Friday, 2 March 2012


I made some vegetable pakoras to go with our curry this evening. They are a great way to use up leftovers of any type - vegetables, cooked meat - what ever is lurking in the fridge. Tonight I used some chopped chard, onion and sweetcorn.

For the batter
125g gram (chickpea) flour
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
125g water
Ghee or other oil for frying

For the filling
2 cups of chopped vegetables or meat. I recommend cooked chicken and spinach, or half slices of onion

Put the gram flour, spices and baking powder into a bowl and stir well to remove any lumps. Beat in the water to make a smooth batter. Fold in the filling of your choice. Heat the ghee in a frying pan over a medium heat. Put the batter into the oil in spoonfuls, forming rough patties. Try not to fry too many at once as is makes them hard to turn and greasier. Fry for 2-3 minutes, then turn and fry for 2-3 minutes more. Remove from the pan to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Serve with raitha or chutneys.

Lamb Rogan Josh

This can be made with beef too - a very tasty dish. You can vary the heat by changing the proportions of chili and paprika. I made it this way tonight for my kids, but they love a bit of spice!

6 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
500g lamb + a few lamb bones
2 onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp ghee or dripping
6 cloves
6 green cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp paprika + 1 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup yogurt

Put the lamb, bones, garlic, salt and water in a large pan and simmer for 20 minutes. Skim off any scum that rises. Remove the meat to a plate, strain the water and set aside and discard the bones. Mix the paprika and chili with a splash of water to form a paste. Heat the ghee and gently fry the onions until they start to darken and become sweet (about 15 minutes). Add the, cloves, cardamom, fennel seeds and bay leave and fry for a minute. Then add the chili paste, cumin, ginger and turmeric and fry for another minute. Return the meat to the pan and fry for 5 minutes. Stir in the yogurt, coating the meat. Pour 4 cup of the water you set aside earlier. Simmer, covered, until the meat is tender. I like to cook this really slowly for an hour or more, so the meat is melting. Then remove the lid and raise the heat to reduce the sauce to where you like it. Taste and season.