All posts by Pachakam

Tandoori King Prawns

We always buy frozen uncooked prawns still in their shells for this mouth-watering starter. Ready cooked prawns are not suitable.
Preparation and cooking time: 15 minutes.
Serves four.Tandoori King Prawns

Remove shells and beards from the prawns, wash and drain.
In a bowl, mix together the prawns and the marinade making sure that the prawns are well coated.
There is no need to marinate these for long and in fact they should not be left for longer than a few minutes.
Preheat your oven to the maximum temperate.
Remove prawns from the marinade shaking off excess, and place on a rack in a shallow baking tray.Tandoori King Prawns1
Bake near the top of the oven for 7-8 minutes.
Serve, sizzling on a sizzler dish if liked, with green salad, lemon slices, and yoghurt mint sauce
Note. Instead of baking, the prawns may be grilled under a very hot grill for about five minutes, turning once.
Allow appropriately increased quantities if you wish to serve tandoori prawns as a main course dish.

 

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Kulfi

Kulfi is sometimes known as Indian ice cream. I have tried many varieties of kulfi throughout the country; this recipe produces by far the best I have ever eaten. It serves eight.
Preparation and cooking time: 1hr 30 minutes approx.

Kulfi

  • 4 pints (2¼ litres) whole milk
  • 12 green cardamoms
  • 10 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flaked almonds
  • ½ pint (275ml) single cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped unsalted pistachios

Bring the milk to the boil in a heavy pot. Turn down the heat so as to allow the milk to simmer vigorously without boiling over.
The milk must reduce considerably, to about one third of its original amount. Stir frequently as the milk simmers, incorporating the skin which forms on the top, and scrape and stir the milk that dries and sticks to the sides of the pot.
While the milk is simmering, take the seeds out of the cardamom pods and grind finely. Stir them into the milk.
When the milk has reduced sufficiently, stir in the sugar and the almonds. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the sugar dissolves completely.Kulfi1
Take the milk off the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Stir in the cream and half the pistachios.
Put it into a square or rectangular vessel that will allow the mixture to sit 2-3 inches (5-7.5cm) deep. Cool completely. Cover and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle over the remaining pistachios and return to the freezer until set. Remove the kulfi from the freezer 15 minutes before serving and cut into ½ inch (1cm) cubes.

 

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Gulab Jamons

These are very light, soft, sponge-like sweets soaked in a light, flavoured syrup. They are easy to make and a delicious conclusion to a spicy meal. Serve warm or cold.
Allow three to four per person and sprinkle with a little brandy for a really special sweet.Gulab Jamons
Makes 16.
Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes approx.
For syrup:

  • 8 oz (225g) granulated sugar
  • 6 green cardamoms
  • 4 cups water

For Jamons:

  • 6 tablespoons full fat milk powder
  • 2 tablespoons self-raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • A little cold milk to bind
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Gulab Jamons2

Put the sugar, cardamoms, and water into a pot and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer the syrup for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile sift the milk powder and flour into a bowl. Add the melted butter and rub into mixture with fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the milk a little at a time, drawing in the mixture to form a soft dough.
Put the oil on to heat and divide the dough into 16 parts. Roll each one out in the palms of your hands into a little ball.
The syrup should be ready by now. Take it off the heat so that it may cool slightly before having the jamons out into it.

Test the oil by putting in one ball of dough. The oil must only just be hot enough to make the dough rise to the surface after a few seconds and to fry it very gently. Adjust as necessary.
When the oil is at the right heat, put in as many balls of dough as your pan or karahi will easily take.
Move the pan about carefully to keep the jamons moving until they rise to the surface of the oil.
When they are at the surface keep moving them about with a slotted spoon to ensure that they cook evenly.
The jamons will almost double in size as they are cooking and will turn a deep, golden brown colour. This should take about 4-5 minutes.

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Drain on kitchen paper, allowing to cool for five minutes and drop them into the syrup.
The jamons will be very soft and easily broken until they have cooled, when the texture will become firmer.
Serve with a few tablespoons of the syrup for each person.

 

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Yoghurt Flavoured with Garlic and Cummin

The combination of garlic and cummin flavours is quite unusual in a yoghurt dish, but the wonderful taste of this preparation only serves to illustrate the wide variety of ingredients that can be successfully added to yoghurt.
Serves four.Yoghurt Flavoured with Garlic
Preparation time: 4-5 minutes.

  • 1 pint (570ml) plain yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • ½-1 green chilli finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon whole cummin
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
  • Pinch turmeric

Put the yoghurt and salt into a bowl and beat with a fork until smooth and creamy.
Crush the garlic using a garlic press or chop very finely.
Add yoghurt together with the remaining ingredients and mix.
Serve immediately or keep in the refrigerator until required.

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Cucumber Raita

This is a delicious, cooling yoghurt dish excellent served with spicy curries together with rice and/or Indian breads.
Serves four.
Preparation time: 5 minutes.Cucumber Raita

  • 1 pt (570ml) plain yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 inch (10cm) piece of cucumber
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Put the yoghurt and salt into a bowl and beat with a fork until smooth.
Thinly slice the cucumber, place slices on top of each other and cut into strips. Now cut the strips into dice. Scatter over yoghurt.
Cover and refrigerate until required. Sprinkle on the garam masala and black pepper just before serving.cucumber-raita9
NB. Allow the yoghurt to reach room temperature before serving.

 

 

 

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Chicken Biryani

Chicken BiryaniServes four.
Preparation and cooking time: 10 minutes approx.

  • 1 lb (450g) cooked chicken
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon cashew nuts finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sultanas
  • 4 cups pillau rice
  • 4 cups curry sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Divide each chicken piece into two smaller pieces and set them aside.
Heat the oil in a pan. When hot, put the nuts into it and stir around until they turn light golden in colour. Remove with a slotted spoon and spread them out on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
Drop the sultanas into the same hot oil. They will plump up in a second or two. Remove immediately and put them on the same plate as the nuts.
Now put the chicken pieces into the pan and stir. Turn down the heat to very low.
Warm the rice for about two minutes in a microwave oven. Add to the chicken.
Stir very gently to avoid breaking the grains. Heat for two or three minutes tossing the rice and chicken rather than stirring.
Put the rice and chicken in a serving dish and keep warm.
Pour the curry sauce into a clean pan and bring to a simmer. Stir in the garam masala, chilli powder, and salt.
Pour the sauce into serving dishes, sprinkle the biryani with the nuts and sultanas and serve.

 

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Fried Rice

This is a tasty variation of a simple rice dish. Use half of the boiled rice from page 101 to create two different rice dishes in moments.
Serves two.
Preparation and cooking time: 5-10 minutes.Fried Rice

  • 2 tablespoon vegetable ghee
  • ½ small onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup basmati rice

Heat the ghee in a pan and fry the onion until just beginning to brown.
Warm the rice and add to the pan. Toss around in the pan for a minute or two. Serve immediately.

 

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Chicken Dhansak

This variation combines chicken with lentil dal. It requires less curry sauce because of this and is a tasty dish for those who like the flavour of lentils. This is a hot, sour dish to which you could also add pineapple chunks if you want.
Serves 3-4.
Preparation and cooking time: 15-20 minutes.

Chicken Dhansak

  • 6 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ pint (275ml or two cups) curry sauce 
  • 2 cups lentil dal
  • 1 lb chicken cooked
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • 1½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cummin
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped green coriander

Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan, add the curry sauce and lentils and bring to the boil.
Without turning down the heat, put in the chicken, salt, chilli powder, and green chilli.
Stir well and continue to cook on a high heat for about five minutes, or until sauce thickens, stirring regularly.
Now turn down the heat to a simmer for a further fire minutes. Stir occasionally.
Skim off any excess oil and stir in the garam masala, ground cummin, and lemon juice.
Serve sprinkled with the green coriander.

 

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