a heavy-based pan. Add the curry leaves, if using, cloves and onions and fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the paste and fry for a minute. Tip in the chicken pieces and fry for 10 minutes on a medium to low heat until the chicken is white on the outside. Rinse out the blender or mortar that contained the paste with 200ml cold water. Mix this with the coconut milk. Pour over the chicken and mix well. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Garnish with the slit green chillies and serve hot with lemon rice.
In rural Punjab in northern India, al fresco eating mainly occurs in self-service roadside joints called dhabas, frequently by truck drivers and travellers. They always serve dal makhani. which is cooked on a slow fire, often simmering for hours until the lentils turn creamy and are well flavoured with spices. The dal is sometimes rounded off with cream and lashings of butter. This dish is traditionally made with skinned split black lentils but I've made this dish with brown lentils for a lighter feel. Serves 8 225g brown lentils 50g butter, plus extra for garnish or 3 tbsp sunflower oil 2 bay leaves 2 onions, finely chopped 4-6 garlic cloves, chopped A generous pinch of asafoetida 2 green chillies, chopped 1 tbsp peeled and grated root ginger 2 tsp ground coriander 2 tsp ground cumin 1/4 tsp salt 1 x 400g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed 140ml double or single cream (optional) 1/2 tsp garam masala A few washed and chopped coriander leaves, for garnish Soak the lentils in water for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse them. Put them in a saucepan and boil the lentils in 800ml water for 15 minutes until almost tender. Meanwhile, heat another pan large enough to hold the lentils. Add the butter or oil and tip in the bay leaves and stir for a few seconds. Then add the onions and sauté for 5-7 minutes until translucent. Tip in the garlic and continue to sauté for 2 minutes more. Add the asafoetida and the chillies. Stir in the ginger and the ground coriander, cumin and salt. Cook on a low heat for a minute. Pour in 800ml of just boiled water and the lentils with any of the surplus water. Tip in the kidney beans and simmer for 20 minutes more until thickened. Stir in the cream, if using. Dot with a little butter. Sprinkle over the garam masala and garnish with the coriander leaves. Serve with Cumin Rice.
Serves 4 2 tbsp olive oil 2 chicken breasts, chopped 1 onion, chopped 2-4 garlic cloves, crushed or 2 tsp garlic puree 1.5 tbsp Cajun seasoning 2 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp smoked paprika 250g long grain rice, such as basmati 450g can plum tomatoes 500ml chicken stock 1 red pepper, thinly sliced Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan with a lid and sauté the chicken breasts for 8-10 minutes until golden. Remove and set aside. Tip in the onion and cook for 4-6 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, Cajun seasoning, ground cumin and smoked paprika and cook for 5 minutes more. Stir the chicken back in with the rice, add the tomatoes and the chicken stock. Mix in the pepper. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the rice is tender.
Although edible olives are not indigenous to the Indian sub-continent, they are increasingly becoming popular in restaurants and shops in major cities of India. Serves 2-3 300g cauliflower florets, cut into 4cm pieces 5 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 green chillies, finely chopped 2-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tsp turmeric ½ tsp ground cumin ½ tsp ground coriander ¼ tsp salt ¼ tsp garam masala 2 tomatoes, blended 1 tsp peeled and finely grated root ginger 10-12 black pitted olives Wash the cauliflower well in salted cold water. Heat the oil in a frying pan and lightly saute the cauliflower florets for 5-6 minutes until they are slightly browned. Remove from the pan and then add the onion, chillies and garlic, and fry for 7 minutes or until the onion is deep yellow and translucent. Add the cauliflower and fry for a further 3 minutes until light brown. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt, and garam masala, stir and fry gently for 5 minutes. Tip in the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Add 5 tbsp cold water, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger and the olives. Serve hot.