Tag Archives: Indian

Indian Meatballs (Kofta)

We learned three things from this recipe:

  1. You CAN get a restaurant-like texture to your sauces at home if you’re patient enough to let them simmer the full time and are willing to get a few more pieces of equipment dirty
  2. Metzgerei Salzberger is our new hookup for ground lamb in Regensburg
  3. A rice cooker is certainly a convenience a lot of the time, but we can do great pilau rice on the stovetop, too.

More on those three points:
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Kire ka Raita

It’s kinda redonkulous how easy this recipe is. We first made it at our cooking course a few months ago.

500 g yogurt
half a cucumber
salt
pepper
ground cumin

Grate the cucumber. Drain out most/all the liquid. Mix in with the other ingredients. Serve cold.

See what I mean? That’s it. Dead easy. Here are my ingredient modifications:

250 g Greek-style yogurt
a big cucumber
salt
pepper
ground cumin
pinch (freshly) ground cardamom
pinch of some kind of ground hot red pepper (cayenne, paprika, whatever)

I like it heavier on the cuke flavor and with a bit more zing to it, so I go big on the cumin and the pepper. Be careful with that cardamom — it can take over very easily (and if that’s what you want, rock on). I shredded the cuke with our KitchenAid and then let the shreds drain in a colander for twenty or thirty minutes, squeezing them occasionally.

We usually count on the raita at indian restaurants to cool off a mouth on fire, when we can convince the waiter that we’re not German and can handle a proper vindaloo — which is not every time.

Dal (Indian Lentils)

Who here eats enough fiber?

*only Sarah’s in-laws raise their hands*

That’s what I thought. Well, if you want some fiber and something rich and spicy, eat this. I used this recipe as a guideline and for the cooking method, which turned out to be stellar. Below are my actual steps.

1 1/2 c dry lentils (I used brown, the posted link suggests black caviar lentils)
1 T vegetable oil
1/4 t hing or asafoetida powder
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely diced or cut into matchsticks
2 green Thai chilies, chopped (optional – remove seeds for less heat)
1 1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t curry powder
1/2 t salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 small can tomato sauce (6 oz. or 200 g)
1 c vegetable broth
2 T butter

In a deep pot, cover lentils with water by 2 inches, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. While lentils are cooking, heat oil in a small skillet to medium. Add hing to oil and fry, stirring for one minute, then add onion, garlic, ginger and chili to oil, stirring frequently. When onion just becomes translucent, add cayenne pepper, curry powder, salt and pepper to onion mixture and stir until well distributed. Cook for one more minute, then remove from heat and set aside.

Drain lentils and return to pot. Add cooked onion mixture, tomato sauce, vegetable broth and butter. Bring lentils to a simmer and cook for an hour over low heat until thick and creamy, adding broth as needed. To improve texture, mash lentils occasionally with the back of a spatula while cooking. If desired, stir in a tablespoon or two of cream after cooking. Serve with naan, rice or alone.

rather surprising culinary evening

Last night, Sarah and I headed out to Andrea & Alex & Benjamin’s house for an Indian feast with Alex and Matt while Andrea and Benjamin are still traveling around the U.S.

Holy crap, that man can cook. Who knew? We sure didn’t. And we intend to ruthlessly steal those recipes from him. Here’s what we had:

    the starters
  • a creamy, yet fiery, cold cucumber soup with fresh chopped cilantro garnish to start us off
  • papadums with mango chutney
    the main course dishes
  • chicken vindaloo
  • lamb vindaloo
  • chicken tandoori
  • dal
    the desserts
  • carrot pudding — and in my humble opinion, this dish stole the show
  • a Nutella Cake which we brought and whose leftovers we enjoyed this morning
    The booze afterward
  • B-52 shots

    Hope you like it sweet.

    Hope you like it sweet.

    According to wikipedia you shouldn’t use Grand Marnier if you want it to flame up, and instead you should use something with higher alcohol content. But we got the Grand Marnier to light just fine.


couple of pictures

Here are a couple of pictures taken recently. We tried out a new (to us) Indian joint in town and were impressed with the waiter’s friendliness (as opposed to Ganesha’s typical surliness) but less-than-wowed by the food’s flavor and especially with the how long it took to arrive (note the beverages at critical levels before even digging into the chow). But the presentation was nice:
Indian Palace

Also, pretty much none of our local pals know this yet, but we’ve recovered our living room furniture — gives it a whole new look on the same old chairs. I wish I could say we carefully chose fabrics and measured them out and stitched the slipcovers ourselves and stuff, but…we didn’t. http://bemz.com made it much easier.
BEMZ

Masala Zone

The Joint

147 Earls Court Rd
London SW5 9RQ
phone: +44 20 7359 3399

Cliff

I had the Lamb Coromandel — coconut milk, fennel, and red chilies provided most of the flavors. It was simply great. It came with mushroom rice and had fresh cilantro in the sauce. I’ve been craving fresh cilantro pretty much ever since we moved away from the U.S. It was labeled as “quite spicy” or similar in the menu, and they weren’t kidding. It was pleasantly hot.

Sarah

I had the Chicken Madras noodle bowl with Udon noodles, tandoori roasted chicken, lettuce of some sort, fried onions, green onions, white onions, red chilies, bean sprouts, red and green peppers and a heavenly sauce.

Invicta Tandoori

The Joint

15 Harbour Street
Whitstable, Kent
United Kingdom
Phone: 01227 264700

Cliff

This is a find; we’re so pleased Ian and Michelle introduced to this place to us back in April 2003. Sadly (for Invicta too!), they’ve moved to another part of the country, and now we’re short on motivation to return to Whitstable — other than for a meal at Invicta Tandoori, of course.

Sarah

This was the first time I had Indian that really knocked my socks off. Way to enable an addiction, Invicta. Teeny-tiny venue – barely enough room to turn around – but absolutely lovely food. The amount is surprising and the menu is extremely varied. The waitstaff is lovely. Altogether, a great joint.

Shalimar Garden

The Joint

42-44 Gloucester Terrace
Paddington, London W2 3DA

http://www.shalimargarden.com

Cliff

I had Goa Chicken and pilau rice, and we split an order Sag Aloo. This little bitty place was not even really visible from the street — you can see the sign for it coming from the Paddington tube station, but you enter the restaurant after descending an external staircase. It was small and seemed almost hastily put together. But maybe that made the food all the more delightful. This was my 2nd favorite Indian restaurant in London.

Sarah

This place was a little treat. Like Cliff said, not impressive looking, but the food was pretty tasty. And it was on the walk from the tube station to our crappy hotel. So points for convenience.

Bhatti

The Joint

37 Great Queen street
London WC2B 5AA
U.K.

Cliff

The main waiter seemed annoyed that we were there, and the entire staff seemed like they had something better to do. We got hit twice with upsell tactics and the food itself was rather weak on flavor. I had the Kabab Afghani and Funky Pie ice cream dessert, which was a joke. It was served rock-hard out of their freezer. I’d say skip this place altogether. We were only there because we wanted some Indian food close to the theater where we’d just seen The Producers.

Sarah

This place sucks. Nothing else to say about it.

But seriously, how can you resist trying something called ‘Funky Pie?’

The Everest

The Joint

41 Craven Road
London W2 3BX

Cliff

This was a little place quite near our apartment at Apartments Apart that we spotted on the way to/from Paddington Station. The staff was quite friendly and the food was good and relatively cheap. My only complaint was that the quantities were so small; especially given the fact that the portions of rice were not included in the entrée.

Sarah

The staff here was so friendly and this was my first step into London’s Indian cuisine scene. I wasn’t disappointed by the food, but I was rather shocked at the tiny portion size and the fact that rice or naan bread doesn’t come with a meal – everything is a la carte. Given how expensive London is, I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise, but I was thinking in terms of how food in restaurants is served in Germany (hugely). Just a difference we needed to note for future reference!