A Trio of Indian Style Spiced Dishes

I haven’t posted here for more than a year.  The truth is I haven’t really cooked much over this last year.  As many of  you, who follow this blog, will know my dear husband Adrian died last March. He was the reason I cooked. He loved to eat and he loved especially to eat my cooking. I cook for people, I don’t really like cooking for myself.  Not an uncommon problem, maybe some of you  feel the same way too, especially right now?

Anyhow, here we are  nearly a year later, and in this troubled world of Covi19 I find myself once again cooking for people; a fridge full of food and as usual no pre-planned recipes. Frankly I’m in my element, rummaging around in the fridge, being inspired and enjoying feeling useful again.  A few pictures of  my newfound cooking habit have found their way to our various family WhatsApp groups . The general consensus is – please share your recipes. So here you are dear family and friends, in  the coming weeks and months, this blog will post recipes that get the thumbs up from my tasting team at home.  Please enjoy and comment and post your own ideas too.

I am conscious that some of you may, because of Covd19,  be isolating at home and cooking only yourself right now.   Many of my recipes are for families but that doesn’t mean the quantities cant be halved or  that you cant cook the full quantity and freeze the rest for a simple re-heat later on.  I will give tips, cooking to certain points for freezing at the end of the recipes.  If I forget – please do ask by leaving me messages in the contact me area.

Keep safe and Keep well.

Three Recipes to get you going:

Bengali style salmon curry

Paneer and white cabbage stir-fry, Bengali-style Salmon Curry, Pilaf Rice

This trio of recipes was inspired by a large container of  souring milk (no, not stockpiled! it had a hot journey in the car from London to get here when the youngsters decided that a room each to work in was preferable to one small shared space in London).   Paneer is a great way to use up leftover and ‘turning’ milk. It is nutritious and versatile. In-fact for vegetarians it could be used instead of the salmon in the fish curry recipe.  The cabbage stir fry could, also, be a stand-alone, quick and simple meal-in-itself too. One I shall be adding to my alone meals repertoire once the world has resumed some normality and folk drift back to their previous lives.

Paneer

2.3 litres milk – fresh or ‘turning’

60ml lemon juice (strained)

Method

Put the milk into a heavy based pan and place over a moderately high heat. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and allow the bubbles to subside.

If your milk is ‘turned’ it is likely that it will already have begun to split before boiling point is reached. Bring the whey to the boil and then remove the pan from the heat and continue as below.

Stirring, one way only) pour in the lemon juice. Stir in the same direction until the milk begins to separate into curds and whey. Remove from the heat and pour into the muslin lined colander or sieve. Discard the whey.

Cool the curds and then pack tightly into a small freezer box with a lid. Refrigerate for an hour before using.

The Paneer will keep for about a week I the fridge.

Cabbage stir-fry with Paneer

Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil

1 tablespoon black mustard seeds

2 cloves garlic, pasted or grated

2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

¼ teaspoon chilli flakes

1 green bell pepper, deseeded, quartered and thinly sliced

1 small/medium tomato, roughly chopped

1/3 of a white cabbage, thinly sliced

Water

1 x 2.3litre quantity paneer

Salt and lemon juice to season

Method

Prepare all of the ingredients ahead of cooking time .

Add the oil to a wok or a large heavy based frying pan place over a high heat. Add the black mustard seeds and cook, stirring until they begin to dance in the pan. slightly reduce the heat and add the garlic paste and the grated ginger, cook, stirring until fragrant then stir in the turmeric and chilli.

Add the sliced green pepper and the tomatoes and stir until the pepper is tender. At this stage you can remove the wok from the heat and leave for cooking later. If you do – simply bring the contents of the wok back up to temperature before continuing.

Add the sliced cabbage mixing well to coat with the spices. Add 100ml of water and cook, stirring until the cabbage is slightly soft – about 4 minutes. You can add additional water if needed to prevent burning but take care not to add too much or you might inadvertently overcook the cabbage trying to evaporate the excess water.

Crumble in the Paneer in large chunks and stir well. Once it is hot through Season with salt or lemon juice. And serve.

Bengali-style Salmon Curry

Serves 4

4 thin fillets of salmon

2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

1 red onion, skinned, halved and thinly sliced lengthways

2 large cloves garlic, crushed or grated

2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 tablespoon roasted Bengali spice mix, Bart , – or prepare your own from recipe from  https://www.thekitchn.com/panch-phoron-bengali-five-spice-189659

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

1 black cardamom pod

250ml plain yoghurt

2 tablespoons tomato puree

150ml warm water

1-2 tablespoon double cream (optional)

Salt to season

A few sprigs of fresh dill, chopped .

Method

Remove and discard the skin from the salmon fillets. Cut them into large chunks and set aside.

Prepare and measure out all of the ingredients and spices.

Put the oil into a heavy skillet, or high-sided sauté pan, set over a moderate heat. When hot add the sliced red onion and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and fragrant.

Stir in the garlic and ginger cooking for 30 seconds . Add the remaining spices, blend well and cook for a further 30 seconds until aromatic. Reduce the heat slightly and pour in the yoghurt, mixing well, and then stir in the tomato puree and about a half of the water.

Bring the sauce slowly to a simmer. If the yogurt looks as if it might ‘curdle’ add the double cream.

Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. When it is thick and creamy add the diced salmon, coating it well with the fragrant sauce. Simmer for about 8 minutes to cook the fish pieces through. Do not boil or the fish will overcook and fall to pieces.

Season with salt, sprinkle over the chopped dill and serve.

 

Pilaf Rice

Serves 4

1 tbsp oil

1 small onion (peeled halved and sliced thinly)

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

7 cloves

2 cardamom pods

250ml Basmati, or other good long grain rice

1 small Cinnamon stick

500ml water (boiling)

Method

Heat the oil in a small casserole or lidded heavy based pan. Add the onions and sauté for 1-2 minutes until translucent but not coloured. Add the spices cooking and stirring for 1-2 minutes until fragrant

Stir in the rice ensuring that all the grains get evenly coated with oil and spices.

Add the boiling water. Mix well, cover the pan and simmer the rice for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the it is tender and the water absorbed.

Remove the pan from the heat, remove the lid and cover the top of the pan with a clean tea towel. The rice will sit quite happily in a warm place now until ready to serve – the tea towel prevents the grains from sticking together.

Tips for one:

The Paneer will last in the fridge for at least a week.

The Cabbage stir fry can be made in half quantities. it also reheats very well.

The rice will re heat once or freeze with some of the stir-fry and reheat well for a meal later.

The curry sauce will freeze in batches. defrost, reheat and add the fish as per the recipe.

Other recipes you might enjoy:

Beetroot Curry served with Coconut Lime Chutney

Chicken and Salmon Tikka served with crouton salad and green mayo

Happy Cooking

8 Comments

  1. Thanks Belinda
    When things return to what passes for normal, my wife goes back to her 8-6, and i get to do some of our cooking, I look forward to trying all three of these recipes.
    Keep your head down and stay safe.
    chuck from Virginia USA

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jacqueline Beveridge says:

    Been thinking of you B. Delighted to hear that you are back creating and inspiring us with deliciously healing healthy and wonderful food. Never needed so much as at this time. Take care Jackie xxxx

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  3. Claire Knott says:

    Hi B. They all sound delicious. You are an amazing cook and it is so lovely of you to share your wonderful recipes. Definitely going to give some of them a go. I learned so much from my time working for you at your amazing cookery school – I have a lot to thank you for. Sending you and your family so much love. Keep safe. Claire xx❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John Duckett says:

    I am still reminded of your lessons when I turn my knife over to scrape off a chopping board! If you still have any Stirring Stuff canvas carrier bags I would love a couple. With best wishes, John Duckett.

    Sent from my iPad

    Like

    • Belinda says:

      Oh dear- was I very bossy! I hope your home knives are good and sharp as a consequence. I do have a very few bags left. If you send me an email belinda@stirringstuff.co.uk with your address I can try to get some delivered , although can’t guarantee when in these tricky times. I hope you are keeping well. Best wishes. Belinda

      Like

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