Eight Bells

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Paperback Raita

Indian food, what can I say. When it is done well it is some of the tastiest and most interesting food I have ever experienced. Tonight we have a lamb curry, it's a bit of a custom job so no recipe I'm afraid. The lamb curry is married with moong dal, cucumber and yoghurt raita and mini papadams.
Here is a picture of the lamb curry (prior to putting in the oven for 2 hours). The main ingredients are lamb, aubergine (eggplant) tomato and onion.

This particular curry is really a mix of different styles (rogan josh meets madras and korma). What I suggest is buying a good authentic Indian cook book and cooking a lot of the recipes. Once you have worked out what you like then you can experiment. Indian cooking is not something you can just do without practice but all the hard work is certainly worth it in the end. Sitting your friends down to a genuine Indian banquet that you have created is one of the most satisfying cooking experiences you can have.
The moong dal is a standard so the recipe is as follows.

Moong Dal
200g/7oz moong dal
2 large tomatoes chopped
2 green chillis chopped
1" square piece of fresh ginger chopped
3 large garlic cloves
1/4 tsp tumeric powder
1 Tbs fresh coriander leaves chopped
10 fresh curry leaves
1 Tbs butter

Wash the dal well and then soak for 15 mins
Bring 5 cups of water to the boil in a large pot. Add the dal with the tomatoes, chillies, ginger, 2 of the garlic cloves (chopped) and the tumeric powder. Return to the boil, then add salt. Cook for 30 mins. Remove from the heat and whisk with an egg beater, until the grains of dal are completely mashed. Add coriander and curry leaves and cook a further 5 mins.
Heat the butter in a small frying pan, add the rest of the chopped garlic and fry until golden. Pour into the dal, which is now ready to serve. The consistency should be like thick soup.
Serve with cucumber and yoghurt raita, mini papadums and mango chutney.


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