March 2004 Archives

Lobhia dal

Lobhia dal

A simple, very tasty bean dish. Best used as a side dish with some other curry, but pretty tasty on its own as well. Leftovers make a great sandwich filler.

  • 1 ½ cups dried lobhia (black-eyed beans)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons concentrated tomato purée
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon hot red chili powder (1/4 if you are timid)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1-2 bunches fresh green coriander, chopped

Rinse and drain the beans, then put them in a pot, add about 1 ½ litres water so that they are well covered and let soak for about 4 hours.

Put on the stove, add 2 teaspoons salt and bring to boil. With a slotted spoon, remove any froth that forms on the top. Let simmer for about 30-40 minutes until the beans are soft. Don't overcook.

Put a sieve over a second pot. Pour the beans into the sieve so that the water is caught in the pot below. Put the beans and the pot with their water aside.

Squeeze the garlic cloves through a garlic press. Mix with 1-2 teaspoons salt so that you get a thick paste.

Heat the ghee in the now empty first pot; add the onion and garlic paste and fry until golden. Reduce heat. Add the spices and fry for a few minutes more. Add the water from the beans and the tomato purée. Stir well. Bring to boil.

Add the beans and green coriander. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Put in a bowl and serve immediately.

Spicy fish with chili and coriander

Spicy fish with chili and coriander

This is a delicious and very hot recipe. To serve 3, you need

  • 3 fish fillets, cod or haddock (about 200-250g each)
  • 4 onions, chopped
  • 3 bunches fresh green coriander, leaves and thin stalks, chopped
  • 6 green chilies, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.

Put all ingredients except the fish in a blender and whizz until smooth.

Put each piece of fish on a piece of thin foil and cover completely with the paste from the blender. Then wrap the fish in the foil.

Put the fish in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes.

To serve, carefully remove the fish from the foil. The green paste should stick to the fish. Serve with rice.

Tofu Saag

Tofu Saag

This should really be Saag Paneer (or Palak Paneer), but I was too lazy to make paneer (Indian fresh cheese), so I simply used tofu instead. To serve 4, you need:

  • 300g tofu, cut in cubes
  • 500g frozen spinach (the cut & puréed variety, not the readymade one with cream in it)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 fresh green chilies, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons yoghurt
  • 1 cup (250ml) water

Thaw the spinach. Remove excess water. Heat briefly in a pot, until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Put garlic, ginger, chilies and onion in a blender and whizz until you have a smooth paste.

Heat the ghee in a wok, add the paste and fry for 5 minutes, then add salt, cumin, coriander, nutmeg, yoghurt and water and let simmer for another 5 minutes.

Add the spinach and tofu. If you weren't as lazy as I was and actually made paneer cheese, use it instead of the tofu to make Saag paneer. Bring to boil, then serve immediately with rice.