Saturday, October 02, 2010

Glass Onion (part C)

This week: a English take on an Indian classic; a starter (or main course) and more subcontinent plate fillers...

Phil's Freaky Samosas

These began life as ordinary bog standard samosas, then morphed into something weird, when faced with having to do the catering for my father's wake, I'd run out of filo pastry and ended up making this big F-off Samosa Pie - with puff pastry. It went down a storm; so well in fact that I didn't actually get to eat any.

Over the years, as I've discovered real Indian food, this recipe has changed - but for the better!

The new 'freaky' samosas utilised my own version of Punjabi pastry - which is designed to be fried, but I'm healthy so it needed to go in the oven.

Whatever quantity you make, this mixture can be frozen.

A couple of new(ish) potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 large onion
5 cloves garlic
chunk of ginger root
1 cup of frozen peas
½ cup of split yellow peas
handful of chopped coriander

2 tsps garam masala
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
½ to 1 tsp chilli powder

6 oz plain flour
1 tsp turmeric
warm oil
½ tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp cumin seeds

First sort your veg out: fry the onions and ginger and then add garlic when that is well on its way. Add your split peas and potato chunks and cook, adding a little water if necessary. Then add your spices; when these have cooked off, add your frozen peas and cook for a few more minutes. Then add your coriander leaf and some salt.

Pastry: its a weird one. Put your flour, turmeric and a bit of salt into a food processor; then gradually add warm vegetable or sunflower oil, but also add some water in between until the mixture. When it finally starts to pull together, mould it into a ball and stick it in the fridge.

Then it's quite simple. you've made enough dough to produce 4, maybe 5, large samosas. Split the dough mixture and roll into sort of plectrum shapes; add the mixture and fold from top to bottom and then side to side; use water for stickability. Then, instead of frying them in oil, I stick them into a pre-heated oven, at 200 degrees, and paint them with a little more oil. 20 to 3o minutes later take out and either eat hot or cold!

Roasted tomato pasta

This is a great starter; especially with some of that expensive slow dried pasta that sainsbury's have started to do.
If you've not grown any tomatoes this year, there will be a neighbour, a friend or family that have, so if you're offered them, don't turn them down.

about 10 small English tomatoes, ripe
5 cloves of garlic
1 red pepper/capsicum
1 large chilli
salt and black pepper
olive oil
basil leaves (and fresh marjoram, if like me you grow it)

Stick your toms in an oven-proof dish and put X slits in the top of 5 of them. Peel garlic and then shove them into the centre of the toms. Cut and de-seed a pepper up and put that in the dish, as well as a whole red chilli. Splurt with oil and seasoning and stick in a hot oven for 40 minutes.

Throw the chilli away when cooked. Put all these ingredients into a blender with your herbs and blitz.

Cook some pasta - about 50g per person - and then just when it's al dente drain it and then add the blitzed stuff - mix together and, if you have it, some pecorino or parmisan shavings onto top. Just increase the ingredients if you want it for a main,.

it is very subtle, but also very colourful and is a really nice summer type pasta dish.

Vegetable Dahl

This can be one of those one pot meals like my chilli recipe.

4 oz of dahl - channa, moong, toor, black gram, split peas - it doesn't really matter, it depends on your tastes.
6 oz water

cook the two until the dahl is virtually dry; you just want a little liquid left.

Fry some onion, garlic, chilli and ginger in a pan; add 3 chopped up tomatoes, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp chilli, 1 tsp coriander 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ mustard seeds; a bay leaf, some cassia bark and maybe one or two cardomon pods. Oh and the obligatory salt.

When this is well cooked, you may need to add some water, just to keep like a curry paste.

Add an assortment of:
green beans
potato - chopped small
carrot - chopped small
whatever you have really that won't disintegrate if you cook it for half an hour. Mushrooms and aubergines don't work that well, neither do courgettes, but a lot of Indian vegetables, like tindal and bitter gourd do work. Add these to the mixture, with coriander leaf and cook until cauliflower or carrot is done. Serve with some kind of roti or rice.

Another selection soon!

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