Monday, 30 June 2014

Nepal: the momo

during a recent trip to nepal, i quickly found that it was near impossible to visit a restaurant, big or small, fancy or basic, without momo being on the menu. now, this was a good thing, as they are delicious, and quite addictive! the momo, a steamed or fried dumpling, filled with a variety of flavours such as buffalo, yak cheese or chicken, is somewhat of a traditional delicacy in nepal, said to have been brought to nepal by the Newari trader community from lhasa, tibet to the kathmandu Valley. i could go into a lot more detail on the tradition and history surrounding the momo, but i’d only be repeating Jyoti Pathak’s great Taste of Nepal blog which i recommend you visit.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Spicy Salmon

a change from a usual fish curry but still packs a punch with some coconut to to make the salmon even more indulgent.the curry leaves can be tricky to find but you can usually get fresh ones in most large indian shops and in larger supermarkets. if you can't fresh ones, dried curry leaves are easier to get a hold of, but bear in mind substituting with bay leaves will give you a different flavour. 

Friday, 2 May 2014

Lamb keema with spinach

Great with naan bread or steamed rice.  

Ingredients (serves 3-4):
1 tsp cumin seeds
cooking oil
2 small onions, finely chopped 4  cloves garlic, chopped
1 inch of ginger, finely sliced
fresh chopped green chillis to taste (2-3 will do)
500g minced lamb
1 tsp ground coriander
1tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch of ground cinnamon
3 chopped tomatoes, skin removed and finely chopped*
1 mug of hot water
1 tsp salt
1tsp garam masala
150g of spinach
a handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Monday, 17 March 2014

Chicken Saag

if you choose to make this dish, my one and only plea would be not to use supermarket bought spinach in those little bags! it really is worth getting a few bunches of fresh spinach which you can buy from most Asian grocery stores. you can mix and match with a couple of spinach leaves and a bunch of mustard leaves

a very healthy recipe and you just need a bit of yoghurt to add a rich creaminess to it

ingredients (serves 3-4):

sunflower oil
about 3 bunches of fresh spinach, stalks removed and rinsed thoroughly
a large onion, chopped
a tbsp mustard seeds
a knob of ginger, finely sliced
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
3-4 green finger chillies 
a heaped tsp ground coriander
a heaped tsp of ground cumin
a tsp of salt
1 tsp of ground turmeric
2 tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped 
juice of half a lemon
3-4 chicken breasts, chopped into chunks
1 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp of plain natural yoghurt
generous bunch of fresh coriander, chopped

Saturday, 14 December 2013

The perfect chai

ok, so given this blog is called chilli & chai, it seems about time that i actually make some chai! as any visitor to india will know, chai is readily available in homes, cafes, trains, well, pretty much every street corner. it's the ultimate comfort drink and the gentle spice acts as a great pick-me-up at any time of day.whilst india has become a nation of chai drinkers with most indian homes only having a pot of freeze dried coffee as an emergency option for any guests, who, god forbid, don't drink chai, the nation's default hot drink was in fact coffee until the time of the british raj. 

whilst this is my perfect chai, the great thing about it is you can adapt to your taste, if you prefer the sweet over spice, add more sugar and cinnamon, if you want it a bit bolder, go for more ginger and pepper. do not use long leaf tea for this as you will get quite a bitter taste - cheap, small grain black tea is the best. 

ingredients (makes a generous pot for two)
two heaped teaspoons of loose black tea - you can even just get two teabags (something like assam or tetley) and split open the bag and use the contents
3 cloves
4 cardamom pods, crushed so flavour is released into the water
either half tsp grated fresh ginger or a quarter tsp of ground ginger
quarter tsp of both black pepper, and ground cinnamon (or a stick)  
sugar to taste
whole milk, to taste

place a milk pan of water onto the hob and add all of the ingredients apart from the milk
bring to the boil, once you get there, reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 10 mins
add as much milk as you like and bring to boil
simmer again for 5 mins and serve

and if you want a full-on chai experience enjoy a chai brownie with your cuppa!