Friday, 21 April 2017

Recipes: Enticing Indian

Try a different cuisine for dinner with these enticing Indian recipes

Written by Anjum Anand

Tandoori cauliflower

The tandoor oven cooks some of the most flavourful dishes in India, but is often skewed towards meat eaters. One of the few concessions to the large vegetarian population is tandoori cauliflower. I have to say, I love cauliflower, and this recipe gives it that extra edge. It is now a go-to appetizer for when I have friends round and don't want to serve a lot of meat or sh. It doesn't need a chutney or anything else. Serves 6–8


For the cauliflower
900g (2lb) cauliflower (around 1 small one)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp chickpea (gram) flour
60g (1⁄2 cup) cashew nuts
3 small garlic cloves
20g (11⁄2 tbsp) finely grated root ginger (peeled weight)
3 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for the oven rack
400g (13⁄4 cups) plain yogurt
1⁄8–1⁄4 tsp chilli (chili) powder, or to taste
paprika, for colour, if you like
1 tsp carom seeds
3 tsp garam masala (fresh if possible, see page 113)
3 tsp ground cumin

To serve
large handful of chopped coriander (cilantro)
2 small tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
3⁄4 tsp chaat masala, or to taste
1 small Indian green finger chilli (chile), finely chopped, or to taste
200g (1 cup) crème fraîche

Cut the cauliflower into large 7.5cm (3in) florets. Bring a pot of water to the boil, add 1 tsp salt and the cauliflower. When it returns to the boil, cook for 1 minute, then drain.

Dry-roast the chickpea flour in a frying pan, stirring very often, until it has darkened by a couple of shades and smells roasted. Take it off the heat.

Place the cashews, garlic, ginger, oil and half the yogurt in a measuring jug or blender and blend until smooth. Stir in the remaining yogurt, spices, a little more salt and the chickpea flour. It should taste good, so adjust the salt if necessary. Place in a large bowl, add the cauliflower and leave for 20 minutes or so, if you have some time.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Line the base of the oven with foil, then oil an oven rack and place it in the middle of the oven. Once hot, place the cauliflower florets on the oiled rack and bake for 20–25 minutes, or until charred in areas and cooked through (the stalk should be tender when pierced with the point of a knife).

Meanwhile, mix together the coriander, tomatoes, chaat masala and chilli, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Spread the crème fraiche in a swirl over a serving platter. Spoon on just over half of the tomato mix. Place the cauliflower evenly over the crème fraîche, spoon over the rest of the tomato mix and serve.

Mini paneer kathi rolls

Kathi rolls are hot Indian wraps and one of India's favourite streetfoods. They come in many guises, few of which resemble cold wraps as we know them. I have probably tried most versions, buying them in bustling markets in New Delhi, exchanging money straight from the car window in Mumbai – where they are known as Frankies – and in hotels and homes as streetfood made its way off the street. Different places have their own versions and there are no strict rules: as long as a soft bread with a slight chew envelopes a fresh, hot, tangy lling with red onions for crunch, you are in the right zone and in for a treat. I make these often. They're tasty, everyone loves them and they are easy to throw together. You can also substitute chicken for the paneer. If you are in a hurry, you can buy tortilla wraps and cut them in half, but homemade wraps are cheaper and tastier. Makes 10 medium-small, or 15 tiny, rolls


For the marinade
100g (2⁄5 cup) plain yogurt, not too sour
20g (11⁄2 tbsp) roughly chopped root ginger (peeled weight)
2 large garlic cloves
scant 2⁄3 tsp garam masala (fresh if possible, see page 113)
scant 2⁄3 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chaat masala
1⁄2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp concentrated tomato purée
1⁄8 tsp chilli (chili) powder, or to taste

For the rolls
240g (83⁄4oz) paneer, cut into small fingers 2cm (3⁄4in) wide x 5cm (2in) long
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3⁄4 small green (bell) pepper, thinly sliced
good handful of thinly sliced red onion rings
50ml (31⁄2 tbsp) Tangy Herb Chutney (see page 182)
freshly ground black pepper

For the wrap
125g (1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus more to dust
1 tbsp vegetable oil
6–8 tbsp water, or as needed

Blend together all the ingredients for the marinade. Season to taste with salt; I use 1 tsp. Add the paneer, gently turn the pieces to coat, and leave to marinate as you prepare the dough.

Put the flour in a bowl and pour in the oil, water and a good pinch of salt. Knead together well; it will be a bit squelchy at the beginning but should become lovely and soft without cracks once it is done. Cover with a damp dish towel and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

To make the breads, place a tava or frying pan over a medium heat. Divide the dough into 10 pieces and roll each out on a work surface lightly dusted with flour into a thin, round bread around 13cm (5in) in diameter. Dust any excess flour off the bread and place on the pan.

Cook, turning once, until the bread has just a few light brown spots on both sides; it only takes a minute or so. Repeat to cook all the breads, stacking them on a dish towel, covering each with the corners as you go to help keep them soft. (You can also reheat them in some foil in the oven.)

Now back to the rolls. Heat the 2 tbsp oil in a saucepan, add the pepper and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the paneer and all its marinade and cook, stirring often, until the liquid has reduced and you can see oil in the pan, 6–8 minutes or so. You might need to add a splash of water at some point once the pan gets dry. Add the onions and cook for another minute, or until the liquid now just coats the ingredients and is still moist. Take off the heat.

Working quickly, spoon a line of the filling down the centre of each wrap, top with 1 rounded tsp Tangy Herb Chutney, wrap them up and serve hot.

Griddled chopped chicken salad

"Chaat" is a term used for a whole genre of streetfood which is hard to describe in one sentence, but one part of it encompasses a lot of simple vegetables and fruits tossed in some tangy and spiced lemonbased dressings with a blend of spices that are known as chaat masala. "Chaat" literally means to lick, as in finger-licking good... and they generally are. This chicken chaat is based on the one we ate growing up but we normally had it as a chopped salad, so everything mixes well with the tangy dressing. For a proper salad (rather than a streetfood snack), I like to serve it on a plate, drizzled with lots of dressing for that real chaat flavour. If you have friends round, serve on fried tostadas (¬our tortillas, cut into small rounds and deep-fried until golden), drizzled with a little Tangy Herb Chutney (see page 182) mixed with some crème fraîche, or in tacos with the same chutney and sour cream. Scatter with pomegranate seeds for sweet fruitiness. Serves 1 as a light meal, 2 as a starter, or 6 in lettuce leaves as a nibble


1 large skinless chicken breast
11⁄2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large garlic clove, finely grated
1 tsp roast and ground cumin seeds
(see page 184)
good fistful of chopped coriander
(cilantro), finely chopped
11⁄2 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
1⁄2 medium-large tomato
1⁄2 ripe avocado
1⁄4 red onion, finely chopped
or thinly sliced
handful of chopped lettuce, such
as Little Gem
11⁄2 tsp chaat masala
1⁄4 small Indian green finger chilli
(chile), deseeded and thinly sliced
11⁄2 tbsp salted peanuts, lightly

Marinate the chicken breast with 1 tsp of the olive oil, seasoning and the garlic. Leave for 30 minutes if possible.

Heat a griddle pan or frying pan, add the chicken and cook for 5–6 minutes on each side or until done. I like to cover the pan (with another pan) 2 minutes in, to keep the chicken moist.

Meanwhile, mix together the remaining olive oil, seasoning, roast cumin and a little each of the coriander and lemon juice.

Chop the tomato and avocado into even 1–2cm (½–¾in) cubes. Place in a bowl and add the onion, lettuce, chaat masala, chilli and most of the dressing. Toss well to mix and season to taste. It should be tangy, spicy and well-seasoned. Add more lemon juice if necessary.

When the chicken is done, you can slice it thinly and place on top of the salad, drizzled with the remaining dressing and remaining coriander, or chop into small bites and mix with the salad, dressing and remaining coriander. I also like the flavours to marinate for a bit before serving, so make it up 10–15 minutes before serving if possible.

Scatter over the peanuts and serve.

Mumbai roadside hot lamb sandwich

I have had too many late nights out in Bombay to count. We used to spend at least one week a year there at Christmas, mostly with friends from London who have roots there and a kicking social life. After a long night out we used to go to a kebab place called Bade Miyan, which roughly translates as "the elder gentleman" or "head honcho". To us, it meant succulent kebabs of all types, plain or in breads. This went on until my friend's mother found out we were eating there and told us we could get kidney failure! I have no idea why... but we did stop going soon after. Those days have gone, but my love of streetfood remains. This baida roti is fairly easy to make at home and hits the spot after a night out. A tasty, tasty meal. You can make it with minced chicken or Quorn instead, but you will need to cook the onions until golden first, then add the ginger and garlic, then the rest of the ingredients and cook until done. Serves 2


For the meat filling
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1⁄2 red onion, finely chopped
200g (7oz) minced (ground) lamb (or see introduction above)
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
8g (1⁄2 tbsp) finely grated root ginger (peeled weight)
1⁄2–1 Indian green finger chilli (chile), finely chopped (optional)
1 small tomato, chopped
2⁄3 tsp ground cumin
1⁄2 tsp garam masala (fresh if possible, see page 113)
1 small egg
handful of chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves

For the wrap and to serve
80g (2⁄3 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour, or chapati flour, or spelt flour (the first is traditional but I often use the others at home)
1 tsp vegetable oil
5 tbsp Tangy Herb Chutney (see page 182)

Heat half the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook for 3–4 minutes, then add the minced meat, garlic, ginger, chilli, tomato, spices and salt. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook until the meat is soft and the excess liquid has evaporated, giving the pan an occasional stir and breaking up the meat; it might take 15–20 minutes or so. Drain off any excess fat, tip into a bowl and leave to cool, wiping the pan.

Meanwhile, make the dough. Add the salt to the flour, with the oil and around 60ml (¼ cup) water. Knead until smooth; it shouldn't be too soft. Cover with damp kitchen paper and leave to rest as the lamb cools.

Whisk the egg with a little salt and the coriander. Divide the dough in half, and roll out into 20–23cm (8–9in) squares or rectangles, trying to roll the outer 3cm (1¼in) border a little thinner than the rest.
Using the same pan that you have wiped, add the remaining oil and heat up gently.

Quickly make the stuffed rotis: place half the filling in the centre of each flatbread, leaving a 7.5cm (3in) border along the edges. Spoon 3 tbsp of the egg over each. Bring down the upper edge, fold in the sides and then the lower edge to enclose the filling, forming into a flat-ish square.

Place straight into the hot pan, seam sides down, and cook until golden on both sides. Serve hot with the chutney.

Sprouted lentil and pomegranate pani puris

Pani puri is one of my favourite streetfoods. It consists of a spherical crispy puri, often lled with potatoes and chickpeas, or sprouts, and topped with a flavoured water, or "pani". The "water" is spicy, salty, herby, sour and a little sweet. When I make them at home, I am always reinventing them as I come up with a new idea. I have kept this one quite close to the original, but have replaced the potato with avocado – as I think the creaminess works really well – and have added pomegranate seeds. Don't try to bite into these – they need to be placed whole in the mouth so they can explode into a delicious, complex bite-full. For special occasions, I often add ½ tsp crème fraîche on the top of the lling, before pouring in the pani; everyone prefers it this way, but it is optional. Makes 35–40


For the pani
40g (2 packed cups) coriander
(cilantro) leaves and stalks
20g (1 packed cup) mint leaves
6g (1 rounded tsp) roughly
chopped root ginger (peeled
31⁄2 tbsp chaat masala, or to taste
5 tbsp tamarind chutney, or to taste
(for homemade, see page 181)
600ml (21⁄2 cups) filtered water

For the filling
100g (31⁄2oz) mixed sprouts,
or mung bean sprouts
1⁄2 small red onion, finely chopped
1⁄2–2⁄3 large avocado, finely chopped
large handful of chopped coriander
1⁄4 tsp roast and ground cumin seeds
(see page 184)
seeds from 1⁄2 pomegranate
For the puris, and to serve
40 pani puris
sour cream, to serve (optional)

Blend together all the ingredients for the pani; it is nice if you can still see little shreds of the leaves. Taste and adjust as necessary.

It should be a little sour, sweet, salty, herby and spicy. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add the sprouts and return to the boil, then drain. When the sprouts are cool, mix them with the remaining filling ingredients. Salt lightly to taste.

When you are ready to serve, make medium-sized holes in the top of all the puris; through the side that is slightly thinner and easier to break gently. Pour the pani into a jug.

When you are ready to eat, either spoon 2 tsp of the filling into each puri and serve with the pani jug for people to serve themselves, or have the filling in a little bowl, so people can spoon and pour just before eating. I really love to dab a little sour cream on top of the filling before adding the spiced water.

I Love India, by Anjum Anand, is a vibrant fusion of old world Indian dishes and an exciting new play on flavours and ingredients – from street food and sharing plates, perfect for the warmer days and BBQs.

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