The Global Kitchen Series: India

The GSBTB Global Kitchen is a series of workshops by our Open Kitchen project, aimed at giving aspiring chefs and food lovers a chance to learn how to expand their taste buds and make food from other countries. Each time, a new chef teaches how to cook a traditional dish from their culture. After two successful workshops, the third in was conducted by Vijay, an Indian volunteer who taught participants the secrets to some of the most homely and tasty Indian dishes (straight from an Indian mom’s kitchen!).  Find the recipe (as well as tons of photos from the workshop) below.

The volunteer chef, Vijay.

This time, the GSBTB Open Kitchen had the privilege of hosting Vijay, an Indian volunteer who taught participants how to make three different popular recipes from India, and a dessert to boot! Learn how to make these deliciously spicy and flavorful Indian dishes by following the recipes below.

How to make Kashmiri-style chicken curry:

Prep time: 40 min
Cooking time: 10 min
Serves: 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 400 grams boneless chicken, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup or 125 grams thick yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 8 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 pieces cardamom
  • 1/2 cup or 125 grams cream
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

For the first marinade, mix the chicken with 1/2 a teaspoon of chili powder and the lemon juice. Let this chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

To prepare the second yogurt marinade, mix the yogurt with the oil, half the ginger and garlic, the remaining chili powder, garam masala and salt. Let this mixture sit in the fridge for at least 45 min (to get the best flavour, this should be sitting in there around 3-4 hours).

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. While the oven is heating up, puree all the tomatoes in a blender. In a pan, heat up the butter, and add in the cardamom seeds. Once they start to splutter, add in the remaining ginger and garlic, and saute till the raw ginger smell disappears. Add in the tomato puree, salt, 1 teaspoon of chili powder and let this cook on a low flame for about 20 minutes.

Once the marinade is ready, spread the marinated chicken (with the yogurt) evenly across a baking sheet, lightly baste it with some butter, and cook in the oven for about 10-12 minutes. When the chicken is cooked, add it back into the tomato puree, mixing slowly. Let this mixture simmer for another 10 minutes. Finally, add in the cream,  stir for a minute or two, and take off the heat.

You can top this with fenugreek leaves, if desired. Serve with flatbreads (ideally naan) or rice.

How to make Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa):

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 medium carrots
  • 2 cups or 500 ml milk
  • 5 to 6 almonds, lightly toasted
  • 5 to 6 cashews, lightly toasted
  • 10-15 raisins
  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • 1/4 teaspoon green cardamom powder
  • 1 cup or 250 ml Milchmädchen or any sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you like it
  • 1 sprig saffron (optional)

Directions:

Start off by peeling and grating the carrots (using a rough grater is okay, as the carrots do not need to be finely grated). Heat the ghee in the pan, and once it heats up, add in the carrots. Let the carrots cook for about 5 min with the lid on. Add in the sugar and mix well, then adding in the milk. Mix this some more, and then let the mixture simmer.

After about 8 to 10 minutes, add in the Milchmädchen and stir well. If the mixture is too thick, add in a dash of milk. Add in the cardamom powder, saffron and nuts. Once the milk evaporates and the carrots are well cooked, take off the heat and serve! It’s best eaten when warm. 

How to make Pav Bhaji (special Indian vegetable curry):

Prep time: 25-30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 3 tablespoons cauliflower, grated
  • 1/4 cup capsicum/paprika, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup tomato puree, fresh (requires 3 to 4 fresh tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup ready-made tomato puree
  • salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Pav Bhaji masala (if unavailable, replace with 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder, salt and black pepper to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • a few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 slice lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)

Directions:

In a pan with high edges, heat the oil, and add in 3/4th of a cup of onions. Fry until golden brown, then add in the ginger and garlic. Saute till the raw smell of the garlic disappears.

Add in the cauliflower and boiled potatoes and mix well. Once the ingredients are combined and well sauteed, add in both the tomato purees (fresh and ready-made) . Also add in half a cup of water, letting the mixture cook for 5 minutes.

Mix in the chopped paprika and let it cook for another five minutes. Add in the Pav Bhaji masala (you can find this at your local South Asian grocery store), chili powder (if you want to make it more spicy), lemon juice and butter. Let the mixture simmer on low heat for another 8 to 10 minutes, before taking it off the heat.

Before serving, top the mixture with fresh coriander, chopped onion, and a lemon wedge on the side. Serve with toasted and buttered flatbread.

How to make mixed vegetable curry:

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6 people

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup french beans, diagonally cut
  • 1/2 cup carrot, cubed
  • 1/2 cup, capsicum, cubed
  • 1/2 cup potato, cubed
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 small stick cinnamon
  • 1 cardamom
  • 2 cloves (lavang) (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • salt to taste

For the gravy mixture:

  • 2 1/2 cups tomato, cubed
  • 1 cup onion, cubed
  • 2 tbsp cashews
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons roughly chopped ginger
  • 3 whole dry red chilies (optional)

Directions:

For the gravy mixture, combine all the ingredients and 2 cups of water in a deep non-stick pan, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Keep aside to cool completely. Once cooled, blend in a mixer till smooth. Keep aside.

Heat the oil in a deep non-stick pan, add the cauliflower, french beans, carrot, capsicum and potatoes and saute on a high flame for 3 to 4 minutes or till the vegetables turn light brown in colour. You don’t want to cook all the vegetables through – just brown them enough to give them a crunchy texture.

Switch off the flame, drain the vegetables in a bowl and keep aside. Reheat the leftover oil in the same deep non-stick pan, add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and the gravy mixture, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes or till the oil begins to separate, while stirring continuously.

Add the turmeric powder, chili powder, garam masala, salt and 1/2 cup of water, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 2 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Add in the sauteed vegetables, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 4 to 5 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Serve hot with rice or flatbread and enjoy!

If you haven’t been able to make it to one of these workshops yet, check out some photos from this one:

 

Photography by Lisardo Iniesta.