Recipes

Bombay Street Food

The distinctive street food of Mumbai is renowned throughout India. As a child visiting what I affectionately call Bombay, I was prohibited from eating any actual street food, as my parents never thought that my constitution was strong enough for the 'real McCoy' and I was only permitted the feigned 'luxury hotel' version. Although, when spending a year in this flamboyant city in my late teens, I experienced everything from dosa, to papri chaat, to bhel puri to pau bhaji, to pani puri to ragda patties, and the list just goes on and on. 

Chaat and its combination of savoury, crispy papri with cool spicy yoghurt, tangy tamarind, soft potatoes, chickpeas and crunchy sev creates the most magical flavour explosion. In this post I have made a quick & easy chaat appetiser to go with drinks; great for when friends just pop over. 

Chaat Cups

Serves 4

  • 24 Croustades or Canapé Cups (these are available from the supermarket)
  • 2 Medium Potatoes, boiled, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 Can of Chickpeas, drained and washed well under cold water
  • Salt
  • 225g Natural Yoghurt
  • Chaat Masala (available from Asian Grocers)
  • Tamarind Sauce (available from Asian Grocers)
  • 50g Sev (crispy gram flour noodles available in packets from Asian Grocers)

Method

  • Cover a baking tray with baking parchment and place the canapé cups onto the tray.
  • Bake at 160ºC for 3 minutes to crisp up. (Keep an eye on them and put a timer on, they burn very easily!)
  • Allow to cool.
  • Place the chick peas into a bowl and mash half of them with a fork, leaving the rest whole or partially whole.
  • Add the potatoes to the chickpeas and mix well adding salt to taste. (I usually add about half a teaspoon).
  • In a separate bowl add the yoghurt and mix in 1 dessertspoon of chaat masala.
  • Take a canapé case and fill it with the potato & chickpea mixture, top with a teaspoon of the spicy yoghurt and then put half a teaspoon of the tamarind sauce on top of that. Sprinkle the canapé case with the crunchy gram flour sev noodles.
  • Repeat with all the canapé cases and arrange on a platter and serve immediately.

Tips

  • If you have any leftover ingredients, layer them in individual bowls in the order that I've described and devour!
  • If you want to make this chaat in a bowl, you can make the papri or just buy it from the Asian Grocers as a substitute for the canapé cups and place those at the bottom of the bowl and then layer the other ingredients as described above. Everyone can just help themselves. 
  • Tamarind or Imli chutney (also know as 'Saunth') can be made using a block of tightly packed seedless tamarind which is soaked and blended with added salt, sugar, red chilli powder, ground coriander and ground cumin.
  • I would recommend you enjoy these with the Pomegranate & Orange Martini!



Throwback Tuesday

It's so grey and it's threatening to rain out there, but I'm hoping this is transient. Admittedly, I'd rather be sitting in the Suzanne-Lenglen court at Roland-Garros watching the 'King of Clay' race through to the quarter finals. Vamos Rafa! Actually it's me who better get a move on! I have some old university friends visiting and I'd like to prepare something nostalgic, but with my modern twist. At university, tandoori chicken was one of the few things that I could offer my friends. This was not because I painstakingly cooked for them, nothing could be further from the truth. I would bring large tupperware boxes of cooked tandoori chicken and foiled wrapped aloo paranthas from my mother for all my friends on my return to halls after the weekend. It became a ritual that Sunday nights would be spent unravelling foil parcels, much to the delight of my fellow students. I soon became very popular and everyone anticipated our Sunday night feasts. So tonight, they're going to enjoy tandoori chicken with a difference!

Tandoori Chicken Appetiser Spoons

Serves 6 as an Appetiser

  • 500g Chicken Mini Fillets

  • 3 tbsp of Greek Yogurt

  • Half a Lemon

  • Half a Lime

  • 2 cloves Garlic

  • 3cm piece of Ginger

  • 1 Green Chilli

  • 1 tsp Salt

  • 1 tsp Garam Masala

  • 1 tsp Paprika

  • 0.5 tsp Tandoori Masala

  • 2 tbsp Sunflower Oil

  • 4 tbsp Greek Yogurt

  • 1 tsp Chaat Masala

  • 2 tbsp Coriander (finely chopped)

METHOD

  • Place the chicken into a bowl and add 3 tbsp of yoghurt, the lemon and the lime.

  • Grind the garlic, ginger and chilli into a paste in a herb mill. If you don't have one, just chop these ingredients finely.

  • Put the ginger, garlic and chilli into the bowl with the chicken.

  • Add the salt, garam masala, paprika and tandoori masala.

  • Stir the chicken, making sure that all the ingredients are mixed well.

  • Cover the bowl with cling film and leave it in the fridge overnight.

  • Remove from the fridge for 30 minutes before cooking.

  • Heat a griddle pan on a moderate setting and add 1 tbsp of oil.

  • Once the pan has heated up, add half the chicken and cook until golden brown and the flip the fillets to cook them on the other side. Remove them onto a plate.

  • Repeat this process with the remaining chicken.

  • Mix the 4 tbsp of yoghurt in a small bowl with the chaat masala and 1 tbsp of the chopped coriander.

  • Allow the chicken mini fillets to rest for 5 Minutes then serve with the yoghurt dressing in a bowl as an accompaniment.

  • If you plan to serve them as an appetiser, as I do, then slice up the mini fillets into small pieces.

  • Place mounds of chopped chicken onto appetiser spoons and top each appetiser spoon with a teaspoon of spicy yogurt. Place some of the finely chopped coriander on top of the yoghurt.

Congratulations!

I've been so busy over the last few months. My oldest son got married and for weeks before the wedding a million things were buzzing around my head. However, I would like to dedicate this first post to my beautiful new daughter-in-law. Now things have settled down somewhat, I decided that it was fitting to congratulate the couple with a delicious drink. Champagne was so last month, especially in our house! A vibrant cocktail is far more apt. Indian weddings are colourful affairs, so I think a Pomegranate & Orange Martini infused with a hint of Cardamom fits the bill; an homage to the nuptials.

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Pomegranate & Orange Martini with a hint of Cardamom

  • 35ml Vodka
  • 105ml Orange Juice (freshly squeezed)
  • Fresh Pomegranate
  • Pinch of Ground Cardamom
  • Orange Rind

Place the vodka and orange juice into a cocktail shaker and squeeze in a quarter of the fresh pomegranate. Don't worry if any of the seeds fall in. Add a pinch of ground green cardamom. Place the top onto the shaker and shake away. Pour the 'shaken' martini into a martini glass and add a long curled piece of orange rind.

So there we have my colourful and refreshing cocktail...and all that remains for me to say is 'Congratulations darling and welcome to the family!'