India

India

Palace of the Winds, JaipurGrowing up in the UK in the sixties “Foreign Food” was just starting to come in, well, especially where I lived in the south, so we weren’t exposed to the exotic tastes which we are now. In fact I can remember the first Chinese Take Away opening in Hailsham and how good the Spring Rolls were after having only Fish N Chips or Wimpey and KFC! Of course at home we did eat spag bol and some other rice dishes and my step mum used to make the beef curry complete with sultanas and bits of apple! How awful was that!

It wasn’t until a few weeks before I actually went to India that I tried my first “Curry” in a restaurant. I ate a Korma and thought it was fantastic. My wife at the time wasn’t too impressed as I had a strange odour for a few days! Anyway after my experiences in India I must say that I wasn’t so much of a foody then and the only food that really impredded me were the Goan dishes I tried and of course the Masala Dosa’s! After my trip to India I lived in Vancouver for several years and I lived near what they call “Little India”. There was a strip of shops and restaurants on Main Street and everything was available, great sweets and desserts and of course several restaurants that did lunch buffets! It was around this time that I got into cooking my own Indian food and I usually bought Pataks pastes which are pretty good if you add to them and I also used A Taste of India by Madhur Jaffrey which was pretty good too.

From Vancouver I moved to Berlin, Germany and the choice of Indian restaurants ooffering good authentic food are pretty slim. I think there may be 2-3 decent restaurants here so now if I want good Indian food I cook it at home. After using the Pataks for some while I then got hold of a copy of New Curry Secrets which I found to be pretty good imitations of what you would get in the British Curry Houses and certainly much better than available here and started making everything from scratch. Recently I watched Rick Stein’s India and subsequently went out and bought the book! The recipes here are all genuine and so far have all been excellent!

I have visited several different Indian shops here and most are pretty rough but I have accumulated quite the spice collection, although some are still missing for the really authentic flavours!

*I will also be cooking dishes that I have sourced from other areas but only those that pass the taste test will be on my website!

Anyway, here are some of my favourites:

 

Allo Gobi - potato and cauliflower curry
Aloo Gobi

This was my staple food along with Tarka dal when I was travelling around India and the best one I had was when I was camel trekking in the Thar desert of Rajasthan. It is very simple to make…

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butter chicken
Butter Chicken

This dish is to the Australians and Canadians alike, what chicken tikka masala is to the Brits. I would go as far to say that the reason being and whatever stories you may hear about chicken tikka masala and it’s origins…

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Chicken Korma
Chicken Korma

As a child I never really liked the curry my step mum cooked, mainly because she put sultanas and bits of apple in it. It was always beef, rich and deep, dark brown in colour and I’m sure it was tasty, but I never gave it a chance. Sad really, but then what did I know…

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Chicken Pasanda
Chicken Pasanda

This dish is a typical Mughal recipe and originated in Lucknow the capital city of the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India also famous as the birth place of Sir Cliff Richard! In Urdu Passanda means “favourite one” which refers to the fact that it was always cooked using special cuts of meat…

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Chingri Macher Malai
Chingri Macher Malai

This a a typical Bengali dish and always made with prawns, lobster or even shrimp. I was looking for a Goan prawn masala but found this recipe instead and thought it would make a nice accompaniment to the richer spicy vindaloo I was cooking and it did go well…

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lamb rogan josh
Lamb Rogan Josh

This is one of my all time favourite dishes and one that I either use lamb or beef with. Up until recently I always made this dish using a Pataks paste, which is really good actually, especially if you are in a hurry. But after the inspiration of Rick Stein’s India I now make this from scratch…

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Naan Bread
Naan Bread

Naan bread is an all time favourite bread of mine when eating Indian food, although Chapati and Roti are also good! The word Naan is actually an English adaptation and probably comes from the Persian word Nān which basically means bread…

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nadan mathan pumpkin curry
Nadan Mathan

Pumpkin or squash have become such a popular autumn food that I decided it was time I found an Indian recipe with pumpkin as the main ingredient. So I found this one called Nadan Mathan…

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Beef Vindaloo
Pork Vindaloo

Anyone coming from the UK knows too well what a Vindaloo is and what it is all about and sadly it has a reputation that doesn’t entirely give it the credit it is due! The vindaloo has been joked about, appeared in many comedy sketches and has even had songs written about it…

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Raita
Raita

I first tried this delicious yogurt condiment at a The Tourist Guest House in Agra, India. I really didn’t know what I was ordering but I wasn’t disappointed as it went well with the chapatis I had ordered. Of course I would never order it again as a main dish…

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Tarka dal
Tarka Dal

Tarka Dal Hundreds of years ago when I was young and foolish I travelled the length and breadth of India and more or less every day I ate dal in fact I would say that dal was more or less a staple in every region I stayed in, apart from Goa and Kerala, where I enjoyed fabulous seafood…

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