The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - FOOD & DRINK -

his week I’ve taken a hand­ful of heroic In­dian in­gre­di­ents and used them to trans­form some clas­sic dishes into knock­out meals guar­an­teed to shake up your taste buds. I’ve been lucky enough to have eaten food cooked by a di­verse range of In­di­ans who have moved to this part of the world, and it’s been fas­ci­nat­ing to dis­cover that, while their cui­sine has be­come a part of our food cul­ture, it’s also worked the other way round. You’ll find amaz­ing cur­ries be­ing put on the ta­ble for a big fam­ily din­ner, of­ten with a pile of good old roast pota­toes.

The recipes on th­ese pages are here to em­brace that, but please take them with a pinch of salt — they’re bold, a bit bonkers in places, but, boy, are they bril­liant.

Take this In­dian twist on the clas­sic fish and chips with mushy pea dhal, or my cel­e­bra­tion of the plough­man’s lunch — my In­dian ver­sion has beau­ti­ful pick­led onion bha­jis that I serve with pa­neer or hal­loumi cheese, grilled flat­breads, crunchy salad and some of my favourite chut­neys or pick­les.

I’ve also cou­pled toad in the hole with the Cor­nish stargazy pie and a load of In­dian spices and flavours for an un­ex­pect­edly mag­i­cal combo — give it a go, it’s a real crowd pleaser.

I want to show you that In­dian food is so much more than the typ­i­cal cur­ries you can pick up in the su­per­mar­ket: it’s ex­cit­ing, de­li­cious and clever.

I’ve used key spices, herbs, pastes and in­gre­di­ents in th­ese recipes. Hope­fully they’ll demon­strate how wicked In­dian-style cook­ing can be.

Patak’s curry pastes are avail­able in shops all over the coun­try and are great if you’re in a rush. But it’s nice to make your own pastes too – give it a go us­ing my easy home­made curry paste recipes at jamieo­

Over the next few weeks I’ll be se­ri­al­is­ing my new book, Save With Jamie, in th­ese pages, show­ing you how to cook de­li­cious, nu­tri­tious meals on a bud­get. Don’t miss it! 30g (1oz) chick­pea flour (from supermarkets) 50g (1¾oz) plain flour 1tsp bak­ing pow­der ½tsp ground turmeric 1tsp ground cumin ½tsp pa­prika 1 small leek, trimmed and washed 2 car­rots, peeled 2 fresh red chill­ies, de­seeded and finely sliced 4 spring onions, shred­ded 2 large pick­led onions, well drained and finely sliced 2tsp mus­tard seeds 5 curry leaves, crum­bled Olive oil

To serve

150g (5½oz) pa­neer (In­dian cheese, from supermarkets) or hal­loumi cheese, sliced Naan bread 1 soft round let­tuce or 2 lit­tle gem let­tuces, cut into thin slices 2 car­rots, grated ½ a bunch of fresh co­rian­der, leaves picked Juice of 1 lemon A pinch of curry pow­der Your favourite chut­neys For the bhaji, put the flours, bak­ing pow­der, spices and ½tsp of sea salt in a bowl. Whisk­ing as you go, grad­u­ally add 165ml (5¾fl oz) cold wa­ter un­til you have a bright yel­low bat­ter. Cut the leek and car­rots into match­sticks. Add them to the bat­ter with the chill­ies, spring onions, pick­led onions, mus­tard seeds and curry leaves, and mix.

Put a non-stick fry­ing pan over a medium-high heat. Once hot, add a splash of oil. Lift heaped fork­fuls of the bhaji mix­ture out of the bowl and drain off as much ex­cess bat­ter as you can be­fore plac­ing in the fry­ing pan, press­ing each one with the back of a fork. You may need to do this in batches. Cook for about 3 min­utes, un­til golden brown and crisp on the bot­tom, then cook on the other side. Trans­fer to a plate lined with kitchen pa­per to drain.

Grill the pa­neer or hal­loumi, then the naan till lightly charred and cut into soldiers. Toss the let­tuce, car­rot and co­rian­der leaves in the lemon juice, a splash of oil, a pinch of curry pow­der, salt and pep­per. Serve with the bha­jis, naan, cheese and your favourite chut­neys.

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