Eggs Kejriwal

Eggs Kejriwal

Eggs Kejriwal is a simple and delicious Indian spicy cheese on toast with eggs. What’s not to like. Great for finally making up some of that little yellow carton of English Mustard you’ve got lurking in the cupboard.

It’s a little bit Raj. Served in the clubs of Mumbai. Good for a weekend brunch.
Quantities for one. You know what to do if you need more…

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of decent bread (I use our homemade crusty loaf) cut about 1-1.5cm thick
  • Colman’s mustard, enough to spread a thin layer on your toasted bread (make up the mustard from the powder per the instructions, best if done 10 minutes in advance to let the flavour develop.)
  • Chillies, thinly sliced. Your preferred type. As many as you like. Hot is good but remember the mustard is fiery too.
  • 1 Spring onion, thinly sliced, leave this out if you like it simpler
  • 100g mature cheddar
  • 25g butter
  • 1 fresh egg
  • Pepper and coriander for garnish

Method

  1. Make up your mustard
  2. Warm a plate, preheat the grill, and melt the butter gently in a small frying pan
  3. Grate the cheese into a bowl and mix with the chillies and spring onion
  4. Toast the bread lightly on both sides
  5. Spread a thin layer of mustard over your toast
  6. Top the that with the cheese and put under the grill till bubbling
  7. Meanwhile, crack the egg into the frying pan. Aim for a crisp-edged white and golden soft yolk
  8. Place the cooked egg on top of the toast, sprinkling it with coriander and grated pepper.
Serve the Eggs Kejriwal on your warmed plate.

Chicken Korma

The basis of this tasty Chicken Korma is Felicity Cloake’s recipe. It is rich, indulgent and fragrant. The korma has no chilli, and no turmeric, so it can be a good option for the people who can’t take the heat of Indian food.
The sauce is a based on a combination of yoghurt, double cream and blended cashew nuts. The sultanas are a bit of a throwback to 70’s curries of my childhood. If you hate them, leave them out.
The rose water and addition of crushed black cardamom seeds at the end really lift the fragrance of the dish. Rose water strength varies a lot so you must taste and adjust the quantities to your preference and taking into account the strength of your rose water.
I serve the korma with plain basmati rice. Plain rice is a good contrast to the fragrant dish.
If when cooking the sauce it gets too thick/dry or gets too hot, just add a splash of water to keep the consistency right and avoid burning.
I’d say this quantity would do two people.

Ingredients

  • 250ml plain, full-fat yoghurt, not the “Greek Style”, it’s too creamy
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, or a couple of chicken breasts
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • 50g cashew nuts
  • 70g of butter, clarified
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (5cm long)
  • 10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp ginger, finely grated
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 25g sultanas
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Seeds of 1 black cardamom pod, crushed in a mortar and pestle

Method

  1. Cut up the chicken to medium pieces and put it in the yoghurt to marinade for a few hours in the fridge.
  2. Put the cashew nuts in a jug and add 75ml of warm water to soak
  3. Warm the cream gently, but don’t boil
  4. When warm add the saffron threads (which I break lightly) and the rosewater and leave to the side to infuse the flavours
  5. Using a medium pot heat the oil add the cinnamon sticks and green cardamoms and fry for a minute or so
  6. Pick the chicken pieces out of the marinade and fry gently for a couple of minutes until they slightly brown. You don’t need to fully cook the chicken at this stage as you will finish it in the sauce. Keep the yoghurt marinade.
  7. Take the chicken out to a side plate while you prepare the sauce.
  8. Add the onion and fry off gently for 10 minutes or so till it is soft
  9. While the onions cook, blend the cashew nuts and water to a paste in a blender, or mortar and pestle. I usually use my stick blender in a jug and it works fine.
  10. Add the garlic, ginger, sultanas and nutmeg to the onions and cook off for a minute or so
  11. Now add the cashew paste, the remaining yoghurt marinade, salt and sugar.
  12. Add the chicken back to the pot and bring to the gentlest simmer. Simmer for as long as you need to cook the chicken, probably 10-15 minutes. Don’t cook too long or the chicken will dry out.
  13. When ready add the infused cream and gently reheat to simmering point.
  14. Taste for seasoning. If necessary add salt, and if it’s needed add a teaspoon of rosewater for extra fragrance.
  15. Stir in the crushed black cardamom seeds and serve the korma with plain rice.

Pilau Rice

Not sure how “authentic” this Pilau Rice is but it works pretty well. Based on a BBC recipe.
If you own a microwave this is great to do a couple of hours in advance and microwave to reheat.
The pilau rice really is best if it sits warm for 20-30 minutes after initial cooking to allow the flavours to mingle and the grains to be fully rehydrated.

Ingredients

  • 450g basmati rice (please don’t use “easy cook” rice)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • large knob butter, plus extra to serve
  • 4 cardamom pods, cracked to allow the flavour of the seeds to escape
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • decent pinch saffron threads
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 600ml vegetable stock or water (I’ve used water and it is fine)
  • salt

Method

  1. To make sure you get lovely fluffy rice, wash it in several changes of cold water, then leave to soak for about 30 minutes in fresh cold water. If you don’t have time for this, place in a sieve and wash under the cold tap for a few minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the onion in the butter for around 10-15 minutes until nicely softened but not browned. Add the spices, saffron and bay leaves and cook for a minute or so. The spices will give a fragrant flavour to the rice.
  3. Add the rice and stir until the grains are well coated in the butter before stirring in the stock or water and salt. Bring to the boil and then cover with a tight-fitting lid at the gentlest simmer you can manage.  Keep the heat down low and leave to cook for 10 minutes before turning off the heat. Don’t remove the lid; just leave the rice to continue cooking in the pan for about 5 minutes until you’re ready to serve. Or sit it to the side with the lid on until you are ready to reheat. (Reheating is most easily done in a microwave. I use a ceramic serving bowl and reheat in that dish, which I then use for serving.)
  4. The rice should have absorbed all the water and will just need fluffing up with a fork. Add a knob of cold butter before serving.

Indian Egg Roast

This Egg Roast isn’t really a roast at all. The eggs are actually boiled and served in a delicious tomato based curry sauce.

Simple and delicious, and also vegetarian. Boil the eggs as “hard-boiled” as you prefer. 10 minutes gives them fully hard, and 8 minutes with some orange softness to the yolk.
Egg Roast is also a good make-ahead recipe. The eggs just need to be reheated in the prepared sauce just before serving.
Based on a Rick Stein recipe from his excellent book on India.

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or veg oil if you don’t have
  • 10-12 fresh curry leaves (I keep a plant in the kitchen)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 250g white onions, sliced
  • 2 dried Kashmiri chillies, broken into pieces, seeds included
  • A thumb of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped finely
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri mirch (adjust this up or down depending on how fiery you enjoy your curry)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 400g passata (with no added salt/garlic/herbs)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Coriander for garnish

Method

  1. Gently add the eggs to a pan of boiling water and let them cook for about 10 minutes, on the gentlest simmer
  2. When the eggs are ready sit the pot under a running cold tap to cool the eggs and stop them cooking further.
  3. Heat the oil in a suitable pan. When it’s medium hot add the curry leaves and fennel seeds for about 30 seconds toast them.
  4. Quickly add the onions and cook them for about 10 minutes until they are soft and golden.
  5. Add the dried chillies, ginger and garlic and fry them for 3 minutes
  6. Now add the dried spices and fry them, stirring to avoid catching, for about 30 seconds to incorporate
  7. Add the passata and salt and simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. When you are close to serving, add the eggs to the sauce and simmer gently to allow them to heat up again, this will probably take about 5 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve.
Serve the egg roast with rice or a simple bread like chapati.

Aloo Gobi – A Lovely Vegetarian Dish

This Aloo Gobi is based on a Felicity Cloake recipe. It’s fabulous.
You can get harder to find ingredients here Spices of India. This is where I buy less common spices and I bought my Methi and Nigella Seeds.
Generally, I make it with tinned tomatoes though fresh ones might be nice if you can get good ones in summer. Because of the tomatoes, it is slightly acidic. Felicity Cloake suggests adding the juice of half a lime at the end and I omitted as I felt it wasn’t needed. Your mileage may vary.
Cooking the potatoes well before adding the cauliflower is an important point, as the potatoes take a good bit longer to cook. Otherwise, the cauliflower florets can really break up before the potato cooks.
With a decently sized cauliflower, I had a good bit more cauliflower than potatoes, but this was no bad thing. That made me add some more tomatoes and some extra methi etc to balance it out the sauce. I think the quantities flex pretty freely without destroying the recipe. So, if you like it more “saucy” then increase the tomatoes, onion and spices a bit.
I like it quite “hot” and used red Kashmiri mirch chilli, it’s very good. Serving with some nice yoghurt can cool it down and the yoghurt works well with it anyway.
The methi is essential to the Aloo Gobi, the recipe usually suggests adding it at the end. Despite this I do think the curry benefits from being allowed to cool and rest in the fridge overnight after adding the methi; it really seems to develop the flavour.
The Aloo Gobi is delicious served on its own with some bread – your choice – naan, chapati, etc. Or, it is a great side dish for a wider Indian meal.
Though it’s not traditional I liked some frozen peas added for 5-10 minutes at the reheating stage.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp nigella seeds (though these look like Onion Seeds, they ain’t – they are different.)
  • 350g waxy potatoes, cut into 2cm dice (remember the larger the potato pieces the slower they are to cook. I think the smaller ones are better too.)
  • 1 cauliflower, cut into florets slightly larger than the potato
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, or 5 chopped medium fresh tomatoes and 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds, toasted in a dry pan and ground
  • ½-1 tsp chilli powder (I used 1 tsp of Kashmiri mirch, a hot powder, which also gives a reddish colour)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2-4 small green chillies, slit along their length (I left the seeds in)
  • 1 tsp salt (the potatoes, cauliflower and tomato can all stand salt so taste at the end as you may need more.)
  • 1 tbsp methi (dried fenugreek leaves – these are an essential flavour component in my opinion.)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped, for serving
  • Yoghurt for serving if preferred

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a wide, lidded pan over a medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the cumin and nigella seeds and cook for a few seconds until they pop, then add the potatoes and sauté until golden. Scoop out the potatoes with a slotted spoon and then repeat with the cauliflower, then scoop this too out into a separate bowl.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium-low, add a little more oil if necessary, and add the onion. Cook until soft and golden but not brown, then stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for a couple of minutes. Tip in the tomatoes, ground coriander, chilli and turmeric and cook, stirring regularly, until the oil begins to pool around the side of the pan.
  3. Add the potatoes back in along with the fresh chillies and salt, bring to a simmer, turn down the heat, cover and cook for as long as it takes to cook the potatoes.
  4. Add the cauliflower only once the potatoes are cooked, and add a good splash of water, cover and cook until both are tender, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick and adding more water if necessary. Don’t overcook the cauliflower or it will disintegrate. If you think you will be re-heating then just leave it slightly al dente.
  5. Take off the heat, stir in the methi and garam masala and leave for 10 minutes
  6. Either serve the Aloo Gobi right away with coriander and yoghurt, or cool and fridge overnight, or freeze, all work well. (I really think leaving at least overnight helps massively. The methi seems to work its magic if left for a while.)

Chicken Vindail – Tomato Based Indian Curry

Last night I made Chicken Vindail for dinner. It is really tasty, a bit different, and quick to make. This Chicken Vindail is based on a Rick Stein recipe,  I can highly recommend his book on Indian food.

Pasta bowl with Chicken Vindail and plain basmati rice
Chicken Vindail with Plain Basmati Rice

Make this with chicken breasts, or a jointed chicken, or some skin on thighs and drummers according to your preference. I quite often have some chicken breast in the freezer in single portions to be used to make dishes as required. The cooking time for the chicken needs to be reduced or extended depending on the type and size of chicken pieces you use (cut up breasts will cook much quicker, but have a bit of a flavour disadvantage.)

Even if making this for myself where I reduce the quantities a bit I find I can put in a similar amount of spice and the full amount of vinegar and sugar, even if I’m using only 300g tomatoes and 1 chicken breast. Kashmiri Mirch is pretty ferocious so I’ve reduced the quantity to 1 tsp. If you like it hot, or your chilli powder is not as strong, then you may want some more.
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2cm cinnamon stick
  • 1 clove
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 10 cloves of garlic, crushed. Use common sense here. If they are huge fat cloves then reduce by a few.
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri mirch, chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground fenugreek
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 500g chopped tomatoes (no need to peel)
  • 1kg chicken thighs and drummers (or 2-3 chicken breasts chopped into big chunks. Don’t cut them too small or they just dry out. Reduce the time they are in the cooking sauce. I find 15 minutes simmering long enough.)
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar (you could get a bit fancy and use jaggery but it really won’t make any difference)
Method
  1. Temper the cinnamon, clove and star anise by frying in the hot oil for 60 seconds
  2. Add the chopped onions and cook on a medium heat till they soften and go a bit golden, should take about 15 minutes
  3. Add the crushed garlic, cumin, chilli, fenugreek, turmeric, and salt. Cook these off for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, cooking them for 5 minutes till they begin to soften down.
  5. Add the chicken pieces, stirring them in to coat with the sauce, if using breast meat then hold them back for a later addition.
  6. Cover the pot and simmer for 30-40 minutes. (Simmer the sauce until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has a nice consistency.) Watch for it drying and catching, add a little water from the kettle if needed. If using breast you will get away with leaving it out until last 15 minutes. If using larger chicken pieces take care to cook long enough to fully cook through. A temperature probe can be useful for checking if larger pieces of meat are cooked.
  7. Stir in the vinegar and sugar to finish, simmering gently for 5 minutes uncovered.
Lovely with plain basmati rice or some Indian breads.

Kheema with Peas (Minced Lamb Curry with Peas)

Kheema with peas in the cooking pot
Kheema with peas

Kheema is a minced lamb curry with peas. You can either buy minced lamb or buy some lamb and mince it yourself. Probably best made with minced leg of lamb, but if I’m in a hurry I just buy some minced lamb from the supermarket. It does need some fat content though or it will be “dry” and a bit flavourless.

Like all of these dishes it works best the day after, or if frozen and defrosted later. You can keep half the methi to add at the reheating stage, or even add a bit more.
It’s also really quick to make. Chop the onions first and start them softening while you look out and prep everything else.
Methi really is an essential ingredient. You can buy it mail order here: Spices of India
Green Chutney works really well with this, and I always serve with it, and some natural yoghurt.
(At any stage if the spices or mix start to dry and catch add a splash of water to recover it and avoid burning)

Ingredients

  • 500g minced leg of lamb
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 green cardamom pods, lightly cracked
  • 1 large onion quite finely chopped
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 4cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½-1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (mirch), to taste
  • 200ml water, add a little more if too “thick”
  • 100g frozen peas (vary quantity as you like)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (methi)

Last minute additions

  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 chopped green chilli
  • Juice of half a lemon (optional)
  • Natural yoghurt (optional)

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a deep pan over medium heat and add the green cardamom pods for about 10 seconds.
  2. Add the onions, frying until softened and brown in colour. This will take up to 20 minutes
  3. Add the garlic and the ginger cooking for 1-2 minutes stirring frequently so they don’t catch and burn.
  4. Stir in the tomato puree and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. You now need to cook the minced lamb. You’ve got two choices. Either fry it off with the rest of the spices (in which case you might need to turn the heat up a bit, but it’s hard to brown without burning the other ingredients, so I avoid this). Or, as I prefer to do, cook it in a separate hot non-stick pan (that way you can really brown it without scorching the other ingredients, also you can choose how much of the fat you add as some is needed to help the flavour.)
  6. Add the turmeric powder and chilli powder. Cook and stir well for 3-4 minutes until the mince is even coloured all the way through.
  7. Add the methi leaves, and the water, and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and simmer on a gentle heat for 20 minutes.
  8. Lastly, adjust the seasoning and add the garam masala, coriander and chilli just before serving.
  9. Serve warm with some lemon juice and Indian bread (naan, chapati or parathas) and green chutney. A dollop of natural yoghurt doesn’t go amiss (an especially nice contrast if you like the Kheema quite hot.). I usually omit the lemon juice if I’m using my favourite Green Onion Chutney.

Green Onion Chutney – The Ultimate Indian Side Dish

A very good Green Onion Chutney. It has a zingy flavour with a mixture of sweet and sour from the lime and sugar, and fresh herbs from the coriander and mint, the chillies add the final kick. Best eaten fresh. I’d say within an hour or two. But may keep for a few hours longer in the fridge. It is great as part of a small set of raitas, pickles, salads, and chutneys when serving Indian nibbles like pakora.
It’s particularly easy to make. I have a small food processor and find it essential for this. Just put everything in the processor and blitz, I use the Pulse feature. If you have the patience then you could chop it all finely by hand, but for me, life’s too short.
 
This chutney works with almost any curry, pakora, poppadoms etc. It’s particularly nice with Kheema.
Ingredients
  • Large handful mint leaves
  • Large handful coriander leaves
  • 2 fresh green chillies roughly chopped (I leave the seeds in)
  • 1 small (about 75g) onion roughly chopped
  • 1½ tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
Method
  1. Tip it all into a food processor and blitz on pulse; you might need to scrape it off the sides a couple of times. Doesn’t want to be too smooth in my opinion. Some texture is required otherwise you will just make a paste.

Chicken Passanda – A Subtle Delicate Curry

A very passable Passanda. Based on a Rick Stein recipe from his highly recommended India book. Can be made with skinless thighs, which need to be cooked a bit longer. I think the toasted almonds essential. I don’t reduce the sauce too much as I like it.

I’ve also added some mushroom. Not sure it’s very “authentic” for a Passanda, but it is a tasty addition, in my view. Actually, half a teaspoon of sugar to give an unnoticed sweetness also works.
Ingredients
  • 3tbsp ghee (I usually just use butter)
  • 5cm piece of cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamom pods lightly pressed till they crack
  • 1 small to medium onion finely chopped
  • 3cm fresh ginger peeled and grated
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 100-200g mushrooms, sliced or chopped to a reasonable size, as you prefer.
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (mirch)
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, cut in half or chopped to your preferred size for quicker cooking
  • 200g Greek-style yoghurt
  • 2tbsp ground almonds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar (optional)
  • 100ml water
Chicken Passanda with Toasted Almond Flakes and Coriander
Chicken Passanda

For garnish

  • Handful of flaked almonds, toasted in a dry frying pan, you can do this in advance
  • Generous handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves
Method
  1. Heat the ghee or butter in a suitable saute pan
  2. Fry the cinnamon and cardamom for 30 seconds
  3. Add the onion and cook for 10-20 minutes or so, till it goes soft and golden
  4. Add the ginger and garlic for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring to avoid it catching
  5. Add the mushroom and cook till it’s soft and the liquid that comes off is almost completely reduced
  6. Add the spices and stir in for a minute or so.
  7. Add the chicken and stir
  8. Add the yoghurt, ground almonds, salt and water
  9. Simmer till the chicken is cooked and the sauce looks ready, shouldn’t take more than about 8-10 minutes
Serve with some basmati rice or breads and sprinkle toasted almonds and coriander for a tasty garnish and texture.

Pakora – The Best Indian Streetfood

This Pakora is lovely, and can easily be made in advance and reheated. Made by deep frying. If you are reheating then this can be done by heating in a hot oven, or refrying to crisp and heat up. The Pakora freeze well too, and like all of these things, I think this helps the flavour.
Ingredients
  • 250g chickpea (besan) flour
  • 50g self-raising flour
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½-1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (vary this according to how many bits of green chilli you will use and how hot you like it)
  • 250-300ml cold water
  • 300g potatoes, coarsely grated. You need to squeeze the water out of the grated potatoes.
  • 300g onions either all grated or very very finely chopped, or you can leave some in longer pieces to make the finished pakora a bit more gnarly if you like. But you really need to grate at least some of the onion to get the flavour.
  • 100g fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 or more fresh green chilli, with or without the seeds depending on preference.
Method
  1. Mix the flours, salt and spices in a large bowl.
  2. Add water till you get the thickness of double cream
  3. Add everything else and mix it in. (If the mixture is too wet add a bit more chickpea flour and mix it in)
  4. Using a deep fat fryer at about 180C fry the pakora in batches. My fryer is small so I find I can only do 2-3 at a time. It takes 3-4 minutes per cook and I usually try and flip them over halfway.
You can veg this up in lots of different ways. I’ve made with courgette rather than potato and it’s been lovely. You can substitute some of the potatoes with whole frozen peas.
Serve with some salad and dips/sauces/yoghurts/raita/chutney/pickles etc. Let’s be honest, what’s wrong with a bit of tomato ketchup on its own or even mixed with some greek yoghurt. Green onion chutney is a winner too.