Fra­grant feast

Stim­u­late your senses with the rich colours, fra­grant aro­mas and ex­otic flavours of In­dia with this din­ner party menu.

Ideas Entertainment - - Contents -

En­joy the rich colours, aro­mas and ex­otic flavours of In­dia.

Creamy Madras-style lamb curry

150ml plain yo­ghurt

5ml each ground turmeric, chilli

pow­der and garam masala

20ml grated ginger

20ml crushed gar­lic cloves

1kg bone­less lamb cubes (cut from leg

or shoul­der)

30ml co­rian­der seeds

10ml cumin seeds

15-20ml dried crushed chill­ies

12 curry leaves

5ml fen­nel seeds

15ml tamarind paste

60ml oil

3 large onions, sliced

1 can co­conut milk

2 cin­na­mon sticks

6 car­damom pods

fra­grant rice, naan bread, veg­eta­bles

and pickles, to serve

fresh co­rian­der, to gar­nish

Set the scene

Trans­port your guests to ex­otic In­dia. Set a ta­ble in front of a daybed and drape vel­vet fab­ric and saris over the walls and seat­ing. Scat­ter cush­ions add in­dul­gent com­fort. Fin­ish with gleam­ing sil­ver­ware, can­dle­light and bright ac­cent pieces. Serves: 6-8 Prepa­ra­tion time: 20 min­utes, plus mar­i­nat­ing time Cook­ing time: 2 hours

1 Mix the yo­ghurt, turmeric, chilli pow­der, garam masala and half of the ginger and gar­lic to­gether and pour over the meat. Set aside to mar­i­nate for two hours. 2 Dry roast the co­rian­der seeds, cumin seeds and chill­ies. Trans­fer to a spice blender or pes­tle and mor­tar and grind. Then add the re­main­ing ginger and gar­lic and half the curry leaves. Blend to form a paste. 3 Dry roast the fen­nel seeds and set aside. Dis­solve the tamarind paste in 125ml boil­ing wa­ter. 4 Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook over a low heat for 10 min­utes or un­til golden.

5 Add the spice paste and cook for a few min­utes. Add the meat and cook for a few min­utes. Add half the co­conut milk and 250ml wa­ter. Bring to the boil, then sim­mer, un­cov­ered, for about 10 min­utes. 6 Add the re­main­ing co­conut milk and spices. Cover and sim­mer un­til the meat is ten­der. Add the tamarind and sea­son to taste. Leave to set­tle and re­move any oil that floats to the sur­face. Serve the curry hot with fra­grant rice, naan bread and a se­lec­tion of veg­eta­bles and pickles. Gar­nish with fresh co­rian­der.

Grilled naan bread with gar­lic and se­same seeds

Serves: 6-8 Prepa­ra­tion time: 30 min­utes, plus ris­ing time Cook­ing time: 20 min­utes

20ml sugar

45ml milk

sun­flower oil

600g (1 100ml) white bread flour

1 pack in­stant dried yeast

1 large egg, lightly beaten

10ml se­same seeds

4 cloves gar­lic, crushed

100ml melted but­ter

1 Sift the flour and 10ml salt to­gether. Add the sugar and yeast. Make a well in the cen­tre and add 230ml warm wa­ter. Stir it in, then add the milk and egg. Mix to form a soft but work­able dough. You may need to add a lit­tle more wa­ter. 2 Knead on a lightly floured sur­face for about 8 min­utes. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm spot un­til dou­bled in size. 3 Knead the dough again briefly. Add the se­same seeds and half the gar­lic and knead well. Roll into small balls. Leave on a bak­ing tray for 20 min­utes. 4 Roll the balls out to form ob­long shapes. Heat a grid­dle pan over a medium heat. Brush the grid­dle pan lightly with sun­flower oil. Place a piece of dough onto the grid­dle and cook un­til it starts to bub­ble and turn golden brown. Turn over and cook the other side. It should take 2-3 min­utes. 5 Mix the re­main­ing gar­lic with the melted but­ter and brush the cooked side of the bread. Brush the other side once you re­move it from the grid­dle pan. Re­peat with the re­main­ing dough.

Dahl

Serves: 6-8 Prepa­ra­tion time: 10 min­utes Cook­ing time: 2 hours

30ml but­ter

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves gar­lic, crushed

10ml freshly grated ginger

10ml mus­tard seeds

10ml cumin seeds

1-3 dried red chill­ies

1ml ground turmeric

6 curry leaves

4 car­damom pods

1ml asafoetida (avail­able at In­dian

spice shops)

125ml red lentils

125ml yel­low dahl lentils, soaked for

2 hours

2 to­ma­toes, chopped

fresh co­rian­der, to serve

1 Heat the but­ter in a saucepan. Add the onion. Sauté for a minute, then add the gar­lic and ginger and sauté for a fur­ther minute. Add the spices and stir well. Af­ter 30 sec­onds add the lentils, to­ma­toes and 1 litre of wa­ter. 2 Sim­mer for 2 hours or un­til the lentils are soft and have dis­in­te­grated. Keep adding wa­ter as nec­es­sary. Sea­son to taste with salt. Serve hot, gar­nished with fresh co­rian­der, if you pre­fer.

Spicy brin­jal

Serves: 6-8 Prepa­ra­tion time: 20 min­utes Cook­ing time: 20 min­utes

400g brin­jals, cut into 5cm wedges

5ml grated ginger

3 cloves gar­lic, crushed

2 to­ma­toes, peeled, chopped and

drained

100ml oil

5ml fen­nel seeds

1ml kalonji (Nigella) seeds

7ml ground co­rian­der

1ml ground turmeric

2ml cayenne pep­per

1 Sprin­kle the brin­jal with salt and leave to stand for 20 min­utes in a colan­der. Wipe the salt off.

2 Blend the ginger and gar­lic to­gether with one third of the to­ma­toes un­til the mix­ture is smooth. 3 Heat a layer of oil in a large fry­ing pan and fry the brin­jals un­til golden. Cook in batches. Drain on ab­sorbent pa­per. 4 Heat a lit­tle more oil and cook the fen­nel seeds, kalonji seeds and co­rian­der for about 30 sec­onds. Add the tomato and ginger mix­ture, then add the turmeric and cayenne pep­per. Sim­mer for 5 min­utes, then add the brin­jals and re­main­ing to­ma­toes and sim­mer for a fur­ther 5 min­utes, be­ing care­ful not to stir too much. 5 Leave to cool and store in a sealed con­tainer un­til ready to serve. Spoon the ex­cess oil from the top and dis­card then re­heat the brin­jals just be­fore serv­ing.

Bean and potato stir-fry

Serves: 6-8 Prepa­ra­tion time: 5 min­utes Cook­ing time: 10 min­utes

45ml sun­flower oil

5ml black mus­tard seeds

5ml cumin seeds

pinch of asafoetida

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 large potato, peeled and cut into

small cubes

300g green beans, sliced

5ml each ground turmeric, chilli

pow­der, garam masala and ground

co­rian­der

1 Heat the oil in a large fry­ing pan. Add the mus­tard seeds and when they pop add the cumin seeds and asafoetida. Stir, then add the onion. Sauté un­til translu­cent. 2 Add the potato cubes and cook for a minute, then stir in the beans and the spices. Add 30ml wa­ter and cover with a lid. Cook gen­tly un­til the veg­eta­bles are ten­der.

Mix equal amounts of me­thi (fenu­greek), kalonji (Nigella or black seeds), black mus­tard seeds, cumin seeds and fen­nel seeds to­gether. Store in an air­tight con­tainer. Heat 10ml but­ter and fry 15ml of the seed mix­ture un­til the mus­tard seeds pop. Spoon over roasted but­ter­nut, pota­toes or other cooked veg­eta­bles.

Chai masala flavoured hot choco­late

Heat 500ml milk with 5 bruised car­damom pods, 1 stick cin­na­mon, 4 cloves and 4 black pep­per­corns. Bruise a 2cm piece of fresh ginger and add to the milk. Sim­mer for a few min­utes, then re­move from the heat, cover and leave to stand for at least half an hour. Just be­fore serv­ing, strain and dis­card the spices. Re­heat the milk and stir in 100g chopped dark choco­late. Once melted, pour into small glasses and top with ex­tra grated choco­late. Add a sprin­kle of dried crushed chill­ies, if you pre­fer.

Just add colour

Holi, or the Fes­ti­val of Colours, is the Hindu cel­e­bra­tion to wel­come spring, dur­ing which peo­ple smear each other with paint and throw coloured pow­der around in an at­mos­phere of great good hu­mour. We used spices and pow­der paint in shades of emer­ald green, sap­phire blue and saf­fron gold to dec­o­rate our In­dian ta­ble. In­cense and rose petals add even more fra­grance to the evening.

In­vi­ta­tions

You will need

tem­plate on page 99

medium-weight card­board for your

sten­cil

medium-weight gold card­board

craft knife and cut­ting mat

in­cense

To make

1 En­large the long, nar­row tem­plate on page 99 to the de­sired size onto medium-weight card­board and cut it out – this is your sten­cil. Use the sten­cil to trace the dec­o­ra­tive strip onto the gold card­board and cut it out. 2 Make two slits in the strip with your craft knife and thread the in­cense through them. 3 Write or print the party de­tails onto a piece of pa­per so that it fits around the card­board strip and stick it in place, to com­plete the in­vi­ta­tion.

Gilded bunting You will need

tem­plate on page 99

medium-weight card­board

gold and sil­ver coloured pa­per

scis­sors

dou­ble-sided ad­he­sive tape

gold cord

To make

1 En­large the tem­plate on page 99 to the de­sired size onto medium-weight card­board and cut out – this is your sten­cil. Use the sten­cil to trace the out­line of the flags onto the gold and sil­ver coloured pa­per. 2 Cut out the flags and fold the bot­tom edge over to the back. Place the fold over the gold cord and stick the flag in po­si­tion with dou­ble-sided ad­he­sive tape. Con­tinue fold­ing the flags over the cord un­til you have enough bunting to hang across your din­ing area.

Creamy Madras-style lamb curry with grilled naan bread

Dahl

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